I saw “Top Five” last night and walked away from the theater feeling really good. I knew I wanted to support black cinema and indie films more than ever, but I didn’t know what to expect from the movie. I just wanted to laugh a little after a rough work week and thought this would the perfect way to relax while eating M&M’s. One of my favorite things about “Top Five” is the on screen chemistry between Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson. Great choice for the lead. She holds her own and is so funny and believable. It was not my intent to turn this post into a critique as I am not a film critic and am not interested in being one. I only want to convey how this movie made me feel as I watched it. I can’t speak for people of color across the planet, but it feels good when I see people that look like me on the screen. Growing up I had Spike Lee for a cinema savior and all of my black entertainment hopes rested on he and his craft. He was the filmmaker I admired most during his rise, but there was no other black man or woman to celebrate. I know there have been others on the scene before Lee, such as the Van Peebles family, but my knowledge of black men and women of cinema before Spike is lacking.
Back to the movie. I laughed hard many times and I thought to myself often that only Chris Rock would be able to come up with some of the crazy scenes! He is a genius in my opinion and I hope he makes tons of films. I don’t want to give anything away, but I do want to hug the casting director. The mixture of countless cameos blew my mind. Actors and comedians I never expected to see made my night! The scene of Rock visiting his ex and friends at the apartment made me feel right at home. I felt as if I was walking into my own family event. I have admired Chris Rock and his stand-up for years. I think he brings a level of intelligence and wit to his routines. His comedy shows are both funny and filled with intellect and I think he goes deep into touchy issues. I now am looking forward to his film projects more so than any routines. Surely I would also see him as an actor under other directors, but I want to see his handy work. It’s getting so that nowadays I don’t care as much for the big Hollywood blockbuster, as much as I do a film that slows itself down and let’s the story play out. There is so much more out there for me as a movie goer. I’m done with Hollywood anyway over the large gap in diversity. I’m basically on my own exodus away from the Hollywood powers that be. I am so thankful for Ava Duvernay, Steve McQueen, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Antoine Fuqua, the Hudlin Brothers, Tyler Perry, Bill Duke, Robert Townsend, Allen Hughes, Tim Story, Debbie Allen, Theodore Witcher, Malcolm Lee, Gina Prince-Bythewood and others who I’ve forgotten or those whom I know nothing of. For those black filmmakers and pioneers I’ve never heard of, shame on me for not digging deeper to find this black gold. Special mention goes out to Melinda James from the Bay Area. Looking forward to seeing more of her visuals, and those of other African-American women.
I would recommend “Top Five” to everyone although it isn’t for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and want to see it again before it leaves theaters. This time I want to have popcorn and the largest soda ever, plus those M&M’s. Rock inspired me on this one, and also made me want to take a trip to NYC. I am definitely going to churn out my first screenplay in 2015 and unleash the creative storm welled up inside me. This was a great way to start off my theater going life for the new year. Glad “Top Five’ was the first movie for me and I couldn’t have written this one for myself any better. Oh, before I go, my top five: Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest, De la Soul, Wu-Tang, Rakim, and my sixth man is Public Enemy. Yeah.