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Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer - FX Networks Upfront Premiere Screening Of 'Fargo' at SVA Theater - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 10th April 2014

Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer
Martin Lawrence
Billy Crystal and Martin Lawrence
Billy Crystal and Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer - the FX Networks Upfront screening of 'Fargo' at SVA Theater on April 9, 2014 in New York City. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 10th April 2014

Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence Bullard - Celebrities attend MOCA's 35th Anniversary Gala presented by Louis Vuitton welcoming new Director Philippe Vergne at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 29th March 2014

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence - Martin Lawrence arrives at Mr Chow in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 3rd January 2014

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise - Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer is honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Monday 24th June 2013

Martin Lawrence, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise
Martin Lawrence, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise
Martin Lawrence, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise

Martin Lawrence Saturday 3rd November 2012 Spike TV's 'Eddie Murphy: One Night Only' at the Saban Theatre

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence Saturday 3rd November 2012 attends Spike TV's 'Eddie Murphy: One Night Only' at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence Thursday 10th May 2012 leaves Mastro's restaurant in Beverly Hills

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence Thursday 10th February 2011 the premiere of 'Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son' held at the Arclight Theatre Hollywood, California

Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence and Ed Sullivan - Monday 7th February 2011 at The Late Show With David Letterman New York City, USA

Martin Lawrence and Ed Sullivan
Martin Lawrence and Ed Sullivan
Martin Lawrence and Ed Sullivan

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Review


Very Good
In the growing list of potentially humorous backdrops, the African-American family reunion is rapidly becoming an overused archetype. Everyone from Tyler Perry to Red Grant has utilized the setting for their combination of slapstick and cultural satire. Granted, it gives a filmmaker ample opportunity to splatter a broad spectrum of larger-than-life personalities onto an equally oversized and recognizable canvas, but the tendency toward stereotypes and sentimentality often ruins the insights. At first glance, it appears that the new ensemble comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins will fall into that same clichéd category. But looks, as we all know, can be very deceiving indeed.

Having abandoned his Deep South roots for big city fame, Roscoe Jenkins (Martin Lawrence) is now Dr. R.J. Stevens, TV self help guru, media mogul, and fiancé to supermodel Survivor winner Bianca Kittles (Joy Bryant). When his parents (James Earl Jones and Margaret Avery) announce a family reunion for their 50th wedding anniversary, Roscoe is reluctant to go. Seems he still carries sour memories of life with siblings Otis (Michael Clarke Duncan), Betty (Mo'Nique), and adopted "cousin" Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer). Guilt eventually brings him back home, and after nine long years, things haven't changed much. The same old rivalries exist, his father remains aloof and critical, cousin Reggie (Michael Epps) is a no-good hustler, and high school crush Lucinda (Nicole Ari Parker) is as hot as ever. It will be a trying four days -- if he survives that long.

Continue reading: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Review

Wild Hogs Review


Good
Prior to my screening of Wild Hogs, the theatre played an advertisement in which two identical cars "sumo fight" on an elevated circular stage. Each car is distinguished by its performance. One charges forth, its engines roaring healthily, its nose forcing the other back. This other, its engine squealing pathetically, submits to the force of its opponent until eventually plummeting from the edge of the stage. The difference between the two cars? The first was running on superior fuel.

This car reminds me of Wild Hogs. Ostensibly, Wild Hogs is the same model as every other middle-of-the-road road movie; a hybrid vehicle that mishmashes middle-age crisis comedy with fish-out-of-water, city-slicker slapstick. However, its charismatic and effortless cast, and the occasional bit of wit, see that it performs better than the usual Hollywood dross regularly offered up as comedy. Hence its box office success.

Continue reading: Wild Hogs Review

Open Season Review


Weak
There was a time, not too long ago, when there was one great computer-animated film per year, and that was it. Then, seemingly overnight, there were a dozen computer-animated films every year, and every single one of them had to do with an animal trying to find its home. This year is no exception; Over the Hedge, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and The Wild have already been released and there's still at least two more coming out before the end of the year and probably four others that escape my mind. Tacked onto this ever-growing list is Open Season, the latest from The Lion King director Roger Allers.

In a small rural town where camping and hunting are daily parts of life, Boog (Martin Lawrence) has a damn good life...99 for a grizzly bear, that is. He does a show with his friend, park ranger Beth (Debra Messing), and has a nice little bed and three meals a day in her basement. Then one day, Boog frees a deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) from the hood of dumb-as-brick hunter Shaw's (Gary Sinise) truck. Elliot considers this an act of eternal friendship and begins to follow Boog around everywhere, eventually causing Boog to lose his show with Beth. Without a home or means of livelihood, Boog is sent back to the forest with Elliot. Here, Boog must find his inner bear (did I just type that?) and Elliot must find the courage to stand up to head buck Ian (Patrick Warburton). All of this happens while the pair are also trying to find their way back home and attempting to not get killed by Shaw.

Continue reading: Open Season Review

Open Season Review


Weak
There was a time, not too long ago, when there was one great computer-animated film per year, and that was it. Then, seemingly overnight, there were a dozen computer-animated films every year, and every single one of them had to do with an animal trying to find its home. This year is no exception; Over the Hedge, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and The Wild have already been released and there's still at least two more coming out before the end of the year and probably four others that escape my mind. Tacked onto this ever-growing list is Open Season, the latest from The Lion King director Roger Allers.

In a small rural town where camping and hunting are daily parts of life, Boog (Martin Lawrence) has a damn good life... for a grizzly bear, that is. He does a show with his friend, park ranger Beth (Debra Messing), and has a nice little bed and three meals a day in her basement. Then one day, Boog frees a deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) from the hood of dumb-as-brick hunter Shaw's (Gary Sinise) truck. Elliot considers this an act of eternal friendship and begins to follow Boog around everywhere, eventually causing Boog to lose his show with Beth. Without a home or means of livelihood, Boog is sent back to the forest with Elliot. Here, Boog must find his inner bear (did I just type that?) and Elliot must find the courage to stand up to head buck Ian (Patrick Warburton). All of this happens while the pair are also trying to find their way back home and attempting to not get killed by Shaw.

Continue reading: Open Season Review

Big Momma's House 2 Review


Terrible
Big Momma's House 2 has locked onto the secret formula of all-time. Moderate star + cute kids + inappropriateness divided by hidden crime plot = hit. Admit it, when you saw the trailer for The Pacifier, all you saw was a grenade with its pin freshly pulled. Then, it went on to be a sleeper hit that brought in big bucks, helping to continue what is quickly becoming the excruciating career of Vin Diesel. So, there's no surprise that Big Momma's House 2 skyrocketed to the head of the box office this week. If there's a more consistent way to tell how bad a movie is than it being #1 at the box office, I don't know it.

Martin Lawrence returns as Agent Malcolm Turner, the FBI agent who donned a fat suit, a wig and a southern accent in the first Big Momma's House. He's taken a desk job to spend more time with and protect his pregnant wife (Nia Long) and his stepson. But when his mentor gets shot doing undercover work, he's back on the job as Big Momma. He takes a job as a nanny to an uptight, white family whose father might be involved with what got his mentor shot. Between dealing with a young son who jumps off high places, a middle daughter who can't dance, and a 15 year old horn-dog daughter (Kat Dennings), Malcolm also finds time to unearth a hacker plot to open the codes to the CIA and the FBI (gasp!) while loosening up the OCD mother (Emily Procter). Well, if you don't know where this is going, you've been watching better films than I have.

Continue reading: Big Momma's House 2 Review

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Review


OK
Early in Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat, Lawrence goes on a brief tirade about his hatred for critics because they make a habit of judging things they know little about. After sitting through this sloppy, made-for-movie comedy special, it makes me wonder if Lawrence hates criticism so much that he refuses to evaluate his own work.

