James Earl Jones
In fact, besides the hilariously outlandish beginning in Zamunda and the initial fish-out-of-water conflict in New York, a good chunk of COMING TO AMERICA is a generic romantic comedy. It’s not bad and it never ceases to be entertaining, but after seeing countless movies that follow the same formula, the romance plot pales in comparison to the rest of the film’s funny parts. And there’s plenty of memorable moments that stick out, such as the barbershop scene, the Soul Glo commercial, the smooth sounds of Sexual Chocolate, as well as the great supporting cast. That includes Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones, but the most notable supporting actor—Eddie Murphy! COMING TO AMERICA marks the first time Murphy did the multiple-characters routine and, along with Hall and Rick Baker’s unbelievable makeup, provided some of the movie’s best characters. Seeing him as a 70 year old white Jewish guy arguing with himself about Muhammad Ali’s career makes COMING TO AMERICA worth watching at least once.
The Coming Together of America (24:36): A retrospective on the making of the movie with interviews mainly with director John Landis (whose no-BS attitude is refreshing). There’s some old behind the scenes footage and a decent chronicling of the project and for fans.
The Costumes of COMING TO AMERICA (18:05): “How was I going to dress black men in gold regalia and not have it be SUPERFLY?” A+ for honesty.
Character Building: The Many Faces of Rick Baker (12:54): Baker deserves every bit of praise in this featurette, which shows how he did the incredible makeup on Murphy and Arsenio Hall, as well as how Landis was able to shoot them all in the same scene.
Composing AMERICA (11:09): Composer Nile Rodgers was a major music producer in the 80s for David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran. But more importantly he is responsible for the Soul Glo theme song which is one of the four greatest things to come from cinema ever.
A Vintage Sit-Down with Eddie and Arsenio (5:37): A short interview from the time of the film’s release, showcasing the good rapport the two stars have together, even if some of the questions they get asked are truly awful. (“Describe each other in one word?” …Dude, you have 1980’s Eddie Murphy in front of you. You can do better than that.)
A Theatrical Trailer, Photo Gallery and Previews round things out.
Extra Tidbit: Look for cameos by Samuel L Jackson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, who reprise their roles as the Duke Brothers from TRADING PLACES.