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Nordling Bangs His Head On ROCK OF AGES!


Nordling here.

ROCK OF AGES, for all the music, glam, and bluster, is really about one thing – one young woman’s journey from getting off the bus to getting on the pole.  In between we get some musical numbers that range from barely karaoke to fairly inspired, and a performance by Tom Cruise that goes past “odd” and into the realm of Marlon-Brando-in-THE-ISLAND-OF-DR.–MOREAU strange.  He doesn’t have a pet little person, but he does have his own monkey named Hey Man.

MOULIN ROUGE is a musical that took modern songs, put them into a sweeping romantic context, and for the most part, it worked.  ROCK OF AGES has a much more limited playing field to work with – kitschy hair metal songs from the 1980s – but never for an instant reaches the levels of Baz Luhrmann’s movie.  Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, ROCK OF AGES wants nothing more than to entertain, but the subject isn’t compelling in any way.  We’ve seen this a million times before – two kids come to Hollywood with dreams of stardom and end up at some point saying, “Just don’t shoot in my eye” before realizing that sometimes wishes really do come true.  ROCK OF AGES certainly doesn’t break that mold.

Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta play the two kids, and they are fairly forgettable.  Movies like this, though, are made in the supporting performances, and those range from “What the hell was he thinking” (Bryan Cranston, just wasted here) to simply bad (Catherine Zeta-Jones, singing Pat Benatar while awkwardly dancing in her best Sunday dress, her CHICAGO days long gone), to serviceable (Malin Akerman, whose ass at one point gets a Foreigner ballad sung to it), to quite enjoyable and fun (Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, who by far get the best musical number of the movie).

Tom Cruise plays rock god Stacee Jaxx as if Colonel Kurtz himself came home from Vietnam and started a hair band.  Truly weird and funny, I’ll say this for Cruise – he committed to the part 100%.  He left nothing on the floor and most of the scenes with Jaxx are the highlights of the movie.  His singing chops aren’t terrible either – he carries songs like “Paradise City” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” well and doesn’t take the movie seriously.  However, he’s showing his age – the days of Cruise taking his shirt off for the ladies are probably numbered. 

Jaxx’s best days are behind him, and all he has left is booze, women, and the stage that he’ll stumble onto if his manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti) is lucky.  Gill’s long past managing Jaxx – he’s just collecting the money, but he sees something in young Drew Boley (Boneta) that he might be able to exploit for more.  The Bourbon Room, where Drew and Sherrie Christian (Hough) work, is on hard times, and owner Dennis Dupree (Baldwin) is trying to scrape enough money to keep the place open.  His last shot – Jaxx’s band, Arsenal, is breaking up and their final show is going to be at the Bourbon Room.  Then there is the mayor (Cranston) and his wife (Zeta-Jones) who want that land for the property value, and want to see the Bourbon shut down.  Mary J. Blige joins the fun as the matron saint of the strip club where Sherrie eventually finds herself, and after Drew hits the big time, Sherrie finds her destiny straddling the chrome.

Director Adam Shankman’s work here is fairly bland and unassuming – he’s turned these rock songs of the 80s, which weren’t all that poignant to begin with, and dulled them to the point that the whole thing feels straight-up karaoke.  Only two songs seem to break the malaise – Baldwin and Brand’s rendition of REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, which will probably garner the most applause and praise, and Cruise and Akerman’s truly weird covering of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is” which has to be seen to be believed.  It goes beyond bad – at some point the actors had to just say “Fuck it” and went with it all the way, and what comes out is bizarre and almost anti-sexual.

There’s not much more I can say about ROCK OF AGES – Shankman, who turned John Waters’ HAIRSPRAY into a fairly decent movie musical, just can’t elevate this material, but it’s fairly weak material to begin with.  It Disneyfies the 1980s Sunset Strip from rampant Dionysian excess to, well, Broadway.  Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand do decent work, but Cruise is on a whole other level of weird in this role, and I’d almost recommend it for his work alone.  But the movie is predictable from beginning to end and cynically has nothing to say that a thousand other 1980s rock songs didn’t say better 25 years ago.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 14, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    "Colonel Kurtz starting a hair band"

    by Longtime Lurker

    Now THERE's an interesting mental image. Too funny :)

  • June 14, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    yeah trailers looked rubbish

    by D o o d

    so I assumed the movie was too. This review proves it! another $15 saved!

  • June 14, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by shartron

    This had the makings of a trashy classic.

  • June 14, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    This is a movie for chicks and their gay BFFs

    by BeeDub


  • Is that kid behind Julianne Hough supposed to be a "rocker"? And fuck Kiss. A teetotalling capitalist can paint his face and wears bondage gear all he wants, but the minute he portends to "rock" he needs to be chain whipped and left in the desert.

  • June 14, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Wow.That is one of the worst posters ever...

    by seansarto

  • June 14, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Shankman destroyed Hairspray

    by Paul Macadom

    He turned it into a sugary, fluffy family romp. The source material has a dark, knowing streak that was just completely missed. And what the fuck was John Travolta doing?! Horrible. The guy just doesn't understand film. The camera is always in the wrong place, the blocking sucks balls, the performances are all over the place - he's just total shit. Can't wait for him to stop trying.

  • Shame this movie looks like a piece of crap! :(

  • June 14, 2012, 8:16 p.m. CST

    "Col. Kurtz Starting a Hair Band"

    by Gap Toothed TV Boy

    "Howdy-do/ I'm Col. Kurtz/ Fat and Bald/ Like Old Fred Mertz"

  • June 14, 2012, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Tom Cruise and Russell Brand in a rock musical. I'm out.

    by BeanGrud

  • Just one of the many reasons I don't want to watch this.Here's some more - It's a musical. - It's a musical about 80's hair metal - It has Russel Brand.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    A poster shout-out to REO Speedwagon???

    by Friendoh

    THE worst band in the past 30 years. I would need Clockwork Orange eyelid-peelers to sit through this shit.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Confusion Reigns

    by Albert Herbert

    So Billy the Kidd says the Brand/Baldwin number was no good & Nordling says it's the best song in the movie... I saw it at the Australian premiere earlier in the week (for free...). In short it's a great 'date' movie and a bit of stupid fun for any Gen X'ers. Oh and the Brand/Baldwin song got the biggest laughs on the night, so I'm thinking Billy might be hiding in the closet.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    The problem with Cruise...

    by Zandunga

    ...isn't that he can't sing. As the reviewer says, he clearly threw himself into the role. Good for him. The issue is that he changed the story of his character. In the play (spoilers), his rock star ends up being a washed-up loser, and in the conclusion escapes to South America so he doesn't go to jail for statutory rape. Also, he bangs the main girlie (the blonde Julianne Hough chick) in a bathroom, so she cheats on the main young stud guy. Since it's Cruise, and he need to protect his squeaky-clean image, sure he keeps the character outrageous, but he has a happy ending. The film version of Stacee Jaxx ends up happy & finding love - he's triumphant. This is bullshit that was probably demanded by Cruise because of his image...therefore, he didn't really dedicate himself 100% to the role. Oh, and the cheating? Doesn't happen in the, it's a misunderstanding that makes the boyfriend THINK she banged Jaxx, but she didn't. Lame. They removed what little balls the play had, and sanitized the rock so that it's all Glee-tyle karaoke. That said, I'll probably still see it on DVD just to catch Cruise's performance, which has been getting praise.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    I hate it when they say don't shoot in my eye

    by Bass Ackwards

    I mean, its not a sniper rifle down there, its just gonna go where it goes.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Oh, and....

    by Zandunga

    ...Catherine Zeta Jones sucks here. I loved her in Chicago and marveled at what a great singer/dancer she was. Here, her performance of Hit Me With Your Best Shot (which you can catch on YouTube) is awkward and stilted. I just felt embarrassed for her.

  • June 14, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Paul Macadom

    I wouldn't blame Cruise. I can guarantee you this was Shankman sanitizing it. It's what he does.

  • June 14, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    "...finds her destiny straddling the chrome..."

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Bag it and tag it. That's mint right there.

  • June 14, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    I like reo-meatwagon, mostly

    by Anthony Torchia

    Time for me to Fly is crap but Back on the Road Again rocks so there Tom Cruise is insane, this movie can't help but reflect that

  • June 14, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a hideous, dreadful joke

    by Teddy Artery

    Who thinks any of this is "rock", FFS?

  • June 14, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    why the FUCK is AICN reviewing THIS movie?

    by antonphd

    who the fuck reads AICN and doesn't want to pretend this movie doesn't even exist?

  • Baz is pretty golden in my eyes, well, Moulin Rouge. I had HIGH expectations for AUSTRALIA but the only thing that had going for it was Hugh Jackman. Nicole Kidman was great in Moulin Rouge but in Australia, she seemed like a Stepford Wife in Crocodile Dundee. I am on a tangent here, must stop.

  • June 14, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Anton, it is a movie and it's AICN's job

    by Teddy Artery

    Doesn't mean it isn't a horrendous movie.

  • June 14, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    by DrMorbius

    *Just don’t shoot in my eye* better yet ... *Aim it at her tits, Eddie*

  • June 14, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Rock of Ages is just Hollywood Knights with androgyny . . .

    by elmo

    Same concept generally, and the music was MUCH better (I may be prejudiced there) GO NEWBOMB!

  • Uh, hello Hollywood, this is not a selling point, nor something to in any way brag about. There were some decent hair metal bands, but instead you only hired the jokes, the lamest of the lame, the exact bands that people point to as shining examples of how fucking awful much of that music truly was. When Def Leppard is, arguably, your biggest get, then something has seriously gone fucking wrong. So, yeah, congratulations on that. Once again, Hollywood doesn't just miss the point, it doesn't even know what the fucking point was supposed to be to begin with.

  • June 14, 2012, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Thought it looked like ass....

    by MaxHeadroom

    Thought it looked like ass just from the trailers. It just looks god awful. Horrible, garbage. Ad with Russel Bland in it, that is the first strike right off.

  • June 14, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST


    by ReportAbuse

    I still have their cd that came with the limited edition of Almost Famous / Untitled. Sort of Deep Purple meets Foreigner. (I know.)

  • June 14, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    I don't enjoy period movies that play loose with styles of the time.

    by adeceasedfan

    This one appears to be all over the map. Late 70's/Early 80's rock hair (Brand) A more modern Rock look (Cruise), many others judging by the previews. The Wedding Singer was guilty of this also which annoyed me. I get it, they're trying to show a general representation of the 80's hair metal scene, but it takes me out of the movie when things don't mesh with how I remember them. And the songs sound like overproduced Glee rejects. From the trailers anyway.

  • June 15, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Remember when everyone raved about MOULIN ROUGE and I didnt get it. Still dont.

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    But this... Tom Cruise as some kind of Axl Rose persona makes this interesting.

  • Seems they did.

  • June 15, 2012, 12:35 a.m. CST


    by MCVamp

    redwhitenegro, good call. If this was going to be about 80's Hollywood hair band then why the hell is REO Speedwagon and Journey and Foreigner all over it? That's not hair band rock, that's stadium rock and there's a fucking difference. GnR, Skid Row, Poison, Crue, BulletBoys, Bang Tango, Faster Pussycat, Blackboard Jungle, Slaughter, Warrant, LA Guns, Cinderella, Pretty Boy Floyd. Are these all good bands? HELL NO. But THAT'S HOLLYWOOD HAIR BAND ROCK. The shit on this soundtrack belongs with Boston, Air Supply, Frampton, Cheap Trick...etc. It's like making a movie about "grunge rock" and using Green Day and Everclear songs.

  • In other words, a fun night out.

  • Yeah, totally missed the point. I grew up with this music. It was everywhere, and on one of the local radio stations it never left. It remained in heavy rotation until Limp Bizkit broke big in 1998-1999. Oh, and the term for the music of the 1985-1989 LA bands, except for Guns and Roses, was Bubblegum Metal. There was a reason Metallica harassed them on the street one night and outran them while being chased. The Crue and their 6 inch high heels? Never had a chance. Hollywood strikes again, just compare the original Grease to the 1978 movie. No Balls!-----later-----m

  • June 15, 2012, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Nordling do you really think Tom Cruise sings those songs??

    by Rupee88

    I'm sure you are a good guy but you are incredibly fucking naive for someone who reviews movies. I don't know if they are even claiming Cruise sang those, but of course he didn't.

