September 17th, 2007

amd: orange peek

Across the Universe (not too spoilery)

So, Across the Universe was pretty interesting. As one would expect with Taymor, it was visually spectacular. A superb-looking two hour music video. Plotwise, not so much. I really don't know that I would recommend it to somebody who isn't already attached to the music of the Beatles, because the storytelling technique really depended on the audience coming into the film with at least some emotional attachment to the songs. It worked on me well enough, but it still rubs me the wrong way when a film (even a musical) depends too much on their soundtrack to convey their characters' emotional states. For example, I saw no clues that two of the characters were falling in love until one of them suddenly started singing a love song.

The acting and singing of the two males leads, Jim Sturgess and Joe Anderson, were first rate (especially considering that I hadn't heard of either of them before). Unfortunately, they were so good, that Evan Rachel Wood came off as fairly dull in comparison. Dana Fuchs and Martin Luther McCoy did quite well in their support roles as struggling musicians (superficially modeled after Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix), but they were practically in their own movie. Bono was surprisingly fun as a Ken Kesey type named Doctor Roberts, but I was disappointed that they didn't really do a rendition of the song he was named for.

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