Rock of Ages is from the director of Hairspray features 80s metal and Tom Cruise acting like a rock star, should be a bloated bore that is a sizable hit.
Far more interesting is Adam Sandler taking his persona into R rated territory (should have done this in Billy Madison days). It is hard to swallow Sandler’s nebbish persona as a teen stud who impregnated a teacher but it explains why Sandburg who does not look that much younger can be his son. I doubt this will be funny but I will be curious to see if it has the usual Sander traits and where it falls in his body of work, as he is a movie star, playing a recognizable type from film to film (smart enough to see that his man child character could also be good drama in Punch Drunk and Reign) and not a (ick) actor.
I got a chance to see Rock of Ages on stage (thankfully for free). It was awful – and this is coming from someone who likes musicals and eighties hair metal. If the movie is worse, which looks to be quite possible, we may be mocking this for years to come.
I’m not even a Sandler hater but that movie looks really annoying. Rock Of Ages looks worse though. Not going to the theatre this week.
Neither am I. Nothing looks good plus I’m broke so that works out.
We really are living in a dark age.
Oh yeah, forgot about Prometheus. My friend bought me a ticket last week to see it thursday night at midnight. I wasn’t going to see it, but he went ahead and bought the ticket so I must go now.
How can any of you honestly think that Sandler looks better than Rock of Ages….Sandler is a bottom feeder catering to the very worst aspects of human nature….he’s only been bearable when he co-stars with Drew Barrymore…..
Lucky, I’m usually the friend pushing to see a movie. : (
I just don’t care for Ridley Scott. I’d normally be ready to see anything else, but if it’s someone who’s work I’m pretty familiar with and didn’t care for, I just can’t get excited about it. I am curious about Fassbender which is really why I’m half willing to go.
but then again, this post is for next week.
Michael Fassbender? What about Noomi Rapace? I’m excited to see her in it. That and because: Noo Noo Noooo-Noo Noo Nooo. (My interpretation of that weird sound that accompanies most of the Prometheus commercials.)
Rapace may be interesting, but I’d rather check out her in Babyall which I’ve been trying to see.
Probably will venture out to “That’s My Boy” next week. Looks a lot better than “Just Go With It” or “Jack and Jill” could hope to be, and I kind of want to see how Samberg handles a rauncy comedy. “Rock of Ages” is meh. Will wait for Dvd.
This’ll be one of those weeks where – if I see anything – it will be something that Is expanding (ie. Lola Versus or Safety Not Guaranteed)
Ugh – My office is having an event where everybody has to go see Rock of Ages… I guess it apparently features a Porsche? Everybody got to vote for what Porsche-featuring movie they wanted to be shown. I voted for Risky Business cause that’s a movie I haven’t seen that sounds half-interesting. Other than that, the choices were Fast Five and some other things that I don’t remember, but had absolutely no interest in.
Risky Business is very good.
Yeah I wish we were watching that.
hahaha! oh god. i hope you’re getting paid for this doofu
Yeah, I’m not really sure if I’m supposed to clock out before going, or if, since it’s an official office event, I should stay clocked in… If I have to clock out then I’m almost definitely coming up with some kind of excuse. Then again, it says that “heavy refreshments will be served” and I’ve only had light refreshments before, so I’m interested to see what that is.
start drinking …now ;)
Forget getting paid, to sit through “Rock of Ages,” with co-workers nonetheless, should require a nice raise. I expect a nice rant following the feature, Father.
Ok well I guess I’ll have to go just so I can give you guys a report! :P
It’s not until the 21st though… so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it.
I have no interest in either of these films. Rock of Ages looks like the Glee-ification of the 80s rock metal scene. Thanks but I’d like to keep my barf bag clean this weekend.
Your Sister’s Sister opens this weekend and while I love to hate on the mumblies, based on the positive reviews (and my appreciation for Blunt and DeWitt should cancel out my impatience with Duplass) I might have to check this one out.
Given the proliferation of high-school musicals and American idols on TV, the spectacle of aspiring young singers belting out an umpteenth cover of Journey offers little in the way of novelty value. In years to come, this proud tribute to hair metal’s heyday may be remembered as a creaky cultural relic born of not only Hollywood’s ongoing search for Broadway-based hits, but also the ’80s nostalgia craze that spawned such recent items as “Take Me Home Tonight” and the remake of “Footloose” (whose female lead, Julianne Hough, also toplines here).
In transferring “Rock of Ages” to the bigscreen, scenarists D’Arienzo, Justin Theroux and Allan Loeb have largely retained the show’s two-dozen-plus hard-rock and heavy-metal hits, barely held together by a love story that unfolds under the bright lights of the Sunset Strip. That formula worked well enough onstage, buoyed by a live rock-concert atmosphere and ample doses of self-reflexive humor.
Onscreen, as directed by Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”), everything seems less tongue-in-cheek and more earnestly one-dimensional. The romance feels drippier, the numbers choppier; one can sense the energy being desperately expended in hopes of getting viewers to fist-pump in the aisles. Yet no matter how often the setlist urges you to don’t stop believin’ and cum on feel the noize, any such impulses are deflated by the reality of what’s onscreen: lip-synched performances and musicvideo-ready poses, sliced and diced in a whirlwind of power chords and flailing camerawork. Neither a satisfying drama nor a vivid mosh-pit immersion, the pic plays like a series of karaoke videos produced at great expense, much of it spent on hair products.
It’s 1987 when cute, sweet Midwestern gal Sherrie Christian (Hough) arrives in Los Angeles with her sights set on a singing career. She soon meets and falls for Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), an equally cute, sweet aspiring rocker who gets her a job at the Bourbon Room, a legendary rock club run by the world-weary Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his party-hearty technician, Lonny (Russell Brand). Though this dive’s seen better days, it’s jammed with enough sweaty, drunken revelers every night to live up to its promise of “Nothin’ but a Good Time.”
A good time, alas, is precisely what the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) hopes to quash, in yet another stale, “Footloose”-style movie subplot skewering conservative moral gatekeepers. Backed by a chorus of church ladies in pleated skirts as she urges her enemies to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Zeta-Jones’ political banshee declares war on the Bourbon Room and its headline-grabbing latest act, Stacee Jax (Cruise).
Whatever one’s reservations up to this point, there’s no doubting the impact of this Dionysian rock idol’s arrival on the scene. Accompanied at all times by a pet monkey, a sleazy manager (Paul Giamatti), and various half-naked women, Stacee makes a decidedly, um, cheeky first appearance in leather chaps and satanic crotchwear, giving off a palpable whiff of sex and booze.
Channeling the likes of Axl Rose and Keith Richards with his tattoos, heavy furs and even heavier eyeshadow, Cruise clearly relishes the opportunity to play against type even as he sends up his world’s-biggest-movie-star identity, displaying a cock-of-the-rock strut that viewers haven’t seen since his turn in “Magnolia.” And whether he’s turning Jon Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” into a rebel yell or ordering his fans to “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” the thesp socks over his singing duties with aplomb.
The entire ensemble is in fine musical form: Zeta-Jones still has the singing and hoofing chops she showed in “Chicago,” and Mary J. Blige adds a touch of class as a strip-club den mother who takes Sherrie under wing when fate starts bringin’ on the heartbreak. As for the vocally adept young leads, Hough imbues her small-town girl with a winsome pluck; less engaging is Boneta, whose puppy-dog affect unfortunately makes Drew’s third-act descent into boy-band hell feel all too fitting.
Though crammed with the racy lyrics and suggestive dance moves endemic to its milieu, the PG-13 pic feels awkwardly stranded between naughty and nice any time it broaches the subject of sex. When Stacee and a probing Rolling Stone journalist (Malin Akerman) do a dirty duet on Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” their hot-and-heavy pantomime flirts with outrage but seems unwilling to go all the way. The indecision is typical of the movie’s identity crisis; it’s a rock musical that’s finally afraid to let its hair down.
Overall, “Rock of Ages” could use less “Glee” and more grunge, which is less a knock on Jon Hutman’s pungent production design and Rita Ryack’s terrific costumes than on the material’s squeaky-clean sensibility. Further undermining the aural adrenaline, volume levels seemed curiously low at the screening reviewed.
Camera (color, widescreen), Bojan Bazelli; editor, Emma E. Hickox; music, Adam Anders, Peer Astrom; music supervisor, Matt Sullivan; executive music producer, Anders; production designer, Jon Hutman; art director, Paul Kelly; set designers, Dennis Bradford, Rich Fojo; set decorator, K.C. Fox; costume designer, Rita Ryack; sound, William Kaplan; supervising sound editors, Mildred Iatrou Morgan, John A. Larsen; re-recording mixers, Jon Taylor, Steve Pederson, Dean Zupancic; choreographer, Mia Michaels; special effects coordinator, Robert Caban; special effects supervisor, Kevin Harris; visual effects supervisor, Jay Barton; visual effects, Digital Domain; stunt coordinator, Artie Malesci; associate producer, James Badstibner; assistant director, Chris Carreras; casting, Juel Bestrop, Seth Yanklewitz. Reviewed at New Line screening room, Los Angeles, June 7, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 123 MIN.
I’ll be seeing Sandler’s film in theaters and waiting for Rock, unless it gets paired with something more interesting at the Drive In.
I got dragged to see Rock of Ages on B’way and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It’s more of a review than anything.
It looks like Nashville crossed with Glee. Haven’t seen it yet, not sure if I want to.
For the last few years, Adam Sandler has placed his career on paycheck-cashing cruise control. He’s taken the opportunity to play with his famous friends (Grown Ups), soil an Oscar winning property (his awful Cactus Flower remake, Just Go With It) and explore his drag/feminine side with one of the worst movies of all time (the horrendous Jack and Jill). Toss in his often failed experiments into “legitimacy” (Reign Over Me, Funny People) and you can almost see his once vital celebrity bankability slowly spiraling down the drain. So what do you do when you’re down, desperate, and up against a summer slate so chock full of anticipated efforts that you’re afraid your farce will get lost in the shuffle. You create That’s My Boy, a comedy so completely lowbrow and lewd that it makes Judd Apatow’s oeuvre look like Dr. Seuss by comparison.
