HOLLYWOOD
Rock of Ages
Friday, June 29, 2012

Director: Adam Shankman; Cast: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise

Just when you thought you’d never hear Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me again outside of a strip club comes this big, splashy homage to the decadence of 1980s rock ‘n’ roll. Specifically, we’re talking about 1987 on the Sunset Strip, the birthplace of bands like Guns N’ Roses and Poison, and all the big-haired, eye-linered debauchery that defined that scene. Your enjoyment of this musical will depend greatly on your enjoyment of this music — because director Adam Shankman crams in a lot of it. Sure, the characters are all broad types, from fresh-faced newcomers with dreams of stardom to grizzled, cynical veterans who’ve seen it all. And sure, their antics are glossed-up and watered-down compared with reality. But the movie has enough energy to keep you suitably entertained, as well as a cheeky streak that prevents it from turning too self-serious. Julianne Hough stars as Sherrie, a wholesome blonde fresh off the bus who hopes to make it as a singer in Los Angeles. Instead, she ends up working as a waitress at Bourbon Room, where she quickly falls for aspiring rocker Drew (Diego Boneta). But the club has lost some of its cache, to the distress of its owner (Alec Baldwin) and his right-hand man (Russell Brand), so they’re hoping a performance from rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) will keep the place alive. PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking and language. 123 minutes.— AP

Rating: ***


DVD reviews:  New releases that have hit the stores

Fastest (2011) (Unrated)

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, who is chasing his tenth World Championship title in 2011, runs into one of the toughest challenges of his career: a crop of exceptionally fast young competitors, a horrific leg break, and an amazing comeback. But will he be able to accomplish the monumental task of returning to the top? With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the world of MotoGP, this documentary feature is one for motorbike fans if ever there was one, although it also attempts to sell the excitement of MotoGP to those who don’t particularly fancy watching people on two-wheeled machines whizzing around a track.

  • Duration: 110 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary/ Sport
  • What’s good: The documentary doesn’t just glorify the racers but also shows their flaws and weaknesses
  • What’s bad: The occasional repetition of facts 
  • Cast: Ewan McGregor (narrator), Valentino Rossi, Jorgë Lorenzo, Casey Stoner
  • Rating: ****

The Devil Inside (2012) ®

Emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi confessing that she had brutally killed three people. Twenty years later, her daughter Isabella seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. She travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy where her mother has been locked away to determine if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. When she recruits two young exorcists to cure her mom using unconventional methods combining both science and religion, they come face-to-face with pure evil in the form of four powerful demons possessing Maria.

  • Duration: 83 minutes
  • Genre: Horror
  • What’s good: If you like The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity brand of horror, then you are sure to like this one
  • What’s bad: A very abrupt ending
  • Cast: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Suzan Crowley
  • Rating: ***

 

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