Two hands. After tonight that's what I need to count the movies that I've seen this year. James Bond: Casino Royale, (x2) The Bourne Ultimatum, The Ringer, Live Free or Die Hard and last night, Across the Universe. There may be one or two more, but I don't think so. In any case, I would definitely put Across the Universe in my top five of the year.
I did enjoy the movie. Now those who know me probably could have expected one of two knee jerk reactions, either I'll love the movie because of all the Beatles songs and references, or I'll hate it because of all the Beatles covers that don't measure up to the glorious originals. Actually I fell somewhere in between. I definitely liked the movie, and the songs were quite well done. I didn't like all the versions, Helter Skelter stuck out as one I really didn't enjoy, but for the most part the considerable vocal talents of the cast made for excellent cover versions. I felt that the story lacked and was carried by the music, but of course I would rate Beatles music as the highlight of the movie. Despite my considerable bias, I think that the story was weak, undoubtedly written to fit the music instead of the other way around.
A cool thing happened because of the movie; I rediscovered how amazing the Beatles catalogue actually is. The cliché states that familiarity breeds contempt and I am very familiar with Beatles songs. For this reason I don't generally put on a lot of Beatles cds, I've heard them too many times before. However, last night and this morning I've been playing all my albums and really enjoying a rediscovered love of the GREATEST BAND EVER period.
I had a hard time watching the movie and trying not to sing along, although I was generally successful. I also had a hard time trying not to fall for whichever girl was singing, I was generally unsuccessful. During the credits they played Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and I was tempted to start singing along in an attempt to get the audience to all sing it. I wimped out though, I don't know if everyone could be counted on to love the music as much as I do. Perhaps on opening night it would have worked. I might put the soundtrack on my Christmas wish list although generally I don't have to because when it comes to me and Beatles stuff, people already know.