Two new reviews appear in today's Westender. I'm posting U2 3D today and How She Move tomorrow.
U2 3D Review—3 stars
By Andrea Warner
U2 3D documents the South American leg of the band’s “Vertigo” tour, and boasts the first 3-D, multi-camera, real-time production. The energy pulses as arms seem to wave right under the audience’s noses and the surround sound of the theatre kicks in with the roar of the crowd when Bono takes the stage.
Most of the 3-D effects are fantastic and focus on magnifying the band, allowing a close-up view of the various guitar, bass and drumming techniques. Among U2 3D’s strongest offerings are nostalgic political anthems “Bullet the Blue Sky”, “New Year’s Day”, and “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”. The Edge’s searing guitar on “Where the Streets Have No Name” and Adam Clayton’s bass on “With or Without You” are reminders of what a genuinely talented group of musicians U2 is.
Bono’s voice is showcased beautifully on “Pride (In the Name of Love)” but his theatrics take on a cheesy note during his father ballad “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”. U2 3D’s biggest misstep comes during the encore where the producers blow the majority of their effects budget during “The Fly”; it’s a visual onslaught that attacks the eyeballs and is out of place in a film that gracefully toes the line between excess and subtlety.
U2 are consummate professionals, and the band almost never falters once from their carefully constructed mandate. Even U2’s more freestyle moments feel calculated, particularly with the giant projector screens behind them, choreographed to coincide with each well-timed high note. This is one of the drawbacks of the 3-D experience: the flaws of the live show are much more obvious when viewed from a front-row seat inside a movie theatre.