Wednesday, 18 February 2015

rock of ages/repo - a genetic opera

i've just been witness to a musical double bill. but this wasn't your regular top hat and tails, singing about true love affair. i decided to pair up rock of ages and repo - a genetic opera. you may be thinking these two films couldn't be further apart, and you'd be right. apart from both being classed as musicals.

rock of ages is your straightforward tale of boy meets girl/girl meets boy. if you just listen to journey's don't stop believing you're pretty much there. that's at the core of the film. they then throw in a troubled rock star, failing rock club, sleazy manager and strip club, (that doesn't seem to be in any trouble, nor do the public have an issue with it as they do with the rock club). oh and a rock singing women's church group who hate rock and what it stands for. i know right, contradictions all around.

as musicals go, it's not so bad, but isn't great either. there are no massive dance numbers, and the fact that everyone sings pre-existing songs, you start to question what the point is. also it's set in a world where most rock bands exists, but journey do not, so are they singing covers, or their own creations? am i over-thinking this? probably. as a live show I can understand the theatricality of it. as a film, it all seems a bit wasted. plus you really could have streamlined some of the storylines to reduce the running time a bit.

following this i went straight into repo, which happens to have been directed by darren lynn bousman, the same guy who made 11-11-11 that i reviewed last week.

immediately i found this film more interesting due to its bright colour style and comic book introduction. despite it being a "genetic opera" i didn't twig that no one would talk and everything would be sung. this does start to grate after a while. this one is a story about cosmetic surgery gone mad. you need a new heart; you pay for a new heart. fail to make the payments, the repo men will come for you. and you're off. the majority of the songs are just there to get you from a to b, but there are few more melodic examples.  however, due to the constant singing, it can be painful to listen to, either due to bad singers or bad content (there is a song about a girl complaining about contracting her mother’s blood disease). however the actual music is good and the look of the overall film is interesting. i thought i was going to hate it due to the inclusion of paris hilton and sarah brightman, but actually they weren't too bad. there is also an interesting twist that you're waiting for lead anthony head to realise and kick some arse, but it never fully comes out. which is a shame as toward the end, he could do with a bit of redemption. for some reason it reminded me a lot of house of 1000 corpses in some of it's design. and thinking about it, in the hands of rob zombie, i reckon it would be amazing.

looking at both these examples together, something did become glaringly obvious. in repo you could easily cut to the singing and you'd still have an interesting film. however take the songs out of rock of ages and you're left with just a dull story with too many storylines to get you invested in any single one.

so there you have it. alternative musicals for your eyes. of the two I'd actually recommend repo, if you can stand opera. as for rock of ages i'd advise just checking out music videos on youtube.

No comments:

Post a Comment