A concert movie on an unprecedented scale. Rattle And Hum captures U2 ? on and off the stage ? during their triumphant Joshua Tree tour. From the giant Technicolor stadium celebrations to the black-and-white intensity of t... more »he indoor shows, this is U2 at their best. Follow the group across America, exploring new influences, playing with the legendary B.B. King, on a journey which takes them from Dublin to Graceland, from San Francisco to the streets of Harlem, from The Joshua Tree to Rattle And Hum.« less
"Rattle & Hum is a documterary of U2's 1987 tour of America. Director Phil Joanou follows the band to New York, Texas, Memphis, San Francisco, Denver and Arizona. The movie is shot in black and white for the most part until the end when a couple of concert sequences appear in color. The sharp contrast is startling and gives the film an added power. One of the more poignant scenes is the band's visit to Graceland and Sun Studios as the visit the cradle of rock 'n' roll. For four guys from Dublin, Ireland this visit is like a visit to the Holy Land and it is treated with justifiable reverence. While the interviews and look at the behind the scenes are nice, the meat of any rock film are the live performances and U2 does not disappoint. Their performance of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" with a Harlem choir in a church is uplifting. The do a gut wrenching take on "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and haunting version of "With Or Without You". They practically explode off the screen with the rampaging "Bullet The Blue Sky". Rattle & Hum is a must for any U2 fan and now that fourteen years have past and the band has changed its image and look a couple of times, it is interesting to look at them in a simpler time."
U2's great & misunderstood rock film comes to DVD
Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 10/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved U2's "Rattle and Hum", both the movie, and the acompanying soundtrack album. Both managed to catch U2 at what I consider to be the height of their artistic powers. Now that this film has come to DVD, I now appreciate it even more! The sound and picture quality is superb - in fact you should listen to it through a good set of headphones if you can! While some have complained about the "grainy" black and white photography that dominates most of the movie, I find that it really sets a mood and adds a unique dimension - a song like the dark and imposing "Exit" just would not be same filmed with bright colors and flashing lights! The interview segments are nice, especially when we get to hear drummer Larry Mullen Jr. speak about his hero Elvis, but it is the music that is the rightful focus of the movie. Songs from "The Joshua Tree" are heavily featured, including an emotional version of "Running To Stand Still" that surpasses the studio recording. Ditto for the aforementioned version of "Exit"...Wow! Other highlights include the "Angel of Harlem" recording sessions at Sun Studios, a live performance of the anti-aparthied anthem "Silver and Gold", a powerhouse version of "Desire" taken from the tour rehersals, a dark and menacing concert version of "Bullet the Blue Sky", and an emotional re-working of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", which is perhaps the esential version of that song! Bono is an engaging presence throughout the film, and it is obvious that he really poured his heart and soul into these performances. (I really wish that Bono would take himself this "seriously" again, rather than performing that "rock star parody" character that he has taken to in recent years) If you love the music of U2, then just ignore the critics and buy this movie! Those narrow-minded critics simply didn't understand the premise of this film, or the band who inspired it! "Rattle & Hum" is the story of four guys who loved rock-n-roll so much that the dedicated their entire lives to it...it's a simple as that!"
