Film Review: Rock of Ages

Based on the successful musical, Rock of Ages is a lot of fun. The film’s tone makes it hugely enjoyable.

New in Hollywood, Sherrie dreams of making it as a singer. Drew, a barman at the infamous Bourbon Club, has similar dreams. When Drew gets Cherrie a job at the club, the pair are smitten. Others, however, are more preoccupied with Stacee Jaxx’s upcoming gig…

Set in 1987, Rock of Ages is a homage to 1980s hair metal. Understandably, music of this genre features heavily, so those not keen on it will instantly be put off. The rest of viewers should find Rock of Ages‘ soundtrack entirely appropriate, and fun in a sing-a-long kind of way.

What makes Rock of Ages work well is the tone, which is evident from the very beginning of the film. It is clear from the outset that this musical does not take itself too seriously. There is humour to be found throughout the film, from the hokey dialogue and use of music to some deliberately excessive performances.

In spite of this lightness in atmosphere, there are some more serious themes present in Rock of Ages. Sherrie’s time in Hollywood is not quite the dream that she expected, while Drew struggles with chasing his dream and the reality of the music business. Comment on musical creativity and its relationship with corporate domination is played out unambiguously.

Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta are well cast as leads Sherrie and Drew. It is the supporting cast who overshadow, however. Tom Cruise is fantastic as Stacee Jaxx. Cruise playing a strung-out but seductive rock star probably raises some eyebrows, but his performance is entirely in keeping with the tone of the film. Elsewhere, Alec Baldwin brings the humour, as does Catherine Zeta-Jones. Russell Brand is not quite as amusing, and his patchy accent can be a distraction.

Fans of 1980s music and pop culture should find Rock of Ages immensely entertaining. It is the sort of film that will leave viewers with a smile on their face.

Trailer Round-Up

Trailers this week come in the form of Wreck-It Ralph, Django Unchained and The Great Gatsby. Additionally, I have included a music video from Rock of Ages, just because.

Wreck-It Ralph

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph appears to be Toy Story but for video games. The tropes of that hugely successfully franchise are apparent in the first trailer for Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Rich Moore. The film looks like it will satisfy a family audience, whilst also referencing video games heavily. Wreck-It Ralph is due for release in February 2013.

Django Unchained

The trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained, was released this week. Tarantino has jumped from Nazis to slave owners, with Jamie Foxx playing a slave seeking vengeance and searching for his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio also stars in the film, alongside Tarantino-collaborator Christoph Waltz. Django Unchained will be released in the UK on 18 January 2013.

The Great Gatsby

 This trailer has been knocking about for a while, but I thought I would post it to make a Leonardo DiCaprio double bill. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was never going to be traditional. The novel has many avid fans, and if they can take it as a reinterpretation of Fitzgerald’s classic rather than a straightforward adaptation, then it looks like a lot of fun. The Great Gatsby is due for release in 3D on 26th December 2012.

Rock of Ages

The film version of musical Rock of Ages is out on 13th June 2012. I am seeing it today, and I cannot wait. To get everyone in the mood for the film (well me at least), I thought I would post a music video from Rock of Ages, a cover of the Journey classic ‘Any Way You Want It’. Enjoy!

Stuff To Look At

There is still some time to go before the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is unleashed (4th May, to be shown before The Avengers in US cinemas). I am trying to avoid the TDKR scoops/spoilers like the plague. In the mean time, here is some stuff on other upcoming releases.

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows is out in cinemas on 11th may 2012 and I am really looking forward to it. Warner Brothers have released this fun featurette about vampire history and the film’s televisual past. Dark Shadows is Tim Burton’s first film since 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. The director also has Frankenweenie coming out later this year.

Prometheus

It’s all about the build up to the trailer nowadays. It was announced yesterday that a brand new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus would air on television during Homeland on Sunday evening. I might have to wait a little longer than that, as I don’t actually watch Homeland. While we wait for that, here is a short featurette on Prometheus and Ridley Scott. Prometheus is out on 1st June 2012.

The Dictator

The Dictator is due for release on 18th May 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen is stepping up promotion for the film, which will hopefully bring the laughs. Above is footage of an Australian television interview with Cohen (in character). Needless to say, there are some silly jibes.

Snow White and the Huntsman

After Mirror Mirror was surprisingly good, Snow White and the Hunstman needs to step up its game. Above is the latest TV spot for the film. I am really looking forward to the film because I like fairy tales and Charlize Theron looks like an amazing Queen. The Florence + The Machine song ‘Breath of Life’, which features in the film, can be heard here. Snow White and the Huntsman is released on 1st June, with previews from the 31st May 2012.

Rock of Ages

I for one am hoping that Rock of Ages will be the hot mess Burlesque was supposed to be. It has all the right ingredients; Tom Cruise as an ageing rocker, an eighties rock soundtrack boasting Journey and Def Leppard, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have never seen the musical, but I am looking forward to seeing the film. You can view the trailer hereRock of Ages will open on 15th June 2012.