U2: Rattle and Hum Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 30, 2010
This is fabulous. Beautifully recorded. With or Without You and it's subtle amazing colors brings me to my knees every single time without fail. I love their commentary, love the renditions. I watch this on my iPod before bed quite often. Never fails to make me happy.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2009
I love U2.Since the 80īs till now they still original and good!This movie(made for theaters) was filmed by the great director Phil Joanou in part in glorious black and white, and in the end, some shots in colour, like a revelation.Not only a documentary of a tour, this movie takes a snapshot of th Joshua Tree era.I
½ July 4, 2011
One of U2's most underappreciated albums from the band's golden era, unfortunately, is also U2 at its most unbearably preachy and self-absorbed. The film doesn't reinvent the concert-doc wheel, but it does offer a wealth of awesome movie and an interesting insight into U2's "Joshua Tree" to "Achtung Baby" transition period. A must-see for U2 fans.
½ January 21, 2012
I remember watching this film in the theater. Quite good concert film and about their kickass album The Joshua Tree.
April 15, 2015
Love U2 but there overrated live act shows in this average at best concert doc.
July 19, 2013
Of all the concert dvd/documentaries I've seen, this is the best. A standard for how concerts should be filmed.
July 28, 2012
Never mind the boring interviews....the fact that U2 played with a church choir...and with BB King...rocks the planet...
April 29, 2012
Documenting one of the greatest rock bands ever touring on the back what many consider their most inspired and brilliant album. Absolutely magnificent performances that mix the spiritual overtones of Bono's socio-political leanings together with the mythology of America and the hope that it's held for so many in Bono's homeland of Ireland. Bono employs his powerful voice and indeed he is worthy of the title Bono Vox,which means good voice, to the service of his thesis that America is still a beacon of hope at the close of the century for so many who seek moral and social justice. He sermonizes with the fire of a preacher on stage and indeed the band does collaborate with a gospel choir on I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Amazing film about a great band at the peak of their career!
½ March 14, 2012
In the late 80's there was only one musical influence over me. His name was Michael Jackson. But I remember when Rattle And Hum hit the theaters in 1988 and I sort of swore never to see it... It was the total opposite to MJ's magical mystery tour. MJ had Moonwalker and U2 had Rattle And Hum. I chose Moonwalker any day of the week, but needless to say I didn't know what I was missing. I saw the film some 19 years later and this time it won me over - big time! Rattle And Hum has some of the finest U2 live footage ever put on film. If Outside Broadcast never materialises as a DVD or Bluray release, then this is U2 at the to of their game.
April 4, 2011
I guess i liked this movie when it came out in the 90s. I still like the band and the way it was filmed in 2011.
½ May 31, 2010
I was sitting in my empty living room late one night after all my family had gone to sleep and I stumbled across this little gem. This beautifully heartfelt and executed depiction of the greatest band in the world lifted my spirits that night and put me in a U2 inflicted coma, and I am just now coming out of it.

Rattle and Hum chronicles U2 during 1988 as they transition from their success of their epic masterpiece "Joshua Tree" to recording for the next album "Rattle and Hum", aptly named. It also captures a time when the band is on the backend of their transition from their homeland Ireland to their new home and inspiration for their new album, the United States.

The film is wonderfully shot with the majority being in stark black and white. Only during some moments does the viewer experience color photography, brought about by an abrupt transition from grayscale to full color. The cinematography during the interviews, recording sessions, and B roll is given the personal touch through mostly handheld footage while the concert footage implements all the big production toys like cranes, steady cams, and dollies. Each image, if seen on HD, is so sublime and vivid; at times it straddles the line between surrealism and veritas, Hollywood production and documentary.

There are many great moments in Rattle and Hum but two stand out to me as being completely jaw dropping. The first is when U2 records, practices, and eventually performs with B.B. King on the song "When Love Came to Town". King's personality is so endearing and subdued, contrasting vigorously with the intense yet always passionate Bono, yet when they perform they mold together seamlessly, creating a kaleidoscope of two different worlds reveling in the power of the blues. The second moment comes during one of the films final songs, "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Bono opens with a love letter to the Irish in America, followed by a somber first half of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". At midway point, the band erupts and Bono starts wailing even more and more. During an interlude, he starts to talk to the audience again, except this time he is enraged: "I am so sick of Irish Americans, who have never visited the homeland in 20 or so years, come up to me talk to me about the revolution". As he goes on, the emotion increases: "I say F*** the revolution... where's the glory in taking a man from his bed at night and shooting him in front of his wife and kids?" After the song is finished, Bono is on the floor, silent and spent.

Rattle and Hum is no pioneer in documentary filmmaking, but it doesn't matter. It's wonderfully shot and U2 is simply unstoppable. In short, it is a great find for any U2 fan and worth checking out for anyone else.
April 15, 2010
a great documentary on a great band!
no doubt about it!
December 23, 2009
Up close and personal with the greatest rock band in the world. To hear them speak about what Sunday Bloody Sunday means to them is amazing. BB King telling Bono that he writes deep stuff for a kid. To see what they do behind the stage when they walk off stage before the encore is awesome. I've seen U2 in concert in Sept. 09 in Chicago and this film, in fact no film can do there shows justice. It is a religious experience to have 61,500 people singing Where The Streets Have No Name. In fact hearing the opening guitar thrashing through the speakers is enough to make a grown man cry. This movie is the closest depiction to the music they make. They didn't talk about their private lives, about girlfriends, they talked about inspirations like Larry Mullen Jr.'s love of Elvis. Visiting Graceland, the best interview moment is when Larry Mullen Jr. is sitting in his kitchen trying not to cry thinking about Elvis's eternal flame. Fading from Black-N-White to Color when they enter the desert, Sun Devil Stadium.
Loved It.
½ August 16, 2009
One of the greatest rock bands up close and personal.

