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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : Excellent Good Fair Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

February 17, 1987|TERRY ATKINSON

"Help!" MPI. $69.95. Beatlemania revival, anyone? It's possible, as the first four Capitol CDs approach and this second Beatles movie makes its video debut. Directed by Richard Lester, "Help" is like a James Bond thriller revamped for "The Goon Show." Comic villains Leo McKern ( far from Rumpole) and Victor Spinetti hurl fiendish thingies, Eleanor Bron looks lovely, as do the proto-music videos--e.g. "I Need You" on a wintry Stonehenge plain. The print's a bit spotty around the reel changes but otherwise sharply conveys David Watkin's lush color photography; the sound is superb, especially the newly added digital-stereo versions of the songs. The Beatles, however, are far less kinetic than in "A Hard Day's Night" (also available from MPI at $39.95); they're mainly charming pawns here, and many of their loony lines seem flatter than in '65. Still, a fab ticket to rent--say no more. Information: (800) 323-0442. 1/2

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