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Tag: Summer Movie Watch (1-5 of 5)

'Rock of Ages': Is Tom Cruise's performance the movie's only redeeming quality?

There’s no way around this fact: Rock of Ages is not a great movie. EW’s movie critic Owen Gleiberman gave the film a C and wrote this in his review: “Most of the numbers in Rock of Ages are flatly shot and choreographed, and they look as if they’d been edited together with a meat cleaver. With rare exceptions, they don’t channel the excitement of the music — they stultify it.” He went on to say that Rock of Ages — which was transferred from its jukebox Broadway origin to the big screen — is “a metal musical with a soft-rock soul, clunkily shot on sets that look like sets.” Harsh.

But Gleiberman also zeroes in on the one part of the movie that feels right: Tom Cruise’s performance as rock God Stacee Jaxx. “In the end, however, there is a reason to see Rock of Ages, and that’s Tom Cruise’s funny, louche performance as Stacee Jaxx, the film’s jaded and dissolute Axl Rose metal-god figure,” Gleiberman writes. “Cruise, holding his pistol-tattooed, zero-body-fat flesh at a drunken 45-degree angle, has the look and the poses down flat, but he also gives Stacee a haunted underside. … Cruise, who can truly sing, does a rendition of ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ that rocks it and finds the deep soul of it. At that moment, you can glimpse the movie that Rock of Ages should have been.”

And Gleiberman is right. I was stoked to go see Rock of Ages yesterday afternoon, especially after loving both performances of the Broadway version that I caught. (Maybe it was the free-flowing booze in the theater that made me like the stage version so much?) The cast and the songs had me pumped, too. Even going in with a good attitude couldn’t save the movie that, truly, I thought might join the highfalutin bastion of flicks in my world — Coyote Ugly, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, Jawbreaker, and so on — that I consider deliciously outrageous (each in their own way) and are worth repeated, nearly weekly viewing.

But Gleiberman is also right that Tom Cruise was one of the only redeeming things about the movie. I think the word I would use to describe his performance is dedication. He just seemed into it, if that makes sense — really into the idea of who Stacee Jaxx was and going into that space full force. Cruise was clearly also dedicated to his fitness because, well, he had nice abs that were never covered up while he was on screen.

Who out there saw Rock of Ages? Do you agree that Tom Cruise’s performance was the movie’s only redeeming quality?

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘Rock of Ages’ review
‘Rock of Ages': Step and Repeat!
‘Rock of Ages': Alec Baldwin’s hair-raising transformation
‘Rock of Ages’ trailer: Tom Cruise sings! Plus: Director Adam Shankman on the film’s ‘biggest lie’
‘Rock of Ages’ new trailer: So cheesy it’s awesome?
Tom Cruise in ‘Rock of Ages’ — FIRST PHOTO

Summer Movie Body Count: Captain America kills tons of people (but they all deserved it)

Week 12 of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count continues with Captain America: The First Avenger, in which Chris Evans is transformed from a scrawny wimp into a depilated Nazi-killing hunk. Warning: This post has more SPOILERS than a muscle-car convention. But if you love your country (and/or costumed beefcake), we bet you’ll read it anyway.

In keeping with America’s global image as a non-violent, neutral peacekeeper, Captain America: The First Avenger has zero deaths. Thank you for reading.

Joke! The whole fun of this movie is watching the Cap’n crunch some evil Nazi skulls during WWII. But he’s not the only one who gets in on the action. In fact… READ FULL STORY

Burning questions, 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-style: Where's the Fountain of Youth? And what's the deal with those mermaids?

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides revolves around a quest to find the Fountain of Youth. Where’s that fountain located, anyway?
Stories of springs containing magical, life-extending waters date back at least to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. But when Juan Ponce de Leon set off to find the Fountain in the 16th century, he headed to a place now known as a sanctuary for the elderly: Florida. The Caribbean Arawak tribe, however, believed that the Fountain was located in Bimini, an island in the Bahamas. Today, St. Augustine, FL — the oldest continuously occupied, non-Native American city in the U.S. — still boasts a tourist attraction called Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. (Bonus: It’s just a two-hour drive from there to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World!)

So was Ponce de Leon a pirate?
Not unless “pirate” just means “a guy who sailed around a lot.” READ FULL STORY

'Bridesmaids,' 'Priest,' and 'Everything Must Go': What will you see this weekend?

If you plan your moviegoing by critics’ grades alone, this weekend has a clear winner: Bridesmaids. The ensemble comedy, starring SNL vets Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, got a solid A from EW’s Owen Gleiberman, who calls it a “beguilingly witty and heartrending new comedy that’s the first Judd Apatow production to dive headfirst into the world of women.” Case closed, have fun, call me next week, say hi to your mother for me.

But the weekend also has two other oddball options. READ FULL STORY

'Thor,' 'Something Borrowed,' 'Jumping the Broom,' 'The Beaver': What will you see this weekend?

You’re feeling antsy today, and you don’t know why. Perhaps you tried to leap over a tall building this morning, or plotted to sabotage your best friend’s wedding, or just walked around all day with an uncontrollable craving for popcorn? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Because when Thor’s hammer hits theaters today, it signals the official start of something we’ve all been waiting a long time for: Summer Movie Season. (Capital letters mandatory, as far as we’re concerned.) Get ready for four months of the big screen’s biggest adventures — the superpowered action movies, the star-packed rom-coms, the comedies that make you wish you didn’t just drink that entire 36 oz. soda. Alongside the god of thunder’s big-screen debut, this weekend’s entries include the Kate Hudson-Ginnifer Goodwin comedy Something Borrowed, the family wedding romp Jumping the Broom, and the controversial Mel Gibson comedy The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster. So what should you see? Check out our picks, and then vote in the poll below!


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