Runteldat operates in much the same fashion as Lawrence's You So Crazy, where he spends 90 minutes barking out offensive remarks punctuated with bookends of profanity. Some of the jokes garnered genuine belly laughter - in particular, the bits involving white parents' use of "time out" and references to the black stars of the COPS television show. Some jokes however, especially the drunken husband routine, drag on for what seemed to be an eternity -- even the "live" audience appears restless in some cutaway shots -- while other jokes are just stale regurgitations of many I've seen pass through my email inbox a multitude of times. Please Martin, we all know how similar babies are to old people.

Continue reading: Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Review

Life Review


OK
Rather lukewarm for balls-out Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence comedy, Life tells the story of two 1930s black men wrongly sentenced to life in prison for murder. That's just brimming with comedy potential, no? Well, Life isn't so sweet, as Murphy and Lawrence spend much of the movie trading insults and slapfighting like children. It isn't until they become old men and we reach present day that the characters are very likable. In other words: This is not Shawshank.

Blue Streak Review


Weak
Typecasting. Definition, when writers pigeonhole you into one role, assuming you can do nothing more than that. However, typecasting is not just a product of the writers. It is not just a product of your Hollywood image. It's a product of what you choose to do.

Case in point Martin Lawrence, whose new movie Blue Streak seems like a carbon copy of his last one, Nothing to Lose. The jokes work off of the same punch line, the scenes seems stolen from one another. Everything is placed towards a completely predictable ending.

Continue reading: Blue Streak Review

Rebound Review


Weak
This summer will have no fewer than three movies featuring a band of misfit kids playing sports. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If people had a problem with Hollywood repeating the same thing, the box office slump would have started with Jaws II. What moviegoers should be upset about is when the original recipe isn't altered in any way. Though Kicking & Screaming was an average movie, think how awful it would have been minus Will Farrell's soccer dad rage. And you know Billy Bob Thornton is going to bring something funky to The Bad News Bears.

With Rebound, the newest sports and children comedy, audiences have every right to be upset. The recipe not only hasn't been changed, it's been left in the oven far too long. Esteemed and volatile college basketball coach Roy McCormack (Martin Lawrence) is thrown out of the league after an incident involving his renowned temper, a basketball, and a dead bird. Looking for a way to look good while the offers roll in, Roy coaches the basketball team at his old junior high school.

Continue reading: Rebound Review

What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review


Bad
Martin Lawrence is not funny. For the proof just turn to his newest film, What's The Worst That Could Happen? -- the answer to its own question if ever there has been one.

I don't know how Martin Lawrence -- the former 1987 Star Search winner with an arrest record that would make Tommy Lee envious -- has been able to survive with all of the bad, bad films he has starred in during the past 6 years. [Two words: Bad Boys. -Ed.] Big Momma's House, Blue Streak, Life, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate are all forgettable movies which can be found in quantity on the clearance table at your local video store. But survive he has, and in Worst, Lawrence is a mediocre Eddie Murphy stuck playing another jewel thief in another run-of-the-mill studio comedy.

Continue reading: What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review

Big Momma's House Review


Weak
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when Big Momma's House was cooked up.... Dress funnyman Martin Lawrence up as a 350-pound Georgia grandmother, spin him around, and let him do his thang. Beat Eddie Murphy at his own game (Nutty Professor II hits theaters later this year), shoot it for cheap with no other real stars, and grab some good grosses.

Sure enough, Big Momma's House is a comic crowd-pleaser that should score well with audiences that refuse to tire of incessant fat jokes, slapstick, and, well, more fat jokes.

Continue reading: Big Momma's House Review

You So Crazy Review


Weak
Martin Lawrence's first stand-up film contains mostly warmed-over raunchy jokes and sex anecdotes, told while Lawrence sweats profusely under the stage lights in what looks to be some kind of vinyl overcoat. Fans will dig his profanity-laden rants. Others will scratch their heads.

