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Category: Eddie Murphy

Oscars 2010: Eddie Murphy as Richard Pryor in Bill Condon's biopic

February 27, 2009 | 12:15 pm

The first time Eddie Murphy worked with writer-director Bill Condon he earned a nomination for best supporting actor at the Oscars. That was for playing a fictionalized version of singer James Brown in "Dreamgirls" back in 2006 (he lost to Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"). Now the two are reuniting to make a movie about Murphy's longtime idol — the late Richard Pryor.

Fox Searchlight — which shepherded "Slumdog Millionaire" to eight Oscars this year — is reportedly picking up this $25 million project. Eddie Murphy has long revered Richard Pryor, paying homage to him in his stand-up routines and casting Pryor in his directorial debut "Harlem Nights" in 1989. The life of the comic was fraught with drama — drug and alcohol abuse, broken marriages, illnesses — and could make for a powerful piece.

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Bill Condon won an Oscar in 1998 for his script of "Gods and Monsters," which explored the troubled life of 1930s film director James Whale. Star Ian McKellen lost the lead actor Oscar race to Roberto Benigni ("Life Is Beautiful") while supporting actress contender Lynn Redgrave lost to Judi Dench ("Shakespeare in Love"). Condon earned another Oscar nod for his adapted script for 2002 best picture champ "Chicago" (he lost to Ronald Harwood, "The Pianist").

Condon's next movie as a writer-director was "Kinsey," another biopic. Laura Linney earned a 2004 supporting actress nod as the wife of the famed sex researcher. She lost to Cate Blanchett ("The Aviator"). Condon's most recent film — "Dreamgirls" — earned eight Oscar nods, winning for supporting actress Jennifer Hudson and sound mixing. However, it deserved much more academy notice considering it won best comedy/musical picture at the Golden Globes and was nominated for the top prizes bestowed by the producers, directors and screen actors' guilds. Condon was snubbed for both his adapted script and direction and, while "Dreamgirls" earned the most nominations over all, it got snubbed in the best-picture race.

Condon and most of his "Dreamgirls" team suffered their slights from the academy graciously. Not Eddie Murphy, who fared better than his boss Condon. At least Eddie got nominated. But that wasn't enough. When he lost to Arkin, he reportedly stormed out of the ceremony.

These days Eddie Murphy is in dire need of a critical hit after a losing streak of films that have won him only Razzie awards. Last year, he set a new Razzie record, becoming the first star  to reap three of the four worst-acting trophies in a single year. All were for for his multiple roles in worst-picture nominee "Norbit" — as the nerdy title character (worst actor), Asian role Mr. Wong (worst supporting actor) and 400-pound shrew Rasputina (worst supporting actress).

At the most recent edition of the Razzies, Eddie Murphy escaped with only two nominations for the comedy misfire "Meet Dave." He lost his bid for worst actor to Mike Myers, creator and star of worst picture winner "The Love Guru." And he was eclipsed as worst couple by Paris Hilton and her co-stars from "The Hottie & The Nottie."

Eddie Murphy had been nominated for Razzies in the past: in 2002 as worst actor ("Pluto Nash") and worst screen couple (shared with "Showtime" costars Robert DeNiro and Owen Wilson) and he even "won" worst screenplay for "Harlem Nights." But those were all just playful jabs at a popular megastar who could use some humbling. Nowadays the Razzies really mean it and think that  Murphy deserves a true pummeling.

His upcoming kid flick "Imagine That" might escape their Razzie wrath. However, "A Thousand Words" — which reunites Eddie Murphy with "Meet Dave" helmer Brian Robbins — could be just the kind of high-minded serio-comic fare that earns him even more of these dubious honors. Murphy plays a fast-talking agent who so alienates one of his clients — a guru (thankfully not played by Mike Myers) — that he is cursed to die after speaking another 1,000 words.

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Eddie Murphy, be very afraid: Razzie voters are probably eager to 'Meet Dave'

July 15, 2008 |  1:12 pm

Eddie Murphy used to be one of the hippest superstars in Hollywood, but ever since he stomped out of the Oscar ceremony after losing best supporting actor for "Dreamgirls," he seems to have entered Razzie territory . . . deeper and deeper.

