December 17, 2017

Now Out on DVD: Only a Small Segment Should See “Rock of Ages”

rock of agesBy Julie Samrick

A struggling musician from Oklahoma (Julianne Hough) arrives with empty pockets but big dreams when she meets Drew (Diego Boneta), a wannabe rocker making ends meet as a busboy at a faded, but legendary, nightclub in the movie musical Rock of Ages


Set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, Sherrie and Drew sing their naïve hearts out with hopes that the jaded world of rock ‘n roll might be a little less cruel if they navigate it together.


Meanwhile savvy veterans in the industry like fictional rock icon Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) and nightclub owner Alec Baldwin begin to realize fame and fortune aren’t all they’re chalked up to be.


Cruise is a caricature of lead singers from the 1980s rock era. He’s nocturnal- glaring, grunting behind a pair of shades until the sun goes down each night. It is then that he comes to life, sex fueled, gyrating as he growls songs like “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”


In true musical fashion, the actors break into dozens of classic 80s songs by Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses, Scorpions, Foreigner, and much more- just the right song, right when the moment calls for it and it’s the soundtrack that makes the film.  The audience will laugh and sing along, but without the music the movie is lackluster with vapid characters and a predictable storyline.


Rock of Ages is PG 13, but it should have an R-rating.  There are multiple graphic sex scenes and several more scenes set to pole dancing in strip clubs. Plenty of skin is shown throughout, and it’s not only women. Tom Cruise is never seen with a shirt on and in his opening scene he wears chaps that expose more than any of us expected.  Cruise’s character is either drunk, pelvic thrusting, or sticking his tongue in someone’s mouth (or ear) in every scene he’s in. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the hypocritical wife of the mayor of Los Angeles, hell bent on bringing down “the filth” of rock ‘n roll, but just as raunchy as the rest of them.


A big screen musical that parodies the big hair bands of the 1980s, Rock of Agesshould only be seen by Generation Xers because of its nostalgia to that time. The references to the culture and styles back then are abundant and will go right past younger viewers. 


Yet if it weren’t for the great soundtrack and fresh twist on the songs, I wouldn’t recommend this movie at all.


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  1. Great review, Ms. Samrick. Why do they keep lowering the ratings standards so that kids in their early teens are more likely to see these inappropriate images? Fortunately, our household all thought the movie looked bad (just as your review confirmed!) so no one saw it.

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