Friday, June 15, 2012


Still from Rock of Ages
Although I have yet to see the Stage Version of Rock of Ages, I can say with complete confidence that its Film Adaptation stands magnificently on its own as a thrilling Moviegoing Experience. Adam Shankman (A Walk to Remember, Hairspray) delivers an electrifying display of Showmanship and he will forever be known as the Director who convincingly transformed Tom Cruise into a Rock Star here.

The Premise is familiar: a Smalltown Girl named Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and a City Boy named Drew (Diego Boneta) who meet in Hollywood, working at Hotspot called The Bourbon Room, with dreams and aspirations of making it big. They are brought together by their undying passion for Rock 'n' Roll, even though they are an unlikely pairing.  At the same time, financially-ailing The Bourbon Room faces the tight scrutiny of Mayor Whitmore (Bryan Cranston) and his Wife Patricia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) due to some unpaid taxes and its promoting of immoral values; a watchful eye triggered passionately perhaps by a personal motive on the latter's part.  All the while, washed-up Rock Legend Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) soon is set to hit the stage in a highly-publicized performance which could be the Club's saving grace.  Rock of Ages however, is so much more than its Synopsis suggests.  It is a Celebration of the Power of Music; an embodiment of Rock 'n' Roll's rebellious spirit. It is an emphatic statement about believing in your dreams and fighting the fight for them.

Filled with superb performances from its Ensemble, Newcomer Diego Boneta wows at first asking in his Debut, while Dancing with the Stars Alumni Julianne Hough solidifies her place as a real Movie Star.  No one can deny the infectious charisma and energy of both Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, while Oscar Winner Catherine Zeta-Jones gives us her tightest performance since Chicago - getting a chance to do exactly what she does best here.  Surprisingly good is Toronto's own Malin Åkerman as an uptight Rolling Stone Journalist. The biggest revelation of all here is Tom Cruise's jaw-dropping work as Stacee Jaxx - a mishmash of Jim Morrison, Axl Rose and Jon Bon Jovi. Many will be surprised, if not stunned by his performance which surely will garner some Awards buzz even this early in the Season.

Aside from the Acting and Storyline, Rock of Ages simply would not be without is stellar selection of Songs, paying tribute to the likes of Foreigner, Journey, Guns 'n Roses, Def Lepard, REO Speedwagon, Whitesnake, Poison and so many more.  These renditions stay true to their Originals, but are amped-up that extra notch, doing justice to the Spectacle we are fortunate enough to witness.

Rock of Ages transcends the great divide between Lovers and Non-Lovers of Musicals.  It is the most fun you'll have at the theatre this Summer. Pay close attention to a few Cameos sprinkled throughout.  Warner Bros. releases Rock of Ages on Friday, June 15, 2012.

Enter to win a Copy of the Rock of Ages - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack here, courtesy of Universal Music Canada and Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven!