Rock of Ages, Blu-ray+DVD+UV Digital Copy Combo Pack (2012)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige
Director: Adam Shankman
Studio: Warner Home Video [10/9/12]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD color
Audio: (Extended Cut): English DTS-HD MA 5.1 (Theatrical Cut): English DTS-HD MA 5.1; French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Extras: Three featurettes (“Rock of Ages: Legends of the Sunset Strip”, “Behind the Scenes: Defining a Decade” and “The Stories We Sing”); “Any Way You Want It” music video; Musical numbers; Florida tourism promo
Length: 123 minutes theatrical cut; 136 min. extended cut
Movie Rating: ***½ Video Rating: ****½ Audio Rating: ****
Set in 1987 Los Angeles, Rock of Ages finds Sherrie Christian (Hough) and Drew Boley (Boneta) chasing their dreams of becoming singers in the big city. When the young couple meets, it’s love at first sight. However, their dreams and romance face serious challenges along the way. They also encounter some crazy characters during their journey including rock star Stacee Jaxx (Cruise), club owner Dennis Dupree (Baldwin) and anti-rock activist Patricia Whitmore (Zeta-Jones). While Rock of Ages was not a box office success, I nevertheless think it is a fun movie. Granted, the plot mostly serves to connect one musical performance to the next and the dialogue is not particularly witty or engrossing. Those flaws notwithstanding, this movie is primarily about the music and 1980s pop culture nostalgia. In that regard, Rock of Ages succeeds on both counts. Plus, the film is worth checking out alone for Tom Cruise’s all-out performance as Stacee Jaxx. He really nails the role as the hard-drinking, womanizing rock star and Cruise surprisingly holds his own on the vocal performances. Recommended (especially for those who can’t get enough of 1980s rock).
The overall high definition video quality of this Blu-ray disc is excellent. Images are pristine with razor sharp detail. Black levels are dark and smooth throughout the movie. Colors are vibrant and bold with fully-saturated hues. Picture defect mastering is near perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts. The overall audio quality is very good. The soundtrack does a decent job of incorporating all of the discrete channels into its mix. Dialogue is natural-sounding but noticeably not in balance with the musical numbers, which play at a higher volume. Outside of the musical scenes for which they are well-deployed, the surround channels are modestly utilized for ambient sound effects. The low frequency effects channel provides plenty of thump and boom during music sequences.
—Calvin Harding Jr.
If any recording is essential to the genre, this is it.