Continue reading: You So Crazy Review

Bad Boys II Review


Good
It would be a hard heart indeed that couldn't find a bit of affection for a movie that starts with two black police officers going undercover at a Klan rally and ends with what appears to be an invasion of Cuba. That movie, Bad Boys II, which comes raging into summertime theaters still woozy from weak, watery sequels (Charles Angels 2 and Legally Blonde 2, among countless others), arrives a mere 8 years after the first one and is very eager to make up for lost time - a little too eager, in fact.

The first Bad Boys shouldn't have been any good at all, but ended up a huge hit that remade the careers of just about everyone involved. It was directed by a guy known only for commercials (Michael Bay), produced by a team (Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson) desperate for a hit, and starring two sitcom actors (Martin Lawrence and Will Smith) with no proven movie clout. Somehow, it all came together into a near classic, with lovingly choreographed explosions and Lawrence and Smith doing hilarious, improvised riffs over the by-the-numbers script.

Continue reading: Bad Boys II Review

National Security Review


Terrible
Directors often copy the techniques of respected filmmakers without raising much ire. But when a director borrows liberally from the volatile filmography of pyrotechnic prince Michael Bay, they're just asking for trouble. Dennis Dugan's National Security uses enough slow-mo shots and shimmering cinematography in its first 30 minutes to warrant the comparison. The presence of Bad Boys star Martin Lawrence only helps this waste feel like a Bay retread, the kind of garbage Mr. Pearl Harbor would pass on after deeming it far too stupid even for him.

In place of the charismatic Will Smith, Lawrence partners with an uncharacteristically intolerable Steve Zahn as Hank Rafferty, an LAPD officer whose partner is killed while investigating a warehouse break-in. Hank begs for the chance to apprehend the guilty parties, but he's bussed back down to walking his beat, reminded by his superiors (Colm Feore, Bill Duke) that he's "a uniform, not a detective."

Continue reading: National Security Review

Bad Boys Review


Good
Competent yet asinine, Bad Boys teams Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as an Odd Couple-ish pair of cops. Will helps Martin get his groove back while the duo fight crime. Typical Bruckheimer fare with explosions a-plenty, though less vapid than usual, mainly because Smith lends an air of credibility to the whole thing that Lawrence tries -- in every scene -- to destroy.

Black Knight Review


Terrible
Early in the fish-out-of-water (or rather black-man-out-of-the-hood) comedy Black Knight, the medieval English king exclaims in describing Martin Lawrence's Jamal, "He's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up the joke."

A truer thing has never been said. It amazes me the filmmakers left that line in the film. Perhaps they were feeling self-reflective.

Continue reading: Black Knight Review

A Thin Line Between Love And Hate Review


Good
There's a thin line between love and hate, and there's an equally thin line between cute and campy, and Martin Lawrence's comedy version of Fatal Attraction ends up on both sides of the line, and it's hard to tell where the movie's going from one scene to the next. Still, it has enough comedy (courtesy of its sparring leads, with Whitfield going berserk on Lawrence's playa) to make it worth a modest amount of attention. Any movie with a bar called Chocolate City can't be all bad, right?

Life Review


Good

A surprisingly bittersweet, comedic "Cool Hand Luke,""Life" is more than just an Eddie Murphy comedy or a Martin Lawrencecomedy. It's actually layered with substance and is even affecting in itsportrayal of the bitterness, depression and fleeting moments of happinessexperienced by two falsely imprisoned bootleggers, doing life for a murderthey didn't commit.

I'm not saying Murphy and Lawrence aren't damn funny. Ofcourse they are. But for the first time in either of their careers, they'reboth called on to truly submerge themselves in real characters, and thesetwo comedians with trademark personalities come through remarkably.

Murphy plays a con man and Lawrence a bank clerk rube whoare framed for murder by white cops while on a moonshine run in Mississippi,trying to save their skins from a gangster (funk star Rick James) theyhad both run afoul of at home in New York.

