Eddie Murphy's Break from Acting

After blowing up in the 1980s as a stand-up comedy act and movie star, Eddie Murphy worked steadily on the big screen for nearly 30 years, typically releasing at least one movie almost every year since his big screen debut in 48 Hrs. in 1982. But his comedy star began to fade in the early 2000s, and Murphy wasn’t making the kind of quality comedies he’d become known for. Though it may not have seemed like it at the time, this was something Eddie Murphy was keenly aware of, which is why he took a step back from acting in 2011. And it turns out that we may have the Razzies to thank for it. Read More »

dolemite quarantine

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Dolemite Is My Name.

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: A Blaxploitation Ed WoodDolemite Is My Name tells the true story of Rudy Ray Moore as he puts together a rag-tag group of amateurs to make a blaxploitation movie.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: There’s something so rewarding about watching a group of outcasts and misfits come together to achieve their dreams – at any cost. Especially now, when so many of us are literally stuck in a rut, completely unsure of what the hell the future will bring.

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Netflix’s Dolemite is My Name is writer-director Craig Brewer‘s first movie in eight years. Before this, Brewer, who made his debut with The Poor & Hungry and broke out with Hustler & Flow, last directed the 2011 Footloose remake. Since then, he’s written scripts that never got the green light and directed several episodes of Fox’s Empire. But after eight years away from a film set, Brewer returned sharper, not rustier, with a true story championing artists like comedian, actor, and filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore (played by Eddie Murphy).

Together, Brewer and Murphy returned with a bang. “Dolemite Is My Name makes it official: Eddie Murphy is back,” /Film’s own Chris Evangelista wrote in his review. “Here’s hoping he doesn’t go away again.” Murphy will be back next year in another Craig Brewer movie, Coming 2 America. After speaking with the filmmaker, it sounds like we could see even more from them in the future. Brewer told us about the joys of working with Eddie Murphy, his career leading up to Dolemite is My Name, and plenty more during a recent interview.

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(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)

As the saying goes, everyone loves a comeback. The 2010s saw a number of creative entities emerge from the wilderness to enjoy renewed artistic credibility onscreen. There were so many comeback stories, actually, that this mere list of ten is guaranteed to smack of exclusions. FX’s The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, for instance, revived interest in the trial of the century while serving as a soft comeback for several actors. Be honest: when’s the last time you’d heard David Schwimmer’s name around the watercolor? Despite its use of John Travolta, however, there was no one actor on that show who made a resurgence on the level of Travolta’s in Pulp Fiction. If anything, the show was more memorable for its Emmy-winning turn by Sarah Paulson and for facilitating the breakout of Sterling K. Brown.

Stranger Things built its brand on ‘80s nostalgia and thrust faces from that decade, like Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, back in the spotlight…but there wasn’t room for it on this list, either, and that’s saying a lot. It should be noted, too, that a return to form, in and of itself, isn’t enough to qualify as a comeback. Christopher Nolan was back in top form with Dunkirk, yet while his previous two films may have revealed chinks in his critical armor, they were both still commercial successes. A slightly off-game Nolan is still better than your average blockbuster filmmaker.

Master of the “Nouveau Shamanic” acting style, Nicolas Cage, likewise marches to the beat of a different drum, where the notion of frail mortal comebacks is irrelevant. So alas, you won’t see Mandy on this list. But enough with the honorable mentions … let’s look back, in reverse chronological order, at ten of the decade’s best film and television comebacks.

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Martin Scorsese Cameos

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a video essay tries to explain why what Martin Scorsese said about Marvel movies is right, and that probably won’t ruffle any feathers at all. Plus, Eddie Murphy and some of the cast of Dolemite is My Name talk about making the movie, blaxploitation, and more, and Tig Notaro tries to figure out who Game of Thrones star Lena Headey is in a new Under a Rock. Read More »

Making of Undone

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take an in-depth look behind the scenes of the making of the live-action animated hybrid series Undone on Amazon Prime. Plus, learn some stuff you might not know about a movie set with a little film school lesson from Dolemite Is My Name, and watch as Conan O’Brien becomes a character in Hideo Kojima‘s video game Death Stranding. Read More »

Best Movies Streaming Right Now Wounds

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

In the mood to watch something this weekend? Good, because I spent hours putting together some recommendations, and I was worried they were all going to spoil I was going to have to throw them in the trash. Lucky for me you came along, stranger! These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

Read More »

Fantastic Fest Diaries Day 4

(Welcome to The Fantastic Fest Diaries, where we will be chronicling every single movie we see at the United States’ largest genre film festival.)

Welcome to Fantastic Fest 2019, day four. In this entry, Fractured is a stylish adventure in the familiar and Dolemite is My Name is the best filmmaking biopic since Ed Wood.

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dolemite is my name review

As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Eddie Murphy was never really “gone” in the literal sense, but the once megastar comedian had a serious drop-off, quality-wise, over the years. It got to the point where a new Eddie Murphy movie was so rare as to be non-existent. Every now and then, the actor would appear in something heralded as his “comeback” – see his wonderful supporting turn in Dreamgirls. But nothing truly clicked. Now, things might be about to change for the better. Because Murphy is front and center in the laugh-out-loud crowd-pleaser Dolemite Is My Name, and it’s an absolute joy to have him back.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Dolemite Is My Name Featurette

Throughout his long career, Eddie Murphy has played quite the assembly of characters, even going so far as to play about a half dozen of them in a single movie. But one role he’s never taken before is that of a real person. That changes with the upcoming comedic true story Dolemite Is My Name, inspired by comedian Rudy Ray Moore and his rise to fame as a Blaxploitation movie star who paved his own way through Hollywood. Now, a new Dolemite Is My Name featurette talks about the man himself. Read More »