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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outsourcing Elvis

    ELVIS is the DVD version of the much lauded television miniseries (it won both Golden Globe and Emmy awards for actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Camryn Manheim and Randy Quaid): the transfer of the extended three hour long series to a single DVD format is successful and demonstrates once again that made of television movies can often be superior to the Hollywood format. The film is not without its flaws: the script by Patrick Sheane Duncan is painfully pedestrian at times and the use of lip-syncing using a variety of Presley recordings isn't always convincing. But director James Steven Sadwith manages to overcome the obstacles and gives us a rather personalized view of the life of the King. The film covers Elvis Presley's life from his near poverty beginnings in Tupelo to his worldwide fame and fortune at his 'comeback' in 1968. The development of the committed guitar-playing singer from his first record through the development of his 'style' and the ultimate glory and insecurity that paired his magic time is well told. If the story seems to be repetitive and goes on too long, then it also is giving the audience time to see the man behind the shadow of fame. Oddly enough Jonathan Rhys Meyers (now so superb in another biographical series as Henry VIII in 'The Tudors') was imported for the leading role, and while some may question the use of outsourcing here, Rhys Meyers is so convincing in every way that the reasons for casting him are clear. Camryn Manheim offers fine work as Presley's all-important mother and Robert Patrick plays his supportive father. Randy Quaid gives a bravura performance as the oddly successful Colonel Parker. Some of the other roles - Rose McGowan's misfired portrayal of Ann-Margaret and Antonia Bernath's of Priscilla - are less successful, but their contributions are balanced by the fine work of Tom Guinee as the pivotally important Sam Phillips. In all this is a quality piece of work about one of America's icons whose presence is still palpable thirty years after Presley's untimely death at age 42. The awards given to this film are well earned and the DVD offers a fine (if long) evening of entertainment and nostalgia. Grady Harp

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