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Top Five review

Chris Rock's latest outing is a semi-autobiographical take on the rise and fall (and rise?) of a comedy star...

Your mileage may vary on inside-track Hollywood comedies. Among the greats, there are biting satires like The Player or Swimming With Sharks and broader, sillier works like Tropic Thunder or Bowfinger, but the kind of rarefied air in which they largely unfold can sometimes be suffocating.

Thankfully, that's not the case with Top Five, Chris Rock's first project as a writer-director since 2007's I Think I Love My Wife, and inarguably his best so far. With a semi-autobiographical approach, the film clearly has a lot of influences from other films but thrives on a brand of charm that is entirely its own.

Andre Allen (Rock) is a stand-up comedian turned movie star who is best known for a trilogy of cringe-making comedy movies in which he stars as a crime-fighting bear called Hammy.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Chris Rock on Top Five: 'There's a dash of Kardashian in there'

Chris Rock on Top Five: 'There's a dash of Kardashian in there'
Chris Rock writes, directs and acts in the funny, self-aware and uplifting comedy Top Five co-starring Rosario Dawson.

The actor and comedian takes the lead as Andre Allen, a stand-up comic and recovering alcoholic who's desperate to be taken seriously in the shallow world of Hollywood while becoming submerged within a celebrity-obsessed culture.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Chris reveals he's currently writing a script for his next movie. It's not, as previously reported, a sequel to Top Five, but will have a similar tone and some of the same cast.

Chris talks about Jay Z and Kanye West's involvement as co-producers, and how there's perhaps a "dash of Kardashian" in Gabrielle Union's reality TV star Erica Long. He also responds to Woody Allen comparisons, and tells us who us his top five stand-up comedians of all time are:

How much of your own personal experiences did you carry into Top Five?
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Top Five Blu-ray Review

  • Collider.com
Hollywood has tried with Chris Rock. Though he remains one of the greatest standups in the business, most of his cinematic output is lacking, and he’s never made a great leading man (I might be inclined to argue that his finest on screen role was in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka). But it seems that the success of Louis C.K. and his show Louie has transformed how many stand ups approach making their own movies and television shows, and C.K. is a likely inspiration for Rock’s latest effort Top Five. Playing a version of himself, Rock confronts success and romance from a new angle, and though the film has moments, it never finds truth even if it delivers some laughs. [caption id="attachment_366452" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Paramount Pictures/caption] Rock stars as Andre Allen, who comes across as an amalgamation of Rock, Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, and more, who
See full article at Collider.com »

Blu-ray Review: Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ is Pretty Interesting

Chicago – Chris Rock isn’t a huge writer/director, but when he does make a film, it’s an event to consider. For example, he made black president tale “Head of State” long before then-senator Barack Obama was even considered for the real-life role, and whether behind the stand-up mic or in an interview, he’s a voice to be reckoned with.

Even though he’s more in films than behind them, “Top Five” wants to be Rock’s “Stardust Memories,” an open conversation about who he was, who he is, and who he wants to be next.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Rock’s comedy is hit-and-miss. Some sequences are excellent, like when Cedric the Entertainer steals the show in an albeit disgusting flashback. Or when he has an epiphany in a jail cell, with a special cameo in place. And there are some good touches too, such as the many faceless cat-calls
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'Top Five's' Gabrielle Union thinks you're underestimating the Kardashians

  • Hitfix
'Top Five's' Gabrielle Union thinks you're underestimating the Kardashians
Ever since she went head-to-head with Kirsten Dunst in "Bring It On," we've been waiting for Gabrielle Union to have her moment. She's shown glimpses of what a great actress she is, but she hasn't really found the role that could take her to the next level. Union's impressive play on a TV reality queen in Chris Rock's "Top Five" is just another welcome tease on how talented she really is. Far from the streets of Manhattan, where Andre Allen (Rock) and Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) conduct their interview, Erica Long (Union) is preparing for a televised wedding spectacle in the film. America's biggest comedy movie star, Andre, and its biggest reality TV star are going to walk down the aisle and every moment will be recorded for viewers to salivate over. Andre is pretty uncomfortable with this, but as "Top Five" rolls on we discover why he's so
See full article at Hitfix »

Top Five – The Review

When a big milestone approaches it’s common for most of us to look back and reflect on our lives and career. With the big 5-0 looming, Chris Rock, one of the smartest and funniest stand-up comedians, has done just that with Top Five (not a reference to the B-day, but a quick listing of favorite music artists used as an ‘ice breaker’, like “Where’d you go to school?” here in St. Louis). Oh, and this is the third feature film he’s directed (he wrote this one, too). Mr. Rock has been part of the national comedy scene for nearly 25 years since he was one of the cast members of TV’s “Saturday Night Live”, with a few movie bit roles under his belt (Beverly Hills Cop 2). He’s gone from cocky kid with a mike to screen veteran, so now what does he want to say about
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Review: Chris Rock's Outrageous, Laugh Out Loud Showbiz Comedy 'Top Five'

