ROCK OF AGES (WB, 2012) D: Adam Shankman, w/ Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough. Rating: NN Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NN
As jukebox musicals go, Rock Of Ages beats the hell out of Mamma Mia!, largely because its second act has a bitter, satiric edge that mocks everything the rest of the movie adores: wastoid rock stars who rigidly reassume postures of ecstatic abandon; fake sincerity; overproduced, pseudo-anthemic music and the naive fans who believe that rock and roll is some kind of life-sustaining world view.
Sadly, that savagery is swaddled in 80s rock and propelled by a flaccid romance (the occasion for too many power ballads) about a small-town girl and a city boy who fall in love at the hottest club on the Sunset Strip.
Most of the comic fun comes from Tom Cruise as the wastoid and Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand as the club owner and his sidekick. Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Malin Akerman add entertaining bits here and there. But Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough, the young lovers, are about as rock-and-roll as Disney kids.
The visuals are splashy and the action energetic, so if numbers like Night Ranger's Sister Christian and Poison's Nothin' But A Good Time are your meat, go for the extended cut and get 13 minutes more of the same.
Rock Of Ages has the spandex-and-big-hair look down pat, covered in two of the seven making-of docs. More fun are the longer docs on the 80s Sunset Strip rocker scene and the stories behind the songs.
EXTRAS Sunset Strip in the 80s doc, songs' origins doc, eight-part making-of doc, more. English audio. English, French, Spanish, Portuguese subtitles.