Out to McDowell’s

“While Coming to America chokes on its inconsistent and messy script, the blast of ‘80s cynicism and careful romance elevates this one to near classic status. The energy of the production, delving into Oscar-nominated effects and costumes, leave Coming to America with identity. Murphy and Hall pair organically, a movie that would not work without their talents. That they play so many characters is a testament to their skill, both in their prime, and Landis’ comedic timing behind the camera elevates them further still.”

Read more via our 30th Anniversary Blu-ray review

Video

Beautiful, natural film stock rolls across the screen, impeccably accurate and pure. Coming to America doesn’t hit with wow factor, but an appeasement to those who appreciate a transfer totally untouched and at dazzlingly high resolution.

Paramount’s encoding nails the grain structure. Behind that, sharpness allows detail to flourish, texture exquisite. From the Zamunda sets to streetside Queens, everything glistens, drawing out fidelity in each corner of the screen. The Blu-ray prior looked great too, so no surprises, just a better, more refined effort.

Glowing color spares nothing in showcasing the Zamundan costumes, their variety brilliant, the saturation more so. Dolby Vision brings that spark, likewise bettering contrast, if without any notable highlights. There’s more difference in shadows than light, although things like neon carry a more organic energy than previous SDR presentations.

Audio

Swiping the DTS-HD track, nothing changes. A nice kick from ambient music and/or the soundtrack allows the subwoofer to work. Range stays sedate otherwise.

Crisp fidelity reveals minimal age in the dialog. A few extensions into the rears like rain or at a club stretch the soundstage, if only a little. Occasionally, some clapping will find a home away from the center too. Commendable, but unremarkable.

Extras

Bonus features carry over entirely from the previous Blu-ray (which took its extras from the Blu-ray before that). The major one is Prince-ipal Photography, a 25-minute retrospective on the production. Fit for Akeem looks at the outstanding costume work and does for 18-minutes. Rick Baker gets his due in the 12-minute Character Building, looking at the make-up effects. Composer Neil Rodgers earns a separate bit titled Composing American, another 11-minutes. Finally, an interview with Murphy and Hall dates back to 1989, a brief snippet of the duo a little after release.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Coming to America
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

More than just fish-out-of-water comedy, Coming to America makes full use of its outstanding cast to speak on romance and wealth.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 63 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: