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Old 10-28-2019, 03:37 PM
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Dolemite Is My name (Eddie Murphy, Netflix movie)


I don't plan on spoiling anything in this thread. It's a bio-pic so there's not much to spoil anyway.

Anyone check this out? I saw Murphy talking about it on Colbert this week, and Netflix recommended it so I checked it out.

I was REALLY in to this movie. I've never seen any of the Dolemite films or any blaxploitation films but still this was very enjoyable! Rudy Ray Moore is a great real-life character, and the story of his career is very interesting.

The whole cast was great - aside from Murphy you've got Wesley Snipes and Mike Epps, Tituss Burgess (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Craig Robinson (The Office), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (who you've seen around), and Snoop Dogg, T.I. and Chris Rock get in on it.

Murphy did a great job and of course was meant for the role. You can see where he's been influenced by the Dolemite character.

I thought they did a good job of keeping Moore looking smart and sympathetic. He never really dipped in to a "buffoon" character.

The movie is much like The Disaster Artist but Moore is much more likeable and smart than Tommy Wiseau.
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:44 PM
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Watched it yesterday. Really enjoyed it. Eddie Murphy is still a charming character; still got the big smile and he's a better actor than he usually gets credit for. Happy he finally found an appropriate role for his singular talents.

ETA: also enjoyed that it was a positive character, and a positive story. The only real villain throughout was circumstance. Something inspiring and refreshing about that.

Last edited by DCnDC; 10-28-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:42 PM
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Enjoyable, laugh out loud funny in places, with an uplifting sorry of perseverance despite not the protagonist having nowhere near the talent he thought he possessed. The Mrs and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Far better than we were expecting.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:44 PM
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Just saw it and found it utterly captivating in many ways. The acting was wonderful, subtle, and beautifully captured ... so much emphasis on a barely suppressed smile here, a slightly raised eyebrow there. And it was a joy to see an era brought to life through a new lens - the clothes, cars, furnishings, etc. (I say a "new lens" because even though I was fairly sentient at the time, I was a white girl in New Hampshire, culturally pretty removed from what's depicted in the film.)

Having said all that, I was ultimately a little disappointed. It didn't really develop characters beyond what we learned about them in the first few minutes, there were hardly any female roles (and that little speech that Lady Bee delivers to Rudy toward the end feels extremely contrived), and the plot chugged along predictably with no surprises - although given that it was a biopic, the film can probably be forgiven for that.

My boyfriend had an interesting comment on the film. He loved how it showed that the Black community was responsible for Rudy's success - through THEIR choices, THEIR humor, THEIR purchase of tickets, and so on. Rudy's style/movie-making was not something from the outside they chose whether or not to accept, it was something they choose from within to celebrate. Toward the end, when it gets a little hero-worshippy (like the scene with Rudy and the awestruck boy), as if it was all just Rudy's doing and not so much because of the whole community wanting to have a voice, he objected.

Anyway, it's a sign of just how good the movie was that it's worth commenting on and thinking of ways it could be even better. I highly recommend it and think it is one of the best films I've seen in a very long time.

.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:54 PM
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Way, WAY back in the day, I remember seeing, as part of a kung fu triple feature at the $1 theater downtown, one of the "Dolemite" films (I can't recall which one, but I don't think it was the first one). And it was horrible. On many levels. That the fight scenes were terrible was not even the biggest issue. During that time so many horrible kung fu movies were being churned out, you kind of took it for granted that the fight scenes would be mediocre at best (one of the triple features was a Bruce Lee movie, so you knew you were going to get your $1 worth of great martial arts action - anything in the other movies was just gravy).

At the time what perplexed me the most was not understanding just what kind of movie this Dolemite thing was trying to be. Kung fu ? No. Blaxploitation. Kind of, but not really. Comedy ? Some, but only when you least expected it (and klunky at that) Action ? Certainly wanted to be, but with no real plot it was like just thrown in.

So I was intrigued when I heard about this "Dolemite is My Name" movie. And I have to say I loved it. Like the Dolemite movie I saw, it had all these diverse elements to it: cinderella bio-pic, self-made man, comedy, etc..
I particularly liked the "Bowfinger"-like elements of making his own movie.

I guess I didn't know what to expect, but thoroughly enjoyed what I got. Very pleasantly surprised.
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:12 PM
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I really enjoyed it. Just a couple of minor criticisms. To me Murphy wasnít completely in the character. Too much Eddie came through. I love Titus Burgess but he looked lost in this movie.

