Rock of Ages

2012year_worst

Years from now, cinema fanatics will probably look back at 2012 fondly, remembering that this year brought us new films from Spielberg, Bigelow, Anderson (P.T.), Haneke, Affleck, Anderson (Wes), Van Sant, Arnold, Tarantino, Johnson, and many, many more. But amidst all the good stuff (and, rest assured, there was plenty of good stuff to go around), there were plenty of rotten, silly, messy, sloppy, boring, and insulting films to fill our theaters and empty our heads. The worst, if you will. Just the worst. Settle in, gird your loins, and prepare yourself for The 12 Worst Films of 2012, as determined by your faithful Rejects. Oh, 2012, you really packed some doozies.

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If there’s anything I hate most about the Oscars it’s the way the movie awards have the power to influence filmmaking. This time of year it’s more and more difficult to tell if certain films are even meant for us, the audience, or if they should solely be shown to the Academy in exchange for little gold men. Of course, one of the purposes of baiting for Oscars is to receive nominations and especially wins, which will presumably help earn more money at the box office (or, more likely, from the cable outlet). This still excludes satisfying the audience as the primary impulse and objective of making movies. In theory, accolades should indeed motivate Hollywood to make the best pictures they could possibly make. There’s still something to be said for art being the best when not aiming for praise and prizes, but in terms of studio product, which is more craft and entertainment than art and expression, such goals can be positive inspiration. Without the Oscars we probably still would have seen a profit-aiding progression of special effects technology and artistry, but surely some production values have improved over time as a result of sound recordists and costume designers and art directors and composers and songwriters striving to be known as the best in their field.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a pretty gangsta nightly column of news and notes about the world of entertainment. Not quite as gangsta as the image above, but pretty gangsta nonetheless. Tonight kicks off with a new image from Breaking Bad. Can you tell that we’re excited to see Walter and Jesse back in action next month? If not, you must not be paying attention. We’re very excited, as it turns out.

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Broadway shows haven’t always made the smoothest of transitions to the big-screen, but Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages delivers an adaptation that’s bizarre and its own sexually-suggestive summer feature: from showcasing star Tom Cruise’s bare ass to backing Cruise’s choice of venue for an out-there rendition of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Malin Akerman’s posterior – Shankman takes the material and stuffs as much as he can into it. These choices represent the work he hopes to keep making – distinctive and not what most would consider to be the norm, box office be damned. Shankman’s been enough of a commercial hitmaker throughout his career to earn the freedom to make those oddball choices, having cranked out a series of box-office success, from Bringing Down the House all the way to The Pacifier. As Shankman tells us, those gems are the type of learning experiences which led him to making Rock of Ages and Hairspray. Here’s what Adam Shankman had to say about the journey from Juilliard to Rock of Ages, how a work for hire can be more informative than a passion project, and highlighting how enthusiasm can make up for – or even overshadow – hard-won experience:

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That

It wasn’t quite the kind of fruitful summer weekend the likes of Adams Shankman and Sandler had hoped for. Running up against a smattering of lackluster reviews and some stiff competition, their films — Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy, respectively — failed to gain momentum in their opening weekend, ending with less than stellar results and a few bumps and bruises, thanks to Ridley Scott and some animated jungle creatures.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a vicious diatribe away from being a vicious diatribe. But mostly it tells you the who, what, where, when and why so serious of the movie world. We begin tonight with a cry for help, from a Mother of Dragons who is without the latter half of her title. Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen needs your help. If you see her dragons, send a raven.

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Being a child of the ’80s and a pre-adolescent product of rock n’ roll’s most fashion-concerned era (you would, in no way, find pictures of me at age six with self-slit blue jeans) Rock of Ages should have been a warm-hearted nostalgia trip for me to a time where bad boys wore girl’s aerobic outfits underneath leather jackets with sapphires and rhinestones, girls had poodle ‘fros and chewed lots of bubble gum, and we both bonded over our love for all songs that just said rock a lot; and the more often the word was repeated in the song the more it was good. Having been adapted from a popular stage production, and helmed by a director who did a splendid job with Hairspray, I expected a tongue-in-cheek romp that would have me struggling to refrain from jumping out of my seat and throwing my fists in the air chanting that I wasn’t gonna take it. After about ten minutes I really was struggling to refrain from jumping out of my seat and throwing my fists, because I really wanted to stop taking it.