Definitive live versions of several songs: ONLY on this film
Jeffery K. Matheus | 04/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
". The BEST REASON TO GET THIS VIDEO is that there are versions of several songs that are arguably definitive live works by the band. It defies all logic that they didn't make it onto the album--or anywhere else for that matter. I would think that these songs warrant a "More Rattle & Hum" album, or at least a DVD version of the movie. For U2 fans, whether veteran or newly discovering the band, this video is a MUST HAVE. The opening in the studio version of "WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME" has some of Edge's most recognized guitar work. In the movie they surprise us by leading in with organ music taken from the song, yet not immediately recognizable, crescendoing into reinterpreted guitar licks by Edge. It works magic by improving an already classic lead-in to a classic tune. The same can be said for "WITH OR WITHOUT YOU." Bono sings, lower and more intensely than in the studio version and ads new lyrics that really speak to the band's essence-"...like stars in the summer night, one heart, one hope, one love"The "Wide Awake in America" album has an incredible version of "BAD" but the version in the movie, surprisingly breaks new ground. Bono shifts in to an impromptu chorus of "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday" with bits of "Sympathy for the Devil" sprinkled in. The net effect is definitely more than the sum of its parts--at once a tribute to the Rolling Stones and fresh perspective on what is already one of U2s most stirring and emotional songs.Another song that the band mixes up to excellent effect is "EXIT." In the middle of the song Bono throws in references to "Gloria" and whips the audience into a frenzy of singing along. This is absolutely the best version of the song available."RUNNING TO STAND STILL" also improves upon the studio version with improvised lyrics and increased intensity. The band, true to form, has the audience eating out of its hands as they sing the new lyrics "still runnin" repeatedly.Another treat is the story of the song they wrote for BB King, "WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN." BB King makes a series of observations about Bono that really sum up the spirit of U2 in a way that has yet to be matched. When Bono asks if he likes the song BB says, " I love the song... the lyrics is real heavy... (long pause) you're mighty young to write such heavy lyrics." Cut to an auditorium rehearsal of the song after which B.B. says, "Lotta emotion right there young man... that's alright... that's alright! The movie immediately cuts to the brooding chords of "HEARTLAND" with images of the "sunrise over her skin...burning bright and violent, freeway like a river cuts through this land," which having followed B.B. King's comments about Bono's lyrics create a new appreciation for this poetic song."SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY" also, surprisingly, graces the film, and fans will appreciate the new insight concerning the song's origin that Bono delivers like a minister preaching hell-fire and brimstone.This movie is artsy, arguably pretentious, and often preachy (Bono is younger and more idealistic here) but for me B.B. King sums it all up: "Lotta emotion there young man...and THAT'S ALL RIGHT." http://www.serendigital.com/u2fan/index.html"
Through the past, lightly
Ceferino Lamb | France, CA USA | 03/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been into U2 since I was a punk rock DJ in the 80s, but it wasn't until Unforgettable Fire that my addiction became pathological. I saw them live in Oakland CA and left there pleased but not terrible impressed about their musical skills. They seemed as sloppy live as many rock icons are out of the studio.
But this DVD rights that wrong. I just purchased it in 2005 and found out a few things about U2 that I never knew:
The band is tighter than I thought. I used to think that Adam and Larry were just backing up the stars, but it's apparent from this DVD that they are both hard-working serious musical lads.
Edge is a better guitar player that I thought he was. He might not be mister solo, but he drives the band ala Pete Townsend and never seems to run out of rythym.
Bono is just as overbearing and postured as I had thought. But by God the ensemble works, and I can't fault him or the band for the results.
I recommend that you buy this DVD and add it to your collection. You might find yourself playing it more than you expected. It has excellent moments."
U2-The Birth of a Super-Band
Jack Carey | Columbus, Ohio USA | 10/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"U2--nothing more nothing less. This is U2 at it's best. No video screens. No Zoo-tv. No props whatsoever. Just a band that knows how to rock. And rock they do from the beginning with a version of The Beatles "Helter Skelter". They take you on a journey thru America in 1987 and 1988 during the Joshua Tree tour--perhaps the bands best years. Highlights include a version of "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" with a Harlem chior, and the recording of "Angel of Harlem" at Sun Studios in Memphis--same studio that Elvis used, and a blazing version of "Desire". Perhaps the most moving moment is the chilling version of "Running to Stand Still". Along the way Bono tries to educate, from the problems in Northern Ireland ("Sunday, Bloody Sunday") to the problems in Nicaragua ("Bullet the Blue Sky"). During one such moment, Bono uses one of the best lines I've heard in a long time when talking about money-hungry evangelists--"The God I Beleive in Doesn't Run Short of Cash". If you missed this defining moment, this is a great catch-me up."