“But Ronnie D,” my friend said.
I interrupted and said, “Please don’t call me ‘Ronnie.'”
“Okay, Ronald D,” the friend continued, “but you love the Beatles.”
“True,” I said.
“And you’re a big fan Ron Howard, too,” the friends said. “So what’s your problem with ‘Eight Days a Week: the Touring Years?'”
Where does this begin, particularly with the recently released 2 Disc Special Edition Blu ray?
When the documentary was shown in the theater in Cincinnati, it was immediately followed by the complete Shea Stadium concert. The two-disc, Blu-ray set doesn’t include the concert and that’s just one of the disappointments.
I buy any “fresh” Beatles products, continually feeding my 52-year plus addiction. The long version of the Beatles’ Anthology videos, the Beatles movies, The Beatles First Visit to the United States and the two-DVD Ed Sullivan Show set include nearly everything and more than is in this documentary and I own them all.
It’s also very disappointing to see some of the original black and white footage colorized.
I love the Beatles (see my Beatles Memories and Memorabilia Facebook page) and Ron Howard (that guy has great initials), but not this package. If you want to see a better film by Ron Howard, make sure you see “In the Heart of the Sea,” which was released in 2015.
The documentary is great for beginners, but not longtime Beatlemaniacs who’ll find this chiefly a condensed rehash. Unlike the promotional slogan for it, it is not the story we haven’t heard before.
The extra disc would have been the place for the Shea Stadium concert. Instead, we’re only allowed 15 or so minutes of live Beatles’ performances, none from the Shea Stadium show. Also, I had hoped to see more of the Candlestick Park concert, their final live concert not counting the rooftop Get Back show.
The promotion for this film also included a tie-in with a new version of the Beatles’ Live at the Hollywood with a couple of additional live tracks including one which had previously been released in the mid-1990s as a part of an Anthology EP.
The CD was another failed opportunity. If the surviving Beatles and the Apple execs had converted Live at the Hollywood Bowl into a more comprehensive live CD that included other venues this would have been something fans have been clamoring for for decades.
In 2015, the wonderful “1+” video collection of Number 1 hits and other song was a superb offering of how the Beatles legacy could be enhanced.
Unfortunately, it appears with this year’s release that the Beatles and Apple are trying to see how far they can stretch the material and how much fans are still willing to buy.
I am extremely disappointed with these releases. Still, I will watch this many more times, trying to find something I might have missed and probably be ready to buy whatever is released next year.