Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017 by Angie Han
Any movie should consider itself lucky to have an ensemble as good as the one anchoring Mudbound, which includes Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, and, most unexpectedly, Mary J. Blige. Directed by Dee Rees (whose debut feature Pariah was a breakout favorite at Sundance 2011), the drama follows two families — one black, one white — living on the same farm in the Mississippi Delta around the time of World War II.
The white McAllans own the property, despite the fact that household head Henry (Jason Clarke) is a Memphis gentleman who knows little about the land, and seemingly moved his family to the country on a whim. The Jacksons, on the other hand, have worked these acres for generations, for one white owner after another. Both clans are forever changed when World War II hits, and then again when the war ends and brings their loved ones back home. Read More »
“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 »
Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 by Angie Han
Even if you’ve long since outgrown summer vacation, there’s just something about warmer weather that makes it tempting to put aside the heavy, thought-provoking stuff and look for a good, lighthearted laugh instead. If you’re curious what the upcoming season has in store for you on that front, hit the jump to check out new posters for The Dictator, Rock of Ages, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Neighborhood Watch.
Read More »
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 »
Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games isn’t the only movie that can dole out individual casting breaks on a daily basis. Adam Shankman‘s Rock of Ages — the movie version of the ‘jukebox musical’ that tells a tale of love and abition partially through the performances of anthemic ’80s tunes — seems to add a major name every other day.
The latest is Malin Akerman, who takes on the role that was originally intended for Anne Hathaway and then Amy Adams, both of whom bailed to do big comic book movies. (The Dark Knight Rises and Superman: The Man of Steel, respectively.) Can she sing? I’m not sure, but looking at the rest of the cast of the film, I’m not sure that it matters, either. Read More »
Catherine Zeta-Jones hasn’t been on screen in the past few years (her last film, Bart Freundlich’s 2009 effort The Rebound, is still seeking distribution) but she is starting to get new roles. She’ll be in Lay the Favorite with Bruce Willis, and now Adam Shankman has cast her as a new character in his film adaptation of the stage musical Rock of Ages. Read More »
Adam Shankman‘s big-screen version of the rock jukebox musical Rock of Ages has turned into quite the hot ticket. Tom Cruise plays one key character, decadent rocker Stacee Jax, and now Amy Adams is being wooed to play a journalist who intends to write a hit piece on the rock star but ends up falling for him instead. And Paul Giamatti has been added to the cast as well. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
After the long holiday weekend, it seems like Hollywood is back in full swing. Monday we had announcements of new projects for Mark Wahlberg, Halle Berry and Kevin Smith and Tuesday is more of the same. Though previously rumored, Tom Hanks has now been confirmed to star in Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning work in The Hurt Locker called Triple Frontier (or possibly Sleeping Dogs), Liam Neeson will star in An Ordinary Man from director Brad Silberling, Kirsten Dunst will hit the road with Hit Girl with the coming of age drama Hick and Mary J. Blige is in talks to star in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. Read about each of these after the jump. Read More »
A Nina Simone biopic has been slowly crawling toward a start date for some time. Now it seems to be more firmly in the ‘go’ column, with long-attached Mary J. Blige set to star. But rather than presenting a comprehensive take on the singer’s life, the film “will focus on Simone’s relationship with her assistant Clifton Henderson, who will be played by David Oyelowo.” That might be reason for disappointment, or it might be a way to keep the film from falling into the trap of covering a great span of time in relatively little detail. Read More »