Director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis have a fascinating premise for “Yesterday,” and when all is said and done, after two hours, they—have a fascinating premise. They don’t actually do much with it, in all honesty. They take what could have been a unique and bizarre tale about an iconic band completely inexplicably being erased from all of culture around the world and turn it in to a conventional tale of rags to riches. I mean the script does nothing with the idea of the Beatles not existing. What would happen to all the singers, performers, bands, and artists they inspired? Would they cease to exist as a whole? “Yesterday” barely scratches the surface at two hours.
Robert Zemeckis’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is a charming, if flawed tribute to the Beatles and the rampant Beatles Mania that ran throughout much of the late sixties. I’m sure Zemeckis bear witness to a lot of the “Beatlemania,” and his film seems to come from a place of experience. For folks that loved movies like “American Graffiti” or “Dazed and Confused,” Zemeckis’ 1978 comedy is one of those movie set over the course of a night that centers on a group of teenagers that are so devoted to the Beatles, they risk just about everything to see them on the Ed Sullivan Show.
I was never really sure what Robert Zemeckis intended with “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Was he showing us the sheer mania that erupted with the arrival of the Beatles, or is he purposely exaggerating the mania of the arrival of the Beatles? That sense of confused tone tends to keep “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” from turning in to a great nostalgia time capsule comedy (Ironically the great nostalgia time capsule comedy would eventually become Zemeckis’ film “Back to the Future”). Instead it’s merely an okay nostalgia time capsule comedy that reaches for the heights of “American Graffiti,” but never quite touches that high bar.
Coming Back to theaters July 29, July 31 and Aug. 1. For Showtimes and Tickets check Fathom Events.
I still remember going online back in 2006 and watching the trailer for “Across the Universe.” As a budding Beatles fan making himself familiar with their catalogue at the time, the prospect of a movie built around their music made me excited and over joyous. I mean if they can build a whole storyline around ABBA, they can surely do the same with the Beatles, whose music tell stories of their very own and even had interesting commentaries on where the group were at the time. I was quite crestfallen when the movie landed with a thud and was generally dismissed by audiences.
BOOTLEG FILES 612: “Braverman’s Condensed Cream of Beatles” (1974 film essay).
LAST SEEN: A copy can be found on Veoh.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The Liverpool lads had it pulled.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.
A few weeks back, this column dug up “The Compleat Beatles,” a popular documentary on the Fab Four that can only be seen today via unauthorized online postings or out-of-print VHS videos and laserdiscs. Today, the Beatles are back with another once-ubiquitous film that has also been removed from commercial release. But whereas “The Compleat Beatles” offered a traditional straightforward nonfiction film approach, today’s offering is something much more fanciful.
BOOTLEG FILES 606: “The Complete Beatles” (1982 documentary).
LAST SEEN: It can be found via online video sites.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The cute Beatle kiboshed it.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Yeah, yeah, yeah…not!
In the aftermath of the December 1980 murder of John Lennon, there was a huge outpouring of nostalgia for all things Beatles. Record sales of the classic albums spiked, and a wave of news coverage recalled the legendary band’s impact on music and popular culture.
Not many directors are able to capture the “mania” in Beatles Mania, but director Ron Howard is not only able to capture how much the Beatles ruled the world, but how their influence continues to echo in new generations. “Eight Days A Week” isn’t so much about the entire story of The Beatles, but more about their tumultuous days following their debut in America and how hellish it was to perform live. The Beatles were so popular that performing live became too much of a burden for the “fab four.” The audience was so rabid, in fact, that they just stopped performing live altogether since the people in the crowd spent more time screaming and charging the stage than actually listening to the music they were performing.
Has it been twenty years already? Time just flies. I am not afraid to admit to you that once upon a time I was a big Spice Girls fan. What do you expect? I was just going in to my teens, my hormones were firing off at all pistols, and here were five incredibly beautiful and sexy British women singing entertaining and fun pop songs. I was the victim being led by sirens for a few years there.