Mel Sees: Rock of Ages

“I want this movie to come out on DVD right now so that I can watch it every day for the rest of my life” I said as my friends and I left the theatre. Rock of Ages was horrible, in the absolute best way possible, and here’s why… Tom effin Cruise.

There are no words to accurately describe how much I love Tom Cruise right now. I’m not a huge fan of the guy. He lost me somewhere between “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Vanilla Sky”, and I never quite recovered until “Ghost Protocol”. Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx is perhaps the most perfectly bizarre casting choice ever, but it works. Oh boy does it work. Tom (cuz we’re tight like that) somehow manages to both spoof and embody an aging rock god in his portrayal of Stacee Jaxx. He is absolutely absurd, but it’s what we all expect rock stars of yore to be. Forget about the out of control costumes, the guyliner, and tattoos. The way Tom Cruise moves, speaks, and even just stands… THAT STANCE. My lord, who is this guy? And his SINGING. I’m going to be devastated if one day we find out that he didn’t do his own singing. I mean, of course he had some help from the sound editing department, as did the entire cast. The man is a beast who does not need to be caged. Let Tom roam free and find shelter in all of our hearts.

Now for the movie itself… corny. HOLY COW I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO FORM A CORNY-ENOUGH METAPHOR. But it worked. It really makes you question how much of it was suppose to be a cheesy spoof. Answer: All of it. The exception is in the performances of the two leads, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta. The poor darlings, I think they were actually TRYING. But good news for them: they can fall back on saying their bad acting was intentional. I did not see the musical production, but I KNOW it’s suppose to be a spoof. I’m just warning whoever reads this that if you don’t bring your sense of humor with you, then don’t even bother. If you just go to listen to the music and free yourself to being entertained, then you will love it.

Other notes:
Everyone can carry a tune, some more than others, but generally speaking my ears enjoyed what they heard. My favorites were Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, and Malin Akerman. YES. MALIN AKERMAN. AMAZING. The woman is an 80s goddess. Besides her voice she’s stunningly beautiful in 80s makeup and hysterical. After doing some quick IMDBing post-Rock, I was pleased to see she will be portraying Debbie Harry in the upcoming film “CBGB” (Thanks Taryn for looking that up while I was driving, Safety First people).

Are the songs they cover better than the originals? Hell to the no. Impossible. But they hold their own. You don’t want to cover your ears and yell to the sky “WHY WOULD YOU RUIN THIS SONG?” Nothing was ruined. Every single song is a winner. My favourite is a toss up between Tom Cruise’s “Dead or Alive” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” Challenge: try not to whisper to your movie buddy “I love this song” at some point.

I wish Catherine Zeta-Jones had a sexy, get down with your bad self number. I mean the woman is fantastic in what she does, but I just really love me some “Chicago” Zeta-Jones.

Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin had the best laughs. These two clearly knew what this thing was about and they nailed it. Obviously not taking themselves seriously, but doing it in a way where you laughedwiththem, like it was a joke they let you in on.

Paul Giamatti was Paul Giamatti. I don’t know what else to say about him. I don’t particularily like the man, but he does sleazy manager really well.

I looked up the musical’s plot synopsis on Wiki. The movie differs substantially, and I think for the better.

But Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, oh my god. I don’t care if you hate Rock of Ages, you WILL love Tom Cruise/Stacee Jaxx.

ps. Even the Cheetos cheetah is like “dude, wtf?”

Pps. How come they didn’t get Tom Cruise to tour as Stacee Jaxx as a promotional money maker? I would pay stupid amounts of money to see him on stage.

Verdict: 3/5, if you like 80s rock, laughing, and easy, predictable plots.

Rock of Ages, 2012

Rock of Ages directed by Alan Shankman, is a 2012 musical based on the hit broadway play of the same name.  I will try to make this as unbiased as possible, but I do love musicals. 

In order to truly love and enjoy musicals, you need to be willing to suspend some of our 21st century skepticism. Musicals (for the most part) are light, fun, and romantic. Rock of Ages was all these things. It also requires another thing to remember: the 80’s was excess. The 80’s didn’t have cynicism or sarcasm. Things were lighter then guys!

Meh:

  1. I could have done without the two young leads. Why did they get top billing? Am I supposed to know who they are. Actually I did know who he was, but only because I spent a painful six hours in SeaWorld in 2010, where he was and all these latin people were freaking out. He practically followed us from exhibit to exhibit. 
  2. Be less angry Catherine Zeta-Jones. Also, pay attention to your husband, Cranston is sleeping with your secretary. 
  3. Plot holes? Yes. But nothing that will keep me awake at night.
  4. I’m really not sure why Mary J Blige was even in this? You could have totally cut her character and never have known what was missing.

The Best Thing I have ever seen: Jacee Staxx. Tom Cruise. Brilliant. I’m a sucker for when a “serious” or “rigid” actor can do a completely different role. What was great about Cruise’s performance is that he made me forget he was Tom Cruise. Despite some directing issues, Cruise shined. That first shot of him? I nearly died. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but how they got Tom Cruise to do that, I’ll never know. 

Take A Step Back Sir: Shankman is known for directing movies like Hairspray, The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember.  Okay, he’s a seasoned directed. I knew we were in trouble when the last part of the title sequence stated “Directed by: Alan Shankman”. Let’s be honest, no one is seeing this because of who directed it. He’s not Spielberg, Cameron, Peter Jackson (the list could go on and on). Four and a half of the actors were able to shine despite a glaring amount of over direction. Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russel Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Malin Akerman. The rest pulled all the “obvious” acting moves. You could tell the Hough had no brain in her head, and that facial expressions she was giving us had been beaten into her, probably by the director. 

Best Chemistry: Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand. 

The 80’s: This movie feels actually like the 80’s, not how we imagine the 80’s to have been like.

Verdict: We take ourselves to seriously nowadays.

If you like cheesy and gross, and can suspend your inner cynic for two hours. Do it. If you can’t, I’d rather not hear about how much you hate it.