Thursday, April 15, 2010

Imagine That

Yesterday was a bit painful, in that for the second time in my life I had a nasty chunk of gunk removed from under one of my eyelids. This stuff comes as the result of blepharitis, a chronic inflammation of the eyelids. Seemingly some tinsy-winsy little suckers get stuck in the eyelid instead of being washed out, and unless you attend to the problem, they gradually form into a pusse-filled mass that hardens into the sort of lump I had removed yesterday. The removal itself is a matter of moments; keeping the eyelid inverted for long enough to do the job is very painful, and I don't recommend it to anyone. Unless of course, you're in the situation I was in, in which case it may be necessary!
As a result of this I have a black eye, puffy and purple, and it's watery a good deal of the time. So I saw Eddie Murphy's latest movie, Imagine That, through a kind of haze, my good eye having to do most of the work. My wife had downloaded it from Itunes as a rental so she was keen to get her money's worth while it was still available; so we were watching within the smallish digital frame of our laptop, which isn't ideal for somemone with only one good eye.
The movie is fairly low-key for an Eddie Murphy comedy: it has few frantic antics (and they're toned down a good deal when they do occur), no foul language, and no dressing up as a member of the opposite sex. In other words, it's almost in the vein of an early Murphy movie.
Murphy plays a stockbroker whose seven-year old daughter has imaginary friends - possibly as the result of her parents' separation, and the seeming lack of love for her by her ambitious father. However, these imaginary friends are pretty good at playing the stock market - don't ask me how - and start giving the father good advice, which he takes up. Of course it's all so he'll become a better person, and as far as we can see at the end, he has. (Except that he's off to work for the even more ambitious Martin Sheen, which might not be so good.)
Murphy is pretty good looking for a nearly fifty-year old, and full of energy as always. He's almost classed off the screen by Yara Shahidi as his daughter, who isn't 'cute' in the usual Hollywood sense; she's just a little charmer, and seems to enjoying herself thoroughly in the role.
Thomas Haden Church has a peculiar role to play: that of a supposed Native American Indian (well some of him is) who is full of crap in terms of pseudo Native American guff that's supposed to fool all the big stockbrockering kind of people. We see through him in a moment; curiously enough his co-workers haven't managed to do so after 18 months. Church does his best with the role, which is a bit iffy in possible racist terms. It's the sort of thing that would have been thought very funny in the past; these days it probably isn't.
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