Director: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson
Release Date: September 13, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis’s (Austin Butler) story is seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Elvis’ follows the course of Elvis Presley’s (Butler) life and career as told primarily from the point of view of his longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks) and accompanies the pair from the early days of Elvis’s life to his first big moments and the hint at stardom, then all the way through his iconic days as the king of rock and roll. It also touches on his meeting and relationship with wife Priscilla (DeJonge) and even his time in residency in Vegas, altogether spanning over twenty years in the life and career of one of the most beloved music icons to ever live.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet) from a screenplay by Luhrmann & Sam Bromell (TV’s The Get Down) and Luhrmann (yes, curiously enough Luhrmann is credited twice for the screenplay) & Craig Pearce (The Great Gatsby) and Jeremy Doner (TV’s The Killing), from a story by Baz Luhrmann and Jeremy Doner. Luhrmann does a solid job at the helm of ‘Elvis’ guiding along the true tale with plenty of flair and heart throughout. The film’s cast includes Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Tom Hanks (News of the World), Helen Thomson (TV’s Rake), Richard Roxburgh (Hacksaw Ridge), Olivia DeJonge (Better Watch Out) and more, with the majority offering pretty solid, or at least capable performances for the most in part in each of their respective roles.
Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ is a flashy, visually spectacular and hectic look at the life and rise of the iconic musician through the great times and the difficult ones. Perhaps most interesting of all is that the tale is narrated and seen through the perspective of Elvis’s questionable manager Colonel Tom Parker, both for the good and bad as it makes for an interesting perspective, yet perhaps not one some people will enjoy seeing as the central viewpoint for the true tale. Some aspects of the film may not win everyone over but if there is one undeniable fact in this film’s favor, it’s the impressive performance by lead Austin Butler who dazzles as Elvis, both in appearance, mannerisms and perhaps most impressive in his ability to sing his iconic songs while rarely missing a beat. Butler’s performance alone is enough to make this one well worth taking the time to give a chance and Baz Luhrmann’s unique, fast-paced and flashy filmmaking style also works beautifully for the tale and helps it to stand apart from other film adaptations of the icon’s life and career.
Overall, Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ is an engulfing, quickly paced and visually dazzling exploration of the legendary musician’s life and career. Complemented by Luhrmann’s ever-moving and flashy approach and a stellar performance by Butler as Elvis that alone is quite spectacular to behold, it makes a few curious choices and may not nail every single aspect, but it does a solid job altogether of creating a fun and gorgeous film that in many ways is worthy of the legacy it tells. ‘Elvis’ is definitely recommended for fans of the musical legend as well as lead Austin Butler who is truly magnificent as Presley. Those who enjoy director Baz Luhrmann’s unique and hectic style of filmmaking should also find plenty to appreciate about this one. If you’re already even mildly intrigued by the new film then it should easily prove well worth your time the cost of a rental to check out.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Elvis’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR10+, presented in its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks spectacular as a whole and delivers a clean, smooth and visually impressive video presentation from start to finish. It holds up well throughout even with the consistently moving shooting style and never suffers from any unexpected issues arising along the way. The Dolby Vision addition only improves upon it all and delivers sharp, detailed and vibrant colors paired with deep blacks that look great every step of the way. Overall, this is a pretty wonderful Ultra High Definition video presentation that should thoroughly please fans of the film as well as newcomers.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a splendid complement to the great video presentation and provides a clean, crisp and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the music throughout the various speakers quite regularly, along with crowd chatter, nature content and plenty more, all while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or problematic in the process. Overall, this is a top notch Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds great every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Elvis’ includes a few solid extras which can be found on the included Blu-ray disc. The release includes various Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring different aspects of bringing the film to life including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Bigger than Life: The Story of ELVIS’ (running approximately 22 minutes in length), ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Royalty: The Music and Artists behind ELVIS’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘Fit for a King: The Style of ELVIS’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Viva Australia: Recreating Iconic Locations for ELVIS’ (7 minutes). Also included is the ‘”Trouble” Lyric Video’ (2 minutes). The release also features the option to view any/all of the many ‘Musical Moments’ from the film, both on the 4K and Blu-ray discs.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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