Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies - Across The Universe

Well, we didn't actually go to the movies this Thursday but we did rent Across the Universe last weekend so I thought I'd share my thoughts. This movie came out last year, and for some reason I'd been avoiding it. Perhaps it's because the time frame in the movie corresponds to my own early adulthood (or at least late teen years) and the characters in the movie are roughly the age I was then. As Jude in the movie would say "I donno". But the movie is wonderful. In case you don't know anything about the movie at all, its a musical based entirely on Beatles music. For the most part it works without too much contrivance (there is a girl in the movie named Prudence, who I think is in the movie just so they can sing "Dear Prudence").

If you don't like the Beatles, then you might as well click away to another site.

The movie does not feature any actual Beatles recordings, all the songs are sung by the cast. The cast is composed largely of unknowns but the singing and acting is first rate. There are some wonderful cameos (Joe Cocker, Bono and a hilarious Eddie Izzard as Mr. Kite).

It's not a particularly original story: boy meets girl in a New York City co-op apartment after girl's boyfriend is killed in Vietnam; boy looses girl when she gets radicalized against the war and he gets deported back to England; boy gets girl when he sings in an impromptu roof-top concert. You know, same old stuff.

There are a lot of cultural (like the roof-top concert) and historical references built into the movie which you may not get if you're much younger than 50, but there are many layers of enjoyment in the movie. My wife is too young to recognize many of the references but she loved the movie anyway. Rent it, you'll like it.

I give it 4.5 capes. Here's the trailer.

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