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Boy, these rockin' lads from Liverpool just might have something...
Universal / 96 Minutes / 1965 / Unrated / Street Date: June 25, 2013
Help! is a lot of fun, but it thinks too much. Compared to A Hard Day’s Night, there is a bunch of time wasted here on exposition for a storyline that wears out its trippy welcome early. It’s fun to see Ringo front and center in the film’s saga focusing on a weird ring Starr wears and the cult followers who are hell-bent on retrieving it, but especially in revisiting the movie in high-definition, it’s all about the music.
And that’s where this Blu-ray edition really soars. The hash-haze of the Fab Four’s Duck Soup-inspired antics pale in comparison to the stripped-down, beautifully-arranged versions of their hits in performance. The title track is a blast, and even though the boys have zany, devil-may-care personas in Help!, their gorgeous renditions of “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” are striking in their earnest harmony.
Help! is more valuable as an ancillary curio in the Beatles’ overall output than it is a major piece of their pantheon. The album released alongside the film remains a solid early effort from the band, yet this cinematic endeavor never feels all that much more than trivial. It’s nice to see it in high-def, of course, but where the Help! record is a must-listen, this BD edition is just pretty good.