Thursday, June 07, 2012

I don't get to watch many movies at home, mainly because on top of a hectic schedule I get into free movies at the Mayfair whenever I want. When a night off at home does open up and I'm going to watch a movie, you would think that I would make the most of my spare time and watch some cinematic classic that I have yet to see. I have seen an endless amount of movies, but there are always holes in the checklist of movies I haven't gotten around to watch.

Alas, I am not so bright, and so I am in the habit of purposefully watching garbage. The latest horrible movie that I went out of my way to watch was Eddie Murphy's 1989 gangster film, Harlem Nights. I find that lessons can be learned from the worst that films have to offer. If you can handle it, there's something interesting or worth-while that can be taken away from any film...unless Michael Bay or Joel Schumacher were involved.

Harlem Nights is an example that if you have some success in Hollywood you can get away with murder. In fact, I think some Hollywood royalty have indeed gotten away with actual killing of a person murder. In this case though, Eddie metaphorically got away with murder by being allowed to direct a horrible movie. This was all thanks to Eddie having success with a couple of Beverly Hills Cops films amongst other success. On paper the film sounds like a decent idea. The film is filled with bi time talent, gangster movies are cool, and it even has a nice Drew Struzan poster to garner your attention. Plus, Eddie was able to cast a couple of his heroes in the movie in the form of Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx.

It's clear that despite a lot of time on film sets, Eddie had little or no idea as to how to direct or write a film. Along with that, any time he had a bad idea or might need a bit of a re-write or an additional take, I have a feeling no one bothered to voice an opinion. Meaning that the movie is terribly uneven, it's not sure if it's a comedy or gangster drama, it's not sure whether it's light or dark. Some scenes go on to long, there are moments when the actor's deliver lines with their backs to the just seemed very rough around the edges and student for a big budget Hollywood effort.

I don't think it's all too shocking that this was Eddie's sole directorial effort.

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