Dolemite is My Name

Eddie Murphy probably deserves an Oscar nomination as party-record pioneer Rudy Ray Moore in this lighthearted biopic about the man who found fame in theaters with the ’70s success of Dolemite and The Human Tornado. Wesley Snipes should even be rating a comeback with his comic turn as actor-turned-schlock-director D’Urville Martin. Netflix, however, is dumping this as a wide(ish) release at the same time that the movie starts streaming. That’ll keep people at home and reduce the buzz. Hardcore fans will still feel richly rewarded by seeing Rudy’s story on the big screen. Sadly, the writing team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski recycle their outline for 1994’s Ed Wood – concentrating on the making of one cult classic and wrapping up the story with a lot more left to tell. In this case, we see Rudy negotiating a pretty good financial deal for his future hits after Dolemite finally finds an audience. It’s still a real-life happy ending. The cult hero didn’t really need the money when he played a bowling alley on Buford Highway in 1991 for $5 a head. Hell, the guy would only charge that much for autographs on the convention circuit at the end of his life.