on December 17, 2001
This is one of my all time-favorite African-American movies. First of all, Eddie Murphy is hilarious (in all of his roles). Arsenio Hall is a perfect foil for Eddie's hijinks. Eddie let his full range of talent show in this film; he played an innocent person who grows into a mature adult right in front of our eyes and realizes that there is a price to pay for love; whether or not you are born into royalty. This is one of those movies that a person watches over and over again and ends up reciting the lines as the movies is playing. James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair are wonderful in this movie as well as the King and Queen. Madge Sinclair was one of the world's best actresses and I miss her greatly. She tells James Earl Jones "put a sock in it, Geoffrey, the boy is in love." Nobody can deliver that line to a black king, except a black queen. John Amos, (whom I have loved since Good Times), is a great actor as well. He plays the part of a black businessman so well, and as a father he takes no stuff off of the King. He tells James Earl Jones, "I will break my foot off in your royal _____); now that's a ghetto father for you. James Earl Jones knew where to draw the line with Cleo McDowell.
I also like the fact that the Kingdom of Zamunda was filled with kindness, and the people were happy, the royal family was truly wealthy and had everything. You know, this movie is truly a fantasy and helps us escape from our everyday lives. Just to see the Queen and King eating breakfast and talking to their son on a "speaker phone" because the table is so long, is funny. The King and Queen taking their entourage to Queens when they received the telegram to send $1 million to Semmi who had spent up all his pocket change is one of my favorite scenes. That music that is playing during the sequence when the entourage arrives in Queens is so wonderful, moving and swirling, I am buying the soundtrack just to get that song. When I get married, I would like that song to play as my "court" walks down the aisle before me.
All the cameos in this movie are great as well. Nobody can play a doped-up thug like Samuel L. Jackson; Samuel is a natural at playing a killer. Also, Louie Anderson was funny, so was Eriq LaSalle, and Alison Dean.
Now the guys in the barbershop have to be taken from classic characters in the black community. In all the black neighborhoods I have been in during my whole life; there has got to be a black barbershop full of men eating, talking stuff, and cutting hair. When "Clarence" says that Martin Luther King, Jr. ran up to him and hit him in the chest, I just crack up, cause Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prophet of non-violence. And, Eddie Murphy playing a white man is too funny, and a Jewish white man on top of that. Now, that takes creativity; and comic genuis, and Eddie's got it. And, Arsenio's portrayal of Rev. Brown is right on target, there is always some country preacher in the neighborhood that comes to every event, eats up the food, and blesses the weddings, blesses the children, and buries the dead.
One of my favorite parts is when Lisa tells Prince Akeem, she cannot marry him; because he lied to her about his identity. That made Akeem grow up very fast, and learn that nobody; no matter who he is, can buy love.
The clothes in this movie are also wonderful. Deborah Nadoolman did a great job showing how royalty would dress in a foreign country where it is warm, Also, how they would dress in Queens during the winter; those fur coats Madge Sinclair had on were fantastic and so were the suits worn by the King himself. His coat of an entire lion's skin was dramatic and the diamond eyes on that lion's head were cool.
The ending this cinderella story was great, love did really win out in the end.
Well, I could go on and on about how much I liked this movie but, I am going to stop now. Get this movie and keep it in your video collection so you can watch it and laugh over and over.
on March 13, 2004
No doubt at all that, 'Coming to America,' is one of Eddie Murphy's finest movies of all. A true comedy classic, this film will have you rolling from start to finish at the zany characters and performance throughout.
The DVD itself, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. As far as extras go the only ammenity offered is 1 lousy trailer. Also, the video transfer itself is far from pristine and the Dolby 5.1 audio track sounds like it could still be sweetend up. Sure, i suppose the fact that this DVD was authored back in 1999 may explain why the disc comes across as a bit primitive in terms of bells and whistles, but with that being said, it's high time for a proper re-release to do this comedy classic some audio-visual justice!
on January 19, 2005
A charming, polished and original comedy featuring a great performance from Murphy and some memorable laughs. Some of my favorite scenes are:
- when they all get up from the leather couch and there is soul glow grease all over it from where their heads were ("Just let your Soul GLLLOOOWW!!").
- when Samuel L. Jackson robs the McDowell's restaurant that Murphy and Hall are working at. The ensuing scene between Jackson and Murphy is classic.
- when Murphy gets his hair cut off in the barbershop (Snip. "that'll be 10 dollars").
- that "She's Your Queen to Be" song.
There are so many more scenes that I love that I could mention. A must-see!
on September 16, 2007
Eddie Murphy has made many great movies (Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places & The Distinguished Gentleman) but Coming to America is his very best. This movie is so funny and I never get tired of watching it!
on July 29, 2000
Hilarious tale of an African prince named Akeem (Murphy) and his royal servant (Hall) who head off to the United States in search of the perfect Queen. After deciding to go to New York City (they saw that the city had a borough named "Queens"), Akeem becomes a pauper in order to woo the perfect woman (Shari Headley) to become his wife.
