Coming 2 America Film review 3/5/21

When you’re right, you’re right.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; this should’ve been my senior thesis instead of God knows what nonsense I half hungover typed one May morning in 1999. I was hoping that it would be good enough just so I could gradate and hurry into corporate America. You know, the world you’re usually underpaid and then cast aside as if you were a snot-filled Kleenex if the CEO is going to make 50 cents less in their bonus. My senior thesis should’ve been: “Movie sequels that A) are released more than a decade after the original and B) go from an R to PG-13 RARELY work.” The LONE exception I can think of is Die Hard 4. Yeah, the one with Timothy Olyphant as the cyber terrorist in DC. I liked it, didn’t hate it, like some of you did. It’s FINE, not near as good as 1 or 3. But I dare you, find me a sequel that fits those criteria and I’ll shout you out on the Gutting the Sacred Cow podcast (https://guttingthesacredcow.com/where-to-listen-see-us/).

So here we are, Coming 2 America day on Amazon Prime which seemed to excite the masses like Borat 2, another Amazon studios release. 1988 was when the original was released, 2021 is when the sequel dropped and it’s rated PG-13 so that’s 0-2 in my criteria department. Let’s catch you up to speed: Prince Akeem is married with several daughters but James Earl Jones tells him he’s near death and that the Prince will become King. However, he needs to find an heir to the throne, post haste, because Akeem doesn’t have the strength to be a king and will be assassinated. So Akeem learns he has a bastard son in Queens from his first voyage with Arsenio Hall. And instead of flying commercial like he did in the first film, they use the royal jet to fly back to Queens and coach him up to be a prince. And of course, his wacky uncle, Tracy Morgan, and mother, Leslie Jones, provide for the comedy.

We’re not breaking down the entire “plot” so let’s skip to the review. Positives: looks like Amazon has deep pockets if they were able to lure the actors from the first film to do the sequel. I’m kidding, most of them were probably (I didn’t google to see what the actors are up to, I have to get to the gym in 30 minutes.) Because damn near EVERYONE was available to appear in the sequel. The ONLY people that weren’t in this were the Queens landlord, Lisa’s sister and Soul Glo’s heir apparent, Eriq LaSalle. But EVERY OTHER CHARACTER is in this film. And kudos to Shari Headley (Lisa), she’s aged magnificently.

How funny is this film? I lol’ed a lot…every time one of these tertiary characters appeared in the sequel…as in, HA, holy shit! XYZ person/character is also in this? But laughs that were organic via the script or performance, very…very few. And I’ll wager that if/when you watch it, you’re laughing at the same things these characters did in the first film THAT THEY’RE DOING IN THE SEQUEL. I mean, they took HUGE bath in the nostalgia pool and are counting on you to laugh at the same jokes. The jokes are honest to god lazy. Leslie Jones was the bright spot in this film but on the other hand, Tracy Morgan wasn’t given much to work with. It felt like a waste of his talent on a “barely above generic level” for him. Jermaine Fowler is fine but the punchlines he’s given are just hacky. Example? Sure. He and Leslie Jones have two “uppity bitch says what?” moments. Yeah, that’s not cutting it in my house.

And here’s where PG-13 truly torpedoes this film. Eddie Murphy literally says, “Mother-Fer” You gotta be shitting me. Watching him say that instead of motherfucker is like watching my 5 year old choke down a vegetable she hates. The man made cursing an art form; like cursing in Italian or French, it had a romantic flair to it. Is that the only reason it’s not good? Of course not. But when you get out the good china and flatware like the first one and then remove the covers off of the plates to see you’re being served spaghetti O’s and dirty water dogs, it really takes away from the experience. And no, the royal bathers are not topless in this film. I know, a perk that the first one threw out there for fans of gratuitous nudity. Ahh, the late 80’s/90’s are sorely missed. Unless it’s an arthouse film, nudity today is frowned upon like farting in a packed elevator.

Lastly, they SHOEHORN the fuck out of some of these characters. The barbers come back, fine. But the scenarios Randy Watson and the preacher return…you just say aloud, “You gotta be fucking kidding me.” And I hate when a movie anchors itself solely to nostalgia and crosses their fingers that people aren’t noticing that the emperor is truly not wearing this clothes. Next, I’m not going to give you the, “Eddie Murphy has been dogshit since XYZ year.” Because “My Name is Dolemite” was amazing. And I bet Eddie can unearth some of the magic he had with other films. But that magic just went full blown Muggle in this film. And that’s the first and last Harry Potter reference you’ll hear from me. Thank god I had insanely low expectations for this film (be honest, those trailers didn’t do this ANY favors) and I’m not heartbroken as some of you may be.

3.5/10

You wonder as a baseline what did I think of the first Coming to America? Great question and you can hear it in next week’s GTSC podcast episode with Lauren Sivan who definitely did NOT like CTA.