Listen, any movie that begins by championing an inappropriate student/teacher relationship is not out to set the benchmark for good taste. Instead, we meet a young Donny Berger (eventually, Sandler) as he has a sordid sexual fling with his smoking hot Math instructor. Fast forward a few weeks and she’s pregnant and going to jail. Our pint sized Casanova, on the other hand, has become a local (and national) hero and has traded his notoriety for an extended 15 minutes of fame…and some minor fortune. Unfortunately, the court saddles him with taking care of his son, who Donny names Han Solo (Andy Samberg).
Years later, the young boy has left home, changed his name, and grown into a massive wimp. Working for a sleazy tycoon (Tony Orlando) and marrying a social climbing harpy (Leighton Meester), he seems destined to be miserable. Donny, on the other hand, is in Dutch with the IRS. If he doesn’t get $43,000 in three days, he will go to prison. So he sets up an ambush TV reunion between his son and the still incarcerated mother. Now all Donny has to do is head to Cape Cod, convince his boy that he’s not a complete failure, and find a way to get him to the penitentiary in time for the show. Naturally, things don’t work out quite the way anyone planned.
For the first 20 minutes or so, That’s My Boy has a hard time connecting. Since we live in an era when cases of child abuse and sexualization have become mainstream praiah talking points, celebrating such a relationship – even for obvious laughs – is a bit much. Call it PC or a lack of legitimate provocation, but the concept seems built solely to explain the mere 12 year difference in age between Sandler and Samberg. Oddly, since the former is so good at playing aging debauchery, the plot premise is unnecessary. Even with a mere decade plus between them, Sadler comes across as wise and weary while Samberg pulls off passive and plebian with ease. There will be those in the audience cheering along with the male characters in the film once Donny’s affair is revealed. Others will have to wait until the wedding plans to find the right pace.
…and even then, there are issues. The bride’s family is a cliched collection of comedy conventions. The brother is a military badass who takes everything way too soldier seriously. Dad is a crusty old disconnected coot with a foul mouth while Mom suffers from several obvious frustrations. We then get the leering boss, the horny old lady, and the ineffectual friend/best man. Until Sandler shows up to literally spew all over them, we cringe at the stereotypes. Luckily, our lead seems to inspire everyone, including Orlando, who appears happy to say almost anything as long as it’s disgustingly dirty. Then the cameos/casting kicks in, and That’s My Boy finds its appropriate pace.
Indeed, it’s hard to discuss this movie without spoiling some of these surprises. For example, a very famous fixture of the early ‘90s shows up as Sandler’s buddy and Samberg’s “Uncle.” The character’s co-worker is also a famous face from the ‘80s. Donny’s lawyer will be recognizable to those with an invested interest in NYC football, while the last act reveal of the teacher today makes for one of the movie’s most memorable moments. Along the way, other recognizable faces from the Sandler stable show up, many given limited screen time and director Sean Anders (Sex Drive) does his best to balance out the needs of the narrative with such stunt casting.
But it’s the outrageous level of crud, crass gags that will either win you over or send you shrieking from the theater. Nothing is left out of the bawdy bodily fluid mix. Urine is a punchline while masturbation and ejaculation are ever-present. Donny is never seen without a beer, and as the story moves along, we are introduced to more and more outrageous behavior. Of course, our haggard hero is going to see through the bride’s side of the family and reveal their most dark and disturbing secrets. What he uncovers, however, pushes the very limits of an R-rated comedy. If Kevin Smith can get an NC-17 for merely talking about subjects like this, That’s My Boy almost warrants a XXX. When your mouth is not making noises similar to laughter, it will be dragging along the theater floor in stunned disbelief.
Yet the gauge to any humor is whether or not it tickles your fragile funny bone, and in this regard, That’s My Boy succeeds. It’s a gangly guilty pleasure experience that makes you feel foul for enjoying its obvious, out of control bravado. Sandler is terrific as the tacky center of attention and even with a bloated belly and bad mat of monkey fur hair-do, he’s winning. Yes, some of the jokes fall very flat indeed and there’s more F-bombs than in a Scorsese gangster flick, but the end result is genuine. Indeed, Sandler, more than anyone, has been guilty of turning the big screen comedy into a premise with no pay-off. That’s My Boy promises things you hope it won’t deliver. When it does, you’ll be ashamed of your reaction, but happy that Sandler has returned to his randy roots.
Rock of Ages is seriously not half as bad as I thought it was going to be. The cast is solid and if we’re any other group of people, I doubt that they would’ve been able to hadle the material. A lot of fun, but there’s always too much going on. Very much a musical for the ADD ‘diagnosed’ generation.