Author Topic: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years  (Read 2304 times)

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Offline Spaderholic

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Honestly, I just never understand the negativity and vitriol this film continues to receive! Really, 90% of it is just a concert video, and a damn good one at that. The band played brilliantly and Bono was on top form vocally. The bits in between the songs, they're all pretty much something and nothing really. There's not a lot to comment on, just a few bits of them back stage, the visit to Graceland, performing with a gospel choir, etc. I know some people claim the band acted like they invented blues music or like they were trying to teach the American public about their own music but I don't see that at all! I just think they came across as really happy to have discovered this music for themselves and were now enjoying playing the blues and were just keen to immerse themselves in it all. Having not watched the film for so long I'd forgotten how little they're actually shown in the film away from the stage performances, actually. I thought there were a lot more discussions and interviews in it than there actually are.

I like the gospel choir version of ISHFWILF and the live performance of Bad, well that's just spectacular, as is Bullet The Blue Sky and Bono's rant! Ultimately though it really is just a live concert tour video more than anything and I just don't get what some people have against it so much and why it was so slated by the critics! What were people expecting, really? A Fellini-esque cinematic masterpiece?! It's a concert tour film, nothing more nothing less and for me it's all about the music and the music was damn great! :)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 09:43:48 PM by Spaderholic »



Offline riffraff

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 05:01:52 AM »
Streets on R&H is one of my favorites to watch. I love the entire video. Don't really care about all those negative reactions people have!

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 11:24:24 AM »
I think its great, i watch it and the Documentary from the JT deluxe box set (believe its called Outside It's America) together at least a few times a year.  Great stuff from an exciting period.

Offline MEMORY_MAN

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 12:37:16 PM »
Love it.  This movie had a major role in making me a fan.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016, 01:45:51 PM »
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Honestly, I just never understand the negativity and vitriol this film continues to receive! Really, 90% of it is just a concert video, and a damn good one at that. The band played brilliantly and Bono was on top form vocally. The bits in between the songs, they're all pretty much something and nothing really. There's not a lot to comment on, just a few bits of them back stage, the visit to Graceland, performing with a gospel choir, etc. I know some people claim the band acted like they invented blues music or like they were trying to teach the American public about their own music but I don't see that at all! I just think they came across as really happy to have discovered this music for themselves and were now enjoying playing the blues and were just keen to immerse themselves in it all. Having not watched the film for so long I'd forgotten how little they're actually shown in the film away from the stage performances, actually. I thought there were a lot more discussions and interviews in it than there actually are.

I like the gospel choir version of ISHFWILF and the live performance of Bad, well that's just spectacular, as is Bullet The Blue Sky and Bono's rant! Ultimately though it really is just a live concert tour video more than anything and I just don't get what some people have against it so much and why it was so slated by the critics! What were people expecting, really? A Fellini-esque cinematic masterpiece?! It's a concert tour film, nothing more nothing less and for me it's all about the music and the music was damn great! :)

I can't really speak for anyone else--I love the movie too.  But I'm guessing the criticisms came from the sort of "self serious" way the band presents themselves.  There's a level of pompousness that I, even as a fan, can recognize.  It's less of a fly-on-the-wall portrayal of a band at work than it is a band who is VERY aware of the camera in the room, and are playing to it the whole time.  So you have Edge JUST LEARNING the chords to All Along the Watchtower, and then they proceed to seemingly blow away the crowd.  (It's three chords.  We're not talking complexity here, but it plays to the camera.)  The assumption that some post punk band from Ireland has any business playing with B.B. King, or recording in Sun Studios with a horn section.  Bono telling the Edge to "play the blues!", when Edge plays nothing like the blues.  The sort of cutesy, we-don't-know-what-this-movie-is-about posing when they're asked about it, and then choosing to leave it in the film.  The fact they shot themselves standing over Elvis's grave YEARS after Spinal Tap deflated that exact type of tribute/ego trip.  I have no illusion that the band come off as almost uniformly ridiculous.  But you know what?  That type of imagery works when you're young and looking up to musicians as heroes and icons.  The musical performances themselves are still (mostly) great.  And sometimes a little ridiculousness from a rock star is welcome.  It certainly made them larger than life, in a way no other concert video/film has.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2016, 09:38:11 PM »
I think that "Rattle and Hum" is great and was largely appreciated by their fan base.  Critics and "those who have a lot of thoughts about who can do what kind of musical genre" didn't appreciate it apparently, but who really cares.

