Who’s In It: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, John Turturro, Matteo Sciabordi
The Basics: African-American soldiers in World War II fight their way through Italy and get more and more embroiled in plots and flashbacks and more plots, including the rescue of a little boy and a murder that takes place in the 1980s. There’s a love triangle, too, and a miracle in there somewhere (Hence the title? Right?), but if you see the movie and can tell me what that miracle was supposed to have been then I’m open to ideas.
What’s The Deal: You can’t point at Spike Lee and tell him he’s got no ideas. He’s got a lot of them. He’s got more ideas that Heidi Klum has blonde on her head. He’s got so many that there aren’t enough years in his life left to give him time to make enough movies to comfortably house them all. So his solution is just jam each one of his films with way too many. Some people don’t like it when he does that. I do. And if it all holds together or if it doesn’t then that’s not for me to say, really. They do what they do. The man isn’t going to change just because some film critic says, “Um, excuse me Mr. Lee, but your movies have too many things happening in them and I’m somewhat exhausted. Also, I can't figure out what the miracle was.” Just deal with it. It may all make sense later on three movies down the road.
What Makes It Different From Other World War II Movies: The characters have disgruntled arguments about whether or not the U.S. is worth fighting for. In other WW2 movies there’s an inherent “Good War” mentality going on; the soldiers are doing the right thing for a country they love, one that will protect them later and give them the G.I. Bill and have fancy 1950’s advertising jobs waiting for them when they graduate from college. But that’s not what’s happening for these guys. Not only will these returning veterans not be allowed to drink from a water fountain that’s not “colored,” their own commanders may just send them off to die for being that color. This alone could have made a compelling plot. You can think of it as a bonus that there are about 17 others along for the ride.
How Long, Oh Lord: Another thing about Spike Lee’s movies—they seem to be getting longer. His amazing HBO movie When the Levees Broke was over four hours long, but you could watch that lying on the couch. This one’s nearly three, so pick a theater with comfortable seats.
Who’s Clearly Happy Just To Be Here: Laz Alonso, who not long ago was in stuff like Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood.