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February 5, 2008

DVD of the Week – Across the Universe (2007)


The last couple of months was a great time to be writing this feature. Good movies were released on DVD every week from Thanksgiving until after New Year’s. Some weeks I even had to choose between two good releases and those extra titles filled out January very nicely. I feel nostalgic already.

The weeks a movie I’ve seen, can recommend, and want to write about is released on DVD will likely be few and far between for a while, so I’ll be casting my net more widely than usual in making my selections. This week I’ve chosen a movie I haven’t seen, but that interests me.

Across the Universe attracted my interest for its direction and production design, which promised to be stunning, and for its use of Beatles’ songs to tell the story. The bold visuals and incorporation of popular music call to mind Moulin Rouge, a movie I love. At the same time, I was repelled by the paean to ‘60s youth counterculture, a subject I find extremely tiresome. I really wanted to see Across the Universe, but at the same time I didn’t think I’d like it. Those conflicting feelings were locked in internal struggle until the movie had left theaters and now I’ll have to catch up with it on DVD.

The DVD release is a two disc “special edition” and includes a commentary by director Julie Taymor and composer Elliot Goldenthal and two live performances of one of the songs. The studio website doesn’t give any information about other features, but with two discs presumably there are some.

Other new releases this week: 2 Days in Paris, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Feast of Love, The Jane Austen Book Club