‘The Beatles: Get Back’ Is A Miracle For Hardcore Beatles Fan

Around five hours into Peter Jackson‘s eight-hour epic The Beatles: Get Back, we see Michael Lindsay-Hogg – the director of the 1970 film Get Back who was responsible for all of this footage existing in the first place – with a distressed look on his face and he kind of sighs and says, “I don’t know what story I’m telling anymore.” His biggest problem, which he fully admits, is, if everyone is being honest, he’s got, on film, the most intimate portrait of the most famous band in the world. And of course when he says this out loud all The Beatles seem into the idea of just “putting it all out there,” but Lindsay-Hogg has that look on his face that he knows this will never happen. There’s no way anyone is going to see what really happened for at least 50 years. (It would take almost 53.)

The Let It Be sessions are infamously legendary. And every Beatles fan has dreamed about being given access to the vault with approximately 60 hours of footage from this time period. The fact that it’s never been released just fueled the idea that it must be The Beatles at their worst, constantly at each other’s throats. And the Let It Be film that came out in 1970 didn’t help. At only 80 minutes, it is basically just the songs preformed, inter-spliced with a few “fly on the wall” moments with not much context. (This movie is pretty hard to find. A couple years ago I had to buy a bootleg off of eBay.)

The most notorious scene involves Paul and George while rehearsing “Two of Us” (a very pleasant song that, somehow, always seems to be surrounded by drama in both the original Let It Be and Get Back). Paul McCartney is trying to tell George Harrison what he wants and adds an aside that he knows this annoys George. George fires back, “You don’t annoy me anymore,” with the “anymore” part being extra pointed. Now, when you take into account that the film was released right about the time The Beatles broke up, everyone just assumed every interaction was like this. There’s a scene in Get Back, late in the sessions, when Paul and John Lennon are singing “Two of Us” as ventriloquists, both trying to outdo each other as to keep their smiling teeth together and not move their lips as they sing. They are having a blast. It shows a portrait of two people who, yes, can get on each other’s nerves. But these are obviously two people who still genuinely like each other.

What is hard to get over is everything we’ve always heard about this era of The Beatles is now just … here. Like, want to know what it was like? Well, now you can travel back in time to January 1969 and spend eight hours with them. This is how I engaged with the material. Other than, every so often, a few written out captioning explaining what is happening, there’s no modern voiceover or talking heads. For people who maybe don’t care that much about The Beatles and are looking for a more straightforward documentary, this might get tedious. You know, maybe by the 15th time the band rehearses “Get Back,” I could see the more casual fan thinking, why am I watching this? But, for me, I was transported back just to observe. I literally felt like I was there as a frustrated Paul started strumming his bass trying to come up with anything new and, slowly, you can hear the formation of “Get Back” start to emerge. It’s like watching one of those miracle of lifetime lapse videos of a flower blooming. It’s incredible to watch McCartney literally just make up one of the most famous songs of all time in real-time.

Another fascinating aspect is the presence of Yoko Ono during all of this. Much has been assumed about her relationship with the rest of the band and the repercussions, but, again here, we get to see it. And, yes, she’s always there. And if I’m Paul McCartney, yeah, I can see how someone bringing their significant other to work every day might be a little disruptive. And you can tell sometimes he’s annoyed. But there’s no real blowup or anger. For the most part, she’s just there, sitting next to John, not saying much. Sometimes when the band is jamming she will scream into the microphone. On a day John is late, Paul is asked point-blank about her presence and he says John and Yoko want to basically merge as one, and to do that they have to be around each other at all times and who is he to say they can’t do that. He goes as far to say, “she’s okay, honestly.” And admits if he pushes things, John would choose Yoko over The Beatles and, as the defacto leader of the band, he’ll take John and Yoko over no John at all.

And this all leads to another interesting development. Most Beatles fans know that when the band formed it was John Lennon’s band. And as the years went on, Paul’s influence became greater and by the time Let It Be happens, Paul’s the one running the show. And running it without a manager since Brian Epstein died, so he’s also doing that. It’s weird, Paul gets some criticisms for this era but Get Back puts all this in better context. Yeah, he can be a jerk sometimes, but he’s the only one in the band trying to keep the band together. Ringo Starr had already quit and come back during their previous album. George quits and comes back during this one. And John looks, honestly, pretty content, but also it’s obvious he has no interest in a leadership role.

