Kingdom Come

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As his wife Raynelle (Whoopi Goldberg) read a letter from his sister, Bud Slocumb passed on to the next world, right there in his chair. This might seem like a tragic time for her, but Raynelle is not too upset, as after all, he was a mean and right surly man. At least those were the words she used to describe him to Reverend Hooker (Cedric the Entertainer), who asked for advice on the words to deliver at the funeral. Of course, a death in the family means all the kin will come together, but in this case, that might not be such a wise idea. She calls her husband’s sister Marguerite (Loretta Devine), a gospel woman who loves the word of the lord, but has to rely on her lazy, unemployed son Royce (Darius McCrary) for a ride to Raynelle’s house. As those two drive to meet the others, Raynelle’s son Junior (Anthony Anderson) and his wife Charisse (Jada Pinkett) are on their way, complete with arguments, screaming kids, and of course, some gun flashes. As all this happens, Raynelle’s other son Ray Bud (LL Cool J) tries to cope with his loss, get his work done, and remain close to his wife Lucille (Vivica A. Fox), who is planning the funeral. As these family members all come together and deal with the loss, as well as other problems, will the events bring them closer together, or just drive them further apart?

I wasn’t able to see Kingdom Come in theaters, so I was pleased to see it released on DVD, especially with some nice supplements. I did see a trailer for the film and it looked good, but we all know how trailers can mislead us at times, right? But I wanted to check the flick out and when this disc arrived, I had to sit down and give it a spin. I was pleased to find a much different movie than expected, as this is a very humorous picture, but it has minimal profanity or sexual content, which is unusual these days. I love a good lowbrow, gross out comedy to be sure, but Kingdom Come was like a breath of a fresh air. It is also nice to see some black actors within this kind of structure, as opposed to an “f-bomb” laden picture. Kingdom Come is a good, solid movie with a lot of funny moments, but it is not a laugh riot, by any means. I think it takes a very realistic stance and that makes it a little more dramatic at times, but this is a flick about family, so that’s more than acceptable. I recommend this movie to those interested, although I think the flick itself is a rental, while the disc is a keeper, to be sure.

I’ve seen her in more than a few pictures, but this has to be my favorite performance from Loretta Devine, hands down. She has such a rich comedic character and it seems tailor made for her, as she relishes it from start to finish. You can tell Devine is enjoying herself in this part, as she always seems involved and never sleepwalks, not even in the least. Some of the funniest lines in the picture come from her and she delivers them to perfection, sometimes a little well, I think. I wouldn’t say her character is the most likable one in this movie, but she is a unique and very humorous one, which is more than enough here. You can also see Devine in such films as The Breaks, Hoodlum, Amos & Andrew, Waiting to Exhale, and Urban Legends: Final Cut. The cast also includes LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea, Any Given Sunday), Jada Pinkett (Bamboozled, Jason’s Lyric), Vivica A. Fox (Idle Hands, Teaching Miss Tingle), Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple, Made in America), and Anthony Anderson (Exit Wounds, Romeo Must Die).

Video: How does it look?

Kingdom Come is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This was a low budget movie, but it looks terrific here and I was hard pressed to find serious flaws. The print used shows some specks at times, but looks clean overall and I saw minimal grain, which was good news, of course. The colors look good and solid, with no smears or bleeds, while flesh tones are natural throughout. I saw no trouble on the contrast front either, black levels were smooth and rich, no detail loss at all here. A few problems do surface due to the film’s limited budget, but I doubt anyone will be let down here, as this is a very fine visual effort.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is about as dialogue driven as a movie can be, as this was based on a play and hasn’t changed much in terms of content. The surrounds aren’t silent by any means, but you won’t notice too much in this case. This is not a bad thing however, as this kind of material simply doesn’t need all the bells & whistles. The dialogue is sharp, clean, and never falters in the least, which is the main issue to consider with this flick. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in Spanish and English.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The main draw here is an audio commentary with director Doug McHenry (Jason’s Lyric, House Party 2), who shares his thoughts on the film. McHenry isn’t too talkative here, but he doesn’t leave a lot of blank space either. He often talks about the actors and various crew members, usually in overly positive fashion, as many directors do on these tracks. I didn’t learn much from this session, but it wasn’t too bad, so fans should give it a spin, I think. This disc also includes a soundtrack featurette, four television spots, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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