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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Elvis On Tour



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#1 of 7 Cameron Yee

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Posted August 01 2010 - 11:18 AM


Elvis On Tour
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Studio: Warner Brothers
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray Digibook
Year: 1972
Rating: G
Running Time: 1:33:00
MSRP: $34.99

  THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES
Video 1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1 N/A
Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 N/A
Subtitles English SDH, French, Spanish N/A

The Feature: 4/5
Directed by Robert Abel and Pierre Adidge, "Elvis On Tour" documents Elvis Presley's 15-city concert tour that took place between April 5 and April 19, 1972. Though the piece includes some moments backstage and behind the scenes, the emphasis is ultimately on Presley's performances and the incredible response to him by his female fans, some of whom become outright hysterical from the mere sight of him. It's definitely a reflection of a simpler time, when fan obsession seemed to have an endearing sincerity about it rather than the cynical (and at times disconcerting) edge that it does today. As one who never had an opinion about Presley one way or the other, the film certainly gave me an appreciation - not just for his vocal talents (which sound buttery smooth on this Blu-ray release) - but also his commitment to entertain and please his fans. The only thing missing (from a modern perspective) is revealing more about Elvis the man, something beyond the wholesome Gospel jam sessions he and his band members do to entertain themselves. As it is we get a lot of great performances from Elvis, but little in the way of insight into his character and personality. That said, there's no doubt longtime Elvis fans will love every minute of the film, while those with a more passing interest will certainly be entertained.

Video Quality: 4.5/5

The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. Originally shot on 16mm film and edited for the 35mm format, the transfer appears to accurately present both the aesthetics and limitations of the source. Considering how the film was shot and its age, black levels are surpisingly stable and inky, colors have good depth and separation, and contrast appears to retain the full range of values. Grain is sometimes coarse, but neither unexpected nor unappreciated given the filmmaking style. In fact the grain becomes the primary indicator of the transfer's sharpness and detail, and as such is quite pleasing and satisfying. The image is also largely free of blemishes, a vertical scratch in a couple shots being the sole offender.
  Audio Quality: 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is an engaging and satisfying complement to the visuals, boasting an impressive mix that makes use of the full speaker array but without gimmickry or sensationalism. Crowd noise and background vocals are mostly assigned to the rear channels, while the trio of front speakers gets a blend of Presley's vocals and the range of band instruments. Though the approximation of the physical arrangement of the performers is not an uncommon technique, it's done particularly well here, giving the viewer a sense of space and ambiance while not being so obvious that one is taken out of the viewing. Dynamic range and detail is also excellent, Presley's vocals naturally being the standout. And though there's nothing in the way of LFE, the track exhibits great depth and fullness, particularly evident when the band's bass vocalist shows exactly how low he can go.

Special Features: 0.5/5

Collectible Book: The nicely produced book-that-is-the-packaging includes archival photographs and tour posters, a short Elvis biography, information about the film and filmmakers, tour dates and locations, and the set lists from four of the performances.

Recap
The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0.5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

Warner Brothers turns in an excellent audio and video presentation of Elvis's 1972 concert documentary. The special features are meager at best, but I doubt it will prevent most fans of the King from picking up this well-made and entertaining film. Given the right price point, casual fans would also be well-served by adding the title to their collections.


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#2 of 7 Richard--W

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Posted August 01 2010 - 07:10 PM

A definite buy on Tuesday.



#3 of 7 Claus Nielsen

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Posted August 02 2010 - 07:34 AM

Is Johnny B. Goode played during the intro or is it Don't Be Cruel?



#4 of 7 Cameron Yee

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Posted August 02 2010 - 02:36 PM

Don't Be Cruel


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#5 of 7 Claus Nielsen

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Posted August 03 2010 - 02:01 AM

Thanks for the confirmation.



#6 of 7 Steve Christou

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Posted August 03 2010 - 04:10 AM

"Glory, Glory.... Halleluuuuuuujah... His truth.... is.... mar...ching on"



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#7 of 7 David Norman

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Posted August 03 2010 - 05:19 AM

I will admit to being an Elvis fan of sorts though likely more now than when I was younger. 

My Mom was a true fan who always wanted to see Elvis live and when he came within

a hundred miles she got the family tickets and we went to see him -- early to mid 70's so I would have been in that cynical teen don't like anything your parents like stage so I doubt I was terribly happy being there (initially).    This was likely when Elvis and lost a lot of weight and was in pretty good vocal form.    We were a 18600 seat + coliseum that mainly was used for College Basketball, sitting at the back row as far away as possible and  behind the stage so most of what we saw was Elvis' back most of the night.    A couple times he did come to the rear of the stage and sing toward our side and I thought Mom and a few of the other ladies were going to roll up on the floor and cry at his appearance.


I was mesmerized by the whole performance and theatrics, the electricity was just through the roof and I don't think I've felt that except at a very few Alabama football games.  The old songs were fun since I knew most of them by heart through sheer osmosis if nothing else, but when he did the Trilogy it was just literally breathtaking -- the man could wring ever drop of emotion out of that group and knew how to do a live performance to the max.


A few years ago I was driving through Memphis with the family and my wife who really wasn;t a big Elvis fan decided she wanted to see Graceland.   What an absolute cheesy fabulous blast from something that should almost be morbid.   We were there a week of so before the anniversary of his death so just huge amounts of flowers coming in from all over the world, tons of foreign visitors who were obviously fans -- the man has a way.