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Norbit
DVD disk
Jun 11, 2007 By: Mathew Plale
Norbit order
Director:
Brian Robbins

Actors:
Eddie Murphy
Thandie Newton
Cuba Gooding Jr.

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When ultra-geek Norbit's childhood sweetheart moves back into town, he sees a second shot at love...but not if his larger than life wife Rasputia has anything to do with it!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For months, even before its theatrical release, I had sarcastically remarked how badly I wanted, nay, needed to see Eddie Murphys latest, Norbit. After missing its theatrical run, I continued to jest with anyone I could about how badly I hoped I was sent the disc to review. Well, fate, bad luck, and karma pulled together this week as I opened a package mockingly labeled Norbit.

In this following-up to last years Dreamgirls where he singed, danced, and donned a wig to steal undeserved critical praise (as a sidenote: Norbit has seen the blame for his losing the Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Murphy resurrects the multiple-role gimmick he has beaten like the proverbial dead horse. And you know what? Norbit sort of has the stench of one, too.

It seems Murphy set out to create three of the most irritating characters of 21st-century cinema, and to make the matter so much worse, he plays them all. First is the title character Norbit, a nerd to the nth degree that is handled like hes mentally handicapped. His wife, Rasputia (also Murphy), is the elephants butt of ridicule, all at the expense of her seismic weight. But its okay to laugh (if we can force it) because its important to remember its just the ex-Axel Foley in a fat suit. Finally, Murphy is caked in prosthetics to portray Mr. Wong, the Asian owner of an orphanage who is of course reduced to an offensive stereotype.

Murphy uses these characters and jokes as rubberbands, stretching them out as far as theyll go until they eventually snap right in our faces. When Rasputias seat is too close to the steering wheel (its actually as far back as it can go), she remarks her breasts can honk the horn, and then proceeds to demonstrate until its no longer funny, if it ever was. In an earlier scene, Rasputia, ever the role-playing sex monster and dressed in chains, runs into the room to jump on Officer Norbit, breaking the bed. Just in case we didnt laugh the first go-round, its set up another three times. And dont even get me started on the constant humorless usage of Rasputias anthem, the Pussycat Dolls Dont Cha, which contains the lyrics, Dont cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

But weve come to expect this from former talent Murphy, who hasnt even tried to make us laugh since the original Shrek. His movies have become too gimmicky, and we can only be relieved that Norbit isnt a kids movie or stemmed from a Disney attraction.

If anything, Norbit does answer the age-old question, How many fat jokes can you fit into a 102-minute movie? The answer: about as many pounds as Rasputia can squeeze into her spandex. How YOU doin?!
THE EXTRAS
The Making of Norbit (21:33): Here we gothis piece starts off as a shameless tribute to Murphy. It takes about 15 minutes for the filmmakers to discuss how they achieved getting Norbit and Rasputia (both Murphy) onscreen together. Not much information for its running time.

Man of 1,000 Faces (4:07): Ah, so no one knew that Mr. Wong was Murphy when he came on set? Hilarious!

Power Tap (4:50) is a faux-infomercial advertising the puny guy (Marlon Wayans) who taught Rasputia how to shake it.

The Stunts of Norbit (11:52): The STUNTS?! Oh, theyll just put anything on this disc, wont they?

Deleted Scenes (8:12): There are a grand total of 14 here whose combined time clocks in at just over 8 minutes, so dont expect anything too worthwhile.

And rounding out this insanely fun DVD is a Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer, and Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Just don't see it, okay? Unless, of course, you gobble up that whole "Unfunny comedian dressed as overweight woman" thing.
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