I thought it was funny when someone suggested I was going to write this post about Across the Universe. Like I would own that dribble. When I talk about a cheesy movie, I'm talking about something that resembles muenster cheese being shoved up your nose. Yeah, that cheesy. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band "starred" Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. Now I say starred with quotations because it's hard to star in a movie that just dies from the instant it hits the screen.
Story: There's a real Sgt. Pepper and he has a Lonely Hearts Club Band. He's a WWI hero and their music keeps the town Heartland alive and prospering. Yeah, great start. Well, Sgt. Pepper dies in 1958, but he leaves to Billy Shears (Frampton) his musical legacy. With the help of the Hendersons (the Bee Gees), they become the second incarnation of the band. They get noticed by music execs in the City of Angels, and get lost in the mix of big city life. In Heartland, FVB tells Mean Mr. Mustard to steal Pepper's instruments and Heartland falls apart with crime, prostitution, and gambling.
Strawberry Fields, Shears' girlfriend from Heartland, leaves for the big city to get Shears and the Hendersons to come back home to save the town, but she finds Shears falling for Lucy (the girl with kaleidoscope eyes). Shears falls for Fields again, and the band find Mr. Mustard's van outside the studio, and are able to get back one of the instruments. Using the van, they get back the instruments from Mr. Maxwell and Father Sun. But before they can get the last instrument, the computer in the van breaks down. So the band decides to put on a benefit concert to save Heartland. The only problem is Mr. Mustard kidnaps Fields and steals the instruments again to give to FVB. The band follow Mustard to FVB, which we find out means Future Villain Band. The band gets the instruments back but not without the price of losing Fields. A funeral takes place but Shears feels he can't on and jumps from a tall building when Sgt. Pepper (Billy Preston) saves the day to stop Shears, turn Mustard and the villains of the movie into catholic priests and nuns, and bring back Fields with the energy/lightning from Pepper's fingers. In the end, a huge group of musicians, comedians, etc. sing us out to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)".
Yeah, it's that ugly of a story. The things that save it are the songs sung by the Bee Gees. The dated 1970s wardrobes, sets, and futuristic computers are awful and really make no sense. Okay, the whole movie doesn't make sense! Why is this even needed? Even the Bee Gees wanted to step away from this. I think this movie may have single-handedly killed disco. Why? Because disco tried to touch The Beatles' music, and it failed. Miserably.
I haven't seen Across the Universe, but I'm going to guess it's in the same vein as this. For some reason, it's like John Lennon said in "A Day in the Life": I just had to look. I can't turn away from it. Probably because I'm trying to figure out why they did this. So many famous actors, musicians, comedians: what did they have to gain from this?
And Billy Preston, the only "Beatle" in the film: why would you do it? Love your take on "Get Back" but you had to know this was a bomb. Were you desperate for money?
So yes, I own on DVD probably one of the worst movies of all-time, and yet I can't help but love it. It's so bad, it's something to watch. That's all I can say. See it once, and you're hooked.
Alright, next post is about the movie that started it all for The Beatles. Pretty simple clue, pretty cool movie. Later!