The 1980’s are known for three things. Great music,huge hair, and way too much make-up, especially on male rock stars. You’ll see and hear it all in this new film from Hairspray Director Adam Shankman.
The best thing about Rock Of Ages is the music. From the very first scene of starstruck Julianne Hough riding the bus from Oklahoma to Hollywood, to the final big production number featuring Tom Cruise and most of the cast, it is ALL music. Diego Bonita plays opposite the Hough character as a bar-back at Hollywood’s most famous Rock n’ Roll club, The Bourbon. Bearing a strong resemblance to The Whiskey, this Sunset Strip hangout is run by the aging hippie (and broke) Alec Baldwin. Russell Brand (Arthur) adds his comedic flare as Alec’s assistant. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a religious zealot who wants to shut down all of the evil Rock n’ Roll clubs on the Sunset Strip.Paul Giamatti is the crooked rockstar agent, and Mary J. Blige plays the owner of a strip club.
Great 80’s hits by Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon and Twisted Sister ignite the screen. Most of the talented cast add their voices to the mix.Diego and Julianne are quite good at it. Tom Cruise is another story. Tom portrays Stacee Jaxx, an Axl Rose/Bon Jovi mix of screeching vocals,vulgar tattoos, way too much booze, and abuser of many,many women. I probably can’t be objective here, as I am NOT a fan of Tom Cruise. Although I must give him credit, as after 15 minutes, I forgot it was actually Cruise on the screen, and his character WAS central to the story.
My favorite highlights were seeing Tower Records back on Sunset where it was for 5 decades, the (now dark) neon Cinegrill sign lighting up The Hollywood Roosevelt, and Julianne & Diego romancing it up under the well lit Hollywood Sign. Only problem with that was,The Hollywood Sign hasn’t been lit since the late 1920’s.Two strange omissions, I saw absolutely no-one smoking, and late 1980’s Tower Records had no CD’s, just vinyl and cassettes. Rock Of Ages captures the music world and personalities of the 1980’s perfectly. If you like classic Rock and 80’s nostalgia, it won’t let you down. Rock Of Ages opens wide this weekend.