12 November, 2009

GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET – Paul McCartney (1984/2004)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001FR552?ie=UTF8&tag=billablog-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0001FR552Are we sitting comfortably boys and girls? Then I'll begin....

Paul is on his way to work one morning when he gets a call from his manager Bryan Brown. Paul had entrusted the master tapes of his new album to an ex-crim whom he was giving a second chance, and now they have both gone missing! And if they don't find the tapes by midnight, that leaves the way open for their company to be taken over by the nasty Wrath-Bone industries.
Paul tries to go about his normal day; recording Yesterday, making videos, rehearsing. But by the end of the day, the stress has got to him and he begins hallucinating. So he pops in on his old mate Ralph Richardson for tea and surrealism. But will he be able to save his tapes, his friend, his company and his faith in human nature before he wakes up and realises it was all a dream?
Oops, did I give away the ending? Never mind.

As a piece of cinema, Paul's grand folly of the 80s is abysmal, but if you regard it as a 100 minute video clip for an album that really isn't as bad as you've heard, then it's a perfectly entertaining piece of fluff. In fact, if he had handed it directly to MTV instead of attempting a cinema release, it would probably be remembered a lot more fondly. Occasionally veering into “so bad it's good” territory, you will marvel at some of the woeful performances by what, in any other movie, would have been a very good cast. Watch for some gloriously camp overacting by a sound engineer.

If there's one area where Broad Street doesn't disappoint, it's the camera work. The film is beautifully photographed and this double sided disc has both the wide-screen and the 4:3 full-screen versions. The sound is listed as Dolby 4.0. It's a curious mix. Basically it's stereo, with the lead vocal in the centre channel and very sparing use of the rear channel. Rather than doing two separate transfers of the movie, they might have been better off putting the extra effort into a proper 5.1 mix. Still, it does provide another level of misguided eightiesness to the whole thing.
Two trailers provide the extras.

Highlight: Wanderlust
Feature: * * ½
Extras: *
Audio: Dolby 4.0

Previously posted at Strawberry Fields.


  1. This is yet another in the endless list of things Paul's fans cringe over. It wasn't meant to be a great movie. Paul's said it was all a bit of fun like an Elvis movie. Those stories were never great. Elvis sings, saves the day, gets the girl.

    People say Magical Mystery Tour is saved by being the only place you'll see a Beatles performance of I Am the Walrus. Broad Street is the only place you'll see Paul in that Hawaiian shirt.

    At least he didn't direct.

  2. Some suggest - and I can see where they're coming from - that he was trying to remake A Hard Day's Night. The cafeteria scenes are virtually the same in each.

    I don't have a problem with him re-recording Beatles songs. They're his songs. No-one complained when there was a whole side of Beatles songs on a John Lennon compilation.