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THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:21 am

After waiting soooo long for this release to reach dvd its a damned shame that this set is soooo bad... the quality of the transfer is absolutely awful.... its a scandal to put something this bad onto dvd....we deserve much better....its not really any better than if i transferred it from my own VT to my HDD recorder.

Disc one- For one thing its the short version - ok it's in 16:9 which is good, but " NEW DIGITAL TRANSFER" it certainly aint....the quality is awful

Disc two- The full version- Great you think (not)....but again the transfer is bloody AWFUL....AND its in 4:3 :cry:

Whats the point of putting it to dvd when it just looks as if like they transerred a vhs recording to dvd........very dissappointed with this release to say the least.

Why couldnt they just do a beautiful transfer of both the long and short versions ( both in 16:9) onto dvd...that would have been a great release.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:50 am

Still better than the vhs copy i had

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:25 am

the squirrel wrote:After waiting soooo long for this release to reach dvd its a damned shame that this set is soooo bad... the quality of the transfer is absolutely awful.... its a scandal to put something this bad onto dvd....we deserve much better....its not really any better than if i transferred it from my own VT to my HDD recorder.

Disc one- For one thing its the short version - ok it's in 16:9 which is good, but " NEW DIGITAL TRANSFER" it certainly aint....the quality is awful

Disc two- The full version- Great you think (not)....but again the transfer is bloody AWFUL....AND its in 4:3 :cry:

Whats the point of putting it to dvd when it just looks as if like they transerred a vhs recording to dvd........very dissappointed with this release to say the least.

Why couldnt they just do a beautiful transfer of both the long and short versions ( both in 16:9) onto dvd...that would have been a great release.


The point is they make their money, without little effort or cost.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:44 am

That's true. I have it but yeah, you're right about it.
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In fact, not that VHS's are that cuddly the way, say vinyl records are full of nostalgia for some fans, but when I look at my old VHS and recall how much that THIS IS ELVIS tape was a source of joy ..and recrutiment, well, let's just say it's one videotape I've kept in the DVD era.

Perhaps it's because they used basically the old movie poster that I recall from '81:
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Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:33 pm

Do you remember all the discussions we had [on here] about how they might remaster this ?

Show the songs in full, without the editing.

Omit the corny 'voice over'.

Leave out the 'reconstructions'.

Give us a menu to play just the musical numbers.

In the event, we got the two versions exactly as they were originally !

Oh, well.........................................

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:55 am

Despite some of the absurdity of the original ("if only I could see what was happening to me") I still find that it was a great starter kit for many fans and I used to drop what I was doing whenever HBO was playing it in the early '80s.

As it is, it remains one of my favorite "movies" and among the few things I'd want to take with me if forced. I suppose it's what one grows up with that makes such a strong connection.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:57 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Despite some of the absurdity of the original ("if only I could see what was happening to me") I still find that it was a great starter kit for many fans and I used to drop what I was doing whenever HBO was playing it in the early '80s.

As it is, it remains one of my favorite "movies" and among the few things I'd want to take with me if forced. I suppose it's what one grows up with that makes such a strong connection.

Yeah, even with the flaws, I'll always dig This Is Elvis. At least both versions are coupled together on DVD within one package. Strangely, This Is Elvis is still the best visual biography available on Elvis in 2009. By now, one would think that something better could have come along....

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:58 am

The worst transgression, which I have cited before: all performances are truncated.

Even on the "expanded" edition.

For the DVD market this is inexcusable.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:25 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:The worst transgression, which I have cited before: all performances are truncated.

Even on the "expanded" edition.

For the DVD market this is inexcusable.


For dramatic effect, & to keep the 'story' flowing, they have some excuse for editing songs & adding voices over.

But they should have given us full versions, without voice-over, as 'extras' at the end.................

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:57 am

midnightx wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Despite some of the absurdity of the original ("if only I could see what was happening to me") I still find that it was a great starter kit for many fans and I used to drop what I was doing whenever HBO was playing it in the early '80s.

As it is, it remains one of my favorite "movies" and among the few things I'd want to take with me if forced. I suppose it's what one grows up with that makes such a strong connection.

Yeah, even with the flaws, I'll always dig This Is Elvis. At least both versions are coupled together on DVD within one package. Strangely, This Is Elvis is still the best visual biography available on Elvis in 2009. By now, one would think that something better could have come along....



Glad to hear that. But you're right: you'd think it would have been done by now. Once upon a time, I could deal with the "pre-'56" (read; fake) sections but it's harder to suspend disbelief now.

Also to their credit, they are able to capture the pathos of his '77 special (save for the stupid use of "Love Me" in some versions), in ways that both "pro" (if that's what they are) and con (you and others?) have argued about the special and his demise.

I'll admit it: this old softie knows It's instant tear time if I watch that montage at the end of "My Way." I recall seeing that on HBO for a time just about every day at different hours (and then another six months later). It had to make quite a few fans, I'd say.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:56 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
midnightx wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Despite some of the absurdity of the original ("if only I could see what was happening to me") I still find that it was a great starter kit for many fans and I used to drop what I was doing whenever HBO was playing it in the early '80s.

