Rock Of Ages
When I first saw the movie adaptation of the popular Broadway musical "Rock of Ages" I noticed the problems, but I enjoyed its charms and the music. For that I gave it a positive review. Now it arrives on Blu-ray in an Extended Cut complete with 13 minutes of additional scenes. So I invited a friend over and we put in the disc. What followed was an interminable 2 hours and 15 minutes where everything I forgave when I saw it originally, suddenly became more glaring.
What should be a colorful and goofy confection of 80’s rock anthems and bad clothes becomes a confused mess of cheesy and self-serious introspection about celebrity. Director Adam Shankman cannot find the tone for his film and only when he amps up the silliness with a mocking self-reverence does he discover the movie that should have been. Most of the time he takes his characters too seriously and allows the actors to dig so deeply into their parts that their scenes become overlong and completely lack energy. Unless someone is singing, the movie grinds to a halt. But after a while, even the constant musical numbers gets old. The movie could have cut out half the songs leaving it with the stand-outs and avoiding the lesser songs that don’t really do anything but stop the action so they can sing about what we already know.
The positives are Julianne Hough as the "small town girl." She is charming in every film she’s done and extremely watchable on camera. Give this girl a Meg Ryan-esque comedy and her star will rise. Tom Cruise certainly makes a splash, although he is allowed to dig so deeply into his character that it gets self-indulgent and then boring. That said, his duet "I Want to Know What Love Is" with Malin Ackerman is the highlight of the film and shows what goofy fun the movie could have and should have been. Ackerman is the only actor that truly gets the wink-wink nudge-nudge of the show and plays it to perfection. If only the rest of the film had followed suit.
The film looks great on Blu-ray and the sound is appropriately deafening. Special Features are numerous and will appeal mainly to those that either grew up in the 80’s or have an appreciation for the decade. They include:
"Rock of Ages"
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download Combo Pack