Rock of Ages

Release Date: June 15, 2012

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Position Staff In Brief
59/169 Max Braden Mostly awful because of very flat amateur vocals, but Julianne Hough is good, and you have to see it for Tom Cruise's performance.

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Def Leppard 3:16 states that it is better to burn out than fade away. Rock of Ages attempts to dismiss this notion by celebrating the halcyon days of the 1980s when music was released on cassette tape, network television was the only way to watch funny animal videos and pornography was only available in magazine form. Why are we celebrating the 1980s again?

Anyway, Rock of Ages is a hugely popular Broadway musical that is being loosely adapted into a feature film. I say loosely because several characters have been added in order to add depth to the cast and additional numbers to the soundtrack whose sales will largely justify the existence of this movie.

The stars of Rock of Ages are ostensibly Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta. Hough is a dancing instructor made good while Boneta is…look, I’ll be honest. I have no idea who Diego Boneta is. I’m over the age of 20, so I’ve never watched 90210 (well, not this version) or Pretty Little Liars. All I see is a dude in the trailer who has awful 80s hair. Are we really trying to bring back 80s hair with this movie? Shouldn’t there be some sort of vote on this before the movie gets released?

I’m losing focus here. The point is that people will not see this film because of Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta. They will not even see it because Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Malin Akerman are in it. In fact, I’m not even sure people will watch this because Tom Cruise is vaguely recreating his role as the vampire Lestat in portraying legendary but fictional rocker Stacee Jaxx. Instead, people will go see Rock of Ages because A) they like musicals and B) they loooooove hair band music from the 1980s. As such, a lot of what we say about Rock of Ages is irrelevant.

You knew the first moment you watched the trailer whether this was a project you would ever watch or not. Given the hefty $75 million budget (for a musical, it’s hefty), there need to be a lot of you but then again, the entire movie is little more than an extended commercial for soundtrack sales. So, if you ever wanted to hear Tom Cruise sing Pour Some Sugar Me, this is your golden moment. As a Def Leppard fan, I’m offended on principle by this turn of events. Still, as a child of the 80s, I’ll wind up watching Rock of Ages anyway…despite the hair styles. If I see one skinny tie, I’m out of there, though. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Rock of Ages
Main Cast Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
Supporting Cast Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise
Director Adam Shankman
Screenwriter Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo, Allan Loeb
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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