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Across The Universe - 30/9/2007 2:39:54 AM   
Empire Admin

 

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Wonderful - 30/9/2007 2:39:54 AM   
FlexDream

 

Posts: 36
Joined: 20/10/2005
An ambitious film which sometimes overreaches itself, but hits the mark often enough to be marked out as something special. Some truly memorable scenes. Great songs. Stand out performance from Sturgess. An inspiring film which will leave you singing. There should be more films this creative.

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RE: Wonderful - 30/9/2007 8:32:27 AM   
thedrin

 

Posts: 562
Joined: 9/1/2007
From: Ireland
The first 25 or so seconds of the trailer for this film feature Sturgess singing a bit of A Girl before establishing that he's a Liverpudlian who travels to New York with a college drop out in the 1960s. And gave strong reason to suspect that this was little more than exercise in shoe-horning in as many Beatle's songs as possible with little care for anything else - the main charachter's name is Jude.

And that proved to be the case. I frequently found myself hoping that they'd hurry the film along to the next song since the story felt very forced and unengaging. Throwing/Shoving in frequent references to the Beatles in the spoken dialogue - 'when I'm 64' - further distracted from the story.

In truth though, the songs were great and I may even buy the sound track despite already owning an exstensive collection of The Beatle's output. All covers from the Beatles catalogue; most were satisfying with only a few that disappointed - Bono's I Am The Walrus standing out amongst those - and a couple being even better than the originals - Dear Prudence and, surprisingly, Come Together spring to mind.

Shame about the visuals. Should I ever watch this film again, I may well shut my eyes each time the music starts up. There are only a couple of really good moments - both brief - that occur during I Want You (She's So Heavy) - and these are let down by the rest of that song's video being awful.

I'd agree with the assessment in The Irish Times that it's a love-it-or-hate-it film but I'm not in the former camp.


< Message edited by thedrin -- 30/9/2007 8:33:12 AM >

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RE: Come Together (but of course!!!) - 30/9/2007 6:35:09 PM   
David Dvd 1988


Posts: 9818
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All i have to say is from start to finish its great not just the songs (which weren't lip synched) but how a script was formed around 33 beatles songs. Bits of it are a bit.......weird (especially bono on a hippie bus singing i am the walrus in an american accent)..... and nice cameos off eddie izzard as Mr Kite, Salma Hayek as 5 sexy nurses, and joe cocker as a tramp, pimp, and hippie singing come together. Only thing was by half way you could tell what was gonna happen in the end. I have to say its my favourite musical of late.

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- 30/9/2007 7:42:47 PM   
Martin1876

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 1/1/2007
From: Paisley, Scotland
Jim Sturges as a sort-of John Lennon? Looked more like David Essex to me. :P

And another thing... how much does Joe Anderson bloody look like Kurt Cobain?!? Jeeeeez..... almost an absolute ringer (more than Michael Pitt, anyway... Gus Van Sant should be kicking himself). A Beatles musical with Kurt Cobain and David Essex. Now THAT's crazy.

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Post #: 5
A load of Beatles tunes with an inspired story! - 1/10/2007 4:31:45 PM   
mogolimovieman

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 1/10/2007
Who would've thought that all the best of the Beatles crammed into one long film would actually be able maintain a storyline? Set in the 60's during the vietnam war and the crazy hippy revolution, the insane yet in ways very powerful love story turned out to be rather impressive. Since most of it was visual and musical, the character development was fairly poor, but that didn't really matter all of them being such lovable and appealing characters. Some sequences were very intense including the "Let It Be" war/funeral scene and the frustrating "Strawberry Fields" one. The direction, easily comparable to Terry Gilliam's style, was different and compelling. The acting was just OK but some of the choreography was amazing! I noticed some beautiful hidden imagery that really strengthened the theme. I definately recommend this to ie, it is enjoyabley surreal and has a nice collection of good Beatles tracks (not including the Yellow Sumbarine thank God!)

I don't particularly like musicals, but this was different, I mean it's The Beatles for heaven's sake! How could I not love it?

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Post #: 6
A load of Beatles tunes with an inspired story! - 1/10/2007 4:31:46 PM   
mogolimovieman

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 1/10/2007
Who would've thought that all the best of the Beatles crammed into one long film would actually be able maintain a storyline? Set in the 60's during the vietnam war and the crazy hippy revolution, the insane yet in ways very powerful love story turned out to be rather impressive. Since most of it was visual and musical, the character development was fairly poor, but that didn't really matter all of them being such lovable and appealing characters. Some sequences were very intense including the "Let It Be" war/funeral scene and the frustrating "Strawberry Fields" one. The direction, easily comparable to Terry Gilliam's style, was different and compelling. The acting was just OK but some of the choreography was amazing! I noticed some beautiful hidden imagery that really strengthened the theme. I definately recommend this to ie, it is enjoyabley surreal and has a nice collection of good Beatles tracks (not including the Yellow Sumbarine thank God!)

