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Starring: Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Home Video
Distributed By: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Lots of swearing.
Date Movie: Sure, she'll cuddle.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Some fighting.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Yea.
Memorable Scene: Nothing sticks out.
Memorable Quote: Nothing sticks out.
Directed By: Ted Demme

A Movie/DVD Review


Rated - R

It's 1:39 Long

A Review by
Stu Gotz
I really wanted to see this movie when it was out in the theaters and now having seen it at home, on video, I'm really glad that I didn't see it in the theatre. That's not to say that ""Life"" is a bad movie, rather that it was not the movie I had expected it to be. My impression of what the movie was going to be was fed by the movie publicity. That publicity, I think, made the movie out to be a comedy rather than the light drama that it was. It did have some funny moments, but that definitely was not the direction the movie was headed.

"Life" starts out in New York City during the era of prohibition. Eddie Murphy plays Ray, a black, wise-guy-want-to-be aspiring to be a club owner. Martin Lawrence plays Claude, a hard working, night school educated man, with aspirations of a better life for himself and girlfriend. Both their dreams are dashed when they run afoul of a black kingpin. To save their asses they do a booze run down to Mississippi. There they are swindled, wrongfully accused of murder, and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison we are given a glimpse of southern prejudice, comments are made on the lack of sufficient education provided to southern blacks at the time, and of course the effects that long incarceration can have on one's mind (a la "Shawshank Redemption" and "Escape From Alcatraz"). The movie ends with the two main characters, now very old, finally having escaped, and enjoying a hot dog at Yankee Stadium. A lot worse for wear but not bitter. Indeed a nice ending to a slow but poignant movie.

I liked "Life". It was a good but slow story that made many good comments on society without getting on a soap box. It may not have been the most original movie, having stolen themes from movies like "The Great Escape," "Shawshank Redemption," and "Escape from Alcatraz," but in doing so the movie put things into a "black" perspective. I liked "Life" and would recommend it as a good movie for a light evening. All that being said I give "Life" 2.5 of 5 stars. It's a good film and I'm Stu Gotz. 'nuff said.


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