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Where’s The Aqua-Net? I Need A Hit June 8, 2012

Posted by Alichat in Movies, Music.
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Thursday night, I saw a screening of Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages.  Let me first preface this post with an important bit of information that apparently alot in the audience tonight were not privy…..this movie is a musical. GASP!  I know, I know…shocking that this would be an unknown fact about a film adapted from a broadway musical that features some of the musical numbers in the trailers and promos, but alas, there were a few “what the??” comments when Julianne Hough began belting out a song 30 seconds into the film.

With that said, I have never seen the musical and what I know of the story I learned from Wikipedia, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie!  It’s a comical, gyrating tour of 80s hair band and arena rock classics. I was surprised at how much humor there was in the film. (and in the audience for that matter as I discovered when a guy next to me said loudly and in all seriousness “Mary J Blige….wasn’t she in The Hunger Games?”)  Going into the film, I was concerned that I would have issues with Tom Cruise’s performance as Stacee Jaxx, and to be honest, I did a bit.  He sang well.  Not stellar, but well, and his performance held steady on that fine line between absurd and serious. But there were a few times, especially when he smiled, that he became Tom Cruise and was no longer Stacee Jaxx.  In all fairness, this could just be me. I have a really good eye for spotting actors, and a wicked amount of pop culture trivia in my brain, which makes it hard for me to see some actors as anything else but their real selves in a movie. This is particularly hard with actors of a certain stature, and those who have a tendency to incorporate their own gestures and ticks into every performance. (Yes, I’m talking about you Julia Roberts.)  But my friend Abby didn’t have that problem and loved Tom Cruise’s performance.  She had a hard time with Alec Baldwin as Dennis Dupree.

I will admit the hair took some getting used to, but I loved Alec as Dennis. And some of the best banter, and one of the funniest musical moments, was between Alec and Russell Brand.  Brand, who let’s be honest probably spent the least amount of time in wardrobe and hair/makeup than any other actor, was hysterical as Dennis’ right hand man, Lonny Barnett. But getting back to Julianne Hough, as much as I like the woman, I have to say that her singing was the low point in the movie for me.  Not that she’s a bad singer, but her pitch was just wrong in alot of the songs.  She harmonized well with Diego Boneta, whom I loved, but singing on her own was just not my favorite.

With that, the medley of music from Quarterflash to Twisted Sister to Journey was fantastic, and had the entire audience singing along, bouncing their heads, or tapping their feet.  Great performances from the rest of the cast, which includes Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Mary J Blige, and Malin ‘Lizard Tongue’ Akerman.  Keep your eyes peeled for all the cameos from cast members of the stage shows, some of your favorite rock stars, and the odd placement of an 80s pop princess.  The screenplay, which was co-written by Justin Theroux, differs from the original stage production with Regina and the Klinemanns eliminated, and Stacee Jaxx’s image cleaned up and a bit Disney-fied, but I don’t think the changes are enough to distract those who have seen the original.  The movie is rated PG-13, and while some bring their pre-teens to PG-13 movies, I would err on the side of caution due to some of the sex scenes and the amount of alcohol. If you’re in doubt, don’t bring the pre-teen. Check it out for yourself first.

Now…where’s my mesh tank and denim mini? And I think I need to grab a comb and a can of Aqua-Net…..I feel the need to tease!

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