Offline GardenTart

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2016, 09:41:24 PM »
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Honestly, I just never understand the negativity and vitriol this film continues to receive! Really, 90% of it is just a concert video, and a damn good one at that. The band played brilliantly and Bono was on top form vocally. The bits in between the songs, they're all pretty much something and nothing really. There's not a lot to comment on, just a few bits of them back stage, the visit to Graceland, performing with a gospel choir, etc. I know some people claim the band acted like they invented blues music or like they were trying to teach the American public about their own music but I don't see that at all! I just think they came across as really happy to have discovered this music for themselves and were now enjoying playing the blues and were just keen to immerse themselves in it all. Having not watched the film for so long I'd forgotten how little they're actually shown in the film away from the stage performances, actually. I thought there were a lot more discussions and interviews in it than there actually are.

I like the gospel choir version of ISHFWILF and the live performance of Bad, well that's just spectacular, as is Bullet The Blue Sky and Bono's rant! Ultimately though it really is just a live concert tour video more than anything and I just don't get what some people have against it so much and why it was so slated by the critics! What were people expecting, really? A Fellini-esque cinematic masterpiece?! It's a concert tour film, nothing more nothing less and for me it's all about the music and the music was damn great! :)

I can't really speak for anyone else--I love the movie too.  But I'm guessing the criticisms came from the sort of "self serious" way the band presents themselves.  There's a level of pompousness that I, even as a fan, can recognize.  It's less of a fly-on-the-wall portrayal of a band at work than it is a band who is VERY aware of the camera in the room, and are playing to it the whole time.  So you have Edge JUST LEARNING the chords to All Along the Watchtower, and then they proceed to seemingly blow away the crowd.  (It's three chords.  We're not talking complexity here, but it plays to the camera.)  The assumption that some post punk band from Ireland has any business playing with B.B. King, or recording in Sun Studios with a horn section.  Bono telling the Edge to "play the blues!", when Edge plays nothing like the blues.  The sort of cutesy, we-don't-know-what-this-movie-is-about posing when they're asked about it, and then choosing to leave it in the film.  The fact they shot themselves standing over Elvis's grave YEARS after Spinal Tap deflated that exact type of tribute/ego trip.  I have no illusion that the band come off as almost uniformly ridiculous.  But you know what?  That type of imagery works when you're young and looking up to musicians as heroes and icons.  The musical performances themselves are still (mostly) great.  And sometimes a little ridiculousness from a rock star is welcome.  It certainly made them larger than life, in a way no other concert video/film has.

Well put JF.

Offline riffraff

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 05:02:53 AM »
It truly is a giggle when Bono says "play the blues". Talk about out of context.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 02:12:55 PM »
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It truly is a giggle when Bono says "play the blues". Talk about out of context.

I mean, there's a part of me that would always rationalize it.  "Well, the blues is an expression of pain, and so that's what Edge is doing, sort of--he's expressing something..."  But yeah, it's hard not to just completely roll your eyes at it.

The more I think of it, the more it ridiculous the band seems in the movie.  Which I love.  But still.

Put it this way: if you as an adult were to watch a band of 20-somethings who you didn't know act like U2 acts in the movie, you'd probably be saying to yourself "who do these idiots think they are?"  I loved when it was discussed on R U Talking U2 to Me, and they talk about how Bono had to display not one, but TWO crucifixes during Helter Skelter.  I think for me the movie's saving grace is that I loved it as a younger person--my jadedness has a hard time taking hold and dismissing the movie now, it's sort of "grandfathered in".

