Day 168: Rock The Kasbah (2015)

rock the kasbahFor today’s film, I am a huge fan of Bill Murray (Stripes, Ghostbusters) to the point that if I started a hall of fame, I would induct him in right away. So, when I found out that Netflix had his latest film Rock The Kasbah available to watch, I chose it for today. Bill stars as music manager Richie Lanz who is really down on his luck lately. While bringing one of his acts  Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel) to a club, he gets an idea of doing a USO show in Afghanistan that could benefit him. The only problem is that as soon as he gets there, Ronnie steals his money and leaves. Stuck in a country during time of war, he discovers a voice unlike any other because it’s forbidden for a woman to sing. That doesn’t stop him from trying to get her on a local TV competition despite the danger. The film also stars Bruce Willis (Die Hard) as Bombay Brian, Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) as Merci, Leem Lubany (Omar) as Salima, Scott Caan (Varsity Blues) as Jake, Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) as Nick, Arian Moayed (Rosewater) as Riza, Taylor Kinney (The Forest) as Private Barnes, and the film was directed by Barry Levinson (Toys).

1401x788-Rock-KasbahAs far as Bill Murray films are concerned, it’s not the best one ever, but it was enjoyable to watch. There’s nothing revolutionary in a film like this, just a cool story featuring a very cool actor. Some things in the film do not make sense to me, but then again I have never been to Afghanistan. One of the things is an American woman (Kate Hudson) working as a prostitute in a county that is against women doing anything. One thing is definitely for sure and that is Kate Hudson looks incredibly sexy in this film especially the scene where she’s in the pool. I thought Danny McBride and Scott Caan making appearances in this film was pretty cool and a nice touch. One thing is definitely for sure and that is I could totally buy Bill Murray as a music manager because he has the right kind of personality that makes you believe so. Even though the film was filmed in Morocco, the cinematography and sets made you believe that you were there with the cast. One of my favorite scenes int he film comes when Bill Murray plays and sings Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water on what I believe is an Oud (an Arabic guitar). While he may not be the greatest singer, that was still a very cool Murray like moment. Like I said, this isn’t the greatest Bill Murray film ever, but it was still fun to watch in my opinion. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.


Day 70: The Night Before (2015)

The-Night-Before-Poster-Christmas-sliceThere is nothing I love more in this world than Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and comedies that he is involved in. So, naturally when I saw that The Night Before was available to rent, I definitely jumped on the opportunity to watch it. Issac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been spending the last ten Christmases with their friend Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) ever since his parents passed away. The only problem is that things change and people grow up, but Ethan hasn’t it while the other two have moved on. Now, it’s the last Christmas the three friends are ever going to spend together and they’re going to be spending it at a ball that they’ve been trying to get into for the last ten years, but will they make it in one piece? The film also stars Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) as Betsy, Lizzy Caplan (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Diana, Heléne Yorke (Masters Of Sex) as Cindy, Mindy Kaling (Inside Out) as Sarah, Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel) as Mr. Green, Ilana Glazer (Broad City) as Rebecca Grinch, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as James Franco, Tracy Morgan (Cop Out) as the Narrator, and the film was written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).

The-Night-Before-Seth-RogenI want to start this paragraph out by saying that this film reminds me of why I loved Seth Rogen movies in the first place. Seth Rogen on drugs equals some of the funniest moments of a film because he plays it so well. When he is freaking out on shrooms in the film is some of the funniest material and his interaction with James Franco is priceless. This film could seriously be the new Christmas classic that we have all been looking for since Home Alone or Die Hard, and Big which are both mentioned in the film (almost like an homage). The film even manages to fit in some Scrooge kind of stuff with Michael Shannon playing essentially the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future all in the form of a drug dealing Great Gatsby. Believe me, it will all make sense to you once you watch the film for yourself. One of the funniest scenes in the whole film is the church scene with Seth Rogen,  couldn’t stop laughing it was so funny and what a great choice to play his wife in the film in Jillian Bell who is pretty funny in the film. Listen, you know exactly what you are getting from a Seth Rogen comedy, there is nothing smart about it other than that it’s just funny. You have to naturally have a sense of humor to love comedies like this and I have to say that this should’ve been a hit at the box office. The addition of Mackie and Levitt were icing on the cake ad the chemistry between the three was there and it just felt natural. The film is available online and in Redbox so check it out if you need some good laughs. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 33: Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (1993)

batmanI was inspired today by a simple conversation and there was an animated film that I had never seen that I wanted to. I chose to watch the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm which featured the voice of Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman. In the film, a mysterious figure is murdering all of the crime bosses of Gotham City and it’s getting blamed on Batman. All of these things are starting to happen as soon as an old flame (Dana Delany) from Batman’s past re-enters his life. Now it’s up to Batman to find out just who is killing these men before anyone else is taken out for good, but he’ll have to dig deep to figure it out. The film also stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as The Joker, Hart Bochner (Die Hard) as Arthur Reeves, Stacey Keach (American History X) as Phantasm, Abe Vigoda (The Godfather) as Sal Valestra, Dick Miller (Gremlins) as Chuckie Sol, Efrem Zimbalist Jr (Hot Shots!) as Alfred, Bob Hastings (General Hospital) as Commissioner Gordon, John P. Ryan (It’s Alive) as Buzz Bronski, and the film was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce W. Timm.

jokerI want to start this by saying that I absolutely loved this film and if you were a fan of that Batman: The Animated Series (which was the best) then you will love this one. You can’t have a Batman film without The Joker and he makes an appearance in this one. Mark Hamill created an iconic voice for The Joker that is absolutely untouchable in my opinion. The great thing is that both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are returning for the rated R animated film The Killing Joke and that has me excited. The film has all the aesthetics that you loved about the animated series where it’s dark and it takes place in the 50’s so the clothing and styles are amazing. The film kind of goes an explains a little about Batman’s past through some flashbacks that we get about his relationship with Andrea and how he got started as Batman. I also love the hints of comedy that they throw into the film as well with Alfred and his untimely entrances into a room when Bruce is busy with the ladies. The film is amazing, the story is great, and the kids can certainly watch it and I suggest you educate them on this series as it’s still untouchable in my opinion. I am going to give Batman: The Mask Of Phantasm an A- for a final grade.