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Movie Review: Across the Universe

Alternate Title: Mythical History Tour

Story: Oh how I wanted to like this film. I arrived with a very good, I love the Beatles, attitude but sadly, that faded to disappointment quickly- coo coo ka choo. The story, what there is of it, revolves around the 60"s, a boy meets girl plot, another boy goes to war and of course, sex drugs and rock 'n roll. It is a sanitized, pedestrian view of history thread together by Beatles music.

Director Julie Taymor has a unique vision (Titus, The Lion King, Frida) that is beginning to wear thin. If you have seen her work before there is not much new to ooh and ah over. Yes, there are some visually exciting moments but nothing that blasts you out of your seat. The puppets, animation and psychedelic imagery were all sophomoric. The screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais is meager - if nonexistent. The overly long screenplay was built around the Beatles music and was forced. It was as if a scene was created so that the very expected song could be sung. Characters named Jude, Lucy and Prudence cry out for a Beatles' tune.

So is there anything I liked about the film? Of course the music saves the film and as a loyal Beatles fan - the beat goes on. May I recommend if you see this film you go after a hard day's night.

Check out my tribute to the Walrus here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed63Gt3mNag

Acting: The actors sing their own songs, which is always a plus. Evan Rachel Wood as Lucy has a surprisingly sweet voice, but I could not connect with her character at all. She did not have the soul of a 60's rebel. Jim Sturgess as Jude was more impressive. Joe Anderson as the brother who goes to war will probably have a career in film as a serial killer. Dana Fuchs as the Janis Joplin character was fine. Martin Luther McCoy as the Jimi Hendrix type was also good. T.V. Carpio as Prudence the lesbian was wacky. Cameo appearances by Joe Cocker, Bono and Salma Hayak were fun although Bono looked very uncomfortable.

Predilection: I like the Beatles

Critters: I am the walrus?

Food: Hot dogs, a Thanksgiving meal and lots of strawberries

Sex Spectrum: There was some modest nudity, a nipple and implied sex but none seem on the screen.

Blatant Product Placement: Katz's Delicatessen

Soundtrack: It is hard to wreck a Beatles tune.

Opening Titles: I cannot remember the opening but the closing titles were a trip.

Visual Art: Taymor's signature was all over this film.

Theater Audience: An interesting mix of people who lived those years and people who were tripping back to those years.

Weather: The weather was good in the 60's in Taymor's vision.

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: I squirmed at thinking this is how the 60'd might be remembered.

Drift Factor: The first hour took forever to get going nd I looked a t my watch many times. If this film had been trimmed by 30 minutes it would have been more tolerable.

Predictability Level: Over the top

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: Editor needed.

Big Screen or Rental: If you are gong to see it the big screen would definitely be the way to go.

Length: Two hours and 15 minutes (seemed much longer).

LOBO HOWLS: A generous 5