Why "Help!" isn't as good as "Hard Day's Night"
Reviewed by Juliska for Help! at 2010-01-15 15:53:20
By the surviving Beatles' & director Richard Lester's own admission in the "Beatles Anthology": The reason the Fab Four's 2nd film gave them few lines is because The Boys were stoned on pot thru most of the filming and either couldn't or wouldn't learn lines, so Lester just sort of wound them up & let them go, and made the film "around" them.
Some scenes do really work here: The Smallville stuff is all kind of endearing; the oft-mentioned Good vs. Evil Superman battle, the extended computer battle near the end. Yet the excitment of the first two is missing. By getting rid of Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and others the heart of the series got lost. Effects are good, but not spectacular. Richard Pryor does what he can in a limiting role, and Robert Vaughn seems to enjoy playing the bad guy. An okay movie.
The Donner cut seemed to have a slightly more genuine feel to it.. That being said, I was raised on this version(we didn't have the luxury of different versions when this was released), and it's still fun to watch~
123 mins #!@%*# Lester time waster. Translation? Poorly concieved plot, horrid special effects(even for the time period), plastic tongue in cheeking, some Richard Pryor mugging(he did so much better work with the right material), and some classic moments.
Examples: 1. Supe vs Clark(always a fav scene), 2. Drunk Superman melting the bar mirror then staggering out to the city, being rude, etc. 3. Tower of Pisa gets a different slant via Angry Supe, 4. Richard Pryor in a pink faux Superman robe skiing off the skyscraper.
Yeah. So in conclusion, aside from a few choice moments, this movie kinda blew. Movie is definitely lacks #!@%*# Donner's direction.
..but.. at least it isn't Superman IV. Less is more on that.
someone slipped some pepper (so to speak) up the hound's nose on this one. 1) The search doesn't even bring up the movie title, even if you include the exclamation point - on a film that gets 3 bones. 2) As a curiosity, this film might deserve a bone and a half, but no more. The Beatles (rightly) hated it: they have few lines, seem like puppets in a silly plot that takes center screen, and appear to be mostly going through the motions. The film tries to capture the wackiness of "What's New Pussycat?" but falls short, despite good production values. Where "Hard Day's Night" is charming and funny, however thin, "Help!" has less to offer Beatles fans than "Magical Mystery Tour" - and that says a lot.