Thursday, July 29, 2010

Elvis on Tour Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 18.0
Film Size: 17.8 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: ABC
The Video
Elvis on Tour’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation video presentation. Going in my expectations were pretty good, I was expecting something similar to the ‘Woodstock’ Blu-ray release. So how is the quality? Pretty great, especially for a concert documentary of its age.

The high-def pop does vary from scene to scene; plenty of footage throughout is also in standard-definition and boxed as done with the Woodstock Blu-ray release. The high-def moments vary in quality as well, depending on where it was filmed, etc.

The film features a very healthy layer of grain throughout and thankfully there is no DNR or edge enhancement to be found on this release. Colors are good, particularly during high-def moments. Black levels stay solid throughout.

The documentary is dated and features footage from many different sources so it is hard to judge this video presentation. The transfer itself is flawless and presents the footage accurately. I was expecting ‘Elvis on Tour’ to feature some slight dirt and specks throughout, but it appears to have had a proper cleanup.

While I can’t say the video presentation is visually amazing, especially compared to most Blu-ray releases. I can say that the documentary has never looked better and that I don’t think the transfer itself could have been any stronger.

This is a true-to-the-source presentation and those who end up disappointed are going in with unrealistic expectations. Detail may not always be particularly strong, but there is a clear improvement in clarity and there are moments which do look much better than I expected.
Overall it is hard to be disappointed by something that looks better than you expected, especially considering the source elements.

While I would love to give the transfer a perfect 10, I won’t as it will definitely mislead people into thinking this is a demo-worthy video presentation. It does not compare to a new release (which would be crazy to expect it to compare), but the presentation could not be any better than it is here. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included. English (for the hearing impaired), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish are just some of the subtitle options included.

The audio quality on this release definitely varies throughout, but is overall quite impressive. Dialogue, whether that on stage or just in interviews is much clearer than I anticipated at times. I expected a bit more hissing and cracking, but whoever worked on the audio cleaned it up nicely.

There is surround use to be found on this release, sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker. I did find the surround use moments to be fitting. The vocals from Elvis are generally very clear, although I did find them to lack clarity at times compared to the aggressive nature of the instruments on stage with him.

Overall the audio mix is very pleasing and can be quite impressive. The limitations come from the sources used, but overall everything is quite clear as a whole. I can say that ‘Elvis on Tour’ has never sounded better. I don’t have a DVD version to compare it to because the DVD comes out for the first time on the same day as this Blu-ray release.

Those going in with realistic expectations will not be disappointed whatsoever. While not every moment can sound crystal clear like I’m sure we would all dream them to, there are moments which are pretty impressive and do bring the Blu-ray experience to life. 8/10.

The Extras

Digibook Packaging
The digibook includes plenty of photos, trivia, quotes, set lists and more.

The actual disc doesn’t include bonus features, but I don’t think Elvis on Tour ever had bonus features produced. It would have been nice to have the theatrical trailer included, but that is all I can really think of. It was exciting enough to have it in high-def with lossless audio. 3/10.

The Film
It has been quite some time since I have seen ‘Elvis on Tour’, but I do own the VHS release. ‘Elvis on Tour’ is a musical-documentary which followed Elvis on his 15-city tour in 1972. It was sort of like a follow-up to the very successful concert film ‘Elvis: That’s the Way it is.’

‘Elvis on Tour’ was directed by Robert Apel and Pierre Adidge, including involvement from Martin Scorsese. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Documentary, and it is also the last film starring Elvis Presley.

The documentary features plenty of concert performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. The concert performances are great, but viewers will get a kick out of the fan interviews and reactions to Elvis. There are some moments which are just hilarious in seeing how much love and obsession his fans had for him. He would make the girls and even plenty of guys crazy from his dramatic stage movements to just standing on stage.

The documentary is extremely entertaining and any fan of Elvis Presley will definitely enjoy it. I know plenty of people who went his concerts at the time, but unfortunately I was not alive while he was alive. It is great to be able to enjoy his music and performances on film, which while not the actual thing, comes close on Blu-ray.

‘Elvis on Tour’ does feature an older Elvis Presley, a bit heavier and a bit more tired-looking, but it is just as enjoyable as his other concert releases. The documentary truly shows what a performer he was regardless and just how dedicated his fans stayed to him throughout the years. I know not everyone will agree, but I found this just as enjoyable as concerts from his younger years.

‘Elvis on Tour’ has been one of my most anticipated releases of the summer and I can say that watching it on Blu-ray does not disappoint. The concert-documentary is a winner and provides plenty of behind-the-scenes footage from his travels and rehearsals as well. This one is a must for any Elvis Presley fan. 10/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Elvis on Tour is a very interesting and entertaining concert-documentary that is a must for any Elvis fan. The Blu-ray release is true to the source, featuring a good video and audio presentation. There are no actual extras on the disc unfortunately. Overall the Blu-ray release is 'A Must Own’ for fans of the film and is easily ‘Recommended’ to those who have never seen ‘Elvis on Tour.’

Additional Screenshots:

To Order The 'Elvis On Tour' Digibook From Amazon.com, Click Here!

To Order The 'Elvis: Blu-ray Collection (Includes Elvis On Tour, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas) From Amazon.com, Click Here!

Elvis on Tour is also available for the First Time On Demand and For Download via iTunes.

1 comment:

Rayburner said...

Loys, thank you for your review of EOT Blu-Ray edition. I am waiting for my copy to be delivered to me here in Australia as it is not released until September here.
After reading your review I look very much forward to the Doco as it appears to be what i would have expected for a 38 year old movie, not fully pristine as todays releases but as good a restoration as was possible. So Thank you.

Kindest Regards

Ray