Tune to The 2 Guys Named Chris Show every Monday to get the scoop on the latest new films and releases to DVD from a Canadian point of view. Julie Crawford, Film Critic for The Vancouver Courier, gives her two cents worth every Monday morning on Rock 92.
June 18th 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Jun 20 2012 6:14AM
Rock of Ages
This film is going to rock your world… sort of. The film adaptation of the very popular musical about a small-town girl (Julianne Hough, Footloose) who heads to Hollywood in 1987 with big hair and big dreams of becoming a singer. A few blocks after she gets off the bus Sherrie lands both a job and a date, after she bumps into Drew (newcomer Diego Boneta), who works at local hard-rockin’ club The Bourbon Room. The club, however, has fallen on hard times and only a gig by legendary rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) can save it from going under.
So, big big cast: Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand and Malin Akerman, among others. But the star here is Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. He is game for anything, belts out some decent songs (like “Wanted: Dead or Alive”) and livens up the film. Thank goodness, because other than fantastic karaoke value, the film feels like a bunch of good songs strung together by a flimsy plot, and sadly there is almost no chemistry between Hough and Boneta, so things get flat fast.
A family movie starring “The Office”’s John Krasinski as a reporter killing time in the arctic during the Reagan administration, until one day he discovers three whales trapped below the ice, and the story goes national, setting off a media frenzy. Drew Barrymore is the Greenpeace activist with whom he shares a history, Ted Danson plays an oil executive. Film touches on how the traditional Inuit way of life is disappearing, how oil interests are interfering with mother nature, politics and romance, but the film goes off in too many directions. Probably best appreciated by the kids in your house, though there is a real clip of a young Sarah Palin doing the local sports report.
The pseudo-reality film about every parents’ nightmare: a small teen party that goes spectacularly awry when it’s tweeted all over town. It ends up in 1000s of kids getting drunk and naked and turns a Burbank neighbourhood into a war zone. Rated R “for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem—all involving teens.” Filmmakers used several different types of cameras to capture the party antics the way partygoers would capture them: from countless different angles at once. So we get to see a car driven into a pool, a flame thrower lighting up the front yard, and all sorts of comatose girls and guys in stairwells. Teens are going to love it; parents might want to consider never taking a vacation.
Jeff, Who Lives At Home
Thirty-year-old Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in his mom’s basement and spends most of his time smoking pot and waiting for a sign about which direction he’s supposed to be headed. His mom (Susan Sarandon), has given him one small task to do: go to the store and buy wood glue. That simple job turns into a day that will change Jeff’s life forever, as he ends up trying to save his brother’s (Ed Helms) marriage and possibly the life of someone else. Characters are almost too sad-sack to deserve the amount of zingers they throw at each other, and when the film suddenly turns serious, it’s hard for the audience to switch gears. Oddly, no special features on the blu-ray.