Eight Days a Week Trailer

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about The Beatles, a new documentary coming to Hulu this fall is bound to have something that you haven’t seen or heard yet. Director Ron Howard has been working on a documentary about the British import known as the Fab Four, focusing on the years the band was touring around the world to screaming audiences and fainting women from 1962 to 1966, and the first teaser trailer gives us a glimpse of the film, complete with talking heads from the surviving members of the band, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Watch the Eight Days a Week trailer after the jump. Read More »

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beatles documentary

There are two pieces of big news here. First: Hulu has acquired The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, a new documentary about the greatest musical group in human history (sorry, everyone else) directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard. Second: this purchase has signaled the launch of Hulu Documentary Films, a new arm for the streaming service that will, as its name implies, will focus on building a library of non-fiction movies.

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The Beatles A Hard Days Night

Like most of America at the time, director Ron Howard was first exposed to The Beatles when he saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. After seeing that appearance, he told his parents he wanted a Beatles wig. Fast-forward a few decades, and Howard is relaying that story to a producer on the set of Rush. Turns out the producer knew about a Beatles documentary in development and Howard immediately became interested in working on it. Now, Howard is set to direct an official documentary on the Beatles.

The film is being made with the full support and cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. It will explore the Beatles’ rise to fame, and what that meant for the culture. The film will feature between 12 and 20 songs, live performance footage sent in from fans, original recordings and more. While still untitled, the hope is to have it completed and in theaters sometime in 2015. Read More »

It remains to be seen whether Robert Zemeckis‘ next project after Flight will see him sticking with live-action or returning to animation, but one thing’s for certain: It won’t be Yellow Submarine. The project’s suffered several setbacks over the past few years, and it sounds like Zemeckis has finally given up on it once and for all. Read his comments after the jump.

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A brand-new trailer has hit for Martin Scorsese‘s George Harrison: Living in the Material World, an HBO documentary which will air on the channel later this year. Though Harrison was known as “the quiet Beatle,” as the saying goes, still waters run deep. Pulled together from interviews, performances, and never-before-seen footage, as well as interviews with friends, colleagues and peers including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Phil Spector, Yoko Ono, and Tom Petty, the film will center around the life and career of the iconic musician, producer, philanthropist, and spiritualist. Watch the video after the jump.

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Talk about awkward. The last headline below this one is an endorsement of mocap filmmaking from Steven Spielberg. But the major industry talk today that wasn’t centered on SXSW was all about how the mocap film Mars Needs Moms absolutely tanked in its debut weekend. There is some significant fallout from that failure: Disney has passed on the mocap remake of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, which Robert Zemeckis had planned to make this year. Read More »

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harold-faltermeyer-for-hunter

If the ’80s gave a sniffling speech at the Decade Achievement Awards, Harold Faltermeyer and his scores would be thanked somewhere after Shigeru Miyamoto and Super Mario Bros. and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. A classically trained German composer with an affinity for rock and disco, Faltermeyer got his start in Hollywood assisting mustachioed electro-don Georgio Moroder on soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s provocative Midnight Express and Adrian Lyne’s jail-bait fave Foxes. With the release of Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, everyone acknowledges how Faltermeyer’s theme song, “Axel F,” hopped into bed with America’s zeitgeist like few songs before or since. The track’s equation of urgent nightlife synths plus cool-black-dude drum effects, then buffered to an upbeat Cali finish, not only paralleled the confident, crowd-pleaser m.o. of sure-shot producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, it embodied and celebrated it.

Soon following “Axel F,” Faltermeyer crafted incredibly memorable and fun themes/scores for Fletch and Top Gun, rising to the occasion by sonically matching the unmatched charisma of Chevy Chase and Tom Cruise on screen in the mid ’80s. Reflecting on the three themes today, not to mention his work on actioners The Running Man and Tango & Cash, it’s difficult to express how Faltermeyer shaped the way audiences then and now remember the ’80s as a time of just-plain-exciting innocence and excess, a time when the buddy-cop formula and toothy superstar grins felt fresh. It’s this feeling and nostalgia Kevin Smith is paying pop-homage to with Cop Out, another bid for a mainstream hit from the ’90s slacker auteur starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Smith personally requested Faltermeyer—who’s remained inactive on major soundtracks since the ’92 copper Kuffs—score the film with his signature sound. The catchy result is felt by several critics to be the best thing about the action-comedy. (Stream it here.)

In an interview with /Film, Faltermeyer talked about his creative process and about “crazy shit” including the late Don Simpson’s finesse with a Ferrari.

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yellow_submarine_gang

After the initial call for actors to play The Beatles another Yellow Submarine casting notice has now been issued. This one details some of the major supporting roles that Robert Zemeckis is looking to fill, and in between the character information there’s the odd bit of plot info as well as some telling details of design. So far, it all seems fully contingent with the original movie.

The notice opens with the following statement of premise:

The Yellow Submarine follows a singing group of four British young men that are asked to help a land that has been overtaken by mean spirited creatures. They are recruited by an escapee to come and bring joy and music back to the land.

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yellow_submarine

Variety is reporting some unexpected news: Robert Zemeckis is brokering a deal with Disney and Apple Corp. to remake Yellow Submarine with 3D motion capture technology. My initial reaction to the idea is knee-jerk and negative, and then I remember that Zemeckis has already made one Beatles film (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, 1978), so if anyone is going to make this work it could be him. If he hires a great art team to re-envision the Fab Four’s battle against the music-hating Blue Meanies, this could actually be a lot of fun.

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