I don't particularly like musicals, but this was different, I mean it's The Beatles for heaven's sake! How could I not love it?

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Post #: 7
a load of beatles - - 1/10/2007 8:53:46 PM   
moviemaniac2


Posts: 525
Joined: 17/9/2006
A musical inspired by the tunes of The Beatles sounds like a great idea- Wrong. Across The Universe is a useless exercise and seems to only exist for no other reason than curiosity - what could they do with The Beatles? Turns out not a lot. Set in the '60s, the story follows Liverpudlian dockworker Jude as he leaves his native city and travels to America in search of his father. There he meets Max a rich student, and the two move into a New York apartment owned by musician Sadie . While Max decides what to do when he's drafted, his pretty sister Lucy comes to stay and she and Jude fall in love. Oh, a cheerleader called Prudence and Jimi Hendrix-esque guitarist called Jo-Jo turn up at some stage, too. The plot is paper thin, and in actuality seems an afterthought, stapled together by little pop videos of crap cover versions. There are a couple of nice sequences, but on the whole Across The Universe doesn't work and would've been at least fun if it weren't so downbeat. Now, a musical based on The Stones - that would be something. At least it'd have balls.

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Post #: 8
RE: a load of beatles - - 3/10/2007 8:09:05 AM   
jimbo909


Posts: 799
Joined: 24/10/2006
From: Pepperland
I saw this at the weekend and really loved it. It's a definitely a film made by Beatles fans for Beatles fans. Director Julie Taymor clearly has great affection for the Beatles' music and the spirit of the sixties.

The story follows a young working class Liverpool lad on his journey through sixties America where he falls in love with a middle class daddy's little girl type. And as always happens in Hollywood she loves him back. This wouldn't happen in real life, at least not to me. On a personal note, it's a shame I was feeling a bit lonely and miserable the day I saw the film, I wasn't more in the mood for this kind of story.

The film has some excellent inventive and trippy visuals. A menacing Uncle Sam during I Want You (She's So Heavy) as Max is drafted into the army and a sexy cameo from many Salma Hayeks to mention a few.

The songs used in the film range nicely between faithful translations of the Fab Four's hits and re-invented adaptations. All are very listenable, there's nothing in it to provoke cries of objection from die-hard Beatles nuts like me. The version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand was a particular surprise for me since it's not one of my favourites, the take on it here is really sweet. The cast all rise to the challenge as far as singing is concerned. 

By the time the double-whammy climax to the film with Hey Jude and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds came along I had tears of joy welling in my eyes and I couldn't help myself grinning. It's a beautiful ending. That's the healing power of music, man!

The only minor quibble was the songs that got left out. No Help! or Get Back. There's gotta be a few that don't make it though, obviously.

Total Films review, lazily squeezing in Beatles references ("it doesn't quite come together"- ha fuckin' ha) dismissed this as a two star film. No way! Weather you're a Beatles fan or not this is a lovely film made with love that I really recommend.

< Message edited by jimbo909 -- 3/10/2007 8:12:25 AM >


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RE: a load of beatles - - 3/10/2007 5:25:05 PM   
HitchHiker


Posts: 287
Joined: 26/2/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: jimbo909

I saw this at the weekend and really loved it. It's a definitely a film made by Beatles fans for Beatles fans. Director Julie Taymor clearly has great affection for the Beatles' music and the spirit of the sixties.

The story follows a young working class Liverpool lad on his journey through sixties America where he falls in love with a middle class daddy's little girl type. And as always happens in Hollywood she loves him back. This wouldn't happen in real life, at least not to me. On a personal note, it's a shame I was feeling a bit lonely and miserable the day I saw the film, I wasn't more in the mood for this kind of story.

The film has some excellent inventive and trippy visuals. A menacing Uncle Sam during I Want You (She's So Heavy) as Max is drafted into the army and a sexy cameo from many Salma Hayeks to mention a few.

The songs used in the film range nicely between faithful translations of the Fab Four's hits and re-invented adaptations. All are very listenable, there's nothing in it to provoke cries of objection from die-hard Beatles nuts like me. The version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand was a particular surprise for me since it's not one of my favourites, the take on it here is really sweet. The cast all rise to the challenge as far as singing is concerned. 

By the time the double-whammy climax to the film with Hey Jude and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds came along I had tears of joy welling in my eyes and I couldn't help myself grinning. It's a beautiful ending. That's the healing power of music, man!

The only minor quibble was the songs that got left out. No Help! or Get Back. There's gotta be a few that don't make it though, obviously.

