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 able to have conversations with people I know in which I drop a ton of Elvis facts with ease and confidence, and 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.
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #9 – Girl Happy (1965) / Tickle Me (1965)
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:
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #8 – Viva Las Vegas (1964) / Roustabout (1964)
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.
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #7 – Fun in Acapulco (1963) / Kissin’ Cousins (1964)
I think Stockholm syndrome is starting to set in. I’ve always sort-of liked Elvis, but now a real fever is taking hold. I find myself wanting to listen to Elvis on the regular, thinking about Elvis randomly, YouTube is recommending Elvis videos to me all the time, and heck, I even bought an Elvis t-shirt. In my defense, at this point in his career, Elvis owned a pet chimpanzee and was obsessed with karate, so look, we’re all going a little crazy here, alright?
Most of all, I love how they keep finding different ways to put Elvis in the same position of deciding between two girls and his life goals. You’ve got Singer Elvis, Western Elvis, Writer Elvis, Tourism Guide Elvis, Boxing Elvis—hell, if they made Elvis Barbie dolls, I would buy them all. So what’s next in the world of ___ Elvis? Check out the latest installment below to find out:
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #6 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) / It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)
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.
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #5 – Follow That Dream (1962) / Kid Galahad (1962)