ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – R – Rock the Kasbah (2015)

Director: Barry Levinson

Writer: Mitch Glazer (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Leem Lubany, Arian Moayed, Scott Caan, Danny McBride

 

Plot: A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.


Tagline – Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Weak Comedy

 

Story: Rock the Kasbah starts as a former top draw music manager Richie Lanz (Murray) has only one major client who performs cover songs for him, learning the Afghanistan could put her on the map opening for a megastar, he takes Ronnie (Deschanel) to Afghanistan, where the world is different and Ronnie goes on the run.

Richie is joined by two Americans that have made a business in the country as he goes searching for Ronnie only to discovery Salima (Lubany) a brilliant singer living in Afghanistan, who he wants to make the next big star.

 

Thoughts on Rock the Kasbah

 

Characters – Richie Lanz was once a great music manager, now he is forced into conning people out of their money with his acts only being tribute bands, learning he could make money away in Afghanistan he heads over there, where a series of events lead him to meet the next biggest star in the music industry. This character is no different to any of the Bill Murray characters we know, he is mostly sleezy and uses his charm to get out of situations. Bombay Brian is one of the men that helps Ronnie escape, he however expects money from Richie in exchange. He seems to be a loose cannon which makes him unpredictable. Merci is a local prostitute that all the American soldiers go to for their needs. Ronnie is the singer that Richie takes with him, she decides to run away from gig and get back to America.

PerformancesBill Murray is just like every film he is in, he never looks completely involved, while being the centre of the film. Bruce Willis is fine in the support role without being one of his mailed in performances we have see of late. Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel are both good enough in their roles without needing to do too much.

StoryThe story follows a sleezy music manager that discovers a new talent in Afghanistan and he must fight for her to get a chance in a nation where women can’t perform. This tries to breakdown walls for equality in a country which doesn’t accept it, which is important to see, but sadly doesn’t work with who and how they approach it, we can’t just throw an American into a country to change their mindsets, we need them to learn themselves. This isn’t the most engaging storyline and will be forgotten quickly.

Comedy/Music/WarThe comedy in the film misses for the most part because we are dealing with too serious a subject for laughs. The music side of the film isn’t as interesting either because we could have had a lot more going on during the wartime situation.

SettingsThe film is set in Afghanistan which is never going to be the best setting for this type of movie because of the subject matter of everything we go on to see in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
First hearing the talent.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just isn’t that engaging.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing and board line overly controversial idea for a movie that just doesn’t hit the marks it could have.

 

Overall: Not that appealing.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Challenge – Comedy – O – Ordinary World (2016)

Director: Lee Kirk

Writer: Le Kirk (Screenplay)

Starring: Billie Joe Armstrong, Fred Armisen, Judy Greer, Selma Blaire, Chris Messina, Brian Baumgartner

 

Plot: An aging punk rocker copes with life after rock.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Ordinary World starts as we follow former punk rocker Perry (Armstrong) who is now married to Karen (Blair) with two children with eldest Salome (Shipman) about to be involved in a talent contest at school. He now has a 9-5 type of job while his wife is a high life lawyer and today is his 40th birthday.

Perry is struggling through, missing his music and lacking the concentration in life, being late for work, forgetting appointments and not enjoying his life, as he goes through his own mid-life crisis. This changes when he decides to have a party with his former band mates and must learn to accept the next stage of his life.

 

Thoughts on Ordinary World

 

Characters – Perry was once a punk rocker but he settled down starting a family, but not everything is where he wants his life now. He has a mid-life crisis where he must learn about his life and where it will go next. Karen is Perry’s wife that is a lawyer that brings in the larger amount of the income, but puts up with his distraction mind. Christy is the former flame of Perry’s in his band days, she happens to walk into his life the same time as his mid-life crisis offering him a chance he never got in his music dream.

PerformancesBillie Joe Armstrong is good in this leading role as we see him reflect what you could see as an aging musician questioning his place. Blair and Greer are both good in the supporting roles as is the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story shows a mid-life crisis from a rocker point of view, it does follow how one day things go in a different way to how he would imagine which is by the books but it works so why change it. The idea of seeing how he is supported by the loved ones is refreshing as he would usually have a bigger freak out but for a feel good mid-life crisis film this hits the marks.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is light through the film as we see how things are going wrong for Perry with the music moments letting Billie Joe show off his skills and true talent.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which shows us the different location the family wold be in as well as the big city.


