The Beatles: Get Back (Blu-ray Review)

One of 2021’s most interesting additions to film came from the past, in the form of Peter Jackson’s ambitious undertaking of putting together all of The Beatles’ footage from the sessions of what would later become the film and album Let It Be. Originally to be a theatrical film released, it wound up being a Thanksgiving weekend streaming release on Disney+ in a 3 part docu-series (I still say its a film). Now its offering the opportunity of ownership for those that collect and want the true comfort of ownership for this piece of history. Releasing on February 8th in a collectible packaging with some cards on standard Blu-ray, that’s your opportunity. Its 3 discs with no bonus features, but the film itself is honestly like a 6 hour bonus feature itself. You can order yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.



Directed by three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “They Shall Not Grow Old”), “The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s January 1969 recording sessions, which became a pivotal moment in music history. The docuseries showcases The Beatles’ creative process as they attempt to write 14 new songs in preparation for their first live concert in over two years. Faced with a nearly impossible deadline, the strong bonds of friendship shared by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are put to the test.

The docuseries is compiled from nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and from more than 150 hours of unheard audio, most of which has been locked in a vault for over half a century. Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to this Beatles treasure trove, all of which has now been brilliantly restored. What emerges is an unbelievably intimate portrait of The Beatles, showing how, with their backs against the wall, they could still rely on their friendship, good humor, and creative genius. While plans derail and relationships are put to the test, some of the world’s most iconic songs are composed and performed. The docuseries features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

Get Back is the ultimate “fly on the wall” experience. Perhaps the greatest of all ever captured in pop culture. What Peter Jackson has compiled here is an incredibly impressive immersive experience that has you being the quiet spectator in the room. You get a complete feel for your surroundings and a notion that you’re there watching this happen. There’s interesting personal conversations, musical conversations, small talk and more. George Harrison sits and talks about the stuff he watched on TV the night before. Paul sticks up for Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s relationship. You see the members of the band admit to their weaknesses while pointing out the strengths of the others. Its pretty incredible.

Of course the beauty of it is watching these cooks in the kitchen. You literally get to watch as songs come from nothing into full fruition. The genius of Paul McCartney is on full display as you just watch as the titular song just appears out of nowhere and fully forms at a quick rate. Other terrific things that happen are seeing some of the Abbey Road songs make brief appearances as infants and funny takes and riffs on previous Beatles hits. There’s great collaborations, different attempts, lyrics, changing of instruments and much more to fascinate and have us all “ooh’ing” and “awe’ing” over the majesty of the most iconic music group in history as they display the touches that made them so great. You also see how nervous and human they can be approaching this challenge as well.

This 6 hours rather blows by and is presented with fantastic pacing by Peter Jackson. There’s some nice cliffhangers between the parts as well as a good feel for the history. Its cool to see the likes of Billy Preston show up in addition to Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney. The banter is great too, especially after George has quit and the remaining 3 just sort of calmly talk about how Eric Clapton will take his place if they can’t think of anyone else. Also, Ringo Starr comes off as this observant, introspective and cool dude throughout it all. Every time Ringo speaks, the room goes silent and listens. All of this and so much more come from watching it and its one I feel will continue to be rewarding as its returned to again and again.


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Let’s get the bummer out of the way first; it stinks that there’s no 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release of this. However, the Blu-ray here is about as great a quality as you can get out of the format. And seeing the film stock and quality of the photography, I could see where Jackson may have thought this presentation represented it best. While there are many different shapes and sizes of footage in the film, its all encoded at 1.85:1 and that is the constant. This features a nice crisp image, full of good detail and really strong color work in an image that really looks pretty wonderful.

Depth: Pretty solid depth of field on display here and real nice sense of scale with great sense of place especially comparing the three parts with a big studio set, a smaller recording studio and the rooftop in the middle of the city. Motion is smooth and natural.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and rich. There’s a minimal amount of detail swallowed up in complete darkness, but I think that’s partly to do with the lighting and film stock rather than a shortcoming of the transfer. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty strong, there’s a nice full, bold glow from the background in part 1 that resonates greatly. Many of the normal, rustic colors come in great with good saturation and strong lifelike presence. Some of the more extravagant articles of clothing also have a good pop to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are quite apparent from all close ups and most medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: None


UPDATE: The studio reportedly has found an audio glitch in the release and needs to correct it which will delay the release date. 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 PCM Stereo, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German, Japanese

Dynamics: Fear not, while this release is essentially coming from the Disney side of the things, the Atmos is an outlier. This sounds plenty terrific. The volume is good, louder and sound plenty full with lots of great layering showing intricacies in the music and performances. Much of the audio also impressive with Jackson’s mix that brings out even some of the tiniest nuances from a lot of more undesirable sources with which to pull from.

Height: From above you get some ambiance and instrumental bounce and the like. There are some nice touches it has but this mix knows not to go crazy or overboard in this channel which is commendable.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer hands the bass and drums in the music beautifully and naturally as if you’re in the room with the jamming. Some other little natural sounds make some nice bumps as well.

Surround Sound Presentation: As assumed, this one really works the room, knows where everyone is at all times and wonderfully handles all the channels. It does a great job in helping one feel the music as its played, the camera angles change or it travels around. Its expertly crafted and always is aware of on screen and off screen contributions.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


The Beatles: Get Back comes with no extras on the disc. It does come in some very nice packaging that includes 4 photos (“Collector’s Cards”), 1 of each member of the band. You could consider that the film itself is really a 6 hour extras, but there are still some things about the restoration and putting this thing together that would have been interesting to learn more about.


Get Back is an impressive experience and journey with living legends during the eclipse of their time at the top of their highest pedestal in music, pop culture and fame. The release has top notch picture and audio quality for the standard Blu-ray format. Yes, a 4K would’ve been nice, but once the disc is in and you get going, you’ll be impressed by the image and good to go. No extras is a bummer, but the packaging is pretty awesome and the film itself feels like a bonus feature. Definitely pick this one up if you’re a fan to ensure you’ll always be able to pop it in and watch it.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

  1. No Comments