The pReview Re-viewing of..
Rock of Ages
(it is highly recommended to view the trailer and THEN read)
(Warning: Contains fits of cursing and mild schizophrenia. We think.)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: June 15, 2012
The premise: A fresh faced kid with a dream in her heart and a song on her boobs, steps off the bus from small town, USA, and lands right in the middle of a vicious Los Angeles gang war. It's Rock 'n Roll versus the Man. Which is kind of like the Bloods versus the Crips, except way more white and a tad less violent.. Also, like, 140% more leather and 600% more hairspray. Julianne Hough plays Sherrie Christian, the fresh faced boob-song girl I mentioned before, who gets a job working at The Bourbon Room at the behest of long time stalker, first time caller, Drew Boley. Drew is played by Diego Boneta. (Who, incidentally, actually was a fresh faced kid from small town, Mexico, and has a dream in his heart and a song on his.. Uhmm.. Never mind.) Drew meets Sherrie and convinces his boss, Lonny (a rock-mullet wearing, narrator: Russell Brand), to hire her as a waitress. Then, everything goes from Hairspray to Empire Records in a matter of one night.
The trailer starts up with a slow build to a strip club version of a rock/cabaret version of Mary J. Blige's version of Journey's Any Way You Want It. And then blows straight past all of that, past the Hollywood sign, past girls writhing around on stage, past Malin Akerman bursting out of her clothes, and right into Paul Giamatti making me fucking tits-out excited that some dude named Stacee Jaxx is going to blow our balls out of our toe nails and into the floor, tonight at The Bourbon Room. Paul Giamatti plays Jaxx's manager and Colonel Gentleman stand-in, Paul Gill.
The manager of The Bourbon Room (Russel Brand's Lonny) has a mentor, of sorts: An older gentleman, who is still enthralled by rock 'n roll.. Who provides a place for hundreds of fanatical, mindless, head banging kids who just wanna have fun and who will do anything to keep it. This is the part in which Alec Baldwin shows up to play the owner, Dennis Dupree. Sure, he sounds like a Spider-Man character, but don't be fooled, he isn’t. He actually looks like a leopard ate him.. And then instead of digesting him, it ripped its own head off.. And then Alec Baldwin decided to never change out of his horrific new leopard skin clothes. So, okay, maybe he is a Spider-Man character.
Your friendly, neighborhood Dennis Dupree offers up a helpful tip about drinking ASAP because the club is about to become a den of sweat, ear-shattering music, and puke. Then Stacee Jaxx, played by Tom "Mo-effing" Cruise, undermines Dupree's orders to start drinking now.. And tells you to start drinking.. Now. Malin Akerman is Constance Sack, a seemingly innocent reporter, interviewing Jaxx about his career. She states that his first album gave birth to some of rock's greatest anthems, and then asks what it's like to be him. That's amateur hour questioning. That's like asking Michael Landon what it was like making way for everyone who ever wanted to own a little house.. On a prairie. Or like asking Norma Talmadge how pumped she is for accidentally stepping into wet cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
Tom Cruise plays Stacee Jaxx up to be very quiet, unimpressed, and possibly self-destructive. (If you're familiar with the actual play, you know where this is heading.) He’s kind of like, if Jim Morrison fucked Brett Michaels and a way less pissed off Danzig came out or if Slash was a lead singer and traded his top hat in for Macho Man Randy Savage accessories. So, Jaxx has a creepy uncle/used car salesman looking manager, a wrestler bodyguard (Kevin Nash), flamboyant style, a lazy, hip swagger, and a fucking baboon called "Hey Man." He is basically everything that was cool about rock music in the 80s.
The preview kicks back into the actual plot, following Drew's previously mentioned dreams of rock stardom, blah blah, Sherrie's dreams of not being a waitress, blah blah, they both perform in front of a sold out arena crowd, rum-pumpum. (Again, if you're familiar with the play, you know where this is going, too.) But then it jumps straight back into what we all want to see: Parties! Clubs! Mikhail Gorbachev tearing down the Berlin Wall! ..all sorts of kooky things. Catherine Zeta-Jones barges into the movie as Patricia Whitmore, a character invented to fill the roles of some absent Germans (from the play). Her whole goal is to keep a large, prominent stick inside of her anus for the entire film, while simultaneously trying to ruin everyone's fun and shut down The Bourbon Room.. Or blow up the strip.. Or eat all of the ice cream in the world and throw it all up into every child's face.
The rest of the trailer is filled with concert shots, choreographed dancing, more 80s rock anthems, everyone having nothing.. But a good time.. Basically, lots of familiar 80s feel good music movie staples: Big hair, terrible fashion, big lights, strip clubs, Paul Giamatti dancing and making us all feel uncomfortable.. It's all there! The trailer culminates in what appears to be an earth-shattering performance by Stacee Jaxx and his band Arsenal. Jaxx, dressed not unlike a certain former lead singer, and sociopath, whose name may or may not rhyme with Axl Rose, promises to "light this place on fire." So, that is, essentially, a metaphor for this whole movie. Tom Cruise setting us all on fire.. In a good way. And that should prove to be a delightful, entertaining, riotous felony!