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"Across the Universe" reviews...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject: "Across the Universe" reviews... Reply with quote

I'm reading a wide variety of reviews for "Across the Universe", the new film based on the music of the Beatles. Having seen and like Benny and Bjorn's ABBA themed "Mamma Mia" on stage, I can understand how nostalgia can make up for paper thin characters in a contrived plot, but I'm surprised because this isn't an original concept.

Perhaps "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" simply hadn't waited long enough for nostalgia to build or perhaps well known acts like the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton were too much of a direct insult to the Fab Four, but one would think that having lived through "Sergeant Pepper's" would have spoiled the market for this concept.

Dr. Frank Swietek certainly saw it that way, cutting to the damning comparison is his thesis with, "The Beatles survived Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, so they'll survive Julie Taymor, too. But lovers of their music may not find 'Across the Universe' much more tolerable than 1978's wretched 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'

On the other hand, Roger Ebert gave "Across the Universe" four stars, saying "Here is a bold, beautiful, visually enchanting musical where we walk into the theater humming the songs. Julie Taymor's 'Across the Universe' is an audacious marriage of cutting-edge visual techniques, heart-warming performances, 1960s history and the Beatles songbook. Sounds like a concept that might be behind its time, but I believe in yesterday.'

These are just two examples. Swietek isn't the only reviewer to connect this film to the late seventies camporama, which could best be described as "The Beatles meet H.R. Puff 'n' Stuff", except that reference is equally dated. Younger people than me with young children like mine might have come across a Nickelodeon import called "Lazy Town" that also captures the tone of "Sergeant Pepper's."

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