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on 20 October 2001
This great new version of the 1970 concert film, 'Elvis: That's The Way It Is'
will hopefully help to redress the balance of critical opinion concerning the
final phase of Elvis Presley's career. Those who only remember the
caricature will be surprised at how good Elvis looks and by the sheer power
and magnetism of his performances. Vocally, he was at his absolute peak.
Fans will be delighted to see new footage and some great new camera
angles (it feels like you're actually on the front row sometimes). Gone are the
irritating interviews and sideshows - this version focuses firmly on the man
himself. On the negative side, some of the songs from the original film have
been sacrificed - I Just Can't Help Believin being the most glaring omission.
The rehearsal section lacks the momentum of the original and the sound mix
is quite poor in places. That said, the special edition includes a great
rendition of Santa Claus Is Back In Town, demonstrating Elvis' ability as a
blues singer. The concert performances themselves are simply superb.
Everyone will have their favourites, but for me the lesser known Elvis songs
are the highlights. I Can't Stop Loving You is fantastic. Just Pretend really
shows off Elvis' vocal range. Patch It Up is a real rocker. This is Elvis at his
best. Sit back - and enjoy!
22 comments51 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 March 2006
This is the most important readily available Elvis video for fans to own. It shows Elvis in rehearsal and on stage at his true creative peak before performances became either routine or laden with grandiose and cumbersome ritual. At the time he had in place over 500 arrangements and orchestrations he could instantly call upon and a backing band unmatched before or since. Herein lies a compelling glimpse of just how these were put together with Elvis directing from guitar and piano. The on-stage action is from more than one concert - he did two a day at the time - and it is still hard to believe just how good he was compared to the media charicatures prevalent today. One star is missing from my rating simply beacuse this is a re-edited version that inexplicably omits the on-stage "I just can't help believing" which is a masterpiece.
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on 14 June 2005
This was the first Elvis DVD i bought. I have since bought, the 68 comback special and Aloha from Hawaii and well as various movies that he did. The 'Elvis -- That's The Way It Is' DVD is the best one yet! As a hugh Elvis fan i do beleive that this shows elvis in the same light as in 1956. His performances, both vocally and sexually are on an even with performances such as Hound Dog on The ED Sullivan show in 56 and the Jailhouse Rock video of 1957. The best performance is the Suspicous Minds track. Elvis shows a amazing amount of energy, enthusiasum and unbelievable vocals to a massive, screaming live audiance. After listening to recorded tracks on the 30 no1 hits cd, the live versions of such song like in the Ghetto, The wonder of you and suspicous Minds and twice as goo live. He also performs Thats all right Mama, All shook up and Hound Dog, thats all right Mama is equally as good as the original, even though elvis never performed Hound dog, Blue suede shoes etc as well after the 50s.
A must have!
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on 23 September 2002
I never seen Elvis live but this come close. This DVD shows you the real Elvis before the gig and then the man who was the King. The before films show him laughing and messing around before the real deal. On stage, no one could stop him. He was a powerful force. The voice, the style, the way he moved around is outstanding. The band behind him made everything run like clockwork but it was Elvis who made it look like childs play. Elvis was and still is the KING!
The outstanding parts are: the wonderful Polk Salad Annie and the great Suspicious Minds. I never seen a man so sexy and move so freely in my life. I sit there open mouthed as I watched Elvis knock everyone dead and I'm sure everyone wanted to be there while they watched. One Nite is also one of my fave parts coz the way he tells the band what to play hehe. He had them all in my hands and they loved it. The fans were the same. All Elvis had to do was smile, laugh or bend down and they were screaming for more.
Elvis Aaron Presley is the KING. No one can stop what he started and this DVD proves that no matter what happens in this world....Elvis is still the KING! If your not sure about Elvis....buy this DVD and then ur see the King in action....and ur be blow away!
