See Chris Rock's TOP FIVE (Rock in Philly Video)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rock's "Top Five" displays the finest strengths we've seen yet from a filmmaker who is clearly becoming more immersed in and thoughtful about his craft. There is a slow growing group of comic voices aspiring to put more soul and feeling into comedies, and Rock joins Louis CK, Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow in that category with this film... READ MORE - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

This isn't the first praise I've read when it comes to Chris Rock's thoughtful, semi-autobiographical, comedy Top Five (click for trailer) about a successful "Hammy" comedian coming to a crossroads in his life, looking to take a serious left turn with a film about the Haitian slave revolution, all while planning a televised celebrity wedding to a Reality Star (Gabrielle Union) and reluctantly agreeing to a New York Times profile piece being written by a woman he finds interesting (Rosario Dawson).

The below is video I shot during Chris Rock's visit to Philly to introduce #TopFive at the preview screening 12/9/14 (Note: video will not be visible to those receiving Tinsel & Tine via RSS Feed.)

Rosario Dawson
Turns out Chris Rock is a filmmaker.  He's written and directed an Entourage type look at fame/celebrity from the perspective of someone who built his world while high and now has to see if it really exists while sober. He's given Dawson's character enough backstory to make you care, not only about her, but also about their attraction to one another. Of course, as is so often the case, when a story is penned by a man, he makes certain to cast the woman as the deceptor; but we'll let that slide. (Side note: I do think Rosario Dawson can pull it off, but I don't want to see her half shaved hairstyle become a big trend. Tichina Arnold is sporting a one-sided close cut in the movie too).

J.B. Smooth plays Andre Allen's (Rock) long time friend/manager with a penchant for thick women. As you can see by this picture of J.B. with his gorgeous wife Shahidah Omar, that running gag must not be based on his actual preference, but it really works in the movie.

J.B. Smooth & Shahidah Omar

Top Five does have a number of "R" rated scenes, and that does stand for raunchy, but they are legitimately funny, not gratuitous "Marlon Wayans" type nonsense.  And the cameos... the cameos!!! Never thought I'd see Jerry Seinfeld making it rain.

T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5

Le Anne Lindsay's Top Five

1. TLC
2. Kayne West
4. Salt n Pepa
5. Heavy D


In the film, which I'll see next week too, supposedly there's a running bit involving
Top Five lists being asked and argued. 
So I thought I'd list 5 Top Funny Chris Rock quotes:

  1. “We got so much food in America we're allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain't allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda's got a fucking lactose intolerance?!”

  2.   "Every now and then I'm in a situation where someone doesn't recognize me, and I experience racism. Things like not being buzzed into a store or sitting in first class on a plane and having someone ask to see my ticket four times".

  3. "Comedians tend to find a comfort zone and stay there and do lamer versions of themselves for the rest of their career".

  4. "Anything I say about women, I try to make sure that at least five or six friends of mine are going through a similar situation. That way I'm not picking on my wife."

  5. "I'm severely overrated. I'm just above a hack. That should be the name of my new DVD: 'Chris Rock: Slightly Above Hack". 
Read more at 


I have 1 (admit 2) spot to see Top Five (click for twitter page) without having to wait in that screening passes line, instead you'll go straight to the check-in table, give your name, and a seat will have been reserved for you in the theater.

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time: 7:30pm ( I would still get there by 7:15pm)

Place: Regal Cinemas King of Prussia Stadium 16 IMAX and RPX
           (300 Goddard Blvd, King of Prussia, PA 19406)

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Top Five opens on Friday, December 12, 2014

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"Where is your God now Moses?" - EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

Saturday, December 13, 2014

That's just such an iconic line delivered by Edward G. Robinson in Cecil B. DeMille's classic The Ten Commandments. And say what you will about Charlton Heston later in life becoming a gun law opposing NRA frontman; before all that, he made a very believable and imposing Moses, despite being Caucasian.  It's was impossible for me to watch Ridley Scott's latest efforts to join the big budget Bible bandwagon - Exodus: Gods and Kings, without comparing it to The Ten Commandments and I'm certain I'm not alone.  There's just something so magical and moving about this 1956 telling of the life of Moses, beginning with his adoption by the Pharaoh's daughter out of a basket found in the reeds, to his snake shifting staff, to delivering the stone tablets.

