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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.