Tag Archives: www.kushfilms.com

Chris Rock’s Top Five

By Zeba Blay
05.12.14

TOP-FIVE-FILMFrom Saturday Night Live to hilarious comedy specials to blockbusters including Lethal Weapon 4 and the Madagascar franchise, Chris Rock has proved to be one of Hollywood’s funniest men.

Yet with his third directorial effort, Top Five (the title references a running joke in the movie about the top five rappers of all time), Rock reminds us he’s a comic with far more depth than he receives credit for. He plays Andre Allen, a comedian and recovering alcoholic gearing up for the release of his first-ever dramatic movie. With cameos from a bevy of celebs, Rock, 49, tells a story that’s as brutally honest and intelligent as it is funny, exploring the highs and lows of fame. The star recently talked with ESSENCE about his own pre-release jitters, working with leading lady Rosario Dawson and his future as a filmmaker.

ESSENCE: There was a bidding war for Top Five at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. That buzz has triggered talk about awards, including the Oscars. That has to feel incredibly satisfying—and maybe a little scary?

CHRIS ROCK: I’m just happy people like the movie. When we showed it at Toronto, I had just finished the final mix four days earlier. I had no idea what the reaction would be. Getting an Oscar would be nice, but I can’t even begin to process that. I’ll be happy with a Soul Train Award!

ESSENCE: Your character Andre feels very familiar. Watching him felt like seeing Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Kevin Hart all rolled into one. Was that intentional?

C.R.: He is a gumbo of me and all those comedic greats. We’ve all gone through this whole “Black comedian” experience. But no one’s told that story. Ever. Shows like Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm or even Seinfeld don’t fully tell our story. So I wanted to capture that.

ESSENCE: Top Five really goes beyond capturing our story and into elevating it. You showed a nuanced style of directing, which is different from what one might expect from a comic in general and from Chris Rock specifically. What inspired you to dig deeper?

C.R.: I did a movie with Julie Delpy called 2 Days in New York. Watching her direct and write had an impact on me. Although that film wasn’t a [commercial success], we got great feedback. That made me realize, Oh. okay, this is the lane i should be in.

ESSENCE: Another surprising element in the film is Rosario Dawson. She’s an amazing actress but she’s never been known for comedy.

C.R.: Offstage Rosario is really funny! I don’t wanna say she plays herself, “cause she does great acting, but this character’s probably closer to her than anything she’s played.

ESSENCE: This project seems to have a dramatic tone. Are you heading in a more serious direction, especially as an actor?

C.R.: I’m Pookie from New Jack City. I’ve done drama, just not in a long time. Hey, I love 12 Years a Slave, but I would have loved it more if I was the slave. I’m inspired by what actors like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Don Cheadle do. Would I love those kinds of opportunities? Sure. But people don’t think of me that way.

ESSENCE: Naturally, a conversation about a movie called Top Five is not complete without asking you your top five rappers. Who are they?

C.R.: [Laughs] Jay Z, Nas, Rakim, Ice Cube and Kanye West!

Top Five hits the UK on the 8th May 2015 and of course Kush Promotions & PR will be handling all urban marketing and PR for the release.

Stay tuned to www.kushfilms.com for further news & competitions.

Must say I was disappointed that Chris has Jay-Z as his No1 rap artiste – is he sure about that?

The original article features in the January 2015 issue of ESSENCE magazine, on newstands now.

©  Essence Magazine December 2014

Sony Pictures Wallows In Their Own Mire!

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Sony Pictures internal systems hacked by an unknown group of hackers called “GOP” the FBI says are affiliated with the North Korea government, unhappy about the new Seth Rogan comedy film “The Interview”  which in a mock CIA assassination attempt ridicules their leader Kim Jong-un .

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Seth Rogan & Amy Pascal

Wow; what a terrible last two weeks it has been for multi-conglomerate film distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment!

Cyber-terrorism, internal email system hacked, revealing financial information, high-profile star payments, employee’s private details and email communications all released to the world and then on top of all that new film release ‘The Interview’ pulled from theatrical release after national security threats from hackers GOP (Guardians of Peace) supposedly based in rogue totalitarian country North Korea.

As we now know big boss and co-chairwoman Amy Pascal and fellow super-producer Scott Rudlin also regularly sent each emails which can be considered racially insensitive, others where they appeared to mock the taste of none other than the president of America or slandered the standards of high-profile actors like Angela Jolie, Denzil Washington & rising comedic star Kevin Hart amongst others.

