Feb 25 2022

Studio 666

With the pressure of their 10th album weighing on their shoulders the legendary rock band Foo Fighters decide to move into an Encino mansion with killer acoustics to write and record their latest material. But, unbeknownst to the mighty Foo’s, their chosen studio also happens to be a direct portal to hell and finishing their album will come with deadly consequences.Directed by BJ McDonnell and Written by Dave Grohl, Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes, let’s be quick, National Rock Treasure Dave Grohl has clearly poured his soul into this, and, while by no means is this a piece of horror cinematic greatness it is however a perfectly campy sendup on the horror genre. Clearly Grohl and company are having fun following the basic rules of horror. Admittedly, none of the band are really destined for an academy award for acting but their efforts are appreciated, much like guest appearances on classic episodes of the cartoon Scooby Doo, awkward but delightful, several notable cameo appearances also sweeten the pot, Kerry King (metal legend from the band SLAYER) and Lionel Ritchie bring the special sauce. In the end the Foo’s prove they have the ability to laugh at themselves, maintain rock god status, and hold down an amazing new Sabbath inspired tune in the key of L sharp….shreddy! At one hour and 46 minutes of runtime it’s hard to say welcomes are overstayed as well. Studio 666 is rated R.

Feb 11 2022

Death on the Nile

While attempting to vacation in Egypt crack detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) finds himself caught up in a murder mystery aboard a luxury ship cruising the Nile. Using only his wits and power of reason and deduction it’s clear Hercule must expose the killer before more carnage is spread. Written by Michael Green based on Agatha Christie’s Novel and Directed by Kenneth Branagh, this star studded cast including Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, and Russell Brand certainly seems to move at a swifter pace than it’s predecessor, Murder on the Orient Express (2017), but, at a sacrifice of tonality and balance in character development. What looked good on the page in Christie’s original source material just fails to make the leap to the screen, several key moments with Gal Gadot (not necessarily her fault) stand out as sore artistic choices, perhaps a more judicious razor should have been brought to the editing room; this becomes even more apparent as the runtime creeps to two hours and seven minutes, a bit overstayed. Still for Branagh’s Poirot, there’s a whimsical charm to the unfaltering art deco gumshoe, he’s fun to watch, flawed as the film may be. Maybe a consideration for a rental later. Death on the Nile is rated PG-13.