After a wee switcheroo, this week FTRC Film Club went back to the 80s for the mullet-tastic Rock of Ages. So can Tom Cruise pull off leather chaps and Guns ‘n’ Roses covers? Check out what our guys thought…but be sure to avoid the spoilers if you haven’t seen it!
FIONA ‘I have very mixed feelings about this film. Some parts I really liked (Tom Cruise was brilliant as Stacee) and some parts really didn’t work. There are a few homages to fans of the stage show but some material is also included that adds nothing to the story.’
‘The storytelling is a bit messy and the basic plot is drowned out by all the songs, which occasionally feel thrown in.’
‘Everything is over the top to the point of being cringeworthy at times. There were a few jokes but it isn’t nearly as funny as it tries to be.’
‘Diego Boneta is cute and sweet, and has the innocence that the character of Drew requires, but he has no charisma, lacked chemistry with Hough and his voice wasn’t strong enough for one of the lead characters.’
‘Tom Cruise was the only one with standout vocals, everyone else was pretty meh (except Zeta Jones who was good).’
‘I’d rate it 7/10.’
IVAI ‘It wasn’t that bad but I think it was a bit saucy for the 12A rating.’
‘Tom Cruise has been surprising me lately, first running up Burj Khalifa and now with the good singing voice. The Cruise still hath the moves! I never would have thought of him for the role of a rocker but I must say he was perfect.’
‘I was more interested in the story than musical numbers but the only story I really enjoyed was Stacee’s.’
RAGHAV ‘Rock of Ages was a trip down memory lane which left me with mixed feelings. The perfect way to watch it would be to get together with your high school friends (provided you were born in the late 70s or early 80s), book a cinema, and ROCK THAT JOINT!’
‘I think Russell Brand fitted well in his role, it was something he could have gone over the top with but he walks a fine line. Maybe to keep it 12A he was held back.’
‘Favourite vocal has to be Tom Cruise for sure… shows that he’s still in the game.’
‘The plot was the biggest disappointment about the whole film. Not at all interesting, done to death and a bit boring… I just wish there was more to it.”
“There was too much of the mushy-mushy romantic stuff and that meant more ballads… I would have liked a bit more ROCK and for that the story needed to have a bit more spunk.’
SUZAN ‘Rock of Ages was like High School Musical for adults – to be honest, although I liked the film it’s not something I would watch over and over. The songs were great for nostalgia but at times it just felt messy and not well planned out.’
‘Tom Cruise was the best vocalist; it was very refreshing to see him in this role.’
‘It had elements of comedy, but nothing was laugh-out-loud funny.’
‘It keeps to the story well but it feels too glossy somehow, it loses the bit of edge the show has and melts it all down into cheese.’
‘I’m not a Tom Cruise fan, but I think he was brilliant in this because it was so different for him. I particularly loved the last few scenes and the opening.’
‘Paul Giamatti really is up for anything isn’t he? Fantastic…THAT TACHE!’
‘The plot was nothing new, but these days I’m all up for anything that wants to show me a nice shot up Franklin to the Hollywood sign! I liked Tower Records being bought back to life too – it couldn’t have been any other way, things like that can’t be done so well in a stage show.’
CHRIS ‘The movie didn’t make me want to rush to see the stage show, although I can imagine it would be pretty fun.’
‘I thought it had some comedic elements to it, but nothing TOO hilarious or laugh-out-loud. The Gaddafi monkey was pretty good though!’
‘To be honest, I thought the characters were pretty undeveloped overall. Those issues aside, Tom Cruise was the best character and had the best songs.’
‘It’s not perfect, but it is a fun film which, for me, was a bit by-the-numbers. All style and not much substance but still quite entertaining.’
‘My husband and I spent the film playing ‘identify Russell Brand’s accent’ – he went from Brummie to Scouse to Cockney. We couldn’t keep up!’
‘Malin Akerman and Tom Cruise had MUCH better on-screen chemistry than Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough! Diego was fabulous vocally but charisma-wise he was slightly lacking.’
‘I haven’t seen the stage show, but I liked the film so much that I will make an effort to go and see it. I’m a rocker so the soundtrack was right up my street.’
‘I’m an unashamed Tom Cruise fan and won’t hear anything bad said about him. He was vocally impressive and is actually vastly underrated as an actor. He looked pretty buff as Stacee Jaxx too!’
Just for fun (why the hell not?) we asked our Film Clubbers for their favourite musical number. The Tom Cruise love-in continues…
ROSANNA ‘As a Poison fan I loved Nothin’ but a Good Time. Oh and I loved Stacee Jaxx’s ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive.’
SUZAN ‘Wanted Dead or Alive, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Paradise City. I enjoyed More Than Words too!’
CHRIS ‘Wanted Dead or Alive, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Rock You Like A Hurricane were the best numbers.’
ELENA ‘Not sure I can pick a favourite. I didn’t like any of them that much but I have had that Bon Jovi tune (Wanted Dead or Alive) stuck in my head since!’
FIONA ‘The Tom Cruise numbers, Wanted Dead or Alive and Pour Some Sugar On Me.’
RAGHAV ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me, because that was the only truly underrated number in the film.’
IVAI ‘Paradise City, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Wanted Dead or Alive, because of Tom Cruise’s fab voice and character.’
This is an odd sort of musical. Whereas most have songs written specifically to convey what the characters are feeling, Rock of Ages has more of a mixtape sort of vibe. Which is fun, sure, but the shoehorning in of vaguely relevant songs does get ridiculous at times.
The plot itself is more than a little ‘been there, done that.’ How many times can we watch a nubile, impossibly perky blonde from a small town move to LA to get famous and meet the boy of her dreams? It becomes even less fresh once the now all-too-familiar opening bars of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ kick in. Eurgh.
Basically, all the things that make a movie great are kind of lacking. Plot, daft. Characters, by-the-numbers. Mary J Blige, pointless. As we’ve said, even some of the songs don’t cut it. But bloody hell we had a great time anyway.
Top props have to go to Tom Cruise. Yes, there’s an element of ‘oh God, if that was our Dad we’d DIE’ about the whole thing but, damn, boy has pipes! And the moves to go with them. Plus, he’s clearly more than up for taking the mick out of himself (he enters the movie sequinned crotch-first), which we totally heart.
Overall, this movie isn’t really about anything and makes a lot of air guitar about not much. It’s either pure nonsense or genuinely awesome, we still can’t decide. Entertaining nonsense.
But just what is this Film Club malarkey all about? It’s simples, really. Each week we send a pair of cinema tix (ODEON or Cineworld, whichever is best) to 10 of our most active Facebook/Twitter followers. We put the film we’re going to see to the vote, and the winning film is the one we all go to see. Then we all sit around on Facebook on the Sunday night (6.30) and chat about it. Magic. Sound like something you want to get involved with? Drop us a line at twitter.com/f_t_r_c or on Facebook at on.fb.me/d4dMv8
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