Rock The Kasbah

WSR Score3
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Barry Levinson
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Rock The Kasbah follows Richie Lanz (Murray), who is dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Deschanel). There he discovers Salima Kahan (Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on Afghanistan's version of American Idol. Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiters (McBride and Caan), and a hair-trigger mercenary (Willis) to brave dangerous cultural prejudices and manage his new protégée into becoming the next Afghan Star. (Gary Reber)

Special features include two deleted scenes (HD 02:49), the mockumentary Richie Lanz: The Man And The Music (HD 02:28), the featurette Bill Murray Rocks (HD 02:34), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is bland but natural in appearance. The setting is basically a desert with no apparent plant life. Rocks, sand, dirt, and pavement dominate with scenes of deteriorating buildings amidst widespread rubble. The color palette reflects this, except for the vibrant hues that appear in cafes, bars, on the set of the Afghan Star television show, and a mosque. There, hues are warm and rich with natural fleshtones. Contrast is decent, with exteriors generally overcast from gray skies and interiors cast in dark shadows. Black levels are good, as well as shadow delineation, but a display with deep-black performance is required to appreciate the low-light scenes. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. Overall, this is a decent picture that is pristine and visually engaging. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is generally low key, with an emphasis on atmospherics, with the occasional explosion that heightens the dynamics. Low-level atmospherics such as subtle winds, vehicle movements over sand-packed pavements, animals sounds, ammunition preparations, Foley, etc. are effectively delivered. Sound effects are heightened during a gunfire battle at a Pashtun village. Deep bass enhances the action segments. The music score is a mix of cultures, with predominant soft rock segments. Fidelity is good. Both the battle scenes and the music aggressively occupy the surrounds. Dialogue is intelligible, but spatial integration is often wanting, as ADR is used predominantly. Overall, this is an effective soundtrack that works well to complement the storytelling. (Gary Reber)