Continue reading: Life Review

What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review


OK

Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito -- two stars with pretty shaky comedy credits of late -- seem to be tempting fate with the title of their new criminal vs. corporate scoundrel caper. It's called "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" and the answer to that question is, the entire movie could have been as dim-witted and haphazard as its last five minutes.

But until director Sam Weisman ("George of the Jungle," "The Out-of-Tonwers" remake) starts running out of story and grasping at straws in the middle of the last act, it's pretty generous with the laughs.

Lawrence plays a professional cat burglar who hears on the news that a media tycoon (DeVito) has been ordered to vacate one of his mansions as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. Lawrence imagines easy pickings at a plush billionaire's pad that's guaranteed to be uninhabited. Little does he know that DeVito has figured on sneaking into the empty house to cheat on his snooty, country club wife (Nora Dunn) with a buxom centerfold sucking up to him for a job at his TV network.

Continue reading: What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Review


OK

Martin Lawrence proves his brazenly raunchy stand-up routine can still go 12 rounds in his new concert film "Martin Lawrence Live: RunTelDat." But if you like the man because he's funny, you might want to wait for video on this flick so you can fast forward through several patches of disingenuous mea culpa sermonization about all the trouble he's been through in the last few years.

Sure, Lawrence makes a lot of jokes at his own expense -- about his former drug use, his public displays of disorientation resulting in arrests ("They trying to say I had a gun!...OK, I had a gun.") and his coma, his hospital stay and his rehabilitation after collapsing while jogging on an extremely hot day a in 1999. But he doesn't get through the comedy without weighing down his one-liners with incongruous serious moments that smack of more of sympathy-applause showmanship than of the sincerity he intends.

"RunTelDat" has entertaining, if obscenity-laced, relationship bits about "IOUs -- I mean prenuptial agreements" and the laughability of the white wedding dress in present day society. Lawrence segues into trying to reconcile the beauty of childbirth with the procedure's more nauseating elements, then covers quite graphically the resulting upheaval in a couple's sex life and the greediness of a baby's breast-feeding. He follows up with a comedic comparison of infancy to old age and a jag about black parents' discipline ("Bad kids...you gotta whoop their ass!") vs. white parents' discipline ("Take a time-out!").

Continue reading: Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Review

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Martin Lawrence Movies

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Movie Review

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Movie Review

It's astonishing that there's a third film in this deeply unfunny series (I skipped Part...

Death At A Funeral Movie Review

Death At A Funeral Movie Review

If you've seen Frank Oz's 2007 British comedy, it feels rather pointless to watch this...

Death At A Funeral Trailer

Death At A Funeral Trailer

Death often brings a family together and this story is no exception. Aaron and his...

Wild Hogs Movie Review

Wild Hogs Movie Review

Prior to my screening of Wild Hogs, the theatre played an advertisement in which two...

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Open Season Movie Review

Open Season Movie Review

There was a time, not too long ago, when there was one great computer-animated film...

Open Season Movie Review

Open Season Movie Review

There was a time, not too long ago, when there was one great computer-animated film...

Open Season Trailer

Open Season Trailer

Open Season Trailer In Sony Pictures Animation's first feature film, the animated action adventure comedy...

Big Momma's House 2 Movie Review

Big Momma's House 2 Movie Review

Big Momma's House 2 has locked onto the secret formula of all-time. Moderate star +...

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Movie Review

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Movie Review

Early in Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat, Lawrence goes on a brief tirade about his hatred...

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Blue Streak Movie Review

Blue Streak Movie Review

Typecasting. Definition, when writers pigeonhole you into one role, assuming you can do nothing...

Rebound Movie Review

Rebound Movie Review

This summer will have no fewer than three movies featuring a band of misfit kids...

What's the Worst That Could Happen? Movie Review

What's the Worst That Could Happen? Movie Review

Martin Lawrence is not funny. For the proof just turn to his newest film,...

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