The Rock of Ages Trailer: Ruining Karaoke For the Rest of Us

Real talk: the new trailer for Adam Shankman's Rock of Ages musical embodies all that people who hate karaoke hate karaoke for. Namely, middle-aged folks blaring through cheesy renditions of their favorite '80s make-out/rock songs while the rest of us patiently wait for the plaintive strains of Journey to end, already. I say this as a person who likes -- nay, loves -- karaoke. Sigh. The Twisted Sister/Starship mash-up you really never asked for coming in 3, 2, 1.

Okay, okay. I'll admit to crooning "Sister Christian" from time to time, but even I can't take one more unironic warbling of "Any Way You Want It;" I absolutely draw the line at "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." (Didn't we talk about this the other week?)

Issue #2: The '80s are so, so over. The '90s are the new '80s, people. Get with it already.

Another way of looking at Rock of Ages, as evidenced by the trailer: It's Glee, only with grownups and set in 1987. Take that as you will. Watch it now:

Chris D'Arienzo's original jukebox Broadway musical used these songs and many more iconic '80s rock tunes; expect Shankman to stay true to the songbook as he retells the fictional story of a Sunset Strip club under threat of redevelopment, where a wannabe musician (Diego Boneta), a waitress-turned-stripper (Julianne Hough), and a sleazy, jaded rock star (Tom Cruise) cross paths.

Admittedly, I perked up a bit when Catherine Zeta-Jones and her ladies who lunch began dancing and singing in their power suits... and, um, can we talk about Malin Akerman?


Verdict: I will grudgingly see this (for the monkey and for Mary J. Blige, the best -- only? -- singer in the cast). But can we seriously institute a no more "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" karaoke rule from now on? Mmkay thanks.

Rock of Ages will shriek its way into theaters on June 1, 2012.

[Apple via Rope of Silicon]


  • G says:

    When did Catherine Zeta Jones become such a ham? Why is there a monkey? Where is the footage of Miley Cyrus giving Adam Shankman a lap dance? So many questions.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Monkeys automatically make any movie better, so that's probably why. As for CZ-J, who knows? I kinda like it.

  • The WInchester says:

    Monkeys and Will Forte, which is why I grudgingly will be forking over $7 to see this.

  • Edward Wilson says:

    The only thing this trailer does is remind me how much better the original versions of these crappy songs are.

  • SS says:

    Um, ROCK OF AGES was a Broadway (and off-Bway) musical long before GLEE came out. As a person who LOVES the Broadway show (seen it 10 times) and DEPLORES the TV show, I'll be the first to say there's absolutely no comparison. It sounds like the author of this post has never even seen the Broadway show.
    I personally can't wait for the film, but it's going to be hard to live up to the musical, in my opinion. Julianne Hough is a perfect fit for the lead role though, as is Russell Brand in the part of "Lonny," and hello Author of said post, Mary J. Blige isn't the only singer in the cast -- Julianne is a country artist.
    I'm not sold on Tom Cruise as rock star "Stacee Jaxx" though. I can see him performing the role just fine, but I think he's too old for the role (the long-haired rock stars of the 80s were in their twenties, generally) and his costumed look is designed to resemble more Axl Rose than Brett Michaels, which isn't in alignment with the play. Small bone to pick, but it's still there.
    The mash-up, btw, is fantastic in person. Don't know how it will read on film, but in the musical it really is an awesome number.
    For anyone who goes to see this film -- whether you love it or hate it -- I hope you'll give the Broadway show a shot. If you love the music and nostalgia of the 80s, you'll leave there feeling awesome -- it's HILARIOUS, it's got heart, and the music selection and performance levels make you feel like you're at a concert. Plus, you can drink in your seats - always a perk, loll! It's a fun show -- a total party in a theater -- that will leave you wanting more and more.
    And I do like karaoke. Sue me. 🙂

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Re: Mary J. Blige -- I'm sorry, I meant the only *real* singer.
    You're right, I haven't seen the show. Not sure I'd love it as much as you do, but I'd give it a chance. The way it all comes off on screen (in the trailer) just seems so forced, but then again so did Hairspray the movie and I suppose I enjoyed that.
    And I *love* karaoke, which is my point -- '80s songs are so done to death. Singing the most cliched of '80s rock songs at karaoke is like the Stairway scene in Wayne's World. Just -- no. No more. NO MORE!
    Ahem. But your comment and RoA love is appreciated. Carry on.

  • SS says:

    Hmm, it sounds like you don't consider country music to be real music -- and all I can say is that, like the Broadway version of RoA, that's just one more thing you're missing out on! 😉
    Also, when I said I loved karaoke, without a doubt that includes 80s karaoke tunes. In fact, for me, karaoke wouldn't be the same without it. C'mon, streetlights? People? I'm a believer. Sorry!
    We'll have to agree to disagree on that one, but your reply was appreciated, too. 🙂

  • Martini Shark says:

    I had to laugh. Much of this was filmed in South Florida, a region as flat as a pool table. The HOLLYWOOD sign scenes were filmed at the only place with an elevation -- the county landfill.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Gah, who am I kidding. I can't resist a little "Don't Stop Believin'," either. And of course everyone sings along whenever "Tiny Dancer" or "Piano Man" comes on.
    I will, however, remain steadfast in the Mary J. vs. Julianne Hough argument. Look, Julianne H. may have released albums but there is NO comparison. JH has been a professional recording artist for what, 4 years, and mostly because she got DWTS famous? It has nothing to do with genre, even! She's just not anywhere near the same league as Mary J. Blige. Let us not pretend.
    I am open to the idea that RoA may wow me, though, so let's circle back when it comes out... 🙂

  • Furious D says:

    Strike 1. The trailer, which is essentially a commercial, begins with a commercial. Screw you Warner/New Line/Gillette.
    Strike 2. The whole plot seems to be right out of an Andy Hardy movie with the fundamentalists from Footloose tossed in to make it seem "edgy."
    Strike 3. The music all comes from bands I really didn't care for during the 1980s.
    On the plus side, that monkey deserves a goddamn Oscar.

  • apc says:

    i generally agree with ss, but i have just a small nit to pick... the twisted sister/starship mash-up does not occur in the stage production. in the stage production, "we built this city" is mashed up with "too much time on my hands," not "we're not gonna take it." also, the use of "we're not gonna take it" appears to be significantly different in the movie. onstage, it is an anthem sung primarily by regina (a character not included in the film) to protest the demolition of the bourbon room. in the movie, it appears to be led by the mayor's wife (a character new to the film) to protest the bourbon room itself and the music it espouses.

  • SS says:

    APC, you are correct on all counts.
    I was actually going to mention the strange re-working of "We're Not Gonna Take It" as being sung by the antagonist, as opposed to by the protagonist. I guess they re-worked it because the character of Regina is gone from the movie (boo! hiss!). Anyway, hopefully it will all make sense in the film.
    As for the mash-up songs themselves, I stand corrected -- when writing my response I hadn't been thinking of the actual song titles that were mashed. Instead I had just been harking back to the mash-up in the play and assuming the two were one and the same. I should have realized it though since I have the Broadway soundtrack and have played that poor CD out! lol

  • The Cantankerist says:

    And... sigh... Autotuned to the max. Sadness.

  • Joan says:

    Joan Jett didn't write I Love Rock N Roll and wasn't the original artist. The Arrows (Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker) wrote, recorded and released the original version in 1975. Copyright RAK Music Publishing Ltd. Joan Jett covered the song in 1982.