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 full of ideas on topics such as fame/celebrity, reinvention, addiction, and reality television, and does an admirable job integrating all of the above to great effect. Combine these smarts with an excellent cast (led by a memorable turn by Cedric the Entertainer) and the end result is a consistently funny, self-aware movie that deserves to be seen.
Now that I’ve reminded you how talented Chris Rock is, let’s take a look at this week’s Top 5:
1. First Full Trailer for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION
Say what you will about Tom Cruise off the screen, on it he’s the biggest/best blockbuster action star working today. I could point to past work to help support my stance, but chances are you’re familiar with most of that already. Instead, I’ll point to the first trailer for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation where Cruise kicks a reasonable amount of ass and literally hangs on to the outside of a moving plane. Case closed.
2. SUPER TROOPERS 2 Gets Distribution; Hits Crowdfunding Goal in One Day
I know it’s heresy, but Club Dread is actually my favorite Broken Lizard film. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate some good Super Troopers 2 news as much as the next guy/gal, though. This past week, Steve interviewed the Broken Lizard guys and they revealed that the sequel had secured distribution from 20th Century Fox and that an Indiegogo campaign had launched to help support it. One day later the film’s $2 million minimum goal had been met which I assume means people are pretty excited about seeing it.
3. First Teaser Trailer for SPECTRE
Bond fans have plenty to be happy about this week as Sony not only released the first teaser trailer for Spectre but Steve also graced the site with a description of the film’s opening chase sequence which he learned about while visiting its Mexico City set. All of this good news can only be offset by the realization that none of us will ever be able to wear a suit or a turtleneck even half as well as Daniel Craig can.
4. GET HARD Interviews and Review
Even though it came in second to DreamWorks Animation’s Home on Friday, our Nicole Pederson does well to point out that Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s Get Hard is still on track to earn more in its opening weekend than both The Wedding Ringer (Hart’s last release) and Anchorman 2. Whether you’ve already contributed to its box office take or are mulling over the possibility of doing so, I encourage you to check out Perri’s review and Steve’s video interviews with Ferrell & Hart and Alison Brie to help round out your day.
5. THE X-FILES Returning to Fox for Six-Episode Event
It’s official: The X-Files is returning to Fox in the form of a six-episode event series. You can either rejoice in the fact that one of your all-time favorite television shows is making a comeback or you can cower in fear that these new stories won’t live up to your expectations. It’s happening either way, so prepare yourself. Speaking of which, I suppose I can say the same for all of you Coach fans out there too. Although, let’s face it, Craig T. Nelson can do no wrong so there’s really nothing to be worried about on that front.