Thousand Words, A (Blu-ray Review)5 Jul, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey
Box Office $18.45 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sexual situations including dialogue, language and some drug-related humor.
Stars Eddie Murphy, Kerry Washington, Allison Janney, Clark Duke, Cliff Curtis, Jack McBrayer, John Witherspoon.
Eddie Murphy. The name used to mean something in comedy. And in A Thousand Words, the once-icon has his biggest asset taken away from him: his mouth.
Murphy plays fast-talking literary agent Jack McCall, who’s more interested in the next big deal than anything else. Attempting to sign a book contract with a leading spiritual guru (Cliff Curtis), McCall gets more than he bargains for, returning home to find that a giant tree has sprung up in his backyard.
The tree and McCall are linked: For every word he speaks or writes, a leaf falls from the tree. And when the last leaf falls, so does McCall.
A Thousand Words as a comedy works for the first half of the film, with Murphy frantically trying to keep his job and family life from unraveling via wild gesticulating and frantic facial features. The best scenes usually involve interactions with McCall’s assistant (Clark Duke), who only seems to make things worse when he tries to help. A disastrous sit-down with a major publisher and McCall’s pointless attempts to order coffee provide the most laughs.
But toward the halfway point of the film, things become more serious, with McCall’s desperation going from funny to reflective. McCall progresses from putz to enlightened, and a comedy turns into an attempt at relaying a message: How many words do you need to express what’s really important?
You’ll have to decide for yourself which Eddie Murphy you like better.
The Blu-ray Disc is light on bonus features, with no making-of, commentary or featurettes. There are a slew of deleted scenes, though they all run short, and there’s also an alternate ending. The Blu-ray also comes equipped with an UltraViolet code.