Rock of Ages – the Movie versus the Broadway Show

The movie “Rock of Ages” came out last week and even though the reviews were mixed, I decided to go see it.

If you grew up during the 70’s or 80’s you will have a fond memory of the bands and songs that are in the movie.  I was fortunate to see the actual Broadway show at the end of last year, so I already knew what to expect.  There were some changes made to the movie content to make it a little more approachable to the general public, which is understandable.  I certainly did not mind the changes and they helped make the movie different from the show.

Overall, I would recommend that you see the Broadway show, even you if you went to see the movie.  The movie is rated PG-13 and certain parts – like the story, language and adult situations were changed to receive that more “teen friendly” rating.   The Broadway show is definitely not for children and if they had converted it piece for piece, the movie would have received an R rating for just the language.

Another big piece of this comparison centers on the feeling between the two productions.  The Braodway Show had a real house band that could have held their own in any prime-time rock concert performance.  They were talented and turned this “Broadway Show” into a real rock concert.  It was loud, it was gritty, it was entertaining and they held your complete attention.

Tom Cruise has received a lot of press (good and bad) for his role as Stacee Jaxx, the older, experienced “rock god” that gets quite a bit of screen time in the movie.  The Jaxx character was more of an antagonist in the Broadway Show, but the movie uses Jaxx as a tragic character, more misunderstood than really bad.

Let me be very serious here – I think Cruise did an excellent job at portraying this character.  Not a bad singer either.  He continues to push his boundaries and he should!  It’s time for Cruise to step out of the “safe” and “predictable” roles and show what he can do.   It’s OK to disagree with me, and I know many who will, but for me, he WAS Stacee Jaxx.  It is one of his best characters to date, next to his role in the movie Tropic Thunder as Les Grossman and his role as the assassin Vincent in Collateral.

Some of you may find that “Rock of Ages” misses the mark as a movie musical.  Here are two other movies that you may find a little more to your liking.

The Mark Wahlberg movie “Rock Star”.

Another favorite of mine is “The Rocker” with Emma Stone and Rainn Wilson.

Have some favorite “rock” movies you would like share or want to comment on the movie or Broadway Show?  Post your suggestions or comments below.

Remember to keep dancing!



One Comment on “Rock of Ages – the Movie versus the Broadway Show

  1. Growing up in the 80’s has made me want to see this movie, but I wasn’t quite sure… Thanks for the review Ryan.

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