(In theaters, October 2008) Spike Lee knows how to shoot a movie, but since Miracle At St. Anna hits the two-and-a-half-hours mark, I’m not sure he knows how to edit one. It’s a shame, really, because it would have been interesting to watch a movie about the all-black Buffalo Soldiers regiment and their experience in the Italian front of World War Two. We get some of that early on, but then the film loses itself in mystical drama about young boys and partisan politics. The film grinds to a half, occasionally mugs for seriously misguided laughs, and wears everyone’s patience thin before an ending that get more and more irritating. The real miracle here is that anyone will stay awake until the end: Lee’s direction seems to have lost all of the snappiness on display in Inside Man, and his racial message gets less and less effective as he multiplies his cartoonish antagonists. What a waste of resources; I suspect that the length of the film is directly related to the involvement of the original novel’s writer in the screen-writing process.