Friday, June 15, 2012


Carole Mallory


Review: Rock of Ages Nails it!

Posted: 05/09/2005 3:00 am

Fanf**king tastic. Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx is high octane sex on guitar. Malin Akerman (Constance Sack) as a reporter from Rolling Stone matches Cruise with the passion that only can come from having sex with a rock n roll superstar. No shame here. No shame there. No shame in Rock of Agesbased on the hit Broadway musical. The passion mounts as the music becomes more intense the further into the film you climb. And I say climb literally. This film has a slow, ho hum, start, but fasten your seat belts 'cause it's a rocky road featuring the music of Def Leopard, Foreigner, Journey, Twisted Sister, Poison ,Quarterflash, Joan Jett, but all the singing is done by the- can't -top- this cast. 
The film begins with an innocent Julienne Hough (Sherree Christian) getting off a bus in Hollywood from bumpkinville and her suitcase is stolen. She meets Diego Bonneta (Drew Boley) who arranges for her to have a job as a waitress in a club modeled after the Whiskey A Go Go on Sunset Strip titled the Bourbon Room. What else? They sing to each other and for a minute I thought I was in a Glee sequel.
Then the energetic British beauty Catherine Zeta Jones (Patricia Whitmore) gets the ball rollin' singing 'I'm not gonna take It" in a church to protest Stacee Jaxx's rockin and rolling his outrageous sex appeal. As the mayor's wife, she is determined to silence what she refers to as "sex, hateful music, and sex," or immoral rock n roll. At first I thought she was going to steal the film until the camera focused on a pearl and diamante encrusted codpiece covering the crotch of a muscle bound, tattooed rocker none other than Stacee Jaxx in bed with six women. Then the movie takes off. When Jaxx struts his sexual stuff on stage all the Cruise naysayers will blush. His tattoos make all the right moves. With his long hair (Cruise should never have short hair), he is covered in sweat when he gyrates and oozes unforgettable appeal and pulsating desire as he sings"Pour Some Sugar on Me". Yes,folks, it is his voice. But it is the scene where he sings Foreigner's "I want to know what love is," inches away from Constance Sacks bikini clad buttock then flips her over on the pool table, spreads her legs and sings, "I want you to show me," to her wide open still-covered-in -undies soul-- that tore down the house. 
Paul Giamatti, plays Paul Gill a dishonest manager of Stacee Jaxx and has all the crafty moves. After Gill tries to cheat club owner Alec Baldwin (Dennis Dupree )out of Jaxx's take, Jaxx fires him. Gill's chicanery is uncovered with the help of Constance Sack who discloses this in her Rolling Stone interview with the super rocker.
Mary J. Blige (Justice Charlier) as the manager of a strip club picks up the pace when it is getting too cute for Sherrie Christian who quits the Bourbon when her beau suspects her of being unfaithful to him by having sex with Jaxx and so she sings Quarterflash's "I'm gonna harden my heart." Down, but not out Charlier tells Christian, "The stage is a pedestal. When you are up there, you are untouchable." After Charlier sings, "Anyway you want it," she offers Christian a job as a waitress and then as a pole dancer and then as a stripper.
This is fine ensemble acting, but it is important to withhold judgment until Cruise enters center stage. Then the pieces fall into place. In no way is this film comparable to a music video due to the mega talents of the superstar cast alone. Hairspray director Adam Shankman directed this gem/bijou written by Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo and Allan Loeb.
Several times two rock classics are combined such a Juke Box Hero (Foreigner) with Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n Roll" to allow the lyrics to advance the story. The finale is Patricia Whitmore leading the crowd in Twister Sister's "We're not gonna take it" as Russell Brand (Lonny) leads the rockers in Jefferson Starship's, 'We built this city on rock and roll". At one point a duet is created from the lyrics of Reospeedwagon's, "I can't hide this feeling anymore," between the Bourbon's proprietor Dupree and his British partner Lonny as they sing revealing their deep repressed passion for each other. Comical it is and it works. This is a kind of rock opera that will be compared to not the doom and gloom of Tommy, but the joie des vivre of the Rocky Horror Show as ageless musical theatre. 
Don't miss this one even if you have a tad of Patricia Whitmore in you , but you ,too, long to be handcuffed and covered in Cool Whip and Wild Turkey by a rock n roll superstar, but can't admit it. If you throw out your outdated opinions, this film and its rhythms transcend age barriers. Enfin if you toss out any your contempt you have lurking in your corpuscles for rock n roll, you will be won over by the irresistible music and the star-studded cast of Rock of Ages. Go for it, its fun ride.

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