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John C. McGinley
In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape. Written by
According to the DVD commentary: During the diner scene, originally it was Eddie Murphy's character that was supposed to be angry about the "White Only" pies, while Martin Lawrence's character just wanted to leave. During filming, the scene wasn't working, so they came up with the idea of having them switch their lines. The scene played much better and that's how it appears in the finished film. See more »
When Winston Hancock cuts Sheriff Pike's face, the cut goes from his ear towards his mouth. Later, when the sheriff meets Ray and Claude, the bandage is vertical, going from below his eye to the side of his jaw. See more »
[on a break; Ray and Claude have just come in]
Either one of you new fellas know how to read?
I know how to read, why?
I've been carrying this letter for four months now
You mean to tell me none of y'all can read?
Last fella what could read made parole about, what, Christmas.
[about his letter]
I don't even know who this come from.
[takes the letter]
Gimme that shit.
[turns to old inmate sitting next to him]
You can't read?
[old inmate replies "no"]
[...] See more »
Bloopers are shown during the closing credits. See more »
I found this film funny and inventive. Two adjectives that I have not been able to use for an Eddie Murphy film for a long time.
With a story line as good as this one, it was up to Eddie to see how he could develop it. If this film had a flaw, I think this was it. I believe had Mr Murphy decided to look really deeply into the role of Rayford Gibson, it could have been a possible "Oscar" role for him.
There are no doubts regarding Eddie Murphy's acting ability, yet sometimes I think he sacrifices the script and his role for a cheap laugh when it's not really necessary. It is possible that he is caught up in his own 'identity creation' of "Eddie Murphy: Comedy first, drama...maybe not!"
That said, Eddie Murphy and his worthy partner, Martin Lawrence successfully produce a comedy worth watching. I just hope that Eddie Murphy continues in this same vein. Please no more films like Beverly Hills Flop 3 and Holy Man!
Finally, a general point, which needs to be addressed, is that it is so strange how comedy films with far more substance, fail to do well financially. Moreover, there are films which fall short in quality, that can generate $100M+ for substandard, regurgitated, "comedy". "Life" which is struggling to reach the $65M mark falls into the former category. "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me" and "Big Daddy" definitely fall in the latter. The mind boggles!
Anyway, for those who have not seen "Life", go and see, you won't regret watching it.
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