I watched A Hard Day's Night for the first time back in 2009 when the Beatles remasters came out and loved it so much I was instantly ready to call it maybe the greatest of rock films. Watching it for the third time with Criterion's outstanding new Blu-Ray release, I'm only more committed to that notion, but now I'm struck by what I never saw in the movie before: underneath (and often, directly parallel) with its many irreverent jokes is a glimpse at why adults were so afraid of these mop-topped goofballs, how their unkempt images and rakish lack of tact made them revolutionary well before they turned to drugs and started writing counterculture anthems. Criterion honors the film's 50th anniversary with one of their most impressive single-film releases: there's a commentary track, the short film that inspired the Beatles to use Richard Lester, many in-depth features and one of the thickest booklets the label has put with a release that was not an actual, honest-to-God book. It's currently sitting at the top of my list of Blu-Ray releases for the year.
Read my full review at Slant.