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Review: A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words
Mar. 10, 2012by:
1 10

PLOT: A fast-talking literary agent (Eddie Murphy) who's trying to sign a famous self-help guru, is pricked by a magical tree. As a result, each word he says results in a leaf falling from the tree. When the tree is empty- he dies. A comedy.

REVIEW : I give up. Honestly, I've had it with Eddie Murphy. Other than maybe Adam Sandler and Tyler Perry, is there another actor out there who's made this many bad films, but still manages to get work? Even crazier- unlike Perry and Sandler, nobody even goes to see his movies anymore! So why are we still getting crappy comedy after crappy comedy- more often than not, directed by Brian Robbins- whose filmography reads more than a wrap sheet than a list of credits. After MEET DAVE and NORBIT, you'd think these guys would have figured it was time to call it quits.


To be fair to Murphy, who a few months ago, seemed to be working on a comeback (he was funny in TOWER HEIST, and almost hosted the Oscars)- this is a leftover from an earlier, shittier period in his career. Shot way back in 2008, A THOUSAND WORDS was rightly deemed unreleasable, and it's sat on the shelf- until now. How bad is it really? Well, in ninety-one minutes, I can honestly say that I didn't crack a smile once. It was about as funny as getting kicked in the balls by a stranger- which, in a way, isn't all that different from paying for a ticket to see one of Murphy's comedies nowadays.

The premise is typically high concept meaning it might seem clever on paper, but is totally unable to sustain a film. It's written by Steve Koren- who's also penned similarly high-concept, and totally unfunny comedies like BRUCE ALMIGHTY (staggeringly bad despite it's success), and CLICK (ditto). Nicolas Cage and French actor Alain Chabat (who makes a spectacularly unfunny cameo) are listed as producers- so I guess this proves that Cage- despite his bad run, managed to avoid starring in at least one train wreck.

What's really weird about A THOUSAND WORDS, is that you've got to wonder who Murphy thought he was making this film for. There's no kid sidekick (he on-screen child is still in diapers, and barely registers), and the PG-13 and occasional F-bomb (well- maybe one) means this probably wasn't for the DADDY DAY CARE crowd, but this is nowhere near edgy enough to be entertaining to any of his older fans. Murphy's performance is typically lazy, and by-the-numbers, although he probably gets an easier time than usual as at least he didn't have to memorize too much dialogue.


Clark Duke, as his ne'er do-well assistant seems really embarrassed here- especially with his constant, clueless mugging. Ditto poor Kerry Washington- who's got to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, reduced to playing Murphy's clueless wife (although with a new TV show on the way, and a juicy part in DJANGO UNCHAINED- her career is on an upswing), although at least she get to ogle her in some sexy lingerie. The only person in this who comes close to registering is Ruby Dee as Murphy's Alzheimers affected mom, although the clumsy attempts to tug at the heartstrings with this subplot fall flat.

Probably the only nice thing that I can say about A THOUSAND WORDS is that it's marginally better than NORBIT- which stands as probably one of the most racist films to come out of Hollywood in the last decade (yellowface, really?). At least this isn't offensive- except for the fact that it's an utter waste of money, and that no one involved seems to be trying. Oh wait, I guess that is offensive after all. A THOUSAND WORDS is shit, shit, shit- and if Murphy ever wants to recapture a piece of his former glory (not to mention his dignity) he has to do a whole lot better than this. This should have never seen the light of day, but I guess the same thing can be said for pretty much every movie Murphy's done in the last decade.

Extra Tidbit: There was one other guy in the theater, who spent the entire film laughing like Robert De Niro in CAPE FEAR.
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:23PM on 03/10/2012

This reminds me , , ,

. . . of a comment in a review (I believe by Gene Siskel) of Billy Wilder's horrible film "Buddy, Buddy".

"At what point did anyone in the cast, the crew, the staff, or the studio, think any of this was funny?"
. . . of a comment in a review (I believe by Gene Siskel) of Billy Wilder's horrible film "Buddy, Buddy".