  • I'm a professional club jock working at a "Gentlemen's Club" in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. [Go Browns!] And every day, I play all of this type of music referenced and heard in "Rock of Ages". And you know what? All of us at the club LOVE IT! Why? Because this is OUR MUSIC! We grew up on this music. Had our dreams to it. Fell in love to it. Learned about sex, drugs and rock and roll to it. Everybody at our club lives and breathes 80's rock and roll. We are the generation of Reaganomics, "Greed is good," Classic Coke, Rubiks Cube, Atari and Nintendo, and big hair and bombastic guitar solos. All of us, from the dancers to the patrons to yours truly, groove on a daily basis to Motley Crue's "Girls Girls Girls", Poison's "I Want Action" and yep, even KISS' "Lick It Up"! BTW, Gene Simmons is a god, bow down to him, infidels... The point is, just as thrash metal and the Internet is near and dear to some of you younger folks, the 80's in general and 80's rock and roll in particular is every bit as precious and heartfelt to us. Sure, it's easy in this day and age to point and laugh and say "damn, that 80's music sure was lame wasn't it?" But you know what? In twenty years, when "Generation Meh" hits THIER forties, their kids, or at least the kids of that time yet to come, will be goofing on what some of you think is the cat's ass right now at this time in your lives. And you're probably going to feel nostalgic and protective of this time that means so much to you, just as we of the 80's feel so deeply for that which was such an important part of our lives not too long ago... I've yet to see "Rock of Ages" but you know what? I think I'm gonna make it a point to check it out this weekend, just to revisit that time and music that was such an integral part of MY generation's lives. Rag on it all you want, but just remember, what goes around comes around, all that was old will be new again, and in the immortal words of Twisted Sister: "YOU CAN'T STOP ROCK AND ROLL!!!" See ya!

  • June 15, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Zeta-Jones Chicago days may be "Long Gone"

    by Clavius

    But like Ackerman, she still has an ass worthy of song and story, and I would still be proud to bow down and worship at the altar of it.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:12 a.m. CST

    White Lion...master of the power ballad!

    by StatelyWayneManor

    "When the Children Cry" *lighters*

  • June 15, 2012, 7:25 a.m. CST


    by DavidDrayton

    Def Leppard is the best selling band of the 80's. Do your homework. Anyone 35 or older loves the music you are shitting on and they want to go back to their youth and also take their kids...Hollywood is smart as it is more than one ticket. Go back to whatever music you are listening to now and someday someone will call it shit and you can relate.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    My take

    by tyler_turden

    This is worth seeing for Cruise alone. My take

  • June 15, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Anyone 35 or older loves the music

    by bookant

    No, sorry, you don't get to speak for all of us. Some of us hated it even then.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST

    statelywaynemanor, no way. REO Speedwagon's Keep on Lovin' You

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    is the greatest power ballad of all time.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Stacee Jaxx is filth. Flip the sign over and it says

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Catherine Zeta-Jones is MILF.

  • June 15, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Malin Akerman's ass gets a Foreigner ballad sung to it

    by buggerbugger probably too long for a talkbacker name, isn't it? Sometimes the world just isn't fair.

  • "...the 80's in general and 80's rock and roll in particular is every bit as precious and heartfelt to us" Thrash was around at the same time as this music, so some of the 'younger folks' you're talking about are actually in the same age bracket as you. "Anyone 35 or older loves the music you are shitting on" Nope. I'm with bookant on this one: I was around at the time and absolutely fucking loathed these types of bands.

  • June 15, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Tom Cruise and Russel Brand in a musical: I'm in!

    by Volllllume3

  • June 15, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Blasphemy...just play White Lion's "Wait".

    by StatelyWayneManor

    Maybe we can agree that Julianne Hough is hot.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    bookant/pretentious-rr-douchebag = Truth

    by Workyticket

    As a fellow 35-and-over demographic member, I have to agree with these guys. Even back in the day, these bands were utter dreck. This show was always piss-poor nostalgia fodder for people who were never rock fans at the time, and most likely mocked rock/metal fans at the time. Fuck the lot of 'em, and fuck this movie.

  • but Moulin Rouge? Ugh.... Nigga please! Ah well, at least they don't play Motley Screw, Poison or Ozzie Osborne earrape.

  • June 15, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    by Dan

    I'm still curious to see this. Looks harmless enough.

  • June 15, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Shows how awful music has become...

    by Dan

    20 years from now, no one will be remembering those horrible songs from the 00's; Linkin Park won't get any fond memories- as those songs from that era DO NOT have melodies or memorable lyrics. For the record, Def Leopard sucks cock! As do White Snake, Ratt, Cinderella, White Lion, and the king of rotten fucking shit is VAN HALEN! Has anyone seen those freaks on the recent tour? They are a sick fucking joke. Eddie must have died 10 years ago because his animated corpse is still working... Ugly, gross human being... and that f-ugly son of his? Is that Chaz Bono in disguise?

  • June 15, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Where is AC/DC? Now that shit still rocks!

    by Dan

  • June 15, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    And Guns and Roses proved they sucked...

    by Dan

    3 albums and $20 million spent on the last one? Fuck off, William Bailey- fuck off!

  • June 15, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Plagiarizing David Cross

    by Dave G

    Good review. Just please don't plagiarize David Cross jokes next time. "...just don't shoot it in my eye..." David Cross, "Shut Up, You Fucking Baby" album.

  • June 15, 2012, noon CST

    When do we get a movie version of The Dirt???

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • June 15, 2012, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Zodlovesmaude: Re:AccaDacca

    by madmental

    For the love of God man, never utter that again. It was bad enough when I stumbled upon one of my daughters watching an episode of "Glee" in which "Highway to Hell" was being pulled apart in a manner similar to what William Wallace endured at his bitter end. It was too much for my poor grey matter to take; I woke up in a nuthouse two weeks later and was told I'd trashed seven nearby houses and wolfed down a neighbour's pet llama whole. The scintillating bedlam of Bon, Angus, & co. is sacrosanct: covering it - ESPECIALLY by Gleeks or Cruizin' poseurs - should be met IN EVERY CASE by the death penalty. NO exceptions. Thus sayeth Lord Humongous.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Russell Brand

    by hulkiest

    Has joined the ranks of: Whoopi Goldberg Danny Devito Cuba Gooding Jr. As in people whose very signature on a contract sends a movie to crapville. Nothing against them personally, they're just movie killers.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Ashton Kutcher as Tommy Lee for the Dirt movie

    by StatelyWayneManor

  • June 15, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    GLEE did Highway to Hell? What the fuck?

    by Dan

    Ugh... Damn them all.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    madmetal: amen, same for bookant, pretentious, and workyticket

    by MGTHEDJ

    Again I was a teen when these acts were out and I hated most of them, and tolerated some. To the above poster, I agree that RATT was the best of the LA bands, but those LA bands could not hold a candle to AC/DC, Aerosmith, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Motorhead, and no way in hell were they on the same continent as Metallica. With the 1983 released of Kill Them All they proved they could play guitar. G'n'R showed all those LA bands what Rock and Roll was all about. as one critc said--Rock was once again dangerous. No way does Cinderella write Mr. Brownstone. LA Bubblegum Metal was written about strippers, and that's why it's still loved by strippers. Nirvana and Pearl Jam did indeed run Bubblegum Metal off in about 8 weeks. Nevermind popped to Number 1 right after Christmas 1991, and by Valentines Day 1992 Kix and LA Guns were out of heavy rotation on Album Rock Radio. By Spring Break 1992 you heard more Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden than Warrant and Skid Row.-----later-----m

  • June 15, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Dan

    I'd ratherAC be done than shit from Oozy Osbored and Motley Screw. At least I understand the appeal of AC/DC.

