By Felix Vasquez Jr. | March 3, 2007

Forget “Hot Fuzz” (my review forthcoming), forget “Grindhouse,” forget “300,” and forget “TMNT” (Yes, I intend to see that), one of the more unnoticed films I’m dying to watch this year is the musical “Across the Universe.”

I’ve been looking forward to it for a good while now, but after finally viewing the full trailer on cable, I found myself rather giddy, I’ll admit. Slightly similar to Baz Lurhmann’s “Moulin Rouge,” the upcoming musical takes pre-established classic songs and formats them as numbers during the musical.

“Across the Universe” takes the weighty task of grabbing a large list of songs from “The Beatles” and arranging them to fit the story of free love, and romance in the sixties era.

Now sure, there have been many experiences that have accomplished the task, particularly the “Love” album from Cirque De Soleil, which remixes and combines many of the Beatles classics to form one of the best albums I’ve heard in years, but “Across the Universe” looks like it may actually be a hell of a musical.

This is probably my fourth entry on the blogs writing about The Beatles, but goddamnit, I just love the band. Seconded to Zeppelin, I find myself often intrigued by this foursome whose music stays with me for days on end.

From the opening of “Girls” being sung by star Sturgess, I was hooked. Living through the times of the Vietnam war, as a hippie, and romancing a woman named Lucy played by the always good Evan Rachel Wood, “Across the Universe” looks like a mixture of “Moulin Rouge” a la Pink Floyd with a likely trippy series of visuals director Julie Taymor sold me on, immediately.

The Beatles music always seems to tell a story of its own, garnering conversation, and “Across the Universe” seems to have the right idea. Even if its doomed to be a limited release, or a wide release I’m still compelled to see what’s in store for us.

Sure, “Across the Universe” is everything the Beatles were trying to stray from. Commercialism, exploitation, and using the music to sell a product, but the trailer is still so damn entertaining, in the end. I just can’t deny it. And the film pales in comparison to using “Getting Better” to sell TV’s.

With any luck, I won’t regret spending money on the ticket for this. Come September, I’ll see if my expectations are met with a thrill, or more disappointment. I can wish.


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  1. Thanks Phil! I’m planning on getting that and “Let it Be.”

    I’m also trying to get ahold of “Pop Gear,” which isn’t on DVD or VHS.

  2. Phil Hall says:

    Felix, you really need to check out “All This and World War II.” I wrote about that a while back in The Bootleg Files — that was the 1976 flick that linked covers of Beatles tunes to WW2-era newsreels and propaganda films. It is still a bootleg-only DVD (a commercial release is unlikely since clearing the music rights would probably cost more than the occupation of Iraq), but I can tell you where to find it.

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