I'm sure Scott, Christian Bale (as Moses) and the studios behind this 140 million dollar mammoth undertaking felt they could bring something new and powerful to this biblical story, particularly in light of today's technology. Unfortunately, Bale can't fill Heston's sandals, Joel Edgerton can't steer Yul Brenner's chariot, and as visually impressive as the scenes with swarms of flies, bloody seas, hordes of frogs and plagues of locusts may be... there's just no spirit to Exodus: Gods and Kings, no glue, no form and no consistency in casting, I understand Scott's loyalty to Alien lead Sigourney Weaver, but her cameo as the Pharaoh's mother just looked odd. I'm not alone when I say it would be good to see one of these movies set in Egypt, Jerusalem etc.., use an all brown/tan, ethnic looking cast, not just throw in an authentic looking wife or two.  I know studios need to feel a movie must have a big name actor attached to it; but what's really needed are top biblical scholars and a single writer with insight and vision on these projects, then you wouldn't need to pepper the movie with stars.

If you're looking for a movie full of testosterone, gorgeous CGI, swords and shields raised in battle, and two cocky guys going from brothers to enemies, then I recommend Exodus: Gods and Kings. If you were hoping to see an examination of Moses as a man and instrument, a story about faith and destiny, ancient history and wonder, then you're not alone - perhaps one day.- Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

T &T's LAMB Score : 2.5 outta 5

Around the Web

In answer to the white casting choices, director Ridley Scott had this to say:
"Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture," the director told Yahoo. READ MORE  The Playlist

Moses is imagined as if Scott met him on an awkward first date. He’s presented as a courageous hero, then as a holy fool directed by a dour boyish deity who may be an illusion. The one point of clarity about his decades-long rescue mission is how violent it is. It’s as if Moses’ acts were cannibalized for an expensive remake of “Mortal Kombat.” There’s clearly nothing in the director’s mind except how the hordes of thousands should be whirling and thrashing in the next chariot fight scene. He believes we’ll never complain if we don’t understand the story completely, as long as there’s always something interesting happening on-screen...READ MORE Colin Covert -

The Exodus story has endured for more than 3000 years. It is the story of liberation from bondage, victory over oppressors and how one individual can make a difference. See The Exodus Revealed - Search for the Red Sea Crossing video below (Note:video will not be visible to those receiving Tinsel & Tine via RSS Feed.) 

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25 TO LIFE chronicles the story of William Brawner, a young man who kept his HIV positive status a secret for over twenty-five years. Now, William seeks redemption from his promiscuous past as he embarks on a new phase of life with his wife who is HIV Negative. We journey with William and his family as he struggles to carve out an open and honest future. 25 TO LIFE is supported by Sundance Institute, Cinereach, The GoodPitch, IFP, Firelight Media Lab, and Tribeca All Access and is the 2014 American Black Film Festival Grand Prize Jury winner. "25 to Life" Opens December 1, 2014 - World AIDS Day

Coming in December

Chris Rock's trailer for the Paramount Pictures film TOP FIVE is now live!

Written, directed by, 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, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah.

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.

