4 items from 2016
It feels like it's been a long time since we last saw Eddie Murphy on the big screen, doesn't it? I'm sure he's comfortable financially, and isn't exactly pressed to make new money by taking on almost every project that's offered to him. So when Murphy does attach himself to a project, it immediately gets my attention. The last time we saw him on the big screen was in "Tower Heist" in 2011, 5 years ago. Although there was that terrible "A Thousand Words" which sat in limbo for years after it was made, until Dreamworks finally released it in early 2012 (it was made years before "Tower Heist") to overwhelmingly negative reviews and weak box »
- Tambay A. Obenson
It's been four years since Eddie Murphy's last movie (the execrable A Thousand Words) and a decade since his last worthwhile performance (his Oscar-nominated role in Dreamgirls). But those who've dismissed him for his slapdash paycheck comedies will be eating their words after seeing his sensitive dramatic work in Bruce Beresford's new indie drama receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Playing the title role of Mr. Church, Murphy delivers the sort of superb character turn that may well mark a sea change in his career. Based on the real-life experiences of screenwriter Susan McMartin, the
- Frank Scheck
Following his small-scale, black-and-white drama Nebraska, Alexander Payne has jumped to something with quite a large scope. He’s finally underway on production for what’s his biggest film yet, the Matt Damon-led sci-fi drama Downsizing, which is a social satire depicting a man who believes he’ll have a better life if he shrinks himself. Ahead of the shoot, Payne discussed his choice for a leading man. “Among contemporary leading men he is the closest thing we have to an Every Man. We saw it in The Martian particularly. More and more he is assuming the role that say James Stewart and more recently Tom Hanks used to play. At least you can relate to the guy and you can project some of your own fears, yearnings, aspirations onto his face. You understand him,” the director recently told Leo Adam Biga, author of a book on Payne.
He continues, »
- Leonard Pearce
It took the weekend, but not the hearts of critics. Ride Along 2, the sequel to the surprise comedy hit of 2014 (though equally lambasted by critics), opened to lower numbers than the previous film with an estimated $34 million, enough to keep away The Revenant (estimated $29.5 million), which still flags behind its costs despite getting good business here and overseas. However, Star Wars: The Force Awakens still looms large in its third-place finish of an estimated $25.1 million. Far and away the top domestic hit of all-time, it may still lose out the worldwide honor to Avatar, still needing a billion in revenue to topple that film, but time will tell if the seventh film in the storied franchise has the force necessary to do it.
- Seth Paul
4 items from 2016
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