WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is

Reviewed In Issue 27 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Elvis Presley

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2.5
Sound Rating: 2
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM
(Catalog Number): ML106350
(MPAA Rating): G
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 108
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1972
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Denis Sanders
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Digital Sound Stereo
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Elvis: That’s The Way It Is is the fascinating film about the man who created a new style and a new sound and became a dynamic rock sensation. Following his last film in 1969 (ironically titled Change Of Habit), Elvis Presley turned away from Hollywood and devoted his time to the one thing he loved best—his music. After an electrifying 57-show engagement in Las Vegas in the summer of 1969, Elvis repeated the success a mere six months later—with MGM’s cameras rolling from relaxed rehearsals to opening night. Twenty seven of the King’s most famous songs—including “I’ve Lost You,” “Love Me Tender,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “All Shook Up”—ignite this documentary, capturing Elvis in all his glory.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture is documentary in character and is consistent in quality throughout. In the component video output on the anamorphic widescreen DVD, picture quality exhibits dramatically subdued colors compared to the fully saturated colors on the LaserDisc. Images, however, are slightly sharper and more detailed. There is noticeably less chroma noise on the DVD, but both versions suffer from distracting artifacts throughout. The aspect ratio is 2.25:1 on the anamorphic DVD, while the letterbox and LaserDisc versions are framed at 2.35:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is poorly produced and presented. The DVD’s Dolby® Digital 2.0 soundtrack is phase-problematic with the two front channels sharing the monaural signal. Further, the producers put the same signal at a reduced level into the Dolby Digital surround channels. The LaserDisc PCM, while credited as stereo, also sounds bad with a contrived mix of instruments or background vocals thrown into the stereo channels. Overall, the sound is distorted on both versions and not particularly appealing as a listening experience.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: