This is what DVD releases are good for – major Hollywood releases that aren’t worth theatre admission prices.
This week we have two: “Prometheus,” a sci-fi prequel to the Alien series, and “Rock of Ages,” the Tom Cruise led 80’s rock musical.
Let’s start with the fun one – Rock of Ages.
“Rock of Ages” is a joke. And when the movie acts like it’s a joke, it can be kinda fun. And when it doesn’t, it’s dumber than dumb.
The great thing about the DVD is you can zip right past the dumb parts and zero in on the good ones. There are about 20 songs in the show and I’d say about half of them are worth watching – like Catherine Zeta Jones and a half dozen of her middle-aged churchwomen singing and dancing against rock and roll.
Tom Cruise plays rock star Stacie Jaxx and he has a couple of fun numbers – he seduces a journalist on a pool table singing “I Want to Know what love is” and rocks out in concert too.
Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand go all camp when they sing “I Can’t Stop This Feeling” to each other.
And the movie ends with a great mash up of “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” and “We’re not Gonna Take it” in the climactic battle in the street between the forces of rock freedom and the forces of repression.
Also out this week on DVD, “Prometheus.” Sadly, it’s a disappointment. The long-awaited, as in 30 plus years, return of the director of the original “Alien”
looks great and wants to be profound, tackling issues of man’s origins in the course of planetary exploration.
That movie asks plenty of provocative questions. The problem is it even tries to answer any of the half dozen ideas floated in the screenplay. It makes the movie feel undercooked, or half-baked. A muddle.
I’m left with the sense that Ridley Scott wants the benefit of sounding profound without having to earn it. In space, he’s assumes, no one can hear you think.