Movie / Music Notes: Elvis, Aloha From Hawaii
= 4 stars
Starring Elvis Presley, Elvis P. and Elvis
Directed by Marty Pasetta, Gary Hovey
Concert film of Elvis Presley in Hawaii from 1973. See and hear the spectacle of the infamous bell bottoms and sequin-laden jump suit, complete with American eagle cape before the backdrop of humid Hawaii.
- So much Elvis I nearly overdosed. There are three full concerts in surround sound, and a really cheesy segment where Elvis arrives in Hawaii and greets the fans. He gets “leid” multiple times.
- At this point, Elvis was arguably at the peak of his entertainment prowess. His voice is strong even when he leaps for the high notes, and I found him a mesmerizing entertainer, karate chops, sweaty scarves, and all. He also had his entire back catalog plus the “comeback” tune of Suspicious Minds. It’s a great balance between epic talent and corn.
- The backup band is stellar, with a full horns, orchestra, and male and female backing vocals. Also note Jerry Scheff and James Burton, seriously talented musicians who have played on countless records by other people, since.
- A personal amusement is hearing Elvis cover The Beatles’ Something.
- Many older songs are cruelly abridged – the band blasts through Hound Dog as if it’s a Benny Hill theme song. Concert closer I Can’t Help Loving You is similarly sped up, as if Elvis is sick of it and wants to run off the stage.
- The double-disc DVD set is overkill meant for Elvis-maniacs. There are two versions of the same concert plus a rehearsal concert from the night before. I personally found them largely interchangeable. Anybody who is not Elvis-obsessed need only watch one of the concerts.
Continuing on my somewhat ill-advised Elvis in Hawaii kick, this concert and Blue Hawaii is all I needed to see. I’m Elvis-ed out. The guy was King on many levels – intentional and otherwise.