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)
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)
While I’d been pretty much enjoying myself over the past several films, there’s been one looming in the distance, like an ominous storm cloud slowly moving towards me: Blue Hawaii. The one Elvis film to rule them all. The movie that set the formula for all Elvis films after it, and supposedly marked the beginning of a steep decline in quality.
But first, Wild in the Country:
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #4 – Wild in the Country (1961) / Blue Hawaii (1961)
When we last spoke I’d seen King Creole, a movie I greatly enjoyed. After King Creole, Elvis was shipped off to the army, his mother died, he met his future wife Priscilla, and he picked up an unhealthy addiction to barbiturates. Couple that with John Lennon’s famous “Elvis died when he went into the army” quote, and it seemed I might be in for a precipitous drop in quality.
I was feeling optimistic though, I mean the last two were fun. And while none of the films so far has been life-alteringly great, none of it’s been unwatchable either. Granted, my tolerance for the unwatchable is notoriously high, but still—so far, this journey has quite honestly been slightly better than anticipated.
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #3 – G.I. Blues (1960) / Flaming Star (1960)
Okay, we’ve got the fluff out of the way and now we’re getting into two of what are hailed as Elvis’ greatest films.
When last I saw you, I was young and naïve—I had decided to undertake the project of watching every single film from Elvis’ shockingly large acting career. Now, four movies in, I would call this the blooming flower period for both Elvis and my Elvis enjoyment. We’ve got Jailhouse Rock, probably Elvis’ most visually recognizable and iconic film—if you’ve ever seen Elvis in a striped shirt, or dancing on a set that looks like a prison, it’s from Jailhouse Rock. Then we have King Creole, which is an Elvis movie you’ve probably heard of people having seen.
If you’re anything like me, you expect both of these to be the most Elvis-y Elvis movies imaginable—full of hips, guitar licks, and sneering lips. But you hold some reservation too, since the first two were such let downs.
So what’s the verdict? Well, keep reading and find out:
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #2 – Jailhouse Rock (1957) / King Creole (1958)