Rock of Ages (2012 film)
|Rock of Ages|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Adam Shankman|
|Based on||Rock of Ages
by Chris D'Arienzo
|Edited by||Emma E. Hickox|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$59.4 million|
Rock of Ages is a 2012 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Adam Shankman and based on the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical Rock of Ages by Chris D'Arienzo. Starring country singer Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta leading an ensemble cast that includes Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Åkerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston and Tom Cruise, the film features the music of many 1980s Rock and Glam Rock artists including Def Leppard, Journey, Scorpions, Poison, Foreigner, Guns N' Roses, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, REO Speedwagon, and others.
Originally scheduled to enter production in summer 2009 for a 2011 release, it eventually commenced production in May 2011 and was released on June 15, 2012. The film received mixed critical reviews and grossed only $59 million worldwide. However, Cruise was particularly lauded for his performance of "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Wanted Dead or Alive". The related film soundtrack also did critically well, certified Gold in Canada.
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In 1987, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) arrives in Los Angeles from Oklahoma with dreams of becoming a singer. Meanwhile, barback Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) prepares for another night of work at The Bourbon Room ("Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' But a Good Time"). As Sherrie approaches The Bourbon, her suitcase is stolen. Drew tries to catch the robber, but fails. He comforts Sherrie and, upon learning of her situation, gets her a job at the Bourbon Room as a waitress.
The club's owner, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin), and his right-hand man, Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand), are trying to find a way to pay off a tax debt that threatens the club. Hoping to raise enough money, Dennis and Lonny decide to book Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), a detached and self-indulgent rock star preparing for his final gig with his band, Arsenal. That night, Drew tells Sherrie about his dreams of becoming a rock star, but that he has stagefright ("Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll"). Upon hearing of Stacee's upcoming concert, Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the religiously conservative wife of the mayor (Bryan Cranston), organizes a protest with other ladies in front of the Bourbon Room ("Hit Me with Your Best Shot")
Drew and Sherrie's relationship starts with their first date at the Hollywood Sign where Drew admits he has started writing a song for Sherrie ("Waiting for a Girl Like You"). On the night of Arsenal's final show, Dennis learns that their opening act has cancelled. Sherrie convinces him to use Drew and his band, Wolfgang Von Colt, as the replacement opener ("More Than Words/Heaven"). Meanwhile, Stacee's manager, Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), schedules an interview between Stacee and Constance Sack (Malin Åkerman), a reporter for Rolling Stone.
During the interview, she mentions the rumors that Stacee is difficult to work with and implies that he was actually kicked out of Arsenal, a charge Stacee denies ("Wanted Dead or Alive"). Stacee asks Sherrie if she could bring him a bottle of scotch from his limo and she agrees. After the interview, Constance lashes out at him, claiming that he was once a great musician but now is on the verge of becoming a has-been. Stacee orders everyone out of the dressing room so he can settle things with Constance privately. Both recognize their attraction to each other and are about to have sex when Stacee sings ("I Want to Know What Love Is"). As Constance leaves the room ashamed of what she has done, Sherrie enters to give Stacee his scotch. Sherrie and Stacee collide and the bottle of scotch shatters on the floor. Drew is getting ready to open Arsenal's show when he sees Sherrie exit Stacee's room, where he infers that they had sex. Drew becomes angry at this and is inspired to sing ("I Wanna Rock") for the opening act. After he sings, Drew and Sherrie break up and Sherrie quits her job at the Bourbon Room. Drew attempts to run after Sherrie but Paul tells him to let her go and offers Drew a record deal since he was impressed with his performance as Arsenal sings their last song of the night ("Pour Some Sugar on Me").
