Is Eddie Murphy's career rising or falling?

How quickly careers change in Hollywood: When Dr. Dolittle (available on video today) played on the big screen this summer, Eddie Murphy was on a roll. The family film about talking animals surprised everyone by becoming the summer’s fourth-highest grossing movie ($138.1 million), beating out heavyweights like ”Godzilla” and ”Lethal Weapon 4.” Then came Murphy’s scene-stealing voice-over in Disney’s ”Mulan,” another $100 million movie, which seemed to free the comic actor of the career slump that followed flops like ”Vampire in Brooklyn.” Enter Fall ’98 and ”Holy Man,” the disappointing comedy that cost $60 million to produce and has yet to gross $12 million. True, the veteran comedian’s miraculous career resurrection isn’t completely undone. Still, it wouldn’t hurt if the ”Dolittle” video (EW Grade: B+) performs like gangbusters — and Eddie goes back to being more selective with future film projects.

Here are some other videos available this week:

  • The Negotiator Samuel L. Jackson is a Chicago police-force hostage negotiator who gets framed for murder in this hodgepodge of ”The Fugitive,” ”Dog Day Afternoon,” and ”Die Hard.” Also starring Kevin Spacey. (EW Grade: B-)
  • Little Boy Blue Ryan Phillippe (I Know What You Did Last Summer) struggles with the wrath of his disturbed father (John Savage) in this bleak drama. (EW Grade: A-)
Dr. Dolittle
  • Movie
  • 85 minutes