David Sheffield

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The Nutty Professor Review


OK
Many years after Eddie Murphy was a mainstay during what would end up to be the golden years of SNL (who could fathom the show's devastating plummet?), he has become the king of schlock. The worst it got was 2002's Showtime, where he and fellow charlatan Robert De Niro hooked up to attempt to rip off Lethal Weapon's buddy-cop antics. Looking back at The Nutty Professor, we really should have seen the mustering of lazy, worthless filmmaking a long time ago.

Murphy went through hours and hours of make-up and fat suits to get into the role of Sherman Klump, the naive, good-hearted science professor who weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 350 to 400 pounds. He's content enough in this state, until he meets Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett Smith), a new science professor who is a long-time admirer of his work. Sherman's family (entirely played by Murphy) tells him he should be happy with his weight, but when a crowd-insulting comic (overplayed by Dave Chapelle) rips him to shreds in front of Carla, Sherman's on a mission. After taking a potion, Buddy Love is created: a skinnier, Atkins-fueled narcissist (also played by Murphy) who can charm anyone, including Dean Richmond (ever-funny Larry Miller), his boss, and Harlan Hartley (James Coburn), a benefactor who could save Klump's job and the college. Of course, it becomes a fight between Sherman (love) and Buddy (business) that brings the film to its inevitable conclusion.

Continue reading: The Nutty Professor Review

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Review


Grim
I don't expect much from Eddie Murphy these days. For the past four years, the gods of cinema--or the expansive payrolls of studio conglomerates--have allowed him to make one bad movie after another. Such films as Metro, Doctor Dolittle, Holy Man, Life, and Bowfinger have reduced a once great comedic persona to a living and breathing washed-up hack performing as a studio puppet for 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures. The biggest shame to fall on his shoulders is his newest film, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.

The Klumps once again revisits the life of Sherman Klump, an overweight university science professor looking for love in all the wrong places. Sherman has just invented a new "youth drink" that enables man or beast to become younger for a short period of time. Janet Jackson is the love interest who chooses the lovable Sherman for a soul mate rather than excel at her career as a university professor (and for the most ridiculous reasons). With love on his mind, Sherman is determined to rid himself of his alter ego, Buddy Love from the first Professor, who still resides with vigor inside his psyche and causes Sherman to act like a bad imitation of Vince Vaughn from Swingers. With some convoluted mumbo-jumbo about DNA extraction, Sherman extracts the "Buddy Love" link in his DNA and smartly deposits Buddy into a handy-dandy lab beaker. But one night, the beaker is knocked over and Buddy Love is regenerated... because every movie like this needs an unnecessary villain to thwart the good guy.

Continue reading: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Review

The Honeymooners Review


Terrible
I don't think I'll see a movie this year that will leave me as puzzled as The Honeymooners, and it's not because it was made with black actors. Hollywood is so desperate to put a new spin on an old idea (have you seen the previews for Bewitched?) that a big screen version of Sanford & Son with Luke Wilson and Ben Stiller doesn't sound too outlandish.

I'm puzzled at what connection The Honeymooners movie has to the television show except for the characters' names. I'm puzzled over whom the movie was made for. Does anyone under the age of 35 fondly remember the TV show, or even have a hint of its cultural significance? Does anyone over the age of 60 want to sully their early black-and-white memories with a second-rate cast and a third-rate story? Can you think of two actors -- of any race -- you'd want to see less in the title roles than Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps?

Continue reading: The Honeymooners Review

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