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Saturday, 6 June 2009

"The Beatles: Rock Band" (2009) Harmonix







I rarely feature animation made for games. Today is a notable exception. The Beatles: Rock Band takes one through a historical tour of The Beatles, from their early days in the Cavern to the psychedelic period of Sergeant Pepper. It is a sumptuous treat from its opening scenic views of the Mersey, the rooftops and terrace houses. The fab four, almost cutout in style here, are first depicted in shades of grey with rather cool dark green shirts and wafer thin ties. The backgrounds too are more sombre coloured but stylish and nostalgic with it. Off to America, mobbed, Paul McCartney's long bass guitar, dashing from one deafening venue to another. All this is preliminary to the unrestrained colours of the later scenes, more and yet more screaming girls, almost comic book style, whilst the latter scenes let it all hang out with Hare Krishna I don't know whats and multiple penguins. Except it's not the end of the extravagance as the boys appear in a bizarre scene bordering on genius, mounted on a larger than life blue mammoth, leading an army of walking fish, sea creatures, even more penguins and long legged birds. Madness. Magic. And then they reach the cliff face. The games allows one to experience music and settings. Not my scene I confess but what a trailer. Too many years ago to remember I made my home in Liverpool, studying there and living near Penny Lane, visiting Strawberry Fields, seeking a heritage that had actually gone with the boys. There is, though, a beauty about the whole piece, not merely a clever documentary but possessing an affection for the band and real eloquence in its depiction of their stage lives. All this rapturous prose and no mention of the music. A soundtrack to die for. Such a tragedy that one did. More about the game itself here. (Thanks, Del, for bringing the movie to my attention.) .

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