After George quits, Paul and John go to a cafeteria to have a private meeting, but didn’t realize there’s a hidden microphone in the room. And we get to hear the whole conversation. And it’s fascinating. It’s Paul basically saying he has to be the leader because John doesn’t want to be the leader and admitting that his leadership style has pissed off George, as John gives Paul advice on how to be a better leader. What’s interesting is both men are frustrated, but voices are never raised. If there were ever a time the two would be at “each other’s throats,” this would probably be the time. But, instead, it’s constructive. And, again, a peek behind The Beatles curtain and it’s unbelievably fascinating.

Get Back is not about a band breaking up. It’s about a band trying to save itself, but ultimately fails. The whole idea of a rooftop concert is to do something new and exciting. After that performance, which would be their last together, the idea is that is just the beginning. They start talking about more ideas for popup concerts. But what Get Back deftly shows is that the seeds are already planted for a breakup. Even after George returns, he’s frustrated because he doesn’t get enough of his songs on the album and says he has a lot of songs built up. And had contemplated selling them off but, instead, now wants to make a solo album separate from The Beatles. John has become enchanted with Allen Klein, the manager of The Rolling Stones. And Klein wants to manage The Beatles and John is pushing the others hard about this, but the rest of them seem, at the best, nonplussed about this idea.

(I know some people won’t like what Jackson has done with the film, making it look modern. And to be honest I usually don’t like that either. When I buy a 4K disc of a movie, I want it to look grainy. One of the worst 4K discs is Terminator 2, which has so much digital noise reduction applied it looks like it was filmed on an iPhone. It’s terrible. But what Jackson does with Get Back doesn’t bother me. He’s doing something else here. He’s not restoring an existing movie, he’s making a new thing. And I do think the aesthetic he comes up with here does help immerse a viewer. Put it this way: if Jackson did this to, say, The Frighteners, I would not like this. But, here, I get what he’s doing and, for me, it works.)

Again, for casual fans, Get Back might be a bit much. Honestly, even for big fans of Beatles music, if you don’t care about the inner workings of the band and their personalities, it might, too, be a bit much. (There were times even I was like, okay, this seems a bit much. But when I think of this as more of a historical document than a piece of entertainment, I get why certain scenes were included. I get why Jackson decided that even some tedious scenes needed to be seen by the public instead of locked in a vault somewhere.) But if you want to go back in time to January 1969 and just hang out with The Beatles and see what that’s like, there is nothing that comes closer to this experience than Get Back.

‘The Beatles: Get Back’ begins streaming on Thanksgiving Day via Disney+. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

Louis C.K. And Dave Chappelle Getting Grammy Nominations Is Making People Wonder If Maybe ‘Cancel Culture’ Isn’t Real

It’s become fashionable, even profitable, to come out against what is known as “cancel culture.” Opponents to this practice, whose very existence is debatable, claim people, usually young progressives, destroy the lives of those who say or do things they problematic. Others argue it’s a fiction, invented by culture warlords to protect those who don’t want their controversial views called into question. So when Dave Chappelle, under fire for anti-trans comments, and Louis C.K., who confessed to multiple cases of sexual misconduct in 2017, wound up with Grammy nominations on Tuesday, some wondered if “cancel culture” was perhaps not as powerful, or as real, as some have claimed.

C.K., who’s been playing big shows again, wound up fêted with a Best Comedy Album nom for Sincerely Louis C.K. Meanwhile, fellow comic Chappelle received a nom not for comedy but for Best Spoken Word Album, for 8:46, which he released mid-pandemic, and which addressed the murder of George Floyd. That means he’ll be competing against no less than Barack Obama, for A Promised Land.

The two weren’t the only “cancelled” artists who wound up with Grammy nominations. Marilyn Manson, who’s facing sexual assault lawsuits from several women, wound up recognized for his work on Kanye West’s Donda. Kevin Hart, whose homophobic comments led to him withdrawing as host of the 2019 Oscars, will compete with C.K. for the comedy album Zero F***s Given.

Chappelle has not apologized for his anti-trans comments, which he’s made across numerous specials for Netflix. After his most recent controversial special, The Closer, dropped, he even told a roaring crowd, “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it.” Perhaps it was a joke on how “cancel culture” isn’t real, that it doesn’t destroy lives but make them stronger. Or perhaps he was just reveling in his infamy.

But when word broke out that C.K., Chappelle and other “cancelled” artists were being celebrated by a major awards body, some people on social media wondered if “cancel culture” was just a bunch of BS.

Some wondered why Chappelle was nominated but not Bo Burnham’s acclaimed Inside.

Others pointed to another “cancelled” celebrity who recently revealed good career news: alleged Lethal Weapon 5 director Mel Gibson.

‘WandaVision’s ‘Agatha All Along’ Is The First TV Show Song In Years To Get A Grammy Nod In Its Category

Tuesday marked a big day in music as the Recording Academy shared its full list of nominations for the 2022 Grammys. The announcement saw some historic wins, like how Tony Bennett’s Lady Gaga collaboration Love For Sale made him the oldest-ever nominee for Album Of The Year, or how ABBA received what is somehow their first-ever nomination. But Marvel Cinematic Universe fans can also rejoice because a song from their WandaVision series also received a Grammy nod, and it was the the first time in nearly a decade that a song from a TV show was recognized in the category.

Episode 7 of the 2021 series WandaVision features the catchy jingle “Agatha All Along,” written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (aka the duo behind Frozen‘s “Let It Go”). The song is sung by Agatha Harkness actress Kathryn Hahn, and while the song is just over a minute long, it took the internet by storm upon its release. So it’s only fitting that the Recording Academy nominated “Agatha All Along” for a Grammy in the Best Visual Media category. It marks the first time a TV show has been in the category in eight years, seeing as most of the nominations come from movies. The last TV show to appear in the category was Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Visual Media for their 2014 song “You’ve Got Time” by Regina Spektor.

Hahn was surprised at the popularity of “Agatha All Along” when it first came out. Hahn told Seth Meyers in an interview that she wasn’t aware of it’s viral success until her team informed her. “I don’t have social media, so the whole thing was like filtered down through all this,” Hahn said. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?!’ It’s so funny. Meanwhile, I’m outside scooping dog crap, scooping cat crap. The whole thing is so bonkers right now.”

Listen to “Agatha All Along” above.

See the full list of 2022 Grammy nominations here.

HBO And The Creator Of ‘Euphoria’ Are Teaming With The Weeknd For A Show Taking On The Music Industry And Cults

Musicians haven’t always had a great history crossing into movies and TV. Not everyone can be an Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning thespian like Lady Gaga. Perhaps that’s why The Weeknd has been taking baby steps. He played himself, briefly, in Uncut Gems. But now he’s got his own HBO show, where he’ll play someone arguably more magnetic than a pop star: a cult leader.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, the singer and subject of a popular Daniel Craig meme is co-creator and star of The Idol, a forthcoming HBO show co-starring Lily Rose-Depp, daughter of Johnny. THR describes the premise like this:

In development since the summer, The Idol is set against the backdrop of the music industry in Los Angeles. It centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult (The Weeknd) who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop singer (Depp).

The Weeknd is already working with one of HBO’s rivals, being the subject of Showtime’s The Show, which will look at his spectacular mid-pandemic Super Bowl show from this past January. Joining him on The Idol will be co-creators Reza Fahim, his producing partner, as well as Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who also helmed the Netflix drama Malcolm & Marie. The show’s six episodes will all be directed by Amy Seimetz, the actress and director, whose credits include The Girlfriend Experience, Atlanta, and the acclaimed film She Dies Tomorrow.

(Via THR)

Emily Ratajkowski Shared A Compelling Observation About Robin Thicke’s Now-Infamous Alleged Groping On The ‘Blurred Lines’ Set

Emily Ratajkowski recently threw down a convincing theory about how “only other men” are confused about Pete Davidson’s attractiveness in the eyes of women, and she’s here to level the field on a more serious subject. That would be her revelation (as published in her My Body memoir) that Robin Thicke groped her on the “Blurred Lines” set, an account that was backed up by video director Diane Martel, who cut the shoot short after the incident. Emily visited with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, where she revealed what she’s gained in perspective from that experience.

Let’s just say that she likely did not set out to level Robin Thicke with her declaration, but that’s still part of the effect because her take is incredibly effective. She suspects that maybe Thicke felt powerless on the set (which was run by a female director and filled with women owning their sexuality, contrary to the song’s lyrics) and was acting out as a result. Yup, she said this, and Emily totally took the high road while responding to Noah’s question on how she views the experience through the lens of time:

“I think that I’m really not interested in blaming individuals. I think that we live in a culture that allows a lot of these situations to occur. [Not just in] professional settings but on dates. Again, not to beat the horse, but power dynamics is what I’m interested in talking about and really revealing because I think that, in some ways, maybe that was like an attempt at leveling the power for him, and I think we need to look at how many this culture if bad for both men and women.”

