Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big. Blistering. Bombastic.

It was awe-fuckin’-tastic!

Most U2 fans can be divided into two, based on their albums: [1] the pre-Achtung Baby and All That You Can Leave Behind onwards; and [2] the experimental three (Achtung, Zooropa and Pop). Few fans can straddle the two divides; I am one of the few. But both parties will enjoy the dazzling display of showmanship in “U23D”, the IMAX movie that blows up one of the world’s biggest bands into gigantic proportions fitting for their ambitions. And what do Bono and the boys want? Nothing less than world peace—via three chords and the truth.

Watching a concert on IMAX reveals small details you rarely notice in other concert footage. The girl singing earnestly in front. The man taking a photo of Adam Clayton using his cellphone and showing it to his girlfriend beside him. The play list taped on the floor. A stagehand untangling the wires of Bono’s microphone.

Bono was never shy about wearing his heart—and his politics—on his sleeves. And while that may turn some people off, you know that a U2 concert will always have a message or two. Maybe Bono was a little heavy handed during the Rattle And Hum days, but now the Time Man of The Year knows better than to smother the audience with serious “Messages” (with matching capital “M”). Which is well and good, since the sight of a preaching 50+ feet tall Bono can be more than overwhelming. The Messages are still there, but they are integrated seamlessly into the songs and the performances. Still, the filmmakers couldn’t resist ending the movie with a gigantic beating heart onscreen. Fitting, I guess, since only the IMAX screen is big enough to capture the band’s huge heart.

Too bad today was the last day; my brother wants to watch it again. Tomorrow “Hannah Montana In 3D” begins its run in the IMAX Theater in MOA. The Apocalypse follows.

***(as of May 06) CORRECTION: "U23D" is still showing at IMAX. Check out the daily screening schedules at now.


sky said...

Why did I miss this? Ang hirap talaga ng nasa The Big Sur (a.k.a. probinsya).

Up until now I still consider Achtung Baby the greatest tape I had in my collection (yes, tape!). Maybe it's because of the poetry I find in the tracks (see So Cruel).

joelmcvie said...

@SKY: Oh good lord, they didn't perform that song, but they sang "One" and "The Fly" which are also bitchin'! Shet, iba talaga if you're staring up at giant images of your musical giants.

red riding odin hood said...

ooohh! so meron na rin pala 3D imax concerts. ma-try nga sometime.

pcervieri said...

here's a great on-camera interview with Peter Shapiro, the producer of U2 3D: