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U2 - Popmart [VHS] (1997)

Bono , Adam Clayton , David Mallet  |  Unrated |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, U2
  • Directors: David Mallet
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Polygram Video
  • VHS Release Date: November 17, 1998
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305166005
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,814 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This stunning concert documentary sheds fresh light on U2's controversial 1997 Popmart tour, the Irish rockers' gaudy, epic trek in support of their electronica-edged Pop album. Mixed reactions to the pulsing, dance friendly music on Pop and disappointing ticket sales to stateside Popmart shows were interpreted as evidence that the band's new sound and look were merely opportunistic.

Yet one need only view Popmart Live alongside the Rolling Stones' contemporaneous Bridges to Babylon 1998 long-form video to grasp U2's underlying passion and conviction. While Popmart trumps the Stones (ringmasters of the original rock & roll circus and among the principal inventors of stadium rock) in terms of sheer scale, U2's presentation still strikes thematic sparks missing from the Stones' more conservative designs for the Bridges stage.

With its vast, ramped stage and enveloping video backdrop, the Popmart set serves the band's posttechno impulses, yet the music remains rooted in U2's passionate, high-flying rock style, using its skittering dance rhythms and garish pop-art motifs to support the band's underlying themes, not replace them. Filmed in Mexico City before a huge reverent crowd, the concert balances close-ups against the quartet's often mesmerizing staging effects; the camera work sustains a sense of the show's outsized physical setting, while expertly closing the distance between us and the band.

