Beverly Hills Cop 4 Heading to Netflix!

Netflix seems to be enjoying their relationship with Eddie Murphy. Their recent collaboration with him on Dolemite Is My Name has been quite beneficial, and it may end up with a few Academy Award nominations as well.

Now, Variety is reporting that Paramount has licensed Beverly Hills Cop 4 to Netflix. Right now, IP is gold, and this is a big win for Netflix. While the first two Beverly Hills Cop films were solid releases, the third film did not perform to expectations, and with the 25 years since that release, there is concern that the long-awaited fourth film may not be able to attract a big theater-going audience, whereas the home viewing experience should result in more clicks and views.

Netflix seems to be pushing for IP, and not just BHC4. They seem to be going all-in on Eddie Murphy. Their partnership with Adam Sandler has done quite well for them, and this all looks like a solid move for the streaming giant as they try to acquire enough IP to fight studios that have been around for decades.

So what do you think? Is this a smart move for Netflix? Is this a smart move for Paramount? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Coming 2 America Adds John Amos

John Amos is now Coming 2 America again! The actor is returning to the role of Cleo McDowell in the upcoming Eddie Murphy/Arsenio Hall sequel directed by Craig Brewer.

The original film saw Murphy’s Prince Akeem go to Queens in order to find a suitable wife for him to bring home to Zamunda to rule at his side. Amos played the father of Akeem’s love interested in the film. The sequel will see Akeem return to America when he discovers a son he never knew about.

I can only hope that this news means we will see McDowell’s again, the fictional McDonald’s wannabe headed up by Amos’s Cleo McDowell. I’ve spoken of my love for the original Coming to America and it does indeed make me nervous to see this follow-up, especially with Murphy’s many recent flops. I just want this one to be really good. Is that so wrong? I find the original film to be Eddie Murphy’s best film in his career. News of John Amos returning is always a welcome sight, though.

It also doesn’t mean that the sequel will be great. Amos has been seen TV’s The Ranch and Bad Asses 3: Bad Asses on the Bayou, so I will say that he isn’t particularly picky on the screenplay or film projects he attaches to.

Coming 2 America hits theaters December 18, 2020.

So what do you think? Is this a good sign for the upcoming sequel? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Eddie Murphy to Appear in Grumpy Old Men-Inspired Film Directed by Tim Story?

Deadline is reporting that Eddie Murphy is set to star in a new film based on the Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon film Grumpy Old Men, to be directed by Tim Story and produced by John Davis.

The film remains untitled, and no one has been attached to play opposite Murphy at this point. Director Story recently wrapped Shaft and has also helmed the Ride Along films.

The original film featured Matthau and Lemmon as two elderly rivals who find themselves further torn apart when an attractive new neighbor moves in on their block.

My only question is whether this film will have any connection to the originals. If not, then I’m fine. I happen to love the original two films and watch them yearly around Christmas. Being a Minnesota native, they hold a special place in my heart.

In all fairness, though, I just don’t want this to be connected to a film I love so dearly because it sounds like a dud from the start. Eddie Murphy hasn’t had a great track record in a long time and, outside of his work with Shrek and Dreamgirls, he has been a part of mostly garbage. As far as Tim Story goes, I’ve never been interested or impressed by him. His work on Fantastic 4 continues to age poorly and his comedies have not interested me.

Maybe it just depends on who rounds out this cast. If they make some truly inspired casting choices for the other grumpy old man and the neighbor, I may change my mind. There’s also the question of how close this film will be to Grumpy Old Men. Will Eddie Murphy’s character have an even older senile father? A lot of questions to be answered, but right now, I couldn’t care less about this project…for now.