Week 5 NFL against the spread picks

Don’t listen to that hack, Vegas Dave!

Hello all you cool cats and kittens. 3-3 last week as I won the Gb/KC teaser, Bills, and Mia/over teaser. Lost the Jags, Lions 1h, and TB/under teaser. which brings me to an overall record of 14-7, 67% for the year. So first week that wasn’t profitable but goddamnit, we’re going to hopefully fix it this week.

First up, Washington Redskins. You might be saying, “Why in tarnation are you giving 2 shits about this game? And I’ll say, “Why are you talking like Yosemite Sam?” Haskins is benched and they’re giving Kyle Allen a shot. This is the THIRD cross country trip for the Rams. Chase Young is back and the Skins play tight defense and have a decent pass rush. You saw the Giants disrupt the Rams last week on offense and the Skins have a better front 7 than the Giants. There aren’t many stats to back up my argument because all recent numbers are with Haskins as QB. Pros bet numbers and +7 is a good spot to grab a home dog. As I said, Rams have logged more miles than Bill Clinton and Donald Trump did to Epstein’s private island. And to boot, the Rams have the Niners next week so this could be a classic trap game.

Take the Skins +7

STOP! Teaser Time! Pittsburgh fresh off a Covid bye and now gets an Eagles team who blew their load with that win in SF. Philly stinks, we all know it. And the Steelers d is solid. They’re going to make Wentz look sillier than an Eagles fan trying to take the SATs. under 5/7 in October. Pittsburgh under 8/11 and 4/5 under vs Philly. One more, 10/13 under vs NFC East. Second half of the teaser. Michael Thomas is now questionable but NO still has 2 CBs that are injured. Justin Herbert gunslinger his way to almost beat the Bucs but Anthony Lynn gives people as much hope as a public defender. Saints looked great in Detroit after being down 14-0 early but made the Lions go from Beverly Hills Cop to Beverly Hills Cop 3. Not much data backing me up except for a few key numbers. Saints are 2-5 ATS at home of late. Now, that’s including without fans this year so far. Also, 1-4 at home against the Chargers but those are all Phillip Rivers numbers. We’re playing the numbers and the Chargers are getting over 2 TDs? That Saints d is ripe to get backdoor so let’s take advantage of that key number

Pitt under 50.5 and Chargers +14.5

Browns just blew up the Cowboys defense. That’s not happening to the Colts D who is top in the NFL. Darius Leonard is out for the Colts but that’s still going to keep the Browns offense curtailed. Rivers has become a game manager and so has Mayfield. No Chubb but Kareem Hunt has stepped in nicely. Browns/Indy under have hit 5/7 and in week 5, 4/5 have gone under.

Browns under 47.5

Seattle is just lighting up scoreboards and finding ways to win. Especially Russell Wilson. I’m not crazy about betting on Kirk Cousins as he’s 12-25 ATS after 4pm EST. Minn 1-5 in Seattle, 1-4 SU against NFC west. Zimmer is 0-2 ATS and SU in Seattle. Now, Minnesota D is also putrid but Seattle secondary has a harder time covering receivers than Pete Davidson does covering his teeth with his lips. Jesus, good thing he has a huge honker because that horse face is tough to look at. Now, Seattle is covering games more than you think. 5-1 ATS and SU of late, 11-4 SU at home. 6-2-1 ATS in week 5 and 5-1 ATS on sundays. You can easily tease this both ways, Seattle laying 1 or Minnesota getting 13. But that Minnesota defense has been BAD of late. Is Seattle going to win at home? Yes. Good, don’t be a hero, just win money. Second leg of the teaser…

Browns 0-5 SU home against Indy but 6-1 SU at home. Browns getting a key number with the teaser. Think they keep it close, under a TD. Add in more of the reasons I cited above for the Browns under. It’s called a correlated parlay when you take a favorite and over or under and underdog. Browns won’t be scoring much which means hopefully they’re keeping it close.

Seattle and Browns +7.5

Yet another teaser: Pitt 8-1 vs NFC east, 10-4 SU, 6-1 SU at home, 5-2 SU in Philadelphia. Pitt 7-1-1 ATS in October. Philly 1-4 ATS. More of the same reasons above why I like Pitt down to -1 and now for a second leg of the teaser…

Why is Atlanta giving points to anyone? ATL 1-4 SU in last 5, 2-7 SU at home. They have dominated Carolina at home, 5-0 ATS but A) that was under Ron Rivera and B) Kyle Allen/Cam Newton were QBing the Panthers. We all know that Falcons defense is worse than Al Pacino’s last 10 movies. Carolina has won their last 2 and 1 of their 2 losses have been by more than a TD. So let’s give ourselves more breathing room and bump up the Panthers…

Pitt -1 and Car +7.5