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THE BROWNS BOARD

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Elvis

Warner Brothers

PG-13.                    159 min

The incredible legacy of Elvis Aaron Presley is even more amazing considering that his fame spanned little more than two decades. He was born in 1935 and his recording contract purchased by RCA in 1955 and dead at the age of 42 in 1977. We know he began his life in relative poverty into Tupelo Mississippi where, as a child, he was fascinated by the music and gyrations of the ministers and parishioners in the nearby black fundamentalist churches. He also learned to emulate the legendary Blues players on Beale Street in Memphis. You see in the 1950s what was called race music was not acceptable to most white entertainment outlets.  With his good looks incredible voice and charisma, he was able to sing that music for a whole new audience and his fame began to skyrocket. All of this came about through the promotions of huckster/con man Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) an equally important character in this latest biopic. There's probably little new information here if for no other reason then the fact that Amazon lists 80 plus books on the subject of his life alone and there have been countless retellings of that story over the ages. We know that Elvis career has had many different areas; gospel singer, rockabilly / rock and roll, movie star, Vegas sensation etc. With every rise and fall among those phases the world learned to never count the king out. In this version we learn a little bit more about the shady past and origins of whoever Colonel Tom Parker actually is, but not much. We know that he's an entrepreneur with a gift for merchandising the world's most famous entertainer. We also knew he was a degenerate gambler and a crook. Well we're on that subject the dozens of hangers on In Elvis’ entourage don't get off scot-free either. All of these things come into more focus than we've had before in this film. And it's amazingly well done. I think Tom Hanks is a talented individual but I've never been impressed with most of his characterizations and especially dialect. You can find some video footage of Parker's actual voice and Hanks isn't very close. Still, I guess it doesn't particularly matter if he actually sounds like Colonel Parker in this film or not, the important thing is that Austin Butler looks and sounds the part, and he does incredibly so. Butler actually sings some of the younger Elvis songs though as the film travels along later versions are dubbed with the Kings own voice.

So even though we don't really learn anything new about the life and times of the great artist it is certainly put together well. Close to 3 hours long it never drags while touching on every one of the bullet points of the Kings career. And the Colonels. Whether you wind up loving or hating Parker is up to you.

A

WSS

 

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I saw the real deal 2 weeks before he croaked... Even with all of that weight... He was still an incredible showman.... I was 12 years old then.. Man how time has flown... His voice got better as he got older... His interpretations of contemporary hits were timeless.. Then there are some of the greatest musicians and writers who were employed by him like James Burton and Scotty Moore and then famed session drummer Ronnie Tut who recently passed.. But there nothing like seeing the real deal.

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yes Austin Butler did a great job playing the part and I thought this was a great film too.

A bit long, but I really never knew much about the "King" until this bio epic. 

I did remember his hit "Burning Love in the early to mid 70's and could tell we were nearing

the end to that fateful year of 1977 in August when it was announced that Ellvis had passed on.

I was playing softball with friends when the news broke - and one guy was overcome with sadness and grief that I couldnt really understand..

but became a moment in history for many of his fans because of his popularity.

Later that year and in a chance happening during a camping trip, we  stopped in Memphis Tn and saw the huge outpouring of 

love  grief and sadness memorabilia at  the Grace Mansion gate.

It was sad that his life fell apart at the end  -and he was much too young to go. But at the hands of Col Parker and his step dad manager? 

 

 

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