An unemployed Sherrie takes refuge at a strip club bar known as the Venus Club, where she has no other choice but to work there ("Harden My Heart"). The club's owner, Justice Charlier (Mary J. Blige) offers Sherrie a job as a dancer ("Shadows of the Night/Harden My Heart"), but Sherrie instead chooses to wait tables. Sherrie soon realizes that she isn't making enough money as a waitress as Drew signs to Gill's record label ("Here I Go Again"). Back at the Bourbon Room, Dennis worries that the place will close and that he has "let everyone down." Lonny comforts him and proceeds to confess his love for him, learning that Dennis reciprocates. They kiss ("Can't Fight This Feeling"). Drew is disappointed in realizing that he has to be part of a boy band called "the Z Guyeezz" and not a rock band as part of his record deal while Sherrie decides to be a dancer in the Venus Club ("Any Way You Want It").
Sherrie visits the Hollywood sign, where she finds Drew. They both reveal to each other their current occupations and realize things didn't turn out the way they'd planned. Sherrie tells Drew that she didn't have sex with Stacee and that she is going home to Oklahoma. As they part ways, Sherrie and Drew both lament the situation ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn").
Stacee realizes he has feelings for Constance and calls the Rolling Stone office in an attempt to find her, but the receptionist tells him that "she is covering Stacee Jaxx's show at The Bourbon Room" and Stacee, unaware that he was supposed to perform that night, rushes to the venue, where Lonny leads the patrons of the club against Patricia and her protest group ("We're Not Gonna Take It/We Built This City"). When Stacee arrives at the club, he recognizes Patricia and greets her. Lonny discovers that Patricia was once a groupie for Arsenal as displayed on their album cover, and exposes this to the public, ruining her reputation. Meanwhile, Drew has found all of Sherrie’s stolen records at the Tower Records they first visited together. He buys them back and drops them off for her at the strip club.
The Z Guyeezz start the show, but the rocker crowd rejects them, and Drew, spotting Sherrie in the audience, leaves the stage. The two reconcile and Drew also dismisses Gill, telling him rock 'n' roll will never die. Sherrie reunites Wolfgang Von Colt for the opening act, where she and Drew perform the song he wrote for her ("Don't Stop Believin'"). Meanwhile, while Stacee and Constance are having sex in the bathroom, Stacee hears the song and is moved by it.
Eight months later, Stacee, who has rejoined Arsenal, performs the song with Drew and Sherrie, who is now part of Wolfgang Von Colt, in a concert at Dodger Stadium in front of a crowd that includes Dennis, Lonny, Justice, a pregnant Constance, and Patricia, who has returned to her rock 'n' roll persona.
These songs appear in the film as sung by the original artists. These do not appear on the official soundtrack.
|"I Remember You"||Skid Row|
|"Everybody Wants Some!!"||Van Halen|
|"Rock of Ages"||Def Leppard|
|"Bringin' on the Heartbreak"||Def Leppard|
|"Talk Dirty to Me"||Poison|
|"No One Like You"||Scorpions|
|"Cum on Feel the Noize"||Quiet Riot||Original by Slade|
|"Cherry Pie"||Warrant||Extended cut|
Score production and changes
In bringing the musical from stage to screen, many of the songs used in the original musical were either moved around, shortened, or removed, while some new songs were added to the film.
"Cum On Feel the Noize/We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)", "The Final Countdown", "High Enough", "I Hate Myself for Loving You/Heat of the Moment", "Keep on Loving You", "Oh Sherrie", "The Search Is Over", and "Renegade" were completely cut from the film, although the version of "Cum on Feel the Noize" by Quiet Riot was used as music for the end credits, and the intro to "Oh Sherrie" is heard briefly.
Similarly, many songs from the musical became mash-ups in the film or had sections of their original mash-up version removed in their film versions. "Just Like Paradise", "Nothin' but a Good Time", and "Sister Christian" all become one long mash-up instead of two individual songs ("Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time" and "Sister Christian"). "Too Much Time on My Hands", originally mashed-up with "We Built This City", was removed, with "We're Not Gonna Take It", originally a full-length song in the musical, being mashed-up with "We Built This City" instead. "To Be with You" was removed from the mash-up that included "More Than Words" and "Heaven". The "I Wanna Rock (Reprise)" section originally mashed-up with "Any Way You Want It" was removed, with "Any Way You Want It" instead being the original full-length song.
Also, many songs from the musical were reordered in the film, mostly to accommodate character and storyline changes. "We Built This City", in its original mash-up form, and "We're Not Gonna Take It" were originally much earlier in the musical, giving depth to Regina. They were replaced with "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", another song sung by Regina in the musical, which now served to give more background to new character Patricia (as Regina was cut from the film), with both songs (in an abridged form) instead added to the climax of the film, as part of an anthem between Lonny and the rockers and Patricia and her conservative church group. "I Wanna Rock", originally the fourth song of the musical, was moved to after "I Want to Know What Love Is" (which in itself was changed from a duet between Sherrie and Jaxx to Jaxx and new character Constance), with the song now representing Drew's anger toward what he wrongly perceives to be Sherrie's infidelity. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "More Than Words/Heaven" switched order in the film version, in order to accommodate the changes in the relationship storyline between Drew and Sherrie. "Can't Fight This Feeling" was also placed before "Any Way You Want It" due to the restructure of storylines.
New songs added to the film include a mash-up of "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll", which replaced the original purpose of "I Wanna Rock" in the musical, "Undercover Love", which was used for Drew's short-lived boy band, and "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Paradise City", and "Rock You Like a Hurricane" replacing "I Hate Myself for Loving You/Heat of the Moment" and serving as Arsenal's discography.
Tom Cruise played Stacee Jaxx in the film. Shankman knew Cruise was in when he heard him on the first go around of his voice lesson, confirming he "actually has a fantastic voice." Cruise had been singing five hours a day to prepare for his work as musician Stacee Jaxx. "It's this brilliant mashup, it seems, of Axl Rose, Bret Michaels, Keith Richards and Jim Morrison," Shankman said of what to expect from Cruise. All of the actors sing their own parts in the film. Cruise told People Weekly Magazine that he had always wanted to appear in a musical but he found the idea frightening because he was uncertain whether he could actually pull it off. With Rock Of Ages, he told the interviewer, he had finally received his chance.
On February 14, 2011, it was announced that Mary J. Blige had signed on to play Justice Charler in the film. On March 3, 2011, it was confirmed that Julianne Hough (of the 2011 remake of Footloose) would play the role of Sherrie, Drew's love interest. On March 6, 2011, it was confirmed that Alec Baldwin would play the role of Dennis Dupree in the film. On March 24, 2011, it was announced that Paul Giamatti would be in the film, playing the manager of Stacee Jaxx.
Pretty Little Liars star Diego Boneta was confirmed to play the male protagonist, Drew Boley, on April 5, 2011. Not wanting an older actor to act like he is 23, Shankman thought it better to go as authentic as possible, "and Diego is absolutely that. He is [a] kid who came to Los Angeles with a dream and who sings and has an amazing voice, and drive. And he's also as honest and sweet as you can possibly make him and he's authentically the age. It creates a piece of something on screen that I don't have to fabricate." Of Boneta's audition, Shankman said, "It's that feeling you get when you realized you've discovered lightning in a bottle. It reminds me of when Zac Efron auditioned for Hairspray, Channing Tatum for Step Up, and Liam Hemsworth auditioned for The Last Song. When the guy walks in, the guy walks in!" Shankman also said he did not know that Boneta was a Latin music star until after he auditioned. "I have since seen him on stage and in his concerts, and he totally owns the room," Shankman said. Constantine Maroulis (Drew Boley from the musical) made a cameo appearance in the film like Ricki Lake did for Hairspray. On April 13, Russell Brand was confirmed to portray Lonny. Both Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams declined to play a journalist who interviews Jaxx during the song "Wanted Dead or Alive" and is easily seduced by him. The two declined due to scheduling conflicts, with Hathaway filming The Dark Knight Rises and Adams filming Man of Steel. Catherine Zeta-Jones joined the cast on April 20, and portrayed an original character added to the story line. The unnamed character is described as "the Villainess of the movie" who "wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles." On May 1 Bryan Cranston joined the cast as the Mayor of Los Angeles, who is the husband of Catherine Zeta-Jones's character, and Malin Åkerman completed the cast when she was added on May 3, 2011, taking the role initially offered to both Hathaway and Adams.
