Several factors contributed to Eddie Murphy losing his surefire Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dreamgirls to Alan Arkin; number one on the list may well be the voting-period reminder that Murphy usually spends his time in crass comedies like Norbit (Dreamworks). Murphy appears in multiple unfunny roles here (as an egregious Asian stereotype to rival Mickey Rooney in Breakfast At Tiffany's, as a grotesque fat woman named Rasputia, and as the mush-mouthed eponymous character), all in a seeming effort to hide his embarrassment behind Rick Baker's makeup effects…

There's a lot to love about CHiPs: The Complete First Season (Turner): the stale cut-downs between motorcycle-cop partners Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, the disco soundtrack, the long parking scenes, and the thrill-free car chases where no one ever gets more than six car-lengths away from their quarry. But the best part of CHiPs? The shapeless stories, which ramble from speeding ticket to grand theft auto, rarely bothering to connect the dots…

The Pang brothers, Danny and Oxide, have scourged the festival midnight-movie circuit for years with their cheap derivations of Hong Kong action cinema (Bangkok Dangerous) and J-horror (The Eye). So it doesn't come as a surprise that their Hollywood debut, The Messengers (Sony), cobbles together a pastiche of horror films past—The Grudge, The Sixth Sense, The Shining, and many more—without asserting a single original idea of its own. Extra points off for the most obvious twist in recent memory…

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In the documentary Fired! (Shout Factory), Annabelle Gurwitch uses Woody Allen's decision to drop her from one of his shows as the impetus for a nationwide quest to find other people who can share her pain. She mainly talks with show folk, since they're the ones who get canned the most, and they're the people she knows best. But it's kind of spurious to compare Fisher Stevens' inability to keep a sitcom role with the struggles of Detroit autoworkers. Fired! started life as a theatrical production, with a rotating cast of celebrity fire-ees; then it became a book. In this, its third iteration, the story of Gurwitch's humiliation and how it relates to the world at large has started to look pretty petty.