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Across the Universe (DVD, 2009, Single Disc Version)

Julie Taymor, Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood | Theatrical release: 2007 | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
The Beatles' songs may have provided the soundtrack for the lives of those coming of age in the 1960s, but their extensive catalogue acts as the literal soundtrack in this romantic musical from visionary director Julie Taymor. Newcomer Jim Sturgess stars as Jude, a young man working on the docks in Liverpool. Eager to escape, he travels to Princeton where he meets Max (Joe Anderson). But it's his meeting with Max's younger sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) that changes him. They quickly fall in love, but their relationship is tested by the chaos of the late 1960s and Max's unwilling tour in Vietnam. Throughout the film, characters burst into classics from the Beatles: frat boys sing "With a Little Help from My Friends," while Uncle Sam bursts from a recruitment poster with strains of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." U2's Bono makes a cameo as a counterculture leader and croons "I Am the Walrus," and actor-comedian Eddie Izzard provides a trippy rendition of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite."Sturgess has the voice, charm, and good looks to fill Shea Stadium with hordes of screaming young women. As Jude, he's earnest and certainly capable of carrying the film. Wood capably balances Lucy's naiveté and knowledge, easily moving between her love for Jude and her passion for her cause. Though the performances are strong, it's Taymor's gifted direction that makes ACROSS THE UNIVERSE so fascinating to watch. As in FRIDA and Broadway's THE LION KING, she proves herself an artist with creativity few can match. Director of photography Bruno Delbonnel also deserves praise for his contribution to the striking visuals. He has worked with Jean-Pierre Jeunet on AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, and he brings the same sense of romance and whimsy to this unique musical.

Product Details
  • Edition: Single Disc Version
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 043396330221

Additional Details
Genre:Musical & Performing Arts
Format:DVD
Display Format:Single Disc Version

eBay Product ID: EPID74171567

Editorial reviews

"ACROSS THE UNIVERSE feels emotionally true both to the Beatles...and to the decade it remembers..."
New York Times - Stephen Holden (09/14/2007)

4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's wonderful. A testament to both the enduring emotional power of the Fab Four's music...and Taymor's unbridled artistic brio..."
Empire - Ian Nathan (10/01/2007)

"There are some neat hallucinogenic effects here....The infectious energy of the music lends the film a gleeful dynamism..."
Sight and Sound - Samuel Wigley (11/01/2007)

"[A] vivid, vivacious film....Music -- the Beatles' music -- lies at the heart of this film; the iconic songs, sung by the film's energetic, talented cast, propel the characters through the upheavals of the U.S. in the late 1960s."
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles Times Critic (09/14/2007)

"The starry-eyed youths that inhabit her film -- and boldly offer fresh interpretations of songs that remain sacred to millions -- carry just the right balance of whimsy and respect..."
Film Comment - Laura Kern (01/01/2008)

"As a delivery system for injecting a new generation with Beatles music, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is efficient as well as playful and ferocious." -- Grade: B
Entertainment Weekly - Ken Tucker (02/01/2008)

"[W]hat unfolds as the movie blossoms, then darkens and finally finds peace and love, is a stylised musical drama set in and about a conflated American High '60s..."
Mojo - Mojo Staff (04/01/2008)

3 stars out of 5 -- "Sturgess is an impressive new talent, and his raw vocals resemble a young John Lennon....This is an interesting visual and aural experience..."
Ultimate DVD - David Richardson (05/01/2008)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 248 user reviews

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Created: 07/17/08

Across the Universe

The Beatles' songs may have provided the soundtrack for the lives of those coming of age in the 1960s, but their extensive catalogue acts as the literal soundtrack in this romantic musical from visionary director Julie Taymor. Newcomer Jim Sturgess stars as Jude, a young man working on the docks in Liverpool. Eager to escape, he travels to Princeton where he meets Max (Joe Anderson). But it's his meeting with Max's younger sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) that changes him. They quickly fall in love, but their relationship is tested by the chaos of the late 1960s and Max's unwilling tour in Vietnam. Throughout the film, characters burst into classics from the Beatles: frat boys sing "With a Little Help from My Friends," while Uncle Sam bursts from a recruitment poster with strains of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." U2's Bono makes a cameo as a counterculture leader and croons "I Am the Walrus," and actor-comedian Eddie Izzard provides a trippy rendition of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." Sturgess has the voice, charm, and good looks to fill Shea Stadium with hordes of screaming young women. As Jude, he's earnest and certainly capable of carrying the film. Wood capably balances Lucy's naiveté and knowledge, easily moving between her love for Jude and her passion for her cause. Though the performances are strong, it's Taymor's gifted direction that makes ACROSS THE UNIVERSE so fascinating to watch. As in FRIDA and Broadway's THE LION KING, she proves herself an artist with creativity few can match. Director of photography Bruno Delbonnel also deserves praise for his contribution to the striking visuals. He has worked with Jean-Pierre Jeunet on AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, and he brings the same sense of romance and whimsy to this unique musical.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 02/15/09

