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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Chris Rock!

Jul. 14, 2014by: Jesse Giroux

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: Grown Ups 2, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Grown Ups, I Think I Love My Wife, The Longest Yard, Head of State, Bad Company, Down to Earth

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, many consider Chris Rock to be one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, however his films haven't been nearly as impressive as his work as a comedian. The jury might think the prosecution is only going after him because of the Grown Ups movies (although we are pretty sure his Nat X from Saturday Night Live would slap the shit out of him for appearing in the Adam Sandler flicks), but the prosecution is more bothered by the awful films written and directed by Mr. Rock.

The comedian doesn't always pick the best projects to work on as an actor, but this trial shouldn't be about his bit roles in bad films (You Don't Mess with the Zohan) or some of the stuff he appeared in after SNL (Sgt. Bilko, Beverly Hills Ninja). A man's got to eat (or cameo in his friends' movies), right? However even when Mr. Rock does has a bigger part, it's usually in terrible movies like Bad Company and What to Expect When You're Expecting, and it's even worse when the comedian is also working behind the scenes as a director and/or screenwriter. Disappointing is probably the best way to describe his Down to Earth, Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife, but lazy and unfunny work as well. Mr. Rock's screenplays have been bland and uninspiring, especially compared to his brilliant stand-up material.

Based purely on his movies, the prosecution believes Mr. Rock needs to spend some time behind bars for his crimes. The prosecution isn't trying to suggest he's no longer funny or has lost "it" (he was actually quite hilarious at this year's BET Awards) and we're not pushing for a long sentence, but Mr. Rock definitely deserves to go to Movie Jail, at least for a couple of months.

The Defense: 2 Days in New York, Death at a Funeral, Madagascar series, Bee Movie, Good Hair, Osmosis Jones, Nurse Betty, Dogma, Lethal Weapon 4, CB4, New Jack City

Ladies and gentlemen, this case reminds the defense of a Mitch Hedberg joke about comedians, and what they have to deal with in their line of work:

When you’re in Hollywood and you’re a comedian, everybody wants you to do other things besides comedy. They say “All right you’re a stand-up comedian, can you act? Can you write? Write us a script.” They want me to do things that’s related to comedy, but it’s not comedy. That’s not fair. It’s as though if I was a cook, and I worked my ass off to become a good cook, and they said “All right you’re a cook… can you farm?

The point the defense is trying to make is most people identify my client as a comedian, and not an actor. It's not fair to judge him based only his movies since many consider him to be a stand-up comedian, and not a straight up actor, or even a comedic actor. Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy are both comedic actors since they are now more known for their films than their stand-up, however in the defense's opinion, Mr. Rock is more like a Patton Oswalt or David Cross; stand-up comedians who are very funny, but don't depend on movie roles. Also like many pure comedians, Mr. Rock has done a lot of voice work, and did a great job in animated films like Bee Movie, Osmosis Jones and the Madagascar series.

Not all of my client's films have been winners, but he has done some great work on the big screen, most notably in New Jack City, Nurse Betty and Dogma. While those are older movies, Mr. Rock has also had some recent success as well: the prosecution thought he was fantastic in Good Hair, Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York and Neil LaBute's Death at a Funeral remake. And although the prosecution probably doesn't think it should count since it's not a movie, the defense really enjoyed Mr. Rock's Everybody Hates Chris.

The prosecution isn't a fan of the movies written and directed by my client, but the defense isn't ready to give up on Mr. Rock, and has high hopes for his upcoming comedy Finally Famous. Maybe Mr. Rock's filmography isn't as great as it should be, but the defense still doesn't think Mr. Rock belongs in Movie Jail.

IN CLOSING...

Should Mr. Rock get a free pass since he is more known for his stand-up than his acting, or do you think he needs to at least get a slap on the wrist for his movie crimes? Does the prosecution have a case against Mr. Rock, or do you believe it's ridiculous he's up for Movie Jail? Is Chris Rock GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR VERDICT!

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Susan Sarandon was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with most jury members saying although the actress has appeared in some garbage during her career, her good films definitely make up for her bad ones. Many jury members also said it isn't easy being an older actress in Hollywood, but Miss Sarandon has still been able to find solid roles in great films.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
7:42AM on 07/17/2014

Not Guilty

Granted I'm probably only saying this because I'm a fan of his stand up, but still. He was pretty funny in Lethal Weapon 4.
Granted I'm probably only saying this because I'm a fan of his stand up, but still. He was pretty funny in Lethal Weapon 4.
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7:41PM on 07/15/2014

Not guilty, but...

