Blu-ray Review “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is”

elvis-bluDirector: Denis Sanders
Starring: Elvis Presley
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 192 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Man, who doesn’t love the King! Elvis was and always will be one of the greatest performers in our time. The 1970 documentary, “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is”, gives us a great behind-the-scenes look into Elvis’ August 1970 Las Vegas show from development to rehearsal to stage. It has newly remastered and arrives on Blu-ray for the first time in a really sweet 40-page DigiBook package with rare behind-the-scene photos. This release also includes two cuts of the film, both the original theatrical cut and the re-edited and remixed 2001 Special Edition version. A must have for any Elvis fan.

Official Premise: With thousands of feet of materials including sequences added to capture with greater intimacy Elvis’ performances and his creative process behind-the-scenes, the previously released Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Special Edition is now being made available as a Blu-ray™ two disc Special Edition Premium Digibook. Denis Sanders (Shock Treatment) directed this “rockumentary.” Academy Award® nominated Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch) was the cinematographer, following the show’s development from rehearsal to stage.

The film has also never looked better on this Blu-ray since it was newly remastered in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. The sound is amazing and definitely lives up to the standards for the King. My main issue with this is that the 1970 original theatrical version is only available on DVD though and not Blu-ray. So if prefer that one to the 2001 special edition cut, you might be a little disappointed here. Other special features includes a cool featurette called “Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” and 12 Outtakes: Song/Non-musical Sequences but that is really it.

To celebrate Elvis Week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition on August 12 as Premium Blu-ray™ Digibook.

2 Replies to “Blu-ray Review “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is””

  1. Thanks,can anyone confirm if the blu ray disc is region free?
    (some web sites say it is while others say its not)

  2. Dissappointing (if its true) that the original Sanders version is not included in blu ray quality! On dvd only? Maybe they should have just included the VHS tape! dont get me wrong I think the 2001 SE is a great cut but to just replace the original seems a little harsh. Its similar to when Lucas released the Star Wars Trilogy SE. He changed many things for the SE to what he thought was superior and eventually (after fan pressure) released a crappy laser disc copy of the originals. If he would have included them in 1080 with some minor audio and video correcting, i believe there would be less dissapointed fans. There is no question that the original TTWII version has its flaws and at times is quite strange, but the SE is not necessarily superior to it. Why not give the fans a choice to watch both in great quality? There were many good changes made for the 2001 SE (I Cant Stop Loving You, In The Ghetto, Just Pretend) but it also had some poor choices (cuts made to Bridge Over Troubled Water,Tiger Man/Mystery Train and alt performances). Both versions of the film are great and different, but doesnt the original deserve equal treatment?
    Question: How much film footage is available to remaster? If there is quite a substantial amount why not release a blu ray Ultimate Edition with complete concerts in addition to the 2001 SE for a greater concert feel. The Sanders version could then be more relevent as a documentary version. Too ambitious?
    My 2 cents

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