“Rock of Ages”, the much hyped movie starring, Juliana Hough, Tom Cruise, Alex Baldwin, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, and Catherine Zeta Jones had its much hyped opening night last evening, and we were there, front row, center, my husband and I to see it.
From the opening scene, the music was vibrant, energetic, poignantly beautiful, and Juliana Hough was breathtakingly beautiful. The camera loves those crystal blue eyes. Mesmerizing is the only word for them. From beginning to end, the music never lets the audience down. It’s brilliantly woven into the story line and an intrinsically vital and dynamic part of the movie, never intrusive, but flowing like a well-planned river through the heart of a big city. Then again, what would one expect from a movie about rock and roll, and it really delivers.
Small town kid risks it all, goes to the big city, and becomes an overnight sensation is also an obvious part of the movies plot. Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise) has already been there, done that, and is now a jaded, drunken, sex-crazed super star, so mired in his addictions it’s all he can do to rouse himself from his stupor long enough to get on a stage to perform. Tom Cruise, in attempting to create a caricature of the rock star gone sour, simply wasn’t believable. He needed to get his teeth into being a ‘bad boy’, to really be one for a while before he tried to portray one on the big screen. He didn’t have the life experience to know where to go with the part. If he was trying for a spoof on the life-style, it didn’t even work from that angle.
Drew (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie (Juliana Hough) are only aspiring to become rock stars like Stacie Jaxx in the opening scenes of the movie. With stars in their eyes, they are bewitched by the glamour and are blind to the almost insurmountable hurdles that have to be overcome to ever realize even modest success in places like L.A. and Hollywood. Juliana Hough isn’t only beautiful and talented. She’s believable as you find yourself chasing the ‘American Dream’ with her. Diego Boneta, her love interest, is a sweet kid you don’t want to see get burned.
What can one say about Alex Baldwin and Russell Brand except they are totally anti-establishment and brilliantly funny? Alex Baldwin seems to take a side road from that pretty boy, romantic interest he often portrays on the big screen, and does it quite convincingly. As is to be expected from Russell Brand, he’s his usual outrageous self, but in a new and different setting. He shows his human side just often enough to engage his audience long enough, we’re left actually liking this weird guy.
Catherine Zeta Jones immediately establishes her gifted ability to capture a scene with song, dance, and comedic relief, or to put it more simply, she has enough over the top talent to make it her own. She delivers a powerful performance that doesn’t disappoint.
I highly recommend this movie. Rated PG-13, it’s definitely for an adult audience, but is well worth the price of a theater ticket to go see on the big screen.