  • Ok that took me by surprise and made me laugh out loud. At work. A little awkward , but damn funny. Thanks nordling.

  • Look what it's been replaced by! Are there any decent rock bands at all left anymore? Even Cinderella came out with some songs I enjoyed. I can't really say the same for Coldplay. And that fault can be directly laid at the foot of bands like Pearl Jam. Why you ask? Because they took the fun out of rock! It's true! It's proven that kids of any generation listen to more positive sounding music. That's why N'Sync and Justin Bieber got popular. Look at rap and hip hop. Yeah, they have some serious songs going mainstream, but that genre never really took itself too seriously, and was NEVER depressing. I mean, when is the last time you heard of a rapper offing himself like Kurt Cobain???

  • June 16, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Zd: re: Ozzy & the rest

    by madmental

    I do get where you're coming from m8, but I'd personally much rather hear the "sound of silence" than to hear someone butcher a great song with their own "interpretation". If they want to write their own stuff, fire away (if they're capable). If they want to perform a cover live, then I won't grouse (TOO) much, but for God's sake when recording leave the real gods to Mt. Olympus and worship from afar. I know there are logical arguments against this, and that many bands have covered original songs down through the years and often done them better (Nazareth covering Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" springs to mind), but no one...NO ONE... is going to improve on the Seedies' originals. As a footnote to my rants, nothing boils my blood more than to hear some newbie, justifiably unheard of band try to make its mark by covering a classic song, and then having the current crop of listeners believe said newbie band actually wrote the tune. Sigh. Getting old sucks in so many ways...

  • June 16, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    danielnocharismacraig : you have a valid point

    by MGTHEDJ

    Cobain had clinical depression. As for Seattle bands, the rain and the fog of that city contribute to the dour sound. Even Heart's 1970's stuff is not all bright and shiny like "Looking for Nothing But a Good Time" or "Girls, Girls, Girls." Coldplay is closer to early 1970's prog-rock than LA Hair/Bubblegum Metal and Arena Rock. There have always been teen acts going back to 1952. Some much more annoying than others. That Call Me Maybe song is just as bad as Annette Funicello's Tall Paul, 1963's I Will Follow Him, Britney at her worst, or NSYNC. The best stuff out right now are The Black Keys and Foo Fighters. But Dave and the boys are recorded Wasting Light 18 months ago, so i guess it's just the Black Keys. It's year 3 of the decade. We are about to hit a lull for the next 12-18 months. In the 80's that was when Arena rock gave way to LA (after the 2 years of Michael Jackson's Thriller- Fall 1982 to end of the Jackson Tour Aug. 1984). In the 90's Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam gave way by Late 1994 to Counting Crows and by 1995 they were out and replaced by Green Day and No Doubt. It's all cyclical.-----later----m

  • June 16, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    It's as if someone who hates rock picked the songs...

    by Darth Macchio

    ...thinking it's what everybody loved in those days. I recall playing "Phantom Lord" from Kill Em All for a self-described "die-hard" Metallica fan and this asshole not only couldn't identify the band but hated the song. Why? Cause he loved the shitty cry-rock version of Metallica (Black album and beyond) and didn't even have enough motivation to investigate their entire catalog - ie NOT a die-hard a poser. Same thing for the girls all swooning to the make me ill "Pour some sugar on me" (does anybody really want to have the image of Joe Elliot covered in sugar from head to toe? sticky sweet? makes me want to fucking puke. that song is practically a physical assault with its lyrics in my opinion) But yet the first 2 Def Leppard albums, which I'm guessing the production of RoA wouldn't recognized from shinola, are actually very very good British rock (pyromania is also fantastic if a bit overplayed). We called these people posers back in the day. It was almost black & white actually - the guys were headbangers listening at the lightest, Ozzy, Priest, Maiden, or even heavier stuff, while the girls, who hated the "mean metal" listened to Poison, Bon Jovi, Warrant. my older brother danced to REO Speedwagon at his HS prom (shmaltzy cry rock nonsense). There was some crossover of "cry rock" to "real" rock...Journey, widely considered commercial pap, still had Neal Schon tearing it up and Perry, one of the greatest 'our song' singers (guy from REO wishes he was Steve Perry). But seriously - if you suggested "Livin' on a Prayer" as a song to listen to around the bonfire, and you were a guy, shallow as it may be, we'd start questioning you... and no, not your sexual orientation, but your gender. You certainly wouldn't be let anywhere near the stereo. Bon Jovi is to real "metal" what sunlight is to a vampire (and no, not the shiny pussyfied diamond skin twilight vampire but the burning to death in agonizing pain real vampire). No one invited them to our party and they do not get to steal the lame ass genre descriptor (heavy metal - always hated that term), for themselves. At best, it's "soft rock" but, in reality, it's exactly what it is - "Cry rock".

