Across the Universe

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Postby darkjedijaina on Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:38 pm

There are movies that entertain, and there are movies that move a certain place deep within our spirits. I believe I've heard it said that the music is always playing, some just don't hear it. I'd like to think that's the case with this movie.

For starters, it is a musical. Do not think for a moment that it won't follow the rules of being a musical. Perhaps that is where the confusion lies. Musicals are almost always a transcendental experience; I believe the mixture of the arts is what brings us to that plane. As a rule, a musical is most always a love story, whether it be love of country, love of self, or love of another. The outcomes vary, but the experience of it is always the same, for certainly we have all felt betrayed at times, certainly we have all made mistakes that have cost us greatly, but at the end we always learn a lesson.

This movie told a deep and moving story, and the root of it, I believe is found in the conversation with Max and Lucy's parents at Thanksgiving dinner. Max tells his father that he is quitting school, upon hearing this his father asks him "what he plans to do". Max argues that it's not what a man does with his life that defines him, it's who he is. When Jude is asked this question he replies with, "Surely it's the way that you do what you do."

I do not think there are any negative connotations towards the hippie movement in this movie. Truly, I don't believe there are any negative vibes towards anyone. That's not what the movie is about. It's not about the revolution, it's not about the war, it's not really about love, not in the sense of Jude and Lucy. It's about self-love. It's about respect. It's about finding your place in the world and getting there.

I cried several times during this movie because the experience was just beautiful. I've not felt this way about a movie since The Fountain, and I think that movie was the first of its kind to hit me the way that it did. Some highlights for me were "Let It Be", "Dear Prudence" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". At first, "Strawberry Fields Forever" didn't sit well with me, but then as I listened to the lyrics along with what was actually happening onscreen and emotionally with the characters, I caught the beauty of it. "Hey Jude" is basically the beginning of the resolution. It's what I was speaking of before when I mentioned the point of the movie - finding your place in the world and getting there.

This movie helped me to remember that I, and we all, have a place in this world. It helped me to see that no matter what I'm going through, someone else out there is going through the exact same thing. It helped me remember that it's not about the destination, that we don't have to 'be' somewhere in our lives. It's the journey there that matters.
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Postby RogueScribner on Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:30 am

Well now I don't know what to think!


I guess it's a DVD rental for me. Safer that way.
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Postby junesquad on Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:19 am

RogueScribner wrote:Well now I don't know what to think!


I guess it's a DVD rental for me. Safer that way.


I didn't care for it at all and was sadly disappointed. DVD probably would be safer.
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Postby darkjedijaina on Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:49 am

It's a polarizing movie, just as The Fountain was. If you like movies that have a depth to them that most people don't care to look at or grasp and don't have a problem with them re-doing songs of The Beatles to do so, then by all means, see the movie. Go. Now. If not, wait for it.
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:32 am

It's the music that's keeping me away. Moulin Rouge! pissed me off and I didn't have any strong feelings about most of the songs massacred in that waste of celluloid. Tommy is still something of a nightmare for me. I know this film can't be as bad as Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It may be a good film. I might enjoy it for the most part. I was quite taken with Taymor's Frida, and Titus was stunning to look at. But I really don't want to hear other people singing Beatles music for a couple of hours. I think I'll protect myself from another assault on the Northern Songs catalog until the DVD arrives.
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Postby junesquad on Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:25 am

darkjedijaina wrote:It's a polarizing movie, just as The Fountain was. If you like movies that have a depth to them that most people don't care to look at or grasp and don't have a problem with them re-doing songs of The Beatles to do so, then by all means, see the movie. Go. Now. If not, wait for it.


I enjoyed one half of it... it was just the drug trips that seemed to kill it for me. It seemed to jar me out of the movie and keep me disoriented/confused. I thought that maybe this was their intentions, but I just couldn't get comfortable. I loved the love story in it though.
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Postby darkjedijaina on Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:22 am

junesquad wrote:
darkjedijaina wrote:It's a polarizing movie, just as The Fountain was. If you like movies that have a depth to them that most people don't care to look at or grasp and don't have a problem with them re-doing songs of The Beatles to do so, then by all means, see the movie. Go. Now. If not, wait for it.


