Yesterday’s Dilettante.

Saw Across the Universe with my parents this weekend. Though the thing runs a bit long and the first 20 minutes or so made me question why I was watching it, overall I greatly enjoyed the film. There are a few musical numbers that make the whole thing worth watching. Specifically, a gospel version of Let It Be that gave me chills and a scary military version of I Want You that gave me a different sort of chill. I’d like to buy a copy of the film on DVD so I could watch it again, this time leaving out the story line and quite a few of the more subdued songs to watch the big production numbers. They were a lot of fun. The film has gotten pretty horrible reviews. I see the point some reviewers make about the story line being shallow, but I would argue that it has to be in a musical that has over 30 songs. Anything more complex would compete with the songs, many of which advance the story.

There are plenty of tidbits to nibble on throughout. A character named Max uses a little silver hammer. A girl named Prudence climbs through a bathroom window. An afro-ed guitar slinger named JoJo looks like Hendrix and his girlfriend looks (a little) like a non-stinky, heterosexual Janis. Bono’s Dr. Robert (Ken Kesey) takes his friends (Merry Pranksters) on a bus to meet with Mr. Geary (Timothy Leary).

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