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Life (1999)

Eddie Murphy , Martin Lawrence , Ted Demme  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatunde, Ned Beatty, Bernie Mac
  • Directors: Ted Demme
  • Writers: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone
  • Producers: Eddie Murphy, Brian Grazer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 1999
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783237367
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,970 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Spotlight on Location
  • Feature Commentary with Director Ted Demme
  • Outtakes
  • Director's Edits
  • Music Highlights
  • Rock Land/Interscope Soundtrack Presentation
  • Universal Showcase
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • DVD-ROM Features

  • Editorial Reviews

    Eddie Murphy is the fast talking con-artist Rayford Gibson and Martin Lawrence is the conservative bank teller Claude Banks. The two are accidentally teamed up to become the funniest "odd couple" east of the Mississippi. In an effort to pay off Ray's debt and restore Claude's reputation, they travel south on a bootlegging run for some quick cash. There is no limit to their comical misfortune as they are placed at the scene of a crime and their mistaken identity lands them right in front of the judge. This hysterical comedy gives a whole new meaning to friends for life.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    Yes, this movie has plenty of funny moments, but there is a very real and sometimes rather touching story that takes precedence over everything that happens. You can't get through the most serious of situations without the palliative of laughter now and again, and Life actually does tell a serious story. Eddie Murphy proves once again that he is a great actor, and Martin Lawrence was surprisingly good as the more serious of two men sentenced to life in prison for a murder they didn't commit. One night in 1932, fate brought Rayford Gibson (Murphy), a smooth-talking hustler with big dreams, and Claude Banks (Lawrence) a respectable fellow about to start a good job, together in a New York nightclub. For entirely different reasons, both guys have to face the displeasure of the club owner's wrath; and so it is that Gibson and Banks end up going on a bootlegging run to Mississippi. One dead man later, and both men are sentenced to life in prison for murder. Since Banks blames Gibson for getting him into all this mess, there relationship varies in quality as the years go by, but gradually a real friendship develops between them. They try to escape several times but end up spending basically their whole lives in prison. Along the way, we meet with several sub-plots involving some of their fellow inmates, but the movie never strays far from the lives of Gibson and Banks. The passage of time is marked by clips of historical events, and some excellent makeup works makes both men look old and worn out as they advance into their senior years.
    This is not a prison story of hopelessness, however. While no pardon ever comes their way, justice has a way of willing out eventually, and the final ten minutes of the film are just terrific.
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    14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best comedies of '99 October 27, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    I've seen "Life" twice thus far, and I must concede that it has to be one of the best films to ever cast Eddie Murphy. He and Martin Lawrence are just as emotionally poignant as they are downright hysterical in this memorable comedy/drama of two Prohibition-era guys from Harlem NYC who inadvertently become framed for murder in the Deep South while on a bootlegging run for the local crime boss they each owe debts to back home. They are soon enough sentenced to life imprisonment in a Mississippi chain gang where they share a "Felix and Oscar"-esque relationship that spans 65 years through thick and thin times (including numerous escape attempts). However in the end, they literally become friends for life as they come to terms with their imprisonment. The make-up done by 6-time Oscar winner Rick Baker to transform Murphy & Lawrence from young to old over the course of so many years is the true showstopper of "Life". I wouldn't be the least surprised if Mr. Baker garners Oscar #7 come 2000; he and Murphy have been quite a dynamic duo since "Coming to America". A definite must-see!
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    If you're expecting a staight-up comedy movie, then you probably will be disappointed. This movie mixes drama and comedy in the most perfect way. Anyone that says this movie is not good, obviously missed the whole point of the movie. The movie takes place during the 1930's...the set and costumes were great. I feel that the chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence was superb. Kudos to Rick James as his roll of 'Spanky'...he played the role well.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A movie worth watching! January 10, 2005
    Format:VHS Tape
    Definitely a wonderful movie, Life, brings to the screen the story of two New Yorkers, during Prohibition and the Great Depression, as they make their way to a small rural town in Mississippi, in order to stock up on some moonshine, which in turn is to be delivered to a NYC speakeasy.

    The setting is the early 30's, specifically 1932, and it is a film about human relations, hope and second chances, but most importantly about how trust, friendship, endurance, and inner strength, can lead out of situations, which might seem bleak or desperate at first glance.

    On the negative side, the only setback was the scene with the baby. They could have found another way to show the strong sense of solidarity that had developed.

    Needless to say, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and the rest of the cast have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least!

    The film combines drama and humor, making it one of the best of its kind, and one that can be watched over and over again.

    Life is sure to provide for an evening's entertainment.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Life April 6, 2010
    In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape. I found this movie funny and inventive. Eddie Murphy and his worthy partner, Martin Lawrence successfully produce a comedy worth watching. "Life", you won't regret watching it.
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