Video: Dolemite Is My Name (Fantastic Fest 2019)

Dolemite Is My Name is an insightful and hilarious Netflix movie directed by Craig Brewer. I got the chance to see it early at Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas. It was actually one of the surprise secret screenings of the festival. The film will be in select theaters on October 4th and available for streaming on Netflix October 25th.

Eddie Murphy portrays the real-life rap legend Rudy Ray Moore, who is better known by his stage name, Dolemite. Focusing on his days before fame, the movie hones in on Dolemite’s stand up comedy and the movies he wanted to create which often reference scandulous sex, drugs, and violence. At the time, radio stations and movie studios were not willing to air or produce this type of content. The film focuses on the uphill battle of adversity that Rudy faces to eventually leave behind a legacy that influenced many lives after.

The real Rudy Ray Moore died in 2008. I actually was not familiar with who he was but Dolemite is my Name paints a really great picture and displays this character in an entertaining and interesting way.

Every review that you see will highlight Eddie Murphy’s performance. The high-energetic flare he brings to Dolemite livens every scene.

However, the biggest strength of Dolemite Is My Name is seeing the strong resilient character never give up. Despite me not actually caring about Moore’s vulgar humor or movies, I was enamored and loved seeing him not quit. As a society we love to see people accomplish great things; someone loses 100 pounds, a scholar graduates, a new career is started– it’s tremendously admirable because we know these types of accomplishments are really difficult and that’s there’s plenty of people who give up. We understand the hard work that must be put into accomplishing a big goal. If there’s one thing true of Rudy Ray Moore, it’s that this man was a very hard worker.

I had empathy for Dolemite consistently; when his plans don’t pan out the way he wants, you feel the frustration that he feels. Many people, especially creative people like myself, are truly going to be able to relate to Dolemite. EskimoTV started in 2017 and it’s been a challenge to be recognized as a legitimate outlet. I was once told that I will never be on Disney or Warner Bros. press list.. I, like Rudy Ray Moore, found value in persisting and it’s a great quality to see people exercising to such a high degree. In that regard, this movie is quite inspiring and hopefully someone who sees this that is about to throw in the towel will decide to get back up and try again.

The script which is written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski is consistently funny. Character’s conversations are really interesting and the confident words that fly out of Rudy Ray Moore’s mouth is often hilarious. However, there’s a scene where Moore goes on stage as Dolemite for the first time. It’s during stand up comedy and I didn’t think his humor in these types of scenes was all that funny. However,the audience in the movie is erupting with laughter. I get this is done to communicate that this Dolemite character is a hit but it just felt a little contrived. Luckily, scenes like that are often short and once again, the actual conversations characters have with one another are really great.

Final Verdict:The biggest strength of Dolemite Is My Name is seeing the strong resilient character never give up.