Thursday, September 27, 2007

Across the Universe

This movie made me mad. It made me mad because it had all the right elements to make a great epic movie (The Beatles, Julie Taymor, and young new actors with distinct voices and looks) and yet it didn't work. So here is the list of what didn't work:

1.) There was no focus. What was was the story about, whose story was it, and why should we care? Also, the concept was also all over the place in style.
2.) There was no character development. We get snippets of the different main characters for the first ten minutes of the movie cutting into each other and then we are into the movie. So when things happen to all the characters, we don't care. We don't know anything about them. We are still waiting for our introduction.
3.) The cinematography was boring. I expected every shot to be beautiful or interesting. A lot of it was just boring realistic looking medium shots. Why would you do this in a musical? Musicals have an inherited sense of fantasy, which was ignored by the filming of this.
4.) The tone of the piece was confusing. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it kitchy? Was it making a serious point? Who knows.
5.) Julie Taymor reused lots of things she has done before. She used music from Titus, masks from other shows, and that deer image and dog head from Titus too. It was as if someone else made the movie and decided to throw in some Taymor style just for the hell of it.

There were some scenes where fantasy was explored. Those were more successful and could have been even more crazy. It seemed like the purpose of this movie was to somehow fit Beatles' songs into a plot, however awkwardly, just to do it. It wasn't done with purpose or style. The whole thing reminded me of a horrible ripoff of High School Musical meets Moulin Rouge thrown in with some Titus aesthetics. In fact Baz Luhrmann, would have really made this story sing. I think he has a better understanding of pop music and it's purpose.

The main character is an artist. Only once did his art get used in a song sequence. Why didn't they tie into his drawings, and show how the world around him influenced his art which influenced the songs?

This is one of those pieces where you just want to take all the good ideas of it and remake it yourself. Maybe in ten years I will.

A to the S grade: C
Teacher Comments: This was average in every way. The only things that saved this were the actors and the music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I give it an EFF! Bad bad bad.

Love, Wes.