Friday, June 15, 2012

ROCK OF AGES by Pamela Powell

ROCK OF AGES is an all-star musical on the silver screen adapted from the stage production of the same name.   Starring Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Giamatti, Rock of Ages retells the familiar story of the small town country bumpkin finding her way to Hollywood to make it big as a singer.  There are plenty of side stories of various relationships and struggles that occur at the infamous lounge called The Bourbon Room.  This movie is loaded with songs from the 80's and performed by this all-star cast.

The music from the movie was great as it took me back to my college years; ok maybe I was in grad school by then, but it was still fun to hear!  And the hair styles, the make up and fashion brought me back in time as well.  However, I think I will be haunted for a while by the fact that one of the "church ladies" was wearing a flower and lace dress that I wore in 1986!

Alec Baldwin plays Dennis Dupree, the long-time owner of The Bourbon Room on Sunset Strip.  He is close to closing his doors on the place due to unpaid taxes.  (This reminds me a bit of Burlesque!)  His only hope is the return performance of the rock 'n roll idol Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise).  We watch as all the characters intermix and their stories intertwine.  Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) tries to fight Dupree and rock 'n roll.  No movie or story is complete without a love story or two or three.  One of these might even shock you!  But don't get too caught up in any one story line because it quickly cuts to another scene or another song.  I was amazed at how many songs they could throw into each scene.  The dialogue between characters was choppy, cliche and sappy.  Even Russell Brand's signature style of humor as the assistant at the club, Lonny, doesn't help as the pacing is somehow off between him and Baldwin.  

I think this stage production should have been left on the stage.  It just didn't translate to the silver screen.  This was a run of the mill story made for over $70 million!  Was editing at fault?  Perhaps as I would have ended it LONG before the film editor did!  I think the story has been done over and over again which is fine for a live performance on stage, but not just a year and a half after Burlesque hit the theaters.  I think one of the most disappointing aspects to this movie is that I really love a few of the actors.  Paul Giamatti has never disappointed me from Sideways to Win Win and Barney's Version.  (I'm overlooking his role in The Hangover Part II.)  Then there is Alec Baldwin whose dead pan humor makes me laugh out loud in 30 Rock.  Such a disappointment as I found myself wishing I could look at my phone to see how many more of the 123 minutes were left.

I've had enough of musicals on screen from Mama Mia, Burlesque, Country Strong, and Chicago.  However,  I really loved Chicago and hope to see it at the Egyptian Theater, live on stage in Park City this summer!  Keep them that way to really enjoy.  If you do choose to see the movie, you will be amazed by the pole dancers.  Yes, I have a new appreciation for the "art" of pole dancing.  You truly have to be strong!  Seriously!

4 Reels....SKIP IT!

1 comment:

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