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Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming 2 America’- Movie Review

by Betty Halsell

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Coming 2 America unearthed bejeweled life lessons, sewn in with the fabrics of true love. It touched on blended families, racism, feminism, and just a touch of true passion and diplomatic change. Paramount Pictures, New Republic Pictures, Eddie Murphy Productions, and  Misher Films carefully groomed this sequel to sit on the throne as the next American classic.

Coming 2 America is the true royal oat to the 1988 narrative. The movie picks up 30 years later, back in Zamunda. The future king Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his beloved wife, Lisa (Shari Headley), arise to their three daughters wishing them a happy anniversary. It is important for there to be a male heir to carry out the patriotic rule of the country in royal families, this was something Prince Akeem assumed he failed at accomplishing. However, to his surprise, a royal oat was sewn, Lavelle Johnson (Jermaine Fowler) sprouted back in the land of Queens.

Prince Akeem soon becomes king, and with the new crown, comes new weight. Coming 2 America presented real scenarios like a blended family, Queen Lisa and Levelle’s mother (Leslie Jones) were vastly different but found common ground.

The movie touched on the rule of tradition that overshadows the change for the future, as Meeka (Kiki Lane) eldest royal daughter, watched her dreams of being Queen fade away as soon as there was talk of a son. Women in Zamunda spoke of owning their own business, but solemnly knew according to Zamunda Law, it was not possible. The sequel presented each problem smoothly – they were serious issues, without political heaviness.

Getting into the design and feel of Zamunda, one could assume the wealth of this country is on the highest scale. They pulled from both African and African-American cultures. The entrances of General Izzy (Wesley Snipes) paralleled ‘stepping’ from Black fraternities/sororities (think stomp the yard every time General Izzy entered the scene.) The costumes were curated by Oscar award-winning Ruth E. Carter, who was the designer behind Wakanda’s sense of fashion.

Although there wasn’t an official breakdown of what African tribes inspired Carter, she is known to pull from South Africa, using African lace, symbols, and their traditional headdress as statement pieces. Each character presented a unique style, Prince Lavelle interpreted the royal stride and attire to fit his personal taste of swag and cadence. All the intricate nuances that make up Black culture were joined with the vivacious origins of African heritage, which was a beautiful marriage of its own. Also, the athletic brand Puma was spotted making their renditions of African-inspired gear in the movie.

The sequel upheld the presence of being over the top like the 1980s original, with a dash of new flavor, giving it a different soulful bite. There were quick peeks into places that made the classic movie the crowned jewel that it is, such as McDowell’s fast food eatery, adding “healthier options.” The ingenious characters Murphy created were peppered throughout the film effortlessly.

Nostalgic cameo appearances throughout the journey were made the singing royal announcer Oha (Paul Bates), Morris and Clarence from the barbershop(Arsenio Hall and Murphy), the womanizing pastor Reverend Brown (Hall), the arranged betrothed Imani Izzy (Vanessa Bell Calloway), and Randy “Sexual Chocolate” Watson (Murphy) all played into the new story of royalty.

Love expanded as the root of the story, planting different seeds where it was needed. The affection between a son and his mother who raised him, the love of tradition and family honor, and how love can also be the seed for change. Throughout the movie, Prince Akeem once again evolves to another version of himself, bringing along his country to a new level of progression.

The credits had a few sparks as well, with much-wanted bloopers and an unexpected musical artist doing the cover of the endearing serenade, ” She’s Your Queen.” Much like the 1988 original, the sequel was light-hearted but tackled some of the most tangible issues that America is facing today, Coming 2 America brought back a much-needed smile and feel-good reality that the nation is looking to get back to.

Available March 5 exclusively on Amazon Prime.

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Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy Makes a Cameo in ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’

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Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy has made a memorable cameo in the latest installment of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’ Bria, who is the oldest daughter of the iconic comedian and actor, plays a police officer who arrests her father’s character, Axel Foley, in the film.

‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ marks the return of Murphy as the wisecracking Detroit detective Axel Foley, 30 years after the release of Beverly Hills Cop III. The film, directed by Mark Molloy, sees Foley back in Beverly Hills to help his estranged daughter, played by Taylour Paige, who is in trouble with some dangerous individuals.

Bria’s appearance in the film is a family affair, as her husband, Michael Xavier, also stars in the movie as a police officer.

Eddie Murphy, Bria Murphy, Michael Xavier, Nicole Murphy/ Photo: John Solano Photography

Eddie Murphy said his daughter’s role in the film was a surreal experience. In an interview, he shared that the scene where his son-in-law tases him in the neck was particularly memorable, especially since it happened shortly after his daughter’s wedding.

The movie, released on Netflix on July 3, 2024, has received mixed reviews. However, Eddie Murphy’s performance and his daughter’s cameo have been highlighted as some of the film’s most enjoyable moments.

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Donald Glover Unveils Trailer for New Movie ‘Bando Stone & the New World’

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Donald Glover's 'Bando Stone & The New World

Donald Glover has released the trailer for his feature film directorial debut, ‘Bando Stone & The New World.’

Glover stars as the titular character, Bando Stone, a former pop star who has lost everything in the apocalypse. He is joined by Jessica Allain, who plays a mysterious woman who crosses paths with Bando.

The new trailer offers a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where Glover’s character, Bando Stone, a former pop star, tries to survive in a desolate landscape. The video features imagery of abandoned cities and eerie forests and hints at a story that blends science fiction, drama, and survival thriller elements.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the film is the soundtrack, composed by Glover himself under his musical alias, Childish Gambino. The trailer itself features a snippet of the song ‘Lithonia,’ which will be the lead single from the film’s soundtrack.

The soundtrack will be Glover’s final album under the Childish Gambino name.

Watch the trailer above.

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‘Picture This’: Simone Ashley Stars In New Rom-Com From Prime Video

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Simone Ashley

‘Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley is set to star in a brand new movie on Prime Video titled ‘Picture This.’

Directed by Prarthana Mohan (The Miseducation of Bindu) and written by Nikita Lalwani, Picture This is based on the Australian Original movie Five Blind Dates by Shaung Hu and Nathan Ramos-Park.

The film follows the story of Pia (Simone Ashley), a single photographer who runs a failing studio in London with her best friend, Jay (Luke Fetherston). As her sister Sonal (Anoushka Chadha) prepares for her wedding, Pia is told by a spiritual guru at the engagement party that she will meet the love of her life in the next five dates she goes on. This prediction is music to her family’s ears, and they begin setting her up on a series of increasingly desperate blind dates.

The film’s official synopsis reads, “Single and without a man on the horizon, Pia runs a failing photography studio in London with her best friend, Jay. As her sister Sonal prepares to get married and her mother Laxmi urges the resolutely independent Pia to partner up, a spiritual guru at Sonal’s engagement party predicts Pia will meet the love of her life among the next five dates she goes on.”

The cast also includes Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Phil Dunster (Ted Lasso), Nikesh Patel (London Has Fallen), Adil Ray (Citizen Khan), Sindhu Vee (Matilda: The Musical), Anoushka Chadha (You), Kulvinder Ghir (Bend It Like Beckham) and Luke Fetherston (Still Up).

Simone Ashley, who plays the lead role of Pia, is best known for her role as Kate Sharma in ‘Bridgerton‘ and Indira in the 2023 movie ‘The Little Mermaid.’ She has also starred in ‘Sex Education,’ ‘Broadchurch,’ and ‘Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.’

Although there is no official release date, ‘Picture This’ is expected to arrive on Prime Video later this year.

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