Any way you want it? Not quite. Try as it might, ‘Rock of Ages’ never quite finds the right rhythm.
Like soft porn, Rock of Ages teases our pop culture erogenous zones but never really rises to the occasion. Oh, it tries, and the film can be fun—it’s not that hard to fall in love with the spirited ’80s song list here, after all—but ultimately, it’s a clunky, lugubrious mess, and you find yourself more interested in watching this musical train actually wreck right before your eyes than caring about the principal players on board. (Grease 2 comes to mind; see also 2011’s Footloose reboot.)
Gems to look out for in the second wave of summer blockbusters
We're still cleaning up the debris after the first tidal wave of blockbuster summer movies—the one that began last month with The Avengers, and subsided last week with Moonrise Kingdom.
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ rises high. Why it’s Wes Anderson’s best film in a decade
The summer movie season will be remembered for a lot of things—big budget films (The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-man, Prometheus) are destined to embed themselves deeper into the ever Tweetable pop culture database—but here’s hoping audiences will opt for a story that has a lot of heart, too.
When the going gets tough, the tough turn to—fairy tales?
Our pop culture is suddenly besotted with fairy tales. Sure, they've always been around, and always will be, as long as Disney keeps popping out new, updated, special collector's edition DVDs of its greatest hits.
Uneven, yet entertaining vibrator comedy ‘Hysteria’ hits the spot
Fact and fiction make strange bedfellows in the Victorian-era costume comedy, Hysteria. Well, to be more truthful, they share barely a nodding acquaintance. But while the story and characters in this cheeky comedy about the invention of the first electronic vibrator are almost completely fabricated, director Tanya Wexler’s occasionally uncertain, yet entertaining film deftly captures late 19th Century attitudes toward women and female sexuality.
It’s an old story: free-spirited hippie parent vs. straight-arrow adult child. And it doesn’t get much fresher in this well-meaning but unconvincing generation-gap comedy from director Bruce Beresford. Working from a script by Joseph Muszynski and Christine Mengert, Beresford makes a wholly benign film about rapprochement between the generations.
Future ballet stars shine in irresistible dance doc 'First Position'
Anyone addicted to Smash, or any of the so-called "reality" talent shows on TV, will find First Position irresistible. Bess Kargman's suspenseful and entertaining documentary captures the real-life drama of exceptional teen ballet students from around the world training for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix dance-off in New York City.