Singer Porcelain Black made a cameo in the film, playing a 1980s hair metal singer. She performed one of the sole original tracks for the film, "Rock Angels". "Rock Angels" was written and composed by Adam Anders and Desmond Child. Professional wrestler Kevin Nash played Stacee's bodyguard.
Principal photography began at Revolution Live, a small music venue in Fort Lauderdale, FL. There was also filming in a Dania Beach Boomers. On July 18, filming took place at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for a concert scene with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Wanted Dead or Alive".
In June 2011, a full six-block section of N.W. 14th Street in Downtown Miami was decorated as a late 1980s version set of the Hollywood, California Sunset Strip complete with the Whisky-a-Go-Go, Frederick's of Hollywood, Tower Records, Angelyne Billboard along with other landmarks.
The film is distributed by New Line Cinema under the rule of Warner Bros., and was released theatrically on June 15, 2012. The first official trailer was released on December 11, 2011, attached to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
On its opening weekend in theaters, the film grossed $14,447,269, ranking third place, behind the previous week's holdovers Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus. The film did, however, do slightly better business than the other newcomer, That's My Boy.
Rock of Ages was a box office bomb, grossing $38,518,613 in North America and $20,900,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $59,418,613, failing to bring back its $75 million budget. However, the film still has the seventh-highest opening ever for a musical.
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The film received mixed reviews from critics, and has a critical evaluation of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 215 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus states: "its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen." Metacritic reports a 47 out of 100 rating, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
However, most critics praised the performance by Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. For example, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers wrote: "Rock of Ages is pretty fun despite a terrible script, bland leads and awful wigs, mainly thanks to a performance by Tom Cruise as fictional hair metal rocker Stacee Jaxx."
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||Diego Boneta||Won|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Comedy||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Musical||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Breakout||Julianne Hough||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media||Nominated|
Rock of Ages was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 9, 2012. An extended cut is available on the Blu-ray, however there is a 2-disc DVD set featuring the extended version (136 minutes); the film is then rated R for "some sexual violence", as opposed to the theatrically released PG-13.
This extended cut includes 13 additional minutes of footage, including "Rock You Like a Hurricane" edited back into the film, more risque humor from Russell Brand, and a few additional verses on "Waiting for a Girl/Boy Like You".
|Rock of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||June 5, 2012|
|Recorded||September 7, 2011|
|Genre||Classic rock, Soundtrack|
The cover and track listing of the soundtrack was confirmed by Entertainment Weekly on April 30, 2012. The soundtrack was released on June 5, 2012. It debuted at No. 15 on Billboard 200, and peaked at No. 5 on that chart in its third week. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. It sold 267,000 copies in the US in 2012, making it the second best-selling soundtrack album of the year. It has sold 320,000 copies as of May 2013.
- "Paradise City" – Tom Cruise
- "Sister Christian" / "Just Like Paradise" / "Nothin' but a Good Time" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
- "Juke Box Hero" / "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
- "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" – Catherine Zeta-Jones
- "Waiting for a Girl Like You" – Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
- "More Than Words" / "Heaven" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
- "Wanted Dead or Alive" – Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
- "I Want to Know What Love Is" – Tom Cruise, Malin Åkerman
- "I Wanna Rock" – Diego Boneta
- "Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Tom Cruise
- "Harden My Heart" – Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige
- "Shadows of the Night" / "Harden My Heart" – Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough
- "Here I Go Again" – Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige, Tom Cruise
- "Can't Fight This Feeling" – Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
- "Any Way You Want It" – Mary J. Blige, Constantine Maroulis, Julianne Hough
- "Undercover Love" – Diego Boneta
- "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige
- "Rock You Like a Hurricane" – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
- "We Built This City" / "We're Not Gonna Take It" – Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones
- "Don't Stop Believin'" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||40,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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