Earlier this year Eddie Murphy didn't just "win" for "Norbit," he set a new Razzie record, becoming the first star ever to reap three of the four worst-acting trophies in a single year. All were for Eddie Murphy's multiple roles in worst-picture nominee "Norbit" — as the nerdy title character (worst actor), Asian role Mr. Wong (worst supporting actor) and 400-pound shrew Rasputia (worst supporting actress).

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Murphy had been nominated for Razzies in the past: worst actor ("Pluto Nash") and worst screen couple (shared with "Showtime" costars Robert DeNiro and Owen Wilson) and he even "won" worst screenplay for "Harlem Nights." But those were all really playful jabs at a popular megastar who could use some humbling.

Nowadays it looks like the Razzies really mean it and think that Eddie deserves a true pummeling.

If so, what will voters do to his latest fiasco — "Meet Dave"? It's not only one of the worst reviewed flicks of the year (20% at RottenTomatoes.com), but a financial bomb too, which suggests that Eddie's even been ditched by those core fans who used to rush out to see any previous duds trashed by film critics.

Murphy has fallen so low in esteem of late that those wags at VH1's "Best Week Ever" are dancing on his movie grave, asking, "Just how bad was 'Meet Dave's' $5.3-million performance at the box office this weekend? Consider that the following 50 movies earned more." Below some examples. To see more — CLICK HERE.

1.) "Soul Plane" - $5,648,486
2.) "Good Burger" - $7,058,333
3.) "Corky Romano" - $9,023,173
4.) "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" - $7,010,474
5.) Son of the Mask - $7,511,675
8.) "Battlefield Earth" - $11,548,898
10.) "Fear Dot Com" - $5,710,128
12.) "Vampire in Brooklyn" - $7,045,379
15.) "Freddy Got Fingered" - $7,098,459
23.) "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in its 30th week of release ($5,854,005)

(Photo: 20th Century Fox)


Eddie and Lindsay get pelted with Razzies

January 21, 2008 | 10:06 pm

Smile, Eddie Murphy! You're back in the kudos game — this time even as a bigger player! (We're talking to you, Rasputia!) Last year's sorest RazzielindsaypqOscar loser — who reportedly dashed from the Kodak soon after getting skunked in the supporting-actor race by Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine") — rallied today by setting a new record for most Razzie nominations ever! Congrats, Eddie!

"The Latex-laden, nearly laugh-free 'comedy' 'Norbit,' in which Murphy plays three distinct (and decidedly stinky) characters 'won' Eddie a chance to take home trophies for Worst Supporting Actor (as the Asian character Mr. Wong) Worst Supporting Actress (as the hideous 400-pound harpy Rasputia) and Worst Actor (as the title character) as well as having Murphy compete alongside himself for Worst Screen Couple," notes the Razzie website. "For having co-written the misbegotten mess, Eddie is also a Worst Screenplay nominee."

Of course, Lindsay Lohan's "I Know Who Killed Me" romped, too, reaping nine nominations (that's one more than 'Norbit') and even getting recognition, like Eddie, for schizo-multiple roles. Other nominees for worst picture of the year: "Bratz," "Daddy Day Camp" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." HERE is the full list. Read the commentary of our forum posters — CLICK HERE!

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AOL poll tattles on the Razzies

January 2, 2008 |  1:10 pm

An AOL poll just stole early thunder from the Razzies. Nearly four million users declared the Razzieworst (oh, yeah, and the best) film work of the year, spotlighting apparent Razzie frontrunners Lindsay Lohan (worst actress, "I Know Who Killed Me") and Eddie Murphy ("Norbit"). See full results — CLICK HERE

I sure hope Eddie "wins" Razzies for more than just worst actor! Come on, the guy not only lost the Oscar last year, he just got married. Let's lavish him with lots of extra Razzie love!

Eddie should also "win" for his other "Norbit" roles: worst supporting actor as Mr. Wong and worst supporting actress as Rasputia. Razzie noms come out Jan. 21, one day before Oscar noms. CLICK HERE to see the Razzie's full awards sked.


