Some of you know better than others I’m a closet Beatles junkie.  Without looking I can tell you my IPod easily goes at least 20 deep with their catalog, the Cirque de Soleil ‘LOVE’ show in Vegas was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.  On the list of things I hadn’t experienced was the film ‘Yellow Submarine’.  Sure I’ve seen it in bits and pieces courtesy of YouTube, but not in its uninterrupted 90 minute glory.

So I was immediately in when I heard about the ‘restoration.’  I was sufficiently warned by my fellow film buffs that it’s not ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (and it’s not), but the snob/completionist in me was just going in for the experience.  In one of those ‘only in L.A.’ experiences, the two guys who were directly responsible for restoring the negative were introduced before the screening (and got their deserved applause) and away we went…

As expected, the film itself is very dated.  The voices of the characters aren’t the actual Beatles (who do make a nice real life cameo at the end), and the animation seems stiff.  Having said that, it’s hard to watch ‘Yellow Submarine’ and not see a million other things it influenced (the most obvious being Monty Python and the Electric Company).  And musically, I mean come on.  It is cool to see “Hey Bulldog”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, and “All You Need is Love” (among other songs) used in some type of context, however loose.  Along those lines…

Maybe it was since I was able to experience it on the big screen, but I wouldn’t advise watching this in an, um, ‘altered’ state.  If nothing else, I can say this was one of the trippiest movies I’ve ever watched.  Pun completely intended.  The color schemes and editing were flying at times; I don’t know if they did the ‘may cause seizures’ warnings in the 60s, but this film could use one.  Just saying.

Anyway if you’re a Beatles snob and can find a theatre still showing it, worth seeing.

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