Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Spike Lee!

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: Oldboy, Red Hook Summer, Miracle at St. Anna, She Hate Me, Summer of Sam, Girl 6

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, many consider Spike Lee to be one of the greatest directors of all time, however the prosecution feels Mr. Lee has helmed more than a few stinkers, and should definitely be considered for Movie Jail.

When Mr. Lee is good, he is very good. Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, and He Got Game are fantastic films, but Girl 6 and Red Hook Summer? Not so much. It's true Mr. Lee has directed more hits than misses, but for the past decade, most of his feature films have been forgettable or just terrible. The prosecution believes we should expect more from Mr. Lee because of his older films, and he shouldn't get a free pass because he has directed a few classics.

Some think Mr. Lee is overrated, and it's probably because he's directed films like Miracle at St. Anna and Oldboy, movies that have bombed at the box office and with critics. The defense will likely argue we didn't actually get to see Mr. Lee's cut of Oldboy, but the prosecution doubts it would have been any better than the one that was shown in theaters, or as good as the original film.

Mr. Lee has also directed a bunch of documentaries as of late, and although most have been great, the prosecution feels he's treading water with those projects. Does this mean the prosecution doesn't think he should work on documentaries? Of course not, but he's more known for his feature films, and they will be what define his career, not his documentaries.

It would be easy to use some of the controversial comments Mr. Lee has made during his career against him in this trial, but the prosecution's problem with Mr. Lee isn't him running his mouth. Our issue is his most recent films just aren't as good or as important as his older ones, and we don't think Mr. Lee will return to form unless he spends a few months in Movie Jail.

The Defense: Inside Man, 25th Hour, Bamboozled, He Got Game, Get on the Bus, Clockers, Crooklyn, Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Mo' Better Blues, Do the Right Thing, School Daze, She's Gotta Have It, Documentaries (When The Levees Broke, If God is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise, etc.)

Ladies and gentlemen, my client shouldn't get a free pass, but considering how many great films he has directed, Mr. Lee being up for Movie Jail is a little ridiculous.

Even if you don't count his classics like He Got Game, Mr. Lee still has a very solid filmography, and the good definitely outweigh the bad. Inside Man and 25th Hour are both excellent films, and the defense is also a big fan of Summer of Sam, even if most critics didn't care for the movie. Is Mr. Lee's Oldboy just as good as the Park Chan-wook's? No, but the defense still thought it was a decent movie. Also, could you imagine Bamboozled being directed by anyone else but Mr. Lee? The defense doesn't think another director could have pulled off, and is proof that my client has an enormous amount of talent.

Mr. Lee has directed a ton of documentaries, but he's certainly not treading water like the prosecution claims. If Martin Scorsese can direct feature films and documentaries, why can't my client? It's not as if Mr. Lee's documentaries have been terrible either. When the Levees Broke and If God is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise are both powerful films, and although it's not technically a documentary, his The Original Kings of Comedy is hilarious.

My client is still a big name in the film world, and the defense is always excited when a new project from Mr. Lee is announced. Maybe some of his recent films haven't been as good as his older ones, but bad enough to be sent to Movie Jail? That's crazy talk.


Should Mr. Lee be tossed in prison for his recent weak feature films, or do you think he makes up for it with his documentaries? Has the director lost his game, or is he just been spending too much time watching the Knicks not win? Is Spike Lee GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.



It's no surprise the jury has found David Spade GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, but at least the little bastard is behind bars now. Sticking him in a prison cell with Adam Sandler is too obvious, so he's going to bunk (but not top bunk!) with Eddie Murphy. Our hope is, 1. Spade will annoy the shit out of Murphy, and 2. we'll be able to see Axel Foley bitch slap Joe Dirt.


GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin


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