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Movie Review – Elvis

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I like Elvis’s music. I have enjoyed Baz Luhrmann movies. Music always conveys emotion, it’s fun to see it being used to help convey a story as well. In short, I liked the movie a lot. It was hard to sit there and not sing along.

Movie soundtracks help me enjoy a lot of different music. Among most of my friends, in my age group, I’m the weird duck listening to the oldies (blues, jazz, rat pack, big band, classical and more but that is not relevant information) including of course Elvis. That helped me feel like I personally was part of their target audience for this movie. I enjoy Elvis’s music but I’m not a super fan and know all the details of his life. I know some of the broad strokes. I can’t sit there and pick the movie apart or say they did this or that wrong because that’s not what really happened. Maybe to help defend against those that would try to bring up points like that. The easy defense would be, that the narrator telling us this story is Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks. The story could be just from his perspective or his point of view. Maybe he’s just telling you a story. He was a promoter and seemed to spin a good yarn.

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The movie follows most of Elvis’s career; the early days all the way to his death. Including people and music that helped influence him. The highs and lows that happened in his life. An overall good drama. I walked away feeling I understand the man and his life better. At no point in this two-and-a-half-hour movie did think to check the time. (Only time I looked at my phone was while I was writing notes for this review and Peetimes.) It never felt like it was dragging. The only time the story seem to slow down was appropriate emotional beats that needed a slow quiet moment.

Tom Hanks’ makeup was really good, to look more like the Colonel, I assume. Can’t say I’ve ever looked for images of the real Colonel. Austin Butler looks the part and seems to really do a faithful job of being like Elvis. The movie has also had the seal of approval from Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, and daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. Lisa Marie said “You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film. And it is finally something that me and my children and their children can be proud of forever.”

As I stated earlier, the music was phenomenal and I really appreciate how it was used to help tell the overall story, beyond just Elvis performing a song. Sometimes the songs he sang beautifully emphasized what was happening in the story. Is that only because I knew the songs? I really hope not.

I feel I was such a good fit for this movie. I wonder if I’m coming in with almost a biased opinion. I start to wonder what others think. Is it an age thing? What do the older generations think of it? For that matter, what do the younger generations think of it? Older generations, who grew up with Elvis, might be bigger fans and might know more real-life facts. Where younger generations have probably heard of Elvis but do they care about him or his music? Would this movie interest them? Happily, I can say that during this screening there was a wide demographic representation, including multi-generational families. I didn’t stop to ask anybody questions afterward but overall the mood seemed to be that everyone enjoyed themselves. Really wish I could see it with my grandparents, who are more age-appropriate to remember Elvis in his heyday. I’d love to get their feedback about the movie.

What are your thoughts? What are your expectations going in? If you’ve seen it, what did you think? Please keep your responses as spoiler-free as possible. As we never know who’s reading this and when. While I wait for your response. I’m off to listen to my Elvis playlist on Pandora.

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January 7, 2024

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Would I rewatch it?

Would I want to own a copy?

Must-see in theaters?
Not a must-see in theaters. The story could transfer to the small screen fine. But to help financially support the movie, yes.

Grade: A

Read Dan’s review of Elvis here. Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: Elvis is over 2 1/2 hours long! I found 4 Peetimes. I recommend the 2nd and 3rd Peetimes. The 4th peetime is for Emergency use only because it’s short and involves building drama toward the finale.

There are extras during, or after, the end credits of Elvis.

Rated: (PG-13) Substance Abuse | Strong Language | Smoking | Suggestive Material
Genres: Biography, Drama, Music
Starring: Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer(s): Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce
Language: English
Country: Australia, United States

From his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock ‘n roll star and changes the world with his music.

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2 responses to “Movie Review – Elvis”

  1. Dude… Colonel Tom Palmer?
    Sorry, but as you mentioned, you had no idea who or what you were watching. I think I’ll go with Dan’s C- review. But I look forward to hearing the soundtrack.

  2. Gary, you got me. I miss spelled his name. Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed now.

    Why did you think it was only a C- movie?

    At least we can agree on the music.

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