Teaming the absurdly high-concept mind of writer Steve Koren (recent Adam Sandler classics Jack & Jill and Click), the director who played Eric on Head of the Class (recent Eddie Murphy classics Norbit and Meet Dave), and an actor who will do absolutely any broad comedy that can be explained to him in a sentence, A Thousand Words stars Eddie Murphy as a compulsive liar whose frequent mistruths result in him being placed under a powerful hex that will almost surely teach him an important moral lesson by film's end.
After stupidly breaking a promise to a man capable of actual magic spells, thunder crashes and Eddie Murphy finds a fully-grown tree suddenly sprouted in his backyard. Thanks to deductive reasoning and exposition from the magic guy, our lying protagonist soon discovers that this tree sheds a leaf every time he speaks a word, and when it loses all of its leaves, both Murphy and the plant will die--a touching tribute to the part in E.T. where that basically happens. Ut oh, time to be silent, Norbit! Naturally--as with the star's last live-action family comedy, Imagine That--this means scene after scene of a suited Murphy hamming it up in meetings and fancy offices as magic once again almost undoes whatever vague business Eddie Murphy is meant to be doing. Because a movie about a pad of paper and a note that says "laryngitis" wouldn't have as strong an opening weekend.
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"Look, kid: big-time acting isn't about 'feelings' or 'emotions', it's about funny costumes and talking loud. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for a shave."
Not content to rest on his laurels (what the hell is a laurel, anyway? Is it like a butt cheek? How come you never hear anyone say, 'Hey, check out the laurels on that broad,' or, 'Golly, I'd sure like to get all up in them laurels,'?) after directing Norbit and producing Wild Hogs, Brian Robbins has signed on to direct Jailhouse Rock, a true story based on "a musician-turned-detention officer at Arizona's Tent City who decides to hold an American Idol-type singing contest at the jail. Called Inmate Idle Singing Con-Test, the event became so popular that Alice Cooper himself showed up to judge the finals."
It's a Disney flick, so expect less forced dry anal and more Cuba Gooding (who's as charming as forced dry anal, coincidentally). But perhaps I should go easier on the B-man. He recently shot back at his critics:
He cannot -- for the life of him -- understand how a film like Norbit could score so well with audiences, yet be universally panned by critics. He says, "How do you figure that? Is the audience that stupid? Is America's taste that bad? I don't think so."
To answer his rhetorical question, yes, the audience is that stupid, and yes, America's taste is that bad. Has he never been to the YouTube comments section? As my friend Bret says, "It's like the internet is passing the microphone around at a global retard convention. 'And you, sir. Yes, the gentleman in the back without pants or a chin. Could you elucidate your feelings about a dozen topics you don't know shit about? And please, use as little punctuation as possible. Thank you.'"
So, yeah. Jailhouse Rock! Get excited!