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U2: From The Sky Down [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 2011, U2 returned to Hansa Studios in Berlin to discuss the making of Achtung Baby. From The Sky Down, is a documentary film directed by Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim (It Might Get Loud, Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth).

Screened in the UK as part of the BBC's Imagine Series, From The Sky Down was the first ever documentary film to open the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. From The Sky Down includes bonus footage of So Cruel, Love Is Blindness, and The Fly shot in May 2011 during the band's visit to Hansa Studios to mark the 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby; as well as a Q&A with Bono, The Edge and Davis Guggenheim filmed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011.

Twenty years after the release of U2's Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim charts the path toward this groundbreaking album. Guggenheim uses animation and unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin alongside conversation to reveal what is now a key chapter in U2 s career.


Davis Guggenheim's making-of-the-album docu From the Sky Down takes an enjoyably novel approach to rock stars known for their fine-tuned products, focusing on the awkwardly embryonic growth of artistic and interpersonal elements that resulted in a classic disc. --Variety

It is, quite simply, one of the most transcendent close-up looks at the process of creating rock & roll I've ever seen. --Entertainment Weekly

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: U2
  • Directors: Davis Guggenheim
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Island
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005SD2606
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"It's an odd place to live your life, as an artist: building from the sky down." - Bono

The film opens with the band about to go onstage at Glastonbury on June 24th, 2010 (My birthday, incidentally.) They opened that show by playing a song from Achtung Baby: Even Better Than The Real Thing.

I remember being a young U2 fanatic when Rattle and Hum came out. I loved the album. I was proud of "my" band. Not having an older brother, or anyone to introduce me to pre-1980 music, it WAS my introduction to B.B. King, to the Blues, to American music. I did not understand that my experience was unusual. I heard God Part II before I'd ever heard Lennon's God. U2's versions of Helter Skelter and All Along the Watchtower were the FIRST versions I'd ever heard of those songs.

I remember watching the Siskel and Ebert review on television as they trashed that film. They said something like, "It wouldn't make them any new fans." I thought they were ridiculous. I didn't understand the reaction which people who were a little older than I was were having, and who knew more about the music of the 1960s and 1970s. And, Rattle and Hum WAS a good movie. I remember playing it for friends in college and converting a few new U2 fans to the fold.

But, as great as Rattle and Hum might have been, it did have a rough reaction from the critics and it's only now in From The Sky Down that we see how much this upset the band. U2 were never in it just for the money, or the fame, or to get laid, or any of the usual reasons. They were and are artists and they wanted to create art which would be respected by their peers and the industry. The critical reaction in 1989 kinda caused a nervous breakdown for them. They had to "go away and dream it all up again.
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Format: Blu-ray
As someone who is old enough to have followed the many highs and lows in the career of Irish superband U2, I didn't expect much in the way of new insight from the documentary "From the Sky Down." Assembled by esteemed filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, an Oscar winner for "An Inconvenient Truth," the film is a portrait of the group as they prepare to revisit songs from the classic "Achtung Baby." Just to be clear, while there is a lot of musical material, this is NOT a filmed concert. It is, perhaps, most successful as a peek at the artistic process. With a generous use of archival footage and candid interviews with the band members and their intimates, it is a surprisingly thoughtful look at a legendary group as they reflect on their past successes and public foibles. It is fascinating to contrast the group at various points within their career journey and to see just what drives them to endure. Oftentimes Bono, in particular, has come across to me as somewhat brash and even pretentious--here, he and the others exhibit refreshing candor and relatability. And the film itself is a contemplative meditation on the band's legacy.

"From the Sky Down" stays firmly rooted within the primary quartet of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullin Jr. They provide the principle interviews and source material (with some of their business partners offering contextual support). The film deals with a bit of history from U2's initial skyrocket success to the inevitable backlash from the ill-conceived "Rattle and Hum" feature to their artistic reemergence with "Achtung Baby." Conceived in Germany as the Berlin Wall was coming down, it is clear that the band feels that this is their seminal work.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
My one complaint with U2 ... for a very long time ... was the lack of what they've done here in this film. Something close and personal. Something intimate and revealing - outside of a song. Something that explains, from them, what the hell we've all been engaged in, headlong, for so damn long.

There are a group of people on this planet that whenever they hear the word U2, they cringe. It's hard to get around or dismiss these people and for someone like me who is a serious fan, it's hard to understand why and difficult to grasp how all that happened. If you watch this documentary ... and pay close attention ... all becomes clear.

The film opens with a narration from Bono, interspersed with snippets from Edge, Larry and Adam as well as moments from everyone else close to the center of this universe. Brian Eno, Paul McGuinness, Anton Corbijn. It picks up - exactly - where the last real documentary footage they remastered and released left off. Most that read this likely bought the remastered releases which included The Unforgettable Fire and had their experience of making that album at Slane Castle in the eighties.

The first revelation: They struggled with putting on big shows, being consistent and worrying that they didn't have enough material to keep it going.

Wow. I have a lot of the concert recordings of them through the eighties and I never once thought that at all. Your fears are truly your own, no matter who you are. That's probably revelation number two, but that was mine, for me, maybe not a universal one.

The conversation steers towards Rattle & Hum and it's sad to hear all the reflections on it. Honestly.
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