Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's been a while since I recorded ACROSS THE UNIVERSE on my DVR, and even longer since it came out, so I'm way behind on reviewing this, but it's pretty much a complete mess. I love Julie Taymor, especially TITUS and FRIDA (maybe she should stick to five-letter titles), but this is a misfire.

One could argue that this should have been easy with all the Beatles music, but the truth is that Beatles covers are very hard to pull off, and this movie supports that. A much bigger problem than the music is the story itself, which is maudlin and portentous. The dialogue scenes are so bad, it's like they cut the dialogue scenes out of a porno and stuck them in here. The musical sequences are better, but the best ones happen in the second half of the film, long after I had lost interest in anything going on.

Early on the visual design is not very creative, but again it gets better later on. Perhaps the most inspired sequence turns "I Want You" into an army recruiting song with robot-like automatons dancing in army uniforms.

I can't recommend this.
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