The band also shrewdly integrates older songs into the pumped up, burnished arranging style heard on Pop while stripping down newer material in less varnished, more vulnerable settings. A series of duets with just Bono and the Edge on acoustic guitars underscores that strategy. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best concert I've ever been! September 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Is very nice to have a video when you know you are one of the thousands of heads (or lighters) there, and live again the intensity of a fantastic band like U2; not to mention the great scenery and videos on the TV-Wall (I love the Lichtenstein secuence on "Bullet the blue sky"). Still is quite fun to hear Bono describing Mexico City in Spanish: "Muchos Huevos, Grandes Corazones, Mucho Tráfico" (Big balls, Great hearts, a lot of traffic), and trying to sing "La Bamba" at the end of the acoustic version of "Desire"; also singing "Arriba...México Now!" in a new arrangement at the end of "Where the streets have no name", etc. First I bought it 'cause I was there, now I appreciate it 'cause the quality of the video itself; it have great camera movements, framing and direction so you can enjoy a spectacular concert in a spectacular city of one of the best bands of the world. The only thing you will miss in this video is the fact that the night was really cold.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U2's best concert video! October 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
"POPMart Live From Mexico City" is a great video that avoids the mistakes of their previous concert video efforts.
Their first video, "Live At Red Rocks Under A Blood Red Sky" (1983) featured a very young U2 banging out the best of their first three albums, "Boy," "October" and "War." The video and sound quality is nowhere near spectacular, but you cannot fault the band for it as the video was shot on a very stingy budget, and in a sometimes driving rainstorm. However, their youthful energy more than makes up for the technical shortcomings.
1988's "Rattle And Hum" was a theatrically-released concert film. U2 was more confident on stage and in front of the camera, and it showed. My main qualm about "Rattle And Hum" is that it's a bit too somber and melodramatic at times, especially the concert footage. But, like "Live Under A Blood Red Sky," the energy of the band makes up for it. Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. matured greatly as musicians and entertainers between 1983 and 1988, and it's readily appearent in the film.
"Zoo TV" was a tad too theatrical, although the band never sounded better. It seems U2 was trying to make an artistic statement with the stage. Once again, the music drove the show, but the emphasis on technology detracted from it.
"POPMart Live From Mexico City" is nearly perfect! The stage, featuring a mammoth video screen and a giant arch added a lot without being in the way. With the exception of moments during "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me," Bono avoids his alter egos (The Fly, MacPhisto) of years past and is just Bono. One definite high point of the video is the Bono/Edge acoustic set.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention Pop Mart Shoppers... March 23, 2002
By The Guy
Format:VHS Tape
This Concert could have been also called U2's Lastest (as of 1997) and Greatest Hits because they performed virtually all of their greatest hits (i.e. I Will Follow, New Year's Day, Pride, I Still Haven't Found..., Sunday Bloody Sunday, One, Where The Streets..., and With Or Without You) and their latest hits, Mofo, which really gets you going, Please, Discotheque (coming out of the giant lemon), and Staring At The Sun. I really don't see why people can't adjust to U2 using samples, synthisizers, and loops in their songs, They won't be making more "Joshua Tree"'s. The giant screen and the golden arch add a lot to the concert. So..let's stop griping about their change in music and enjoy it.
Here's the set list.
1. Pop Muzik
2. Mofo
3. I Will Follow
4. Gone
5. Even Better Than The Real Thing
6. Last Night On Earth
7. Until The End Of The World
8. New Year's Day
9. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
10. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
11. All I Want Is You
12. Desire
13. Staring At The Sun
14. Sunday Bloody Sunday
15. Bullet The Blue Sky
16. Please
17. Where The Streets Have No Name
18. Discotheque
19. If You Wear That Velvet Dress
20. With Or Without You
21. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
22. Mysterious Ways
23. One
24. Wake Up Dead Man
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They only allow 5, but it deserves 82 Billion March 23, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The music world is dull. The only thing that you usually hear happening at concerts is riots breaking out, but not here. When I bought Zoo TV Lve from Sydney, I thought that nothing could top that concert. Boy was I wrong! Upon the first time I watched the live performance from Mexico City, December 3, 1997, I was stunned by the ability of a band to put on a better and more entertaining performance than that of the one happening on the Big Screen. Popmart was the best tour of all time and U2 really put it together and came out on top. This is why they are the biggest, sort of boldest, baddest band in the land.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the dopest show November 26, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
i can't remember how many times i've seen this concert, and it easily tops the charts as my favorite concert of all time. i have only one gripe with the video (for those of you who are fans of pop, you should know what i'm talkin about here). the last song of the night is "wake up dead man", it's one of my favorite songs of theirs and it deserves more respect than to have credits rolling as it is played. it always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. other than that, the concert is by far the best concert i have ever seen. it makes me feel so damn good. it makes fun of being "larger than life" while at the same time being that which it mocks. almost every song is presented with its own changes to the stage, the screen, etc... every song is brilliant, the energy is infectious, and the stage puts all others to shame. i rarely feel so good as when i watch this concert on a good system with friends who know what it's all about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What's all the fuss about?
I was supposed to catch U2 on this tour, in Clemson, South Carolina, nearing 10-years ago. The gentleman who was to take me, instead took my eldest sister for their first date;... Read more
Published on August 31, 2006 by Joseph Muir
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better
it was hard to do better than Zoo TV... U2 did it with Popmart at least visually. This is by far their biggest show, and it totally deserves a DVD for the show and the lights... Read more
Published on August 31, 2006 by C. Bornette
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves to be on DVD.
This show of U2 shows just how boring and peridictable they are these days. If you are not a U2 fan this will make you one. Read more
Published on June 5, 2006 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars REALEASE THIS ON DVD
The show was outstanding. I still wonder about the lemon turning into a disco ball - how'd they do that!?!

Great, great show.
Published on March 17, 2006 by Kent Butabi
5.0 out of 5 stars "Even His Mother Calls Him The Edge...."
I am still in shock reading some of these panning reviews before. The performance was lacking? The following songs are the best I have ever seen U2 do live, and they are all on... Read more
Published on November 30, 2005 by Josef Gulick
5.0 out of 5 stars Just to disagree...
I just had to "debate" the previous review (and I think a healthy debate is a good thing...everyone has a right to their opinion) but I had to share mine. Read more
Published on March 24, 2005 by VickiVeil
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this a worthy document of the fantastic PopMart Tour? NO!
Great visuals...awesome Stage...Outstanding sound and lights...Cristal clear quality...
but what about the most important thing? The concert itself? Read more
Published on February 28, 2005 by Mark P
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst U2 live video ever
After their amazing Zoo TV Live from Sidney, U2 made a mistake by releasing this mediocre show on VHS. Read more
Published on February 21, 2005 by Chris Clare
5.0 out of 5 stars Biggest and best rock show of the 90's
I have to admit to being very biased in favour of this whole Popmart show concept, having closely followed U2's whole 90's career path, but it still deserves a 5-star rating on... Read more
Published on May 2, 2004 by Dr Jeremy Buddle
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, a big U2 mistake
another example showing U2 aren't Gods anymore. The first one is Boston DVD, and the second one, this VHS. Read more
Published on March 22, 2004 by efe
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