Malcolm X: 20th Anniversary [Blu-Ray] Spike Lee

Malcolm X: 20th Anniversary [Blu-Ray] Spike Lee
What better way to kick off the start of Black History Month than with the release of the remastered 20th anniversary of Spike Lee's epic biopic, Malcolm X? Based on the controversial autobiography of the historical icon, as told to Alex Hayley, Lee pays homage and respects the source material, taking viewers on a historical journey through Malcolm's short yet rick life, from his street hustling days in the early '40s, his six-year incarceration in prison, where he underwent an intellectual metamorphosis, to his most prominent period, where he became the most famous speaker for the nation of Islam and a powerful and outspoken political activist, much to his detriment. Although it's apparent that Malcolm X is indeed a personal hero to the director, Lee focuses as much on Malcolm's strength, candour and courage as on his flaws, such as his overblown ego, misplaced faith and unhealthy ambition, which contributed to his tragic assassination, in order to humanize the historical figure without taking away his iconic status. Despite the fact that Denzel Washington looks nothing like Malcolm X in real-life, he's able to match his distinctive mannerisms, from his body language to the cadence of his voice, during his memorable speeches in such an uncanny way that he's able to embody the activist's essence and spirit effortlessly. Although this cinematic biopic can either be seen as a loving tribute to a complicated man whose addiction to bigger and better ideals led to inspiring hope in others or as a glamorized depiction of a hypocritical protagonist's life and his supposed martyrdom, it's undeniable that Malcolm X's voice and strength paved the way for equal rights for African-Americans today. As well, the fact that the film is able to stand the test of time is a remarkable accomplishment. The Blu-Ray steel book is jam-packed with informative and enlightening special features, such as a 40-page biography of the film, an in-depth commentary from director Spike Lee and famous cinematographer turned director Ernest Dickerson recalling Malcolm X's life, as well as the experiences on set. There's also a behind-the-scenes documentary about Spike Lee's financial struggles doing justice to Malcolm X's story and deleted scenes that shouldn't have been cut, showing the softer side of Malcolm and his family life. The Blu-Ray also comes with a 90-minute documentary filmed in 1972 that as powerful as it is disturbing, at parts. It's the perfect reminder as to how far Americans have come decades after the activist's tragic death. (Warner)