Saw Rock Of Ages [the movie] today. i'm giving it a thumbs-up. Or better still a head-bang & metal sign. i have not seen the live version of this musical but feel secure in saying the cinematic interpretation lacks for nothing by comparison.
The wardrobe, props, hair & make-up capture the 'hair band' era perfectly. The luggage that Julianne Hough's character Sherrie has as she's making her way from small town middle America to L.A. --- i had that luggage [when i lived in DC]. That was 1 of many nostalgia invoking moments for me. The star pin on her jean jacket---i had a similar one---my rhinestone one had shooting stars and was not a cut-out star but close enough to make me think 'oh wow i remember that pin'.
Hough's Sherrie and her leading man Drew [Diego Boneta] are a hopeful & sweet parallel image to Malin Akerman's Rolling Stone reporter Constance Sack & Tom Cruise's rocker Stacee Jaxx [more on Mr Cruise later].
Russell Brand was born to play Lonny---Bourbon club M.C. and right hand-man to the club's owner Dennis, played with humor, warmth and not a trace of anger management issues by Alec Baldwin. They have great chemistry.
Paul Giamotti's record of always being an interesting scene stealer holds.
Bryan Cranston is a serviceable comic foil as L.A. county mayor Mike Whitmore. As his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones' Patricia 'Patti-cake' Whitmore is one of the best fictional functioning drunks i've seen since the real-life ones i knew in my formative years. Her performance is subtle and 100% accurate. Anyone even casually acquainted with the type can tell she's a boozer well before the scene where she's mixing a spritzer for herself. Even more impressive are Ms Zeta-Jones' dancing and singing.
And while we're on the subject of dancing: bravo to choreographer Mia Michaels and all the film's dancers. Particularly for the scenes at the Venus Club---those ladies veritably defy gravity.
Cameos by real-life rockers make for fun 'ooh look who's in that scene' moments. i'm not going to specify who or when because i think it's better to experience the moment as it happens.
Some reviewers of this film's story have said they don't understand the motive for the Whitmore's beef with metal/rock n roll in general, and the patrons performers workers and owner of the Bourbon Club [clearly an homage to the Whiskey-a-GoGo] in particular. i'm guessing they are either too young to remember or have forgotten about Tipper Gore's crusade for censoring lyrics and/or labeling vinyl much in the same way that movies have lettered ratings.
Moving on: Mary J Blige---sooo good. Of course i knew i'd be swept away by her singing---she moves me, gives me goose bumps every time i hear her gift---but the woman's got acting chops too. G'on witcha baad self Mary.
Tom Cruise. Two thoughts always come to my mind when i think of him: discipline and focus. For me, never has he embodied those qualities more than in his portrayal of Stacee Jaxx. A bit of Jim Morrison. A dash of Elvis. A sprinkle of Axl. Mix with an amalgam of every pop/rock/metal god who's ever nailed a groupie or belted out a power ballad & voila! Stacee Jaxx. As Jaxx Mr Cruise is sexy introspective philosophical vulgar ridiculous heartbreaking heartaching funny AND the man can sing. Cruise's performance is in a word: good. No i need two words: Phenomenally good.
Thanks to a perk from Klout in partnership with T-mobile, it only cost hubby & i a total of $3.00 to see this flick but i strongly recommend the movie Rock Of Ages even if you "must pay full freight". It'll be worth every penny.