I coulda sworn Jason told me he LOVED Elvis Presley. And yet, every thing I send him gets the thumbs down. I mean, sure, this is FAT Elvis, but even the SKINNY Elvis movie set he got was greeted with general disdain from him. I'm starting to think that Jason doesn't like Elvis as much as he thinks he does. Maybe the day will finally come when he admits the truth: The Beatles were much, much, much better. I'm not holding my breath, but I can hope. Here's Jason with his review:
The orchestra swells with sturm and drang. Middle aged women tremble and shriek. And out comes a fat man in a sparkling cape. He's mumbling and growling into the mic and showing off a belt that looks like he just won the WCW championship. And then you realize, "My God, *this* is why so many people make fun of Elvis." The distance between this trundling, wheezing thing and the guy from Jailhouse Rock cannot be measured by science. "Elvis on Tour" is one of the last times he was up on the big screen. It captures the ins and outs of his 1972 tour and parts of it genuinely made me wince.
As a concert film, this barely works. There are multiple camera angles that exploit the grandiose show and rapid fire editing that fakes some semblance of energy. This is intercut with interviews and rehearsals that aren't worth a passing glance to all but the most die hard of fans. It shows a puffy Elvis in a ridiculous suit getting out of a fancy car and onto a private jet. Or it shows him bathed in gaudy lights or surrounded by his Memphis Mafia. It's a document of the dusk just before the the real darkness. For all of the time Elvis spends on screen, it still doesn't get close to him. It wants us to venerate him and follows him about as if we're lucky to get a glimpse at royalty.
This sampling of the end of his career shows us a performer who is absurdly past his prime. I'm not saying Elvis didn't produce some good music at this stage in his career, but it's when he took the best songs of his explosive youth and turned them into one long mush-mouthed medley. In short, this is Elvis as the cartoon he became. This is the guy that people who don't like Elvis think of whenever someone mentions his name. It's not an exhibition of musical artistry or powerful performing. It's a spectacle overspilling with 70's glam excess. If you want an Elvis concert movie, watch his 1968 NBC Special. That is rock and roll.
There are no special features, save for a booklet that comes with the blu ray. I can't tell if it's been remastered, but it doesn't look particularly good, not even on blu ray. This isn't for Elvis fans. This isn't for people who have a passing interest in Elvis. This is for people who take pilgrimages to Graceland and wet themselves whenever they see some part time impersonator swivel his geriatric hips. This is rhinestone Elvis. This is Elvis showing off his sweet karate moves as his ridiculous, thinning mane of hair whips about. If you want to see the genesis of a cheap Halloween costume, watch this DVD.