  • The Playlist
"It's never just a movie," says Chris Rock's Andre Allen in "Top Five," and that sentiment definitely applies to the comedy veteran's latest directorial effort. While on the surface it's an incisive and playful look at celebrity, media, and fame, it's also about the difficulty, fear, and risk of stepping outside your comfort zone, whether in your career or personal life. While there are many meta layers to "Top Five"—also written by Rock, clearly drawing from his many years in the industry—it avoids the trap of simply being a celebrity vehicle about celebrity, by displaying a surprising heart beneath its very funny surface. The film follows Andre—a familiar but very fictionalized version of Rock himself—and finds the popular A-lister at a crossroads. His wedding to reality star Erica Long (Gabrielle Union) is just a few days away and will be a big TV event on Bravo.
See full article at The Playlist »

Top Five Review

  • Collider.com
There’s more than one way for a stand-up comedian to do a bit, and there’s more than one way for an actor to express frustration with his profession. Chris Rock is one of the most insightful entertainers working today, and in the press he’s been doing for his new movie Top Five, he’s commented on race, politics, current events, comedy, and much more. However, his new film is mostly concerned with fame, performance, and the trappings of both. Although the story is built on a flimsy premise and its constraints create an awkward resolution, Rock has filled his picture with his sharp comedy that skewers celebrity and pride. Andre Allen (Rock) is a stand-up comedian who became a Hollywood sensation with his Hammy franchise where he played a guy in bear suit who fought crime. But now Andre wants to be taken “seriously”, and is out promoting his new drama,
See full article at Collider.com »

'Top Five' (2014) Movie Review

Before I saw a single frame of Chris Rock's Top Five, the buzz suggested it was some kind of riotous comedy that would have me bent over with laughter, but it's not, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's more a drama with comedic aspects and very much a cousin to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman in that it tells the story of an actor whose heyday as a mainstream celebrity appears to be behind him and as a result, he's looking at an indeterminate future. Rock plays Andre Allen, best known as the star of the Hammy the Bear trilogy of movies. The Hammy character was a police officer that was either dressed as a bear or supposed to be an actual bear, I couldn't tell, but now Andre is putting all that behind him as he focuses on more serious fare such as his latest
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Top Five Review

It feels that Chris Rock has waited his entire career to make a film as pointed and explosively funny as Top Five, his third and best directorial effort to date. He takes a couple of cues from Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Stardust Memories and some of the daring, more experimental techniques of Louis C.K.’s FX series, without losing much of the vicious wit that defines his stand-up routines. Not all of it works, but Rock is willing to take risks and put his insecurities about fame, fortune and being funny out there for audience consumption in a way that is as wild and accomplished as anything he has ever done.

Rock plays Andre Allen – his friends call him Dre – a comic and film star having one of the strangest Fridays of his life. He has a new film opening in which he portrays a Haitian revolutionary. However,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Chris Rock & 'Top Five' Cast Talk Acting in Movies vs Doing Stand-up, Freedom to Improvise in the Film & More

  • ShadowAndAct
At a recent New York City press junket, Shadow and Act was present as the cast of "Top Five" spoke about the film, and their experiences with Chris Rock as the writer-director and star of the film. Present were Chris Rock (Writer/Director/ Andre Allen), Rosario Dawson (Chelsea Brown), Ben Vereen (Carl Allen), J.B. Smoove (Silk), Gabrielle Union (Erica Long), Sherri Shepherd (Vanessa). Here are some of the highlights: "Top Five" vs. Chris Rock’s Stand-Up Chris Rock: I made this movie just like my stand-up. I use to have a movie process and a stand-up process. I use to say, these are the jokes for the movie and then I’d have a whole other file for...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Chris Rock & Cast of 'Top Five' on Influences, Writer-Director-Actor Experience, Improv, Industry Fears + More

  • ShadowAndAct
At a recent press junket, Shadow and Act was present as the cast of "Top Five" spoke about the film, and their experiences with Chris Rock as the writer-director and star of the film. Here are some of the highlights: Chris Rock (Writer/Director/ Andre Allen), Rosario Dawson (Chelsea Brown), Ben Vereen (Carl Allen), J.B. Smoove (Silk), Gabrielle Union (Erica Long), Sherri Shepherd (Vanessa). "Top Five" vs. Chris Rock’s Stand-Up Chris Rock: I made this movie just like my stand-up. I use to have a movie process and a stand-up process. I use to say, these are the jokes for the movie and then I’d have a whole other file for stand-up. Not this one....
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Watch the first trailer for Chris Rock's 'Top Five'

Watch the first trailer for Chris Rock's 'Top Five'
After creating quite a bit of chatter at this year's Toronto International Film Festival—made only louder by a rather fierce bidding war—we're finally getting our first look at Chris Rock's Top Five with the film's first trailer. Rock, who co-wrote and directed the film, stars as Andre Allen, "the funniest man in America," star of the blockbuster "Hammy the Bear" series, and fiance of reality star Erica Long (Gabrielle Union). But there's one problem: he's kind of over being funny. Rosario Dawson plays New York Times journalist Chelsea Brown, who, in an effort to get something "real" from the actor,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Tiff Review: 'Top Five' Starring Chris Rock & Rosario Dawson

  • The Playlist
"It's never just a movie," says Chris Rock's Andre Allen in "Top Five," and that sentiment definitely applies to the comedy veteran's latest directorial effort. While on the surface it's an incisive and playful look at celebrity, media and fame, it's also about the difficulty, fear and risk of stepping outside your comfort zone, whether in your career or personal life. While there are many meta layers to "Top Five"—also written by Rock, clearly drawing from his many years in the industry—it avoids the trap of simply being a celebrity vehicle about celebrity, by displaying a surprising heart beneath its very funny surface. The film follows Andre—a familiar but very fictionalized version of Rock himself—and finds the popular A-lister at a crossroads. His wedding to reality star Erica Long (Gabrielle Union) is just a few days away and will be a big TV event on Bravo.
See full article at The Playlist »

Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' is simply a comedy smash

  • Hitfix
Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' is simply a comedy smash
Toronto — If you were to look over Chris Rock's lengthy and impressive career you might think he peaked with HBO's "The Chris Rock Show." Or perhaps it was his string of Emmy-winning standup specials including 2008's "Kill the Messenger." Or perhaps it was as the producer and co-creator of the critically acclaimed TV series "Everybody Hates Chris." Well, happily, at the ripe young age of 49, Rock has hit a career high with his new film "Top Five," which debuted at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival Saturday night. The third movie written by, directed by and starring Rock after "Head of State" and "I Think I Love My Wive," "Top Five" finds the comedian playing Andre Allen, a former stand up comedian turned movie star who is at a major turning point in his life. Best known for his character "Hammy" – essentially Rock in a bear costume with guns blazing yelling "It's Hammy time!
See full article at Hitfix »

Chris Rock to Poke Fun at Comedians-Turned-Dramatic Actors in Finally Famous

  • Collider.com
Chris Rock will be taking on his fellow comedians and himself for his new film, Finally Famous. According to Showbiz411, The comedy will focus on a comedian who wants to be taken seriously. The film will be Rock's third directing gig following Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife. The latter has dramatic elements, so Finally Famous isn't just jabs at Rock's peers. Rock also wrote the script and will star in the picture. A casting notice has gone out looking for a late-20s, early-30s love-interest for Rock's character. The casting notice describes the character, Chelsea Brown, as "'vintage, downtown N.Y.C. funky,' with a lacerating intelligence and humor that is disarming." Producer Scott Rudin, who partnered with Rock on the comedian's Broadway show, The Motherfucker with the Hat, will produce on Finally Famous Hit the jump for the synopsis and casting descriptions for the other characters.
See full article at Collider.com »

Exclusive: Black Limousine DVD Clip

  • MovieWeb
Exclusive: Black Limousine DVD Clip
We have an exclusive cilp from the upcoming Anchor Bay title Black Limousine, debuting on DVD July 10. David Arquette stars as Jack MacKenzie, a former movie composer who now makes a living as a limo driver, and forms a friendship with a top Hollywood actor. Take a look at this scene where Jack applies for the limo driver position.

Black Limousine - Exclusive Job Interview

Jack MacKenzie (Arquette), once a hot Hollywood composer, has fallen on hard times. Having resorted to taking a draining job as a limo driver just to make ends meet, he is a broken man, trying to put his life back together by picking up the pieces of a shattered family and career. Jack's sprit and sanity have been crushed by the loss of his first daughter and he has turned to alcohol to deal with the grief.

Jack catches a break when he is assigned
See full article at MovieWeb »

DVD Release: Black Limousine

  • Disc Dish
DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012

Price: DVD $22.98

Studio: Anchor Bay

The darkness at the end of the tunnel is David Arquette in Black Limousine.

David Arquette (Scream 4) and Bijou Phillips (Bully) star in the 2010 drama Black Limousine, tagged by its marketers as “a ghost story set in the city of dreams.”

Jack MacKenzie (Arquette), once a hot Hollywood composer, has fallen on hard times, a feeling fueled by alcoholism. Having resorted to taking a draining job as a limo driver just to make ends meet, Jack catches a break when he is assigned to drive A-List Actor Thomas Bower (Nicholas Bishop (TV’s Body of Proof) back-and-forth to the set of his latest film, during which time the two build a friendship of sorts. Bower appears interested and willing to help re-establish Jack, who also strikes up a sexually charged relationship with model-singer Erica Long (Phillips) who is struggling with her own problems.
See full article at Disc Dish »

See also

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