Category Archives: eddie murphy

A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words ~ Eddie Murphy doesn’t have much luck in the movies any more, Shrek and Dream Girls excepted. Whenever he releases a theatrical starring vehicle, even one like this that is actually pretty good, it fails. At least theatrically and critically. I, on the other hand, liked A Thousand Words, just as I’ve liked more than a few Murphy films of the last dozen or so years.

A Thousand Words is a fantasy flick with a simple premise. Eddie plays a publishing agent who is cursed by a client to only be able to speak 1000 words before he dies. This forces Eddie to be very selective in his words, and he must use other ways to communicate. It is fierce physical comedy, something Murphy loves and excels at, and he is a delight to watch here. He is supported by a wonderful cast, including in terrific parts – Clark Duke, Jack McBrayer, and John Witherspoon.

It doesn’t help the film that much like the infamous Pluto Nash that this movie was made a few years ago and was just released this spring. It’s sad that had this been forty or fifty years ago, this would have been a perfect vehicle for Jerry Lewis, one of Murphy’s idols. It’s also a matter of being out of favor with Hollywood – think about it, this would have been a hit if it starred Jim Carrey or Ben Stiller, right?

I liked it. It’s a good comedy with a happy ending, a good message, and an excellent flick for the family with humor for kids of all ages. Some scenes might be a bit risqué however. Recommended.

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Tower Heist

Tower Heist ~ This movie was really quite a pleasant surprise. I am always tentative when I go to see a movie with either Eddie Murphy or Ben Stiller, because basically, I never know what I’m going to get. These two, in my book, are always hit or miss.

Director Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist is exactly what it what it sounds like, a heist movie, and it’s done in the spirit of the old 1960s and 1970s heist films, only with both a comedic and a contemporary spin. And it is funny. Stiller is not over the top, and Murphy is actually back in is old form. Very refreshing. An all star ensemble cast, including Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Tea Leoni, Judd Hirsch, Gabourey Sidibe, and Casey Affleck, highlights this fun romp.

Now that’s not to say this is perfect, it’s not. It does fall apart in places where a more appropriate heist movie would have been tighter, but it usually does so for the benefit of laughs. All in all, a homage to the genre and a nice change of pace regarding Murphy and Stiller. Worth seeing.

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Meet Dave

Meet Dave ~ The key to enjoying Eddie Murphy movies is knowing what to expect. Here in the 21st century, Murphy makes fun family fantasy comedies. If you want Delirious or Beverly Hills Cop, you need to get in a time machine and visit a video rental shop in the 1980s. That’s just not who Eddie is anymore. While that could be argued to be a bad thing, or even a good thing, it is a good reference point to review his films.

Here in Meet Dave, the premise is simple, as is the movie. A human-sized and shaped spaceship, manned by tiny aliens comes to Earth to retrieve a valuable weapon designed to save their world. A young boy finds it and Dave Ming Cheng, the ship played by Eddie Murphy, who also plays its captain, must befriend the boy and his mom, Elizabeth Banks. Heartwarming hijinks ensue.

Eddie is fun here, as he is in all of his family flicks. Adding to the fun, but not overshadowing Eddie at all, sadly, is Gabrielle Union. She’s better than this, and I wish she had a bigger role. The only problem with this flick, and other recent Murphy flicks is that no one upstages him, or even gets close to it. She’s a good actress and she should have had the space to show it. Fun family flick, recommended.

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Quickies 8-3-2009

Imagine That ~ This is actually pretty good, imagine that. Unlike Adam Sandler who I really don’t care for, I like Eddie Murphy. Like Adam Sandler however, Eddie keeps making terrible films. When The Bride wanted to see this new one, I just groaned but went along just cuz I love her and all – but I was relatively sure I was not going to enjoy it. Surprise! And a pleasant one too. Imagine That is a feel-good little family film. It’s a tad predictable and requires a bit of that old suspension of disbelief from the adults, but still a lot of fun. Great Beatles cover soundtrack too.

American Zombie ~ A cool concept of a documentary made about zombies in a world where they have integrated into society. It moves swiftly from funny art school hi-jinks with a camera to Blair Witch-esque horror to conspiracy theories. Just when you think it’s run its course the film changes form like a basilisk. More intriguing and compelling than it deserves to be.

I Hate Valentine’s Day ~ More anti-chick flick chick flick entertainment from Nia Varadalos. She seems to excel on using the formula while bringing a new twist or touch to it. This one, written and directed by Nia, reunites her with My Big Fat Greek Wedding co-star John Corbett. Cliched but fun, definitely worth seeing.

Knowing ~ More of Nicholas Cage playing himself flawlessly in a one note flick. Unimpressive, despite the intriguing premise, but the disaster scenes are pretty cool though. It’s a shame the rest of the film doesn’t match up. For a movie about predicting the future, this was just waaay too predictable.

Pauly Shore Is Dead ~ Probably the best Pauly Shore film ever, period. Smarter and funnier than it should be – if only it had an ending.

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Showtime

“COPS” FROM HELL

A Review of “Showtime”

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

“Cops” on the Fox Network is one of my favorite shows, I rarely miss it, even in syndication. It literally began the reality television rage we’re currently in and still can’t be beat by its competition. The show is an endless source of entertainment, any given episode will have family fights, drunks and fun in trailer parks that’ll make your home life seem tame. Who can forget the singing homeless woman who thinks she’s married to the cop? The attempted suicide who wants to bring his houseplants along in the ambulance? The masturbating transvestite trucker? Or, my fave, the vampire purse snatch victim with the childhood photos?

Showtime wants to be “Cops” soooo bad.

It’s a buddy cop movie in the vein of a Lethal Weapon or a Stakeout with the added bonus of a television camera crew following them around. Robert DeNiro plays a wannabe Dirty Harry who is hooked up with aspiring actor/cop Eddie Murphy. Rene Russo is the television producer out to make a hit TV series out of this. It’s like rehab for actors who can’t pick a good script.

Speaking of the script, it’s co-written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the duo behind the WB’s hit series “Smallville.” There’s no hint of that talent here in Showtime.

DeNiro must’ve taken quite a financial hit when his Tribeca offices were destroyed in the World Trade Center disaster to be taking roles like this. Murphy, who has never been known for his ability to pick appropriate roles, ends up playing the same character he plays in all his films – Eddie Murphy (dude should’ve stuck to stand-up). And Rene Russo? Rene Russo made The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (also with DeNiro), nothing more need be said.

We do get a few good scenes with William Shatner playing himself trying to teach the cops how to look better on camera a la “T.J. Hooker” but that’s about it. Not worth the rental.

Reprinted from Project: Popcorn at:
http://www.whitevioletpictures.com/popcorn