Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eight Days a Week- the Beatles Touring Years: A Review




I had a bigger interest in the Beatles documentary, "Eight Days a Week:  The  touring years" not just because I am a huge Beatles fan, but because several years ago I was contacted through this blog from someone that was connected to Apple asking for my assistance in the documentary.    I was in regular contact with this person until Ron Howard took over and then my involvement ended.    I liked the way the film was heading and I was excited to see the final product.    


I am still baffled as to why this film was only shown in select theaters around the world.   I was fortunate to locate one near my home, in St. Louis, Missouri and went to the 6:30pm showing on September 15, 2016.    One of the best parts of going to see "Eight Days a Week" was seeing it along side other fans.    While I was standing in line to go into the theater, there was that feeling in the air of excitement that you only feel when you are experiencing a new Beatles event.   To be in the theater with other fans made the whole experience special.

Personally, I enjoyed the documentary very much.   I thought it was funny at many points (especially when George uses John's head as an ashtray), and it was touching and emotional at other points.     I especially enjoyed the little snippets of material taken by fans--I spotted footage that was new to me from Vancouver 1964,  London 1965 (!) and Candlestick Park among others that I am sure I will notice the specifics once I see the film again.    Those little snippets of never before seen footage amazed me!     There weren't a lot of photographs that were "new" to me, but the few that I spotted took my breath away, especially the color 1966 Manila photograph!  

I loved the footage of the fans---especially the girl that was talking about how sexy George's eyelashes were.     The fans are such a huge part of the Beatles touring years, that I am glad that some of the mania and interviews with the fans were not overlooked.    Some of my favorite fans weren't included; however George's sexy eyelashes girl is now in the top 5 favorites for sure.   We need to find her!

I thought the whole film sounded great!   The Beatles just sounded so good!   Sometimes I get so wrapped up in everything that I don't just sit and listen to what a great band they truly are.   I was especially impressed with "Roll Over Beethoven" performance that I understand was taken from a soundboard recording during a concert.    

The interviews with Paul and Ringo were good.   They basically just repeated the same stories we have heard, but Ringo is just so entertaining in how he tells them.    They didn't forget to include comments from George and John, although most of George's were taken directly from the Anthology film.     All of the other interviews were interesting as well, including Whoopi Goldberg.   Who would have thought she would say such interesting things about the Beatles?    I would have liked a few interviews with just some common folk fans that aren't celebrities, but I think that is going to be included in the bonus features on the DVD/Blueray.

So what didn't I like?    I think for me the biggest thing I didn't like was the colorization of what was originally black and white film.     The Washington D.C. concert being colorized really bothered me, because it just didn't look good.   The Beatles hair looked red (and not just John's but all of them), and their suits didn't look right.    And while I am highly against colorizing black and white Beatles footage, I tried to have an open mind (like I did with the colorized All you Need is Love on Anthology), but I just think it was poorly done.   When you look at the original color footage from Help! or Shea and compare it to the colorized stuff, it just looks bad.    I also didn't understand why some of the footage seemed such bad quality--and I don't mean the things shot by fans on home movie cameras.    The official Ed Sullivan Show DVD is much clearer than what was presented in the film and the NME concert footage was embarrassing---I have seen bootlegs that looked better.

However, those complaints are small in comparison to the big picture of this amazing film.   I really think the DVD/Blueray with the extra footage is going to be on the Christmas list of every Beatle fan in the world.   It is something that you will want to have in your collection and you will want to watch over and over again.

I also have to say that the Shea Stadium concert was a real special treat.   It is too bad that Shea isn't being released with the film in November.    The color was amazing and the sound made you almost feel like you were right there that night in August.     The Beatles looked like they were having so much fun.   And the fans were so great to see as well.   I loved the footage of the mom handing out tissues to girls.     And the footage of the fans running onto the field while John is talking.   My all time favorite Beatles performance is the Shea Stadium Show's "I'm Down."   To see John on the big screen playing that keyboard with his elbows and laughing along with George was just so amazing.  I know I was smiling from ear to ear.     The Shea concert was well worth the price of admission and I truly hope that the powers that be plan on releasing the entire Shea show (with the opening acts and all) in the very near future on DVD.  


After seeing the Beatles "Eight Days a Week" I gave it a thumb up!   

10 comments:

  1. wow that colorizing of b/w footage is bad form. It's close to revising history, embellishing a primary source that way. Does the director fear that the audience has so little tolerance left for monochrome that we wouldn't sit still for even a little bit of footage? I'll get the blu-ray for sure, but I'll cringe at that footage. Well spotted1! these revisions, so everyday in this photo shop era, should be outed and evaluated.

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  2. I am a huge Beatles fan nice joke sara

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  3. Shea's 'I'm Down' will always be my favourite Beatles footage

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  4. am so happy that this has come out and you are so right Sara about being with other fans in a Beatle event

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  5. read today that this has had a full house since opening

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  6. seeing them together again on the big screen for an oldie like myself is an incredible experience

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  7. lovely snap of your mum & you and wonderful having Beatles in common!

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  8. Colorizing footage of the Beatles is an outrage!!! I agree with you. The youth won't stand for any black and white footage of The Fabs? I don't think so. That is what gives it comes of its charm.(MarkZapp)

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