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PCR # 359  (Vol. 8, No. 6)  This edition is for the week of February 5--11, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Florida Extravanganza Collectibles Show 2007  by ED Tucker
"Norbit"  by Mike Smith
The Former Oliva Cigar Factory To Host Art & Film  by Paul Guzzo
FAIL! FAIL! ROCK & ROLL!....Monty Python Invades Tampa (sort of): Spamalot!  by Andy Lalino
The Stars At Night Are Big And Bright....While You've Got Them Crossed....Very Creative....Let The Wookie Win....3Vs and David Lee....Passing On....Congratulations....May 22, 2008....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 6: Geoffrey Lewis  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Directed by: Brian Robbins
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 42 mins

In the film "Coming to America," Eddie Murphy played no less then four characters. In the "Nutty Professor" films, he tackled eight different characters. Hoping to catch lightning a third time, Murphy plays multiple roles again in the comedy "Norbit."

As a baby, Norbit is dumped at a Tennessee orphanage called the Golden Wanton (not only do they deal with adoption they also do a great carry out business). As a youngster, Norbit bonds with a fellow orphan, Kate. After Kate is adopted Norbit finds himself alone. While being bullied at the playground he is rescued by a rather large young girl named Rasputia, who declares that she and Norbit are now boyfriend and girlfriend. Years later Norbit (now played by Murphy) and Rasputia (also Murphy) are wed, much to the chagrin of Mr. Wong (also Murphy again), the operator of the orphanage and Norbit's surrogate father. Depressed in his marriage, things appear to brighten when Kate (now played by "Crash" star Newton) returns to town hoping to take over the orphanage. However, the clouds return when Norbit discovers Kate has a fiancee' (Gooding, Jr.).

A hit and miss comedy, "Norbit" will probably be best remembered for the incredible work make up master Rick Baker has created. Already a ten time Oscar nominee and a six time winner, Baker has created the ultimate special effect in turning Murphy into Rasputia. A large women (yes, I'm being polite), Rasputia isn't shy about exposing some skin. Yet, whether in short shorts or a two piece bathing suit, the flesh not left to the imagination is remarkably real in appearance. Murphy is also quite convincing appearance-wise as Mr. Wong. I would almost bet that Murphy could have wandered Chinatown in any city as Mr. Wong and no one would have known he wasn't Asian.

As to the film itself, the laughs are there, though they often take some time to show up. As he has shown in other films, Murphy is a brilliant physical comedian and here he excels when playing the ample Rasputia. It also helps that Rasputia has an attitude that can't be dealt with. Recently banned by the local buffet for taking the all you can eat notice as a personal challenge, Rasputia has attitude to spare. Murphy also does well as the title character. With his too large afro and big kid smile, Norbit is innocent beyond his years. Other cast memories who deliver on the comedy include Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams. And while some of the laughs are certainly hilarious, they aren't as plentiful as necessary to make "Norbit" a consistently funny film. At least not consistent enough to earn and extra half star.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Norbit"  Two and a half stars

This week's movie review of "Norbit" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.