Monday, January 29, 2007

And the worst career BEFORE winning an oscar goes to....

It seems like there's a parlor game among oscar buffs to talk about who has the worst career post-Oscar.

Richard Roeper has sections in two of his books "10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed" and "Hollywood Schlock" dedicated to the worst careers post-Oscar. His list (not all of it): F. Murray Abraham for following up his Amadeus win in 1984 with Bonfire of the Vanities, By the Sword, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, Last Action Hero, Muppets from Space, Mimic, 13 Ghosts, and Star Trek: Insurrection; Louis Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975) for Lady in Red, Mamma Dracula, Two-Moon Junction, Return to Two Moon Junction, High School High; Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite 1995) for Tales of Erotica, Mimic, Wisegirls, Gods and Generals; Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry MaGuire 1996) for What Dreams May Come, Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Snow Dogs, Boat Trip, The Fighting Temptations, and Radio; and George Chakaris (West Side Story 1961) for Two and Two Make Six and Why Not Stay for Breakfast.

Personally, I really don't care if Adrien Brody follows up an oscar with "The Village" or Ben Kingsley doing "Bloodrayne" or "What Planet Are You From?" (which did feature the oscar-winning and emmy-winning Mike Nicholls as a director) because I applaud actors who experiment and they should be aloud to have a few misses every now and then. In the case of Cuba Gooding Junior, I think he never deserved the oscar to begin with. Looking to someone like F. Murray Abraham who hasn't done much with his oscar clout, it's more a case of feeling sorry for him and not being able to capitalize on the opportunities that an oscar should've brought him than anything else.

One person, that I can't see having a great post-oscar career is Eddie Murphy should he hypothetically win the oscar because I feel like for as long as I've known him, he's clinging to commercialized mediocrity.

It's hillarious, because while swanky Hollywood insider magazines are filled with FYC ads for Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls with high critical praise, the metro (what we call the subway here in D.C., so substitute your hometown's transit system in place if you feel comfortable) is lined with poster-size ads for what looks like the crudest piece of low-brow humor since White Girls in "Norbit" and it stars Eddie Murphy too. Also on the horizon for Eddie Murphy is Shrek the Third. I think both the first two Shreks were good movies but I feel like Shrek the 2nd was conclusive enough to the point where a trilogy wasn't warranted and a sequel would be artistic overkill, and since Norbit looks like a Nutty Professor knock-off, it seems like Murphy is planning on sailing in familiar territory for the time being.

If you're thinking "no, once he wins the oscars, offers will come in and in a couple years, he'll be in a decent movie," I wouldn't count on it. When Ryan Seacrest asked him if there will ever be a Police Academy IV, possibly jokingly, Murphy said he already has a sequel in development. That's not really much of a risk, is it?

So what we have is the next 2 or 3 years going the same way of the last 12 years for Eddie: a career of pretty uninspired mediocrity. Whenever he has a hit like Dr. Doolittle, Nutty Professor, or Beverly Hills Cop, he milks it out for a sequel and in between he makes completely uninspired films like Showtime and I Spy.

That's at least the Eddie Murphy that I know. The Eddie Murphy that I know isn't the same Eddie Murphy who inspired a generation of talented comedians today ranging from Chris Rock to D.L. Hughley. I'm not talking about the Eddie Murphy who singlehandedly revived in SNL in the early 1980's, bcause I'm not familiar with that Eddie Murphy. I've read about this Eddie Murphy in Tom Shales' book "Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live" and I've watch my fair share of SNL, but the episodes from the early 1980s never seem to appear in the syndicated runs of the E! channel or its SNL-broadcasting predecessor Comedy Central. To me, I don't mind if the voters think that Eddie Murphy is the most talented performer for Dreamgirls, but fromo my point of view, I say let's not treat this like a lifetime achievement award. Apparently, there's at least one other person in the blogosphere who feels the same way I do, Jeffery Wells of is offering $100 to anyone who assists him in launching a campaing to ensure that Eddie Murphy doesn't just casually sleepwalk his way to a best supporting nomination. Wells' quotation (lifted from the Toronto Star Blog, actually): “I’ve seen that bored-indifferent, man-am-I-rich, leave-me-alone look on Murphy’s face too many times, and I’d be tickled if the Oscar camera could catch him scowling when Mark Wahlberg or Alan Arkin win instead. He may have the Oscar in the bag, but I keep hearing he’s not very well-liked in the industry and that he’s regarded as a bit of an a--hole. Plus he was too cool to show up for any one of those three swanky Dreamgirls press events that Terry Press threw last year. It’ll just take a little blogosphere surge to make it happen ... maybe. Or maybe not.”

So my big question, Mr. Wells, is can I have $100 now?
I could really use it.
Seriously, I had some thoughts on Eddie Murphy I wanted to express anyway, and I don't think I hold that much sway with the academy (my 2nd cousin once removed is Richard Dreyffus, though), but i can use 100 dollars.

1 comment:

Edward Copeland said...

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