Friday, June 15, 2012

Rock of Ages

My ViewRock of Ages (2012) Set in 1987 Los Angeles, a small town girl (Julianne Hough) and a city boy (Diego Boneta) meet while trying to make it in the big city. Both work at the hottest bar in LA, The Bourbon Room (think Whiskey Bar), where rock legend, Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) is scheduled to perform. Will do-gooder, Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who sees the bar as the root of all things evil, succeed in shutting down the bar before Jaxx can perform? Tom Cruise is the reason to see this film, as his portrayal of Rock God Jaxx, is spot-on perfect, and he brings down the house with his performance of the Bon Jovi song “Wanted,Dead or Alive.” I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the banter/interaction between Alec Baldwin, as the owner of the bar, and Russell Brand, his right-hand man. The film never can decide if it loves the 80's or it should make fun of the 80's, so the audience never knows how to react to the musical numbers.  Ultimately, this film is brought down by its overall length, coming in at 123 minutes (way too long with too many songs), combined with the lack of charisma and singing forte' of the two principal stars of the film, Hough and Boneta.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee Rock of Ages Website 
My ViewThat’s My Boy (2012) As a teenager, Donny (Adam Sandler) has an affair with his high school teacher and she gets pregnant with his child. The teacher goes to jail for seducing Donny, and he has to raise his son on his own. The son, Tom (Andy Samberg), leaves his dad when he turns eighteen and is determined to never see his father again. When Tom is settled in his new life and gets engaged to be married, Donny shows up, unexpectedly, and is determined to participate in the wedding plans and get back into his son’s life.  So, this is an R rated comedy, and, while it doesn't go as far as some of the recent R rated comedies, it still pushes the boundaries of good taste, and too often goes for the easy joke. Sandler's character gets old very quickly.  He is the type of guy who is so proud of himself when he gets into a fight and doesn't spill his beer, and he's the guy who wants to be the center of attention and isn't too proud to sleep with not only your mother, but your grandmother.  While 80's star Vanilla Ice is funny at first, his bad acting dominates his appearances, and Andy Samberg is wasted as the prim and proper son. I did enjoy Milo Ventimiglia as the Marine brother of Tom's fiancée (Leighton Meester), but his scenes are too few to make a big difference in a film that just isn't that funny. My Rating:  Cable   That's My Boy Website
IndiefestLola Versus (2012) Lola (Greta Gerwig) seems to have it all with a great boyfriend, a nice apartment, and supportive friends.  It all ends, however, when Lola is dumped by her fiancée’ three weeks before her wedding day, and she decides to go on a series of adventures to prove that she still “has it” before she turns thirty.  Gerwig is brilliant as the quirky Lola, but she is let down by a script that, like her character in the film, isn’t sure where it wants to go. Lola is one of those characters that make one bad choice after another, so much so, that you want to reach into the big screen and shake some sense into her.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Lola Versus Website
IndiefestPeace, Love & Misunderstanding (2012) An uptight, big city lawyer (Catherine Keener) takes her two teenagers to her mother’s farmhouse in upstate New York.  Mom (Jane Fonda), though, isn’t an ordinary grandmother. In fact, you could say that she never left the 60′s. What is meant to be a weekend becomes a summer of romance, music, and, just watch, a few family secrets might spill out. Jane Fonda is phenomenal as the stuck-in-the-60’s woman who continues to live the hippy lifestyle. I also liked Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Keener’s daughter, and whose character is unhappy with a weekend trip that turns into a week long stay, that is until she discovers the local butcher (Chace Crawford). This is one of those films you wish was just a little bit funnier and smarter.  You may end up liking the film, but you may not love it.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Peace, Love & Misunderstanding Website
Forgotten Film: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) John Cusack plays Martin, a professional hit man. At the urging of his secretary (played by the very funny Joan Cusack), Martin takes a job in his old hometown. He discovers that they are having his ten year high school reunion and his old flame, Debi (Minnie Driver) is still in town. So, Martin decides to take Debi to his reunion.  Life, though, isn’t easy for Martin. He has Federal agents breathing down his neck, and the head of the hit man union, called Grocer (Dan Aykroyd), is pressuring Martin to join up.  If he decides not to join, Grocer has promised to bump him off.  All Martin wants to do is have a dance with Debi, but he has to dodge bullets and bombs before making it to the reunion.   My Rating: Full Price    Grosse Pointe Blank Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) I enjoyed this film and felt it was better than the first Sherlock Holmes film that starred Robert Downey Jr. I especially enjoyed how Jude Law and Downey Jr. played off each other with humor and ease.   My Rating: Full Price   Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Seen Only in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  The Watch (2012) Okay, so the plot of this film is a bunch of suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch program only to discover that Aliens have invaded the neighborhood. Ben Stiller stars in what looks like another one of his very forgettable films.   The Watch Website

Weird Credits: From the credits of Rock of Ages: Tom Cruise’s Makeup, Tattoo design and application

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouDjango Unchained (2012) A western written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Can’t wait!     Django Unchained Website
Until Next Time!

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