Oct 23 2015

Rock the Kasbah

Stranded in Afghanistan, semi-washed up talent manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) discovers an apparent diamond in the rough, Salima (Leem Lubany). With the prospect of taking Salima to perform on talent show Afghan Star, dealing with social stigmas and norms in the Middle East might prove to be more than the fast talking Richie can handle. But, having friends in low places, Merci the prostitute (Kate Hudson) and arms dealers Bombay Brian, Nick and Jake (Bruce Willis, Danny McBride, and Scott Caan) might just be the ticket to success. Kasbah Having been elevated to comedic legend status, audiences have come to expect a lot from Bill Murray, sadly, writer Mitch Glazer doesn’t provide the rocket fuel necessary to power Murray in this relatively flat Slumdog miss. Sure there are some chuckles, but the overall impact is a fizzle. Technically otherwise proficient, the film just kind of sits there. Maybe a rental next winter? Rock the Kasbah is rated R.

Oct 23 2015

Jem and the Holograms

Cut down in his prime, inventor and musician Emmett Benton (Barnaby Carpenter) had two daughters, Jerrica and Kimber (Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott) that would grow to be a yin yang pair of creative musicians. So, when a video of Jerrica performing under the name Jem goes viral, it’s a race to hold on as the fame train leaves the station. Backed by Kimber and her adopted sisters Shana and Aja (Aurora Perrineau and Hayley Kiyoko) Jem is rocketed to astral heights; meanwhile, the dark edge of greedy talent manager Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) is busy working to squander the girl’s talents. Yet Jem, guided by a robot invention gift from her father will follow her own path to find herself and success, the question is, will she be too late? Jem Truly Outrageous and based incredibly loosely on the animated show from the 80’s and 90’s Director Jon Chu does his best to make this sappy/emotional dreck work in an interesting fashion combining social media footage with cinematic footage to tell an overall story. Mixed with moments of High School musical and actually halfway decent pop songs, for the young aspiring musicians in your life a basic positive message lives inside, you could do worse, for the rest of us, pass. Jem and the Holograms is rated PG.

Oct 16 2015


Dateline Greendale Maryland, the start of high school means new beginnings for Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mom Gale (Amy Ryan). Having just relocated from New York, Zach takes to next door neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush) but must first get past the tough exterior and Cerberusian watch of Hannah’s father (Jack Black). As it turns out, Hannah’s father happens to be renowned author of young adult horror R.L. Stine. And, his defensiveness comes for a reason as his imaginary demons are set free upon the town in real life. Twists, turns, spine chills, and perhaps a moral to be learned, will Zach and Hannah be able to contain the magic?Goosebumps Directed by Rob Letterman this screenplay amalgamation blends much of Stine’s works to create a fresh chapter of fun for those looking for light scares and thrills just in time for Halloween. Plus humor and side commentary from Black hits on the nose for adult fans of written horror just the same; in fact, it’s Black’s willingness to unabashedly put himself out as a ham for the comedy, for the art, and for the sake of fun that makes this film work in its totality. While not high cinema, and not to make excuses, lets not forget this film is based on material written for Scholastic Books and yet it still turns out satisfying enough for cinephiles as a family friendly not too terribly nutritious snack, a time and a place for everything. Goosebumps is rated PG.