David Dodd 2:33 a.m., May 19
Give Eddie A Chance!
A reader from Studio City, California writes: "Scott, if you ever interview (Eddie Murphy), please ask him how Brett Ratner's dick tastes."
Quite frankly, Matt Lickona's plea for Eddie to indulge his leather (or is it latex?) fantasy shocked me. How does one compile a list of Eddie's atrocities only to leave off the biggest O'Henry Bar in the pool, The Adventures of Pluto Nash?
It could be the recent attack of food poisoning still working its way through my system or PTD (Post-Telethon Depression), but the announcement that Eddie Murphy will host this year's Oscars came as a pleasant surprise. I am nothing if not loyal, and while the statute of limitations has long been up -- 1999's Life is Eddie's last wholly consumable comedy -- dynamite won't move me from his corner.
Walter Hill's 48 Hrs. is a perfect film, one I watch at least twice a year, generally after the latest SNL-inspired big screen floperoo leaves me longing for a reminder that not long ago Hollywood was capable of delivering a spotless, technically-resplendent comedy blockbuster. Murphy's performance is a major contributing factor. Given the Academy's general allergic reaction to comedy, it's not surprising they snubbed him when it came time to hand out their golden doorstops.
That one film gave Eddie Murphy a lifetime pass. I am almost ashamed to admit that I have seen every one of Eddie's features first run. Allow me to qualify that: live-action features. Eyes that touch Shrek will never touch mine. I actually paid to see Pluto Nash. (Christ, how I paid!) It hasn't exactly been a good fight, but it's one I'm in for the long haul.
Perhaps the greatest defense of my undying allegiance is the copy of Beverly Hills Cop III, a cherished guilty pleasure, on my video shelf. It's parked between Pluto Nash and The Nutty Professor, the latter made with respect and Jerry's blessings.
Director and Oscar-telecast co-producer Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3) is currently filming Tower Heist which stars Murphy, and it's clear he helped to grease the wheels. It's about time he did something positive with his career.