Sunday, January 27, 2008

U2 3D

I am blown away.

I don't usually walk away from a movie pondering if anybody else could do what I've just seen, but Mrs. Speculator and I spent the whole trip home wondering if there were any current bands with the catalog, the showmanship...the presence to accomplish what we got to see this afternoon.

Everything comes together perfectly in this movie. First, there's the technology: not only is the film in IMAX, it's IMAX 3-D. It's so life-like, at one point I wanted to ask the person in front of me to stop raising her hands until I realized it was someone in the audience at the concert. It's so big and so vividly shot, you really do feel like you are at the show.

Second is the band. I have to admit to not being a big U2 fan. I have some of their albums and I know a lot of the songs, but I had never seen a show before. They put on a hell of a show. Bono remains full-voiced and exubverant, adn there is something of an actor in him as he pleads with the audience to sing or cheer or to feel what his songs express. The Edge is an awesome guitarist, and I never realized how strong a bassist Adam Clayton is. But with 40 speakers in the theatre all working together, I heard things I had not heard before, let alone seeing them. And their catalog of anthemic rock, including some ballads as well as thumpers is perfectly suited to the experience they are trying to create. And they can afford the best crew as well; the show they perform is just amazing, brought together by years of experience together.

Finally, there is the atmosphere. Shot in many huge arenas, including Buenos Aires, all the fans are passionate about the band and raise the adrenalin level of any potential audience. But unlike a lot of other concert movies, there is nothing here but concert footage--no backstage interviews, no following the band around as they set up. They come on stage and they perform.

Altogether, this movie has ruined live concerts for me forever. I got digital quality 3D visuals and I got digital sound--and I could understand what was being said and sung and played without any distortion whatsoever. I looked around the theatre and I watched people doing what they do in concerts--heads bobbing, bodies swaying; it's a totally immersive experience.

This film is a must-see for any fan of rock music in the last 25 years. And the experience just will not be the same anywhere else than an IMAX.

I am blown away.

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