Offline an tha

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2016, 05:25:59 PM »
Bono backstage when he is (very hazy my memory is here) telling the band something about coming in on the 2nd verse not the third verse or something like that is so cringeworthy....he sounds and acts like a proper knobhead at that time and i can imagine a lot of people would be turned off by the way he is in that moment....

Personally i find the film has few redeeming features.....i never really liked that period of u2 much though so i am a little biased.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 05:30:31 PM by an tha »

Offline riffraff

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 05:21:26 AM »
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Bono backstage when he is (very hazy my memory is here) telling the band something about coming in on the 2nd verse not the third verse or something like that is so cringeworthy....he sounds and acts like a proper knobhead at that time and i can imagine a lot of people would be turned off by the way he is in that moment....

Personally i find the film has few redeeming features.....i never really liked that period of u2 much though so i am a little biased.
An Tha, you  are a LOT biased, but that's why we keep you around! I do agree that Bono was a bit of a jerk (did you actually say knobhead?!!!) in some of the documentary sections. But  I really love the film in general. Of course, being an older female, watching Edge with long hair is just THE BEST. And, yeah, his guitar work isn't bad either. ha. And Adam was really coming into his own by this time. R&H has my favorite version of Streets.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 06:53:50 AM »
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Bono backstage when he is (very hazy my memory is here) telling the band something about coming in on the 2nd verse not the third verse or something like that is so cringeworthy....he sounds and acts like a proper knobhead at that time and i can imagine a lot of people would be turned off by the way he is in that moment....

Personally i find the film has few redeeming features.....i never really liked that period of u2 much though so i am a little biased.
An Tha, you  are a LOT biased, but that's why we keep you around! I do agree that Bono was a bit of a jerk (did you actually say knobhead?!!!) in some of the documentary sections. But  I really love the film in general. Of course, being an older female, watching Edge with long hair is just THE BEST. And, yeah, his guitar work isn't bad either. ha. And Adam was really coming into his own by this time. R&H has my favorite version of Streets.

The Streets portion really was the highlight of the movie.  I would often just start it from that point, if I wasn't up for sitting through the whole thing.

And the Bono bit was bad, but I thought was another "oh, the camera's on me, better act all intense and sh*t" moment, more than him just being a jerk.  Not that there's much difference.

Offline an tha

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 11:36:35 AM »
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Bono backstage when he is (very hazy my memory is here) telling the band something about coming in on the 2nd verse not the third verse or something like that is so cringeworthy....he sounds and acts like a proper knobhead at that time and i can imagine a lot of people would be turned off by the way he is in that moment....

Personally i find the film has few redeeming features.....i never really liked that period of u2 much though so i am a little biased.
An Tha, you  are a LOT biased, but that's why we keep you around! I do agree that Bono was a bit of a jerk (did you actually say knobhead?!!!) in some of the documentary sections. But  I really love the film in general. Of course, being an older female, watching Edge with long hair is just THE BEST. And, yeah, his guitar work isn't bad either. ha. And Adam was really coming into his own by this time. R&H has my favorite version of Streets.

Jerk and knobhead are pretty much the same thing i think just different languages!

I did quite enjoy seeing Exit on that film (a song i really like)...i always thought it was a bit fast though......

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2016, 11:51:14 AM »
The performances, especially WOWY, Bad, Exit, SBS, etc, are fantastic!  The had a ton of energy back then!  As far the cringe-worthy moments, I guess you would have to take into account how young and (relatively) inexperienced they were back then.

Offline SwimmingSorrows

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Re: Watched Rattle And Hum last night, for the first time in years
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2016, 12:15:11 PM »
I really like this film and the album attached to it.  Probably my favorite live era of theirs.  The version of Sunday Bloody Sunday here is one of the things that got me into the band and is still my favorite version of that song.  (I made an edited version without the rant for casual listening, as great as that rant is).

There are some painful moments, though.  There's a video on the internet made by a U2 fan called "The Top 5 Awful Moments in U2's Rattle and Hum" that does a good job pointing out some of it's issues, I think.