Scene of the Movie –
Talent Show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You feel certain characters might get mad at some point in this movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good feel good movie, it has good music and shows how hard it is to let your dreams go.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – D – Deathgasm (2015)

Director: Jason Lei Howden

Writer: Jason Lei Howden, Sarah Howden (Screenplay)

Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberly Crossman, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell

 

Plot: Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives.


Tagline –  Evil is coming

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heavy Metal Mayhem

 

Story: Deathgasm starts as high school student Brodie (Cawthorne) is moved to live with his uncle in a small town of Greypoint. Brodie is a metal fan which goes completely against his Christian Uncle, we get the high school dynamics with Medina (Crossman) being the beautiful girl Brodie takes a shine towards, Dion (Berkley), Giles (Cresswell) being the only friends Brodie makes and his Cousin David being the school bully. It is in a metal shop Brodie meets Zakk (Blake) that gives him the instant click.

When the two find some older written music, they decide to learn the song for their band Deathgasm. When the lyrics get translated it ends up summoning a demon that Brodie must defeat to save the town.

 

Thoughts on Deathgasm

 

Characters – Brodie is the new kid in town, he helps us have a reason to meet everyone in the town. Brodie is a metal head that makes new friends who are also metal fans with his band playing lyrics that will bring demons to Earth, he must step up to save the world. Zakk is the metal head that starts a bad with Brodie, but soon we see how selfish he can be even if he is the only hope Brodie has of defeating the demons. Medina is the beautiful class mate that Brodie takes a shine too, she is currently with the jock but also sees something in Brodie. We do have the rest of the generic high school types in here too.

PerformancesMilo Cawthorne is good in the leading role filling the high school outsider very nicely. James Blake does enjoy his role as the bad example to Brodie. While Kimberley Crossman look beautiful and gives us a good performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows a select group that must work together using their strengths to defeat the evil running rampant through their town. This time we focus on heavy metal fans who play too which gives us the new creative lead figures for the film with the demon being summoned through music, this is original and must be appalled because it brings a new style to movie.

Comedy/Horror/MusicThe comedy is looking at how the world doesn’t completely work for the idea poking fun at the ideas going on in the film. the horror is demons, gore and plenty of blood. We also have plenty of heavy metal music going on through the film.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows how everything can go wrong if demons are unleashed upon the town. It works and we get the introduction to who the people are with the new kid in town.

Special EffectsThe effects are great throughout, the blood and gore is way over the top which adds to the comedy and even the moments of CGI work for the tone of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ploughing through the enemies.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The high school is too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror movie with plenty of gore and crazy metal music

 

Overall: Mad, Crazy enjoyable horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Sunshine on Leith (2013)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Stephen Greenhorn (Screenplay) Stephen Greenhorn (Stage Play)

Starring: Paul Brannigan, George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Jane Horrocks, Peter Mullan, Freya Mavor, Antonia Thomas, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Two soldiers return home to Edinburgh to resume their romantic and family lives.


Tagline – When it happens… there’s nothing like it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolute Delight

 

Story: Sunshine of Leith starts as the two soldiers Davy (MacKay) and Ally (Guthrie) return to Edinburgh to continue their lives, Ally dating Liz (Mavor) while Davy meets Yvonne (Thomas) and the romantic lives of the four-young people come through in the tough times they must live.

As the young men learn to adapt back to a normal life they sing their way through different situations young couples and even the older couples must go through in normal life.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine of Leith

 

Characters – Davy is one of the two soldiers who returned, the squad leader who has lost men, but returns with a few issues, but starts enjoying life more when he meets Yvonne, he needs to show that he will be haunted by moments from his past and deal with them the right way. Ally has returned home believing he can get a job and just marry his girl Liz, he must learn that not everything is what he had planned for. Liz is Davy’s sister, a nurse and Ally’s girlfriend, she has been dreaming of seeing the world one day, that time is now, can she handle letting Ally know what she wants the most. Yvonne is a fellow nurse, an English girl who moved to Scotland for love once, she has a connection with Davy, but not sure how to accept Davy’s past and his reactions to trouble. We do also have Rab and Jean the parents of Liz & Davy who are going through their own struggles even after their long marriage.