Wesley Snipes was the best part of the movie an interesting and funny take on the character. The actress who played Lady Reed was wonderful.

I knew about Dolemite before this but certainly not the whole story. He picked a great story to tell and from what Iíve read, relatively accurately.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:28 PM
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Cecil (not our Cecil!) did an interesting piece on Rudy Ray Moore on his GoodBadFlicks Youtube channel. Haven't seen the film yet but likely will, based on my enjoyment of that.

Link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PvnNmr7ylc

It's a shade over 26 minutes long.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:17 AM
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Wife and me loved the movie. We did have some Trouble with "getting" the Humor, because it was just not for us. But it is great to see how the black community went nuts for someone finally showing their kind of jokes .Rudy and his gang in Cinema and not giving one laugh to Jack Lemmon mirrored perfectly our first reaction to his standup Routine. That was really well done. Snipes delivered again - it makes me sad the he sometimes gets pigeonholed into his action roles, when he Shows has great range in movies like "To Wong Foo" and this.
Netflix is adding "the Disaster Artist" this month here in Germany, that will make for a nice double Feature
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:33 AM
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I was first introduced to the original Dolemite film in the late 90s and I've seen it countless times and absolutely love it. Obviously it's in the "so bad it's good" genre, but there are a LOT of laughs to be had watching it.

Was great to "see" some of the beloved scenes being filmed and to get a glimpse of the pre-Dolemite Rudy Ray Moore story, although it's always slightly weird seeing something "underground" that you're into become "mainstream" like this.

I did feel like Eddie Murphy could have been more bombastic -- maybe his acting was accurate to the real-life RRM, but it didn't quite capture the larger-than-life character of Dolemite. Most of the supporting cast was outstanding, although Keegan-Michael Key always just seemed like a character in a comedy skit with a fake mustache...he took me out of the movie more than anyone. He's a funny comedian, but he's not an actor IMO.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:05 PM
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I did feel like Eddie Murphy could have been more bombastic -- maybe his acting was accurate to the real-life RRM, but it didn't quite capture the larger-than-life character of Dolemite.
I loved it for all of the reasons already stated. I loved how it kept it as a pulls-onesself-up lets-put-on-a-show positivity. I loved how it created the time period and African-American culture without hammering on messages of societal racism.

Regarding SpeedwayRyan's comment, I kinda think that was a subtle artistic choice. Eddie wasn't playing Dolemite, he was playing RRM. Even when he was in the Dolemite character, he kept it grounded in RRM being Dolemite, instead of Eddie being Dolemite. I wouldn't be surprised to see Eddie get award nominations.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:30 PM
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mrAru and I watched this last night after he got home from work. We had both seen a couple of the original Dolamite flicks, and some of the other blaxsploitation films mentioned.

We both agree, it was a real blast from the past - the costuming and jewelry, the music, and within a reasonable distance the makeup [though Queen Bee's makeup in her green Movie Opening costuming, her eyes would have been done brighter, I know the really vibrant peacock eye was popular - I really remember the vivid BLUE eyes especially on us pasty white girls. I can remember shopping with friends in 74-75 at an African Pride sort of store, with animal print and dashiki clothing, huge gold hoops and Egyptian Nefertiti revival makeup [the dramatic eye, accented high cheekbones, deep burgundy lips. mrAru coming from California was more exposed to Black culture than a white girl from small town western NY and found it reasonable for LA of the time.

I thought that Eddie Murphy played Dolamite with great sympathy [I have to wonder if the kid in the last scene that he gave the cane to really happened, and if so what happened to him afterwards =) ] I liked Wesley Snipes not being the usual action hero, and Snoop Dogg as the DJ was fun.

AN all around good film, would watch again.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:38 PM
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I'm only passing familiar with Blaxploitation flicks. But knew of Dolomite and Rudy Ray Moore. So I enjoyed this flick in a sort of Ed Wood kind of way. I like Murphy's portrayal of RRM as the always optimistic hustler trying to make it big. I liked seeing his pre-Dolomite recording success and the way he took the time and effort to record the old Dolomite stories from the old-timers.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:39 PM
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The movie is much like The Disaster Artist but Moore is much more likeable and smart than Tommy Wiseau.
A much better comparison is ED WOOD (which was written by Larry Karaszewki & Scott Alexander, who also wrote this film). In both cases, a truly motley crew of characters, led by the singular vision of an unlikely filmmaking novice, are able to cobble together a movie beyond anyone's expectations.