I enjoyed one half of it... it was just the drug trips that seemed to kill it for me. It seemed to jar me out of the movie and keep me disoriented/confused. I thought that maybe this was their intentions, but I just couldn't get comfortable. I loved the love story in it though.


i didn't find them to be confusing at all. it was just a visual feast of what was really happening within the characters as well as the story at the time. for instance, on Strawberry Fields Forever, Jude is struggling with his anger. He's not sure if their love is real or not. And Max is struggling with the war. So it intertwines the two, unsure of what is real. Imagine being in that war, you wouldn't know what was real as far as sounds you heard. It could just be an animal in the brush, or it could be an enemy soldier. When it shows the naked Asian women falling into the water, that's what it must've looked like to Max, seeing those bodies that he had killed. I dunno, I just thought that the drug induced scenes were meant to show you a deeper side of what was going on, in the same way that art does.
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Postby junesquad on Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:38 am

darkjedijaina wrote:
junesquad wrote:
darkjedijaina wrote:It's a polarizing movie, just as The Fountain was. If you like movies that have a depth to them that most people don't care to look at or grasp and don't have a problem with them re-doing songs of The Beatles to do so, then by all means, see the movie. Go. Now. If not, wait for it.


I enjoyed one half of it... it was just the drug trips that seemed to kill it for me. It seemed to jar me out of the movie and keep me disoriented/confused. I thought that maybe this was their intentions, but I just couldn't get comfortable. I loved the love story in it though.


i didn't find them to be confusing at all. it was just a visual feast of what was really happening within the characters as well as the story at the time. for instance, on Strawberry Fields Forever, Jude is struggling with his anger. He's not sure if their love is real or not. And Max is struggling with the war. So it intertwines the two, unsure of what is real. Imagine being in that war, you wouldn't know what was real as far as sounds you heard. It could just be an animal in the brush, or it could be an enemy soldier. When it shows the naked Asian women falling into the water, that's what it must've looked like to Max, seeing those bodies that he had killed. I dunno, I just thought that the drug induced scenes were meant to show you a deeper side of what was going on, in the same way that art does.


I'll watch it again when it comes to the $2.50 theater and decided for certain whether I like it or not. I hated Rent the first time I saw it and now it is one of my all-time favorites.
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Postby DaleTremont on Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:33 pm

darkjedijaina wrote:It's a polarizing movie, just as The Fountain was. If you like movies that have a depth to them that most people don't care to look at or grasp and don't have a problem with them re-doing songs of The Beatles to do so, then by all means, see the movie. Go. Now. If not, wait for it.


I'm sorry but I just couldn't disagree more. I thought they took the shallowest possible interpretation of Beatles songs. To me it seemed like Taymour completely ignored any and all subtext and just went with the literal visual translation of the lyrics: hence- a girl named Prudence coming out of a closet, a canvas with a bunch of strawberries on it, soldiers carrying a female statue that weighs a ton. When I listened to the Beatles for the first time, obviously you have all this trippy psychadelic shit going on, but I was more moved because of what could be underneath all that. Layers of meaning that are significant in different ways to different people, but what is always true, I think, is that there is something subversive about the songs. In the same way "rock n' roll" was code in the 50s for a kind of music kids didn't want their parents to understand, the Beatles' music was code for an ethos only understood by the children of the 60s. This is why "Across the Universe" pissed me off so much. Because I didn't see any of that in the movie. Probably why so many people suggested Taymor only listened to those songs once before schlepping together that bungled effort of a movie musical.

This is one of those things where the most brilliant people involved are the ones who cut the trailer.
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Postby darkjedijaina on Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:46 pm

you talk about the one scene with them carrying the statue of liberty. to me, that represented the current "advancement of democracy" which is a reflection of what once was. sure, the song may not have anything to do with it, but she took it to a deeper level there. something the beatles may or may not have intended, but that's the beauty of art. it means something different to each person that looks at it. take a picasso. it has varying degrees and held up to the light it can look a different way to some. if it doesn't jive with you, then it doesn't.
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Postby DaleTremont on Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:02 pm

darkjedijaina wrote:you talk about the one scene with them carrying the statue of liberty. to me, that represented the current "advancement of democracy" which is a reflection of what once was. sure, the song may not have anything to do with it, but she took it to a deeper level there. something the beatles may or may not have intended, but that's the beauty of art. it means something different to each person that looks at it. take a picasso. it has varying degrees and held up to the light it can look a different way to some. if it doesn't jive with you, then it doesn't.


Okay. You're right about the statue of liberty scene. There was a deeper meaning to that, but it was so in-your-face as to be laughable. Maybe it's not my thing, but I can't imagine someone- no matter how democratic or liberal minded- nodding their head solemnly at the sight of soldiers carrying the statue of liberty on their backs tromping on mini-palm trees in Vietnam singing "She's So Heavy." That's comedy to me. That's a stone's throw away from having an image of Mcnamara swooping across the screen with horns painted on his head and a French devil mustache.

Sorry, but I can't let it go yet
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I must rant to get out my frustration at the perversion of the Beatles.
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Postby Will Scarlet on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:45 pm

Was forced into renting this by Beatle and 60's fans in the house. I wanted to kill myself. There wasn't a breath between songs. I'm sorry, but I can't think of anything good to say about this....this...waste of film and bastardization of Beatles music. There was nothing even remotely as thought provoking as the Fountain in this screenplay. I have to agree with the earlier advice. Have a bowl handy for vomiting into. Better yet, save your money and and your brain and don't see it at all.

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Postby junesquad on Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:29 pm

Will Scarlet wrote:Was forced into renting this by Beatle and 60's fans in the house. I wanted to kill myself. There wasn't a breath between songs. I'm sorry, but I can't think of anything good to say about this....this...waste of film and bastardization of Beatles music. There was nothing even remotely as thought provoking as the Fountain in this screenplay. I have to agree with the earlier advice. Have a bowl handy for vomiting into. Better yet, save your money and and your brain and don't see it at all.

W.S.


I agree... completely... and totally... Please don't see this film. I have turned into a hater. I was so excited about this film and went to see it and..... HATED IT... and hated them for making me excited about it... and for making me waste my money.... and for making me waste my date night with my wife... for it.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:56 pm

I still haven't seen this, but I got stuck listening to the soundtrack during a long car ride with my sister who inexplicably LOVED it.

It's like the Beatles as sung by the Disney chorus...it hurts. It just hurts.

I don't think visuals would help, so I'm skipping it. The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure my sister hates the Beatles, which is probably why she liked it so much.
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Postby Bob Samonkey on Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:01 pm

So she is an Elvis fan...?
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:23 pm

Bob Poopflingius Maximus wrote:So she is an Elvis fan...?


She IS! Or she used to be. I'm not sure where he fits into her indie-emo tastes these days...
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Postby Toonol on Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:18 pm

I was somewhat interested in this, but also a little worried... I love the Beatles, but generally dislike covers, and really, really, disliked Moulin Rouge.

So I didn't see this in the theater, deciding to rent it instead. Ended up liking it. Really, really, liking it.

It's not The Fountain; there is not a lot of depth here. It's steeped in symbolism, but it is the superficial kind... like the statue of liberty that is referenced above. It's not intellectually challenging. But it is beautiful. And it tries very hard, and it treats the music seriously. I don't mind at all that the characters are named Lucy, Prudence, Jude, etc... or that the events in the movie are based on the events in the songs. Why wouldn't they be?

And I liked the covers a lot more than I thought I would. Some of them were very different interpretations than the original, but they weren't made into pop fluff. The film's version of "Let it Be" was jaw-dropping.

This is one of those movies I wouldn't attempt to change anybodies' mind about, though. If you don't like it, it's not because you're lacking in taste, or "don't get it." It's just a movie that appeals very strongly to a narrow segment of the audience.
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Postby Bean on Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:56 pm

This movie is a complete waste of time, and complete and utter crap. The only thing that lets me sleep at night after watching this train wreck is that I didn't pay to see it, I downloaded it. PHEW!

