Monday, August 21, 2017

Rock the Kasbah (2015)

Number Rolled: 23
Movie Name/Year: Rock the Kasbah (2015)
Tagline: Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.
Genre: Comedy, Music, War
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Covert Media, Dune Films, QED International, Venture Forth
Producer: Ahmed Abounouom, Steve Bing, Bill Block, Stephen J. Eads, Tom Freston, Elissa Friedman, Mitch Glazer, Brian Grazer, Gelareh Kiazand, Peter Lawson, Anton Lessine, Kris Moran, Tom Ortenberg, Jacob Pechenik, Iakovina Petsenikakis, Iakovos Petsenikakis, Roxie Rodriguez, Sasha Shapiro, Ethan Smith, Jason Sosnoff, Marsha L. Swinton
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Mitch Glazer
Actors: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Leem Lubany, Arian Moayed, Scott Caan, Danny McBride, Fahim Fazli, Beejan Land, Sameer Ali Khan, Jonas Khan, Husam Chadat, Taylor Kinney, Megan Raich, Sarah Baker
Stunt Performers: Younes Afroukh, Ali Ait Mazouz, Abdelaaziz Attougui, Mohamed Attougui, Hami Belal, Ait Ben Azzouz Brahim, Benoit Fabre, Abdellah Oukseh

Blurb from Netflix: When a has-been music producer gets stuck in Afghanistan he discovers a girl with a wonderful voice, then has to find a way to market her talents.

Selina’s Point of View:
I enjoyed this film.

Not only was the acting great, but the story was one worth telling and the script kept my attention.

As entertaining as this movie was, though, I cannot deny that there was a message underneath it all that really spoke to me and likely added to my score.

If you follow the blog regularly, you know I posted an article about bad ass women in films on Saturday. Well, I say we should consider Rock the Kasbah an honorary member of that list. If I had seen this film before writing the article, it undoubtedly would have made an appearance – a very high appearance.

I’m guessing that this movie was based on a true story and, in that case, the girl represented was fearless.

The soundtrack was also decent.

Really, I have very little to say that’s bad about Rock the Kasbah. The worst thought that went through my mind was that Bruce Willis (A Good Day to Die Hard, Looper, Moonrise Kingdom) was either miscast for his part, or didn’t feel like giving it his A game. Either way, he did the movie a disservice. I didn’t believe anything about his character until the last scene he was in.

Still, I would watch this film again.

As for the reviews I saw during research? The reasons behind bad reviews were a joke. There was bitching about misogyny – which was part of the plot of the film. It was about getting an Afghan girl to sing on a TV show… which is/was illegal there. The film highlighted the misogyny on purpose. That was the point.

My eye is twitching from the stupidity I just read. Watch it and judge for yourself.

Cat’s Point of View:
Back in October of 2015, Rock the Kasbah was my number 20 pick for the movies releasing that month. I surmised that, given the cast, the film was likely to be a bit kooky but enjoyable. I’m happy to report that I probably should have listed it higher in ranking.

Unfortunately, you won’t hear that iconic Clash ditty on the soundtrack here. It’s been said that they weren’t given rights to use it. Even as such, it’s still excellent symbolism for the core of this movie’s theme. The music that speaks the loudest to me are the Cat Stevens numbers. I grew up listening to his songs, and even had a routine where my mom and I played ‘Morning Has Broken’ every day on the way to school (on an 8-track no less).

Stevens, John Denver, as well as Simon and Garfunkel were the soundtrack to my early childhood…but I digress.

This film sports an interesting, yet fantastic, cast combination. The whole film is anchored by none other than Bill Murray (Get Smart, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Aloha).  Scott Caan (Ocean's Thirteen, Mercy, Hawaii Five-0) and Danny McBride (Land of the Lost, Your Highness, Hell and Back) make an interesting duo, as well. They vibe together in these roles.

Kate Hudson (The Skeleton Key, Something Borrowed, Mother's Day) and Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia, Yes Man, The Driftless Area) are no stranger to music-themed movies. They don’t share any screen time together, but their roles are some of the glue that holds the movie together. Then you have Bruce Willis (The Cold Light of Day, The Prince, First Kill) with a role right in his predictable wheelhouse. I think they could have utilized him more, but it still works.

All told, I really enjoyed this movie and it was a pleasant end cap to what was already a phenomenal day. It’s inspirational with its message and the true story it’s based on. I’d have no problem both watching this film again and recommending it to others.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 9%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%
Metascore - 29/100
Metacritic User Score – 3.7/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

P.S.  There is an extra scene during the start of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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