I was struck today to participate in a banner ad while reading the news about Wozinak’s new endeavor (read more about this here) for the upcoming release of U23D. I will preface this with a note about how much I appreciate all that Bono does for the world and such (blah blah blah). I will also state that I have seen them in concert countless times all the way back to like forever ago.
I have followed their tours and the progression of media exploitation which I feel began after the launch of achtung baby and the ZooTv tour (correct me if I am wrong here). When they bombarded concert goers with messages and “extra sensory” images while they sang all the tunes that really got them where they are today.
I was there for the PopMart tour when the unveiled what I believe at the time was the world’s largest LCD screen. That “glowing” lemon that Bono and the Edge walked out of together was certainly an amazing site and I remember it clearly to this day.
Many bands have tried to mix media into their shows but I am not quite sure that any have invested the time, effort and quite frankly dollars into their shows like U2 has.
So part of me feels like the movie may actually be ‘… the best entertainment experience I’ve ever witnessed…’ as Alx Klive (from WorldTV) states.
And when Bono says that he wants “… to go somewhere magical…” I truly believe that he wants to make something amazing happen.
However, I can’t help but remember Rattle and Hum (and the countless other “concert” movies that I have seen). And I can’t help but think about the fact that they have not put out an album in over 3 years (yes How to dismantle an atomic bomb came out in nov of 2004!). And so I can’t help but think that some part of this is simply a money making scheme.
So my decision now – should I go see it in a standard 3D theater or go to an IMAX 3D (or both??)
Updated [2/10/2008] – I finally saw U23D. Tried to go last weekend but arriving right when the show starts is a sure way to guarantee that you don’t get in. It is sold out. (So buy tickets before you go especially if you drive for a half an hour to get there).
Overall experience – awesome!
Definitely recommend the show for any U2 fans. It will bring you to the concert experience in a way that you have not been before. The 3D effects were overshadowed (in mind) by the mind blowing clarity and the up close and personal feel that I had. At some points I felt like if they held the camera still long enough, I would have been able to tell you what type of picks the Edge had hanging on his mic stands. At one point, I could almost make out the words on the bottom of the microphone as Bono sang.
In addition, you really truly felt like you were in the crowd (so realistic that when someone in the actual theater got up and walked in front of me one row down – I would not have thought otherwise – had it not been for the shadow of their popcorn box and soda). There was one scene where the camera panned out from the stage and it appeared like the crowd of people in the General Admissions sections were a tidal wave, bouncing up and down in sections of unity. I got chills.
Ok so the things that I didn’t like (and there was only one from the movie itself). Very soap-box-ish. All of the songs they played were the usual propaganda songs but, that’s U2 and the songs rock so I was not disappointed. My other issues came with the theater itself. (Maybe this is the movie too but I am not sure) I didn’t think that it was loud enough. I wanted to be rocked. Like I was at a concert. Especially, since I saw the IMAX version – I certainly expected more – like heart thumping more. Also, the theater had assigned seating (What!?!). Yeah, like I was at a show – except they did not give you a choice. I sat in the fourth row – and if you have ever been to an IMAX theater you know that 4th row is not as good as it would be at the show itself. I will say this – it made me want to go and see it again just to get the experience a little more comfortably.
And maybe the last thing would be – I was expecting a bit of a monologue from Bono and the gang before the movie. Since this is supposed to be ground breaking (and besides the fact that Hannah Montana almost beat them too it) I would say it was definitely ground breaking, maybe a few words from the group as to what motivated them to do this – or how they did. Like how the hell did National Geographic get involved (Camera’s maybe)???
Either way I was truly satisfied and find it hard to believe that other groups with high energy shows won’t follow suit. It is a very enjoyable way to watch your favorite group sing up close and personal.
Was it all that?
Yes indeed. Kudos to U2 for bringing me an experience I won’t forget.
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