When I was growing up, my mother must have owned every Beatles record that was ever made.  At the time I was not interested in them, all that I knew was that she would alway stack the vinyl on the changer early Saturday morning, and that was the queue that we were going to start cleaning.  Cleaning for her, at the time, meant EVERYTHING.  Stem to stern, top to bottom, etc… So obviously I grew up associating things like the Beatles with things like cleaning house, scrubbing toilets and such.

It was not until after I married, and she brought the Beatles back into my life, that I started to enjoy them again.  They took on a new meaning to me, and I was able to enjoy them again without the sudden urge to go find the vacuum or broom.

What strikes me as interesting about groups like the Beatles is that if you listen to them, you can hear them change from the fun “bubblegum rock” band that they seemed to be when they first became popular in the states, to one of the soundtrack groups of the late sixties counter-culture movement.  You can also see the changes in their music as they became more and more influenced by both the drugs that were more and more available to people at the time, and by George Harrison’s trips to and in India.  In fact George’s sitar work is some of the most mesmerizing that I have ever heard.

The reason I bring all this up is because my wife and I recently watched a great movie called “Across the Universe“, which is set in the late sixties during the Vietnam era and is a Beatles trivia and music orgasm.  We have seen it four times, and will probably see is a couple more times before it leaves the theater for DVD.  One of the best parts about the movie are the subtle pieces of Beatles trivia that are strategically placed throughout the movie.  I will not give them all away, but as an example, look for the occurrences of the number 9.  Anyone who is familiar with the Beatles will know the significance to this.  There are others, but I will let you find them…  If you have already seen the movie, and know about them, please do not post them here.  Have the fun is letting people find them on their own.

Was it a perfect movie?  No… if you are a detail nut like myself, you will see several continuity faults in the movie, but do not go in for the first time looking for them.  Just enjoy the movie and the story line that they are presenting.  Depending on your age, you will probably be silly like my wife and I and sit in the theater and sing along with the music.  If you are young and not as familiar with the Beatles, then you might discover something that you like in this movie, and become a fan.

The songs themselves are not sung by the Beatles… they are sung by a cast of unknowns.  People that have had next to no coverage on the big screen.  But they certainly do the songs they sing credit.  There are also a couple people that you will know… Joe Cocker plays the part of a street-bum, Pimp and a Hippie.  Oddly enough these are all parts that he looks very convincing in… they are not really parts, per se… he is singing “Come Together” during this part, and it does not last too long, but he is memorable in it.  Another face you will know is Bono.  He is outstanding as Dr. Robert singing “I am the Walrus.”  He also sings “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds” towards the end of the movie, and does an excellent job of that as well.

Unlike most Vietnam era movies, this one centers more on the happenings on the home front without vilifying the soldiers the way some movies seem to have done in the past when they address the counter-culture movement.  They address the war, and there is a brief display with soldiers carrying the Statue of Liberty across the Vietnam landscape, so it is not hard to see what they are implying, but that is about it.

Really, you should go see this movie.  It is fun and you get to hear a lot of great music.

A word of warning…  If you do go see it, and then go out to buy the CD, you may be a little disappointed.  Some of the songs that are in the move, are not on the CD.  I am not sure why, but I am sure it probably has something to do with licensing.

Go see the movie, and have fun.  It is a great watch.

Samuel Wright
Writer / Father / Listener / Philosopher
I am a starving writer living in the backwater of California, in a place known mostly for Buck Owens and Valley Fever called Bakersfield.

This site is my release. A place for me to talk about things that annoy, please, or excite me.