U2: Rattle and Hum (1988)

A documentary of the Irish rock group U2 on their Fall 1987 tour of North America.
  • 7.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Phil Joanou, Director:
  • Michael Hamlyn, Producer:
7 / 10

A triumph, a disaster, a lesson. Probably the finest music film there will ever be.

At the time of writing, this film is almost 20 years old. When I first watched it I was a half U2 fan, a U1 if you will. Joshua tree was one of my favourite CDs, but despite being a frequent listener of the earlier stuff, I'd remained unhooked. But after seeing Rattle and Hum I was almost literally breathless. It became one of a small handful of VHS music videos that I made the effort to take with me as I moved through life.

When I discovered the concept of digital movies, it was the first tape I digitised so I could watch it on my computer, and when video CD came along, I bought that too because the quality was much better than my amateur 'rip'. Naturally when DVD came along I had to have the quality offered by that too. And when I got my first portable video player, well Rattle & h Hum was the first DVD I ripped so I could play it on that (although Pink Floyds pulse had become it's constant companion too).

Today, I took delivery of my iPod Touch, and, sad bastard that I am, Rattle and Hum is the first movie I'm watching on it.

Why is it I love this film when the music press and the band itself seem to dis this film? I once read an article that suggested the band almost split after the release of the film. Instead they went off and regrouped into their post Achtung baby period. Better they had split and then reformed once whatever itch was out of their system, I think. I still hope they still will.

I love this film because it presents the band a their absolute peak. Every inch of concert footage is tight. Bono sounds amazing, much better than I ever saw him. The Edge soars, Larry beats perfect time, while Adam holds everything together. If that isn't enough, the photography is stunning. There is not a single scene in the whole film that would benefit from a different point of view, lighting setup or depth of field (except perhaps the Bono scene 31 minutes in where he tries his hand at graffiti backed by watchtower, personally I'd have made that blurred I think). The visuals are completely stunning and reinforce the bands stature already perfectly presented by just enough short of perfect performance.

If I last another 20 years, I'm confident this film will make the Journey with me.

6 / 10

Left me wanting more.

I have been a U2 fan since the days of "Boy" and "October". I was very excited to see this movie about the band when it first came out but after viewing it I left the theatre feeling strangely flat. And wishing I had seen alot more.

The footage was different then what I was expecting and maybe I just had different expectations of what I was seeing. The film, in my eyes, lacked depth. I wanted to hear about the band themselves but U2 the band came across as almost feeling a little awkward-that was my interpretation anyway. I had no problem with the black and white footage, that sort of reinforces the band's haunting brooding qualities anyway, but the movie didn't TELL me anything and thats what I was looking for.

The best CONCERT footage of U2 I've ever seen is U2 at The Red Rocks which blew me away and which I guerentee the same response from any fan who may not have seen that. Rattle and Hum wasn't a bad effort, I had no problem sitting through it and staying focused. After all it was about a talented and brillient group of individuals. But the film lacked the soul I was looking for. I wouldn't call this truely great. It didn't give me the feeling I knew anything more of U2 the people and likewise didn't give me any musical enrichment I hadn't already gotton TRIPLE from watching U2 at Red Rocks. I'd give this 6.5 of 10.

8 / 10

top notch concert film

An outstanding documentary/concert film detailing the irish rock band U2 on a tour..of course the band plays their greatest hits and some other known songs, including a duet with blues great BB king..

Great cinematography and the black and white usage makes it all that much better.

A must see for any U2 fan.. On a scale of one to ten.. 8

8 / 10

Depends What You Think Of Late 80s U2

The only concert I have ever attended in my life was the U2 concert held at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on the first of August 1987 . This was part of the band`s Joshua Tree tour and I was slightly disappointed with the concert possibly down to the fact that The Joshua Tree is the band`s most Americanized album and as a die hard fan I much preferred their first three albums

U2:RATTLE AND HUM is the movie release made to tie in with the album of the same name that when it was released in the Autumn of 1988 became the fastest selling album in British chart history . It consists of interviews , concert footage (and the occasional track being recorded in the studio , nothing groundbreaking or radical and what you make of this documentary all comes down to what you make of late 1980s recordings from Bono and the boys since most of the concert tracks are from The Joshua Tree . In its favour it`s far better directed and edited than the 1983 release UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY but if like me you prefer early 80s U2 then you`ll be disappointed with what`s missing , stuff like Gloria ( Not the Van Morrison song ) , I Will Follow and Electric Co . Bizarrely the best track from the album HawkMoon 269 is conspicious by its absence . I say bizarrely because Bono is on record as saying at the time it was his all time favourite U2 track and is the stand out track from the album . As it stands the movie`s highlight is the rendition of Sunday Bloody Sunday played on the night of Sunday 8th November 1987 hours after an IRA bomb had murdered 11 people and maimed scores more at a remembrance service in the Northern Irish town of Enniskillen where Bono explodes a few myths of " The glory of the revolution "

I got the DVD for my Christmas a couple of years ago ( Thanks Michelle ) and I was very disappointed since it basically contains just the movie and a choice of subtitles with no extras

8 / 10

An underrated look at U2 during a pivotal time in their career.

This movie delivers U2 doing what they do best (touring), experimenting with new types of music in America and showing us that they're truly the nice guys they're projected to be. I see nothing disappointing about charismatic interviews, solid musical performances and meaningful reflection. Those who disliked this departure from the band's "usual" style can't recognize the importance of musical growth we see here. Looking back to what The Joshua Tree was and what became Achtung Baby, it's easy to see Rattle and Hum was a necessary expression of their progress at that time, and a humble look at a band celebrating their artistic heroes.