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Friday, June 19, 2009

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Imagine That

Eddie Murphy • Thomas Haden Church • Yara Shahidi • Nicole Ari Parker • Ronny Cox • Dante D’Enzo • Martin Sheen • Vanessa Williams Paramount Pictures presents a film directed by Karey Kirkpatrick. Written by Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. Running time: 107 minutes. Rated PG (for some mild language and brief questionable behavior)

I’ll say right up front, a nice movie, a sweet movie. Fathers and daughters will find this great stuff. It is, of course, too predictable, and the script takes lots of unreal logic skips in order to set up the creative writing fiction. There’s a little magic here and there. The best parts of the movie, because you hardly EVER see this sort of thing, and, also, because it was well done, are the scenes where dad and daughter are playing together.

Eddie Murphy has obviously grown past his own self, no longer germinating the persona of his past stuff A.K.A. “RAW”. Now he’s a family guy. (the real one) His performance is rather good, and so is the actress who plays his daughter, Yara Shahidi. She’s very cute. I suppose after Father’s day though, this movie will soon be on DVD. But really, it’s not a bad movie, just a pleasant romp, and that may or may not be enough for you. The only real objection I could possibly have, and this is a small one, is the break of logic that makes the movie move along and then climax. I am not talking about the faerie princesses either. That’s cute and understandable enough, I think even little girls know, they really do you know. ;-)

But it’s the magical Indian stuff of Thomas Hayden Church’s character that totally buffaloes the completely competent adults in this movie. Supposedly he is quite successful calling on the “Great Spirit” of his Indian ancestry for tips and advice about investing, and he has all the suits playing Indian games to go along with him. This only works because he IS successful. Then at the end of the movie, when he has to go head to head with Murphy’s character, suddenly all the former logic of the script is thrown out the window. I can remember as a very small kid being baffled by this sort of thing, wondering how this sort of thing could make sense, why did things in TV and movies happen this way? I never got many answers and I think I suffered a sort of “magical thinking” about reality through my teens and early twenties that was completely unnecessary had someone taken the time to explain why adults wouldn’t tolerate Church’s character no matter how creative and flamboyant he might be. If you’re a parent, I think that sort of thing should be explained afterwards, when you're having that after movie treat. (Need I explain about the shamanism? )

But that’s all I have to say on it, except, I saw the movie in the Mann’s Chinese Theater and the building is quite impressive, and harkens back to the days when giant movie theaters had only one movie at a time. If you’re ever in LA it shouldn’t be missed. Unfortunately I saw the movie not too soon after the premier and, out of a sea of movie seats, I was the only one in the movie. Not a good sign. Full family fare, to be followed with your own gentle hearted commentary afterward.

3.5/5 stars

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