Total Films review, lazily squeezing in Beatles references ("it doesn't quite come together"- ha fuckin' ha) dismissed this as a two star film. No way! Weather you're a Beatles fan or not this is a lovely film made with love that I really recommend.

What he said.

This is instantly one of my favourite films of the year. Although it's definitely not for everyone. I have a feeling this will be a love or Hate movie for a lot of people.


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RE: a load of beatles - - 10/10/2007 2:28:15 PM   
Groovy Mule

 

Posts: 1097
Joined: 26/11/2005
A tricky one this ...
With the rash of musicals in the West End and on Broadway based on the songs of one artist and attempting to meld them into a story (i.e. Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You etc), it was surely only a matter of time before we saw the phenomeneon hit the big screen, and here it is.  Taking 33 songs of The Beatles, Julie Taymor can at least be content that she is getting quality lyrics and melodies throughout.

The film starts simultaneously in Liverpool and in an undetermined location in suburban America.  The opening scenes have a late 50s/early 60s vibe, once we are passed the Moulin Rouge-esque prologue and we then follow the characters - Jude, Lucy, Max, JoJo, Sadie and Prudence through to the Vietnam War and out the other side.  Even in the early scenes, the writing feels choppy as the songs provide narrative but little in the way of linking between these narratives.  This is not helped by the rapid introduction of characters, for example Prudence is introduced out of the blue and without reference to any of the other characters.  This choppiness continues throughout and is probably the main reason this film is not a complete triumph.

That is not to say that there aren't set pieces to wow the audience.  Taymor, who made her name directing the Lion King on Broadway, clearly has an creative eye and a keen visual sense.  For me, the audio visual highlights were I Want You (She's So Heavy), I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Strawberry Fields Forever and I've Just Seen A Face.  However, it is not just Taymor who adds to the fantastic music and lyrics.  Jim Sturgess as Jude steals the show and sings beautifully.  Also impressive were Evan Rachel Wood and Joe Anderson.  Less impressive were the frankly weird cameos of Bono and Eddie Izzard which upset the flow of the film and were out of keeping with the more heartfelt parts of the film.

Overall, an enjoyable experience which showcases the lyrical and melodic genius of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison but it could have been so much more.

7/10

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not for me. - 4/3/2008 5:05:00 PM   
fayesw

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 4/3/2008
I was actually really disappointed with this venture and found it, whilst very pretty, little more than an excercise to see how many beatles songs can be crammed in no matter how tenuous the link is. The acting was handling lightly and well by the actors, but some aspects were simply bizzare. Was there any need to have the character of Maxwell randomly bashing about with a silver hammer in one scene? Yes, there is a song by The Beatles of that name but did it really further the plot or character by simply chucking that in? I also found it wearing that every character was named in part after a Beatles song, Prudence's girlfriend Rita, who we meet after we inexplicably find out that Prudence is now a member of Mr Kite's bizzare LSD circus, will she turn out to be a lovely meter maid? or once again is it simply elbowing in as much Beatley-ness as possible for fan boys and girls alike. I found Across the Universe light hearted but hard going and was bored by the end.

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Post #: 12
The best musical ever made. - 9/3/2008 1:15:20 AM   
nc_jj


Posts: 664
Joined: 20/2/2008
Across the Universe is the best musical movie ever made. I love every single song about the Beatles. Terrific. A masterpiece. Great Movie.

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Post #: 13
Across the Universe - 26/3/2008 12:23:39 AM   
lynnshep


Posts: 428
Joined: 17/1/2007
From: USA
Somewhat overly theatrical and stagy, but still great. Performances are sometimes wooden and too stagy, but the music and visuals save the film.

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Post #: 14
Patchy at best - 15/6/2008 12:25:21 PM   
Caster


Posts: 5611
Joined: 30/9/2005
Everything that's bad about musicals really; its too long, self-indulgent, predictable (plot wise anyway) and pretentious. But the leads give their all and one or two bits are great. Very patchy.

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Post #: 15
All you need is love. - 14/1/2009 2:22:23 PM   
sledgehammer1

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 8/10/2005
I watched this at the weekend and its awakened my love for the Beatles Ive now re watched the anthology dvds and passed this film onto friends who have loved it just as much. you know what im gonna go watch it again now.

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Post #: 16
All You Need Is Love - 11/2/2009 11:14:39 PM   
Luck Dragon


Posts: 5
Joined: 11/2/2009
Being a fan of the Beatles I was worried that this story woudn't do justice to the band but having decided to watch it with an open mind I absolutely loved it. For me this film never gets boring. Across the Universe submerses you into sixties America and the variety of Beatles hits combine perfectly with the story.

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Post #: 17
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