Great just like The Beatles

Set in America during the Vietnam War, Across the Universe is a powerful love story set against a backdrop of political and social unrest: it's a story of soul-searching, self-doubt, and individual powerlessness cleverly conveyed through a multitude of Beatles songs. Like young adults all across America during the 1960's, Jude (Jim Sturgess), Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Max (Joe Anderson), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), Prudence (T.V. Carpio), and JoJo (Martin Luther) are in turmoil over the war; questioning their individual roles in the war effort and struggling to find a way to hold true to their beliefs while making a difference in the world. While love proves a powerful uniting force, its limitations become clear as relationships are strained and broken over individual perceptions of responsibility to cause and country. A fairly bizarre juxtaposition of extremely stylized, almost hallucinogenic scenes of swirling colors and reflections, highly choreographed dance segments, seemingly commonplace character interaction, and emotionally packed close-up footage of characters lost in contemplative song, this film imparts a good sense of the confusion and passion of the time and is at once powerful, invigorating, and disturbing. The film runs a bit long at 2-hours 11-minutes and several segments drag noticeably thanks to some incredibly slow song tempos. Warning: this production may change how you think about a favorite Beatles song forever.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 02/15/08

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE ~WORK OF ART ! and HEART!

WOW !!! WOW !!! WOW !!!
THIS WAS Pink floyd meets beatlemania-with a twist of tommy and excellent never used before dialogue and music combinations .

We loved this movie -Lock it up though not suitable for teens or children.

being a beatles freak and throwback from the 60's in an 80's reality -we fell in love with this movie -

We recognised the inuendo character types right away -JANIS JOPLIN (SADIE) I thought was grace slick . but hubby guessed her character right away . HER phycodelic mersedes benz gave her away at the end though as janis joplin. and JOJO we knew right away was a JIMIE HENDRIX TYPE OF CHARACTER .

we loved Jude -and Max and wanted to take them home ...they were excellent -

everyone was just absolutely perfect in the movie .

WE LOVED THE PINK PUNCH SCENE AND THE BUS RIDE -THE FEILD WAS REALLY BIZARE -WHAT A TRIP . for THOSE OF US WHO REALLY DID ACID IT WAS TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE OR WHAT WE COULD REMEMBER OF THE MEMORY LANE ...lol.

I loved it -it was a great piece of work !!! sure to go down as the best musical of the 21st century ....the scene about the riots and the little black kid left me in tears -that scene really messed me up! I AM GLAD SHE CHOSE TO CAST THAT KID -that little guy can sang !!!

everyone was just a raw buzz of talent !
and I would have never guessed that they were pretending to smoke a joint with out anything between thier fingers ...they faked me out . hubby and I notice just about everything and that flew right over our heads .

this is a sure to be a muscial movie favorite for years to come .

this wont get buried on the shelf

-for beatles fans and 60's revolution era -and vietnam vets and people who were deeply affected by the war .

this is a wonderful way to memoralize that era .

I was born in 1965 and my dad could have been drafted -but my mom BAILED HIM OUT with pregnancy papers saying she was pregnant and had no one to provide for her ...and my dad got out of going to vietnam.
he never tried to enlist .
other family members were affected by the war and I have a cousin who is severely retarded as a direct result from his daddy being exposed to agent orange .
so the war had a big affect on my mom's friends and some of our family .

excellent movie .
too cool .

loved the way they gave the characters names of the songs too ...

we were waiting for THE SONG -AND SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW ...
BUT IT WORKED that alot of times they mentioned titles to songs but did not sing them ...

what a great movie
BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO !!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 08/10/10

Julie Taymor Masterpiece!

This movie shows the essence of the 60's experience through fantastic visual imaging and the excellent music of The Beatles. Julie Taymor directs Jim Sturgess as Jude who falls for Lucy played by Evan Rachael Wood. They encounter all the iconic 60 cultural phenomena on their trip Across the Universe of life and love. It is a wonderful story told beautifully.

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Created: 09/08/09

Amazing incorporation of my favorite Beatles songs!

I loved this movie! It elegantly and seamlessly strings together Beatles' songs to form a story that is interesting and captivating, to say the least. Perfect casting with Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood as the central characters with intensely believable chemistry; set in a period (the 60's) full on energy and raging emotions over the Vietnam War.

Some parts of the movie are slightly trippy, but everyone will find something to love in this movie that is part romance, political, and musical.

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