Rock of Ages

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    A friend passed along free passes for this to me today. I ended up bringing my mother, her first trip out to the movies in months if not years, and we both laughed our asses off and had a blast.
    It was way better than I'm expecting. It's not an altogether faithful adaptation, preserving most of the music but jettisoning big chunks of plot and providing a very different ending. But like the Broadway musical its based on, it's very lighthearted and self-aware and not infrequently pokes fun at itself.
    At the same time Adam Shankman, one of the only film directors/choreographers working today, takes the musical form seriously. There are a number of wonderfully choreographed sequences, on a scale that a show like "Glee" just can't pull off on a regular basis. The cast is uniformly excellent, with the romantic leads Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta giving the most lightweight performances. Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin make a great comedic pairing, Bryan Cranston brings a hilarious spin to the underwritten role of the deviant newly elected mayor of Los Angeles, and Tom Cruise brings all of his star power to the mythologically over sexed rock god Stacee Jaxx.
    We had a great crowd for the movie, and it's definitely they type of film where having an enthusiastic crowd helps. There were many instances where just the first chords of a song had the crowd laughing or howling or cheering.
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    I had a chance to check this out last week and I wasn't expecting much. It had a bit of a slow start but came on strong in the end. A great supporting cast too. I agree that the dance numbers were pretty spectacular, and I enjoyed the medleys of various songs. Catherine Zeta Jones stole just about every scene she was in.
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Adam, what did you think of the sound mix? The stage show (which was fantastic) simply had a 4-piece rock band on stage with no separate orchestra, but the audio in the movie trailers sounds like autotuned, overproduced, modern-sounding pap that kind of misses the point of the music.
    Nevertheless, I am considering taking the Mrs. to see this. We haven't set foot in a movie theater without Junior since the 2004 HTF California Meet!
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The role of music varies greatly over the course of the film. The opening number with Sherrie on the bus is very much golden age musical conventions where the instruments and music come out of thin air for the onscreen singers. Once she in with the Bourbon Room, the backing music largely comes from a tangible place, either the band on stage or the speakers flooding the club. Other moments, like Sherrie and Drew on the Hollywood sign, is just one guitar and one voice.
    The whole show walks the line between musical conventions and classic rock conventions. Generally the more bombastic it gets, the more it sounds like what you'd hear on your classic rock station. Away from the Bourbon Room, it skews more toward a Broadway sound. Julianne Hough MIGHT have been auto-tuned, but I didn't get that vibe from any of the other vocals. Tom Cruise is a force of nature. As for being overproduced, the songs usually sounded as produced as they were when they were originally recorded.
     
  5. Adam Gregorich

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  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Good to know, Adams. Thanks! :)
    I have the Broadway cast soundtrack and listen to it incessantly.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Really enjoyed most of the song performances, and the mash-ups, but the connective tissue from song number to song number was a bumpy ride. Catherine Zeta-Jones's numbers felt overly done (as in trying too hard). Weird not to see much more than some pole dancing from Julianne Hough and her singing voice is a little too squeaky and high for my tastes, and her acting is merely so-so. Diego Boneta's vocals were adequate. Tom Cruise, not sure how much his vocals were processed, director Adam Shankman claimed Cruise surprised him with a 4-octave singing voice, so who knows if Cruise really did rock it, as his number were more than adequate in the role as Stacee Jaxx.
    It was really weird to see Tower Records featured in the film, and all that vinyl on display, as well as cassette tapes. Fast forward 25 years, and it's all about MP3s and streaming music content.
    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B (mainly for the songs of my youth).
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Tom Cruise sang one octave four times. :D
     
  9. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    I loved it.
    Yes there were many changes from the broadway musical version, but most of the songs are there, a few new ones and some missing ones.
    If you love 80s pop rock, check it out. sing along, and enjoy the good time.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Whatever it takes, man, whatever it takes...
    I think Tom Cruise has a Matrix hook-up, where he can call the Operator and they just upload the skills and abilities he needs for movie roles.
     

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