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Entries in Eddie Murphy (5)

Friday
Jan102014

The Pryor Life

JA from MNPP here again, taking a look at the news that no less than Lee Daniels is about to sign on to directthe long-gestating bio-pic of the comedian and actor and genius Richard Pryor.



Apparently Bill Condon almost made it a couple of years ago, but I guess that's fallen through since here we are. I was really looking forward to Daniels making his interracial gay action movie, possibly to star Alex Pettyfer, but I'm not exactly surprised that producers aren't throwing money at that.

And not only do we have a director, but we have a trio of names that're rumored to be up to play the troubled, brilliant comedian. Eddie Murphy, who's been considered for the role for as long as they've been thinking about making the movie really, is still in the mix, although if they want to focus on Pryor's life in his 20s and 30s that seems a bit of a stretch, doesn't it? Eddie Murphy is 52 years old.

Of course also in the mix is Damon Wayans, who's actually a year older than Murphy so what do I know. (Condon was considering using Damon's brother Marlon, and he makes more sense to me.) But I guess they've got that CG they used in the third X-Men movie to make Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen look young, they can just spend millions and millions of dollars using that. (I hesitate to even mention make-up since I thought the make-up Daniels used to age people in The Butler was just awful.)

I personally find the third name in contention the most appealing - Michael B. Jordan, hot off a great performance in Fruitvale Station, and buzzy as all get out. I don't see why Daniels doesn't consider David Oyelowo too though - he was my favorite thing in The Butler (granted, I didn't like The Butler).

So who would you cast? And what do you think about Daniels tackling not just Pryor but another bio-pic largely set in the Sixties and Seventies so soon?

Wednesday
Nov092011

Eddie Murphy Resigns. Academy Voter Tells Us "Told You!"

True story: I just got back from a luncheon celebrating Martha Marcy May Marlene. I happened to be seated between three Academy members. One woman, a documentary filmmaker, brought up the Brett Ratner scandal and she and I co-miserated, jokingly, that if only he hadn't resigned so quickly there probably would have been much more drama to enjoy since he can't control his mouth. 'Who doesn't love juicy drama?' we argued. The wise producer on the left of me, retorted that the Academy doesn't. "They're very conservative and they don't like a scandal," she said emphatically. (Amusing that even Academy members talk about the Academy in monolithic "they" terms just as we do; as if they, too, are outside of it looking in).

The whole Ratner fiasco had happened so fast (gay slurs on Friday, apologies on Monday but also Howard Stern on Monday with more offensive comments, resignation on Tuesday) that we had to fill one of the other voters at our table in on the details. The discussion quickly turned to last year's telecast which was deemed "unwatchable" ("Franco is spread too thin" "Poor Anne Hathaway -- you could just see the panic.") The producer leans in to me and says "I bet Eddie Murphy resigns". 

CUT TO: 20 minutes later. I've just returned from talking to Lizzy Olsen (more on that tomorrow) and the producer says "Told you." She holds up her phone to show me the Breaking News bulletin: EDDIE MURPHY EXITS AS OSCAR HOST. The holy name of "Billy Crystal" is instantly invoked as if he would save them all. 

Murphy's public statement: 

First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party's decision with regard to a change of producers for this year's Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.

Interesting that he makes it sound like a mutual decision (the implication there is that Rattner was asked to resign, isn't it?).

I know I didn't write about the choice of Eddie Murphy much at the time but I actually thought it somewhat inspired as he is a born showman. No matter what you think of Dreamgirls, can't we all agree that Eddie nailed the performative electricity of James 'Thunder' Early?

Ideally in his absence I'd have Hugh Jackman back since I need musical numbers, I just do. (I realize my dream of Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson hosting and just yanking every other hilarious-in-real-life actress on stage to banter with them as if the Kodak is their mutual playground is only going to happen in my own brain.)

Statler & Waldorf are just like the media. They'll hate it whoever does the hosting!I also heartily endorse the Muppets should host the Oscars campaign though that feels only slightly more likely than Streep & Thompson on account of the Academy being too self-serious to become the greatest episode of The Muppet Show ever made for one night.

A more believeable suggestion...

Wouldn't Jim Carrey be two tons o' fun as a host: what do they have against him anyway? Who would you have host the event and are you sad to see Eddie go?

UPDATE 7:27 PM Brian Grazer (famous producer and Ron Howard partner) has stepped in to replace Brett Ratner as producer of the telecast. Since Brian has always kind of reminded us of a Muppet himself, we are quite pleased. Brian, think hard about those felt bundles of joy. CONSIDER... 

UPDATE 11/10/11: Now it's Billy Crystal as Host.

Tuesday
Oct252011

Jack-O-Linkin'

<-- Ooh look The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo poster. There are so many posters for every movie nowadays that I think the word "official" has lost all meaning. But I like it. The tag line sounds artier than most

"what is hidden in snow comes forth in the thaw"

Slant has a strong piece on the 25 best horror films of the Aughts. Some truly surprising but gratifying inclusions.
Film Buff On Demand has a fun post about Halloween treats you can make for your party like brain cupcakes and such. 
The Movie 411 has a nomination round in which you can submit your favorite blog articles or movies blogs in various categories. 
IndieWire considers the many way's this year's Oscar race might mirror 1998's: Brothers Weinsteins comedy vs. Steven Spielberg war epic with a little Terrence Malick on the side. And that's not all.
The Movie 411 has a nomination round in which you can submit your favorite blog articles or movies blogs in various categories. 
Michael Musto's choice of the two best lines in The Descendants 

I hadn't seen this so maybe you haven't either but delicious devil Colin Farrel presented Robert Downey Jr with the "Hero" award at the recent Scream Awards. Like so...

That is one gawdy-ass awards show!

Grantland Mark Harris on the writers branch of the Academy. Which causes will they take up this year?
Movie|Line speaks with Sean Durkin, the writer/director of Martha Marca May Marlene
IndieWire speaking of... how about a double feature with a previously disturbing cult movie The Rapture. Let's call it Martha Marcy Mimi Michael
Boy Culture shares an awesome Elizabeth Taylor photo and Richard Burton poem. I can never get enough of Liz & Dick.
Towleroad Gareth Thomas, who came out of the closet two years ago, is retiring from rugby. I wonder if his biopic is still on... it's SO weird that Mickey Rourke is supposed to play him because they look nothing alike and Jason Statham would be so so perfect. 

 

Pajiba "the superhot women of old timey westerns"
HitFix Eddie Murphy speaks about his Oscar hosting gig. 

Sunday
Sep042011

Linker, Donor, Oscar, Bye

By now you've heard the rumor, which some sources say is closer to actual fact, that Eddie Murphy will be hosting next February's Oscar ceremony. That's a major get if true since Murphy hasn't performed live in years and years and is the kind of Household Name that Oscar always prefers. I'm sure we'll talk more about this if it pans out. 

Lorell and Jimmy are through-oooooooooh 

No matter how great Eddie is -- should he host -- I know I won't be fully satisfied because what are the chances he'd invite Anika Noni Rose (who you know we love) onstage for something. TRUE STORY: Every single time I hear "Eddie Murphy" since 2008 I hear Anika Noni Rose's glorious voice in my ear. I included the sound clip that plays in my head every time in the post. You better listen!

MEANWHILE...
Have you seen Paul Smith's limited edition beautiful posters for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? They're minimalism and its most gorgeous and they're charitable too. All proceeds go to cancer.

This is my favorite from the batch.

I keep staring at it. But then I love minimalistic art. I think I must need room for my own projections of what an image, movie, or thing might be.

