Tag Archive: eddie murphy


Saying ‘Eddie Murphy is back’ is a little insulting, but I think it’s fair to say ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ definitely leans as far into R rated Eddie Murphy as we’ve seen in a long time.

Based on the come up of Rudy Ray Moore, ‘Dolemite is My Name’ on paper feels like a traditional ‘A Star is Born’ rags to riches story. But how many movies have you really seen that takes you into the chitlin circuit (the stand up road tour for black stand up comics)? How many movies have this cast list: Eddie, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Titus Burgess, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and Wesley Snipes just off the top of my head? What about the meta irony of ‘I know there’s an audience for my movie but I don’t know how to get it to them? (wayyyyyyy before Netflix was a thing). This is a fun time capsule movie for that reason alone.

As long as you know what you’re getting into (the language and themes), definitely worth seeing. ESPECIALLY if you kind of know what you’re getting into.

Recommend.

 

MJ-TEAM

Happy MLK weekend everyone!

Some of the Black Panther conversations I’ve had this week turned into ‘What other pop culture things felt like everyone had to see it right away (before we had social media)?’

Michael Jackson video premieres definitely were on the list, thus today’s choice (particularly with the cast, setting and director of this one).

Next movie review Monday night.  If you’re not working the next few days, enjoy yourself!

 

‘White Like Me’

 

eddie

Found out over the weekend how deeply my family in Houston was affected by one hurricane, and how old classmates are in the path of Irma.  So instead of a musical diversion to start the weekend, we’re going comedy…

This, has always been my favorite Eddie Murphy thing.  Not ‘Coming to America’. Not ‘Raw.’ Not ‘Delirious’.  Some pure silliness (the walk, the ‘Tiger Woods’ voice), some ‘there’s some layers to this bit’ which you know I go for.

Went down an SNL rabbit hole last week and was surprised to find it.

Enjoy!

 

 

K-CI-and-JoJo

It’s not the greatest movie, but Martin & Eddie did a movie together years ago.  Because they really wanted to do a movie together as much as anything else.

This was the theme song.  Also underrated in my opinion.

Enjoy!

 

‘Top Five’

 

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Chris Rock’s best film so far.

The comparisons to Woody Allen’s most popular films are appropriate for the most part.  In this film, Chris plays an ‘alternate version of Chris Rock’: a hugely successful stand up comedian who’s successfully transitioned into mainstream Hollywood stardom.  But as ‘Top Five’ starts, ‘Andre Allen’ doesn’t want to be funny anymore; he wants the audience to take him seriously.  So what role is Andre promoting to get as far away from his comic persona? The leader of a Haitian slave revolt.  (Personally the character Rock is playing reminded me WAY more of Eddie Murphy’s career arc than Chris’.  Another conversation for another day.)

As every trailer and commercial implies, this film is loaded with stars and cameos.  I’ll just pick out a few of my favorites.  First, Cedric the Entertainer.  I’ve loved one of the Original Kings of Comedy long before he ever showed up in anybody’s movie.  And he KILLS his section of the film.  I can’t even remember the character’s name, but I know HE’S THE MF’N MAN IN HOUSTON DAWG!

Rosario Dawson.  Speaking of Top Fives… (shaking my head).  Off the top of my head, I don’t know who is the current title holder, but playing ‘the Girl’ in this film certainly is another notch in why Rosario is a First Ballot Hall of Famer for most Hip Hop Heads.  Others could have played this part but it really feels like it was written for Rosario.  My film geek pet peeve about ‘romantic movies where the leads aren’t selling it’ is well known at this point; I have to say, Rosario and Chris really vibed well to me.  Maybe a little surprisingly so.

Finally, out of all the cameos, the best one to me happens in the last 20 minutes or so of the film.  I can’t really say anymore without ruining it, but my father was one of many people in the audience who was howling in laughter.  Then after the film was over, he asked me if ‘That Guy’ was somebody famous.  Just a hilarious bit.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet cause you don’t think ‘Chris Rock movies’ aren’t usually that good, trust me, this is the exception.

 

Eddie-Murphy

Alright, I’m over here singing and humming (because I’ve been completely out of the Matrix for a few hours so I’m not caught up on the news), so let’s get this out now while I’m still buzzing.

It’s the weekend.  Enjoy yourselves!

(maniacal laugh…)

 

 

george-harrison_001

‘Prestige Movie Season’ is about to start full blast, so let’s get one more love song out of the way for now.

Many of you know this is one of my favorite songs and one of the first songs I learned on the guitar.  Eddie said it pretty well yesterday:

On that note, enjoy this ‘acoustic’ version:

 

The Price of Superstardom?