He needs to stop associating with Sandler unless/until Sandler gets his act together and stop writing trash for his other Siamese butt buddies to act dumb in and for Rock to be totally squandered in.
He needs to stop associating with Sandler unless/until Sandler gets his act together and stop writing trash for his other Siamese butt buddies to act dumb in and for Rock to be totally squandered in.
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11:51PM on 07/14/2014

Guilty But...

As an actor, he's been in very bad movies, and been bad in them. But has proven he can act- while not a great movie, his performance in "I Think I Love My Wife" and his turn in the awesome "2 Days In New York" showcase his skills nicely.

So guilty, but barely.
As an actor, he's been in very bad movies, and been bad in them. But has proven he can act- while not a great movie, his performance in "I Think I Love My Wife" and his turn in the awesome "2 Days In New York" showcase his skills nicely.

So guilty, but barely.
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7:31PM on 07/14/2014
How can someone be so great at stand up comedy and so terrible in movies? Guilty!!!!

CB4 was good, that might be it.
How can someone be so great at stand up comedy and so terrible in movies? Guilty!!!!

CB4 was good, that might be it.
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7:17PM on 07/14/2014
Guilty. He's like the opposite of Robin Williams for me, who I like as an actor but not his stand-up. Rock is a good stand-up comedian, but has never really had a great movie.
Guilty. He's like the opposite of Robin Williams for me, who I like as an actor but not his stand-up. Rock is a good stand-up comedian, but has never really had a great movie.
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6:45PM on 07/14/2014

Innocent!

I Think I Love My Wife for the prosecution? LETHAL WEAPON 4 for the defense??? Seems ass-backwards to me. It looks like when he's on smaller movies they come out better, rather than studio-based, star-driven material. I foresee much better movies for him in the future.
I Think I Love My Wife for the prosecution? LETHAL WEAPON 4 for the defense??? Seems ass-backwards to me. It looks like when he's on smaller movies they come out better, rather than studio-based, star-driven material. I foresee much better movies for him in the future.
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5:52PM on 07/14/2014

Guilty

to jail with all of his friends
to jail with all of his friends
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4:53PM on 07/14/2014
Double post.
Double post.
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4:53PM on 07/14/2014
Guilty. It seems he always settles for less and his comedic mojo has pretty much run dry.
Guilty. It seems he always settles for less and his comedic mojo has pretty much run dry.
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4:46PM on 07/14/2014

GUILTY

didnt even have to read the article....when his last good movie was like a decade ago, GUILTY.
didnt even have to read the article....when his last good movie was like a decade ago, GUILTY.
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4:24PM on 07/14/2014
Good choice because it's a hard question, on one hand he's arguably the most successful black comedian ever. In the late nineties and early 00's he was starting to break into lead actor territory with some comedies, then there was Pooty Tang. So on the other hand he definitely seems to have hit his peek and learnt enough about the industry and made enough connections to keep working. I don't know much about Chris Rock as an artist or who he is when he's not in character. Soooo good question.
Good choice because it's a hard question, on one hand he's arguably the most successful black comedian ever. In the late nineties and early 00's he was starting to break into lead actor territory with some comedies, then there was Pooty Tang. So on the other hand he definitely seems to have hit his peek and learnt enough about the industry and made enough connections to keep working. I don't know much about Chris Rock as an artist or who he is when he's not in character. Soooo good question. This is called movie jail, so if it was standup comedy jail I would say innoncent but since it's not then I will have to vote guilty.
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3:26PM on 07/14/2014

He deserves a special sentence.

I don't want to say he's Guilty because that would imply he's either not talented or he wastes his talent. The thing is that he doesn't have talents as an actor or filmmaker. He should've never crossed over in the 1st place. He shouldn't get banished from Movie Land but rather escorted out.

Under the right circumstances, literally anyone can be directed into a decent enough performance. That's how Chris managed to show dramatic skills on DOWN TO EARTH. But in that movie and also in GROWN UPS
I don't want to say he's Guilty because that would imply he's either not talented or he wastes his talent. The thing is that he doesn't have talents as an actor or filmmaker. He should've never crossed over in the 1st place. He shouldn't get banished from Movie Land but rather escorted out.

Under the right circumstances, literally anyone can be directed into a decent enough performance. That's how Chris managed to show dramatic skills on DOWN TO EARTH. But in that movie and also in GROWN UPS 1 & 2, WHAT TO EXPECT, THE LONGEST YARD, HEAD OF STATE, LETHAL WEAPON 4 and as the narrator in EVERYBODY HATES "CHRIS" (yes, it does count because TV shows have been considered in previous trials) he just plays himself. And in typical Dreamworks fashion, his characters in BEE MOVIE and MADAGASCAR were written to be like him. The only exceptions to this are DEATH AT A FUNERAL (where he felt miscast as the "straight man") and NURSE "BETTY". Oh, also POOTIE TANG and BEVERLY HILLS NINJA (where he was relegated to a sidekick), and he didn't save those 2 movies. As a matter of fact, he's never been the worst part of a movie. But he's just out of his league. When he writes scripts, all the characters talk like stand-up comedians. The dialogue isn't natural.

If you don't agree with me, watch him on INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO. He analyzes everything related to stand-up comedy, but the students wanted to learn about acting! By the way, why did they also invite Elton John and Bon Jovi?
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1:50PM on 07/14/2014

His movies are usually pretty mediocre

I'm going to say he's guilty just because he's not a leading man and they keep trying to make him one. He's best in small doses in movies. The one rib scene in I'm gonna git you sucka is a classic
I'm going to say he's guilty just because he's not a leading man and they keep trying to make him one. He's best in small doses in movies. The one rib scene in I'm gonna git you sucka is a classic
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1:12PM on 07/14/2014

GUILTY

Next!!
Next!!
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12:59PM on 07/14/2014

I guess he's guilty

Can't he just be barred from doing movies? He's not at his strongest doing movies. He's best on a stage, with a microphone in his hand. He also helped Louis C.K. in his career, for which I'm eternally grateful. Rock has made some good movies, though, and if the defense is to be believed, more good than not. Most of his movies (in particular, his bad movies) were done as favors to friends. In fact, he's the only one of the Grown-Ups main cast I don't actively loath. But having said that, I can't
Can't he just be barred from doing movies? He's not at his strongest doing movies. He's best on a stage, with a microphone in his hand. He also helped Louis C.K. in his career, for which I'm eternally grateful. Rock has made some good movies, though, and if the defense is to be believed, more good than not. Most of his movies (in particular, his bad movies) were done as favors to friends. In fact, he's the only one of the Grown-Ups main cast I don't actively loath. But having said that, I can't come up with a particularly compelling defense of his movies by and large.
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12:11PM on 07/14/2014
Difficult to say, never found him very funny on screen and still think the best performance he gave was in NJC. On stage though he has always killed it and will continue to. I'll say GUILTY as a screen actor just because of the overall output.
Difficult to say, never found him very funny on screen and still think the best performance he gave was in NJC. On stage though he has always killed it and will continue to. I'll say GUILTY as a screen actor just because of the overall output.
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12:07PM on 07/14/2014
To me, he is the funniest stand up comedian ever. However, most of the movies he has been in have been awful. Therefore, guilty.
To me, he is the funniest stand up comedian ever. However, most of the movies he has been in have been awful. Therefore, guilty.
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11:08AM on 07/14/2014

Guilty

Although I liked him in Lethal Weapon 4 & love his stand-up, almost all of his movies are just terrible.
Although I liked him in Lethal Weapon 4 & love his stand-up, almost all of his movies are just terrible.
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11:06AM on 07/14/2014

Not Guilty!!

Remember when he was the voice of the hampster in Doctor Dolittle? And next week we should do Greg Kinear.
Remember when he was the voice of the hampster in Doctor Dolittle? And next week we should do Greg Kinear.
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11:01AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty. Glad to see the majority of the Grown Ups cast in movie jail.
Guilty. Glad to see the majority of the Grown Ups cast in movie jail.
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10:53AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty. Never liked him, never thought he was funny.
Guilty. Never liked him, never thought he was funny.
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10:44AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty.....which is a shame as I quite like him and saw him do stand up live here in uk but he's been in sandlers crew too long
Guilty.....which is a shame as I quite like him and saw him do stand up live here in uk but he's been in sandlers crew too long
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9:29AM on 07/14/2014
Over the years I have found Chris Rock to be very annoying. So it's definitely a guilty for me.
Over the years I have found Chris Rock to be very annoying. So it's definitely a guilty for me.
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9:29AM on 07/14/2014