PerformancesThe performances across the board here are fantastic, with the leading men George MacKay & Kevin Guthrie showing the emotional trauma of returning from war. Freya Mavor shows how the ambition of one person can show in conflict they are showing in her and Antonia Thomas shows us how hesitate someone can be to open up to someone who could have problems of their own.

StoryThe story follows 6 lives, two soldiers returning from war, one older couple who must put the past behind them and two young women who careers are about to take them in new directions, but love could hold them back. The stories blend together wonderfully that gives us relatable characters who have everyday problems they must overcome to find the answers they want from life, it will leave you with a smile on your face when it ends.

Comedy/Romance/MusicalThe comedy is light-hearted as we get to see how the lives of the characters is not taken overly serious for them, the romance shows us just how difficult love can be for people who have dreams to follow. Everything is told in a musical style which is filled with catchy songs that give our characters the express of their feelings.

SettingsThe Scottish setting works for the film, it gets to show how normal people are going and return from war to live normal lives.


Scene of the Movie –
500 miles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I get most of the references, if you don’t know too much about Scottish culture, you may struggle to understand certain moments.

Final ThoughtsThis was a treat of a movie, it has real characters that must make life changing decisions that could have affect on the people they love, it has delightful songs you can sing along to and wonderful performance.

 

Overall: This is a MUST WATCH

Rating

 

 

Oklahoma! (1999)

Director: Trevor Nunn

Writer: Oscar Hammerstein II (Book) Lynn Riggs (Play)

Starring: Maureen Lipman, Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, David Shelmerdine, Jimmy Johnston, Shuler Hensley

 

Plot: Cowboy Curly McClain tries to win the heart of a girl in a singing and dancing extravaganza.

 

Runtime: 3 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Theatre Experience

 

Story: Oklahoma! Starts as cowboy Curly (Jackman) is trying to get farm girl Laurey Williams (Gabrielle) to be his date for dance, her heart is torn between what she wants in him and what would be right, going with the farm hand Jud (Hensley).  Playing matchmaker is Aunt Eller (Lipman) who wants best for her niece.

The battle between the men is on leaving Laurey to make the difficult decision herself, while on route to the party just where will everything go.

 

Thoughts on Oklahoma!

 

Characters – Aunt Eller is the lady pulling the strings between her niece and the other single women in the west, she can keep peace between the different backgrounds. Curly is a cowboy that is full of confidence that wants to be with Laurey, he is honourable and desirable for the women in the town and sets his sights on Laurey only. Laurey is the farm girl in search of a husband and is torn over two men, one she loves and one that has helped her family the most. Jud is the rival that wants Laurey’s hand in marriage, she is rougher around the edges making him feel like he would be a bad husband.

PerformancesWhen going into the performance we must understand this is the stage recording of the story, the whole cast show their talents off here to make this feel truly believable like you are one of the audience, and Jackman doesn’t even stand out over the rest of the performers.

StoryThe story here is a theatre classic, it focuses mostly on a young farm woman that is searching for a husband and being torn between her feelings and marrying for supporting in the wild west era. This is a slow story and you can understand why it is a stage musical, making it 3 hours is strange because there isn’t too much going on for the most part though.

Musical/Romance/WesternThe musical numbers are big and magical, easily the most important part of the film. the romance side of the film follows Laurey as she must make her choice about how to treat love. The western side of the film comes from the setting and time which shows us just where we are meant to be watching.

SettingsThis is a recording of the theatre production, we know the settings are only going to be the stage and what can be placed on it, this does work for this very well.


Scene of the Movie –
Dream sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is way too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical production that gets to highlight Hugh Jackman when he first broke into Hollywood, it is known as the classic show and has nothing wrong with the performance, but it is overly long.

 

Overall: Easy access to Musical world.

Rating