While DOLEMITE doesn't have the poignant melancholy that the Bela Lugosi character brought to the Tim Burton film, it does tap deeply into the passion and enthusiasms of the African-American culture of the time and is very very funny. The ineptness and inexperience of the filmmakers makes for some obvious comedy, but the characters are really brought to life, as are the details of the era in the production design, music and costumes.

While the irony of Wood's biopic is that he never found anything more than infamy during his lifetime, DOLEMITE earns its uplift because it's about a community finding both a voice and an outlet when so few were part of the mainstream. The film is great fun and worth checking out.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:25 PM
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I agree with all the positive things said above. I'd heard of Dolomite but as a white girl growing up on a Kansas farm at the time of these events had never had the chance to see it, and I didn't know the story of it or Rudy. I was highly entertained and even moved by Dolomite Is My Name.

I don't have Netflix because I'm all about seeing movies in the theater, so I made a 2 1/2-hour round trip on public transportation to see this in the ONE theater in southside Chicago that played it. The movie was worth the trip, but I think it's sad that it couldn't have gotten a wider release. It deserved better.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:11 PM
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I don't have Netflix because I'm all about seeing movies in the theater, so I made a 2 1/2-hour round trip on public transportation to see this in the ONE theater in southside Chicago that played it. The movie was worth the trip, but I think it's sad that it couldn't have gotten a wider release. It deserved better.
That's become Netflix's MO, especially in a post-ROMA world.

(1) Make the festival rounds
(2) Limited targeted theatrical release
(3) Become Oscar eligible for an awards-track campaign
(4) Pull from cinemas and start streaming.

THE IRISHMAN and THE TWO POPES are next with that strategy. Maybe MARRIAGE STORY too.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:25 PM
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Great movie.

One thing though that bothered me when watching was the transition from not a very good comedian bombing as an opening act, with friends who didn't really believe in him even if they felt guilty about his feelings getting hurt when they yanked his chain too hard, to his sudden great chops with the character right off and all his friends rallying behind believing in him pretty much right away from there. Did he have another auntie named Mrs. Maisels or something?

Also his immediate attachment to Lady lane (Queen Bee) and somehow knowing she'd have the comedic timing and form seemed a bit just suddenly there. Because she had a good right cross and he felt for her story? Those venues likely had lots of people with those things ... why her?
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:47 AM
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That's become Netflix's MO, especially in a post-ROMA world.

(1) Make the festival rounds
(2) Limited targeted theatrical release
(3) Become Oscar eligible for an awards-track campaign
(4) Pull from cinemas and start streaming.

THE IRISHMAN and THE TWO POPES are next with that strategy. Maybe MARRIAGE STORY too.
I know. It depresses me to no end. They won't be playing any place where I can use my AMC A*List or Regal Unlimited. I think I'll be able to see Marriage Story because I know for sure it will play at the indie theater Music Box. There are posters for it at that theater. I'm a member so it's only $7.00 for me. If The Irishman or The Two Pope's don't play there too, I probably won't see them. They will almost certainly play at the same/only theater that played Roma last year (the Landmark) and I won't pay their crazy prices for their stupid small screens. I'm hoping they'll play at a Cinemark which has Discount Tuesdays. Roma didn't though, so I can't count on it.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:55 AM
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The Two Popes. Damn autocorrect and not noticing that apostrophe until after the deadline.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:49 AM
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The redlettermedia guys talking about the career of Rudy Ray Moore with a detailed critique of his film Petey Wheatstraw.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:04 AM
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Great movie.

One thing though that bothered me when watching was the transition from not a very good comedian bombing as an opening act, with friends who didn't really believe in him even if they felt guilty about his feelings getting hurt when they yanked his chain too hard, to his sudden great chops with the character right off and all his friends rallying behind believing in him pretty much right away from there. Did he have another auntie named Mrs. Maisels or something?

Also his immediate attachment to Lady lane (Queen Bee) and somehow knowing she'd have the comedic timing and form seemed a bit just suddenly there. Because she had a good right cross and he felt for her story? Those venues likely had lots of people with those things ... why her?
To me those two points are an example of good editing. The story notes his unhappy situation early on and then moves on. Otherwise, it's wasting screen time belaboring a point. Likewise, there's no time to show the unfolding relationship between him and her when it's not the central point of the film. So they have to have an instant bonding so they can move on to making the first Dolemite flick.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:59 AM
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To me those two points are an example of good editing. The story notes his unhappy situation early on and then moves on. Otherwise, it's wasting screen time belaboring a point. Likewise, there's no time to show the unfolding relationship between him and her when it's not the central point of the film. So they have to have an instant bonding so they can move on to making the first Dolemite flick.
I guess I just don't enjoy good editing, because those two things (especially the latter) were sore points for me as well.

