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1) Lee is smart enough not to give Sam too much screen time, but he ends up giving him too little. (Italie n. pag.)

2) Lee brilliantly solves the problem of how to present Berkowitz without turning the film into a splatter movie or police procedural. We see Michael Badalucco's Berkowitz in short bursts. (Carr D1)

3) Someone could make a good movie about a tortured fellow who kills lovers in parked cars on the advice of a talking dog. But in "Summer of Sam," a kind of Bronx "Boogie Nights," Spike Lee has made a very bad movie with David Berkowitz deep in the background. (Corliss 57)

4) Contrary to most films about serial killers, Lee's picture does not attempt to probe Berkowitz's deranged psyche. Instead, this ensemble piece uses the frenzy surrounding the serial killings as a sounding board for its themes of social conformity and media-fueled paranoia. (Thompson 38)

5) As it is, one senses that Lee, whose other ensemble movies have featured much zippier dialogue, might have been afraid to make this true-story tinderbox too entertaining. (Clark 6E)

6) Spike Lee: "What I really want to try to emphasize to people is that this film is not just about the Son of Sam -- David Berkowitz. This film is more about how the Son of Sam killings affected and changed the lives of 8 million New Yorkers during that particular summer." (Pizzello 50)

7) The basic story is a foregone conclusion. A madman hunts, kills and finally, on a lucky cop break, is caught. Relieved of this dramatic tension, Spike Lee is free to let his actors grope, jive, copulate and range with a spicy dialogue that employs the f-word as all seven parts of speech except a preposition. (Payne B6)

8) Mr. Breslin, who appears as himself in Mr. Lee's movie, said, "Berkowitz is the only murderer I ever heard of who knew how to use a semicolon." (Harden 1)

9) "Before they identified this guy as white, a lot of black people were praying to God that he was not black," said Lee, who reportedly moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan's Upper East Side. "It was like, 'Well, at least that's something they can't blame on us.'" (Graham E1)

10) Today Berkowitz is 46, a born again Christian, locked up in a maximum-security prison; weeping over the release of Spike Lee's spellbinding film, "Summer of Sam." (Baxter 1)

11) Mr. Berkowitz said that from prison he monitors "everything there is" about Spike Lee and his family. "I pray for Spike Lee and his family, his wife, Tonya, his two children, Jackson and Satchel," he said. "God does not want me to be angry with anybody." (Harden 1)

12) But Berkowitz, who says he is now a born-again Christian, also made a creepy comment in the story [New York Times article] about Lee, saying he monitors "everything there is" about the filmmaker and his family, naming Lee's wife and children. (Graham E1)

13) He [David Berkowitz] carried a Bible and smelled pleasantly of talcum powder. (Harden 1)

14) Lee: "To quote a phrase I got from [former Georgetown University] coach John Thompson, 'I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.' If the New York Times thinks David Berkowitz is an ideal talcum-powder-smelling American citizen [the Times' article described Berkowitz as smelling "pleasantly of talcum powder"], they can. I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid and neither are a lot of people." (Graham E1)

15) At Cannes in May, Mr. Lee told reporters: "I feel deeply for the parents of the victims of Son of Sam. At the same time, I'm an artist, and this is a story I wanted to tell. Even if I didn't make the film, that was not going to bring their daughters, their loved ones, back. They got buried by a psychopath. We do not feel that the film is a glorification of David Berkowitz." (Harden 1)

16) Criticized for exploiting the victims of Son of Sam, the serial killer David Berkowitz who terrorized New York in the summer of 1977, Lee put forward his membership in the tribe of 'artists' as if that alone were sufficient to still criticism. "I feel that we're artists," he said, "I don't think we can be put in a straitjacket all the time." And his case was taken up by most critics and others of the "artists" tribe, who circled the wagons with their usual efficiency. (Bowman 46)

17) For everyone who believed they'd never have to think about him again, "Summer of Sam" is a reminder, in this year of unaccountable evil, of another year when danger lurked in every stranger's shadowed face -- and an occasion to be thankful that the epidemic of murder is slowly lifting from our nation. (Adler 22)

18) If he had not been a serial killer, Mr. Berkowitz said he probably would have ended up "married with a wife and kids in the suburbs, making a living, working in the post office." "I never wanted anything special," he said. (Harden 1)

19) Still, the film's recollections of that violent summer do trouble some of the victims' survivors; a number of them have protested the project since it began production last year and lament that the film unearths painful memories. Michael Lauria, whose 18-year-old daughter Donna was Berkowitz's first victim, recently told The New York Times that Lee "is making money off my sorrow and my family's hurt. He has got no compassion." Neysa Moskowitz, the mother of Berkowitz's final victim, Stacy, called Lee "a piranha." (Graham E1)

20) "It's very disappointing," said moviegoer Lyndsey Grimes, 24, of Manhattan. "I thought the movie was going to be about the Son of Sam, but it was a movie about fear. A city caught in fear. I can't see how people in the Midwest can relate to this movie." (Rosen and Santiago 10)

21) "I thought the film was brilliant on how it captured New York in the 1970s," said Charlotte Troll, 31, a Munich, Germany, filmmaker. "It should have universal appeal, because the film is about threats and the way people behave under a threat." (Rosen and Santiago 10)

22) Now, at a time when moviemakers are under pressure to justify every gunshot, Lee will invite New Yorkers to relive that frenetic, crazy era in his new movie, "Summer of Sam." (Adler 22)

23) I've heard a pistol one caliber up from a .44, snorting with a maddening recoil, and Spike Lee has it down to the last decibel in his new movie. The bullets are what you remember on your way out through the lobby, the bullets and the blood on the car windows. (Payne B6)