By far, the weirdest movie my kids have ever seen is “Magical Mystery Tour,” which arrives on Blu-ray this week, getting us one step closer to having the full Beatles filmography in high-definition.
It’s been so long since I’d seen “Magical Mystery Tour” that I’d forgotten most of it, and for the most part, it’s a shaggy, occasionally incoherent collections of largely-improvised scenarios tied together loosely with a storyline about Ringo and his Aunt Jessie (Jessie Robbins) on a bus tour together. McCartney was the key creative talent behind the camera, and there’s a sense in much of the movie that Lennon, Harrison, and even Starr are just indulging McCartney. If nothing else, some of the acting in the film should serve as proof that it is not easy to just “make it up” while you’re on set.
Having said that, I think the film is tremendously watchable, and the soundtrack on this Blu-ray is worth the purchase price all by itself. They’re doing a great job with these high-def presentations, and it is entirely fitting that the work done to remaster the music is where the most effort appears to have been expended. “Yellow Submarine” is one of those discs that I use to show off how well Blu-ray can reproduce an analog presentation. There are scenes on that discs where it looks like you’re looking at the actual cel layout, where you can see the textures of the animated images and the backgrounds, and the sonic landscapes on both discs sound like they were recorded and mastered today.
And now you can own the deluxe version of the disc, and all you need is a Facebook account:
So you get the DVD, the Blu-ray, a 60-page collector’s book, and a faithful reproduction of the mono double 7″ vinyl EP of the film’s six new Beatles songs, originally issued in the UK to complement the film’s 1967 release.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. If you don’t win, I still urge you to pick up the disc, and then cross your fingers that we finally get “Let It Be” next year. Beatles fans should be celebrating the way these releases have been handled so far.
“Magical Mystery Tour” is in stores now.