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Life (1999)

Director: Ted Demme     Starring: Eddie Murphy Martin Lawrence
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Learn more about Life:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40116294
UPC: 025192055928
UPC 14: 00025192055928
Category Keywords: Crime  Prison  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Comedy
Fast talking rayford gibson and the conservative claude banks are accidentally teamed up to become the funniest odd couple east of the mississippi. When they travel south on a bootlegging run for some quick cash and get placed at the scene of a crime, their comical misfortunes land them right in front of the judge.

"Two hours of laughter!  CNN Headline News
"[Martin] Lawrence and [Eddie] Murphy make an entertaining team.   Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Editor's Note
Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence team up for a prison comedy underlined by serious social commentary. Rayford Gibson (Murphy), an opportunistic con man, and Claude Banks (Lawrence), an ambitious bank teller, are complete opposites who cross paths in 1930s Harlem. In order to pay off their debts to a local crime lord, the mismatched pair travel into the Deep South on a moonshine delivery only to be framed for murder by a racist Southern cop. Sentenced to life in a Mississippi state prison, the bickering duo spend the next 60 years trading barbs and planning their escape, at the same time forming an unlikely but touching friendship.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Audio, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Universal
Video Release Date Release Date: 5/9/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 119 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1999
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 20559
Video UPC UPC: 00025192055928
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Eddie Murphy
Video Cast Info Martin Lawrence
Video Cast Info Ted Demme - Director
Video Cast Info Jeffrey Wolf - Editor
Video Cast Info Karen Kehela - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Wyclef Jean - Musical Score
Video Cast Info Eddie Murphy - Producer
Video Cast Info Matthew Stone - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Robert Ramsey - Screenplay

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"...[The stars'] rapport is the very soul of LIFE....It may be Lawrence's [best film]..." 10/22/1999 pp.92-3

New York Times
"...Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Murphy are an entertaining team..." 04/16/1999 p.E9

Box Office
"...LIFE is a well-written, beautifully cast and very funny buddy movie that perfectly matches the talents of its two leads..." 06/01/1999 p.68

Chicago Sun-Times
"...The movie is ribald, funny and sometimes sweet, and well acted by Murphy, Lawrence and a strong supporting cast..." 04/16/1999 p.31

Apollo Leisure Guide 0 of 10
[Eddie] Murphy and [Martin] Lawrence both give substance to roles as innocents sentenced to life in prison for a murder they didn't commit. Claude Banks (Lawrence) plays an honest New York bank teller taken in by the small-time hustler Ray Gibson (Murphy). After they run afoul of a club owner named Spanky (Rick James), they find themselves trying to pay him back smuggling hooch in Mississippi. The cocky northerners get more than they bargained for with the southern hicks, eventually being framed for murder. The film follows them through sixty years in prison. There are, needless to say, some oddball characters in the big house. And through it all, Banks harbours the predictable resentment toward this so-called friend of his who is responsible for his sudden change in lifestyle. While the film is funny, it's not hilarious. And that's as it should be. Director Ted Demme (Monument Ave., The Ref, Beautiful Girls) does another fine job. The look of Life is authentic and he includes a sixties montage that adds depth and sadness... [Regardless of some weaknesses,] I liked Life. As in Murphy's Nutty Professor, special make-up effects artist Rick Baker has done an awesome job. Murphy and Lawrence are perfectly believable both as sixtysomethings and ninetysomethings. In fact, I couldn't help but wish we'd see a whole movie with the two of them as Grumpy Old Men. - Guy MacPherson

The New York Times 0 of 10
Life packs Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence off to a Mississippi state prison and lets them trade quips while doing hard labor. It's hard to miss the basic unfunniness of this situation. (Nobody who saw last year's prize-winning prison documentary The Farm: Angola U.S.A. is liable to be in stitches.) But this mild-mannered comedy proves more likable than it sounds. Much of the humor springs from the curmudgeonliness developed by Claude Banks (Lawrence) and Ray Gibson (Murphy) over 60-odd years of needling each other. The two actors have this down to an art form by the time they are elaborately aged and grizzled by Rick Baker's makeup effects and have reached the point of arguing about Jell-O... Murphy in particular develops a more substantial personality than might be expected here. As he evolves affectingly from a fast-talking hotshot into an old man with the growl and gait of a venerable blues singer, he seems to be reaching for a greater acting opportunity than this lightweight material can offer. It's a performance that feels solid even when the film is at its most formulaic, or when it vacillates strangely. At one point, Life goes straight from a comedic moment to a sentimental dance to a suicide. At another, one montage spans 28 years by mixing up the characters' fates and important historical milestones in the manner of a self-important music video. Lawrence and Murphy make an entertaining team. And they are surrounded by a supporting cast that makes the prison setting more pleasant than it has any right to be. While the place seems to grow so cushy that it's only a matter of time before the inmates take up golf, actors including Brent Jennings and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. turn stock roles into fairly fresh ones... As out-takes over the closing credits indicate (a cell phone ringing in 1932?), the actors seem to have had a good time. - Janet Maslin

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Murphy,Eddie
Product attributeLabel:   Mca Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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