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From the Sky Down (2011)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 657 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 12 critic

In the terrain of rock bands, implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction; this band has endured and thrived. This documentary asks the question why.

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Storyline

In the terrain of rock bands, implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction; this band has endured and thrived. This documentary asks the question why.

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record album | See All (1) »

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Risk all to reject one expression and gain another

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

25 December 2011 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

U2: From the Sky Down  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the variety of band photo's pass the screen: During the photo of The Beach Boys it isn't Carl Wilson who bummed out, but it's Brian Wilson and he's standing first in the line-up. See more »


Soundtracks

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Written by Bono
Performed by U2
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User Reviews

 
"What is Baby?"
18 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Like the critics, I too think "Achtung Baby!" is U2's best album, in fact I'd go further and say it's their last good album, though it's not perfect. Obviously the band think so too which is no doubt why they commissioned Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim to create this glossy documentary on the album's genesis, creation and they believe, legacy.

What this film is really about is the band trying to put into context their vainglorious 1988 documentary feature "Rattle And Hum", which one must presume has haunted them for over 20 years and almost justifying its excess by showing how it led to a counter-reaction that took them to Germany's Hansa Studios where Bowie, Eno and Iggy had worked in the late 70's, opportunistically, just as the Berlin Wall was coming down.

Unfortunately, here, as before, they stray far too deeply into the realms of pretentiousness as they analyse every aspect of the chemistry that apparently makes them tick making the mistake of thinking the more they talk about the creative process the more they reveal when in fact all they do is, to paraphrase Pink Floyd, obscure with clouds. Restricting the "cast", as it were, to the band and their clique only increases the insularity with nary a critical word spoken in anger you know when they praise up the drummer way beyond his station that nothing revelatory is going to appear. Indeed it's very obvious that the creative forces in the band are Bono and The Edge, with the other two apparently having an easy rid of it, in fact the ghost of Andrew Ridgeley came to mind.

Call me simple, but I'd have much preferred a "Classic Albums" approach to this material. Here they talk about motivations, frustrations and the general band dynamics of the time, all of which gets in the way of the music and only adds to the aura of self-importance in which this band seems to bathe. Also, sitting through interminable rehearsal tapes, waiting for a revelatory word or chord which turns into a song does not make for gripping viewing - I guess you had to be there at th time.

Honestly after watching this expensive exercise in navel-gazing, the last thing I'd want to do is listen to the album itself, surely defeating the object of the exercise. In fact they're so dull, I wouldn't even want to be in this band, period,


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