1. Rock Of Ages (Warner Brothers, 3,470 Theaters, 123 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Part of me wants to love this movie. I like the idea of taking pop songs from a particular era and building a musical around them. However, another part of me wishes it wasn’t done in such a pandering way as it is done here.
Granted, I have not seen the play the film is based on, but it seems callously constructed to warm the hearts of anyone who grew up in the 1980s (or after and loved the music from that decade) with less concern for good storytelling than hitting emotional notes.
I am intrigued by the cast. The film is front loaded with unknowns and newbies, with experienced actors such as Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin providing support. Risky move for a summer blockbuster.
2. That’s My Boy! (Sony/Columbia, 3,030 Theaters, 114 Minutes, Rated R): I saw one TV ad for this film, and it told me absolutely nothing about its plot. It was basically was scene after scene of Adam Sandler acting like a moron. Which, when you think of it, is all the film really needs. It’s targeting Sandler fans because in every film he acts like a moron to some extent.
But , for those of you who like to know what the films you might see are actually about, here is the plot. Sandler play Donny, a man who impregnated one of his teachers while he was in high school. For some incredulous reason, Donny was allowed to to raise the child on his own. When his son, Todd (Andy Samberg) turns 18, he hits the ground running, leaving his father with no intention of ever looking back. Years later, as Todd is preparing to get married, Donny returns again.
I can take or leave Adam Sandler’s films, the sillier he acts or the more stupid the premise the more I want to leave it. This seems like a “leave it” kind of film for me.