Posts Tagged ‘tropic thunder’

I don’t like musicals and I don’t like Tom Cruise. Thus, it was unusual to find myself sitting down of a Friday night to watch “Rock of Ages” which, I quickly learned, incorporated both.

It’s not that I dislike all musicals–I even have a few in my DVD library–but spending my first 35 years playing several musical instruments, I sweated in the pit during every school drama production, suffered through interminable summer “Pops” concerts, and endured nearly as many “Holiday Galas.” In short, of musicals I’ve had my fill.

As for Tom Cruise, well, he’s just one of those actors who can’t seem to get out of his own way. Again, my stance is not monolithic; I’ve liked him in a few films, but never as a leading man. When Cruise plays the chiseled-chin hero, the steely eyed fighter pilot lawyer spy covert operative race car driver, I always see the actor behind the mask. In every scene–especially in those critical, top-of-the-trailer tag-line scenes–behind that gritty, squint-eyed glare I see…Tom Cruise, thinking, working hard, working as hard as he possibly can to be that chiseled-chin hero, working his ass off trying to not be Tom Cruise.

At which he fails. But not here. Not in “Rock of Ages.” You see, I have learned a true Hollywood secret: (more…)

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