Opens in Theaters December 5th select Cities - Wide Release December 12th


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Opening Christmas Day: Into the Woods

David Oyelowo will star as Martin Luther King Jr in "Selma"

Looking forward to Ava DuVernay's (Producer:Oprah) "Selma" starring one of my favorite actors David Oyelowo who was also in Ava's "Middle of Nowhere"

Opens January 9, 2015

TT Highlights : GET ON UP

TT Highlights : GET ON UP
I know biopics often get a bad name, they can be cliched and predictable or the reverse, so creatively told that you lose the gist of the story and the heart of the intended subject. I tend to like them good or bad, from offerings like The Runaways (Cherie Currie & Joan Jett) which didn't quite hit the mark, to Ray (Ray Charles) and Walk The Line (Johnny Cash) that rightfully became critically acclaimed films. I'm just fascinated with the whole rise and fall aspect of telling life stories READ POST

What Did You Think Of: AND SO IT GOES

What Did You Think Of: AND SO IT GOES
Perhaps purposefully, art imitates life, as Oren's son, (Like Douglas' own son) because of or in-spite of a privileged up bringing, has screwed up his life with drugs. The one thing he's done right is produce an adorable 10 year-old daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), who Oren meets when his son drops her off at his doorstep, as he's leaving to go serve time. READ POST


Personally, I still maintain, what made the book(s) a guilty pleasure can't be captured in a movie, it's just not the type of story that will translate well on screen. That being said, I'll still be the first one there come Valentine's Day 2015! Here's Tinsel & Tine's Review of the Books - My Two Cents on Fifty Shades of Grey (Book / Movie)

What Did You Think Of: BELLE

What Did You Think Of: BELLE
#Belle is a beautifully shot film (on the Isle of Mann), the writing gives us many poignant thoughts and thought provoking dialogue. The romantic chemistry between Dido Belle and Mr. Davinier (Sam Reid) is what all us hopeless romantics look for in a movie. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw acts with such expression in her eyes, she's simply lovely (despite her unappealing name). I adore this movie! I also got such a delight every time someone referred to Dido as Miss Lindsay, as that's my last name, of course it makes me wonder, could I be a long, long lost relation?...READ MORE


Those that could fit in anywhere are called Divergents, they are considered dangerous because they can't be controlled and molded into one way of thinking. Those that don't fit in anywhere are called Faction-less and they live a miserable, homeless existence, but nobody's much worried about them. I'm thinking, if you choose a faction based on your own free will, wouldn't that automatically make you a Divergent?...READ MORE

What did you think of: I Origins

What did you think of:  I Origins
The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same. So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead, then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?READ MORE

Did You See: Boyhood

Did You See: Boyhood
How I wish I could have filmed the last 12-15 years of my life, because I swear it often feels like I've done nothing, barely enjoyed myself, have made no progress, can't think of a single anecdote to tell and the small significant moments of in-significances, just don't seem to be stored in my brain. But if I could look back at even one day of each year, I'm sure I would be so much happier with who I am, what I've experienced and how far I've come...READ POST

Recent post: The Trip to Italy

Recent post: The Trip to Italy
Absolutely nothing! But somehow the juxtaposition of so much pop-culture fodder, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's semi-autobiographical characters set against travel porn, makes The Trip to Italy a randomly amusing and thoroughly breathtaking flick.READ MORE


I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.READ MORE

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap
If you read this blog frequently, you know I mention cake quite a lot. I'm a self-confessed cake-aholic, but I'm also a cake snob. I don't want just anything with icing on it, and in fact, it is crucial that the icing not be too sweet, too thick and preferably only on top. It's difficult to put into words what constitutes good cake, it's like describing a sunset or an orgasm, you just know it when you're in the moment of it...READ MORE

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy
Got a chance to not only be among the media photogs at the "Think Like A Man Too" red carpet, but I also got to interview Meagan Good and Michael Ealy SEE POST

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here
When a filmmaker is prolific, like a Steven Soderbergh before his "retirement", we tend to allow each movie to stand on its own merit; but when the filmmaker does one movie and then waits 10 years to do another, it's impossible not to compare it to the first offering. Thus, I suppose Wish I Was Here was going to have to be truly, truly brilliant to keep people from saying - it's no Garden State. T &T's LAMB Score: 3 outta 5 READ FULL POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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