Although the film had many pre and post-production problems (director Landis almost walked off the set due to a fight with Murphy; Murphy was successfully sued by columnist Art Buchwald for "stealing" his idea of an African prince who goes in search of a wife) the final production is pure comic genius at it's best. Undeniabley, Murphy is the king of a thousand faces. Just like his success in doing multiple roles in such films at the "Nutty Professor," in this film he plays 4 roles.
Besides Akeem, Murphy is hysterical as the barbershop owner, the old Jewish man who frequents the barbershop, and finally as the talentless singer Randy Jackson (who performs with his band "Sexual Chocolate"). Makeup artists Rick Baker does a spectacular job as always when creating the different personas.
Shot mostly in New York, this happens to be Murphy's last great comedy during his years at Paramount. Most of his later films such as "Harlem Nights," "Distinguished Gentleman," and "Another 48 Hours," were not big box office hits. With a recent string of hits produced by Imagine/Universal, Murphy is back to his comedic genius.
Keep an eye out for a pre-"ER" Eriq LaSalle as Daryl, the Soul-Glo King, and Samuel L. Jackson as a guy who holds-up the McDowell's (not "McDonald's"--watch the film to understand why) restaurant. Other celebrity players such as James Earl Jones, Louie Anderson, and Frankie Faison give the film more comic momemts. Also, several band members of the great funk group "Cameo," appear as members of the band "Sexual Chocolate".
Before Martin Lawrence, there was Eddie Murphy. Check out this film to see one of the greatest comic geniuses at work.
on December 31, 2004
Prince Akeem has his every need, and I mean every need, cared for by dozens of hand maidens, all extremely sexy godesses. He also finds that his wife has been selected from a neighboring country. As Prince, and future King, he decides that he should be able to have a bride of his choosing.
He embarks on quest to find a wife, and takes Semmi his best friend, along for the ride. He chooses New York City, and even better Queens. He finds a seedy apartment, job at a fast food emporium. He quietly assumes the role of a commoner, totally dropping his Prince status.
They go to clubs to find women, which include other roles by both Murphy and Hall. The Ugly woman? played by Arsenio is one of the best scenes. Some of the women they get are great characters. One who worships the devil, one who wants 5 hours, seperated twins, the re-incanation of Joan Of Arc, twin rappers, video queen talking machine. They go to a Black Awareness rally hosted by Arsenio.
The restaurant scene is priceless, with the battle between McDowells, and McDonalds. "They have the Golden Arches, Mine is the Golden Arks. They have the Big Mac, we have the Big Mics!" Priceless.
Finally he sets his eyes on the daughter of the owner of the restaurant that they work in, played amiably by Shari Headley.
He has to compete with the arrogant airhead that she's already with. Akeem takes her to a museum and recoils at his own picture on a display of Zamunda. They go to a basketball game, and this drink vendor lies prostate in front of him, his beloved Prince Akeem, and manages to get a picture with him.
Finally, King Jaffe Joffer, well played by James Earl Jones, comes to New York City after a call for pocket change by Semmi. The rest is up to you to see.
Watch for the countless dual roles played by both Eddie and Arsenio. The barbershop, the dates at the club, and others are al well played by both. Samuel L. Jackson is downright convincing as the would-be armed robber. Louie Anderson is delightful as the employee who started off in clean-up, then went to lettuce, and is looking forward to fries. In a year or two he could be assistant manager, classic Louie.
The best cameo, to me, was when Prince Akeem hands a wad of money to two homeless guys in a park. It turns out that the bums are Randolph and Mortimer Duke in a classic tie-in to another Eddie Murphy winner. "Mortimer, we're back!" Don Ameche, and Ralph Belamy reprise their great roles.
on October 5, 2002
rule number one about this movie, is DONT WATCH THE TRAILERS FIRST! they give away ALL the funny parts! this is an extremely funny movie! eddie murphy and arsenio hall at their best! what a great life this prince has: beautiful naked BLACK girls that bathe you! and a luxuriuous life. anyways besides the black naked girls, this movie is extremely funny! espeicially how the "prince" doesnt know much about the american language. but if u watch the trailer first, on dvd, then it will make the movie not funny anymore. this movie is even better than eddie murphy's newer videos, well exception of the Dr.Dolittle movies.
this is a great movie, and i personally, took this movie to mind, and thought HEY, this is a good way to check if a girl is a GOLD DIGGER before you ask them out! Pretending to be poor instead of pretending to be rich, an EXCELLENT idea! this movie made me laugh through out the whole movie. and i especially like the part when they talked about boxers, that was funny.
on September 13, 2011
I've read some say that there's no significant upgrade from DVD on this release. I have to disagree.
