THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (M)
Always stopping the show ... until the shows had to stop. US-UK, 105 min
Director Ron Howard ( A Beautiful Mind) dashes off a cursory doco covering the first half of The Beatles’ hitmaking, youth-quaking career. Gently tapping the sides of a cast-iron chronology familiar to even casual Fab Four fans, the film starts with the global outbreak of incurable Beatlemania (circa 1962), and ends with the decision to never set foot on a stadium stage again (1966). If you’re after new revelations about what it was like to be a Beatle back then, this isn’t the place to look. Whether via fresh interviews (Paul and Ringo) or sound bites salvaged from the archives (John and George), all four Beatles are on hand throughout with play-safe commentary on the craziness of the era. Unfortunately, so too are an inessential collection of talking heads such as Sigourney Weaver and Whoopi Goldberg, continually celeb-splaining the blandly obvious. The only genuine must-see factor here is plenty of quality performance footage, further boosted by better sound mixing and syncing than experienced before.