Guilty

His time has passed. He deserves to be locked away along with all the other Adam Sandler filth
His time has passed. He deserves to be locked away along with all the other Adam Sandler filth
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9:00AM on 07/14/2014
NEVER understood Chris Rock has an [link] Yes, one of the funniest stand ups ever. Was the best not to long ago, and he only "lost" that title because he hasn't done much in a while, not because he bombed or something. Def guilty. I don't understand his cook/farmer metaphor. He's hilarious. He has the ability to find humor in everyday situations, but can't use that same ability to find something funny in a script? Like Louie, who often times takes his jokes and kinda acts them out on
NEVER understood Chris Rock has an [link] Yes, one of the funniest stand ups ever. Was the best not to long ago, and he only "lost" that title because he hasn't done much in a while, not because he bombed or something. Def guilty. I don't understand his cook/farmer metaphor. He's hilarious. He has the ability to find humor in everyday situations, but can't use that same ability to find something funny in a script? Like Louie, who often times takes his jokes and kinda acts them out on his show? Ok he's not a great actor or director, I can give him passes and understand that. However, he knows funny. So in the very very least, he should know the majority of his film work isn't. It's embarrassing.
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8:59AM on 07/14/2014

Guilty...

The only time this man has ever made me laugh in a movie is when it's Kevin Smith dialogue.
The only time this man has ever made me laugh in a movie is when it's Kevin Smith dialogue.
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8:50AM on 07/14/2014

Guilty

Love his standup, but his comedic personality doesn't transfer over to films very well.
Love his standup, but his comedic personality doesn't transfer over to films very well.
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8:37AM on 07/14/2014

Rush Hour 1,2,3, 4

I love Jackie Chan. And the action bits of these movies can be fun, but the Banter... phew. whoa. Rough stuff. But someone must love them....
I love Jackie Chan. And the action bits of these movies can be fun, but the Banter... phew. whoa. Rough stuff. But someone must love them....
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8:26AM on 07/14/2014

Not guilty

His stand up comedy has been legendary. Who can't forget bigger and blacker? One of my favorite stand up specials. Plus his time as host of the bet awards this year prove that rock still has comedy chops. I say probation for now until something revives his career, perhaps another stand up special
His stand up comedy has been legendary. Who can't forget bigger and blacker? One of my favorite stand up specials. Plus his time as host of the bet awards this year prove that rock still has comedy chops. I say probation for now until something revives his career, perhaps another stand up special
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8:13AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty!!!
Guilty!!!
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8:00AM on 07/14/2014

Guilty

Chris Rock hasn't made a good movie in a long time.
His best stuff is Madagascar series. His most sincere film was I think I Love My Wife.
Not good enough. He's not getting the best roles and he isn't giving the best of himself to them.
He's only in it for the paychecks now. Do you see love for film in his performances? Rock needs a time out to reflect on his career and figure how to salvage it and improve the quality.
Chris Rock hasn't made a good movie in a long time.
His best stuff is Madagascar series. His most sincere film was I think I Love My Wife.
Not good enough. He's not getting the best roles and he isn't giving the best of himself to them.
He's only in it for the paychecks now. Do you see love for film in his performances? Rock needs a time out to reflect on his career and figure how to salvage it and improve the quality.
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7:21AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty... He's not an actor. He's just being himself all the time.
Guilty... He's not an actor. He's just being himself all the time.
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7:18AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty. Lethal Weapon 4 as Defense? I like Lethal Weapon 4 but Chris Rock's character was really annoying to me. He's been hanging out with Adam Sandler too long. Guilty as charged.
Guilty. Lethal Weapon 4 as Defense? I like Lethal Weapon 4 but Chris Rock's character was really annoying to me. He's been hanging out with Adam Sandler too long. Guilty as charged.
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6:53AM on 07/14/2014
Guilty.He starred in Grown ups and didn`t learn his lesson and starred in part 2.

Can we please do Dennis Quaid for next weeks one!!! Pretty please.
Guilty.He starred in Grown ups and didn`t learn his lesson and starred in part 2.

Can we please do Dennis Quaid for next weeks one!!! Pretty please.
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