When music artists need a boost in their carrers, they usually resort to covering another artist's songs (e.g. Eric Clapton (I Shot The Sheriff) and Brian Ferry (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall). When artists cover The Beatles, it never works. Ever.
But what about actors covering The Beatles?
The movie, set in the 1960's, tells the story of Jude (Jim Sturgess), a teenager from Liverpool that becomes swept up in the love and unrest of the 60's, with a little help from his friends Max, Sadie, JoJo, Prudence and Jude's love interest Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood)
'Across The Universe' is one of those movies that can be painful and enertaining at the same time. One of the ways it can be painful is the crowbarring of Beatles references every chance they get, especially with the names of the characters. Also about 3/4 of the covers are terrible, due to their 're-imagining', which wasn't necessary in the first place on account of the fact that the songs were just fine the way they were. The songs sung by Sadie are done in a Janis Joplin style, which doesn't work at all but the worst songs in the movie are the ones by Bono (I Am The Walrus) and Eddie Izzard (Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!). Just watch and see why:
However, not all the songs are bad. Jim Sturgess' cover of 'I've Just Seen A Face' is excellent, along with Joe Cocker's 'Come Together'. What stands out is the visuals, which are a mix of psychadelic imagery and gritty realism to demonstrate the shifts between the Summer of Love and Vietnam scenes in the film.
On the whole, Across The Universe is a honest effort to do The Beatles justice and place their music in the perspective of the time they were recorded. Some aspects fail spectaculary, but it all depends what mood you are in. For eye candy, it's perfect. But as a film, not so perfect.
3 out of 5
Next up is.........something I haven't decided yet.
If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. Thanks for reading