- Nov 15, 2001
- Real Name
- Neil Middlemiss
|Studio: Dreamworks / Paramount Year: 2007 US Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language Canadian Rating: 14A for coarse language, crude content and sexual content Film Length: 102 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/VC-1 Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Digital Plus) Subtitles: Optional English, English SDH+, French & Spanish subtitles|
US Release Date: June 5, 2007 The Film - out of
The Video - out ofFramed at 1.85:1 and presented in 1080p High Definition, Norbit looks really, really good. The masterful make-up by Rick Baker comes under the scrutiny of Hi-Def and clears it like a Nordic pole-vaulter! The film is filled with bright colors, sunny days and multiple scenes filmed on the what looks like the all-too clean Paramount backlot, each of these are represented with near flawless clarity, I have only the occasional grumble with some softness and grain on a few scenes, but besides that, Norbit looks sharp.
The Sound - out ofThe surrounds have plenty to do in Norbit, and the Sub-Woofer plays its part in some of the gags, but the dialogue coming from the center-channel was far too low in comparison. Overall the sounds came off a little flat in too many places. Not a total loss because when it needed to, the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 kicked in and did the trick, but again, overall it lacked a presence and depth that ultimately disappoints.
The Extra’s - out ofThe Making of NORBIT – HD (21:31) – Behind the scenes conversations with the Director and cast is reasonably insightful. Oddly, however, the snippets with Eddie Murphy are not in HD as with the rest of this extra feature. The director and cast speak affectionately about the film they are making, which doesn’t help the feeling that NORBIT, while a commercial success, is a big disappointment. Man of 1,000 Faces (4:07) – As you might expect, these few minutes cover the make-up process that helped Eddie Murphy create his technically marvelous characters. Power Tap - HD (4:48) – Pulling together his ‘Power Tap’ scenes from the film along with ‘in-character’ interview clips, this fake infomercial is good for a chuckle or two. The Stunts of NORBIT - HD (11:49) – Conversations with the stunt-personnel and stunt-doubles on the various scenes in the film that relied upon stunt-related sight gags. 14 Deleted Scenes – HD (8:07) – Some are short and easily forgettable but there are a couple of deleted moments from the film that help round out some of the jokes that were kept in, helping the gag timing and letting us see more of the talented supporting cast. Photo Gallery – 59 Pictures – Stills from the film. Theatrical Trailer – HD (1:56). Sadly, in trailer form, NORBIT works far better than it does as a full length feature.
Final ThoughtsYou could argue that Eddie Murphy is long past his heyday, relying on overly crass, effects-filled films to market his comedy to the masses. That may have some truth to it, but I think awkward and disappointing films like Norbit are simply mistakes that belie the true talents of one of comedies greatest living members. His recent award-winning portrayal of the rambunctious James ‘Thunder’ Early in the wonderful ‘Dreamgirls’ is proof enough that he has an interesting road ahead of him and hiccups like Norbit (and Holy Man and Pluto Nash, etc) are simply stumbles on that road to better things. I don’t think we will see films that match the vast talent of Coming to America, Trading Places, 48 Hours or Beverly Hills Cop, but with choices like Boomerang a few years back, doing the voice of Donkey in the Shrek phenomenon and Dreamgirls, the future is very bright for Mr. Murphy. At the end of the day, I have to recommend Norbit be passed over in favor of some of the classic films in Eddie’s repertoire. You won’t be disappointed or nearly as offended by what happens on screen and it’ll be two hours of your life that you won’t yearn to be given back to you.
Overall Score - out ofNote: If you are interested in an assessment of the Blu-Ray release of this title, check out Kevin EK's forum review at this link. If you are interested in an assessment of the Standard DVD release of this title, check out Justin Cleveland's forum review at this link. Neil Middlemiss Kernersville, NC