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U2 Rattle and Hum [Blu-ray]

B.B. King , U2 , Phil Joanou    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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This is not a film for anyone looking for an introduction to Irish band U2's career in the 1980s, but it is a vibrant portrait of an established group making its musical pilgrimage through the America it has always imagined through blues, gospel, and early rock 'n' roll. Filmmaker Phil Joanou (Heaven's Prisoners), a veteran music-video director and maker of the distractingly kinetic Three O'Clock High, finds a suitable outlet for his high energy in this juggernaut of a journey, which finds U2 collaborating with a black gospel choir and B.B. King, recording inside the legendary Sun Records studio, dropping by Graceland, and in a moment of fearlessness, performing the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" to exorcise Charles Manson's sick claim on the song. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring view of U2 at their peak Sept. 18 2003
My bias on this film should be adequately explained by my 21 years as a fan and a veteran of nearly 20 live shows dating back to the "War" tour...
This is simply the best U2 has to offer in live performances that you can go to the store and buy.
The high points:
-"Exit". The one song I was most looking forward to seeing live on "The Joshua Tree" tour, as I knew it would simply kick a** live. It did. The version in the film doesn't disappoint, though we are afforded an inordinate amount of screen time of Bono struggling with the settings for his guitar at the base of the drum riser.
-"Bad". While no better sonically, really, than the version on "Wide Awake in America" (audio only), it is a lovely version, and it leads into the better portion of the film:
-"Where the Streets..." The beginning of the color portion of the film which has a great impact after 45 mins or so of B&W photography.
-"With or Without You" I had the audio version of this movie version on CD from the late 80's, on a promo CD, and still consider this to be the best live version of the song available... Includes an extra verse not on the album version of the song, the inclusion of which has prompted me to refer to this version as the, heh heh, "songs for saps" version of the song.
-"Running to Stand Still" Every time I see this, and I mean EVERY TIME, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
-Generally speaking, the whole movie elevates the art of "concert films" to a new level. Nothing else can touch it... Absolutely nothing.
The Low Points:
-Too much humorless interview time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie? Nah, but the music! July 31 2003
I remember Rattle and Hum missing the mark with almost all critics and all but the most hardcore U2 fans. Those who did not like U2 already liked them less after the film. Remember that in 1988 most Americans still knew very little about the band and what they had learned, especially about Bono rubbed them the wrong way. They were 8 years and 5 albums into their career, but followers of the music scene considered Bono humorless, sanctimonious and unduly self-satisfied. Some probably still feel that way.
Whether that was/is true, it has nothing to do with the fact that this was some of the band's best live music ever. Whereas the studio tracks of Bullet the Blue Sky and In God's Country sound sedate and monotonous, the live versions feel like they want to jump through the speakers. Then the live Running to Stand Still sounds positively haunting. While Bono's politics have seemed pedestrian and superficial at times, this version of Sunday Bloody Sunday, shot after the Enniskillen riot, depicts Bono at his angry best. Even though his reaction might not have been as sincere as his interview suggests, the howling passion makes it worth the view. Any chance to see BB King play a guitar, including the rough cut of When Love Comes to Town.
Some of the covers feel unnecessary. Helter Skelter never needed a new version, but it gets one here. Their riff on All along the Watchtower sounds like they've heard the Dylan original, but never the immortal Hendrix perfection (the best cover done of any song for my money). Still, if that was a quid pro quo for Dylan's keyboard work on Hawkmoon 269 then we all benefit.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon.com better service than .ca March 10 2005
My advice is unless you cannot avoid it, order through Amazon.com not Amazon.ca. I have made various orders through both shops. Amazon.com is ALWAYS much faster to ship the product that Amazon.ca. I find it quite annoying that there is no way for me to send an email and complain. This is the best I can do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best U2 documentary/concert/music video July 9 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My favorite band growing up. I never get tired of watching this documentary/concert/music video. Its nice to see them mature from when they started up to the present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Humming Along Jan. 19 2011
By Martin
This is quite a good music video, has some interviews and narration by the band to talk about what is going on. The video is not just a replay of a single concert but shots of a variety of shows and studio work. Most of the video (85-90%) is filmed in black and white. The effect is not too bad but was a surprise upon viewing. For this reason I'm not so sure that the blue ray version is worth paying extra $$ for -- the video is a little grainy. Sound is good. Overall recommend this as songs are great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece March 15 2004
This is one of the ultimate rock movies for me. It ranks alongside The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night." It doesn't really have a story though. It's closer to a concert video, but instead of showing a single concert, it puts together some of the best performances of U2's Rattle and Hum tour. There are quite a few masterpiece performances in the movie. Of particular note is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" which takes place in a Harlem church with a full choir. It's a very moving performance. Also I really loved "Angel of Harlem" which was performed in the Sun Studio in Memphis. It's the use of these kinds of unique performances that make this special. For fans of U2's 80's songs, this is the ultimate collection. It's a must have for every U2 fan.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible service
been two and a half months and still have not received video. will not respond to my emails,, i got ripped,,live and learn i guess.
Published 17 months ago by rob
5.0 out of 5 stars a must
raw, powerful, u2 at their uninterupted best...clearly defines u2 as one of music's best live bands...a peek into their experiences on tour in the US... Read more
Published on April 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Rattle and Hum
Looks like I have finally found what I was looking for...
Rattle And Hum on DVD is what every U2 afficionado cannot and will not do without! Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by Aaron Mathias
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Of Great Music.
Okay, so maybe "Rattle And Hum" isn't the greatest concert film ever, but watching it you just have to feel puzzled at how much lashing this film got. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003 by Robert Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking live
Other reviews seem cover it pretty well; breathtaking live footage, at times a little too slickly produced perhaps but still awesome and powerful, interspersed with uneven... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003 by overend
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the experience
U2 rocks, and so does this DVD. As said in the work itself, "It is a musical journey." While basically an excuse to listen to U2 music, the filmaking is exceptional. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by Joseph Valentine Dworak
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly awesome visual for the music you already love
One reviewer noted - quite rightly - that this is not a product for converting those who don't like the music of U2. The observation is spot on. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2003 by Andrius Uzkalnis
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