Reviews by cherylo
The quintessential 'B' movie
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A well-executed and entertaining monster movie. Michael Gross is particularly was fun to watch, in a role that helped him to break his stereotyping as the TV sitcom dad to Michael J. Fox's Alex Keaton on the beloved Family Ties. The acting is uniformly delightful, and the monster certainly terrifying. A great movie to watch with a group.
A treat for the eye and ear
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The premise is that it's a musical constructed from Beatles Songs. Bono and Eddie Izzard make appearances as a psychedelic guru-figure and Mr. Kite respectively. Joe Cocker appears as three characters, one of whom is as a pimp sporting an impossibly-wide purple shirt collar. The choreography was amazing and fun. I totally ate it up. A while back, I tried Moulin Roluge. I wanted desperately to like it. It was visually and auditorially stunning. But I didn't like it. It took me a while to puzzle the difference out. MR is at its heart a tragedy. It's central theme can be boiled down to "Isn't tragedy BEAUTIFUL" (cue back of hand to forehead). You really don't see the characters making connections with each other. AtU, though, is ultimately a comedy in the Shakespearian sense; it has a happy ending. But you're not always sure it's going to go that way. There is a strange detour into psychedelia, ushered in by the aforementioned Bono's interesting rendition of I am the Walrus, which is ultimately a side show. There are hints of songs that don't appear (Sexy Sadie comes to mind, and boy was she), echoes of events in the Beatles' professional and personal lives (the last sequence involves a concert on a rooftop that is very obviously a reference to the famous Get Back performance reel), characters named transparently to refer to various songs (Jude, Lucy, Prudence, etc.), and *lot* of eye candy. The singing is pretty good to excellent. If you like The Beatles, Moulin Rouge was a near miss for you, or you don't find happy endings automatically shallow, give Across the Universe a look and a listen.
A treat for the eye and ear
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The general premise is that it's a musical constructed from Beatles Songs. Bono and Eddie Izzard make appearances as a psychedelic guru-figure and Mr. Kite respectively. Joe Cocker appears as a triple character, one of whom is as a pimp sporting an impossibly-wide purple shirt collar. The choreography was amazing and fun. I totally ate it up. A while back, I tried Moulin Roluge. I wanted desperately to like it. It was visually and auditorially stunning. But I didn't like it. It took me a while to puzzle the difference out. MR is at its heart a tragedy. It's central theme can be boiled down to "Isn't tragedy BEAUTIFUL" (cue back of hand to forehead). You really don't see the characters making connections with each other. AtU, though, is ultimately a comedy in the Shakespearian sense; it has a happy ending. But you're not always sure it's going to go that way. There is a strange detour into psychedelia, ushered in by the aforementioned Bono's interesting rendition of I am the Walrus, which is ultimately a side show. There are hints of songs that don't appear (Sexy Sadie comes to mind, and boy was she), echoes of events in the Beatles' professional and personal lives (the last sequence involves a concert on a rooftop that is very obviously a reference to the famous Get Back performance reel), characters named transparently to refer to various songs (Jude, Lucy, Prudence, etc.), and *lot* of eye candy. The singing is pretty good to excellent. If you like The Beatles, Moulin Rouge was a near miss for you, or you don't find happy endings automatically shallow, give Across the Universe a look and a listen.
Interesting ideas very badly executed
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I like the principal actors involved in this project. I completely adore altered-time story premises, most of the time. But this movie was a disaster from the start. There are some nice performances in individual scenes, but the movie as a whole just does not hang together. I think the director might have been having trouble keeping things straight. Perhaps there were rewrites that made it impossible to keep things straight happening after filming was well under way. I can only speculate. Some interesting ideas get badly mangled in this horrible, and frankly misnamed, attempted thriller. There are better much movies that play with who knows what when and how, so I can only recommend this for rabid fans of Sandra Bullock or especially Julian McMahon, or the absolute time-travel story completist.
Great visuals and songs; bad message
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Since I first saw this movie in the theater during it initial release, I have viewed this film as inherently flawed. The characters are delightful, the songs and score divine, and the visuals creepy and delicious. However, the plot resolution clearly lays out that the protagonist of the piece can and should expect for a parental figure (in this case Santa Claus) to fix all the things he screwed up. I guess it's a parable for the helicopter-parented generation.