As it is, it remains one of my favorite "movies" and among the few things I'd want to take with me if forced. I suppose it's what one grows up with that makes such a strong connection.

Yeah, even with the flaws, I'll always dig This Is Elvis. At least both versions are coupled together on DVD within one package. Strangely, This Is Elvis is still the best visual biography available on Elvis in 2009. By now, one would think that something better could have come along....



Glad to hear that. But you're right: you'd think it would have been done by now. Once upon a time, I could deal with the "pre-'56" (read; fake) sections but it's harder to suspend disbelief now.

Also to their credit, they are able to capture the pathos of his '77 special (save for the stupid use of "Love Me" in some versions), in ways that both "pro" (if that's what they are) and con (you and others?) have argued about the special and his demise.

I'll admit it: this old softie knows It's instant tear time if I watch that montage at the end of "My Way." I recall seeing that on HBO for a time just about every day at different hours (and then another six months later). It had to make quite a few fans, I'd say.

I have many fond memories of viewing it on cable back in the early 80s. I never got emotional during the My Way segment, but still to this day, get chills watching his stunning rendition of If I Can Dream on the director's cut.

However, the Doc is correct with regards to the studio missing a golden opportunity by not working on a remake with complete, unedited performances. There was a time, through the rumor mill, that it was believed an upgraded version would appear. Not surprisingly, the studio went the easy, economical route. Still, it is nice to have both versions on DVD.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:02 pm

I agree - madness not to provide the unedited versio0n.
I recall watching this in a cinema in Melbourne and the biggest applause was for the EIC footage - no kidding!

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:43 pm

But to the credit of the film, the movie comes to quite a sweeping end at that point, does it not? I think I'd be applauding if I saw it in a theater with equally engaged viewers, believe it or not.

We all know why some of you (quite rightly at times) remind us what a travesty it was that he was on stage in June of '77, let alone videotaping a special for TV. But as the material was strategically used in "This Is Elvis" (particularly "My Way") , it was quite effective in showing a sort of personal "the show must go on" spirit and his attempt to soldier on despite the crashing down of his personal and public worlds , particularly on "My Way." It is perhaps the only setting to view such material as sitting down to watch all of EIC should remain a bit of a non-starter to all but the novice fan who wants to endure this upsetting final stand, finding a nugget here or there but mostly leaving saddened and relieved (along with the performer) when it ends.

drjohncarpenter wrote:The worst transgression, which I have cited before: all performances are truncated.

Even on the "expanded" edition.

For the DVD market this is inexcusable.


I had forgotten that "THIS IS ELVIS" is full of truncated performances. That's a good point, come to think of it. Many music DVDs I have will often have the full performances set aside separately for folks who want to enjoy the full songs outside of the documentary.

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I also recall a thread or two here with some scanned photos and maybe an article or two about "This Is Elvis." This stuff should have somehow found it's way as an extra on the DVD. It was interesting to see the actors who played Elvis at different times in their lives all together off-stage ---and the sad material about the death of the boy who played Elvis, as I recall.

As for the title of this thread, I must disagree a bit the more I see it. Technical concerns aside (and I agree that in 2009 we deserve more), it's still a wonder to me to be able to pop this flick in (and any other) at any moment. I'm not so sure it was even a bad thing to have to wait for such movies to come on TV. That was part of the excitement. So to be able to reach into a drawer and watch this at will today (with snow on the ground much like some of the times I recall watching HBO's rebroadcast of it two decades ago), well, that's not so bad to me. But your point is taken. It's almost as if because Elvis was such a massive success, that even today they can trot out the equivalent of effort as it took to assemble quite a few of the scraps put on the worst Camdens and they can be assured it will "get over" in the market of rabid Elvis-ites.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:15 pm

With all the flaws associated with documentary, it is what it is. A flawed and now dated approach.

I am still awaiting a multi-disc set type of career documentary that would render this movie useless.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:42 am

ekenee wrote:With all the flaws associated with documentary, it is what it is. A flawed and now dated approach.

I am still awaiting a multi-disc set type of career documentary that would render this movie useless.


Funny you should say that because I understand that EPE are working on just such a set !

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:26 pm

ColinB wrote:
ekenee wrote:With all the flaws associated with documentary, it is what it is. A flawed and now dated approach.

I am still awaiting a multi-disc set type of career documentary that would render this movie useless.


Funny you should say that because I understand that EPE are working on just such a set !



So, that 10 year old rumor is still a valid possibility?

Will be be alive when it's released?

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:18 pm

ekenee wrote:
ColinB wrote:
ekenee wrote:With all the flaws associated with documentary, it is what it is. A flawed and now dated approach.

I am still awaiting a multi-disc set type of career documentary that would render this movie useless.


