SRP $29.99 1.85:1 DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 PARAMOUNT
 

 

SRP $29.99 1.85:1 DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT
 

PARAMOUNT has released "COMING TO AMERICA" on both hd-dvd and blu-ray format.  Eddie Murphy stars as Prince Akeem, whom upon being frustrated about the arranged marriage his parents want him to take part in, ventures to America, along with his servent, Semmi(Arsenio Hall) in the hopes of finding true love.  This reviewer didn't like the film as much as the masses did when it originally opened in theaters back in 1988.  But, while still having its share of predictable jokes, Hall mugging for the characters, horribly, and other problems, it's actually more enjoyable, as much for its nostalgic value, as for its generally light, entertaining story.  It's fun to watch James Earl Jones as Murphy's father. While the bits with Murphy playing different characters, within deep makeup and costuming, becomes very tedious, there are some genuinely funny bits.  The best parts of the film take place in the Prince's homeland, and it's just a shame more of it doesn't take place there.

PARAMOUNT has provided a 1080p/VC1 transfer with 1.85:1 aspect ratio for the hd-dvd and 1080p/AVC MPEG 4 transfer for the blu-ray.  Colors, especially fleshtones are much better now in both formats than they were on the previous dvd version.  Blacks and grays are deeper as well. However, grain occasionally seeps into both high-def formats, and is more noticeable in the blu-ray version. While depth has been improved, in comparison to dvd,  most of the scenes within the New York setting, look only a little better than they do on dvd. The scenes taking place in the Prince's homeland do shine, and offer jump off the screen depth.  Micro-blocking and artifacts creep in from time to time, but are more noticeable on the blu-ray as well, than on the hd-dvd.

PARAMOUNT has provided different mixes for the hd-dvd and blu-ray. While the hd-dvd has a higher bitrate, there is no difference in quality between the formats. The film has a typical comedy-style mix, with most separation delegated to the front soundstage.  There are some surround moments, especially when music is featured, but they often feel dated and less than immersive to the listener. Dialogue isn't as distinguished as we had hoped for, necessitating this reviewer to actually resort to captions on a few occasions.

PARAMOUNT has provided several featurettes, a photo gallery and the trailer(in full 1080p).