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Old June 17th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Default Rock of Ages

Albert and I saw the movie Rock of Ages at the Ward Theater this afternoon.

While I don't hate musicals, I don't consider it as a first choice in a genre for a movie. It does have some comedy to it so at least its something to watch.

I have to say about 90 to 95 per cent of the time the characters were singing while the rest of the time they are speaking their lines.

The movie takes place in 1987, so the hairstyles are big as well as the cell phone. And Tower Records is around so some of the characters are hanging around it for 2 to 3 scenes in the movie.
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Rock of Ages

Just came from this movie......

Not thee greatest music inspired Hollywood has brought us but was fun to take a trip down memory lane....

Ok being that its 1987 there were a handful of other songs heard that came out 1988 and later sooooo its a movie and it has its flaws.

As for the TOWER RECORDS store front seen there is a laundry list I could start off because thee Towers I recalled did not remotely look anything like that seen in the film. And taking a good look at the LOL Discs displayed. At least the movie got the price points Towers did use in selling the music.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise has been in some bombs lately.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages (2012)
Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones

The thing about a movie like this is that you have to accept going in that it’s a big, dumb, rock musical. There’s pretty much nothing you can take seriously, not even the music. If you can do this, the film can work for you, but only if the film plays it straight. The actors and musicians in the film cannot act as if they’re in on the joke; they cannot themselves not take anything seriously, otherwise the whole thing devolves into a joke played on the audience, something audiences don’t like. By playing everything as straight as possible, the audience is allowed to laugh at the movie, rather than be forced to allow the movie to laugh at it. There’s a big difference.

As a fan of much of the arena rock and hair-metal paid tribute in Rock of Ages, I am especially sensitive to the way the songs are treated. Yes, I know it’s big, dumb music. But I like it, and when the bands who play it today treat it like a joke, it’s an insult to my fandom and to the large amounts of money I spend on recordings, concerts, and t-shirts. The band owes it to me to treat its music seriously: let me laugh at myself and my friends if I choose, but don’t take my seventy-five bucks for loge seats and laugh at me for doing it.

Everyone involved with Rock of Ages seems to get it. The songs (even “We Built this City”) are treated with affection and respect by everyone involved, especially by the actors who perform them, and the result is much more mindless, fun entertainment than the film-makers rightfully should have expected.

The scene is the late Eighties, on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip where most of the good pop metal bands got their start, specifically in a club called the Bourbon Room, probably a tribute to the Whiskey a Go-Go where bands like Van Halen and Guns N’Roses made their initial splashes. The Bourbon Room is owned by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin), managed by Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand), and worked in by Drew Boley (Diego Boneta); it’s having a little bit of a problem with back-taxes, not to mention pressure by the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to be shut down for promoting immoral music.

Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) gets off the bus from Oklahoma (yes; I, too, pictured the video from Poison’s “Fallen Angel”) carrying big dreams, her favorite LPs, and a suitcase. She is immediately mugged and takes a job at the Bourbon Room, thanks to the intervention of Drew, also an aspiring musician.

The Bourbon Room’s hopes for survival depend on Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), who agrees to perform with his band Arsenal for the last time before embarking on a solo career. It seems everyone’s fortunes ride on Jaxx’s performance that night, but Jaxx is a drunk caricature of heavy metal excess and increasingly undependable.

There’s love. There’s philosophy (in a way). There’s alcohol. There’s hair. There’s an evil band-manager. There’s a baboon. And there’s a lot of big, loud, dumb music.

The really refreshing thing about the music (besides letting Cruise, Brand, Baldwin, and even Paul Giamatti, who plays Stacee’s manager, sing for themselves) is the very creative use of mash-ups in scoring the film. I’d never really noticed that “Jukebox Hero” and “I Love Rock and Roll” both had jukeboxes in them until they were superimposed in one of the movie’s first numbers. And there’s really no reason a mash-up of “We Built this City” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” should work except it totally does.

Two syrupy, sappy love songs (“I Want to Know What Love Is” and “I Can’t Fight This Feeling”) which I normally hate are given really interesting treatment here: the songs are sung completely straight, but the action that’s happening on the screen is hilarious for both songs. It’s a nice reminder that rock and roll should only take itself so seriously and no more, and the scenes with these two songs are surprisingly effective both in paying tribute to the songs and reminding us of how un-rock-and-roll they really are. I was very, very impressed.

In an unexpected turn of events, I saw this film twice when I really didn’t think I wanted to see it at all. A friend was about to leave for a stressful mainland trip and really wanted to see this movie in particular before she took off, so we saw its midnight premiere in the Cannery’s RPX theater (big screen, big audio, big comfy chairs) and had a nice, brainless, fun time. Then I saw it again at its very last screening in Honolulu because I won a radio contest and got to go for free. And again, I had a nice, brainless, fun time.

If you can disengage your brain and let yourself just enjoy the music and performances, you’ll probably have a decent time. While I would never consider Rock of Ages an excellent picture, I enjoyed it as if it were. A strong candidate for my surprise movie of the year.

7/10 (IMDb rating)
75/100 (Criticker rating)
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Rock of Ages

So the score is rating your personal pleasure in watching, or is it a measure of relative film quality? Is this a 'The Song Remains the Same' or 'Tommy' or 'Rocky Horror...'? That's what I think of as big rock musicals (and some may construe them as dumb).
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Rock of Ages

I haven't seen Tommy. Rock of Ages really can't be compared to The Song Remains the Same because the latter is a concert video, and this is a Broadway-style movie musical, with a plot and dialogue. And it's really quite unlike Rocky Horror because Rocky Horror is so comically campy, whereas Rock of Ages is pretty melodramatic.

My rating is a weird combination of my enjoyment level and how successful the film is at being what it tries to be. Looking back, I think it's an inflated score and should probably be about 8 points lower.
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