Shankman, Adam (Director)
Rock Of Ages (DVD)
Released: 2012, New Line Cinema
There are certain music scenes that transcend just the music. There are those points in musical history where everything in a certain small area comes together as one; bands, fans, clubs, agents, managers, and journalists to create something special. The British Pop Invasion, The Detroit Punk rock scene and the Sunset Strip in the 80’s. Perhaps more than any other, this scene, the Sunset Strip came to define rock and roll decadence and hedonism as only Hollywood could create. Years later people still, talk about that special time and so it is not a shock that there was a Hollywood movie made about the Golden Age of Melodic Metal in Los Angeles the 80’s.
ROCK OF AGES had a big budget of 75 million and some bigger name stars, you don’t get much bigger than Tom Cruise! ROCK OF AGES was adapted from the 2006 Broadway Musical of the same name. The film in essence is a musical romantic comedy set in the mid 80’s. Normally, I would not watch a ‘rom-com’ or musical, as I am more of a horror movie guy, but due the soundtrack and the theme of the movie, I watched it. The plot is simple…a classic story of girl moves to LA to find her dream, meets boy, they fight and get back together and everyone lives happily ever after. There was also a sub-plot about a moral Majority group trying to ban Heavy Metal and an evil developer trying to shut down the club. The two leads are relative unknowns but all the supporting cast are big name actors; Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, and Bryan Cranston.
For a fan of the era and genre, despite never having been to the Sunset Strip, there were so many familiar scenes and components and in-jokes that I fell in love with the movie. Watch for cameos by 80’s rockers such as Sebastian Bach and others! I know deep, down the film probably wasn’t very good in terms of critical acclaim, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, enough that I bought the DVD. Naturally, a highlight was the music. There were tons of classic Melodic Metal songs by Guns ‘n’ Roses, Twisted Sister, Night Ranger, Warrant, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Poison and many more. The energy is high and the mood is light.
The DVD has no booklet but does come with three bonus features; a music video, a live song by Def Leppard performing at the Premier of the movie and a 3 minute clip about the set design. I found this the most interesting, albeit way too brief, bonus feature. There were a few very brief interviews with people like Jeff Pilson (Dokken), and Kelly Hansen (Hurricane), the set designer and a couple of the principle actors. The segment featured the development of The Bourbon Room’ the main bar in the film.
If you are a super, die-hard Melodic Metal fan you may notice several mistakes in the movie but you have you be watching for them and know your trivia. Apparently there is a R-rated version with about 13 minutes of extended scenes. The movie was fun and I’d recommend it to anyone who grew up in the 80’s.