  • June 17, 2012, 3:11 a.m. CST

    I hate musicals, but enjoyed the hell out of this

    by ahdvd

    Honestly I did, it has problems, but can't see where all the hate is coming from.

  • June 17, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    "Cry Rock", Metallica and Def Leppard...Green Day

    by Darth Macchio

    Ok, I'll admit that Metallica's Black album isn't cry rock although they upped the ballad content something fierce. And I essentially agree that is was purely downhill from there. I'm biased because I was a HUGE Metallica fan back in the day. Comparing 'Fade To Black' to anything on The Black Album, to me, is still comparing apples to oranges. Bob Rock convinced James Hetfield he was a singer instead of a vocalist, Kirk Hammett had his shoes made into wah-wah pedals, and Lars Ulrich finally finished the transformation into the egotistical dickhead he'd been destined to be since he kicked out Dave Mustaine. I consider Metallica as ending when Cliff Burton died. Even though 'And Justice for All" is a fantastic disc. "Master of Puppets" is one of the greatest "thrash/metal" albums of all time. "Ride the Lightening" is also one of the greatest (even if Lars's drumtracks for 'Fight Fire with Fire' had to be recorded at half-speed and then sped up as he couldn't play that fast). And how many years later was it when they released an album with semen all over the cover? And what was the title? We're not calling that "evolving musically" now are we? Evolving is fine..expected of course. Sometimes bands evolve and fans love it and some fans don't. To me, what Metallica did was basically spit in the face of what they originally were. That's my subjective opinion. but watch the "$19.98 Metallica Home Video" and tell me again that the band in that video wouldn't beat the shit out of the self-absorbed pretentious, money grubbing, asshats who not only released one album named after jizz (with a picture on the cover) but did it a second time. Again, all in my opinion. As to Def Leppard - like I said, the first 2 albums are genius...that would include "High & Dry" and "On Through the Night". I even included 'Pyromania" as a great album. But the change from there was whiplash inducing and, actually rather gross, lyrically speaking. But you and others have a point..there's a fine line in some cases but not in others. I love everything Rush has ever done - they're not remotely the band today they were 10 years ago, much less 30! Subjectivity drives the whole thing but it's funny how so many reviews from male critics are talking as if this "cry rock" bullshit music is actually something that was universally loved. It was actually only loved by a very select type of person, typically female, and typically uninterested in much more than how the band members looked and whether or not they could go back stage. Green Day is a bit of a oddity as if you think of them as punk, to me, they're extreme posers, but if you think of them as "rock", then, outside of the blatant punk mimicry, they're actually a great band. i'm not a fan nor a hater but i do think i know what punk is, for the most part, and no matter how good green day is, punk they are not.

  • June 17, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Ballads vs "cry rock" - BIG difference...

    by Darth Macchio

    Sorry not to be more clear on that. "Bringing on the Heartache" isn't cry rock to me whatsoever. Neither is "Fade to Black". Just because guitar isn't distorted or there's an acoustic does not mean it's immediately categorized as "cry rock". can have piano/synth and it's not cry rock. Ozzy's "So Tired" or Sabbath's "Changes" aren't remotely close to what I consider "cry rock". And "Livin' on a Prayer" is certainly not a ballad. But that doesn't make it NOT cry-rock. To me, anyway.

  • June 18, 2012, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Would have been better...

    by Dazzler69

    with original music, could have been the next Grease. Tom Cruise owned the movie all things considered.