Acronym Update 01-16-08

Dear Readers,

Topic: Movie Reviews

Here are my reviews of 3 films that we picked from the Netflix catalog last week.  Thank you so much for your feedback on the movie reviews.  I am eager to do more for you in the future.

Norbit (2007)

I did not see this movie when it was out on the big screens, but do recall seeing commercials for it. My initial impression from those trailers was that is was simply a dumb comedy, starring Eddie Murphy as the stereotypical “self-righteous, bossy, obese African American woman.” I had known that Mr. Murphy had enjoyed dressing in drag and dating the occasional cross dresser (or is “transvestite” the politically correct term?) for years — though many didn’t know this about the former Saturday Night Live star because it wasn’t widely reported by the mainstream media.

I had very low expectations for “Norbit” and unfortunately, I have to admit that this movie exceeded them. Norbit (played by Murphy) is a very sensitive, skinny black man who grows up in an orphanage. After his first boyhood love, Kate, is adopted by a caring family — he is intimidated into a relationship, then marriage by the larger than life Rasputia Latimore (also Murphy). “Norbit” contains a fairly sophisticated, though silly plot – centered on Rasputia’s abusive and repulsive personality and the corrupt dealings of her three brothers who own a local construction company. The ending is quite unrealistic, but will satisfy those who can cry easily….. ok, tears of laughter…. maybe!

Really Honest Review Score: A very creative script, written by Eddie Murphy. Obnoxious but funny. The B – word was way overused. Even men were repeatedly called this word for female dog. I thought this really took away from what was otherwise a decent film. I haven’t heard that word used so much since I watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year. (Ha, Ha!) The trailers are a bit misleading by making it seem family friendly, so this film definitely warrants the PG-13 rating. **7 out of 10 stars**

The Queen (2006)

I loved this film!!!  It had such specific focus:  the week after Princess Diana died during the summer of 1997.  Helen Mirren brought her “A-game” to this production, starring as Elizabeth II — the longtime British monarch.   Mirren’s portrayal of The Queen showcased all of the pompousness and formality that you’d expect from the head of the world’s most recognized empire.   However, after being convinced that her initial response to the tragedy was insufficient and underwhelming by newly elected P.M. Tony Blair — The Queen finally finds it within herself to give her “subjects” what they really need.   Really Honest Review Score:  Helen Mirren received the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in this film, so nothing I say will do her performance justice. I truly appreciate how actual TV news footage was intertwined with the storyline.  It brought back some memories.  I was starting 11th grade at that time.  Until the very end I held out a glimmer of hope that actual footage of Elton John’s “Goodbye England’s Rose” performed at the public memorial would be replayed and I was disappointed.  Oh well,  James Cromwell’s sinister portrayal of Prince Philip surely made up for the song.   **10 out of 10 stars**  I would it have given +1 for a bonus but an F-bomb dropped by Blair’s wife Cherie at the beginning seemed really out of place for this classy film.

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

A remake of the 1972 film starring Ben Stiller and his real life father, Jerry Stiller.   It has a cute storyline:  a middle aged man working as a sports equipment executive loses the woman he is enamored with and unexpectedly finds his way into another relationship, the one he thinks is true love.    The amount of raunchy language, especially from the elder Mr. Stiller, really ruined the film for me.   The “dirty old man” Doc character (Jerry Stiller) kept using a certain word over and over again to refer to a party of the female anatomy.  He spouted innuendo after innuendo that I had never heard before and I thought I had been “privileged” enough to have heard them all.   It seemed like he was auditioning for they yet to be made “Grumpy Old Men III:  Perverts on the Prowl.   Desperate Housewives fans will be pleased to know that Eva Longoria makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film.    Really Honest Review Score:  A rather pathetic romantic comedy.  R-Rated is right on the money.   The tale of the “Heartbreak Kid” is spoiled by all of the locker room humor.   I’m very eager to see the 1972 version starring Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd, rated PG.  **3 out of 10 stars.**

Take Care,