Sunday, June 24, 2007
Movie Reviews: EVAN ALMIGHTY & NORBIT
Newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) has just been elected to Congress, so he picks up and moves his family from Buffalo to Virginia. That's when God (Morgan Freeman) decides to drop in on Evan and tell him to build a giant ark, and everybody thinks he's totally insane when he does just that.
Cast Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Wanda Sykes, Lauren Graham, Jimmy
Bennett, John Goodman (more)
Director(s) Tom Shadyac
Writer(s) Steve Oedekerk
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date June 22, 2007
Running Time 95 minutes
MPAA Rating PG - for mild rude humor and some peril
Evan Almighty will probably be remembered more for be most expensive comedy ever made, cost roughly over $150 million dollars to make. After seeing this film, I'm left wondering where exactly all that money went. Special effects vary from decent to barely passable and besides that the entire enterprise comes off as more vanilla than anything else. Carrell does his best to make this weakly scripted film enjoyable and lively at least but aside from some of the physical comedy there isn't much he can do. Lauren Graham is surprisingly non-descript and isn't really asked to do much more than look befuddled and smile. It also doesn't help that the movie has not so subtle political and environmental undertone to it through out. Overall, this movie's first 3rd is much better than its final act as it loses what little momentum it had to begin with. Not terrible but not great by any stretch of the imagination.
During an impossibly adverse childhood being raised at the Goldon Wonton Restaurant and Orphanage, the nerdy Norbit (Eddie Murphy) is rescued on the playground by Rasputia (also Murphy), an obese gal who wields a mean right hook. The mismatched pair become boyfriend and girlfriend and eventually husband and wife. But many years of misery later, Norbit meets the woman of his dreams (Thandie Newton) and must finagle a way to get away from Rasputia without being permanently bodily injured.
Cast Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Charles Murphy, Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews (more)
Director(s) Brian Robbins
Writer(s) Jay Scherick, David Ronn
Release Date Feb. 9, 2007
DVD Release Date June 5, 2007
MPAA Rating PG-13 - crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language.
Norbit was blamed by some to have been the reason that Eddie Murphy lost his bid for an Academy Award. Maybe but maybe not, regardless this film is a lifeless enterprise that stretches a fat joke on for what seems like forever. Unlike Murphy's previous success donning a fat suit in the Nutty Professor movies, Norbit just lacks any heart and is severely hampered by the total lack of any likable characters. Even the title character of Norbit comes off as more of an imbecile than an idiot savant. The Rasputia character is just a bad mix of fat and black stereotypes mixed into a massive fat suit of rampaging silliness. Thandie Newton and Cuba Gooding Jr. looked like they regretted joining this film from the moment they walked on set, both are going through the motions and are about as lifeless as the fat suit that Murphy wears. This is the kind of movie that just asks way too much out of a shoe string script and waste a talented cast.