So I watched Six Degrees of Separation for the first time this week.  I knew of the film of course, and its reputation as the film that proved that ‘Will Smith can act’.  But even knowing that going in, the film left me in shock…

Will is really good in this film.  In terms of pure acting, I think it’s my favorite Will performance, even above The Pursuit of Happyness.  Watching this performance now made me think of Will turning down Django Unchained, or other roles that now fall outside ‘the Will Smith brand.’  I actually have no doubt the Will Smith of today would never do this role; he’s an established A-lister, not someone working their way up who needs to get noticed.  You know who else this reminded me of, in a way?

Eddie Murphy.  Or more specifically, Eddie Murphy, one of the greatest stand up comedians ever.  His success inspired a generation of great stand ups who have come after him.  But did Eddie becoming the biggest movie star in the world kill the chance that we’ll get one more great Eddie Murphy stand up film?  Seems like it…

And I’m not saying Will or Eddie have made bad choices, or that they owe the audience anything.  It’s just an interesting thing to ponder; when an actor reaches ‘stardom’, he or she gets offered everything, and has choices to make.  But when someone reaches ‘superstardom’, you still get offered everything…but do you really have the freedom to do whatever you want?

Until next time.

 

B-man,

What up?  So kudos to you first for taking on the job on such short notice.  You’ve got the pedigree the Academy likes, and at this point, I don’t think anyone has any expectations for next year’s show.

So having said that, I think this year is the perfect opportunity to do something drastic. And by being drastic, I mean give the hosting duties to me.  I’ve thought this through and I will give you my reasons why I’m the perfect host this year…

1. I like damn good in a tux.

I mean seriously, look at me!

2. I’ve been doing Oscar preview/live blogs for the past five years.

Going back to our film school days (maybe earlier), my partner in crime and I have used the interwebs to offer predictions and last year running commentary on the show, so it’s not like I won’t be watching anyway.

https://malikaziz.com/2011/02/27/2011-artfradieu-oscar-live-commentary/

3. I’m cool with ‘this’ Establishment.

My generation of young actors, writers, directors, producers, etc. are coming up so you’d get to keep that ‘we’re still hip’ vibe that Eddie and Brett were giving you.

4. I keep my private affairs to myself.

So no talk from me about my gigantic balls or what 70s group my genitalia are named after.  But having said that…

5. I’m down for a little bad publicity.

But only on a short term basis, and only if we’re clear the endgame is to drive more eyeballs to the show. I’m single, Kim Kardashian is single; I’m just saying…

6. I’m a genuine film geek.

I have the respect for ‘Old Hollywood’ that I think is mandatory for the job.  And in my particular case I know the history of those who came before me, from Sammy to Whoopi to Chris, and the historical part of that turns me on. And it’s going to be a little weird if Viola Davis is the only black person in the Kodak Theatre.

7. I’ve been vocal about my support for gay marriage.

So you’d be getting someone who’s gone in the complete opposite direction from the little fiasco that got the last guy fired.

8. I’m an award winning producer/director/actor who has hosting experience.

And my writing team works cheap to boot!  Here’s a joke I was just handed:  “So this Herman Cain fella? This week one of his accusers says that he grabbed the back of her neck and said ‘You want the job right?’ during her sexual assault.  When asked for comment, former President Clinton said, ‘I like a blow job as much as the next man, but if that’s your modus operandi, you are NOT qualified to be the President of the United States!”

(Hm, you’re right. That’s more of a Golden Globes joke, than an Oscars joke isn’t it?  I’ll fire that writer.  Let’s table that one for now…)

9. It’d be a Full Circle/Small Town Moment

One of the first gigs I ever had in this town was working for Imagine Entertainment as a researcher for your Hugh Hefner project.  You paid me to go to the Playboy Mansion everyday, so really, as a man, I’m already in your debt.  There’s a lot of jokes there, but I’m saving them for the monologue.  And finally…

10. I’d Genuinely Be Happy to Have the Gig

And that should mean something right?

Eddie at the Oscars

 

A week or so of rumors became official today when Eddie Murphy was named the host of next year’s Academy Awards telecast.  To one generation, Eddie is Donkey from Shrek and Norbit (sigh), but to my generation, Eddie was OUR stand up idol.  Richard Pryor was the pioneer, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle are multi-talented guys who probably prefer stand up, Kevin Hart is the present and future, but none of the above guys matched Eddie Murphy at his absolute apex. And they all probably idolize Eddie enough to agree with that statement.

I’ve heard more than once that Eddie wanted to get back into standup but once he became ‘Eddie Murphy’ it just wasn’t happening.  So whatever we end up getting next year, (and I don’t want to get my hopes up too high) we should probably just enjoy it.

 I’ve always been in the minority in my crew for having ‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ memorized instead of ‘Delirious’, but you couldn’t go wrong with Eddie at this stage of his career.  This is one of the cleaner bits from the two stand up movies: