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Let's face it Eddy Murphy hasn't been making grade A movies over the
past few years, at least none that matched his earlier films. So I
can't help but admit that I was a little skeptical when I saw A
Thousand Words advertised on T.V. To my surprise however, I was
actually entertained with this picture, and even more surprised by the
serious message present in this film. So sit back, relax, and read more
about Eddy Murphy's newest film A Thousand Words.
The movie basically starts out like any other movie he stars in with Eddy Murphy, playing Jack McCall, being involved in some busy career and the rest of his life is essentially put on hold. As usual, these opening scenes are filled with his classic crude humor, some of which was funny for me and some I had heard countless times before. Murphy's mouth is as filthy as ever, and those who love hearing him scream and curse will not be disappointed at the majority of his dialog at the beginning of the movie. However, things change when the guru Sinja (Cliff Curtis) is visited by McCall and the blood bond between a magical tree and McCall get his thousand word limit, where every word he speaks (and writes) results in a leaf falling off the tree. From this point onward, the comedy style takes a different path and involves a combination of funny dialog, situational comedy, and of course some funny gestures that made me chuckle. With a limited number of words at his disposable, the writers did a nice job picking the right words at the right moment. There were countless times I laughed as he said one or two words at just the right moment to have me laughing. Instead of Murphy saying most of the funny lines though, his apprentice Aaron (Clark Duke) provided most of the zingers. Duke manages to once again play the naïve, immature teenager who knows how to say the wrong things, at the wrong time, in the most awkward way possible. As a result it works, though it does get annoying after the fifth or sixth time. What was funnier for me however, were the comedic situations Murphy's character was forced to endure. A few charade scenes, the escort of a blind man, and countless business meetings that required him to speak made me crack up at various points in the movie.
However, comedy is not the only thing this movie has to offer. A Thousand Words has a message built into it that really hit me deep down. Now revealing this message would ruin a lot of things about this movie, so I can't tell you what it is. The way they presented the message is free game though, and quite well done. I applaud the director's brilliant technique of building up the tension in the movie using temporary lulls in the comedy to develop the situation. When the limit is reached however, the group manages to capture the emotions with a combination of fitting music, great camera angles, and just the right balance of screen time to capture the actor's emotion. Murphy surprised me with how serious a role he can play and I admit there were one or two times I nearly teared up. Yes there were points where this movie was a little preachy and cheesy, but overall it tugged at my heart strings and made me really appreciate what they had to say. However, it's up to you to see the movie and see if the message affects you the same way.
Overall, A Thousand Words is a decent comedy, not the best or the crudest mind you, but still decent. The nice balance of drama and comedy, on top of some good character development and clever use of props and the environment were very entertaining for me. Yes, it's the same predictable Eddie Murphy movie you have seen in the past, but it's finally getting back to his comedic roots, while still providing some dynamic emotion that I haven't seen him do in a while. Is it worth a trip to the theater? Well for comedy not really, you can get the fun laughs just as well at home. However, the strong spiritual message this movie offers I think is worth a trip, but that's just me. Regardless here are the scores:
Comedy: 6.0 Movie Overall: 7.0
So as always enjoy the movies my friends and tune in next week for a review on 21 Jump Street.
You will find reviews here using thousands of words in order to flame
this movie, clearly they didn't understand it. You will know why after
People are disappointed because they wanted to see an Eddy Murphy style comedy, the problem is this ain't a comedy it is a drama with a very good message. I loved Eddy Murphy in his first movies, he was a fast talking joke machine, he still is but the jokes are the same and comedy has moved on. For that matter I didn't like the comedy portion of this movie too much but I was deeply touched by the drama version. The solution to his problem is right in front of him and anyone who is willing to give this movie a fair chance will see it too and exactly this is what made the movie so strong because he is doing it all wrong and you want to scream at the screen and tell him what to do and how to do it.
In my opinion Eddy Murphy gave a partially brilliant performance. As I said I didn't enjoy the comedy too much, it was some sort of best of Eddy Murphy but when you are willing to accept that this is actually a drama and understand the comedy part as the metaphor that it is you will love this movie and maybe pull something valuable out of the message. For the concept of the message Eddy Murphy was the best possible actor for this role.
I cannot understand why someone would rate this so poorly and call it
"an abomination" of a film. These people must like to watch depressing
or utter brain dead movies, over heart warming, feel good movies.
Granted this film is not perfect, there are definitely some unnecessary and quite stupid scenes, but this does not detract from the overall moral of the story which makes a powerful philosophical point - a point we must all contemplate.
Eddie Murphy is his funny usual self and the rest of the cast do a great job. Also the cinematography is excellent with some remarkable scenes.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone looking for a meaningful movie. A must watch for all who are positive.
I have to assume that the people who rated this one below a 5 were
expecting the standard slapstick fare. This isn't going to go down as a
classic film, but it kind of picks up from "Holy Man" from 1998 in that
the movie is about an unexpected encounter causing someone to re-
evaluate and embrace their life.
Murphy does a pretty good job straddling comedic and dramatic acting. It's more like one or the other rather than both in the same scene, but it's not bad. The supporting cast is pretty good as well. The writing is decent enough.
What made me give this a 7 instead of a 6 is the ending. You pretty much know what's coming - that Murphy's character will resolve the issues which keep him from being happy. But the last 8 minutes or so are just really well done. Murphy's warmth really shines and you can't help but smile. And for that ending, I gave it an extra star.
Put this in the "feel-good comedy" category.
I've been an Eddie Murphy fan since I first saw him on "Saturday Night Live" back in 1980. I've laughed at most of his stuff on TV and movies most of that time. I haven't seen everything he's done but what I've seen I've mostly enjoyed. So it is that I indeed enjoyed this knowing many of the things he does and says in this movie can be quite either silly or stupid but what can I say, I still find him very funny. And Clark Duke who plays his assistant also got plenty of laughs from me especially when he does his version of a street smart person. I also found Kerry Washington appealing as his wife and Ruby Dee as his mother nicely playing someone who seems to live in the past since she keeps mistaking her son for her since-abandoned husband. I thought Allison Janney was wasted as his boss, however. Oh, and I also loved the comic chemistry between him and Jack McBrayer as a Starbucks employee. In summary, A Thousand Words is no great shakes, but it was still entertaining enough for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Have you ever thought which words were the most important and
quintessential in our life - "I love you", "Thank you", "Forgive me"?
Did you count them? In fact, the words you transmit are so relevant
that they are the key "to open the doors" in our life.
Kahlil Gibran said that "all our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Emily Dickinson wrote: "A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day."
Nathaniel Hawthorne stated that "words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how to combine them".
Winston Churchill was confident when saying "You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! - of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
At last I've watched this "A Thousand Words" with Eddie Murphy. I did like the idea. There's a powerful message in the last 15-20 minutes of the movie which is on the whole a combination of comedy, rather a farce of rude words and thoughtless actions in the first half, and a serious meditation over the sense of life and meaningful words in the second one. What was the conception? Suppose you get to know that every word you say can become the last one. So you think before it to what to say or be silent. One realizes that words are countable and can not be wasted. Only the words that are crucial and urgent ought to be uttered. The words you hadn't say yet. To your mother, family, people. And you shall say these words even if you know that every single word will near you to death. You regret you haven't done it when there was a plenty of time and now there is only a limit of words that shorten this time to zero as you are in Zeitnot. Perhaps Eddie Murphie wasn't that good in the movie, perhaps it would have been better to have Jim Carrey in it to continue his protagonist of "Liar, Liar" and "Yes-Man" hilarious in their form but thought-provoking in their matter movies. However, the movie is worth seeing.
Lord Byron's (1788-1824) last word was "Goodnight".
A Thousand Words starts off like a typical Eddie Murphy film, utilizing
his expected blend of physical slapstick, mile-a-minute chatter, and
wild-eyed contortionist facial expressions. The humor is derived almost
entirely from awkward communications between Murphy and his
acquaintances. But when the plot is well under way and the predicament
becomes serious, the film takes a turn toward a sentimental, emotional
drama, where the hero must right his wrongs and make amends with his
past. It's as if the script was already in place, Murphy signed on,
then rewrites shaped the movie into a vehicle for his unmistakable
style (it probably doesn't help that filmmaker Brian Robbins also
directed Meet Dave and Norbit). While the result is certainly not
unwatchable, the mood is rather muddied and the laughs are never big.
Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a literary agent for the Apogee company, using his signature rapid-fire articulation to negotiate moneymaking deals. His sights are set on the "New Age crap" of Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), whose philosophies and teachings are attracting crowds greater than those of Miley Cyrus concerts. It's a spiritual movement and McCall wants to be the one to sign the guru to a highly profitable new book deal. Shortly after his encounter with Sinja, Jack discovers that a Bodhi tree has sprouted in his back yard and that it sheds leaves quite rapidly one for every word he utters. Mysteriously, the trunk has a magical connection to the agent's body, preventing Jack from chopping it down. The calm, watchful, pie-eating sage hypothesizes that when the woody perennial drops its last leaf, McCall will die.
There's a glaring error early on that is so blatant it's hard to ignore it. The major plot gimmick relies on McCall desperately not wanting to talk. When he writes a note to his sleeping wife, each written word also causes a leaf to fall. Infuriated, he flips off the tree, which results in an identical reaction. As soon as it's defined that a crude gesture affects the tree in the same manner as talking, the whole idea falls apart. Every subsequent effort taken by Jack to communicate is through some sort of expressive movement, whether it be a frantic form of Charades, furious countenance spasms, or tempestuous howling. Yet the tree doesn't lose foliage to these commotions. If the movie played by its own rules, he would be dead by the end of the day.