"At what point did anyone in the cast, the crew, the staff, or the studio, think any of this was funny?"
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6:05PM on 03/10/2012
In the late 90's or early 00's Murphy made this weird decision to only do family comedy and he wanted those comedies to be vehicles strictly for his style of comedy and acting. Who knows why he's made the movies he's made- I can't imagine he gets paid a ton after the fiasco of Pluto Nash- which we thought at the time was an aberration- but it makes you wonder what his decision making process is when it comes to developing and/or selecting projects.
In the late 90's or early 00's Murphy made this weird decision to only do family comedy and he wanted those comedies to be vehicles strictly for his style of comedy and acting. Who knows why he's made the movies he's made- I can't imagine he gets paid a ton after the fiasco of Pluto Nash- which we thought at the time was an aberration- but it makes you wonder what his decision making process is when it comes to developing and/or selecting projects.
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6:07PM on 03/10/2012
The day Eddie decided that he would only make movies that his kids could watch, that was the end of his prospering career.

Oh well, we'll always have 48 HOURS and BEVERLY HILLS COP.
The day Eddie decided that he would only make movies that his kids could watch, that was the end of his prospering career.

Oh well, we'll always have 48 HOURS and BEVERLY HILLS COP.
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7:53PM on 03/10/2012

Eddie Murphy...

....get your ass into movie jail right now!
....get your ass into movie jail right now!
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10:50PM on 03/10/2012

LMFAO

thats about right. Why would you? But check it, if a movie like this has been sitting on shelfs for so damn long why would you take it off shelfs. Eddie murphy is done for. PERIOD. He needs another beverly Hills cop movie. Or a nice R rated flick. I still have faith in him.
thats about right. Why would you? But check it, if a movie like this has been sitting on shelfs for so damn long why would you take it off shelfs. Eddie murphy is done for. PERIOD. He needs another beverly Hills cop movie. Or a nice R rated flick. I still have faith in him.
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4:28AM on 03/11/2012
So he is Done For, Period... yet you still have faith in him????
So he is Done For, Period... yet you still have faith in him????
1:24AM on 03/11/2012
if comedians can write jokes, why not movies? Eddie has had quite a shit run with movies, but I don't hate HIM* as a person, just his movies. I'm sure if Eddie were to have his way with a screenplay, it might just bring him back, but i don't think that will happen.

He should not have left the oscar gig, that was probably a big mistake
if comedians can write jokes, why not movies? Eddie has had quite a shit run with movies, but I don't hate HIM* as a person, just his movies. I'm sure if Eddie were to have his way with a screenplay, it might just bring him back, but i don't think that will happen.

He should not have left the oscar gig, that was probably a big mistake
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12:01PM on 03/11/2012
He wrote Norbit. And we all know all that turned out.
He wrote Norbit. And we all know all that turned out.
+24
4:15AM on 03/11/2012
I have no problem with your hatred of the movie... my problem comes in to play when you succumb to the over sensitivity of the country we currently live in and call a movie Racist! It's gotten to the point in this country that we can't even make fun of any race for any reason at all, white, black, asian, mexican, no race at all, lest someone call it racist! Norbit wasn't racist, Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr at the Oscars wasn't racist. A KKK= Racist... The Black Panthers= Racist. We need to
I have no problem with your hatred of the movie... my problem comes in to play when you succumb to the over sensitivity of the country we currently live in and call a movie Racist! It's gotten to the point in this country that we can't even make fun of any race for any reason at all, white, black, asian, mexican, no race at all, lest someone call it racist! Norbit wasn't racist, Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr at the Oscars wasn't racist. A KKK= Racist... The Black Panthers= Racist. We need to go back t a time when All In The family was the number 1 show on TV, when racist stereotypes were fair game for parody and TRUE racism was taken seriously! We are a country of people who cry wolf now. Now I know it was just a small portion of your review, but it is something has just annoyed me, the race card needs to be played at the right times, not for every fucking thing that ever has anything, however small it is, to do with race.
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4:44AM on 03/11/2012
Totally agree, one of my best friends is black and we make comments back and forth to each other all the time. Too me talking about cotton picking to him yelling to me about throwing another whip mark on his back. We laugh are asses off and I see people on the side lines just stunned. Truth is racism can be hilarious. But it is what you truly believe that makes you a racists. However what you truly believe is not something that can be just known when you meet someone. So then we get stuck
Totally agree, one of my best friends is black and we make comments back and forth to each other all the time. Too me talking about cotton picking to him yelling to me about throwing another whip mark on his back. We laugh are asses off and I see people on the side lines just stunned. Truth is racism can be hilarious. But it is what you truly believe that makes you a racists. However what you truly believe is not something that can be just known when you meet someone. So then we get stuck with trying to not offend, when really if we were familiar the other person (were not stuck up strangers), more than likely hilarity would ensue. Ah well, this is the society which we live in. Always got to be some mother fucker that fucks it up for the rest of us.
4:48AM on 03/11/2012
God Damn I miss the old Eddie!
God Damn I miss the old Eddie!
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5:09AM on 03/11/2012
What's so insane about this is that he was so well respected back in the day that if he would just make one film like his older classics, Hollywood, and everyone else would forgive him and get his back again....including me. C'mon Eddie Beverly Hills Cop 4 with a hard R rating! Please!!!!
What's so insane about this is that he was so well respected back in the day that if he would just make one film like his older classics, Hollywood, and everyone else would forgive him and get his back again....including me. C'mon Eddie Beverly Hills Cop 4 with a hard R rating! Please!!!!
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+0
9:29AM on 03/11/2012
I never even heard of this movie till right now. i like to try and stay on top of whats to come so this must be a real piece of shit. what happened to this guy? maybe he's one of those i cant be funny without an 8 ball of blow,if that's the case someone get this guy tweeked and quickly
I never even heard of this movie till right now. i like to try and stay on top of whats to come so this must be a real piece of shit. what happened to this guy? maybe he's one of those i cant be funny without an 8 ball of blow,if that's the case someone get this guy tweeked and quickly
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9:57AM on 03/11/2012
Why can't you just go back to your old-school comedy, Mr. Murphy? Why???
Why can't you just go back to your old-school comedy, Mr. Murphy? Why???
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2:20PM on 03/11/2012
Eddie Murphy - once great,once funny last decent film Bowfinger

Steve Martin - once great,once funny last decent film Bowfinger

Bowfinger is cursed
Eddie Murphy - once great,once funny last decent film Bowfinger

Steve Martin - once great,once funny last decent film Bowfinger

Bowfinger is cursed
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5:21PM on 03/11/2012
But Bowfinger had RObert Downey Jr. pre major comeback...!!!
But Bowfinger had RObert Downey Jr. pre major comeback...!!!
8:57PM on 03/11/2012
Well it makes sense now why it was on the shelf for so long. You really can't put all the fault on Murphy for it cuz he barely did any press for the movie. Give him a break on this one guys, it was studios choice to release.
Well it makes sense now why it was on the shelf for so long. You really can't put all the fault on Murphy for it cuz he barely did any press for the movie. Give him a break on this one guys, it was studios choice to release.
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+2
3:40AM on 03/12/2012
I agree with the fact that it had no market. I watched the trailer and wondered who this movie is even for. There is no set age demographic. As for the plot...I'm sure it speaks for itself. It's 3:40am and it's not even worth ranting about.
I agree with the fact that it had no market. I watched the trailer and wondered who this movie is even for. There is no set age demographic. As for the plot...I'm sure it speaks for itself. It's 3:40am and it's not even worth ranting about.
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10:52PM on 03/13/2012

Where did Eddie Go?

I think Eddie Murphy fans have to stop worrying if he is going to wake up from this "bad movie coma"..Eddie definitely needs to stay away from kiddie movies thats for sure...he needs to go back to what made him famous..he should do comedy stand up tours, maybe maybe do another Beverly Hills Cop...but this bad movie pattern he is in, has to stop right away..maybe Tower Heist will be the first small step towards getting into a good comeback.
I think Eddie Murphy fans have to stop worrying if he is going to wake up from this "bad movie coma"..Eddie definitely needs to stay away from kiddie movies thats for sure...he needs to go back to what made him famous..he should do comedy stand up tours, maybe maybe do another Beverly Hills Cop...but this bad movie pattern he is in, has to stop right away..maybe Tower Heist will be the first small step towards getting into a good comeback.
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