Re-Watch: Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places
Director: John Landis
Writer: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Cast: Dan AykroydEddie MurphyJamie Lee Curtis, Ralph BellamyDon Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Giancarlo Esposito, Frank Oz, Bo Diddley, James Belushi, Al Franken, Tom Davis

Plot:
Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) was born on the sunny side of life and has proven to be a quite successful trader for the Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche). Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) on the other hand barely scrapes by with crooked schemes. When the Duke brothers bet on whether or not it’s the circumstances or nature that make a man what he is, Louis and Billy Ray quickly find themselves in each other’s shoes. Louis’ reputation is completely destroyed when he is found with a sex worker Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) hired to set him up, loses his fiancée, his home and his job – the latter to Billy Ray. In the end, Louis has nobody but Ophelia and – surprisingly – Billy Ray to make things right again.

I used to watch this film as a kid as well, though certainly not as often as Scrooged, probably because I am not so much of an Eddie Murphy fan and never was. But since the cinema showed the two films as a double feature, I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately even with the nostalgia bonus, Trading Places barely worked for me at all.

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Shrek Forever After (2010)

Shrek Forever After is the fourth and final Shrek film and the first one to be directed by Mike Mitchell. It stars the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Julie Andrews and John Cleese.

Plot:
Shrek (Mike Myers) should be happy – he has everything he ever wanted. He married the love of his life, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), he has three kids. His best friend Donkey (Eddie Murphy) comes over regularly. But the routine of it all, and the tourists on Star Tours, wear Shrek down. Out of desperation he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) – Shrek gets one day as a regular, frightening oger, and Rumpel gets one day from his childhood. But Rumpel has ulterior motives, of course, and takes the day Shrek was born – which means that he was never born at all. Now Shrek has only 24 hours to find Fiona, make her fall in love with him and share true love’s kiss to break the deal.

There is nothing technically wrong with Shrek Forever After. But something crucial seems to be lacking from the film. And in the end, it leaves you feeling a little unsatisfied.

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