The Beatles: Eight Days A Week Review

Directed by: Ron HowardStarring: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John LennonRelease Date: September 15th Trying to say something new or add to the story of The Beatles is incredibly difficult in 2016. The group are the popular music icon of the twentieth century, and have created an endless string of remasters and documentaries in their wake. With all of that in mind, Ron Howard’s new documentary on the group does not break any new barriers, but it is still an enjoyable stroll through the peak years of The Beatles’ popularity.The film concentrates on the touring years of the band, picking up the narrative in 1961 all the way through to their final US tour in 1966. The film draws from old interviews with Harrison and Lennon, while also showcasing some new material with Starr and McCartney. Celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg are also on hand to provide some memories from the time, as the film moves from stories of The Beatles time on the road to remastered footage of old concerts.While parts of the film are simply an excuse to watch old film footage of the band playing live (and the footage itself is great; sharply remastered in HD and in full colour) that doesn’t mean the documentary itself is lacking. The film moves at a great pace through The Beatles’ road years, and you really get a sense of the sheer delirium of flying around the US in front of massive, screaming crowds every night. As such these parts of the film fly at a great pace, punctuated throughout with humour thanks to the endless series of quotes from The Fab Four as well as the unbelievably excited teenage fans.To help get a sense of life on the road, the film refers to the recordings and thoughts from Larry Kane, a journalist who travelled around with the Beatles during their US tour. It gives some great insight into what happened on the road. Even when the film shifts its attentions from the road to the studio, the resulting drop in pace isn’t too distracting.Without doubt, your enjoyment of Howard’s documentary comes from how versed you are in the world of The Beatles. For veterans, there is nothing essential here, but for anyone looking to dive a bit deeper into one of the biggest names in pop music, Eight Days A Week is a fun trip.In a nutshell: An enjoyable ride through the manic touring years of The Beatles.