5/5 from me :)
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on 9 April 2002
FACT (not opinion) -This is the BEST ELVIS DVD availble and it puts all the others to shame as it shows what can be done with Elvis in this format. A Great documentry thoughtfully re-edited and remastered with lots of previously unseen footage included.Plus EXTRAS; a short documentry on the making of the re-editted version (rather than the original),the original film trailer (what no trailer for the new version?) and a menu that quietly plays the cut song I Just Can't Help Believin -which we in the UK can't Believe was editted out. It was the hit song from the film and Elvis even refers to forgetting the words in the re-edit. The new version shows ELvis sense of humour off to much greater affect - think of Freddie Star meets Norman Wisdom meets Robbie Williams. Several scenes will make you laugh out loud.
Also if you've got a good surround set up get this an Elvis film in 5.1 stereo? What not mono!
The producers of this DVD deserve credit. This is Brilliant. However much more could have been included on the DVD incl songs were taken out of the re-edited version and I've seen the clips of Elvis singing Oh Happy Day with the Sweet Inspirations in rehersals and Little Sister live on stage with Elvis sitting down on stage playing guitar & theres load more where they come from. Also why no audio commentry to accompany the film -its not explained in the documnetry why the new footage in some places appears very faded whilst in others its pin sharp. Couldn't it have been digitally enhanced? The audio mix is also very safe and the orchestra is buried which is the fashion with the Elvis police who think strings and backing singers are uncool no matter that Elvis compiled this set up on stage against his managers wishes. The sound is 5.1 but it does not make the best use of Elvis stage set up or your surround speakers. Where are the dynamics Its more an RCA mix than a movie theatre one.
This should have been a 2 or 3 disk set with the original version included as well as mountains of outakes that didn't make it into the re-edit. But then perhaps they are saving this for another day? Like in another 30 yrs time. Enjoy what you get because other Elvis DVDs simply do not measure up to this one. Superb!
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on 15 August 2007
I am very Disappointed with this release. Disc 1 is very good and in excellent condition. But then it would be, as it was only released a few years ago. The Original Film on Disc 2, does not look like it has been cleaned up in any way at all and is no better than my old VHS copy. The extra's (less than 40 minutes) are in bad quality and even stagger here and there. And what about the 'Lost Performances' video? No sight of that footage!
The Ideal would have been a package like the 'Aloha' and '68 Special' sets a couple of years ago. I would of cut out the Elvis Impersonators and the Fan interviews Etc from the original film and gathered all existing rehearsal and concert footage from both films plus 'Lost Performances' before re-editing it all together with never before released footage in a 3dvd set in Remastered quality.
If you have not got the new 2001 version (On Disc 1) then this may be worth getting, although you can buy it as a separate DVD. If you have , then I wouldnt bother with this. I for one cant wait until they get it right. I would rather pay three times as much for the real deal!
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on 2 October 2001
I've been hearing a lot about how they've butchered the original movie with this bastardised version but I must say that there's really not that much of difference and, in fact, is in many ways a better movie as a result. The intro has been recut along with a lot of the boring crowd reactions but lets face facts here folks what we want to see and hear is the man singing and clowning around both on and off the stage and that's exactly what you get here.
I'll admit that I wasn't exactly a huge Elvis fan before I invested in this dvd, (I'm more of a Metallica / Alice in Chains man myself) and my memories of the King were mostly of the god-awful movies he made in the late 60s and 70's. However as soon as the movie intro kicked in I knew I was about to experience something very special indeed. I'm lucky in that I have a pretty decent home cinema setup with a widescreen t.v., DD amp and 6 speakers and to be honest listening to this movie with anything less in almost criminal. The sound, while it doesn't quite reach the peaks of more recent releases like Metallica's S&M, is simply superb especially when you consider it was shot and recorded over 30 years ago - I was 1 year old then. I noticed a few reviews were complaining about the sound quality and I'm afraid those people are either talking out of ... or they were listening to it through a single speaker 12inch black and white portable t.v. set. Trust me, the sound is more than adequate. Kudos must also go to the restoration team on the excellent image quality of the movie - the correctly matted anamorphic transfer, while not 100% perfect, looks like it might have been shot last week.
As for Elvis' performance: well I can't say in this short review about the range of emotions experienced while watching it. I have to say that I was completely in awe of the man as he strutted his stuff, acted the clown, sang like a God, danced like a demon and played tonsil tennis with the entire female audience. If you are in any way unsure about getting this disc I urge you to just go and get it - you most definitely won't regret it. And make sure you TURN IT UP.
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2004
I came across this film as I flicked through the TV channels one evening. I originally missed the first half of the film but even coming in half way through I was hooked.
After watching the film, I immediately ordered it from Amazon. It turns out that first third of the film is footage of the build up and rehearsals for the Las Vegas concert - it is nice to see the man himself laughing and joking with his band members and friends, you get to see a different side to the normal staged interviews and performances. The remainder of the film is made up of footage from a couple of performances Elvis made at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1970 and is absolutely magnificent. Most of the Elvis staples are there (Heartbreak Hotel, Suspicious Minds, etc) mixed in with some of the lesser remembered songs. All songs are given with so much fun and energy; it is easy to see why people still consider Elvis Presley to have been the ultimate showman and performer.
Put the film on, turn off the lights, wire the sound through the stereo if possible and just take it the spectacle of it all. I always say that given a time machine, one of the things I would like to do would be to go to an Elvis concert (I was not even born in 1970!) when he was in his post Hollywood concert tour semi-comeback phase. This DVD is nowhere near as good as the real thing would have been but it is as close as we are going to get and for that it is wonderful.
This is how people should remember Elvis.
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on 14 June 2001
I've just purchased the Region 1 version of this fantastic look at a fun lovin', behind the scenes, Elvis on his way to the first of his Vegas spectacles. This new version of the movie is almost a completely NEW movie though. Having been a fan of the original film I could wait to see all my favourite songs, plus the promised extras - yes we do get more songs but we also get some glaring omissions. Most notablely NO 'I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVIN''- can you believe that !! This track was so popular at the time of the movie's original release the live track from the film became the definative version - and it's not there any more !! I'm sure that should be illegal!? (apparently a US copyright problem - so it may appear in the UK version...hmmm) Other ommisions include all the interviews with the Elvis fans which made the original movie so humourous. But you do get a new blinding version of Suspicious Minds!! The making of documentary is short but informative and the sound and picture quality are amazing compared to the original version. But I have mixed feelings -I'm disappointed that the original version of the movie is deleted but if you've never seen it, this movie is a fan's must have item! MGM re-release the original !!!!!!!
1010 comments32 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 September 2002
It may be over 30 years since this documentary was filmed but you can still feel how magical, thrilling, exhilarating and exhausting it must have been to watch Elvis Presley performing in his prime. And that's exactly what you get here. A 35-year-old Elvis, simply exuding magnetism, charisma, talent and joy at doing again what he loved the most.
His voice is amazing. He wallows in it and gives every single song his all. He shows off his range and appears simply to pick a song at random, announcing it to the band and launching himself whole-heartedly into it. The whole show is fabulous but the highlights for me are One Night, Patch It Up, Polk Salad Annie and his phenomenal rendition of Suspicious Minds. He interacts easily with his superb band and the backing singers.
He's also in fantastic shape, handsome and sexy, still at the point where the much-imitated white jumpsuits enhanced his image perfectly rather than highlighting the decline of the larger and sadder Elvis of his final years.
It's amazing to watch the biggest star the world has ever seen simply jumping down into the audience and walking amongst them, shaking hands with the men and kissing the women. The crowd are practically hysterical, almost begging for more and more they get. This would never happen today and today's performers are not even in Presley's league.
This film doesn't only highlight the talent of the man. It also shows his humour, his professionalism and the total delight he took in singing and making music. It shows what a great loss he is to us all but also what a legacy he has left.
I was only five when Elvis Presley breathed his last but this DVD makes me feel like I've seen him play live. Absolutely fantastic.
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