What a funny and touching forgotten gem in Eddie Murphy’s repertoire. It’s about a player who gets played. Murphy does whatever deceitful action he feels necessary to get a sexy woman into bed and then tosses them aside like a pair of socks. So naturally when he falls in love with the lady who takes over his position as head of marketing for a cosmetics company she (Robin Givens (Blankman)) turns out to be just as cruel as he is when playing with people’s emotions.
There’s real good drama with Murphy’s job dilemma where he faces possible termination. He also gets pressured by the figurehead of the new company, who’s a much older woman (Eartha Kitt (Ernest Scared Stupid)), to sleep with her if he wants to keep his job. And there’s some…dare I say it?…cute romance stuff like the brief fling David Alan Grier (Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby) and Halle Berry (The Last Boy Scout) have.
The highlight though might be the incredible cast of wacky side characters. Tisha Campbell (Martin) plays Murphy’s neighbor who’s so apoplectic over his deplorable behavior that she hopes he gets a disease where his dick falls off, Chris Rock (New Jack City) in an early role delivers the mail in the building where Murphy works and steals the show every brief moment he’s on camera, John Witherspoon (Friday) is Grier’s embarrassing father who shows up to Thanksgiving in a mushroom patterned suit and I already mentioned the unsubtle seductress Eartha Kitt.
Martin Lawrence (Bad Boyses) and David Allan Grier play Murphy’s best buds and their dynamic is great together. While Murphy is the suave one, Grier is the awkward shy one and Lawrence is the brash extrovert that sees racism in everything. And while this is meant to be funny as he even thinks the game of pool is racist with the white ball dominating all the other balls, especially the black 8 ball (this theory is fascinating actually), his outlook is justified when they’re all confronted with an asshole white dude in a high end clothing store who thinks they’re gonna steal shit.
But definitely the funniest part of the whole thing is Grace Jones (Vamp) as the French fashion icon Strangé (pronounced Strohn-jay). She’s in your face, crass (to use one of the movie’s favorite words) and committed to bringing cosmetology to its knees. At a pitch meeting she throws out names for her new perfume like “Steel Vagina” and “Love Puss”. Her TV ad for the perfume is her in a crazy ass enormous wood weaved dress stomping the ground with her bare feet while giving birth to the new fragrance bottle in some apocalyptic caveman setting (!?). The character is one for the ages and Jones plays her perfectly. She has a natural mystique about her that fits so well with this tacky yet brilliant giant in fashion.
So if you want a nice romantic comedy that has a touch of outrageousness to it this should fit the bill.
This thriller about a hunter/tracker (Jeremy Renner (Arrival)) and FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron)) that team up to find out who killed a teenage girl is pretty ok at best. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before and what’s there isn’t done exceptionally. This is a bit frustrating because modern day stories about crimes on Native American reservations, particularly those of rape and murder, are something that really need to be told. The laws are apparently so convoluted in terms of jurisdiction and authority that the crimes become very difficult to investigate properly and litigate thoroughly.
I applaud the film for taking up this topic full on and for shining a light on something that I’m sure most people have never thought about, including myself. But unfortunately this isn’t a great film. It’s too much of a by-the-numbers predictable mystery picture. Taylor Sheridan wrote this (he also directed) and it’s not as good as either Sicario or Hell or High Water. I guess it should come as no surprise that those aren’t the best either. I’ll still keep giving Sheridan shots though. Hopefully he’ll get better. I mean hey, at least someone’s out there writing thrillers which we could certainly use more of.
But what I would really like to see is a movie (any kind of movie) involving Native Americans without a white lead or the intervention of white characters. Those have to exist out there, right? I goddamn hope they do. Can anyone point me to a good one?
I got so burned out on superhero movies a long time ago but the reviews for this Spidey were very encouraging so I wanted to see it. Plus besides Batman Spider-Man is the only other superhero I really dig.
And man this was fun. Just a lot of damn fun. Surprisingly they went for pretty much a straight up comedy with some fairly well done superhero action thrown in. From what I gather this is supposed to be the most faithful representation of Spider-Man done to date and even though I’ve only read maybe one comic book of his in my life this seemed accurate. Somehow on a gut level it just felt like “oh yea right, this is how the character’s supposed to be”.
Everyone was cast well, especially Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea) in the lead, and the mix of comedy and huge spectacular action with characters flying around doing impossible shit was well balanced. But most importantly this one has heart. It didn’t feel like they’re simply churning out yet another Marvel movie because they have a quota to meet. They really did a nice job. Give this one a shot even if you think you can’t stomach another comic book picture. You’re in for a treat.
The scenes are a little too disjointed where Avary seems to keep running into a brick wall and has to insert a new element into the story to get himself over the obstacle. He probably didn’t map out the entire plot before starting to see how things would fit together and it shows. Although it’s remarkable the film works as well as it does which is a testament to how talented Avary is as a filmmaker.
Putting the uneven storytelling aside there’s plenty of cool shit in here to sink your teeth into. The idea of two pals who haven’t seen each other in a long time doing a boatload of drugs and robbing a bank is fantastic. Eric Stoltz (Anaconda) does a nice job as the smooth calm safecracker new to Paris. He looks very comfortable in the role and that confidence is impressive. Jean-Hugues Anglade (Maximum Risk) as the mastermind behind the robbery is the star of the show though. He doesn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone including himself. Like he’ll impulsively pull Stoltz’s prostitute (Julie Delpy (The Three Musketeers (1993)) out of the shower and toss her out of the hotel room buck naked and then later shoot heroin in the middle of a club. And of course he has no qualms about killing folks that get in his way. A total maniac if there ever was one.
Now there’s the typical pop culture references and quirks you would expect like Captain America, Nosferatu, Billie Holiday and our motley crew having a penchant for Dixieland jazz, but it’s not overabundant like in a Tarantino picture. There’s enough to give some personality but not so much that it becomes a defining trait.
So overall it’s a good first effort. It would’ve been interesting to see what Avary would’ve come up with if he had continued directing more. Anyway, you’ll probably like it.