When we first saw Rock of Ages, we called it “mix tape tribute” to an age of rebellion, outlandish outfits and over indulgence. The movie’s gags mocked the laughable qualities of the 80s, while respecting the songs that made the decade memorable. Outside of a surprising and intimate scene between Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, the humor lagged into monotony. This film was all about remixing rock history. The Rock of Ages Extended Edition Blu-ray brings the litany of boob and crotch jokes home with several bonus features – most of which are more interesting to watch than the movie’s story.
In Rock of Ages, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) moves to Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a singer. Alec Baldwin as club owner Dennis Dupree quickly dashes her hopes, but gives her a job at his club – the last bastion of Rock on the Sunset Blvd strip. Soon Sherrie falls into and out of love and Dupree tries to revitalize his tax struggling club. He throws a concert for Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), the last one before Jaxx takes his career solo. Mary J. Blige also shows up as a strip club owner.
The film tends to lose momentum whenever Catherine Zeta-Jones takes focus. She plays Mayor Whitmore’s (Bryan Cranston) overly Christian wife, who wants to put an end to Jaxx’s reign of rock. Her reasons are obviously motivated by a history with Jaxx, but her character and songs fall flat.
The Extended Edition adds on “Here I am/Rock you like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions, during a private champagne room scene with Stacy Jaxx and Sherrie. It slightly changes up the story so you’ll want to check it out.
The Blu-ray really takes off when you watch the bonus features. There are two featurettes hosted by Bret Michaels, lead vocalist of Poison.
The “Rock of Ages: Legends of the Sunset Strip” and “The Stories we Sing” featurettes serve as mini documentaries on Def Leppard, Journey, Night Ranger, Poison and REO Speedwagon.
In the “Rock of Ages: Legends of the Sunset Strip,” the groups discuss the change in the musical landscape since their era. Today, bands can become instant success stories thanks to the growth of communication through the Internet and social media. Back then, the journey to success was a longer, arduous road even for the most successful bands simply due to length of time it took for information to spread. The bands discuss acting as their own street teams as well as the struggles of success, drugs and groupies.
In “The Stories we Sing” featurette, the artists discuss how they came up with song lyrics and each song’s significance (or lack thereof). In the case of Sister Christian, from Night Ranger, you’ll learn that the name was actually due to a snafu about the songwriter’s sister’s name. Def Leppard also mocks “Pour Some Sugar On” and it’s lack of meaning.