I went to a late night showing of Across The Universe and it was absolutely Beatletastic! Across The Universe is director Julie Taymore's musical / love story of Jude (Jim Sturgess)and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) told over the tumultuous decade that was the 1960's.
The following are my spoiler free impressions (like most of the comics, books, movies, etc. that I talk about on my blog) of Across The Universe:
The best thing about Spider-Man 3 (actually the only good thing about seeing that movie, other then Kate and myself getting to MST3K the movie as there was only one other person in the theater) was seeing the trailer for Across The Universe. Before seeing the trailer, I hadn't heard of this movie, but they had me at the title (my favorite Beatles song) and the fact that it was a musical using Beatle songs - how could you go wrong!? Actually reviews for this movie are coming in right down the middle, with critics / people who've seen it either loving it or hating it. Some are saying that the visuals are great (and they are), but that they don't buy the love story or what Across The Universe does with the 1960's decade. I'm sure that there's also rabid Beatles fans that don't like some of what's being done with the Beatles songs or the way that they are sung, but I'll say for myself as a rabid Beatles fan, that much love was given to the songs of the Beatles in Across The Universe.
The audience I was seeing Across The Universe with was half full and looked to be mostly made up of young people (teenagers and people under 25 years old). They seemed to be totally enjoying the movie, although I was wondering how familiar with Beatles songs many of them were. I don't think you have to know all of the Beatles song catalog to enjoy Across The Universe, but I think if you do you'll get even more out of this movie. All of the characters have names from Beatles songs and there are all kind of nudge nudge, wink wink visual things that long time Beatle fans will "get". Maybe Across The Universe will create even more rabid fans of the Beatles after hearing how rich these songs are lyrically and how almost every song tells a story unto itself.
I was really impressed with the sheer number of Beatles songs used and the transition from one song to the next was amazing. All of the actors sang Beatles songs to advance the story and the variety of musical styles and vocal work is stellar. I really can't see anyone other then maybe those Beatles purists who don't like other interpretations of those songs, not loving the way the Beatles songs are sung, arranged, and used in Across The Universe. I think the test of how much a person will enjoy Across The Universe relies somewhat on their enjoyment of people breaking out into a song constantly and or their enjoyment of musicals. I can see Across The Universe becoming a cult movie that some people will want to watch repeatedly and share with others as an experience. I'd love to see a movie like this done with the music catalogs of 10CC, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and Supertramp.
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