Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shutting Eddie Murphy up


No hidden commentary here. I just think this is a good idea for a movie.

Will it be a good movie? That's another question.

Due mostly to the divorce between Dreamworks and Paramount/Viacom, this film has been caught in limbo for the better part of four years, as most of the principal photography occurred in 2008. The fact that there were reshoots last year makes things seem worse for A Thousand Words. The fact that its release date bounced around within 2012 makes them seem even worse. And the fact that it was not screened for critics is kind of like the death knell.

But the idea is good. Make a comic known for his motormouth linguistic skills shut his trap for most of the movie and see how funny he can be without relying on verbal gymnastics. The timing is perfect, coming right off the first silent film winning best picture since Wings. Who knows if the audience would have been in this same frame of mind back in 2009, when it was supposed to be released.

However, it seems legitimate to worry whether Eddie Murphy's latest public relations troubles will have an impact on his box office drawing power. Although your average joe is not necessarily privy to the behind-the-scenes goings on of awards shows, the fact that Murphy was supposed to host this year's Oscars, but stepped down, became pretty big news. Of course, even fewer of your average joes know who Brett Ratner is, so the fact that Murphy stepped down in deference to the firing of Ratner for making homophobic slurs (always the class act, that Brett Ratner) is probably not generally known. All that's known by most people is that Murphy was supposed to host, but didn't. In a way, I guess he shut himself up.

Well, I won't be seeing A Thousands Words in the theater of course. While I said I like the idea, I haven't trusted Murphy enough to see a movie of his in the theater since -- well, since Shrek I guess. That was 11 years ago. Neither do collaborations with director Brian Robbins give me much hope, if their previous two -- Norbit and Meet Dave -- are any indication.

But I will be seeing my third movie of the 2012 release year this afternoon after work, reviving an old post-clockout tradition that has pretty much subsided since my son was born. My wife is going away for the night tomorrow night, so as my reward for extra parenting duty this weekend, I'm heading straight to the theater after work and getting home in time for bath and story time. (Incidentally, these trips may become more regular in the future -- my wife told me I didn't need a special occasion to do them. Score!)

I'll be watching Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Most likely in 3D.

One of my readers in particular will warn me away from this, but I have enough reason to think it might be good that I'm willing to venture it. Besides, I've got a gift card to one of the local movie theaters, so there'll be no money leaving my pocket.

At first I was planning to choose between The Lorax and John Carter, and I had an interesting way to determine which it would be. I decided that whichever movie had the higher Metascore would get my gift card dollars this afternoon, since I knew the Lorax Metascore, but the John Carter Metascore would be new to me as of today. Since both were movies I'd wanted to see originally, before being scared off by them, I thought this was a perfect way to break the deadlock.

But then I saw that John Carter was a full 40 minutes longer than The Lorax, and that just tipped the scales too much. The shorter movie would prevail.

Just to see what would have happened, though:

The Lorax - 47
John Carter - 52

For my wife's sake, I'm glad I made this decision in advance.

2 comments:

Don Handsome said...

In all of LA, there's got to be something less bland than The Lorax to see. John Carter I don't think would be it, but c'mon...this "adaptation" will kill your desire to ever read the book to your kid. You don't want this garbage in your mind, Vance. I beg you not to go...maybe 21 Jump Street instead??

Vancetastic said...

Dude, 21 Jump Street so doesn't open until next week. (Even then, though, I'm not sure it would be a contender.)

All I'll say is that we've differed on movies before ...