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Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Rock > Comedy > Drama > Rocumentary > The Elvis Blu-ray Collection (Elvis On Tour (1972)/Jailhouse Rock (1957)/Viva Las Vegas (1963)/Warner Bros.)

The Elvis Blu-ray Collection (Elvis On Tour (1972)/Jailhouse Rock (1957)/Viva Las Vegas (1963)/Warner Bros.)


Picture: B/B+/B+     Sound: B-/B/B     Extras: D/C+/C+     Films: B-



In the midst of revisionist thinking on Elvis Presley and a time that he has become more of an imitated figure than a remembered one, Warner Bros. new Elvis Blu-ray Collection arrives at a good time to really see the performer and star for who and what he really was.  That includes a groundbreaker, singer, personality and good man who cared about his fans and was truly always down to earth.


This includes two of his few good dramatic films, so good that Warner had previously issued them as single Blu-rays.  We previously reviewed the now defunct HD-DVD editions of Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock at this link:





They still look and sound as good as they did when in the early days of HD formats, they were two of the most impressive back catalog titles.  Jailhouse is still as fine as we would expect a black and white, older CinemaScope transfer to look, with some distortion from the older lenses, plus some motion blur, but Video Black that still impresses.  Viva is still the best MetroColor film on Blu-ray to date and still impresses with its usually impressive definition from the Panavision shoot.  The sound is also impressive for the age of the films.


After Elvis made the unintentionally hilarious Change Of Habit for Universal, he was back at MGM, but decided that was the end of his acting days.  Following Elvis: That’s The Way It Is, he made Elvis On Tour, an underrated 1972 Rockumentary (yes, it qualifies) about his 15-city tour that shows The King in his comeback glory.  The Beatles had broken, up, his 1968 career resurrection (including the great hits Burning Love and Suspicious Minds) proved bad “Elvis Musicals” had not killed off his talents and he had a huge (and I mean HUGE) fan following that still loved him and went nuts for him at every turn.  He loved his fans, remained down to earth and cared about his work without pretension or believing his own hype.  Wish most music performers who are successful today were half this sincere.


A well-edited compilation, its lack of pushiness works to its favor, with the added bonus of seeing how to do such a piece without the phony pretension that we know as the degrading monster of so-called reality-TV.  This is a mix of the quiet, honest,



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 image in each case has a different source and Tour was shot in 16mm, made into widescreen by a mix of split screen, zoom-ins, flipping the same image on opposite sides of the screen to bookend a main one, etc. in the Woodstock style.  Supervised by Martin Scorsese, this is very effective and we also get stills and vintage TV footage in the mix.  This is all more interesting than you would expect and the quality of the footage is decent throughout.


The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes on each of the older releases remains as good as they were before, though maybe a tad weaker than I remember, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 on Tour is a warm, but a mix of those silences, monophonic sound when people are talking and when the music is on, the 5.1 kicks in from what was a multi-channel sound mix recorded as Elvis and company performed.  Included are The Jordanaires and Sweet Inspirations with Cissy Houston, resulting in Tour never looking or sounding as good.  Extras are the same on the previous releases and Tour sadly has none.



You can also see the films via On Demand: http://bit.ly/WB_ELVIS75 and for download via iTunes: http://bit.ly/WBE_ELVIS



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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