Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Musical


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January 02, 2015 at 07:59 PM



Samuel L. Jackson as Dolmedes
John Cusack as Father Mike Corridan
Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata
Wesley Snipes as Cyclops
720p 1080p
934.8 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 7 min
P/S 6 / 20
1.94 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 7 min
P/S 1 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jon Red (robo042-1) 1 / 10

Chiraq - A Mediocre Movie Made Terrible by Ignoring Real Cries for Real Help

On it's own it's a goofy yet poignant musical. A little boring, if I'm being honest.

But with the name "Chi-Raq" and it being set in Chicago and it dealing with the gun violence in Chicago, the movie is worse than just bad. Chiraq is a real term that real kids in real bad neighborhoods came up with to describe their environment. Chicago's murder rate doesn't look like much when taken as a whole but when you realize that 99% of it occurred in just a few of Chicago's many neighborhoods, you'll understand why those unfortunate kids from those neighborhoods chose this term. These are not white neighborhoods, mind you, remember that Chicago is the most segregated city in America. These kids really have seen more literal dead bodies growing up than most soldiers have seen in Iraq. The term is as offensive and loud as possible because it's meant to get your attention. It is a very literal cry for actual help in every sense of the word.

Spike Lee takes this term and honors the meaning behind it by completely ignoring those cries for help. He chooses to use Chicago to tell some story about how a sex strike maybe solved a civil war one time so yeah that could totally solve all the dead bodies that pile up in Englewood and Fuller Park every year. And the corrupt governmental system keeping it secret and confined to black neighborhoods.

The most obvious example of Spike Lee completely missing what's really going on in the *real* Chiraq is the fact that the gangs in his film beef over colors. Don't nobody care what colors you wear in Chiraq, your chances of being killed are the same regardless. That's some goofy west coast crap. Modern gangs in the real Chiraq form simply out of safety in numbers. Activities vary set by set, block by block. Conflict typically stems from disputes over sex and violence. This is what motivates *most* violence in America, however when it happens on the South Side, it gets labeled "gangland violence" and then gets mostly ignored by media outlets.

Simple things get overlooked like how a lot of these deaths could be avoided simply by building a closer trauma center to these neighborhoods so it doesn't take an ambulance over an hour to get to the scene. How more educational and work force centers can provide direction to directionless kids with no hope. How proper legal representation and education could ensure we're not occasionally sending innocent kids to jail to learn how to become a savage along with the rest of them. These are all common things you'll find missing from most of these consistently super high crime areas in Chicago.

It's gotten bad in Chicago. And when I say bad, I mean real bad. Someone needs to shine a light on what's really going on because it's gone way beyond any other place in America. Way worse than you're imagining. The only thing a sex strike would do on the South Side is make the already high sexual assault rate climb even higher. And that's just real talk.

Which Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq" continues to ignore by examining none of those things. In Spike Lee's world, it's almost like he's saying it's black people's fault the murder rate is so high in places like Austin and West Englewood. Like he's saying "You girls maybe need to stop putting out so much, that's the problem." 1 out of 10 stars, no sympathy for those who chose to ignore real cries for real help from an entire group of disenfranchised youth.

Reviewed by Dave McClain ([email protected]) 10 / 10

"Chi-Raq" is the gutsiest, more entertaining and most important Spike Lee Joint yet.

Talk is cheap. Just ask anyone who decries the most recent example of gun violence in the news, but is frustrated by the lack of governmental or societal action to prevent future incidents. Or talk with the family and friends of anyone killed by a firearm. Of course, few groups in our society understand the problem better than African Americans, who are twice as likely as whites to be killed by guns. And few cities in the U.S. understand better than Chicago, where rates of shooting deaths are proportionally higher than in New York and L.A., and where there are more mass shootings than any other city in the U.S. In fact, from 2003 to 2011 there were almost as many homicides in Chicago as U.S. Servicemembers killed in Iraq (4267 vs. 4485). Numbers like this have led some to refer to Chicago as Chi-Raq. Legendary director Spike Lee's 2015 film "Chi-Raq" (R, 1:58) builds upon this idea, but it does a lot more than talk.

As a way of calling attention to the high rate of gun violence in the U.S. – and the need for action – Lee has co-written (along with Kevin Willmott), directed and produced a movie that entertains, informs and motivates, using a wider variety of elements than I can ever remember seeing in a major motion picture. The basic story comes from the play "Lysistrata" by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. The script is street talk, often set to verse in a way that would be familiar to Aristophanes or Shakespeare. Lee makes artistic decisions to use an on-camera narrator (Samuel L. Jackson) and have characters occasionally looking straight into the camera while talking to others, as he mixes drama, humor, eroticism, parody and song-and-dance numbers to deal with the deadly serious issue of inner city gun violence. As confused as all that might sound, this is actually a focused movie with a strong narrative.

In the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, two rival gangs, the Spartans and the Trojans, are at war. Sometimes they injure or even kill each other and sometimes innocent bystanders fall victim to the violence. Designer eye patch-wearing gangbanger Cyclops (Wesley Snipes) is the leader of the Trojans, while a rapper called Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon) runs the Spartans. When the young daughter of an Englewood resident named Irene (Jennifer Hudson) is killed by a stray bullet and "nobody saw nothing'", some of the young women in the community take action. Encouraged by an older woman called Miss Helen (Angela Bassett), Chi-Raq's girlfriend, Lysistrata (Teyonah Paris) does some reading and formulates the plan that is inspired by Aristophanes' play (and which actually worked in Liberia in 2003).

Lysistrata gets her friends together with the girlfriends and wives from the rival gang and they all agree to a sex strike in order to force their men to abandon the tragic pattern of gang violence. The film's poster displays the women's motto (mostly) accurately as "No Peace, No Piece". (Although they actually use a different word that starts with "p" in place of the word "piece".) The men aren't happy about being denied physical affection, but they don't take the protest seriously… at first. Women throughout the city sign on in solidarity and the sex strike starts spreading well beyond Chicago. Then, to help drive their point home, the Chicago women take over a local Army National Guard arsenal (similar to actions taken by the women in Aristophanes' play). Everyone from the neighborhood priest (John Cusack) to the mayor of Chicago (D.B. Sweeney) try to help negotiate and/or force an end to the sex strike, but the women hold firm to their principles and continue to move straight forward with their piece plan.

In lesser hands, "Chi-Raq" could have been an unwatchable mess, but Lee makes it work. He seamlessly brings together the movie's disparate elements and different film-making styles. Contrary to what some critics say about this particular Spike Lee Joint, "Chi-Raq" doesn't cheapen or make light of the problem that it exists to address. Lee and his actors alternately entertain us with very funny lines and sight gags as well as music and dancing, while also bringing us scenes of realistic drama and heartbreak. While many of the film's moments successfully get and keep our attention, others are equally powerful at inspiring us to act. The tactic of the sex strike is obviously not meant to be taken literally as a magical solution to the problem of gun violence, but it effectively conveys the film's overarching message that SOMETHING has to be done, and well-intentioned people need to be willing to do WHATEVER it takes to stop the killing. "Chi-Raq" is quite simply a brilliant film and may be the gutsiest, best and most important work of Spike Lee's career. "A+"

Reviewed by shouraigen 8 / 10


Best two hours I've spent in 2015 watching film.. Pure theater, outstanding performances by old-school and new school thespians. If you know anything about Chicago's history, and correlate that with current world events, then you will , if you haven't noted all ready, that Chicago Mayor's are little more than placeholders, in this city.. Gangstarrs rule... always have and most likely always will. Spike Lee has once again done a masterful job of story-telling politics du century, .. Somewhere on this set, Radio Rakeems, ghost was taking the this crew to task.. Wesley Snipes has paid his dues, but don't expect, Mo Better Blues' .. Can Angela Bassett ever not be beautiful, one of the most underrated and least pushed actresses in Hollywood, The choice between steady work for 30 years or 1 or 2 leading lady roles, an easy choice. Sam Jackson.. stop screaming.. and act.. please.. Teyonah Parris, Wow! .. beautiful.. talented, more please.. Jennifer Hudson, still an enigma, but hoping for more please.. Working with soo.... many beautiful, talented strong women must have been a dream come true or an absolute fear fest..Nick Cage. not bad..still not convinced you want to be an actor... . John Cusack, If Al Pacino sees this film, he'll know exactly where you conjured up this performance, the sermon in the church was masterful.. Not quite Al in City Hall.. but it's easy to see that you learned from the best. DB Sweeney, one of the best character actors around.. Overall a beautiful Shakespearean farce wrapped in Terrorism, engulfed and discarded by entertainment news. The conversation dismissed by a racist, willfully ignorant & backwards electorate, Fodder for an absolutely evil global system. .Spike as always.. You did the right thing.. Well.. that Vampire thing.. WT.. !.. Cheers,


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