U2 Rattle and Hum [Blu-ray]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The best thing is the sheer visual quality: none of the amateurish "this-will-do" half-baked rubbish that you can see so often in "tour movies". In fact, I have not seen camera work so visually accomplished for a long, long time. Large part of the film is black-and-white, and monochromatic picture is never used as a quick way for the film to appear "arty". Black-and-white is a powerful tool, but only in capable hands; and thank God in this case they managed to hire people who knew what they were doing.
Color shots are good too - never descending into Nevada-style predictable "spectacular of colors and lights" but rather sparingly using color as a tool.
The cameraman, it is obvious, enjoys close-up and aggressive light portrait work and this produces a large number of images which would make a very good still photographer proud. Again, this adds to visual enjoyment.
Interviews with band members are so-so, but mercifully they are few and far between. Overall, the film captures very well the powerful and very positive fascination with America that the band had (or still has?), and the choice of southern and west coast venues puts and extra "oomph" into this raw sense of spiritual power in the home of rock'n'roll. And the episode of rehearsal with BB King is a joy to behold: you can sense the awe of U2 artists - not exactly low-profile start-ups themselves - who play with the biggest living legend of R&B.
Definitely worth your money.
Most recent customer reviews
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.Published on July 9 2014 by Hector Bitong
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 on March 2 2013 by rob
This is quite a good music video, has some interviews and narration by the band to talk about what is going on. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2011 by Martin
My advice is unless you cannot avoid it, order through Amazon.com not Amazon.ca. I have made various orders through both shops. Amazon. Read morePublished on March 10 2005 by Mr Paul M Kube
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 morePublished on April 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. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by T. Hooper
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