Friday, February 09, 2007


After reading Justin's blog, I checked out the trailer for this Across the Universe movie that is coming out.

Here's why I'm not going to like it.

I don't want to see some fruity as musical take a dump on the music of the Beatles and put it together in a Rentesque story of issues and the like. There are a few things that make it look intriguing, but I'm all for musicals. But why not make original music and songs? Are songwriters no longer good enough? What happened to the Andrew Lloyd Webbers and Tim Rice's of the world who made stylistic songs that go with the times but are original?

I'm not saying this is going to go the route of Moulin Rouge which used pre-written songs out of context and from all different eras (seriosuly?? Like a Virgin? Smell's Like Teen Spirit? Silly Love Songs?? Come on now... ) I know the arguement FOR Moulin Rouge is that it was doing something different with those songs but it didn't do a good job of it. Spend the money, hire songwriters and music artists and make something original. That and Nicole Kidman singing is probably not the best way to go... oh wait... she was up for an Oscar for that movie. Jeez-oo.

Across the Universe looks more intriguing, however, cuz they are using the songs of the time and place for the setting of the story. But I garuntee it won't transfer over well. It's just going to look silly seeing some fruit cake butcher "Hey Jude" and "Girl" as can be heard in the trailer.

The visuals look pretty sweet, but I dunno. That can't be the only reason why I want to see it.

The other negative thing this movie is going to do is teach new generations that these shitty singers are the ones who sing songs like "Across the Universe" and "All You Need Is Love" and, even though The Beatles were not my generation, will piss me off to high hell. I know Kevner isn't a huge Beatles guy, but this is going to misinform so many youths about the real music artists behind such classic songs.

That being said, I am going to see this in the theater and hopefully will be pleasently surprised.

I'm looking first here for objections from Kevner who loves Baz Luhrman's over-the-top bloated film fests. Seriously dude. Moulin Rouge? *shudders* And don't try to act like I'm Stev writing off a movie I've never seen just because Bow Wow is in it before seeing it (seriously 3 Fast 3 Furious is the best in the series). I had to sit through MR several times when working at Wow and with girlfriends. So I know the movie and I've given it a chance. (No offense Stev, I just wanted to make sure that you know that I appreciate the Bow Wow genre a little too much, so i still value your opinions [sometimes {shut ups Hymen, I mean Simon.]])

Also, Leo, any reason why you think this is going to be good? Just because its Beatles songs in a musical? Seriously. The one line in the trailer "I got a date with Uncle Sam??" sounds ridiculous.
If their isn't a scene where the comedic relief sings "Fixing A Hole" while doing silly dance moves a la "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain, or a scene where the mom and dad of the young girl sing "She's Leaving Home" duet style in a heart felt moment, I will hate it.

P.S.- Anyone notice the radio single version of "Let It Be" has a shitastic guitar solo, but the UK album version has an awesome one? Hate that.

P.P.S.- I plan on doing a post-WWII German epic with the songs of Kraftwerk soon. The 22-minute tap dance extravaganza to "Autobahn" is going to be mind numbing.


Anonymous said...

I cracked up at the post-pener slap.

I think you know how much I hate Moulin Rouge as well from High School days of Rowena and Kevin wanting to watch it. All. The Fucking. Time.

I agree that his preview was pretty eyeball-roll inducing and from the first few seconds had me counting down to the Vietnam shot.

I understand the value of using Beatle songs for something like this as it was THE universal (no pun intended) music of the sixties; but I'm not expecting anything great.

I (enjoyed [the {triple} brackets])

j. leo said...

Oh man! That called me out like five times. Well, I'm here to respond.

I'm excited for simple reasons: I like visuals a lot. I like rock music a lot. I can accept a pretty movie with great music even if the other aspects don't quite work out. I didn't realize it was all covers, because I was watching it on a bad sound system. But is that necessarily a bad thing? It's a tribute to them, so if they have different bands making tributes, I can't object to that. It's like those tributes to Dylan (who's gonan have his own crazy bio film coming out soon) or other people.

I certainly don't agree with the idea that original music is always the best. Getting the rights to good songs works just fine for me. Hell, we just talked about how great Children of Men was. Didn't you high five everyone you knew when you heard Radiohead, Crimson, and the like? I know you did.

