Film Review “Elvis & Nixon”

Starring: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey and Colin Hanks
Directed by: Liza Johnson
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 26 mins
Bleecker Street Films

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

December 21, 1970. As he goes over his schedule in the White House, President Richard Nixon (Spacey) is informed that he has a meeting with one Elvis Presley. He eyes his aide and calmly asks, “Who the f*** set this up?”

It’s the most requested photo from the National Archives. Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley shaking hands in the Oval Office. But what is the story behind the photo? The new film, “Elvis and Nixon,” may or not be the whole truth but it is an entertaining tale that sheds a light on the meeting between two of the most famous men of their time.

While watching television in his home one night, Elvis Presley (Shannon) is horrified by the various news stories he sees. Black Panthers. Drugs. Draft cards being burned. It’s more than the King can take and he hops a plane to L.A. to visit an old friend, Jerry Schilling (Alex Pettyfer). It’s while on the plane that Presley conceives a plan. He will go to Washington D.C. and ask the President to make him a “Federal-agent-at-large,” with the idea of using his fame to infiltrate the youth culture of the day. In 1970 Elvis was in the midst of a huge comeback started two years earlier. Still amazingly popular, Presley and Schilling run across a couple of Elvis impersonators in the airport, who mistake Presley as being one of them. They congratulate him for making an effort to look like the King, even though they tell him, “Elvis would never wear that,” which is pretty funny when you remember the outfits he used to wear. Jump suits and capes anyone?

The film moves quickly, buoyed by the performances of its stars. I’ve always enjoyed Michael Shannon as an actor, but this is really the first time he hasn’t been over-the-top crazy that I can remember. Wearing giant sideburns and gold-framed sunglasses, Shannon makes Elvis a vulnerable character who truly wants to do the right thing. A great mimic, Spacey is spot on as our 37th President, vulnerable to the country he feels doesn’t admire him as much as they do handsome people, like John Kennedy. Both men get down into their respective characters, giving the film a somewhat documentary feel, which gives the film an air of familiarity.

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

Director: 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.

Remastered Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Set for Special Screening August 16 at Orpheum Theatre in Memphis during Elvis Week followed by a Limited Theatrical Engagement

Burbank, Calif., July 14, 2014 – To celebrate Elvis Week, the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis will host the world premiere of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s newly-remastered Elvis: That’s The Way It Is on August 16.

This year’s Elvis Week will be held from August 9-August 17 at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis.  Fans who attend the Elvis That’s The Way It Is screening will be treated to the newly remastered film along with extras such as rehearsal and actual performance footage that were not included when last shown as a feature film. Audiences will also get to experience a special performance by Elvis’ Imperials members Joe Moscheo and Terry Blackwood, along with Darrell Toney and Lynn Royce Taylor.* This will be a special farewell performance by Moscheo who recently retired from the group. Fans can also view “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” related artifacts direct from the Graceland archives that will be on display in the lobby. This event will be hosted by Tom Brown, Vice President of Original Productions for Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Tickets are available for purchase via Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Orpheum box office. For more information on this or other Elvis Week events, visit Graceland.com.

Additionally the newly-remastered Elvis: That’s The Way It Is will be shown in almost 300 theaters around the U.S. for a limited engagement. Fans unable to attend the Elvis Week world premiere will still have a chance to see Elvis on the big screen and enjoy an inside look at a cultural icon often labeled the “King” of rock ‘n’ roll. The documentary depicts Elvis as a master showman, following him as he prepares for his big opening-night performance in Las Vegas. Information including a list of dates and locations can be found at www.Graceland.com/events.

Elvis Aaron Presley

(1935 – 1977)

Elvis Presley was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, starring in 31 feature films and two theatrically-released concert documentaries over the course of his career. His music was as much a part of his box-office success as his good looks and charisma. In fact, some of his top-selling songs were from the movie soundtracks. Eleven of his soundtrack albums made it into the top ten on the Billboard Album charts and of those, four became number one hits. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over a billion records worldwide, more records than any other artist in record industry history, and even 30 years after his death, Elvis still conquers new legions of fans as even compilations of his RCA recordings, such as “Elvis 30 #1 Hits” and “Elvis 2nd to None,” have both topped the Billboard charts of best-selling albums.

More biographical information is available at the official Elvis Presley Web site, www.elvis.com.