Again, Emily did not appear to set out with the intent of making Robin Thicke look like a disempowered presence on his own video set, but oh boy, that’s how it’s looking now. And it’s a powerful move on her part to make this observation, and it’s completely her prerogative to look at the situation as reflective of the whole culture. The entire The Daily Show interview is a fascinating one, and it began with Noah admitting, “This is one of the most interesting and complicated books I’ve read about the subject.”

From there, Emily discussed what empowerment really means and how our culture has commodified women. She sees this as extreme in society, to the point where the OnlyFans back-and-forth on whether to ban explicit material was a way for someone to attempt to take power from those women. She compares that situation to the “Blurred Lines” video, and she further says, “Every woman can relate to the experience of getting dressed and knowing, you know, sort of the negotiation of how tight to I want my shirt to be? How, you know, much do I want to cover up?” Emily Ratajkowski gets it.

50 Cent Shares A Photo Of Eminem As White Boy Rick In ‘BMF’ During An Anti-Starz Tirade

Although it has been a couple of months since Eminem’s casting as Detroit figure White Boy Rick in 50 Cent’s BMF series, fans were still excited to actually see him in the role. However, when they did get a glimpse, it was a week sooner than it was supposed to be thanks to a “glitch” at Starz that caused the episode to air a whole week early. While the episode was taken back down, 50 Cent was not happy about the situation, venting his frustration on Twitter.

“Starz is a sh*t show, they better sell it fast,” he raved. “They put the f*cking BMF show on, then took it down. What network does shit like that? They just ruined the anticipation of the episode I directed. I WORKED HARD ON THIS. I can’t work with these people anymore.”

The producer also shared a screenshot of the episode actually depicting Eminem as White Boy Rick, thanking his friend and mentor for appearing on the show while lamenting the mistakes Starz made. “Episode 7 of BMF is the best work I have done directing to date,” he wrote. “I’m disappointed that STARZ handled this so poorly. I used my personal relationships to make things happen they couldn’t have made happen. @eminem thank you for doing this for me. I love you bro.”

50 also explained how the episode got aired by mistake, saying that Starz wanted to hold the episode for a week so it could be connected to Power, his other drama on the network (presumably, the storylines, which are set in the ’80s, would have crossed over). “They called me saying they wanted to hold episode7 back a week so we can roll right into GHOST,” 50 elaborated. “I said cool. Then these sh*thead people put the f*cking episode out for 3 hrs & take it down. This is not ok. When I get uncomfortable I make everybody uncomfortable. Now who getting fired?”

Starz explained the misstep as “a technical glitch” that allowed Starz app users to access the episode at midnight. The episode will air normally this weekend on Sunday, November 14.

‘SNL’ Emulates Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, And More With Help From Ed Sheeran In Their ‘Dionne Warwick Talk Show’ Sketch

Ed Sheeran stopped by Saturday Night Live for a pair of performances on the late-night show, to celebrate the release of his fourth album =. After he tested positive for coronavirus, many worried that would be unable to perform. Luckily, that was not the case, as he delivered performances of “Shivers” and “Overpass Graffiti.” He also appeared in a sketch for SNL’s edition of The Dionne Warwick Talk Show, with Ego Nwodim as the legendary singer.

The sketch began with Chloe Fineman, who played Miley Cyrus, sitting across from Nwodim. Kieran Culkin, who appeared as Jason Mraz and hosted the episode, and Pete Davidson, who appeared as Post Malone, also sat down on the talk show. But Nwodim’s Warwick seemed to be bored by the guests and said, “I’m sick and tired of interviewing people who aren’t icons.” She then welcomed the real Dionne Warwick onto the show.

“Let me ask you something,” Nwodim says after Warwick takes a seat. “Dionne, why are you perfect?” The 80-year-old singer replied, “My darling, I’m not perfect. I’m just very, very good.” The duo then sang a duet of Warwick’s 1966 track “What The World Needs Now Is Love.”

Warwick thanked SNL for inviting her to the show afterward.

“I had fun at @nbcsnl,” she tweeted. “Thank you to @eggy_boom (ME [laughing emoji]), @Punkiejohnson (as @BrittaniWarrick), and to the writers, cast, and crew. I had a wonderful time with you all.”

You can watch the sketch in the video above.

‘SNL’ Tried To Figure Out Why On Earth Ice Cube Won’t Get Vaccinated

Last week, it was revealed that Ice Cube is not vaccinated. And he has no intention of doing so. He even walked away from a comedy movie, Oh Hell No, opposite Jack Black, which would have netted him both $9 million and a winter shoot in Hawaii. What is he thinking? On this weekend’s Kieran Culkin-hosted SNL, the show’s writing room hazarded a guess as to why.

During Weekend Update, Keenan Thompson swung by as the rap legend and movie star to explain to co-anchor Michael Che why on earth he, like Emilio Estevez, is turning down easy money and paid vacations by refusing to take an FDA-approved vaccine to protect himself from a highly transmissible and deadly virus.

“Hey look, man. I’d just rather be myself than take that vaccine, like you other three billion bozos,” Thompson’s Cube replied. When Che pointed out that he’d “lost” a good gig, Cube disagreed. “Not my loss, your loss. Oh Hell No was going to feature the greatest comedy duo of all time: Ice Cube, Jack Black,” he said. “The comedy chemistry, man. You know what I’m saying?”

He then rattled off a list of all the movies we won’t be getting because Cube won’t take some world-saving medication, from a fourth Barbershop, to a Friday prequel (Thursday, natch), to an M. Night Shyamalan twist-a-thon called Uh Oh, Twist Comin’, which has its own novel twist.

Throughout, Thompson’s Cube avoids the question: Why won’t he get vaccinated. But Che had a theory. “So you’re scared of needles, right?” he asked him, to which Cube replied with a sheepish affirmative.

You can watch the sketch in the video above.

Jay-Z Called Dave Chappelle ‘Brave’ And ‘Genius’ During A Discussion About ‘The Closer’

Last month, Dave Chappelle stirred up some controversy with his Netflix special The Closer. Comments he made about the transgender community led to outrage, including from the streamer’s employees. Chappelle did get some support from the likes of 50 Cent and Caitlyn Jenner. 50 agreed with Chappelle about DaBaby’s homophobic comments, which Chappelle semi-defended, while Caitlyn Jenner said Chappelle’s words were “100% right.” Jay-Z also showed Chappelle some love during a recent conversation about the special on Twitter Spaces.

Jay spoke said “true art has to cause conversation.” He admitted that The Closer made him uncomfortable at multiple points but said, “Sometimes it’s going to be abrasive, sometimes it’s going to be off-putting to folks. But it opens up an opportunity to have a dialogue.” Jay later called Chappelle “super brave and super genius. If you spend time with him, he’s brilliant,” adding, “I think he pushed a lot of buttons.”

He continued. “These algorithms allow you to talk to people who agree with you,” he said, adding, “We have to speak to one another when we disagree… Anything that doesn’t have that tension, it’s not going to be real. We had fake conversations all this time before Trump was in office, then we got to see people for who they really were. And then we got to have real conversations.”

Jay also said, “I think great art is divisive. Some people like it, some people hate it. When you’re making great art, you have to be fearless and create something that you believe in. That’s what it’s about.”

Jay’s comments come after Chappelle, along with Barack Obama, inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Finally, At Long Last, Dolly Parton Will Guest Star On ‘Grace And Frankie’ For The Full ‘9 To 5’ Reunion

Adding Dolly Parton to any project is always a good idea, but it gets even better when it finally completes a long-awaited reunion with her 9 to 5 costars, which is exactly what’s happening on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. According to a new report, Parton will guest star on the series’ seventh and final season, putting her back on screen with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Via TVLine:

For the uninitiated: 9 to 5 was released in 1980, and starred Parton, Fonda and Tomlin as the above-mentioned Doralee, Judy and Violet, three working women who decide to get revenge on their sexist boss (played by Dabney Coleman). The movie went on to gross over $100 million at the box office.

At the moment, Parton’s role on Frankie and Grace is being kept under wraps, but she will appear in the show’s final 12 episodes that will drop sometime in 2022. (Four episodes were released early in August to tide over fans.)

When it wraps up its seven-season run next year, Grace and Frankie will have the distinct honor of having the most amount of episodes for a Netflix original series. While Orange Is the New Black is the current record holder at 91 episodes, Grace and Frankie will top that by streaming 94 episodes when the final season premieres. And, now, the show will get to say it had Dolly Parton stop by for a freaking 9 to 5 reunion, so yeah, try and top that, whichever Netflix series is still racking up episodes. (Narcos, maybe? — Nope, that’s not it. It’ll come to us.)

(Via TVLine)