Funny you should say that because I understand that EPE are working on just such a set !



So, that 10 year old rumor is still a valid possibility?

Will be be alive when it's released?

It seems as though that project died. EPE (and now Sillerman) have not mentioned it in years. A project designed to emulate The Beatles Anthology seemed to be what EPE was aiming for, but it fell off the radar. Perhaps Elvis By The Presleys was a compromised substitute. It is odd that 30+ years after Elvis' death, This Is Elvis is still arguably the best visual documentary available.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:23 pm

midnightx wrote:
ekenee wrote:
ColinB wrote:
ekenee wrote:With all the flaws associated with documentary, it is what it is. A flawed and now dated approach.

I am still awaiting a multi-disc set type of career documentary that would render this movie useless.


Funny you should say that because I understand that EPE are working on just such a set !



So, that 10 year old rumor is still a valid possibility?

Will be be alive when it's released?

It seems as though that project died. EPE (and now Sillerman) have not mentioned it in years. A project designed to emulate The Beatles Anthology seemed to be what EPE was aiming for, but it fell off the radar. Perhaps Elvis By The Presleys was a compromised substitute. It is odd that 30+ years after Elvis' death, This Is Elvis is still arguably the best visual documentary available.


I hope not.
Elvis by the Presleys is already dated. There wasn't much to get excited about on 2 whole discs.
And 'this is elvis' is very dated.
And so very far from complete.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:30 am

In comparison, it still knocks the socks off of "Elvis By the Presley's." I don't think it's that dated - only if Elvis is dated and I dismiss that (for the most part) out of hand.

. I think anyone would be that put off by the early pre-'56 sections with actors portraying Elvis simply has the attention span of a gnat. Sure, and especially by 2009 standards, the standards seem awfully "TV-like" at times (some weak acting in spots, some short-cuts, some bad scripting : "If only I Could see what was happening to me"...) but were the film to be upgraded, I think it would play much better to anyone that put out by slightly-dated sections.

And as I wrote here about "Elvis By the Presley's," I've come to appreciate it for what it is - something that eventually was deliberately marketed toward the type of woman who watches Oprah or even the "Hallmark Channel." But it's not a bad companion piece. There was some money put into it and some time for awhile and I've lightened up on my initial bad take on it. It assumes yoiu know Elvis Presley already and is bit heavy on talking heads but I'm fine with that, despite it's personal take on things. The production values are much more modern than what might have been 30 years ago and it actually wears pretty well.

I just wish it was the one with bad film / video standards compared to "This Is Elvis" - a virtual stater-kit to become an Elvis fan.

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:56 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:In comparison, it still knocks the socks off of "Elvis By the Presley's." I don't think it's that dated - only if Elvis is dated and I dismiss that (for the most part) out of hand.

. I think anyone would be that put off by the early pre-'56 sections with actors portraying Elvis simply has the attention span of a gnat. Sure, and especially by 2009 standards, the standards seem awfully "TV-like" at times (some weak acting in spots, some short-cuts, some bad scripting : "If only I Could see what was happening to me"...) but were the film to be upgraded, I think it would play much better to anyone that put out by slightly-dated sections.

And as I wrote here about "Elvis By the Presley's," I've come to appreciate it for what it is - something that eventually was deliberately marketed toward the type of woman who watches Oprah or even the "Hallmark Channel." But it's not a bad companion piece. There was some money put into it and some time for awhile and I've lightened up on my initial bad take on it. It assumes yoiu know Elvis Presley already and is bit heavy on talking heads but I'm fine with that, despite it's personal take on things. The production values are much more modern than what might have been 30 years ago and it actually wears pretty well.

I just wish it was the one with bad film / video standards compared to "This Is Elvis" - a virtual stater-kit to become an Elvis fan.



By dated, I mean the approach in which it was put together.
Just thrown together with no real chronologic reason.
Elvis is timeless, don't get me wrong, but I think a much
more comprehensive career spanning multi-disc set is what the fans want
and have been waiting for. You have all of these dozens of documentary's out there
it would be nice to have all the rare footage all in one set, with complete performances.
How many complete performances are on "Elvis by the Presleys"??

Re: THIS IS ELVIS- 2 disc set....such a dissappointment

Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:33 am

Very few. But quite a few segements (including those added for the DVD) are very well rounded and unique.

I like what they tried to do in THIS IS ELVIS, but as we know, if you don't have footage, you don't have to use dramatic license, either.

A combination of talking heads, photos and the like could easily bring us up to speed very fast. Even that "Elvis '56" hour-long show (still ) managed to show what could be done with video and a whole lot of still photos.

The more I think about it, it's really nuts that everyone from EPE to now Sony have coasted so long. You'd have thought someone would either go to town on upgrading this flick or say "start from scratch!" and do a killer mini-series.

Even for PBS or cable, I don't care. But there's a magic in a 2 or so hour show saying..."THIS IS ELVIS." I 'll never be rid of nostagia for this show but agree it's time to try again.