Tag Archives: Elvis review
Well, I can finally say that I’m in no-man’s land as far as these films are concerned. With The British Invasion in full swing and the quality of these films going down, down, down, Elvis was starting to lose his patience, and it shows. In fact, he hated the music he was forced to record for Girl Happy so much he refused to record any new songs for several months after—and I can’t say I blame him. As a result, all of the songs in Tickle Me are just recycled from previous recordings.
As for me, well, I’ve now watched eighteen Elvis films—that’s more than halfway through—and I’m finally starting to feel some fatigue. On one hand, I’m really enjoying how much Elvis knowledge I’ve acquired—I find myself being able to have conversations with people I know in which I drop a ton of Elvis facts with ease and confidence, and being able to watch them respond in turn with polite nods and glances at their watches. Well, after these next two films, I too was looking at my watch. The year is 1965, and as dopey as I thought Help! was, these next two make it look like a lost Spielberg epic.
I’ve hit another milestone—Viva Las Vegas! Now we’re getting into Elvis’ second wind, as both of the following films include well-known leading ladies—Ann-Margret in Vegas and Barbara Stanwyck in Roustabout. I’ve gotta say, having at least one other good actor in these Elvis movies improves them tenfold. Elvis isn’t bad on his own, but when he’s surrounded by blandness—in the script and otherwise—he tends to turn off. These films aren’t going to win a MENSA award anytime soon, but you’d think the producers would have made more of an effort to keep them enjoyable. Both Ann-Margret and Barbara Stanwyck really help elevate both films into the ‘watchable’ category:
I can see the boardroom meeting now:
“Listen men, we need a fresh spin for these Elvis movies. Cranking out ‘[insert occupation] Elvis’ films three times a year is all good and fine, but we need to be one step ahead—this rustling overseas from England is making me nervous.”
“Well sir, themes are still popular, and heck, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Why, the solution is more themes, of course!”
Cut to: Fun In Acapulco.
Well, I got through Blue Hawaii, and while it wasn’t particularly good, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. In fact, I even breathed a sigh of relief.
Oh, how premature my exhale was.