For 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).
As 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.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding today’s film when it came out in the theaters, but it didn’t last very long as the film quickly exited. I am talking about the film The Forest which stars Natalie Dormer (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Pt. 1) as both Sara and Jess Price, a set of twins that has always felt a close connection to each other. Jess has always been the troubled of the two as she was always getting herself into sticky situations with Sara always having to bail her out. One day, Jess is in Japan and she goes missing in the Aokigahara forest near Mount Fuji which is also known as the Suicide Forest. It is believed that she went there to commit suicide, but Sara just doesn’t believe it. So, she goes to Japan and into the Aokigahara Forest to try and find her sister before it’s too late or before the ghosts of the forest get to her. The film also stars Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark Thirty) as Aiden, Noriko Sakura (Dog Days) as Mayumi, Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) as Rob, Stephanie Vogt (The Voices) as Valerie, Yukiyoshi Ozawa (The Hidden Blade) as Michi, and the film was directed by Jason Zada.
One thing must be for certain and that is that the Aokigahara Forest must be one of the scariest and spookiest places to be in the world especially if you stray off the path. The film wasn’t as scary though when it comes right down to the nitty gritty. The film has all the little cheap scares in it that you would expect from one of these films, but there just isn’t enough of them. Too many times, the film just drags and there isn’t anything really scary going on in the forest. I understand they were probably going for a more mysterious feel to the film, but I just wasn’t scared and I’ll be the first to admit that ghost stuff is what scares me the most. I really had high hopes for the film and by saying that I am not condemning it completely. It has it’s plus sides to it with the good acting and the cinematography at times is amazing especially with the shot of Mount Fuji and the various forest shots, but the film just wasn’t spooky enough for me. I think at the end of the day that is all I wanted from the film, but some of the scenes with the spirits was kind of creepy with some more than others. I have to be perfectly honest in saying that this film is a take it or leave it kind of film and I say watch at your own risk. I still think that this film was better than The Witch (way better) and with that being said I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade cause it’s not bad enough to be in the C level.