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Scott Rubin & Amy Pascal

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Kevin Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony was last week forced to pull the release of the “The Interview” from cinemas, as more and more cinemas said they would not take the risk and show the film due to threats from GOP to take action (including bomb threats) against any cinema showing the film.

This has all lead to a big furore about filmmakers and ‘creative freedoms’ and Sony Pictures giving in too easy against the GOP cyber-terrorists especially with the government saying there was no real credible threat. For a full view of The Sony hack, exposure of their personal emails and accusations of racism and the President Obama & FBI agency government threat response see the links below – you will also find various other pages here on www.kushfilms.com featuring interesting news relating to African-American stars caught up in Sony Gate.

Kush Promotions & PR Past Dealings With Sony
We ourselves as a leading film Exhibitor & PR/Marketing company working in this industry for 16 years know to well what lies behind the veil of illusion manufactured by multi-conglomerate film distributors under the guise of Hollywood.  We ourselves over the years have encountered many issues of ignorance and the closed doors of a institutionally racist UK film industry.

We also had a serious falling out with Sony Pictures right here in the UK; this happened a few years ago when Kush Promotions & PR CEO Marlon Palmer was asked to support the marketing of theMarlonPalmer2012_Headshot film ‘Step UP 2’ by the then marketing manager (her name is absolutely not worth mentioning – she matters not now!).

This marketing manager asked Marlon Palmer to come up with a concept to promote the film. An idea was developed by Marlon which involved elements of a national dance finals event, but soon thereafter the marketing manager was influenced by Sony Pictures main regular PR company who appeared to be envious of Kush’s involvement. The marketing manager head was turned and she decided to jump into bed with an alternative street dance promoter who was doing his own thing and running his own already established dance competition event. What they didn’t know was that Marlon Palmer had already made contact with this promoter through his research work for the job and was in communication with the promoter. After the marketing manger went ahead and agreed a deal with this new promoter she then in a bear-faced and unprofessional manner completely denied that she had ever engaged Kush (Marlon Palmer) in any work – even though there was plenty of email evidence that she had & there was obviously the actual work that had been already been carried out.

This all ensued into a serious argument where court action was threatened after it was clear this woman would lie,lie & lie even more!

In the end Marlon Palmer decided to walk away as the whole thing became very negative and counter-productive and it would have been too financially costly to take Sony to court and the only other alternative was to turn Schwarzenegger, go down to their offices to confront her and kick the hell out everyone who got in the way, as recently described by Marlon Palmer he honestly felt this way as he had worked hard over many years to get Kush Promotions into the position it was in at that time and he was definitely not used to people taking mind-boggling liberties like that but in the end he thought better of his course of action!

The simple fact of the matter is right now; Kush has no animosity towards Sony (well, may be with “The Liar” if she was to be met somewhere, especially on a cold dark night, LOL!), what actually happened was the great catalyst for Marlon Palmer to go away, re-think life in general and create the path to conquer what he saw as the institutionally racist UK film industry at that time & hey-presto here we are today with Kush as the NO 1 Marketing & PR specialist of black (‘urban’) films in the UK and the go-to-company for most UK distributors for the marketing & PR of so many major black film releases here in the UK.

Its funny how life works out eh!

Sometimes in life its the negative things that happen that teaches you how to deal with aspects of life and helps you to clearly see your path forward. Kush says: Thank you “Liar, Liar” the lesson was appreciated!

Here are some links to some of the recent catastrophic Sony Pictures happenings taking place in America.

Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Scot Rudlin’s Racist emails…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2869917/I-bet-Obama-likes-Kevin-Hart-Sony-Pictures-chair-Amy-Pascal-producer-Scott-Rudin-s-racist-email-exchange-President-revealed-latest-hacking-leak.html

Sony Hack: Carmike Cinemas Drops ‘The Interview:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-hack-carmike-cinemas-drops-758444

The Hollywood Reporter: Sony Hack (a collection of their articles)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/topic/sony-hack

Kevin Hart Responds To Slam In Sony Email Leak
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/kevin-hart-sony-hack_n_6311400.html

Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington’s Overseas Box Office Appeal
http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-leaked-sony-email-challenges-denzel-washingtons-overseas-box-office-appeal-20141217

Sony Hack Fallout Includes Unraveling of Relationships in Hollywood
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/business/media/sony-attack-is-unraveling-relationships-in-hollywood.html?_r=0