But what do you think? Are you excited at the prospect of Eddie Murphy in a Grumpy Old Men-like film? Who should play opposite of him. Let me know with a comment below, and don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For more Almighty Goatman,

31 Days of Horror Part II: Day 27 – Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

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Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Allen Payne, Kadeem Hardison, John Witherspoon, Zakes Mokae, Joanna Cassidy

Screenplay: Charlie Murphy, Michael Lucker, Chris Parker

100 mins. Rated R.

 

Many horror directors attempt to cross with comedy at some point, and for me, there are two infamous examples of note: John Carpenter’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man and Wes Craven’s Vampire in Brooklyn. I actually really enjoyed Carpenter’s film, and when I originally saw Vampire in Brooklyn several years back, I liked it too. Sadly, on my most recent viewing, my opinion has shifted drastically.

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Maximillian (Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop, A Thousand Words) is the last of a line of vampires from the Caribbean. In order to save his bloodline, he needs to find a female born from a native vampire he knew. Detective Rita Veder (Angela Bassett, TV’s American Horror Story, Meet the Robinsons) is that woman, working for the NYPD in Brooklyn. After siring Julius Jones (Kadeem Hardison, White Men Can’t Jump, Made of Honor) to be his personal servant, Maximillian sets out to find his destined love in the urban jungle.

Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Eddie Murphy famously fought on set about the tone of the film, and it is the paramount reason why this movie failed so much. Craven wanted a horror film with comedic elements, and Murphy wanted a comedy with horror elements. The clash was the downfall of the film.

Murphy’s Maximillian didn’t have great voicework, and the choice to do his signature multiple roles thing by playing a few other characters that Maximillian disguises himself as didn’t work nearly as well on second viewing.

Craven’s abilities as a director were really called into question during the making of this film, and his work suffered tremendously from studio interference and the uneasy set. It’s sad, because the overall idea seems like a lot of fun. I really like Kadeem Hardison’s portrayal of the decrepit Julius Jones.

I also don’t think the casting of Bassett works in the film. She has the ability to act, but this just isn’t the movie for her.

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I’m happy to see that Craven was able to recover from a film like Vampire in Brooklyn with solid works like Scream and Red Eye, but Eddie Murphy, who blamed everyone else for making a film he knowingly wrote and acted in disappoints me. He claimed that he only did the film was so that he could finish his contract with the studio and focus on other works. I call bullshit, Eddie. You failed but you couldn’t just accept it.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

[Oscar Madness] Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

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Director: Tony Scott

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Jurgen Prochnow

Screenplay: Larry Ferguson, Warren Skaaren

100 mins. Rated R.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Music, Original Song (“Shakedown” by Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Bob Seger)

 

When Beverly Hills Cop became a downright hit in 1984, a follow-up became inevitable. At first, the idea of a TV series surfaced, but that was quickly shut down and a film sequel began production. 1987: Beverly Hills Cop II.

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Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy, Trading Spaces, A Thousand Words) is deep undercover back in Detroit to stop illegal credit card scammers when he hears that Lieutenant Bogomil of Beverly Hills has been gunned down by a group of thieves for getting too close. Now it’s off to Beverly Hills to stop them, with the help of Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold, The Santa Clause, Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts) and John Taggert in this sequel from action director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Man on Fire).

First of all, how does this sequel compare to Beverly Hills Cop? It isn’t technically better, but it is bigger and a little crazier. The level of believability is pushed pretty hard a few times in this film, particularly during a high-speed chase involving a cement mixer. Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, and John Ashton are a great action-comedy trio, providing laughs that come from the story rather than just jumping out of thin air. Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot, Beerfest) and Brigitte Neilsen make some great villains as well.

I happen to love the Academy-Award Nominated song “Shakedown” and I think it adds to the musical score without completely redefining it. The great qualities of this film come from the fact that the great parts of the original film are kept intact while getting a fuel-injection of energy.

Tony Scott knows how to direct action, and he knows how to let the actors do the work.

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Now, is Axel Foley the next James Bond? Perhaps not. Axel Foley is a fantastic character and Beverly Hills Cop is a fantastic series…also “Shakedown.” “Shakedown” is awesome. That too.