 

New from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on August 12, 2014

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition, which was re-edited and remixed for its acclaimed release in 2001, will now debut on Blu-ray™ as a Premium Digibook.

  • Disc 1(BD) contains the 2001 Special Edition, newly remastered with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack and Special Features.
  • Disc 2 (DVD) contains the 1970 Original Theatrical Version and Special Features.

 

In celebration of its 50th Anniversary Viva Las Vegas will also be offered as a Premium Blu-ray Digibook. These Premium Digibooks include rare behind-the-scene photos and are available for $27.98 each (SRP).

*Performance appearances subject to change.

Academy Awards® and Oscar® are both registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Blu-ray Disc™ and Blu-ray™ and the logos are the trademarks of Blu-ray Disc Association.

Warner Home Video Blu-ray Discs™ offer resolution six times higher than standard definition DVDs, as well as extraordinarily vibrant contrast and color and beautifully crisp sound. The format also provides a higher level of interactivity, with instant access to extra features via a seamless menu bar where viewers can enjoy features without leaving or interrupting the film.

 

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WBUltra.

“Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” “Viva Las Vegas” 50th Anniversary Arrive as Premium Digibooks

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition First Time on Blu-ray™
and Premium Digibook
Remastered Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Set for Special Screening August 16 at Orpheum Theatre in Memphis during Elvis Week

Viva Las Vegas 50TH Anniversary
New as a Premium Digibook

Burbank, Calif., April 22, 2014 – To celebrate Elvis Week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release of two of “The King’s” fan favorites on August 12 as Premium Blu-ray™ Digibooks.

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition, which was re-edited and remixed for its acclaimed release in 2000, will now debut on Blu-ray™ as a Premium Digibook, newly remastered, and with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary Viva Las Vegas will also be offered as a Premium Blu-ray Digibook. These Premium Digibooks include rare behind-the-scene photos and are available for $27.98 each (SRP).

This year’s Elvis Week will be held from August 9-August 17 in Memphis at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. As part of the festivities, the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis will host the world premiere screening of Warner Bros.’ newly-remastered Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. Fans in town for Elvis Week will be treated not only to the newly-remastered film, but will also get to experience an outtake performance or sequence never before seen on the big screen, along with some special on-stage surprises still to be announced. Tickets will be available for purchase on May 1, 2014 via Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Orpheum box office. For more information on this or other Elvis Week events, visit Graceland.com.

About the Elvis Titles
Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Two Disc Special Edition Premium Digibook
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[1] Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch) was the cinematographer, following the show’s development from rehearsal to stage.

Special Features:
Disc 1 (BD) 2001 Special Edition and Special Features:
Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences
1970 Original Theatrical Version
Disc 2 (DVD) 1970 Original Theatrical Version and Special Features:
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences

Viva Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Premium Digibook
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. Songs include the high-roller title track, the stars’ duet on “The Lady Loves Me,” her sultry “Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo.

Special Features:
· Commentary by Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”
· Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas
· Theatrical trailer

Elvis Aaron Presley
(1935 – 1977)
Elvis Presley was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, starring in 31 feature films and two theatrically-released concert documentaries over the course of his career. His music was as much a part of his box-office success as his good looks and charisma. In fact, some of his top-selling songs were from the movie soundtracks. Eleven of his soundtrack albums made it into the top ten on the Billboard Album charts and of those, four became number one hits. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over a billion records worldwide, more records than any other artist in record industry history, and even 30 years after his death, Elvis still conquers new legions of fans as even compilations of his RCA recordings, such as “Elvis 30 #1 Hits” and “Elvis 2nd to None,” have both topped the Billboard charts of best-selling albums.

More biographical information is available at the official Elvis Presley Web site, www.elvis.com.

 

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THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Media Mikes would like to giveaway the following TWO Designer USB Flash Drives from Mimco’s Legends of MIMOBOT series. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating what “Legend” you would like to see Mimoco make into a MIMOBOT. This giveaway will remain open until April 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Abraham Lincoln’s MIMOBOT® form leaves the top hat to the imagination and showcases his famous Lincoln chin curtain-styled beard. He sports a bow-tie to accompany his classic mid-19th century theater-going duds. Just like the real thing, Lincoln MIMOBOT allows documents, music, photos, and data to be shared, transported and collected no matter capacity or the color of th
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