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

by Betty Halsell

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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‘F9: The Fast Saga’ Trailer: The Franchise Is Going To Outer Space

Fast and Furious 9 is heading to outer space

The newest Fast 9 trailer has arrived and it teases a move into space. In the clip, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris are seen preparing to break the atmosphere in a rocket car.

This time around, the ‘fast’ family will be facing off against John Cena, who is playing Jakob Toretto – Dom and Mia’s brother. He will join forces with Cipher (Charlize Theron’s villainous hacker from The Fate of the Furious).

F9 was originally set to hit theaters on May 22nd, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now premiere in theaters on June 25th. Watch the trailer below.

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A Madea Prequel Series Titled “Mabel” is in Development

Actor, director and mogul Tyler Perry is currently developing a prequel series for his famed character Madea at Showtime.

written by Nichelle Taylor

According to  Variety,  the series titled Mabel will unveil the life of Madea before she became the iconic character in Perry’s stage plays and films.

Mabel’s official description notes: “Every great story has to start somewhere, and every legend has a beginning. Long before she was the force of nature known as Madea, she was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something black woman named… Mabel Simmons. When She moved to Atlanta in 1972, she set the city — and world  — on fire!”

Showtime has ordered several scripts of the show created by Perry and Tim PalenJaNeika James and JaSheika James will write and executive produce the series alongside Palen and Perry.

Madea, the character who catapulted the career of Tyler Perry, made her first appearance on theatre stages when Perry was solely a playwright. The character has since starred in 9 films and has appeared in 11 total. A few of those starring films include Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea Goes to Jail, and Madea’s Big Happy Family. As of today, all nine Madea films have generated over $500 million around the globe.

There is no word yet on a release date for the series.

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“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”: Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek & Ryan Reynolds Are Teaming Up Once Again

The first teaser trailer for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, a sequel to the 2017 action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, has dropped.

Set four years after the events in the original film, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) once again gets involved with assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). However, this time, he is forced into action by Darius’s even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio gets in over their heads in a global plot and soon finds that they are all that stands between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Antonio Banderas). Joining the sequel are also Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, and Frank Grillo.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will land in theaters on June 16, 2021.

Watch the first look at the upcoming action comedy below.

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