Ron Howard’s tribute to the rise of Beatlemania, is a good movie, if not a great one.
‘Eight Days a Week’ is made for the hardcore Beatles fan, which is its blessing and its curse. If you’re invested in the mythology of the Fab Four, you know this story, and you’ve probably seen 90 percent of the footage here somewhere else, whether it be ‘The Beatles Anthology’ or one of the excellent docs that focus on John or George. Doesn’t mean this film doesn’t work for what it is. It’s still cool to see, like everyone else, the Beatles were working small clubs for little money before they became a phenomenon. The focus on their brief run as live artists drive home the point that beyond the marketing and the pop stardom overdrive, these were four talented musicians. (I always thought it was cool that even though John and Paul were the obvious leads, there was always a spotlight song for George and Ringo in the early albums/shows.)
It’s not the farthest reaching comparison, but with so much info already being public knowledge, I’d like to see whoever makes the next Beatles documentary take the approach Spike Lee has done with Michael Jackson: pick one of the iconic albums, set the time and place in the world and in the artist’s career, and then break down the track list and everyone who was influenced by it.
I’m nitpicking some because we’re definitely in a golden age for documentaries. ‘Eight Days a Week’ is still worth checking out if you love the boys from Liverpool. On Hulu, iTunes and most digital platforms.