Life

Life

4.3 3
Director: Ted Demme, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatunde

Cast: Ted Demme, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatunde

     
 

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Combining the considerable comic talents of Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, Life is a successful attempt to bring comedy to a film genre not normally known for humor -- the prison movie. Universal's DVD is nothing short of outstanding, with excellent reproduction of the feature backed up with a host of special features. The anamorphic transfer is just about

Overview

Combining the considerable comic talents of Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, Life is a successful attempt to bring comedy to a film genre not normally known for humor -- the prison movie. Universal's DVD is nothing short of outstanding, with excellent reproduction of the feature backed up with a host of special features. The anamorphic transfer is just about flawless, with depth, balance, and rich colors throughout. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is of similar quality, providing a perfect platform for the selection of R&B songs featured on the soundtrack. There is certainly no shortage of supplemental features on this disc, including standard fare such as cast and crew biographies, production notes, and the film's theatrical trailer. The "Spotlight On Location" featurette, subtitled "A Look Into Life, runs to around 20 minutes in length, and is composed mainly of interview footage with the cast and filmmakers. Ted Demme's director's commentary is not always as informative as it could have been, but it is constantly effusive and contains a few interesting anecdotes. Probably the most unusual feature on this DVD is the "Director's Edit" section, which illustrates how Demme would have edited key scenes had it not been for studio interference. Other features include two music videos ("Life" by K-Ci & Jo Jo and "Fortunate" by Maxwell), trailers for Mystery Men and For Love of the Game, CD-ROM material, and a riotously funny collection of outtakes. Overall Universal has produced a truly marvelous disc, which offers just about everything one could reasonably expect of a DVD release.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence prison buddy flick is an underrated tale of bad luck and persevering hope. While the film starts off awkwardly -- almost like Harlem Nights revisited -- the narrative takes off when the unkind hand of fate deals the duo a slew of cruel blows. With Murphy and Lawrence aboard (they also teamed up for Boomerang), one would expect a laugh riot, but Life is not a straight comedy: there are many sad and painful moments throughout the film. Both actors give surprisingly versatile performances: their love-hate buddy act has a chemistry reminscent of Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs. or Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Director Ted Demme does a fairly superior job with the material, which embodies elements of Stir Crazy and even a few nods to Cool Hand Luke. Despite its lackluster box office and slighty-overextended scope, Life is above-average tragicomedy.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/1999
UPC:
0025192055928
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
3,870

Special Features

Spotlight on location; Feature commentary with director Ted Demme; Outtakes; Director's edits; Rock Land/Interscope soundtrack presentation with K-Ci and Jo Jo and Maxwell music videos; Universal showcase; Production notes; Cast and filmmakers; Theatrical trailer; DVD-ROM features

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eddie Murphy Ray Gibson
Martin Lawrence Claude Banks
Obba Babatunde Willie Long
Ned Beatty Dexter Willkins
Bernie Mac Jangle Leg
Miguel A. Nuñez Biscuit
Clarence Williams Winston Hancock
Bokeem Woodbine Can't Get Right
Michael "Bear" Taliferro Goldmout
Barry "Shabaka" Henley Pokerface
Brent Jennings Hoppin'Bob
Guy Torry Radio
Lisa Nicole Carson Sylvia
O'Neal Compton Superintendent Abernathy
Poppy Montgomery Older Mae Rose
Ned Vaughn Young Sheriff Pike
R. Lee Ermey Older Sheriff Pike
Nick Cassavetes Sgt. Dillard
Anthony Anderson Cookie
Noah Emmerich Stan Blocker
Rick James Spanky

Technical Credits
Ted Demme Director
John H. Anderson Set Decoration/Design
Richard Baker Makeup Special Effects
Maria Baker Set Decoration/Design
Dan Bishop Production Designer
James D. Brubaker Executive Producer
Lucy W. Corrigan Costumes/Costume Designer
Mary Finn Set Decoration/Design
Tina L. Fortenberry Associate Producer
Brian Grazer Producer
Wyclef Jean Score Composer
Karen Kehela Executive Producer
Josh King Asst. Director
Jeff Knipp Art Director
Josh Lusby Set Decoration/Design
Eddie Murphy Producer
Robert Ramsey Screenwriter
Lori Rowbotham Set Decoration/Design
Amanda Scheer-Demme Musical Direction/Supervision
Margery Simkin Casting
Geoffrey Simpson Cinematographer
Matthew Stone Screenwriter
James Whitaker Co-producer
Russell Williams Sound/Sound Designer
Jeffery Wolf Editor

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapter List
1. Main Titles [:22]
2. Finally Free [:20]
3. Harlem, 1932 [:01]
4. Spanky's Deal [1:41]
5. Way Down South [:21]
6. Under the Hill [1:12]
7. The Suspects [:02]
8. Life [4:22]
9. Tough Guys [:28]
10. Ray's Boom Boom Room [2:30]
11. The Escape [5:06]
12. 12 Years Later [:11]
13. Who's the Daddy? [:59]
14. Getting Out [2:24]
15. 28 Years Later [5:40]
16. The Real Killer [:13]
17. Claude's Plan [4:10]
18. End Titles [1:27]

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Life 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Life was one of the funniest movies I have seen. Though I watched it at least 10 times each time it gets funnier. It's definetly a great movie to have at home. GO GET IT!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great movie! Had just enough comedic moments at just the right time. Would definitely recommend this movie! The shipping was in a timely fashion as well. Thanks MovieMars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time in America, life in prison meant precisely that. There was no early parole, no time off for good behavior. If you were sentenced to life, you could pretty much count on dying a prisoner in some godforsaken camp, farm or prison. Eddie Murphy is a small-time crook in Prohibition-era New York trying to get out of debt to a Harlem mobster. He sets up a scheme of driving some Mississippi moonshine to the mobster's speakeasy in New York. He ropes in as his driver Martin Lawrence, a bank teller who has also fallen afoul of the mobster because of an unpaid gambling debt. Murphy's character's weak nature gets the better of him and after receiving the liquor shipment, he decides to do some gambling in a rural club. He gets cheated by a local card sharp who later mouths off to the town sheriff, who murders him. Murphy and Lawrence have the misfortune of discovering the body, and being seen with it. They get, you guessed it, life in prison. The two, initially antagonistic to one another, are forced to rely upon each other in the brutal work camp to which they are sentenced. Time passes and they dream of the freedom it seems will be denied them for a crime of which they aren't guilty. There are a lot of moving moments in "Life" and with Murphy and Lawrence, even more funny ones. There is social commentary in the form of how black men are treated in the South, but it isn't strongly told or terribly compelling. Other movies explore that subject in greater depth and with greater insight. The problem with "Life" is that the filmmakers aren't sure whether they wanted to make a comedy, an examination of prison life in the Deep South of, say, 50 years ago, or a political/social commentary on the shaft given African Americans. They decide to do all these things, and in fact their reach exceeds their grasp. "Life" really doesn't give you any new insights into anything. It's mainly an excuse to pair two of the brightest comic minds in America. Watching the two at work individually is fascinating, but Lawrence and Murphy don't generate enough chemistry to hold any interest as a team.