- Actors: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., B.B. King
- Directors: Phil Joanou
- Producers: Michael Hamlyn, Paul McGuinness
- Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Paramount
- Release Date: Aug. 3 2010
- Run Time: 99 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000022TT6
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U2 Rattle and Hum (Widescreen) [Import]
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Rock group U2 travels across the U.S. during their sell-out Joshua Tree tour. 1988/color-b&w/99 min/PG-13.
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.
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. I think the film would've been much better as a pure concert film, as the 'interviews' are sometimes painful to watch.
-"I Still Haven't Found..." I think this has been rightly criticized as a little bit too formulaic.
-The 'wonderment' of 'discovering' the USA. U2 had visited the USA as early as 1981 and had done at least two prior full tours in the USA, from the "War" and "The Unforgettable Fire" tours, so I don't buy their "wide-eyed discovery of The States" bit. They'd seen it before and were merely pretending to make a good movie, and it backfired. Ignore this and watch the live performances.
More than one prior reviewer has decried the poor sound quality on the DVD, but I think I may know why. On both of the DVD players I've had connected to my system, they both default to Dolby Pro Logic sound format... On THIS movie and THIS movie ONLY! Can't explain why... MUCH worse than the Dolby Digital 5.1 that is available if you simply choose this option using your "audio" button on your DVD remote or set it up using the menu before starting the film. Any other criticism of the movie's sound quality is simply people poo-poohing the film for no good reason... I don't know why one of the prior reviewers suggested listening to the DTS soundtrack... THERE IS NO DTS SOUNDTRACK!! What can you trust of a review that implores you to listen to a sound format that simply isn't there??? Don't worry... The sound is awesome.
My 51" HDTV set does show the limitations of the film-to-video transfer, which is merely average. Hopefully they will come out with a new version someday with better video quality.
Anyhow, a must-have for any fan of U2's 80's music. Essential, in fact.
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.
15 years after its first release gives a new generation of viewers U2 as the angry, dour band that hadn't yet matured into the band that gave us All that you Can't Leave Behind (although there are hints) nor lightened up to give us Achtung Baby and Zooropa. They hadn't yet learned to laugh at themselves, but their newfound success couldn't let them fake their beliefs, either. After all that has happened, I could still see how critics could not like the movie, but the music, superb even then, has aged like wine. My advice: play this movie loud in another room. If you can listen without the visual, you'll love it.
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