 

4/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of Martin Brest’s Beverly Hills Cop, click here.

[Happy 30th Birthday!] Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

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Director: Martin Brest

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton

Screenplay: Daniel Petrie, Jr.

105 mins. Rated R.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

 

Can you already hear the song? I know I can, because thirty years ago today, the world was introduced to Axel F, and alongside it, Beverly Hills Cop, a rollicking good time at the movies that doubles as a pretty taut thriller.

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Beverly Hills Cop boasts one of the best soundtracks in motion picture history as it tells the story of Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy, Trading Places, A Thousand Words), a Detroit cop who just got forced into vacation after a close friend with a troubling past is killed right in his apartment. He decides to take his vacation in Beverly Hills and, along the way, try to solve the murder. Aiding him, whether they like it or not and whether or not they know it, are Beverly Hills’ Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold, The Santa Clause, Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts) and Sargent Taggart (John Ashton, Gone Baby Gone, Middle Men).

Beverly Hills Cop is an early work for major director Martin Brest (Scent of a Woman, Gigli) and boasts some of his craziest attempts at weaving thrilling set pieces with laugh-out-loud, and crazily enough, it works. Murphy is at the top of his game here, absolutely everything he throws at the screen lands perfectly, and he is equally matched by the bumbling (but not over-bumbling) Reinhold and Ashton, a perfect buddy-cop duo if there ever was one.

The screenplay from Daniel Petrie, Jr. (Turner & Hooch, In the Army Now) is a smart and simple one, but never tries too hard to convolute itself. Director Brest is able to work from so many angles here, it is incredible how well it all works together. We believe that Axel Foley is the kind of guy that can weasel his way into the enemy’s office, or into a luxury suite hotel room, or for that matter, evading the arrest and termination of his employment multiple times.

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I have to say that the Beverly Hills Cop grew on me. The first viewing didn’t go as well as I thought it might, but it just sticks with you. The musical work by Harold Faltermeyer and the incredible supporting work from Paul Reiser, Ronny Cox, Steven Berkoff, and Jonathan Banks do not go unnoticed. If you haven’t seen Beverly Hills Cop in its first thirty years, don’t wait another thirty. See it now.

 

4.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

Shrek (2001)

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Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Screenplay: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger S.H. Schulman

90 mins. Rated PG for mild language and some crude humor.

  • Academy Award Winner: Best Animated Feature
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published or Produced.

 

It isn’t easy to pull off a family film that stands tall years later. It is tougher to make that film a satire and to have to comedy still funny. Shrek did it. Shrek did it wonderfully.

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Shrek (Mike Myers, TV’s Saturday Night Live, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) is a simple ogre. He has a swamp and a boulder and he likes it that way. The local villagers leave him alone and in turn he keeps to himself. It isn’t until he runs into a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop, A Thousand Words) and is sent on a mythical quest to save a princess (Cameron Diaz, There’s Something About Mary, Sex Tape) from a dragon-guarded castle at the behest of the powerful Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow, TV’s 3rd Rock From the Sun, Interstellar) that Shrek truly learns what companionship can do to an ogre.

Shrek is a masterpiece and truly cemented Dreamworks Animation as being a powerful competitor to Disney’s Pixar. The voicework from Myers and Murphy is very strong here. They have a terrific chemistry (or lack thereof) during their scenes together. Lithgow really menaces here; until this movie, I hadn’t really seen anything from him proving that he could be villainous in nature.

Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson created a wonderful enthusiasm that both satires and homages classic fairy tales. This was a precursor to shows like Once Upon a Time and Penny Dreadful, where we are treated to an alternate version of classic characters.

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Shrek is a master stroke of genius for family films and just comedies in general. I wish more films targeted at children had the boldness to provide laughs for all ages instead of pandering the way most of them do.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of Puss in Boots, click here.

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