12 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. »
In an extract from this week's Guardian film show, critics Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard review Top Five, a comedy written and directed by Chris Rock, who stars as a successful standup, Andre Allen, who is attempting a move into serious drama with a movie about the Haitian massacre. Over the course of one day, Allen fights with his reality-tv star fiancée and is interviewed by a reporter from the New York Times, played by Rosario Dawson Continue reading »
- Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Henry Barnes and Dan Susman
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? »
Writer, director, and star Chris Rock is so close to something great here, but he gives in too easily to the unchallenging and the very conventional. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): not the biggest fan of Chris Rock
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Chris Rock writes and directs himself in his own version of the Sandler-going-serious flick Funny People, though Rock wants to have his “Why can’t you all respect me as an artist?!” cake and have his yucks, too. Rock (Grown Ups 2) barely disguises himself as “Andre Allen,” Hollywood superstar with a string of deeply shitty (and enormously popular) action comedies to his name who is now trying to go straight and Oscar-baiting with a historical drama about a brutal 1791 Haitian slave rebellion that saw thousands of white slaveowners slaughtered. There really is an amazing movie to be made about that subject, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Even the Farrelly brothers, in their heyday, would have shied away from some of the bad sex gross-out gags that Chris Rock serves up in Top Five. He writes, directs and stars in a fitfully hilarious portrait of an A-List comedian at a personal crossroads, though the central romance with Rosario Dawson doesn't quite hit the same dizzy heights as the stand-up material which obviously inspired the film.
Rock calls his character Andre Allen, maybe a vague reference to Woody Allen as the action opens and unfolds on the streets of New York where he gasbags on wide-ranging matters with Dawson's savvy New York Times journalist Chelsea Brown. Behind the camera, too, Rock is quite inventive, jumping back and forth, in and out of conversations, to create a »
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
Now available on Blu-ray/DVD is Chris Rock's comedy Top Five. Paramount released the pic to theaters in mid-December where it grossed just north of $25 million at the domestic box office against an estimated production budget of $12 million. I missed its theatrical run but caught the film on Xbox Video last night and can safely say it's my favorite piece of work from Rock who writes, directs, and stars. Smart, funny, brash, and introspective, Top Five sees the comedian star alongside Rosario Dawson as a fictional version of himself, actor/comedian Andre Allen. Dawson plays a New York Times journalist who is interviewing Allen on the heels of the release of his new movie (a supposed serious film about the Haitian slave rebellion that Allen hopes will help him shed his comedic typecast) and this setup provides the framework for the rest of the story. Rock's screenplay is chock »
- Jason Barr
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)
On Demand DVD New Releases March 16-23 Annie A kid living with her mean foster mom and a variety of other young girls gets thrust into the middle of the New York mayoral race. Business tycoon Will Stacks is the candidate who sees opportunity in Annie and uses her to help his campaign. Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz (PG, 1:58) 3/17 Top Five Long a comedian and star of blockbuster crowd-pleasing fare, Andre Allen is setting out on a new path in a serious role. After spending an extended period with a reporter, Andre realizes that there might be other … Continue reading →
The post On Demand DVD New Releases March 16-23 appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Meredith Ennis
You know what movie deserved a bit more love? "Top Five." Released last December, it got lost in the holiday shuffle, and that's a shame because it's a genuinely funny, frank, warm, and romantic effort from writer/director/star Chris Rock. But the good news is that it's coming to home video, and today you can check out a deleted scene from movie. In the sequence, we join comedy superstar actor Andre Allen as he returns to stand up roots. In the movie, it's a climatic high point, with Rock delivering plenty of zingers left and right, but this one didn't make the cut. It finds him riffing on "42," the Jackie Robinson biopic from a couple of years back. Mostly, his criticisms aren't that sharp and the whole thing isn't terribly funny, but if you ever wondered what he thought about the baseball movie, well know you know. "Top Five »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Read our review here and check out the poster below:
Pulsing with the rhythm of his greatest stand-up, Chris Rock’s Top Five takes things to the next level, reveling in the high and the low, and blending a star-studded comedic romp with an irresistible romance. Top Five digs under the surface of show business, politics, rap, and the exigencies of being black and famous today—holding it all up to the light in the way only Chris Rock can. Mingling echoes of Woody Allen and Dick Gregory with the energy of Kanye West and Jay Z, Top Five is an original and radically new kind of American movie.
- Luke Owen
It may not have been the awards player many of us thought it would be, but Chris Rock’s Top Five is still a comedic tour-de-force and in many circles thought to be the funniest film of 2014. Now, Paramount Home Media Distribution has announced that it will be bringing the star-studded film to Blu-Ray on March 17th, two weeks after it debuts on Digital HD.
The film finds Rock playing Andre Allen, a stand-up legend who returns to New York on the eve of his wedding to a vacuous socialite (Gabrielle Union). Walking around the city with the journalist (Rosario Dawson) sent to interview him, Andre begins to question his life thus far and reconsider the road that he’s already been travelling down.
Top Five features a host of all-star supporting players, including Kevin Hart, Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Michael Che, Jay Pharoah, Leslie Jones and Ben Vereen. »
- Isaac Feldberg
12 items from 2015
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners