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|Index||31 reviews in total|
I was able to see this film at a special screening in France, and I can't get the images out of my head--it was a visual masterpiece! Avoiding the typical (and now antiquated) shooting and editing style of the band's previous pieces and (intentionally?) omitting any backstage interviews, the filmmakers have brought you to a live show in Latin America--to the center of frenzied chaos in the faster songs, grace in the slower ones and then those inexplicable moments where you promise yourself you won't tear up but do--the three best elements of a live U2 show, if you ask me. At one point, I put my hand in the air thinking I was there, because the filmmakers have cleverly positioned the cinema audience behind the live concert audience in the film--you'll even find yourself wanting to tell a guy to put his hand down in front of you, and you'll have to stop yourself. Avoiding any tacky Jaws 3-D style sight gags where any one object is pointing straight at you, the filmmakers instead just grab you, and bring you along for a visually rich and sonically groundbreaking ride--and all you'll pay is a cost of movie ticket.
I will start by saying that I am a little biased in this review because
I am a HUGE U2 fan. I have seen this band live and up close many times.
They are incredible live, no band grabs a hold of an audience the way
The new 3D film comes as close as possible to showing the viewer what it FEELS like to be at U2 concert. When this film was announced, I was afraid that the film would be a hi tech 3D thrill ride, while it might be cool to look at, the band would be obscured by the 3D theatrics. I was totally wrong!!! The way that the effect is used take nothing away from the performance. It doesn't feel gimmicky in any way. There are a couple of moments where there are some nice animated 3D graphics but they are used sparingly, but to great effect. The important element of the film of course is the band. U2 is still as passionate as ever, and even thought some critics have turned on them for being TOO BIG, they are as relevant as ever, This band's music has always been wide eyed and bigger than life.
This film capture's exactly that!!!! My only wish is that so many great songs were left out of the film.
U2 is the reason to see this film, not the 3D!!!
The peculiar thing about this report is that I am not a rock fan, not
by a long shot. Of course, I could not be allowed to live in San
Francisco without some appreciation for the Grateful Dead, but that's
When it comes to U2, I know far more about Bono's commendable social activities than of the band's performances.
A labored preamble is necessary to put this in context: "U2 3D" has simply knocked me - a passionate fan of opera and classical music - on my limited-crossover backside. It is a spectacular, musically and visually superb experience, certain to enchant any classical-music fan... if only the fan is not too fanatic to stay away. Watching it, I kept wishing for the "Ring" to be produced with this kind of passion, commitment, hanging ten every moment, and the creation of such stunning images. An important added bonus: unlike other rock films, this one is not deafening, not even in the IMAX setting.
For over a quarter-century, says the PR release, U2 has been recognized not only for their musical innovation, but for their incomparable gift for reaching millions of fans through new technologies. "U2 3D" - the first digital 3-D, multi-camera, real-time production - reflects the band's longstanding embrace of technology and its belief that "U2 3D" has the potential to revolutionize digital 3D technology. Marrying advanced digital 3-D imagery and 5.1 Surround Sound with the unique excitement of a live U2 concert, "U2 3D" takes viewers on an extraordinary cinematic journey, a quantum leap beyond traditional concert films.
Directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, "U2 3D" is a production of 3ality Digital Entertainment starring Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.
I would detail my rapture about the screening of this most stunning of concert films, but I was pre-empted: read Eliot Van Buskirk's Wired report -
"With 3-D glasses trained on the Imax screen at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, I felt I was experiencing more of the U2 concert from my theater chair than I would have in person. Chalk it up to the impossible camera angles, the breathtaking close-ups and panoramas, or the convincing nature of the latest 3-D technology, but I was really there: watching guitarist-keyboardist The Edge play a Fender Rhodes from a vantage point 4 feet above his head, seeing lead singer Bono's hand reach out to the crowd, and flying through a massive stadium lit up by thousands of cellphones waving in unison like a school of glowing sea creatures.
"The capacity crowds filling these South American soccer stadiums go absolutely mad for the music of U2. Their hands wave to the beat just a few feet in front of you. Their enthusiasm is wildly infectious.
"Every development in the history of cinema has always been about making the experience more realistic, whether going from silent to talkies, or black-and-white to color," said John Rodell, the producer I spoke with outside the theater. "We see the world in 3-D, so this is a natural progression, now that the technological limitations have been conquered."
"The 3-D format goes a long way toward making the movie great, but the film would not have been nearly as powerful with the cameras pointed at most other bands. U2's musicians are masterful performers, and the epic nature of their songs and stage act lends itself perfectly to larger-than-life treatment.
"Still, watching a movie is a passive experience; to keep viewers fully engaged for more than an hour, Sassoon Film Design added a smattering of clever visual effects somewhat reminiscent of the square that Uma Thurman's character draws in the air in 'Pulp Fiction'. Post-production staffers also added animated versions of U2's backdrop videos - most notably a series of icons suggesting that the world's major religions are one. To capture multiple band members in the same frame, the filmmakers added as many as five 3-D layers to the final cut.
"Other than that, U2 3D includes little visual or audio trickery. The band insisted that no audio overdubs be included; every note in the film was played live (although for on-stage close-ups, U2 agreed to be filmed playing one show to an empty stadium). "I could make my cat sound like a good singer with Pro Tools," said Rodell, "but we didn't use any of that. What you see there are those guys, playing that night, in front of 90,000 people."
While the 3D is fun and the graphic enhancements terrific (editors and
CGI now have a third dimension to work their magic), it's the
performance and the music that make this worth seeing. With no fuss or
delay, the concert jump starts and it's an amazing non-stop ride even
throughout the closing credits.
A special cheer to Peter Anderson and Tom Krueger's cinematography which revels in the epic size of the crowds, and places the band members in beautiful--if formal--juxtaposition to the mass of humanity that's writhing in time to the music. It's all just a little terrifying when you consider four people step out on a stage in front of these cheering numbers (I've one question: Is everyone in Argentina beautiful? I've never seen a more handsome crowd.)
Olivier Wicki eschews fancy editing and uses the impressive set piece that toured with the band and creates beautiful dissolves that include wonderful use of that new third dimension. His restraint is spectacular to watch.
Not since Demme's "Stop Making Sense" has there been such an infusion of unabashed joy on the screen for a rock concert. The song set from the Vertigo tour includes:
"Vertigo" "New Year's Day" "Beautiful Day" "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" "Love and Peace" "Sunday Bloody Sunday" "Bullet the Blue Sky" "Miss Sarajevo" "Pride (In the Name of Love)" "Where the Streets Have No Name" "One" "The Fly" "With or Without You" and, over the closing credits "Yahweh"
You really need to see this in the Imax format if at all possible, but even if forced to watch in an analog television, you'll be thrilled and touched by U2's famed skill and their social conscience.
This movie is so good. Nothing I write here can prepare you for how
good it is. I though it was crazy that people were paying more to see
this at sundance than they would pay to see the show live, but this is
100x better than being there live. We are Lucky to be able to see this
show for $10 when it hits theaters this week.
An independent film using 3-D is a phenomenon that we will start seeing more and more of. This movie makes me want to have 3d in my living room. Can't wait for the new 3d player to hit the home The director is a genius. She had every type of 3-d Camera available to her.
You will be hearing a lot about this film coming up.
I've been a U2 Fan for 25 years. Unfortunately, I've never seen them live. Until now. And boy was it worth the wait. U23D sets you front row to one of the greatest bands of all time. You feel their presence as though they are playing just for you. The 3D was astonishing, but even without it it stands as one of the greatest concert films I've seen. The lighting, camera work and music make the 85 min running time seem like 20 minutes, I personally wished it was twice as long. This world is filled with atrocities and war, But the one shining star on this planet is Bono. He is a great entertainer and one of the greatest humanitarians on this planet, and for that I praise him and for all that U2 stands for. As a planet we could learn a lot from him. But do yourself a favor, even if you are not a fan, go see this show. You will not be disappointed.
I am not a huge U2 fan, I know 3-4 songs of theirs, can sing along 2 of
those, but this movie was AMAZING! The concert was brilliant, the
direction was amazing, everything was well thought of, really worth it
actually! I just wish it was more than 80mins, I really enjoyed it.
The new Real D technology is really great, giving beautiful stereoscopic vision, with images extending in front and behind the screen. Just try to sit as close to the screen as possible, and you'll be trying to touch Bono's face or grab his microphone from his hand!
So, this movie made me want to come home and order some U2 albums, I was singing the "Beautiful day" all the way to home, and I've been told that I had this silly smile throughout the screening. All in all, I really enjoyed it and i definitely suggest to all U2 fans, and not only, to go and see this concert!
I took my husband as a Valentine adventure to the IMAX in downtown Austin. My cynical nature had me prepared for unnecessary 3-D actions, but the naturalness the band used when interacting with the cameras was a testament to what consummate performers they are. I did find myself annoyed a few times with the waving arms and the people on the shoulders only because in my enraptured state I thought it was people in the theater.....duh. Glad I fought the urge to shout, "OY! Down in front!" The disclaimer from the theater staff at the beginning about the volume level they were required to play the film at made me nervous at first as I was afraid of having ringing ears the rest of the evening. It was concert loud but not too loud and it helped cover for the fact that I ended up singing along in my nasally off-key Midwestern tones and no one around me could hear it! I wished people in the theater had gotten the urge to jump up and dance and truly immerse themselves in the concert feel of it! I would have joined in, but was too scared to be the first and perhaps only one. I like to have fun, but loathe to be "that person" that gets discussed over dinner afterward. I had to laugh at the times I flinched when crowd action caught me off-guard. I was moved by the whole experience and it made me long for the days when I was young enough to brave festival seating. Only wish I had heard The Edge do "Numb"....maybe next 3-D Dfilm? In the meantime, going to play my Rattle and Hum and Zooropa DVDs to keep the buzz going....
First off, I'm not a huge fan, but really love their early 80s stuff such as Sunday, Bloody Sunday, New Year's Day, etc. My husband is a huge fan and likes the newer music. This blended both and although he wished a few more obscure songs such as "Exit" overall it was great! You can't have everything! I've seen Harry Potter in IMAX 3D and had the reaching out experience and thought I'd be so cool about it, but I did want to reach out and touch Bono/The Edge on several occasions. I also wanted to join in singing/dancing, but it wasn't to be, but my head did bob in time with the music. The camera work was incredible and seeing the monstrous stadium mad me appreciate the smaller ones here in the States! Bono was a little preachy, but that's sort of to be expected Every group needs a 3D movie! I can think of a few to start...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a long-time fan since 9th grade (1983 when "War" was released).
I've always believed that rock and roll is best experienced in smaller bars, clubs and theaters. But when "Achtung Baby" came out, I got tickets anyway to the Zoo TV tour in 1992 at Madison Square Garden. While I enjoyed that (the roar of the crowd, the excitement of your fellow fans, and the manic energy of the band) I was all the way up in the nosebleed seats and felt a little removed. And frankly the sound wasn't the best (boomy, kinda got lost up in the ceiling). Sure, they had the jumbotrons to broadcast big images of the band, but it's just not the same as being at the front of the stage in a club.
"U23D" brings the best of both worlds together: you see the immense scale of the stadium audience, but you also get to see the band up close and personal on stage. The filmmakers did a great job capturing the energy and enthusiasm of the South American stadium crowds and the unique bond this band has with its fans.
What struck me about the particular performances captured for this film were "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday": Bono has this tendency to editorialize during some songs and it can come across as preachy at best and forced at worst. Here though, he works in a custom version of "When Johnny Comes Home" to great effect during "Bullet" that really moved me ("Doesn't matter what he's seen or where he's been as long as Johnny comes home").
During "Sunday Bloody Sundy" Bono points to a "Coexist" head band someone in the crowd gave him and points to it and says "Muslims, Jews, Christiansit's all truewe're all children of Abraham. Abraham, speak to your sons." It made me sad because somehow I don't think there will ever be peace in the Middle East. And the superiority that some Evangelicals here in the U.S. have over other religions will probably never go away either. How long must we sing this song, indeed.
Sonically, I wish it had been a little louder, but it still sounded very good. My wife, while she enjoyed it, found herself feeling like she was still observing a lot of other people having fun at a concert. But I felt like I was there.
If you're a U2 fan, you gotta see this before it leaves the IMAX theater near you. It's definitely worth every penny. I'll probably see it one more time before it goes....
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