U23D: Movie Review
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When Bono takes the stage people listen. Whether he’s belting out one of U2’s hit songs or convincing the world to help AIDS victims in Africa, this Irish rock legend’s presence commands attention.
His latest project, U23D, is in a theater near you. Bono, along with band mates The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion), invite you to this historic concert experience produced by National Geographic Entertainment. It’s the first ever live action 3D digital film.
U23D transports fans to live performances in South America during the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ "Vertigo" tour. The 3D effects are so incredible that you'll feel like you’re one of the 90,000 screaming fans packed into the stadium. High-definition 3D cameras capture the high-energy crowd who create a tidal wave across the arena as they jump to the band's beat.
The three dimensional video practically puts you on stage with Bono. At times, it will seem as if you could reach out and touch him.
U23D: A Best or a Bust?
Long-time U2 fans and music enthusiasts, go get your tickets now. Avid moviegoers follow along. If for nothing else, you will appreciate this film for its technological achievement.
Not a big U2 or rock music fan? Well, you may not enjoy this film as much. It’s important to point this out because the very nature of the film reduces its appeal to a niche audience. Your average non-rocker will not get into their legendary songs, such as “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Beautiful Day,” “With or Without You,” as much as the rest of us.
A quick note to concert junkies: you may get a bit bored halfway into the hour and a half long film. It's not that U23D is boring, because it isn’t. It's just that music fans who thrive on being in the midst of a concert crowd may get tired of sitting in a movie theater seat. The downside is you’re stationary when every fiber of your being wants to get up and rock with the masses.
While fans get up close and personal with the band on the tour, it’s all on stage. An all-access pass is not part of the deal. So don’t expect to see any behind-the-scenes footage or exclusive interviews. This could be a good thing though. It gives you the full concert without loading it down with sound bites from the band.
Faith and Family-Friendly?
Not to be nit-picky, but there are a few instances of objectionable material in U23D.
During the concert, two girls on the shoulders of friends are shown shirtless (one in a sports bra, the other in a bikini top). Also, Bono shares a pretty-much-on-the-lips kiss with bassist Adam Clayton.
Bono dons his "COEXIST" bandana while singing “Love and Peace or Else.” This message promoting religious tolerance is made up of half moon for the “C” (Islamic symbol), star of David for the “X” (representing the Jewish faith), and a cross for the “T. ” He goes on to say: “Jesus, Jew, Mohammad, it’s true.” Bono also sings about everyone being the sons of Abraham, the father of all generations. This intense plea for peace and an end to war is made during “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” a song about the horrible fighting in Northern Ireland.
Giant light displays create a visually breathtaking experience as fans take in all of the sights of sounds of U2. One of the images blasted on the jumbotrons is of the Hand of Fatima (also known as the Khamsa). This superstitious symbol looks like the palm of a hand with an eye in the center of it. It supposedly wards off the “evil eye,” in turn giving you good luck.
No profanity is used in the film.
Movie Review in a Sentence or Two
Bottom line: If you can’t see them rock in person and don't mind sitting down during a concert, U23D is the next best thing. The 3D visual effects and U2's legendary sound will blow you away.
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