Golden Globes comedy/musical film races: Who's ahead?

December 27, 2007 | 11:59 pm

In the spirit of the holidays, I promise to give members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association a break and not snoop among them until after New Year's Day. Till then, though, let me offer some general prognostication about the comedy/musical film races like I recently did with the drama film slots.

Johnny_depp_2_2BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
"Across the Universe"
"Charlie Wilson's War"
"Hairspray"
"Juno"
"Sweeney Todd"

The foreign press really dig that unique Yankee movie experience, the musical. If a successful one is nominated here, even amongst blockbuster comedies, it usually wins ("Dreamgirls," "Moulin Rouge!" "Chicago," "Evita"). Much has been made this year about HFPA members' peculiar love of "Across the Universe," but let's recall that they also adored that low-energy, s-l-o-w-e-d-down screen adaptation of "Phantom of the Opera" a few years back, which flopped at the b.o. and lost at the Globes (to songless "Sideways," no less). So forget "Universe." This year they're also ga-ga over "Hairspray," which was hugely and surprisingly successful and could win, but it's old (came out last summer) and silly, not having "Sweeney's" gravitas and artistic cred. Besides, "Sweeney" is the only rival whose director is also nominated. That doesn't always equal victory. "Babe" won without helmer Chris Noonan being nommed, beating "The American President," whose Rob Reiner made the directors' list. But that overlap between categories usually fingers the winner ahead.

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
Tom Hanks, "Charlie Wilson's War"
Ryan Gosling, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Savages"
John C. Reilly, "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"

When I attend the Golden Globes, I prefer to hang out back in the general press room where you can dish with winners and swap snarky comments with your journo pals. But I'm awfully glad I made an exception in 2004 (for the 2003 awards year) and agreed to sit out in the audience at a banquet table among the nominees. What a shock! Throughout the night I witnessed the sore losers — of which there are legions — get up and leave during the telecast's commercial breaks. That year I sat next to the "Six Feet Under" table. Soon after they lost best drama series to "24," all of the cast members save one scooted, leaving behind Frances Conroy, who had to wait around for the best-actress category. She won. Later that night I spied the poor dear sitting alone at the HBO party downstairs, her Golden Globe in her lap, a forlorn look on her face and not a fellow cast member nearby to help her to celebrate. Jerks!

But the biggest shockeroo of all occurred when the winner of best comedy/musical actor in a film was announced. "Pirates" nominee Johnny Depp didn't even bother to wait until a TV commercial break. After losing to Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation"), the big baby ran out so fast that I thought the Beverly Hilton was ablaze.

Well, I guess losing can get kind of rough on an ego-pampered star after a while. It was Johnny's fourth Globes defeat. He's lost three more since then ("Finding Neverland," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"). Last year he didn't throw another tantrum exit because he didn't attend.

This year I think it's obvious that he'll be heading in the other direction at last, up to the podium to accept his first Globe in eight nominations, then heading to the press room to join us. No other actor in this race has a prayer, so I was told by several HFPA members when I snooped before the holidays.

CLICK HERE to Read MORE!

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Happy Thanksgiving to these lucky Turkey Award winnahs!

November 22, 2007 | 12:37 pm

Ah, there's nothing like a huge, steamy mug of venon to wash down your turkey, eh?! That's what Lou Lumenick serves up on Thanksgiving Day as he doles out the New York Post's ninth annual Golden Turkey Awards to some of the worst pix of 2007. (Click Here)

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The thoroughly roasted include Scarlett Johansson for "her inept work" in "The Nanny Diaries" and Brad Pitt "who stunk up empty theaters posing and mumbling his way through the title role of 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,' a film that was even longer than its title," he says.

Lou is at his poisonous best offing past Academy Award winners like Nicole Kidman, a multiple past Turkey Award honoree, who "was the year's highest-paid actress, reportedly receiving $17 million to play a woman pretending to be a pod person (an autobiographical role?) in 'The Invasion,' which grossed a total of $15 million in the United States," he adds.

Robin Williams gets two turkey legs, one for "License to Wed" and another for "August Rush."

Next: "MOST LIKELY TO HAVE THEIR OSCARS CONFISCATED: Halle Berry, 'Perfect Stranger,' 'Things We Lost in the Fire'; Hilary Swank, 'The Reaping'; Cuba Gooding Jr., 'Daddy Day Camp,' 'Norbit,' 'American Gangster.'"

"Daddy Day Care" is not only the worst-reviewed movie of 2007 so far, it's rated the 37th worst movie of all time by Metacritic.com (Click here for the full list.) Ranked 76th on that list is "I Know Who Killed Me" starring Golden Turkey honoree Lindsay Lohan. Both films are certainly frontrunners to give "Norbit" a run for the Razzie as worst pic of 2007.

And Linds seems to be ahead so far to "win" the Razzie for the worst actress. The poor dear was bumped off last year when nominated for "Just My Luck" by the deserving Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct 2."


See (and buy) portraits of Oscar, Emmy & Globe champs

March 25, 2007 |  9:14 pm

Here's your big chance not only see a galaxy of portraits of Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winners, which were signed by the stars and painted by a top artist (Nicolosi) — but you can own them, too. Guilt free. The proceeds go to a variety of showbiz charities.

The portraits just went on view at the Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor building at 1660 Highland Blvd. (just south of Hollywood Blvd.) from Wednesday to Sunday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) till April 8. The auction will occur in May (date to be announced), conducted by LiveAuctioneers in association with eBay where the portraits will be featured on the site's home page to attract max exposure. They're also being featured on "Entertainment Tonight," which is a sponsor along with Cunard Lines.

Portraits include these Oscar champs: Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson and Cate Blanchett.

Plus these Emmy winners: Kiefer Sutherland, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lisa Kudrow, Debra Messing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Shalhoub. And these Golden Globers: Brad Pitt, Sasha Baron Cohen, America Ferrera, Geena Davis, Annette Bening and Eddie Murphy.

See more of Nicolosi's works at PopArtGalleries.com.

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Photos: Many of the portraits are already signed by stars like Meryl Streep (left) in addition to the artist. Others like Leo DiCaprio's and Helen Mirren's will be signed before the live auction on eBay in May. (LiveAuctioneers.com)


Eddie Murphy Oscar smackdown: Read the private emails!

February 3, 2007 |  6:01 pm

After piping in on the Eddie Murphy hubbub below by recalling his outburst at the 1987 Oscarcast, I got into a looped email exchange with three of the principals I quote in the piece: Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere.com), Sasha Stone (Oscarwatch.com) and David Carr (New York Times Carpetbagger).

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The four of us got into a group dishfest that, of course, triggered further uproar and clash as each of them hit "reply all" on the last group email and got into a fierce debate while I, being the coward that I am, ducked down in my trench, kept quiet and marveled at the loveliness of the volley of mortar shells soaring overhead.

When the battle smoke cleared, I looked back over the exchange and thought, "Wow, this is interesting!" and so I asked permission of all combatants if I could quote their emails in chronological succession.

They said, "OK," so let's go. Sorry that we didn't get Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell to join in the fun. (Next time, kids, we MUST remember to send out invites earlier!) I will begin with the rabble-rouser holding a torch:

JEFF: It's pointless to say this given Sasha Stone's allegations of mental/emotional instability on my part, but I'm just saying what any veteran of this town would acknowledge and then chuckle about at a party, buzzed or sober — Murphy is a pissed-off, very gifted comedian who has never laid it on the line in terms of heavyweight acting, and there's no absolutely way he's laying it on the line in "Dreamgirls" — like (Toronto Star writer Peter) Howell said, he's doing his 'SNL' James Brown shtick. Plus the part isn't written with any third-act payoffs. It's one of the most bizarre and groundless acting nominations in Oscar history. Thanks again — your thing works for today, there's the New York Post story (allegedly) coming out tomorrow . . . but then what? Burnout, most likely.

SASHA (to Tom in response to blog item): I guess you'd have a point except that I agreed with what Murphy said at the Oscars; he was WAY ahead of his time. And it still took Halle Berry's win for a black actress to EVER win in lead. I applaud him for that — took balls, something few in the industry has. I think Wells has his head of up his ass on this one. Sorry.

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