Blu-ray Review “Viva Las Vegas: 50th Anniversary”

vivalasvegasStarring: Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova, William Demarest, Nicky Blair, Teri Garr
Director: George Sidney
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Man, I love Las Vegas. I cannot even think about the Sin City without screaming Elvis’ tune in my head. Elvis was not only a musical superstar, he was also a huge blockbuster draw in film and this was his biggest film. “Viva Las Vegas” is being re-released by Warner Bros in a brand new premium Digibook, which includes include rare behind-the-scene photos. Elvis shared the screen with the stunning Ann-Margret, who is a great companion for the King. This film is such a blast and really makes me want to book that flight to Las Vegas. If you are an Elvis fan (And don’t own Warner Bros previous release of this film) then this is a day one purchase.

Official Premise: In his highest grossing movie, Elvis shares the screen with Ann-Margret, easily creating the most electrifying teaming Elvis had on screen. He plays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix race driver working at a casino to raise cash for a new engine; she’s a hotel swimming instructor – and the romantic action revs up from their first meeting. George Sidney, who also directed Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, combines the hormonal heat wave with fascinating sights of ’60s Las Vegas. David Winters (West Side Story) choreographed the 10 musical song-and-dance scenes which also featured his dancers.

“Viva Las Vegas” was released WAY back in 2007 to a very impressive release back then. But yet for this release we still are getting a newly remastered transfer and a near perfect Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The soundtrack is so amazing include songs like the title track, “The Lady Loves Me”, Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The music is so important in this film and it is just absolutely amazing. For a film that is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. It has never looked or sounded better. The detail in the 1080p transfer is outstanding and the songs are just perfectly balanced for this Blu-ray release.

Besides the amazing looking Digibook with some great rare photos, the rest of the special features aren’t really that stunning and worthy of the King. There is a commentary track from Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”. This guy knows Elvis better than Elvis did and it was very interesting to get some great insight about the film. Next up is “Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas”, which goes behind-the-scenes. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

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