“Nothin’ But a Good Time” promises the tagline of Rock of Ages, referencing one of the two dozen or so classic ’80s rock songs its cast energetically deflates into innocuously pleasing sing-a-longs. It’s an admirably honest proclamation of the film’s limited aspirations, one which it fulfills with all the grace of a monkey hurling its own feces at the screen.

Credit where credit is due, Rock of Ages stops just shy of having literal monkey shit flung at its audience; although monkey sight gags are in fact a primary source of the film’s humor, should we choose to accept that the innumerable moments in which a trained monkey behaves contrary to that of an untrained monkey qualify as humor. Said hilarity includes but is not limited to: monkey wearing a dictator outfit, monkey throwing stuff, monkey not throwing stuff, monkey grinning, monkey screeching loudly, monkey having a silly name, monkey serving drinks, monkey not serving drinks, monkey doing other things that resemble what humans do, and homosexuality. That last one has nothing to do with any monkey related shenanigans, but apparently it’s just as noteworthy, as was evident from the fits of hysterical laughter that surrounded me when two male characters share an out-of-nowhere romantic musical number together — complete with obligatory make-out session. (A gay guy directed the film, so it’s okay to laugh!)

If all that, and Tom Cruise in assless chaps, sounds like a promising night of fun and laughs to you, Rock of Ages should prove more than serviceable. Granted, of course, that you’re also an advocate of the recent surge of jukebox musicals, none of which lend themselves very well to things like “story” and “character development”, but all of which feature songs you already know and enjoy and can sing the lyrics to, so who gives a fuck, right? Read More »

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Let me say one thing first: this is the sort of role I think Tom Cruise does well. A variation on the arrogant, overbearing personality with a core of self-doubt has served him well in a few films here and there. So I hoped that playing big-time rock star Stacee Jaxx in Adam Shankman‘s ’80s cock rock jukebox musical Rock of Ages might work, too. But based on this new full-length trailer, I don’t think anything really works in Rock of Ages. I know there will be people who dig this, and given that it took time and effort to create I hope someone digs it. Go forth and have a great time, please. But I can’t lie: this one made me cringe more than I would have expected to.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

For me, the best part of the trailer for Adam Shankman‘s Rock of Ages is the prominent display of the Motorhead logo in the first few seconds. After that it’s all downhill. The film adapts the stage ‘jukebox musical’ with Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough playing wide-eyed kids caught up in the mid-’80s LA rock scene. Well, they’re caught up in a vision of that scene, at least, as filtered through comedy, nostalgia and the parameters of the movie musical. Check out the trailer below, which holds the reveal of Tom Cruise‘s rocker Stacee Jaxx until the very end. Read More »

Movie Trailer: The Romantics

Paramount Famous Productions has released the first movie trailer for The Romantics. Director and screenwriter Galt Niederhoffer has adapted her own novel, The Romantics, a “zeitgeist love story and generational comedy, takes place over the course of one night at a deluxe seaside wedding.” The cast includes Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Adam Brody, Malin Ackerman, Elijah Wood, Candice Bergen, Jeremy Strong, and Dianna Agron. Niederhoffer received the 2007 Sundance Audience Award for producing Grace is Gone. She also produced the Sundance Film Festival films Lonesome Jim, Dedication, Diminished Capacity, Birds of America, and Hurricane.

Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Three Films Added to 2010 Sundance Film Festival

sundance-film-festival-2010

The Sundance Institute announced today the addition of three world premieres which will screen out of competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival:

  • It’s a Wonderful Afterlife: Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha and co-screenwriter Paul Mayeda Berges return to Sundance with a comedy centered on an Indian mother who discovers that finding the perfect son-in-law can be murder. Staring Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Sendhil Ramamurthy, and Sally Hawkins.
  • The Kids are Alright: Laurel Canyon director Lisa Cholodenko returns to Sundance with a soty of two children conceived by artificial insemination who bring their birth father into their family life. Written by Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko, and starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Mark Ruffalo, and Annette Bening. Cholodenko received the 1998 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance for High Art.
  • The Romantics: Director and screenwriter Galt Niederhoffer returns to Sundance with an adaptation of her novel, The Romantics, a zeitgeist love story and generational comedy, takes place over the course of one night at a deluxe seaside wedding. The cast includes Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Adam Brody, Malin Ackerman, Elijah Wood, Candice Bergen, Jeremy Strong, and Dianna Agron. Niederhoffer received the 2007 Sundance Audience Award for producing Grace is Gone. She also produced the Sundance Film Festival films Lonesome Jim, Dedication, Diminished Capacity, Birds of America, and Hurricane.


In this very special episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Peter Sciretta, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley are joined by writer/actor/director Kevin Smith to discuss Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. In this epic, 1 hour and 45-minute long discussion, the five of them delve into the faithfulness of the film adaptation, the effectiveness of the film’s soundtrack, the controversy surrounding the film’s ending, the sexuality of Rorschach, and the resemblance between Zack Snyder and Jesus.

Have any questions/comments/complaints/suggestions? Want to sponsor or advertise with the /Filmcast? You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Tuesday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review The Last House on the Left.

To hear the entire episode, you can download it here, or play it now in your browser:

To hear just the segment where Kevin Smith reviews Watchmen with us, you can download it here or play it now in your browser:

To subscribe to weekly episodes of the /Filmcast, where we review movies and discuss film news with actors/directors/webmasters from all over the internet, use the following links:

Update – Welcome Digg users! If you liked this episode of the /Filmcast, you might also enjoy the following:

Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show talks soundtracks with David Chen

The /Filmcast Interviews Dave Gibbons (the original Watchmen illustrator)

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watchmen street

[This review is spoiler-free]

Watchmen first appeared on my radar years ago when I’d heard that one of my favorite directors, Paul Greengrass, was slated to helm the big-screen adaptation. I’m not a huge comic book reader, but I’d heard so many complimentary things about the graphic novel that I was induced to buy myself a copy and check it out for myself. What I discovered was that the book lives up to all the hype: Moore’s (and illustrator Dave Gibbons‘) 1986/1987 comic book series spun a gripping, dystopic tale of an alternate reality, one in which costumed vigilantes have taken to the street to quell civil unrest, and the U.S. and Russia are on the brink of nuclear annihilation, held back barely by the existence of the ultimate nuclear deterrent: Dr. Manhattan, the one “superhero” that actually possessed super powers.

While Moore’s book has been referred to by many as possessing cinematic qualities, it’s also repeatedly been referred to as “unfilmable.” After all these years, a convergence of fortuitous events have allowed director Zack Snyder to take his vision of the graphic novel to the big screen. My appreciation for the book led me to eagerly anticipate this film’s release, starting with the first trailer all the way up to the first 20 minutes of the film shown at NY Comic Con. Did Snyder achieve the impossible? Was he able to make cinematic sense out of Watchmen?
Read More »

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