Eddie Murphy's Criminal Past (In Film) And TOWER HEIST Blu-ray/DVD Combo Giveway
Brett Ratner's Tower Heist makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray this week and we've got five copies to give away to you, our readers.
Featuring Eddie Murphy's return to more adult comedy (that is to say, no costumes, no crazy CG and the like), could this also be the comedian's return to his classic, edgier performances of the 80's and very early 90's? It's easy to just throw the old "Eddie was better back" when argument out there, but it glosses over simply how interesting the actor was back then in his street savvy roles as cops and crooks.
48 Hours: You know, growing up I always thought that this came after Trading Places, but this was actually Murphy's big screen debut after a successful run on Saturday Night Live. I'm not sure a movie like 48 Hours, with its out-and-out racism and early-80's grimy vibe could get made today, but Murphy was certainly in the right place at the right time to carry the role of Reggie Hammond. Flash-forward eight years later and most of that magic would be lost in the sequel, Another 48 Hours (different decade, different outlook on the buddy action comedy).
Trading Places: To my mind, the perfect Eddie Murphy film, one unsurpassed by any other in his body of work. Billy Ray Valentine felt like the natural extension of the stand-up persona Murphy had been cultivating: loud, smart, and charming, I think this would be the role that would define the actor for the decade, and not 48 Hours (which was a bit darker and dangerous).
Beverly Hills Cop/Beverly Hills Cop 2: This is the rare case where the sequel isn't the diminishing returns prospect that these things typically turn out to be. Axel Foley is a softened-down version of Billy Ray Valentine, still a conman, still a little bit of a crook, but working decisively on the side of the angels as a Detroit cop who, for entirely different reasons across two movies, has to trek to L.A. and show those stuffy white folks how police work is done.
Harlem Nights: This was a flop when it came out back in '89, but I don't remember it that way at all, seeing it as a wee boy of 10 or so. It was a veritable who's who of black comedians, pairing Murphy and his idol, the great Richard Pryor in their one and only movie together as 1930's gangsters in Harlem. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it's still worth it for appearances by so many great black performers during the brief wave where movies by and about black people was kind of a regular thing (let's say until '94 or so).
Onward to the contest: to win one of these copies of Tower Heist, I'm going to make it as easy as always: simply e-mail me with Tower Heist in the subject line and your mailing address in the body of the mail by Thursday, February 23rd at 11:59 PM PST. Because this is being handled by the North American PR team, the contest is only open to U.S. and Canadian readers.