Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Leon Ford, Kodi Smit-McPhee, David Wenham
Written By: Baz Luhrmann, Jeremy Doner
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann
Studio: Warner Bros
Buy On Amazon.com
The latest music biopic is about the King, Elvis Presley. I’m trying to think of whether there was a biopic about Elvis already or not but whatever, this is the latest one. It’s not your standard music biopic, which might make people not a fan of this or not. While I like the performances, I wasn’t a fan of the style or direction.
The movie is narrated by Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who on his deathbed looks back on how he first met Elvis Presley (Austin Butler). Elvis grew up in the poor part of Mississippi and loves comic books and African-American music. Parker sees first-hand the power that Elvis had on people and convinces him to work with him exclusively. Elvis quickly becomes a superstar but we all know how the story ends.
I saw the trailers of Elvis a few times in theaters and thought I’d check it out once it hit “home video.” I like a lot of Elvis’ hits but not the biggest fan in the world like some others are. If there’s a reason to see this, it’s because of Austin Butler’s performance as Elvis and Tom Hanks as his creepy troll-like manager. Austin looks and sounds like Elvis, did a lot of the music or vocals mixed in with Elvis’ vocals. I love Tom Hanks but usually when he does some type of accent, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Took me forever to figure out where his character was from and I had to google search to see that he was doing a Dutch accent. Nonetheless, he played Elvis’ manager creepily and slimy as he was.
It’s not your typical biopic since Baz Luhrmann is such an out-there director I think. I’m not a fan of his and his style, my The Great Gatsby review is a good indicator. He’s all flashy-flashy, over-stylistic and seems like his cuts cater to people with ADHD. Maybe he has it, I don’t know. I’m also not a fan of his use of contemporary covers instead of just hearing the originals. Maybe they didn’t get the rights to them but seemed like The Estate of Elvis was heavily involved. I did like how the movie explored Elvis’ rebellious side, with doing what he thought was right at times. I forgot how his dancing back then, caused such controversy.
Everyone knows different things about Elvis like him dying on the crapper, or weird sandwich choices but none of that wasn’t shown. As the movie goes on, which felt way too long, Austin dons a fat suit or makeup but it’s not as drastic as you might think. The ending of the movie, the last hour basically just seems to sputter out. The highlight of the movie I think is the performance of Elvis’ comeback for his “Christmas special.” Austin nails the performances and you can watch it side by side and see how close it is. The makeup was spot on most of the time too, where I was second guessing if I was looking at Elvis or not.
The 4k looked great video quality wise. The discs contain featurettes like Bigger than Life: Story of Elvis, Rock ‘N Roll Royalty: The Music and Artists Behind Elvis, Fit for a King: The Style of Elvis and some other bonus materials. There’s obviously a lot of stuff to watch if you enjoyed the movie.
I was expecting something better for a movie about Elvis. Baz wasn’t the right director for this, and as much as I like Tom Hanks, I’m not sure he was the right person for the role of Colonel Tom Parker either. Elvis is an okay biopic but in the end, it was too long, too over-stylized and not enough substance. The main reason to see this is for Austin Butler’s performance. The movie is now available on 4k, Blu-Ray, DVD and you can also watch on HBO Max as well.
Bigger Than Life: The Story of Elvis
Rock ‘N Roll Royalty: The Music and Artists Behind Elvis
Fit for a King: The Style of Elvis
Viva Australia: Recreating Iconic Locations for Elvis
“Trouble” Lyric Video
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (60.54 Mbps)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Bottom Line: Too long and overly-stylized. Austin’s performance is the only saving grace to this.
Running Time: 159 mins