Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Movie Review: Rock of Ages
It's the story of a Sherri, a small town Oklahoman girl who strikes out to make it in the music buisness and hops a bus to L.A. It's the story of Stacee Jaxx an aging rock star who has lost himself in the machine of fame and is barely functional as a raging alcoholic. It's the story of Drew who is aching for fame, has talent but works as a bar back in the Bourbon Room. How does Sherri find her place, Stacee find his soul, and Drew balance not taking the same road as Stacee? To a lesser degree, it's the story of the owner of the Bourbon Room and his financial troubles (think Burlesque), and the slow transition of music from rock to pop in the late 80's. There is a background story of a local mayor and his wife who want to shut down the Bourbon Room and clean up the strip in the name of Christian decency...or IS that why?? Hmmmm, could be a little twist there.
It's uber corny, but it's supposed to be. It is like "Glee" meets "Grease". Julianne Hough, who plays Sherri could just about BE "Sandy" from Grease she's so innocent and shiny, squeaky innocent. The music is retro fun (albeit a little loud for me) and everyone gives good performances, including, surprisingly all of the singing performances. The music tracks are obviously lip synced and cleaned up in the studio, but nobody is off key or sucks.
My personal favorites were Russell Brand as "Lonnie", and Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. I'm not nearly as big a fan of Tom as I once was...something about the press and his personal conduct that sort of turned me off. But honestly, he does a fantastic job and truly steals the show.
Note of warning from the prudish mom in me: There is sexual content and I would not recommend this movie for kids under 13 (PG-13), and even then, consider your child and your values...if you are on the fence at all, wait till it comes out on video and preview it first. Here's a link to some of those details.
This film is an adaptation from the stage musical by the same name. It is expected to be a box office bomb. It is not getting good reviews. Here is Rotten Tomatoes Review. Looks like audiences like it about 20% more than reviewers...but it's still iffy. I was just in the mood for it, I guess.
Oh, and ya know that clip in the previews where Stacee Jaxx signs that girl's boob and it makes that squeaky sound? I didn't see that in the movie...did you? Also, don't get too excited at the prospect of ever standing on a platform behind the Hollywood sign...it might have been possible in the 80's and before, but it isn't now. It is surrounded by an electric fence, surveillance cameras and helicopter patrol. Something about people jumping off of it and liability or some such. Here is some info and photos about hiking to the sign. "Thelma" and I took a similar route but didn't end up near this close. Maybe on another trip. We took similar trails/paths but I think missed where some of them diverged to go closer...plus it was getting dark...but I digress...again.
From this link you can listen to the sample of the music from the movie.