Rock Of Ages Blu-Ray Review

Rock of Ages available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download 10/9!

Listen To The After The Show Podcast Review Here.
The Movie: 5/10

I have  better time remembering Rock of Ages than I did while watching it. Then again, the parts I didn’t dig are becoming less becoming as I think back on them now. There isn’t any other way to say it, I didn’t really like it. The songs were awesome. The style grabbed me and dragged me back to my teen years in the 80’s.Other than those two specific entertaining things, hmmmm, disappointment might be the theme of my review. A habit of creating expectations for movies isn’t something I fall into very often, this time I made an unintentional exception.  How do you like that, I typed expectations and exception in the same sentence without a typo, celebrate! Back to my disappointment.

Musicals have to sneak up on me to really enjoy them, so that might be part of the problem. My brain was not prepared for a full blown singing cast. There have been musicals that have deeply affected my life, of course you know the biggy, The Wizard Of Oz. It was a musical introduced to me at a young enough age, with enough spoken dialogue, “If I Only Had a Brain”, Glenda, and flying monkeys to create a wonderful experience as a movie lover. Chicago was good, but I wasn’t in love with it. Dreamgirls was amazing and it was thoroughly engaging. Rock of Ages didn’t entertain me much, other than the nostalgia. I wasn’t engaged with the characters because I couldn’t give a hoot about any of them, well, other than the reporter for some reason. From scene to scene I kept trying to negotiate with myself to like it, like it more, like it a little, enjoy something, find the good stuff, stop nitpicking, listen and have fun, and many other negotiating thoughts that didn’t really do the trick.

My favorite musical number was Catherine Zeta Jones singing and dancing to Hit Me With Your Best Shot in a church. She made me laugh and kept the smile on my face, a bonus. The reporter won me over for reasons I still do not understand. Tom Cruise mesmerized the “I really really like, but don’t LOVE Tom Cruise” compartment of my mind. He was way over the top sometimes, which was the point I believe, but it felt forced and indulgent rather than funny and cleverly observant of arrogant weird rock star dudes of the 80’s. The leading young lady and man, ugh. I instantly disliked both of them for various reasons, too shiny, too white bright teethy, not ironic enough in their circumstances to be funny and not funny enough to be interesting.

Here’s the deal, if a character does not capture my attention, my interest, my compassion, or even my strong dislike, disgust, fear, etc. it’s like they neutralize what their scenes and story are trying to bring to the screen. Imagine empty chunks filled with boredom and trying desperately to find something to like while those uninteresting characters are speaking, singing, behaving, and what an impact that has on the movie as a whole. That might be the disappointment, more than chopping my expectations down, it’s more disappointing to not enjoy a movie. Blaming the individual actors isn’t fair, however, it’s hard to avoid since it’s their relentlessly perky with a touch of flaccid performances that dominated most of the movie.

Overall I had some fun with the music, but not how it was performed. I was curious about Cruise and his character acting. Catherine Zeta Jones and the reporter redeemed a lot of my “this better get better” coupons floating through my brain. If you truly love musicals, campy, deliciously Glee inspired High School Musical entertainment, AND you were of an impressionable age in the 80’s, you will disagree with almost everything I have typed here, and that’s cool. It’s well made, lots of heart, and working at not being like all the other movies that get churned out during the year.

Oh, and I really really do not like Alec Baldwin…yuck. This didn’t help with the impression of the movie on my apparently choosy snooty movie cerebral cortex.

Features: 7/10

  • Rock Of Ages: Legends Of The Sunset Strip – Bret Michaels hosts a strange VH1 looking show that is actually pretty good. This 30 minute featurette interviews a lot of the real life bands that were responsible for the songs in Rock Of Ages.
  • The Stories We Sing – Similar to the last feature but more about the meanings behind the songs, don’t watch if you think these songs are deep because they are not.
  • Any Way You Want It – Hough and Boneta take you through a day on the set of Rock Of Ages, warning this featurette is cheesier than the actual movie.
  • Music Videos – The music video for “Anyway you want it” not the original though which would have been better.
  • Visit Florida – The best featurette on the disc, a tourism advertisement for Florida??? Does anyone know why this is included as a special feature?
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
The cover = awful and awfully boring. I would not have this as a poster, not never, not no how. The menu is so forgetful I forgot what it was like, judge for yourself:)

Audio & Video: 9/10
Cinematographer Bojan Bazelli takes us right into the 80’s with this over the top colorful look at the decade a lot of us grew up in. This 1080P AVC encode is colorful, over the top and dripping with detail. One of the highlights of the movie is Tom Cruise singing “Pour some sugar on me” and the stage is sprayed with water as he sings, you can literally see every drop as he performs something the DVD version fails to capture. Rock Of Ages looks stunning on Blu-Ray, infact it looks like a 1080P music video pristine and flawless.

A musical lives and dies by it’s soundtrack and Rock Of Ages is quite powerful using the DTS-HD Master Audio Lossless track to take you back to the 80’s. Rear speakers are used whenever a song is playing to emphasize the track or add crowd noises. Live performances sound real as though you are in the arena with the performers. I had a couple of issues where lines of dialog were placed under the music but aside from that Rock Of Ages seriously rocks the house.

Value: 4/10
$25.00, really? No. Rent it to let it make it’s impression on you and then decide if it’s worth the purchase price. You will noticed the overall score is a 6 out of 10, only bumped up by the high score of the actual audio and video quality Mr. Ascully has blessed our review with this week.

Overall Score 6/10