Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who will love him in spite of his title. To escape an arranged marriage, Akeem flees to America accompanied by his persnickety sidekick, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), to find his queen. Disguised as a foreign student working in fast food, he romances Lisa (Shari Headley), but struggles with revealing his true identity to her and his marital intentions to his king father (James Earl Jones).
Plot: An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.
Director: John Landis
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Runtime: 116 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America‘s John Landis’ coasting direction.
“Quite simply, it’s the best Coming to America has ever looked.”
Coming to America was originally shot in 35 mm, and with this new remaster, it was finished at a 4k digital intermediate — this means you’ll get a native UHD presentation on this disc. On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision and HDR10. This is a significant upgrade over the Blu-ray, so go and grab yourself a copy right after you finish reading this review (winky face).
Everything about this release is almost perfectly positive when it comes to the transfer. You will notice immediately that the clarity jumps up across the board showcasing new detail that hasn’t been seen before — especially when you talk about the various pieces of clothing. First it was the tribal textures and decorations in Africa, then it was the dirty and dingy snow in comparison to their colorful varsity leather jackets in America. They all looked fantastic, and don’t forget to look up for those close-ups showcasing the all the goodies too. (Beyond all of that, it holds a rock-solid filmatic look with the slightest layer of grain present to hold it together.)
When it comes to the HDR, it really gets to work in the beginning stages of the film. The first couple chapters in Africa showcase an array of greens, turquoise blues, reds and golds. The glimmer, shine and textures on their clothes and jewelry come to life. (Like I just mentioned above, that ranges from the African ceremonial outfits to a simple varsity jacket in America.) You can really see this transition at the American club in Chapter 9 — all the same factors land the same, just in a different country. (Some other notes include: yellows on McDonald’s arches, and especially, the red valet jackets against the snowy night time backdrop.) When it comes to the black levels? They are solid, but not amazing and they seem to vary — some scenes hit that darkness — others don’t. It has to be be due to the lighting differences in those scenes.
In conclusion —
Unfortunately, the new transfer is the only thing ‘new’ about this release, this UHD doesn’t come with any new special features. I’ve never been a stickler on adding material to new releases, but I know a lot of you out there expect it. (Just know, this release includes what was included before.) What is included in both the regular and steelbook packaging is a themed mini-posted — look out for it.
This movie has always been up in the air for me personally. I’m not for it or against it — let’s just leave it at that. I don’t have anything extremely positive or negative to say. You can call me crazy if you think so.
Taking everything I’ve said into account, you can be sure that Coming to America gets my recommendation to own — it’s a fantastic release for those that feel the need to own it. It’s definitely something to add to your (hopefully) growing physical media collection. Simply, this transfer is the best it’s ever looked and sounded, so if your a fan of the movie, you’ll love the UHD.
No matter what you decide to do, you can grab a copy at your local retailer on 4K & Blu-ray this December 1st. It will make a great stocking stuffer for any fan of the film.
Are you a fan of Coming to America? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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