Wednesday, February 6, 2008


This year or past year has been the year of cataclysmic rock movies. Movies like Anton Corbijn's Control, Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, and Todd Haynes' I'm Not There blew the hair off of unsuspecting movie-goers all over the world. This is a slight exaggeration, because it would make no sense for all these movies to garner so much power. Come on! A musical comprised of age-old Beatles tracks set in a surreal environment sounds like a stoner's idea. I am in no way disrespecting the Beatles. Poor guys! It just that the idea of covering Beatles songs in a musical is not innovative, but rather a conceptual platitude. It is important to mention that I have not seen this movie, but that concept alone is the very definition of hackneyed. It requires little to no brilliance to grasp the concepts within the songs. Not to mention that the endless amount of resources that analyze every possible dimension to these songs. So, what could this movie possibly do to set itself apart from the ocean of present day Beatlemania. Additionally, the soundtrack is a trainwreck. Bono miraculously rapes "I am the Walrus", and "Helter Skelter"(a song that inspires beautiful mass-murders) gets murdered by this adult-contemporary-as-fuck-coffee-shop-voice. If you ever wonder what Beatles' song would sound like if Melissa Etheridge had her way with it, buy this soundtrack now to put that suspicion to rest. Anyways, you get the point!
I'm Not There on the other hand is a step up. It about Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) during four different periods in his career. There is on catch! A different actor and actress (oooh la la) potrays him during these various stages. Heath Ledger (R.I.P), Cate Blanchett, and Richard Gere are among the cast of people who play this musician during his seminal career. All in all, not a bad idea. Given Todd Haynes record (going off of Velvet Goldmine; I have yet to see Superstar) the movie is bound suffer from an abstract sense of continuity, but this may also add to the "I'm Not There" motif. We'll see. I have not see these movies, so this review is not by any means "fair". They are preliminary reviews and they are more or less an experiment. I might change my mind and swallow my words. Like I said "we'll see."
Since I have seen and very much enjoyed Control, it would be fair to praise this movie. Because it had subjectively speaking more interesting subject matter, it would not be fair to belittle these movies in light of this. Additionally this movie's director, Anton Corbijn, has incredible photographer's eye, which more often than not delivers great art direction (cinematography especially). It would not be fair for me to talk "shit" about the art direction in both
I'm Not There and Across the Universe, because I just can't. If I did, it would be a hell of an assumption, which we'll save for another perhaps more interesting post. STAY TUNED!

Also check out my download du jour Cut Copy's Latest Remixed by Boys Noize


Kino said...

since control is a biopic, i'm going to ask why not review the new tom petty flick,, which is a documentary, but whatever.

Kino said...

also, there is Once, which is more of a musical. it's up for grammys and other awards, and all i hear are people going gaa gaa over it. i watched it and wanted to puke, it's awful. downfall of music as we know it at the hands of dudes in flip flops playing acoustic guitar.

Ross A Lincoln said...

Random thoughts:

1) What you said.

2) I didn't dislike Control, but as far as I'm concerned, 24 Hour party people is the far superior movie about that era in music.

liberace sequence said...

hey guys!
I just realized that you commented. How pitiful of me. To answer kyle: that would mean that I would have to watch a Tom Petty movie!.
Ross: i agree, 24 hour....'s scope was vastly larger than that of control, making the comparison unfair objectively, but as far as chronicle-ing that post punk to madchester journey; fuck yeah!