Posts Tagged ‘Rock of Ages’

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: the life and legacy of Canadian Broadway star Nick Cordero.

Richard joins CTV NewsChannel host Marcia MacMillan to talk about the reaction to the death of Canadian Broadway star Nick Cordero who passed away Sunday from COVID-19 at the age of 41.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


rock_of_ages_backplate_1The theatre near you where “Rock of Ages” is playing isn’t simply a movie theatre showing a new musical, it’s actually the place where real rock and roll went to die. Despite the title, the popular Broadway karaoke musical doesn’t rock, although it does go on for ages.

The framework on which the Greatest Hits of Hair Metal hangs is a typical small town girl moves to Hollywood story. (Oh) Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) is a naïve dyed-in-the-wool rock fan who arrives in Los Angeles, circa 1987, with a suitcase full of LPs, a gallon of Aqua Net and a dream to become a singer. She lands a job at the coolest bar on the Sunset Strip, the Bourbon Room, run by Dennis Dupree (Alex Baldwin) and falls for Drew, a handsome rock star wannabe (Diego Boneta). On the night of the biggest show of the year—a showcase by Stace Jaxx (Tom Cruise)—dreams come true for some and shatter for others.

“Rock of Ages” contains a couple things I never thought I’d see—a rear view close-up of Tom Cruise’s bottomless chaps and Alec Baldwin diving into a mosh pit—and one thing I’ve dreamed of for years—a monkey butler who fetches bottles of scotch and looks good in a suit. It’s that kind of movie, and if you surrender yourself to the over-the-top feel of the movie you may have a good time.

Cruise, who plays superstar Jaxx, the “most unreliable man in the music business,” pours some sugar on it. He’s Robert Plant with Axl Rose’s attitude and Prince’s trademarked revealing chaps. On stage he moves like an alien Iggy Pop, off stage he staggers through life searching for “the perfect song, the perfect sound,” (which, apparently sounds a lot like Journey). It’s still not real rock and roll, but the movie does rock a little harder when he’s on screen.

Paul Giamatti, as a slimy music manager who says things like, “I wish the true part was falser,” and Baldwin supply some lighter moments while Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Tipper Goresque wife of the mayor who wants to end Stacee Jaxx’s “filthy little music sex ride” stops the show with We’re Not Gonna Take It.

The 1984 hit is given a full scale 80’s video treatment, complete with teased hair and syncopated choreography. It’s more musical theatre than Twister Sister but it has the energy that other parts of the movie lack.

No amount of frenetic editing can spice up some of the numbers and the two leads, Hough and Boneta, are as bland as the rock ballads they sing.

“Rock of Ages” has some of the most enthusiastic pole dancing ever seen on screen, an unexpectedly fun performance from Cruise, and songs you’ll recognize, but is essentially only exists as an excuse to string a bunch of familiar songs together. It feels like a new twist on the oldies station you listen to on the way to work.

Cruise stars as art imitates life (again) in Rock of Ages By Richard Crouse Metro Canada June 13, 2012

cess-tom-cruise-rock-of-ages-cover-story-04-lIn Rock of Ages Tom Cruise plays superstar Stacee Jaxx. He’s Ozzy Osbourne with Axl Rose’s attitude and Prince’s trademarked revealing chaps, a spicy stew of rebellion, decadence and Jack Daniels.

The first time we see Jaxx in the film he’s on a round bed, buried under several scantily clad women. It’s a memorable first look at the character, but it’s not exactly an original one.

Director Adam Shankman admits that the idea came from a similar scene — featuring KISS singer Paul Stanley — in the heavy metal documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.

It’s not the first time a music movie has taken its cue from real rock life.

For a year before shooting playing Jim Morrison in The Doors Val Kilmer immersed himself in the singer’s life, wearing his clothes and spending time at the Lizard King’s favorite Sunset Strip bars.

Despite the film’s many factual errors — drummer John Densmore claims “A third of it is fiction” — the recording studio scene where Jim smashes a TV is true, and even Jim’s disgruntled ex-band mates said they couldn’t distinguish Kilmer’s voice from the real Morrison’s.

The Doors weren’t the only musicians fooled by an actor.

Joan Jett was annoyed that Kristen Stewart wore leather pants when playing her in The Runaways — it would have been more authentic if she had worn jeans she said — but she was impressed with Stewart’s voice. When she first heard a recording of the actress belting out one of her songs she thought it was actually a tape of her old band.

Sex Pistols’ singer Johnny Rotten dismissed Sid and Nancy — the story of Sid Vicious’s life and death — as “mere fantasy” but Gary Oldham bought at least one authentic bit of Sid to the film by wearing the bass player’s real chain necklace in several scenes. Sid’s mom gave the actor the necklace to wear during filming.

Just as Shankman and Cruise borrowed from The Decline of Western Civilization, the Bob Dylan doc Don’t Look Back has inspired scenes in movies such as Bob Roberts and I’m Not There.

The mockumentary Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story parodies the movie in a press conference scene when a reporter compares Dewey to Dylan. “Why doesn’t anyone ask Bob Dylan why he sounds so much like Dewey Cox?” Dewey replies, echoing Dylan’s response to a reporter who likened Dylan to singer-songwriter Donovan.