Saturday, August 13, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 24
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: INVENTING ANNA (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: MINX (2022)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: PIECES OF HER (2022)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE OLD MAN (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE CAT RETURNS (2002)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
C’MON C’MON
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
ELVIS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURE: VAMPIRES (1998)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
GUILTY PLEASURES: MORBIUS (2022)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION
LICORICE PIZZA
LIGHTYEAR
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: VIVARIUM
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
NOPE
PIG
SOUL
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TENDER BAR
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

‘Elvis’ is a visual and sonic feast

ELVIS

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF WARNER BROS., BAZMARK FILMS, AND ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT

ELVIS


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Fair Oaks Arroyo Grande, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Co-writer/director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, Australia, The Great Gatsby) directs this biopic about famed rockstar Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) and his complicated relationships with manager Col. Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) and wife Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge). (159 min.) 

Glen: Luhrmann is a dazzling director with an eye for spectacle, and he creates a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds that is absolutely mesmerizing. The story begins in 1997 with Col. Parker on his deathbed looking back on his time with Elvis. We meet a young Elvis (Chaydon Jay) growing up in poverty with his parents Vernon (Richard Roxburgh) and Gladys (Helen Thomson), and we see how he’s inspired by Black music—both the lurid juke joint style and the spirit-filled gospel of roadside tent revivals. It’s a stirring precursor to this story about a sideshow conman who strikes gold discovering an ahead-of-his-time country bumpkin with a golden voice and a preternatural understanding of how to sell a song. Butler is positively magnetic in the role of Elvis and shares the performer’s youthful looks and swagger. The music is, of course, fantastic, and I love how Elvis’s music melds into a hip-hop soundtrack. Many believe Elvis exploited Black music akin to cultural appropriation, but as this story tells it, Elvis was steeped in Black music traditions and was part of its scene. He changed popular music as we know it. This is amazingly entertaining.

Anna: Wowza, Luhrmann once again delivers a fantastical world on the big screen; this is just a total treat for the senses. While the storyline does stick with a lot of truths, Luhrmann takes artistic liberties with the way it winds together. Perhaps the villains are more villainous than they actually were and the saints more saintly, maybe Elvis’s most peculiar traits and actions are ignored, but nonetheless we get a wonderful story—a wonderful tragedy. I give total props to Butler. This young actor has been on the small and big screen since he was a kid, but this role is going to launch him into a whole new level of roles. Luhrmann made the choice to use Butler’s singing voice for the early years portrayed in the film and then blend his voice with Elvis’s as the character got older, to match it with the real Elvis’s voice in the years preceding his death at 42. This technique was a wonderful decision—I believed this character in the film and the voice we all know so well as one in the same.

Glen: True, the broad strokes of the story are accurate, but don’t go in thinking you’re watching reality. This is a glossy, sparkling version of the tragic story. Elvis’s talent supported his mother and father, his wife and child, his hangers on—the so-called Memphis Mafia—and apparently Col. Parker’s insatiable gambling addiction. He had a huge weight on his back to keep the moolah rolling in. The film’s central haunting questions are whether Elvis would be the superstar he became without Parker, and whether Parker’s manipulation and control over Elvis’s career ultimately hurt or helped him. His drug use and untimely death made Elvis a legend, but his music and songs such as “Unchained Melody,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “In the Ghetto” made him an indelible pop music icon. I’m thoroughly wowed by both Elvis’s talent and this highly entertaining and emotionally resonant film. 

Anna: He wasn’t just a voice. There was so much talent and a real sense of collaboration that made him the amazing star, showman, and musician that he was. The devil seems to catch up with mega talents, especially those who have substance abuse problems, and Elvis was no exception. I do appreciate that while we did see his decline and how his addictions and lifestyle changed the man himself, it wasn’t the film’s focus and didn’t take up a lot of time. Despite its nearly 3-hour runtime, the film goes by in a flash, mainly focusing on how Elvis the man became Elvis: The King of Rock and Roll.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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