The type of thing that makes me aware I'm watching a movie, and ironically takes me out of the movie.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:27 PM
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I guess itís a mileage may vary based on what you want out of a film experience. To me character growth and relationship development are the central part. If I just want to know what happened in his life I can read Wikipedia. Very good movie but the relative lack of those things made it a bit like Mickey Rooney and hey kids letís put on a show! Leaving the what made him tick as a person being going against his crappy father saying that he was nothing and nobody and never would be someone was a bit too superficial for my taste. And not convincingly acted for that part.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:42 PM
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I guess I just don't enjoy good editing, because those two things (especially the latter) were sore points for me as well.

The type of thing that makes me aware I'm watching a movie, and ironically takes me out of the movie.
Can't please everybody all the time, I guess.

Movies are always a trade-off of what to include and what to excise. And some viewers will always complain why cut this and keep that. I can usually forgive filmmakers cutting what may seem to be important to fit inside of the ~2 hour timeframe they're given. I enjoyed the pacing of Dolemite, so I'm okay with the choices made. But different things will take me out of pictures, too, some which you may not mind. To each, his/her own.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:25 PM
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I guess itís a mileage may vary based on what you want out of a film experience. To me character growth and relationship development are the central part. If I just want to know what happened in his life I can read Wikipedia. Very good movie but the relative lack of those things made it a bit like Mickey Rooney and hey kids letís put on a show! Leaving the what made him tick as a person being going against his crappy father saying that he was nothing and nobody and never would be someone was a bit too superficial for my taste. And not convincingly acted for that part.
I think a comparison I would make is to Rocketman. In that film I felt they spent too much time mooning about emphasizing angst, along with multiple scenes of the family berating him. In Dolemite they rely on the audience to get the point when they make the point and move on.

As for Queen Bee, I'm going to speculate that they wrote and filmed more scenes with her and their relationship. But once it came time to edit the film down, they ended up on the editing room floor. Yes, it would have been good to give us more of her. But like so many films, there were 100 male roles to 1 female role. They included her for historical accuracy, and representation, but keeping the film from slowing down and running to 3 hours, choices are made.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:25 PM
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At the risk of over-belaboring the point I don’t think this an editing for time issue as much as it is a writing and directing one. Same scene could have shown something of Lady Lane that stood out as talent and his recognition of it. They instead decided to go with an implication of his admiration and identification of her as someone being told they are worthless and fighting against it. And that just didn’t come off as real or ... enough.

The director or writer or both made a choice to tell more a chronology. The chronology was interesting enough that the movie was good but the same scenes better written and directed could have also had us feeling more about them.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:39 PM
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The director or writer or both made a choice to tell more a chronology. The chronology was interesting enough that the movie was good but the same scenes better written and directed could have also had us feeling more about them.
Eh, to each. I saw it as a nod to the old The Seven Samurai tale - collecting the team, with the writer, director, Queen Bee, each one got a few scenes to establish them, then on with the story.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:14 PM
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...
The director or writer or both made a choice to tell more a chronology. The chronology was interesting enough that the movie was good but the same scenes better written and directed could have also had us feeling more about them.
Yes, that's true. They could have slipped in some more character development while advancing the plot. But I think the way they went was fine, too.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:05 AM
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I loved it for all of the reasons already stated. I loved how it kept it as a pulls-onesself-up lets-put-on-a-show positivity. I loved how it created the time period and African-American culture without hammering on messages of societal racism.

Regarding SpeedwayRyan's comment, I kinda think that was a subtle artistic choice. Eddie wasn't playing Dolemite, he was playing RRM. Even when he was in the Dolemite character, he kept it grounded in RRM being Dolemite, instead of Eddie being Dolemite. I wouldn't be surprised to see Eddie get award nominations.
Maybe it's just because I've seen the original film so many times and I'm so familiar with the delivery...I didn't expect Eddie to play RRM like Dolemite, but when he's literally reenacting scenes from the film or doing the stage act (playing RRM playing Dolemite), I expected him to shoot for "Dolemite" levels. That over-the-top delivery is a big part of what makes the original film fun to watch, and showing him "turning it on" when the cameras started rolling or when he stepped on stage would have made it clear that RRM was playing a character and that he wasn't Dolemite in real life.
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