Ashley Judd & Michael Shannon & the aphidslinks!
Sunset Gun revisits Bug, mincing no words: "a masterpiece". I like this movie too but if you ever have a chance to see it on stage, that's where it really wows. So claustrophic and crazy and weirdly expectant of your co-dependency.
In Contention on George Clooney's tribute at Telluride. What a star that man is.
Awards Daily Sasha thinks Glenn Close has a real shot at the Best Actress Oscar with Albert Nobbs as career capper. She also likes The Descendants.
Super Punch stop motion recreation of the Johnny Quest opening credits. "WOW" and also: "What on earth for?" 
Terry Richardson has been shooting Jared Leto again. Those two. 
Movie|Line Stephanie Zacharek with a beautiful ode to Michael Fassbender in Shame and a funny jab at Al Pacino in Wilde Salome.

Today's Must Read
The Sheila Variations on Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre. Can we just cut and paste this whole write-up into her Best Actress FYC ads? Hopefully Focus Features takes a look at it.


Even if you haven't seen Jane Eyre (2011) it's an expansive essay taking on various schools (and limitations) of acting and it even has two beautiful shout outs to two of Nathaniel's all time favorite characterizations: Meryl Streep in Silkwood and Kathleen Turner in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? So I'm sensing that Sheila is a kindred spirit.

Oh and... uh... Happy Labor Day Weekend! 
I tried to take a vacation from blogging this week -- as i hinted in the "best of august" post -- and have now realized that I am unable. Constitutionally unable. Which is why you should all sign on as "subscribers" (in sidebar -- i've added a cheaper option for the brokest among you) so that I can keep blogging from here to eternity. I'm not suited for other types of work because I spend too much time dreaming about the movies.

 

 

I'm not sure what I'll do next weekend when I will actually not have an internet connection and must stare at actual friends all day...and not through a computer screen? GROSS.

Diesel Sweeties designed the perfect t-shirt for people like me -- and maybe you -- who can't stop working.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY IF YOU'RE CELEBRATING!

ANIKA DREAMGIRL

Tuesday
Jan112011

Will Natalie Portman be this year's Eddie Murphy?

No strings, NorbitKurt here from Your Movie Buddy, not happy to have found a link between two otherwise un-linkable actors. The more promo material I see for Natalie Portman's considerable 2011 output – trailers for Your Highness and Thor, posters for The Other Woman, constant TV spots for No Strings Attached (not to be confused with fellow ballerina Mila Kunis's Friends with Benefits) – the more my heart sinks. It takes you back to 2006, when Eddie Murphy all but had the Supporting Actor Oscar on his mantle for his work in Dreamgirls, then saw his dreams shattered by the inescapable marketing campaign for Norbit.

 Some may argue that Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin, with his endearing character and veteran status, had the upset in the bag, but comeback kid Murphy was the frontrunner. I'm of the firm belief that he did himself in by putting the awful taste of Norbit in voter's mouths. Portman's upcoming offerings can't rival the, shall we say, uncouthness of Murphy in a scantily-clad female fat suit, but none of them look too promising, either, least of all No Strings Attached. Is it such a stretch to think the Best Actress hopeful may become the victim of her own Norbit effect?

After all, Portman finds herself in a much more precarious position than Murphy did...

Her category's field of contenders (and eventual nominees) is leagues stronger than Murphy's was, and she also faces a far more formidable and voter-friendly vet than he did. Unless I'm mistaken, and have misread the mood in the air, Portman's precursor lead – and additional off-screen attractors like pregnancy – have done little to change the fact that she's in a head-to-head with Annette Bening. Despite the awesome power of her Swan performance, an unappealing 2011 slate could be just the thing to sway voters to select her long-overdue rival.

one of many Swan premieres

Or, maybe not.

Maybe Portman's 2011 ubiquity is instead just another thing to give her yet more of an edge. As an educated, gifted and especially comely actress whom Hollywood has loved since childhood, she may only benefit from flashing her pretty face all over the place. Rather than recoiling, voters may just smile and say, “ah, yes, there she is again...sweet girl.”

What, if anything, do you make of this? Could Portman have clipped her own wings?