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    ‘Top Five’ delivers raunchy, heartfelt laughs

    Top Five Written & Directed by Chris Rock USA, 2014   Chris Rock’s new tour de force, Top Five, is so cleverly written that you don’t even realize it’s a romantic-comedy until the deed is nearly done.  By that point, even the coldest, most cynical man is powerless to resist its charms.  Smart, nasty and […] More

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    The Hype Cycle: Contenders Arrive in Theaters

    Excuse the absence in this column for the last few weeks. I’ve been covering the Chicago International Film Festival, catching up with a few of the Foreign Language Oscar contenders while there. Now however, many of these movies are finally making their ways into theaters, providing an extra wrinkle into the race as both critics […] More

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    Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ gets a trailer

    Chris Rock’s comedy Top Five made waves when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year, sparking a major bidding war to the tune of $12.5 million to Paramount Pictures, an instant Oscar campaign and the makings of a box office smash. The film has been called Rock’s Annie Hall, a meta look at […] More

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    The Hype Cycle: Toronto, Telluride and Venice Oscar buzz (Part 1)

    The Hype Cycle is News Editor Brian Welk’s roundup of industry news, reviews and predictions of everything Oscar, boiled down into weekly power rankings of the buzziest and most likely contenders in this year’s awards season. The Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award has been one of the most reliable barometers for both Best […] More

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    TIFF 14: ‘Top Five’ is one of the best comedies in years

    Chris Rock has always been one of the most invigorating presences in the comedy scene. His comedy is confrontational, biting and hilarious. Up until this point, his foray into filmmaking has rarely matched his unique and vibrant talents, and while there are certainly exceptions, on-screen Chris Rock has usually been reduced to a much tamer and often much less funny version of himself. With Top Five, however, the gears seems to shift. Chris Rock not only shows off why he is one of the funniest people alive, but applies his humour to a surprisingly daring narrative about the value of laughter and the struggle of being an artist. The film also works as a wonderful meta-textual narrative on the state of the current Hollywood system, as well as a touching romance. More