'Elvis on Tour (Blu-ray Book)'
(Elvis Presley, Bill Baize, Estell Brown, James Burton, Ed Enoch, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: 'Elvis on Tour,' the Golden Globe®-winning documentary that followed Elvis on a 15-city tour of the United States in 1972, will make its debut August 3 in newly-restored and remastered Blu-ray and DVD versions from Warner Home Video.
Blu Ray Verdict: This Blu-ray edition of 'Elvis On Tour', which has never been available even on a DVD format, and has been pretty much kept under wraps by MGM for several decades, is quite a revelation. Both with regards to its superior sound and picture quality as well as showcasing a very robust and physical performance from Elvis himself.
Superior camaera direction by noted cimematographer Lucien Ballaed, who also handled the same duties on Elvis Thats The Way It Is - which came out two years before this Golden Globe winning documentary and featured his return to live performance in Las Vegas - and was probably captured at the peek of his physicality as a performer, showed an amazingly goodlooking and charismatic vocalist who could pretty much out-sing anybody in the business this side of Roy Orbison or Charlie Rich - is one of the many talanted people who was involved in the making of this superior film.
Some fans will note that Elvis is not quite as tanned or fit as in the previous documentary. He would look and sound even better a year later in the Aloha From Hawaii concert special - also highly recommended in its deluxe format though not yet available in Blu-ray format. But this blu ray still features amazingly great sound and majestic vocals by Presley.
What this film does capture is the frantic excitment and thrill of the Elvis mystic as he powers through 15 concerts in 15 days while Elvis's own words serve as an occassional naration to the hysteria and raw excitment of his fandom.
Elvis uses and demonstrate his love for karate which he lets flow naturally, but forcefully through his various bodily gyrations timed perfectly to the rhythem of Ronnie Tutt's stellar drum work, especially during Polk Salad Annie and Proud Mary. Elvis' voice reaches new highs and crescendos on American Triology and his absolutely majestic version of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
The split screen photography, which I thought I might find annoying or distracting, really makes you feel like you are there live in the arena with the King. No less a figure than famed director Martin Scorsese over saw much of the montage technique that was used in several parts of the film.
This is a superior concert film which captures Elvis in some surprising and intimate moments backstage with his backing singers doing what he really loved best, singing spirituals into the wee hours of the morning, not for money or acclaim, but because he needed to and wanted to! [RSH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.