November 7, 2009

#047: Across The Universe

I am a bit late on seeing this film. When Across The Universe was first released I decided that I would probably never watch it. It just didn't look like my kind of movie. Once it had come out on dvd I started hearing more about it. I knew people that hated it, and others that really enjoyed it. I wasn't interested enough to rent the dvd from Netflix, but they had it as a "watch instant" option, so I added it to my queue. I never got around to watching it. Then Netflix made available streaming to the PS3, so I finally decided to give Across The Universe a try. Quickly I could tell this movie wasn't going to be my usual cup of tea. I have never been a big fan of musical theater, and Across The Universe has a lot of the same characteristics. It was very odd to hear these iconic Beatles songs performed by random singers; most accompanied by choreographed dance numbers. It was all very weird, and I didn't know how to react to it. I am a fan of the Beatles, and I am wonder what Beatles purists thought about this film. The musical pieces were loosely strung together by a plot, which wasn't always the easiest to follow. At times the story felt like the central focus of the film, and the music was there to support it. At other times I felt like the music was the centerpiece, and the story merely served to take us from one song to the next. I am still not sure how to react to it all, but I will say that I liked Across The Universe more than I expected to. However, I did have very low expectations. There were some enjoyable performances, along with some pretty stupid ones. I hate to ride the fence on any movie, and this is a tough one. I can totally see why people loved the film, and I can also see why others hated it. Ultimately I got bored with it and my mind was wandering by the halfway point. I wanted to be able to skip to the next musical piece then choose whether to watch it or continue on to the next. For what it was, it seemed pretty well done. However, I don't think I really got it. By this time anybody who had interest has already seen it. I will not attempt to convince anybody to see it that didn't already have an inkling to. If you have Netflix, there is no harm in firing it up on the "watch instantly" and seeing how it strikes you.

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