Even if the inherent silliness of the story can be brushed aside, the uncertainty with which the fantasy unfolds is disheartening. Strong messages of spirituality, examining the importance of words, miscommunication, forgiveness, being true to oneself, taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of life, and accepting inner peace are temporarily poignant, but interfere with the initial onslaught of jokes. While it's a fun premise with clement humor (and a few smartly indelicate gags by Clark Duke as McCall's dimwitted assistant, who proves a favorably contrasting comedic counterpart for Murphy), it can only end one way with overly formulaic contrivances sorting out the dilemmas of a man trapped in the structure of conventional relationships and success.
- The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)
Eddie has been involved in a lot of crap since the release of "Raw".
It's almost as if he felt a debt to society and his family to start
making cheesy, family films. The results have been under-whelming to
say the least.
This is Eddie's best film in many years. The plot is ridiculous as with much of what he's been associated with of late, but Eddie is on top of his game here. This film is right up there with Eddie's best over the last 2 decades WHICH ISN'T saying much, but it does make it worth the price of admission at the very least. That's to say it's nearly as good as "The Nutty Professor" or "Boomerang", but a clear notch above films like "Bowfinger" and "Norbit".
He's genuinely funny here, but the script isn't all that funny overall. He carries much of the weight with his expressions and physical comedy.
The other saving grace is the heart of the film. The film does carry nice message, and tugs the heartstrings for those who make the time investment on this one.
I was surprised, but that might have had as much to do with my expectations as it did anything else.
I can marginally recommend this for those who like a light-hearted comedy.
Eddie still has it! He does! You get glimpses of it here. All us ol'timer's are still waiting for him to tackle a great project with an "R" rating, but this film is far better than it's score here or anywhere else.
Not that I blame the audience - but it seems as if the reputation of Eddie making bad films has put a seriously negative spin on what is actually a decent little film here. Let's not trample on the guy.
My biggest gripe was with one particular scene where the CGI is over-blown and unnecessary but other than that, this film wasn't bad at all.
Scoring it exactly the same as another rental from yesterday, "Thin Ice", 65/100, and rounding it to 7. I don't feel bad about it either.
Not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.
You might like this if you liked: Yes Man(slightly better or even), The Nutty Professor(slightly better or even), and Bruce Almighty(slightly better).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was reminiscent of Eddies Murphy's "Trading Places" for me.
It's kind of a modern fable/comedy/light social commentary. In both
movies, Murphy's character is a successful businessman who is a little
lost personally and spiritually (which is an immediately recognizable
sensation for almost anyone at some point in their lives). External,
and vaguely spiritual forces intervene (in the Case of Trading places,
2 bosses who take their roles from God and Satan from the story of Job)
and in the case of 1000 words, this external force takes the form a
new- age spiritual guru played by Cliff Curtis. New-age spiritual guru
roles are traditionally played for laughs, but Curtis displays some
comedic- inspired subtle turns here and the film overall displays a
surprising sensitivity towards spiritual matters in general. As in
trading places, Murphy's character has problems to overcome, difficult
decisions to make, and ultimately has the chance to complete a personal
and spiritual transformation of his own.
The writing is not Oscar-worthy and at times low-brow but (at least to me) frequently hilarious--especially in scenes where Murphy's silence draws people in to saying things about themselves they really weren't intending to. As in other Murphy movies, there is some gentle social commentary and nerdy white people are often played for laughs--Murphy's assistant is especially hilarious as he inverts the common logic of the uncool/uptight white guy at times to assume a "gangsta" persona to take over Murphy's job duties while Murphy can only watch, wide-eyed, as the silent straight man.
This film ultimately won me over with it's good-natured, intelligent, writing and acting. Comedy bits, while while often off-color, never steer into the clichéd or mean-spirited. Don't go in expecting too much and you might leave the theater with a warm, if slightly fuzzy, spiritual feeling of you own.
This movie could have been a winner much like The Golden Child for Eddy Murphy. The premise for this film could have gone there mystical, imaginative...the plot line lent itself to such success. However, rather than using Murphy's awesome comedic talent, the makers of this picture resorted to reducing him to grimaces, hideous facial contortions none of which were amusing at all. Granted there was a reason in the movie for Murphy's character not to be able to talk for awhile, but he could easily have performed versions of charades, used eye rolls and raised eyebrows and brought the house down. However, that didn't happen. It was all over the top and not funny at all. The only character in this picture to do justice to his part was Clark Duke playing Murphy's assistant. This wasn't enough to make the film a success. Such a waste and frankly, I'm rather tired of being disappointed when I go to the movies. Especially to an Eddy Murphy film. I expect more.
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