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So, Dear Reader, you’re totally pumped to see Rock of Ages when it opens this weekend? You think it’s going to be pretty rad? Oh, that’s excellent. Good for you. Have a blast. I’m staying home because it looks like the kind of moronic twaddle that I can’t even enjoy on an ironic level. I’ll just kick back and watch me some Born on the Fourth of July because there’s only one kind of Tom Cruise I enjoy and that’s the balding, scruffy, three-sheets-to-the-wind, blubbering-like-a-toddler and lamenting-his-permanent-erectile-dysfunction kind. Hold up. Did I hear you say…Bazelli? As in Bojan Bazelli? As in one of the greatest DPs of our time? He shot Rock of Ages? Hmm. Well…I’m still not interested, although I’m sure Rock of Ages will look fantastic. Yep. I’ll just stay home, sippin’ on my jug of butterscotch schnapps and reveling in my favorite Bazelli-lensed memories. For instance, how about:

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Killing Them Softly

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies that’s been kickin’ ass and takin’ names since the sun came up, but for some reason it still waited until late at night to bring you all the movie news of the day. It’s eccentric like that. We begin tonight with an image of Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy in Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik’s new film based on the adaptation of the novel “Cogan’s Trade.” They are but two of the badass names attached to said project, which includes Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Sam Shepard, among others. Not bad.

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There must be some people somewhere looking forward to this, but Rock of Ages looks like the grandiose celebration of all things shoulder padded and hairspray covered. It looks like the movie version of “Now! That’s What I Call Music Volume -14.” There was a reason that the empty decadence of 80s music took a boot to the face in the form of The Ramones and was finally left to bleed out by Nirvana, but there must be people somewhere anxious to relive acid washed days of yore. Adam Shankman takes a break from judging So You Think You Can Dance to direct this musical starring a bunch of one-liners from Alec Baldwin, the offensive-to-no-one Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise as Aldous Snow/Axl Rose (which is weird because Russell Brand is also in this thing), and the font from Rock Band. It’s a bunch of wealthy people playing karaoke. Check it out for yourself:

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UPDATED: Hello, musical theatrics! Director Adam Shankman‘s take on Broadway hit Rock of Ages will undoubtedly be slick, highly produced, loud, melodramatic, and positively crammed with toe-tapping song-and-dance numbers (did you see Hairspray?) – essentially, it’s a film that will likely upset fans of the stage musical while also becoming a big commercial hit with a bizarre kitsch sensibility. That’s not just me guessing – that’s information hardily reinforced by the film’s first trailer. The film stars Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ackerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston (really?!), Alec Baldwin, and Tom Cruise as (very different) people who populate and influence Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip music scene in the 1980′s. Hough and Boneta are trying to make it, Cruise already has, Zeta-Jones scream-sings a lot, that old story. The film is set to a cadre of ’80s classic jams, including Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, and Whitesnake. If you’ve yet to grow out of your big-haired, leather-clad rocker glory days, this is the film for you. Weirdly enough, despite Cruise (and his hair and his hips) being the marquee name on this film, we don’t get a whole lot of him until the last half of the trailer. And then we don’t get so much of him and his character, Stacee Jaxx, as we get some random groupie and her boobs. Bravo to everyone. Get your hairspray ready and check out […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the day’s best movie news and links exploding onto your computer screen. Can you handle that? MSN has debuted a new image of two new characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “Two of the youngest Dwarves, Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner) have been born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of their uncle, Thorin Oakensheild. Neither has ever travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. For both, the journey to the Lonely Mountain represents adventure and excitement. Skilled fighters, both brothers set off on their adventure armed with the invincible courage of youth, neither being able to imagine the fate which lies before them.” Quick, get me a Tolkein nerd to translate that. Are these guys cool, or not? Because they look cool.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news compendium that rounds up all the best links from here, there and everywhere in between. It usually isn’t quite so obsessed with lists ordered numerically, but today is Friday and Friday is fun day. We so excited for the weekend, so lets read some lists! We open tonight with Tom Cruise looking ridiculous in the first image from Rock of Ages. The Adam Shankman directed film will see Cruise play Stacee Jaxx, a famous rocker who falls for a fresh-off-the-bus country bumpkin. It’s another one of those 80s nostalgia trips, star filled and ready to remind us that anyone whose name is Stacee with two e’s is not to be trusted.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that’s a little tired, a little wired and it thinks it deserves a little appreciation around here! Alright, so that’s the insomnia talking. For now, lets just do the news like we always do, shall we? The headline photo of the night is a shot of two morons Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages, a film that will combine major Hollywood names with an infamously terrible director and a slew of over-the-top musical numbers. It’s so ridiculous that it just might work. But probably not.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s holding out for a hero ’til the morning light. He’s gotta be sure, it’s gotta be soon, and he’s gotta be larger than life. We lead tonight with images from this evening’s episode of Community, which took a jaunt into Pulp Fiction territory and played around with some Tarantino aesthetic. I haven’t watched it yet, as I’m contractually obligated to watch it with my lady and I won’t see her until tomorrow night, but I’m told that it was a new high mark for the show.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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