Top Five Is Just What We Needed From Chris Rock

Chris Rock has become a household name as legendary standup comedian, Saturday Night Live vet, and most recently, as the voice of Marty the Zebra in the Madagascar series. But, the 49-year-old has dabbled in movie production and direction too. In his latest flick, Top Five, Rock is pretty much playing himself. Andre Allen (Rock) is a big-time movie star who fears going back into the comedy world after 4 years of sobriety and a chain reaction of box office flops.

Top Five, which also stars Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, and Gabrielle Union, is one of this year’s most creative and witty movies. Chris Rock, in true fashion, pushes the envelope with his racy, vulgar humor. One joke in particular involved a quick jab at JFK and the grassy knoll, so you can image the level of inappropriate hilarity.

Rapping buddies Jay Z and Kanye West serve as co-producers of the film. While the Roots’ Questlove managed the movie’s score as executive music producer. With that many musical geniuses involved, I was a little bummed to actually hear the music featured in the movie. The soundtrack was unoriginal and was filled with your everyday radio playlist.

While the music was predictable, the random listings of favorite rappers held more weight than that of the actual musical selection. The topic, specifically hip-hop, infrequently surfaced throughout the movie as characters discussed their own top rappers. This dialogue was the impromptu spice to this filmic feast.

There are so many surprise guests, both comedians and entertainers. So many wonderful, hilarious cameos that I am not willing to spoil their appearances. The obvious funny men, Cedric the Entertainer and Kevin Hart, were amongst the elite group.

Rosario Dawson’s character resonated with me personally and professionally. She played Chelsea Brown, a New York Times film critic who ghost writes under other names. I am Chelsea Brown- the journalist who wears many hats in the hopes of telling an honest story. Unlike other story chasers, we both possess the need to uncover the great, positive stories rather than dig up dirt.

This field is no easy ballpark. Between meetings some one-dimensional people and tasteless headlines, the idea of making newsworthy, well-written pieces is minimal. While there are some great perks to this work, it can get sidetracked with fame, recognition, and greed.

4 STARS: Chris Rock needed this movie. Chris Rock fans also needed this movie. Top Five is undeniably an amusing reflection of selecting and ranking who or what is most important in any given subject.

Since no one dared to show love to the ladies of hip-hop, here’s my Top Five Female Lyricists of All Time:

1.) Lauryn Hill
2.) MC Lyte
3.) Lil’ Kim
4.) Nicki Minaj
5.) Foxy Brown

Honorable Mention: Queen Latifah


Who’s in your Top Five?

Top Five Passes

Written, directed , and starring Chris Rock, TOP FIVE tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.  Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union,  Cedric The Entertainer, JB Smoove, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Hart,  Anders Holm, Jay Pharaoh, Michael Che, Sherri Shepherd,  Leslie Jones.  The film is produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush.  The Co-Producers are Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Kanye West; the Executive Music Producer is Questlove.  

o-TOP-FIVE-POSTER-570

The screening of TOP FIVE at the AMC Waterfront 22 on Tuesday, December 9th, beginning at 7:30 PM.  For your tickets, comment below with your favorite Chris Rock movie, joke, and/or moment.  I’ll start with my mine:  As vulgar as this may be, Chris Rock has comedy skit where he said women will dance to or enjoy any type of music- no matter how degrading the song is! “From the windows to the walls,  To the sweat drop down my balls, To all these b—— crawl, To all skeet skeet…”  I laughed so hard because it’s true!  I will literally dance to any song, if the melody is right and the song is catchy!

Top Five (R)
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

AMC Waterfront 22

Gofobo Code: PMSQ

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Rio 2

Rio 2 (1)

The rare Brazilian birds, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are back for Blue Sky Studios’ Rio 2. Since the first Rio (2011), the birds that were once at odds, now have a family together and possibly a flock of similar friends in the Amazon rainforest. Blu’s former owner and friend, Linda (Leslie Mann), and her husband, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), are still on a journey to save the wildlife in the South American country and find themselves needing saved after they stumbled across a surprise during travels.

For a kids’ movie, there were too many irrelevant elements to the plot and there were a lot of characters to keep up with. If the movie was multi-dimensional and complicated for a capable adult like myself, I am confident a few children left the theater confused. The core elements of any family animated movie should be attractive yet simple, silly yet predictable. Rio 2 was the opposite.

Rio 2 introduced a great deal of new characters. The most memorable feathered friend is voiced by superstar Bruno Mars, Roberto, Jewel’s childhood friend. Bruno Mars sings the entire movie and I am convinced that movie creators made Roberto just for him. As if Bruno Mars has not already dominated the music industry with hits like “When I Was Your Man”, “Just the Way You Are”, and “Grenade”, the Pop star blew me away in Rio 2. From the first utter, you recognize Bruno Mars’ soft voice and instantly connect with his character. He was charming, cunning and comical.

Rio 2 Bruno Mars

The movie has its share of entertainers. In addition to Bruno Mars, R&B singer Jamie Foxx and Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am rejoined the cast to lend their talents. All are featured on the movies soundtrack, except for will.i.am (I guess he was too busy!). Bruno sings “Welcome Back” and Jamie Foxx jumps on two tracks, “Batucada Familia” and “What Is Love”, with other cast members. The Rio 2 soundtrack also includes vocals from Janelle Monáe, Ester Dean, Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, and Andy Garcia.

According to Box Office Mojo, Rio 2 made an estimated $39.3 million its opening weekend in the box office. I imagine the film would have made more if it were not up against the highly-anticipated spooky thriller, Oculus, and Marvel’s Captain America, which is the #1 movie in America for 3 consecutive weeks. The Easter holiday season was an aid in ticket sales boost for the animated movie, raking in over $22 million.

2.5 Stars: Despite its intricate storytelling, Rio 2 is an ideal movie for all ages. Although I was not too thrilled for the finished product, little children all over the world will adore the sequel. It’s something about talking birds that make children gravitate. (Tweety Bird, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Chicken Little, and Woody Woodpecker)

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