4 items from 2015
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. »
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? »
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 »
- Andre Dellamorte
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.
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 »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
4 items from 2015
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