Sunday, November 15, 2009

Across the Universe

Here are a few old reviews that I wanted to share:
An artistic array of Beatles song put to the destruction and tension of the 60's. The closest thing I have to compare this movie to is Moulin Rouge, and that isn't fair to Across the Universe.
I'll first say that I was VERY excited for this movie because Moulin Rouge is my favorite movie ever and this is the closest thing that has come to it ever since. I knew most of the Beatles songs and had the soundtrack before I watched the movie and loved it (I love Jim Sturgess' voice). So enough about how much I loved the movie before I even saw it, here's what I thought:
The first act (first hour) was a 10. I loved the songs, I loved how they were sang and how they were told. The songs that really stuck out were "Fallin'" and "Let it Be". They were very effective and something that I would want to watch and listen to over and over again. The interpretations of the songs and how they work in the movie really is where the genius lies. But more on that in a second.
The second act (next 30 minutes) is where the movie goes on an acid trip. There's no real connection to the music and the story and it leads away from where the movie should be going. There is a string of 3 songs that I just suggest skipping over ("I Am the Walrus" and "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite") because each song just seems like music videos completely separate from the movie. Julie Taymor says that it is supposed to be a "musical, mystical tour of life" where it really just comes off as an acid trip. Don't let these songs turn you off, because it does get better. Let the reader also know that during this part, there is a lot of nude swimming and shortly after, you see Lucy's nipple (Titanic style). I don't see myself watching this middle part too many times again, and when you watch it, they are summed up perfectly as "deleted scenes". Skip over them. My vote: a 5 for the 2nd act.
The 3rd act is another 10. There are songs like "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Across the Universe" and "Hey Jude" that really hit the story home. The climaxing song I will not reveal because it's better if you don't know. I loved the first and last parts of this movie, but the middle keep it from being a masterpiece. There are a couple of things that I noticed that maybe you won't...The sound and music are perfect together. The windshield wipers set the beat to the music. Sirens lead a song in tune. Listen to the subtle atmospheric sounds that are part of the music. The genius of this movie comes from how the way the Beatles sang the songs and how they are interpreted by Julie Taymor. "Let it Be" is a gospel song. During "Hey Jude" they sing "Hey Judey, Judey, Judey..." and that is when Max sees him from afar. The timing of the lyrics and what they could mean really pulls this movie together. Replay value, music and dancing, this really is a great movie, with a crappy 3 song streak in the middle.
This movie really proves how unique Moulin Rouge is. Where Across the Universe revolves its story around the songs (they lead their characters to fall into place of the songs), Moulin Rouge revolves its songs around the stories. The songs are used to accent the characters inspirations and really fit (Christian sings his poems and thus has a direct effect on you) where Jade sings his thoughts and has more of a traditional musical effect. Moulin Rouge has more of a love story also, where at the end of Across the Universe, you wish there was more of a reason for Jade and Lucy to love each other. But, it's awesome. You will be dissecting the artistic value of this movie for years. You will be singing the songs for a long time after. You will be thanking me for telling you so see this movie and skip the 3 songs in the middle. If the first act was a 10, the second act a 5, and the third act was a 10, the average is 8. 8/10
PS>I noticed during this movie that I wanted to reach over and hold my wife's hand. It made me love her more and I think that it really what counts.
PSS>I bought the blu ray :)
PSSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 7/10
Violence: 5/10
Profanity: 5/10

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