Now, if these are covers and the actual actors are doing it, I don;t know. I just thought it looked like a whimsical film, with a Beatles heavy soundtrack, kind of like The Big Chill was with 60's and 70's rock. It reminded me of Punch Drunk Love for some reason, and that was certainly centered around a unqiue musical style (Popeye love song??? and Jon Brion's genius). If it is in fact an actual musical, that's different. I don;t know if people will accept another MR, though I liked that one.

Maybe I'm a sucker for flashy Andy Warhol pop and such, but I loved it when the guy in MR grunted out Roxxanne. I just enjoyed the juxtaposition of pop music in a really arthouse fashion. I don;t know if this will or will not be another MR, but I'm on board.

If I ever produced my thesis script, I would want a soundtrack that included great songs from all my faves. I pictured certain songs like Wilco's Misunderstood and Of Montreal,s Forecast Fascist Future whilst writing scenes. I think it goes hand in hand sometimes.

We'll see. If it ends up being a wild music video without enough substance.... well... some people said that about Science of Sleep (not me) and I loved it very much. I'm excited.

PS: And for the record, Nicole HATED moulin but really wants to see this. So not everyone even sees a connection.

PPS: And I'll give you a Pener Slap of my own. Baz Luhrman's first movie, Strictly Ballroom, is actually pretty hilarious in parts. It starts out like a Chris Guest film in the competetive dance world. Don;t bash Baz.

Anonymous said...

I'll save my argument as to why Science of Sleep had substance after Paul sees it.

Paul Tsikitas said...

I'm getting to Science of Sleep soon enough. I'm still sore I missed it in theaters.

j. leo said...

I think Science of Sleep absolutely had substance. I wouldn't make it my # 1 if it didn't. I'm just saying, a lot of other people didn't think so.

PS: And Kevner agress with you guys on this one, so I'll have to be in the minority. Of course, we'll just have to wait until it comes out to really judge.

PPS: And on an unrelated note, =you should check out the doc This Film is Not Yet Rated. Pretty funny and scary stuff. Even more evidence of what I'm up against.

Kev said...

Frankly, I'm hurt that you have assumed I would in any way, shape, or form defend Across the Universe. I think its because of my fondness for Moulin Rouge that you should realize why I would hate a movie that seems to be stealing the idea so much. Plus, they just stole the plot of Hair. It looks terrible and I will cry because you and Justin don't know me as well as you should.

Paul Tsikitas said...

Kev, I didn't say you would like this movie. I was waiting for objections to my harshing of Moulin Rouge.

Jelone! said...

what the fuck is up with Uncle Sam near the end of the trailer? And then Willy Wonka shows up?

Kev said...

Ok, good, I've stopped crying. Hey, man, we can't agree on everything. So I won't complain. The only reason I would see Across the Universe is if Jelone were in it, and since he doesn't know what's up with Uncle Sam's cameo, then he wasn't in it. Oh well.

NICKEL said...

You all need to get laid.

j. leo said...

Dude, Autobahn would be pretty great. I would pay money to see any band that meshes Flea and Stormare.

Fine, I guess I haven't convinced anyone. Forgive me for being such a fucking optimist. I like to believe in stuff. I like giving some movies the benefit of the doubt, because I know 90 % of the ones coming out now are going to make me feel very, very ill.

Man, I need a vacation. There's too much craziness going on... oh, that's right, I'll be in Cabo this weekend while y'all are freeezing your asses off.

so S*CK IT!

Ealer said...

Keeping in mind that I have zero desire to see this movie, as I find myself unable to even utter the word 'musical' without a passing feeling of nausea, let alone voluntarily pay money to see one...

Paul, I think you're missing the point of this movie. Using original songwriting would undermine the idea of writing a story around the works of the band.

As far as your fear that whatever young blood actually catches this flick will be impregnated with the false sense that these struggling actors are providing the defining performance of these songs, I wouldn't worry about it. Looks to me like they're going out of their way to market this thing properly as a musical of the works of The Beatles. And realistically, The Beatles are still very relevant in today's music world. Still popping out number ones and putting today's bands to shame, they're keeping their name and music very much alive in the minds of old fans and kids born 20+ years after the height of their success.