Okay so:

I hate musicals. FUCKING hate them. This doesn't mean I go see a musical with this in mind, I actually want to like musicals, but every time I see them I lose my faith in humanity. The scenes are so awkward when characters are talking, and then just break out into random song. Fucking awkward as hell. What if you were having a fight with your girl, and she broke out into a song that semi-captures the feelings she is having about the fight. You'd tell her to GET THE FUCK OUT right? And where were all the auditions and choreographing practice for the people in the music scenes. Am I supposed to believe that OUT OF NO WHERE a character starts singing a terribly mashed up Beatles song (more on that in a second) and every one in the street follows lead and does a perfectly choreographed dance to help 'illustrate' the emotion of the scene? Fuck that. That is ALF. Try using dialog to get points across.

Now it's not just any songs, mind you, it's the BEATLES. So we're supposed to know and love the songs. But that is DISTRACTING as all hell. They break out into song and you're like "okay... I know this song but why is this emo-hippie singing it like that?" You have the original in your head, and the musical version sucks worse than the original did (yeah, the Beatles kind of suck. This movie made me hate them. Maybe that is how I should have written this review. "THIS MOVIE MAKES YOU HATE THE BEATLES." Then every one could stay away). Another reason why the Beatles music sucks in this movie? They try to force meaning into the song so it makes sense in the scene it is being sung in. But again, THIS DOES NOT WORK. AT ALL. NOT ONCE. Strawberry Fields? It's about LSD... but in Across the Universe, the main character, Jude (WOW I BET YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING! Guess his girlfriend's name? LUCY! Nope you didn't see that either.), has an angry-artist-montage and he, get this, starts throwing strawberries and bashing them to pulp and painting strawberries with the strawberry pulp. While singing Strawberry Fields. Does. Not. Work. Not even a little.

I haven't even gotten to the story yet! That's because the story is so cliche and laughable there's no real point in talking about it.

Okay, I'll talk about it.

Every single moment and every single character is forced and contrived and again cliche. It's become cliche to say that something is cliche, but this entire fucking movie IS A CLICHE!!! Jude and a friend go to New York City and meet some craaaazy characters (Jimi Hendrix, Yoko, political active hippie). Not once did I believe any of these people were not characters who were acting from a script.

Then they start experimenting with drugs. BUT you can only tell because they meet Bono from U2 who wears a cowboy hat and drives a magic school bus and sings to them "I am the Walrus". But you never see them do the drugs. It's a wink wink nudge nudge kind of deal. So one moment they are at a party, the next moment on a psychedelic journey that ends them up at who knows where. Literally the characters have no idea where they are or why there are there. Bono leaves them there. There is no reason nor is there a point to this trip but it happens none the less. It's at this point they meet another CRAAAAZY character who puts on another psychedelic show. For no reason. When they leave the tent the characters do their obligatory "Hehe that was fun!" and "Wow!" and "I hope this transition from a song to acting won't be awkward" acting.

That is how the 'story' unfolds. One random moment after another. Apparently the Jimi and Joplin characters had a fight and they duke it out typical musical style: WITH MUSIC! But Jude and Lucy take the cake with their music fight. It is the single most laughable and pathetic moment I've ever seen in a movie. Absolutely laughable. I'm angry at you so I'm going to sing about it. It's completely ridiculous.

God damnit I hate musicals.
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Postby DaleTremont on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:06 pm

Someone's hate to rival my own!

I was thinking about renting this to give it another shot. But I don't know if I could stand it.

I love musicals, but to me this is the perfect example of why people hate them.
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Postby so sorry on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:13 pm

well, the only musical I've ever LOVED is West Side Story, which is one of my Top Ten of all time. But that's because its a fantastic story, and superbly acted, and happens to have singing and dancing in it.

Wether or not you like musicals, Across the Universe looked super ALF, singing or no singing.
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Postby Bean on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:14 pm

DaleTremont wrote:Someone's hate to rival my own!

I was thinking about renting this to give it another shot. But I don't know if I could stand it.

I love musicals, but to me this is the perfect example of why people hate them.


Where's a poll on this thing? I can't imagine anyone really LOVES this movie... I'd say a 5 would be the average rating. Even if you like musicals, this thing is a complete waste of your time.

I want to give it a -1.
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