Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
October 26, 2019 11:58 PM - Subscribe

Eddie Murphy returns as real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.


Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore
Keegan-Michael Key as Jerry Jones
Mike Epps as Jimmy Lynch
Craig Robinson as Ben Taylor
Tituss Burgess as Theodore Toney
Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed
Wesley Snipes as D'Urville Martin
Chris Rock as Daddy Fatts
Ron Cephas Jones as Ricco
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nicholas Josef von Sternberg
Snoop Dogg as Roj
Bob Odenkirk as Lawrence Woolner
posted by growabrain (15 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Love Dolemite and I really enjoyed this. Kind of like a way better version of The Disaster Artist.
posted by porn in the woods at 1:13 AM on October 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Eddie Murphy is great in this and it's clearly part of a major comeback that he's been working on with Netflix for the last few months, starting with his appearance on "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." I'm really glad to see him doing things like this and having a good time, but it also feels kind of weirdly orchestrated somehow. It seems like Murphy is not comfortable doing promotional appearances/interviews in support of this and his upcoming return to stand-up, but he agreed to do it, and he's keeping his word.

This is a great Hollywood outsider bio-pic, like Ed Wood, if Ed Wood had been a little more competent. And the cast is great. It's awesome that the first scene in the movie is Eddie Murphy and fucking Snoop Dogg, right out of the gate. And there's good material for Craig Robinson and Wesley Snipes and Da'Vine Joy Randolph, and everybody looks like they're having a great time.
posted by wabbittwax at 3:23 AM on October 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

Another thing I'm curious about: when he first starts adapting the old bum's stories for his act he's telling a story of a monkey and a lion or an elephant that reminded me of a Chuck Berry song from 1959, Jo Jo Gunne, and I wondered if Chuck was drawing from the same kinds of primary sources as Rudy Ray Moore when he wrote it.
posted by wabbittwax at 3:28 AM on October 27, 2019

I loved this. Loved learning about a niche indie who broke the rules. Loved seeing Eddie Murphy again, and damn he was good in this. Loved the cameos, and the plot, and how celebratory and joyous it was about movies. This was far better than I thought it was going to be and is well worth watching. I'm still smiling.
posted by Stanczyk at 4:02 PM on October 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

Lots of fun. Great to see Eddie apparently enjoying himself. Happy to see lots of talented actors getting good roles.

Was Eddie obviously just Eddie for a lot of the film? Hell yes. Do I care? Hell no.

I also smiled like a big goof the whole film.

Scene after scene gave me lots of undeveloped feelings about my viewing habits outside of this film, and I think what I was feeling is what they were feeling when Rudy Ray and friends went to see "Front Page." There's a reason I get a couple episodes into show after show and just kind of never go back to them. Or I turn off movies twenty minutes in and never finish them. I've been calling it "actory bullshit" in my mind — there's not much actory bullshit in this film that wasn't put there for laughs or irony — but maybe what it is authenticity, relatability, and — this is the big one — the pleasure of good company, which is what I liked about this film most of all. I liked spending two hours with these people, imperfections and all, whether they were the imperfections of the actors, the characters they were portraying, the film itself, or the film within the film, or whatever. Good company.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:29 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I wondered if Chuck was drawing from the same kinds of primary sources as Rudy Ray Moore when he wrote it.

Yes, The Signifying Monkey, which has been a staple of African-American folklore for a hundred years or thereabouts and might draw from Yoruba mythology, making it considerably older.
posted by maxsparber at 11:19 AM on October 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

The original Dolemite movie is on Amazon Prime. Looking forward to checking it out after watching this.
posted by Clustercuss at 2:42 PM on October 29, 2019

I went into this totally cold; wasn't familiar with Rudy Ray Moore or these movies. Really enjoyed this. Great performances and a compelling story well told.
posted by jeoc at 5:09 PM on November 2, 2019

Funniest movie I've seen this year.
posted by riruro at 2:31 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

What a complete delight! I watched The Human Tornado back in college on the recommendation of a friend who was really into blaxploitation movies and it was such a formative thing for me. I was about to say “for whatever reason” but the reason is obvious: the entirety of the movie. I will admit, though, that until I had the context, later on, I very much shared that “is this supposed to be a comedy?” reaction. It only added to the intrigue and mystique.

Mrs. Fedora kept commenting in every scene how much she adored the fashions of the era, and you know what? Those were some positively spectacular fashions. Bring back colorful fabrics!
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:02 AM on December 8, 2019

This was so fun to watch, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph was fantastic!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:13 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd heard this was really good but it was still surprisingly fun. I really loved Wesley Snipe's deliberately bad acting when it came time for his character to actually act.

I saw this and Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood back to back and now I just find myself thinking about Bowfinger.
posted by fleacircus at 9:55 AM on December 16, 2019

I'm not familiar with the source material, but good goddamned! This was seriously fun. So much incredible energy and optimism.

Stunning performances all around, the meta added another layer of goodness. Likewise addressing body image and historical inter-racial relationships.

I was interested in 'Coming to America 2' but now I'm stoked about it.

Yes yes yes Murphy's blissed out grin whenever it wasn't inappropriate for the character to flash it.

Man, different era, but I'd love to restore an old classy hotel into a studio*/ residence.

*an 'experimental' restaurant and cheap digs/ display spaces for artists would make more sense in today's climate at my location
posted by porpoise at 9:03 PM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

this movie put such a big grin on my face!
posted by supermedusa at 8:41 AM on January 3, 2020

I'm embarrassed to say that I thought this movie was fiction until the epilogue at the end. I had never heard of Rudy Ray Moore or Dolemite.

I can't say I found Moore's comedy or his movie funny, but then I'm not at all the audience for it. Moore knew what his community would like and he gave it to them. I loved his buoyant spirit and his kindness and generosity of spirit. Moore not only wanted to be a success, but he managed to bring all the people he worked with along with him.

It was also a lot of fun to see his beginner movie crew stumble their way through the process of making a movie -- and get the job done.
posted by orange swan at 8:27 PM on November 27, 2020

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