What’s The Rockbrat Viewing Today ? Rock of Ages (2012)

The last great piece of acting I saw Tom Cruise perform was on Oprah’s couch, and so, it still stands. I am not going to waste a lot of time and effort with this review as I am simply not a fan of musicals nor Tom Cruise. That combination in fact meant that I did not see out the end of this film, which only left one other adult in the theater (I kid you not). What this film is not, is an accurate look at the Hollywood rock scene 25 years back. It is in fact, a light-hearted musical which focuses on some of the popular hair metal tunes from a quarter century ago. If you want a look, (and a laugh) at this time period when strong cheekbones, cowboy boots and a lipstick fix, could see you signing to a major label – go view The Decline Of Western Civilisation Part 2 instead. It is more accurate. But if you are 15 years old you will lap this up – the cheesy storyline of the girl from Oklahoma riding the Greyhound to the bright lights of L.A is a tired cliche stolen from many 80’s rock videos….. For hard rock geeks like me, who lived through this time period, I’d rather grab a copy of Circus magazine and put something from 1987 on the turntable instead. Far more realistic in my opinion that watching Hollywood’s take on it. What is up with all the horned hands in this flick ? There is more of it going on than what the late great Ronnie James Dio averaged per show…  from memory, very few of the acts from this era ever did that – not Leppard or Poison etc anyway. The storyline was weak and as hard as I tried, I just could not picture Cruise in a Taime Downe/Axl type role, sorry. His vocal recordings on tunes like Paradise City are weak and best forgotten – his wimpy range cannot match the roar that Rose once had and if you wanna hear the best take on this song, that recent Slash/Fergie/Cypress Hill rendition blows all and sundry out of the Cathouse. The soundtrack overall is flimsy, and I have no idea what many syrupy Foreigner or REO tunes have to do with the Strip in 1987…just sayin’. Incidentally – and not being picky but singing Extreme’s sickly 1991 hit More Than Words in a film representing 1987 does not compute, neither does a large Slayer poster  promoting their ‘Reign In Blood’ LP on the wall of a commercial record store – like THAT ever happened ! Better research needed….Should I ALSO mention that Alec Baldwin – who plays venue owner Dennis Dupree, is wearing a Kiss t-shirt on the film’s promo poster – the image of which was produced in 1996 – yeah, what the hell – fire the research guy !  All in all, a forgettable take on a period in rock where – surprisingly – some tunes still sounds great after two and a half decades. No mention of Cinderella in this film ? Oh they were from Philly that’s right, and wrote far better tunes than most of the acts featured here. Ignore the hype being heaped on this film and see it only if you score yourself a free ticket.

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