Irish rockers U2 jam with blues master blues master B.B. King in director Phil Joanou's documentary. The veteran music video director joined the band's U.S.Joshua Tree tour, filming the 1980s rock icons as they sang with a gospel choir, recorded at Sun Records and made a pilgrimage to Graceland. B.B. King performs on "Angel of Harlem" and "When Love Comes to Town," both included on U2's subsequent album "Rattle and Hum."

The film follows them from Scotland to their U.s Tour in 87. When going into a concert film you have to be asking yourself two questions. 1.Hows the music? and 2. How does it look?.

To answer the first question, the music is mostly recent U2 standard, and since this is a band that takes pride in the political content in their music it's a surprise that throughout the film about 80% of the lyrics are impossible to understand. The only way you understand what the words are if you know all the songs lyrics by heart. I think the audience does and you can tell cause they sing a long and there's no denigrating the power that U2 has over its fans.

Now onto the next question of how does it look?. The important thing is that almost all the concerts take place at night ande were very poorly lighted for movie-making purposes.

Compared to other movies about rock bands this film is a mess, but a fun mess. The colors are good-looking I will say but they never change and stay the same the whole film and doesn't change its look barely. The audience which is a big factor in all bands, was basically pushed out and the whole camera the whole time was focusing on U2 and forgetting about the audience.

However the one thing that really ticked me off was the band U2 themselves. You would think since they are one of the biggest bands in the world they would at least have something interesting to say, no, not at all. During the first 5 minutes U2 just sits there and they don't say a thing and they think this is being cute. There was no insight from this band except for a little mention of Elvis but even that wasn't interesting and just came off as way too random.

I did like the music and liked how it was filmed in black-and-white. I felt like I was there with the band in concert and a lot of the camera work is really extravagant of how they go from one member of the band to the other in such a fashion that isn't rushed but used to have a total concert experience.

Consensus: This film is not a documentary as much as it is a film on U2's concerts. It looks good and is rockin' but doesn't feature any insight from the band and completely forgetting the audience. Get the soundtrack not the movie.

½ May 21, 2009
U2 reached new heights of popularity in 1987, and this film was a product of their success. I really enjoyed the film because it manages to balance the band both on stage in concert and off stage as they learn more about American music. The black and white is a great choice, and when the film colorizes, it adds to the overall experience. Recently I read Roger Ebert complain that the lighting for this film was less than ideal, showing only silhouettes of the band. This is something I disagree with because it forces us to focus on the music rather than the individual. Also, there are plenty of moments throughout the film where each member is clearly seen, so Ebert's complaint doesn't resonate with me so much. This is a film that no self-respecting U2 fan should miss. Great songs and candid moments all add up to a gem of a concert film.
January 28, 2007
This is not really a movie. This is, in fact, an extended music video with a few interview bits, but not really very many of those at all.

Not that I mind.

For one, Gods know the boys aren't exactly hard on the eyes. The Edge (do his friends call him "The"?) is wearing a very cool hat through most of it. This is in Bono's long-haired days, and he had [i]very[/i] nice hair. You get a nice gospel choir in there, too, and they're always fun to watch.

But of course, we're all here for the songs. If we weren't, would we be watching a movie about a band's tour? We [i]want[/i] to hear Bono telling us he can't live with or without us. That was why we paid the price of admission. (Or, you know, checked it out from the library. But I was on a waiting list, man!) We get quite a lot of songs, too. 25, in fact, which is the more impressive given that the movie's just over an hour and a half long.

I've never had the opportunity to see U2 live. I'm poor, you know. Still, I've heard their live stuff many times, including a great sing-along cover of "One." They seem to be as good a concert band as they are a studio band, and that isn't always the case. Naturally, one expects that the footage and the album (of course there's a soundtrack album!) will be souped up to sound as good as possible. Still, they clearly have energy; that can't be faked in post production.

Every year, I half-expect to learn that Bono has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The day is certainly coming. But even when he does, I will still remember being youg, when this movie first came out. At the time, we all just thought it was silly. Now, nearly twenty years later, it seems a slice of a simpler time.

Oh, I know. It wasn't, really. Then, we had the Cold War. My Gods, Reagan was still in office. But in 1988, I had fewer problems. One of the things I like about Bono is that he genuinely seems to want all of us all over the world to have fewer problems again.
September 16, 2006
"U2: Rattle & Hum" documents U2's Joshua Tree tour and the production of "Rattle & Hum". The band actually has little to say about their work, which in thought makes perfect sense because music (especially theirs) is just too complicated to express with words. Anybody who is a fan of U2 (or rock music) will defintely enjoy the energized performances and alternate cuts of the band's classic hits as well as some cover songs.
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