Like The King of Rock n’ Roll himself, Baz Luhrmann’s new film, deceptively titled Elvis (more on that later), is bold, brash, and over the top. This should come as no surprise as the Moulin Rouge! director – subscriber to the Auteur Theory of filmmaking – is known for his distinctive style and outrageous excess. Two peas in a pod, Luhrmann and Elvis were made for each other. Though Luhrmann has found  commercial success with his films, we get the feeling he’s been waiting for this project his entire life.

"Though Luhrmann has found  commercial success with his films, we get the feeling he’s been waiting for this project his entire life"

Now, about that title: Elvis isn’t really a biopic about the legendary singer and his meteoric rise to fame. Many other films have that angle covered. Rather, it is also Colonel Tom Parker’s story – his version of it at least, and is told through the lens of Elvis’s (Austin Butler, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) complicated relationship with his cagey manager (a fat-suited Tom Hanks) who gets equal screen time. So, perhaps titling it Elvis and his Unscrupulous Manager might have been a more appropriate title. On second thought, just Elvis is probably good.

The film begins with an aging and decrepit Parker in the hospital going on and on about how wrong people are to blame him for Elvis’s death. After all, he’s the guy who discovered the greatest carnival show on Earth. He asserts, “without me, there would be no Elvis Presley.” While that’s probably true, we can’t help but wonder what Elvis might have become had the Colonel been a bit more hands off. We get a pretty good idea as the story plays out.

Via a dizzying sequence of flashbacks and loop arounds – in the grand tradition of Luhrmann the showman, we jump from Elvis’s humble Tupelo upbringing, where black spirituals touched something inside the young boy, to the wildly popular country music tours of the early ‘50s. Parker recalls he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the “white boy” who sang “colored” songs.

Of course, the story ends where we know it does, but it’s the journey along the way that blows our socks off. While Elvis’s life and career itself is illustrious enough to entertain an audience for a couple of hours, it’s Luhrmann’s storytelling style that really sets this thing on fire. It unrolls with a constant barrage of quick edits, split screens, vintage footage, new footage made to look old, towering crane shots, and flashy visual cues. Setting the chapters in a palpable time and place, Luhrmann breaks them up with bursts of blues, gospel, and R&B tracks set against Elvis’s hits. As the King gyrates, vibrates, and swoops his cape on stage, we cut to shots in Tupelo as a young Elvis sneaks peeks into the local juke joints at patrons gyrating against one another while Big Mama Thornton belts out her hit “Hound Dog.” Just brilliant filmmaking!Elvis

Say what you will about the director’s frenetic style, but it absolutely works here. Maintaining a complicated narrative style and consistent tone with a film like this is a difficult to task to pull off. Lose control, and this thing is a total disaster. Not only does Luhrmann succeed, it’s likely the biggest reason the film works as well as it does.

Acting is strong all around, particularly Butler, who is absolutely the real deal as he not only nails the look and moves, but he actually sings the pre-1960s songs. Additionally, giving a wonderful performance as Priscilla is Olivia DeJonge, (The Visit) whose maturity and level-headedness plays nicely against Elvis’s devil-may-care recklessness. And as for Hanks, well, Hanks is Hanks. His depiction of good vs. evil, quite frankly, makes the movie.

At nearly two hours, forty minutes, many will be compelled to compare the film’s bloated runtime to the singer’s late-career physique. But what is too long when you’re having a blast? To tell Elvis’s story properly takes a healthy amount of showmanship as well as an appreciation of excess. Luhrmann is unquestionably the man for the job. Something tells me Elvis would be happy with that.

4/5 stars


4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on 4K UHD
- September 13, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH; French;  Spanish; Danish; Finnish; Norwegian; Swedish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

There's certainly no heartbreak to be had with Warner's 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital Code edition of Baz Luhrmann's Elvis which highlights the vocal and physical talents of Austin Butler as the King of Rock 'n Roll.

In addition to the blu-ray and 4K disc enclosed, the 2-disc black eco-case houses a Movies Anywhere digital redemption code as well as a small flyer inviting the film's fans to visit Graceland, the home of the King.


The 2160p 2.39:1 native 4K picture is a thing of beauty as Luhrmann's camera follows Elvis's life from the carnival circuit, to the juke joints of Memphis, to the big stage in Las Vegas. The DolbyVision HDR10+ adds a beautiful depth to the already pristine and sharp-as-a-tack picture.

Pay particularly close attention to the many close-up's of Butler's face and head. Every bead of sweat and strand of hair is visible in amazing detail.

And the colors! The sweeping Memphis street scenes are shot in classic Luhrmann style as the colorful billboards and neon signs are absolutely gorgeous against the rain-soaked streets and pitch-black sky. Beautiful!

Very well handled and absolutely no complaints at all.


As expected, your audio system will come alive during the music segments which are truly memorable. Take special note around the 45-minute mark as Elvis visits Club Handy just as Little Richard is taking the stage.

Richard's Tutti Frutti resonates throughout the room in a vibrant Dolby Atmos splendor that attacks from a full 360-degree spectrum. The screaming vocals and tinkling of the piano fill out the heights while the side-to-side shuffling of dancers' feet works the far reaches of the room.

The degree of difficulty in getting the audio mix just right with this film is very high. We tune in to conversations that must remain audible over the raucous soundtrack and, for the most part, dialogue is perfectly clear and mimics real-life conversations that might take place in noisy music halls. They nail it!

Also offered is an English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, a Dolby Digital 5.1, a French Dolby Digital 5.1, and a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

included are English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish subtitles.


Included on the blu-ray disc is a handful of bonus items, including a Musical Moments piece which features all the songs and medleys from the film, all in one place. Push play and turn it up with "play all" option!


  • Sadly, there is no commentary track.

Special Features:

Included are more than an hour and a half bonus materials including the "Musical Moments" featurette which is the best of the box

  • Bigger Than Life: The Story of Elvis
  • Rock 'N Roll Royalty: The Music and Artists Behind Elvis
  • Fit for a King: The Style of Elvis
  • Viva Australia: Recreating Iconic Locations for Elvis
  • "Trouble" Lyric Video
  • Musical Moments

4k rating divider

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details


MPAA Rating: PG-13 for substance abuse, strong language, suggestive material and smoking.
159 mins
: Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann; Sam Bromell
Tom Hanks; Austin Butler; Olivia DeJonge
: Music | Biography
The Man. The Legend. The King of Rock & Roll.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm gonna be forty soon, and nobody's gonna remember me."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/elvis
Release Date:
June 14, 2022.
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13, 2022
Synopsis: From his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock 'n roll star and changes the world with his music.