I remember so clearly at the introduction of the DVD format the dance sequence from the Royal Engagement (sheeeee's yooooooor QUEEEEEEEEN to-hoo beeeeeeeeee!!) was demoed in stores to show off the added detail and color of the new format, in widescreen no less, and I remember being very impressed with it. While the jump from DVD to blu-ray isn't as exciting and NEW (we've sort of adjusted to how amazing video quality can be in HD by now, perhaps even been spoiled) as the jump from VHS to DVD (it was really like seeing so many movies I'd grown up with for the first time), the added detail, clarity and depth are all indicative of the vastly improved quality. I did feel like I was seeing so much in this film, one I've seen countless times since its release, for the first time.
Prior to my viewing this movie on blu ray over the weekend it had been a few years since I have watched it in its entirety, catching it at various times and from various points on tv notwithstanding, and I must say that it really does not seem to hold up. Eddie Murphy is kind of "Eddie Murphy, Superstar" here, not nearly as uninhibited and edgy as he was in, say 48 Hours or Trading Places, a freeing that even hiding behind latex and makeup and wigs couldn't allow. he did seem to find better success later on hiding behind special effects, in The Nutty Professor for one, but in all there just isn't much of a plot or story to this movie, it's kind of scattershot, and then all of a sudden it's over. Even the transition to the end credits is jarring and seems rushed.
There's so much talent that went into this production, there are some genuinely hilarious (CLASSICALLY hilarious) sequences, and the picture and audio quality are definitely an improvement over its "standard def" predecessor, so I would have to recommend it, especially if you're a long-time fan of the movie. I mean, who HASN'T seen this?
on March 15, 2006
"Coming to America" is one of the best movies starring Eddie Murphy. It is a timeless classic that has kept viewers laughing for almost two decades with no end in sight.
Eddie Murphy plays as an African prince, Akeem of Zamunda, who goes to Queens in New York, to find a wife who loves him for what he is and not because he is a prince. He needs a wife that he can respect for her intelligence. This is a break from the tradition of his country. In Queens, he comes across many women who do not impress him until one day he meets someone at a church rally (Shari Headley playing as Lisa McDowell) who is beautiful, kind and sincere. From then on, an exciting comedy develops where Akeem manages to snatch the beautiful Lisa from the arrogant and thoughtless Darryl Jenks (Eriq La Salle) with whom she was already having a relationship
This movie shows how versatile and brilliant Eddie Murphy and his co-star Arsenio Hall are as they play many roles and characters with makeup disguising them, feats they accomplished with unparallel expertise. Their talents and innovativeness are evident in the brilliant playing of various characters of different races and gender, which transforms a rather silly plot into an unforgettable and hilarious film.
For me the funniest scenes are the guys in the barbershop but also includes various other moments such as Darryl as the jerry curled boyfriend of Lisa and the lady in the bar who says that she has a secret, she worships the devil.
This is an excellent film, well produced and flows beautifully from one scene to the next. The movie has a brilliant cast of African Americans. This is Eddie Murphy at his best with witty dialogue, good jokes and romance. If you like Eddie Murphy, and you like comedy, then this is a film not to be missed.
on September 30, 2004
I first saw Coming to America when I was 15. I didn't think much of it then. Seeing it again at 31 I've come to appreciate how wonderful this movie is. However, before you watch this film you must watch "Trading Places" or you'll miss the best joke in the film.
What makes Coming to America work aren't the big laughs, it's the small moments. In one sequence later in the film, Eddie Murphy cleverly references his early film "Trading Places" In the scene where Akeem gives the money to the homeless people; we think nothing of it. But if you look closely at the men you'll notice the two millionaires from "Trading Places." Hilarious and smart! This made the movie for me. I'm sure there are a ton of other jokes in the film most people missed as clever as this.
The story about an African prince who goes to Queens New York to well, find a queen is well written and flows beautifully. The 16-year-old jokes are very funny and smart. (The Soul Glo ad and jokes about jerricurls were so spot on it's not funny!) Eddie Murphy puts together an amazing cast of African-American performers that all give great performances here. James Earl Jones is great as the African King, and John Amos steals scenes as the Father of Lisa McDowell, (a great Shari Headley) the woman Eddie Murphy wants to marry. Murphy's chemistry with Arsenio Hall is perfect and their comic timing is right in every scene. Comparing Coming to America to the current crop of horrid unwatchable African-American films produced today (The Cookout, Never Die Alone, She Hate Me, Breakin' All The Rules) they don't make them this GOOD anymore. This film has gotten better with age. I wish the studios would make African-American films smart, positive and funny as this.
In this film there are a ton of future stars in small parts. Look closely and you'll see Garcelle Beauvais (Jaime Foxx, NYPD Blue) Louie Anderson (Life with Louie, Family Feud) Samuel L. Jackson (Too many credits to list) Eriq la Salle (ER, Drop Squad) If you look in the crowd at the Black rally, you'll see extras Shawn Wayans and Reggie Hayes (Girlfriends). Each give their all working with what they have to make the film the best it could be.
I love this movie! Buy this NOW. You won't be disappointed.