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Reviews of That's The Way It Is - Special Edition

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Australia, May-August 2001
  • New look at rock 'n' roll king
    By Dougal MacDonald
    (Canberra Times, page 12, August 7, 2001)
    The film swept away negative expectations. It concentrates on Presley's musicianship ... adding a generous dash of Presley showmanship and personality. While it is not great cinema in any intellectual or sociological sense, it is a triumph of film vault research and editing. ... Never having seen him [Elvis] on screen when he was alive, this was a[s] good a filmic introduction to him as I might have wished for.

  • Elvis minus the cheese: Top notch: The merchant of motion at his best
    (Sun-Herald, May 27, 2001)
    By Rob Lowing
    For anyone whose lingering image of Elvis Presley is of a fat guy who made bad movies, this new concert documentary will blow their minds. Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Special Edition) is a recut of the 1970 concert film. The really electrifying aspect is that Presley is so "in" the moment, pouring out energy in the studio and on stage. The music is dynamite. Make sure your cinema plays it LOUD so you can savour That's All Right, Love Me Tender, Can't Stop Loving You and more.

  • Long live the King - Elvis: That's The Way It is - Special Edition (Review of Melbourne screenings)
    (Weekend Australian, Review section, May 26-27, 2001, pp. R22-23)
    By Evan Williams
    Elvis was the first great pop performer for whom style and charisma were more important than musical talent. Modern pop culture, for better or worse, was largely his creation. Presley was not a musical innovator, still less a great creative talent. But unlike many pop stars, he could play the piano. His genius lay in showmanship, his ability to express a joyous and primal zest for rhythm, harnessed to a deep carnal energy that somehow appealed to everyone. In this documentary, Elvis comes across as a nice, humorous guy. The bond with his backup artists is clear. Even for non-fans, this documentary is a thrilling - and revealing - experience, his performance electrifying.

London, March 2001

    ( News, March 2001, available on newswire June 27, 2001)
    Former ROLLING STONE bassist BILL WYMAN, actor JONNY LEE MILLER, GUY BERRYMAN from COLDPLAY, UK comedian and television personality FRANK SKINNER and a number of British soap opera stars were among the audience last night (March 14) at the premiere of 'ELVIS - THAT'S THE WAY IT IS' at a cinema in LONDON's LEICESTER SQUARE.

    The film, a re-release of the 1970 original, features some previously unseen footage of Elvis preparing for and beginning his first residency in Las Vegas in 1969. Charting early rehearsals on the MGM lot in Los Angeles through to the Las Vegas shows where he would eventually play out his days, it provides a rare record of Presley as he returned to live performance, after almost a decade spent making feature films.

  • Elvis - that's the way it is
    (Live4Now, March 21, 2001)
    Harvey complains that the movie lasts too long. At the same time, he acknowledges that it's insightful about why people loved Elvis so much - "if you can blot out the sort of images he still has, you are left with Elvis as a god". Harvey almost gets to the point of accepting that Elvis' death was actually a genuine loss to the world instead of something to chuckle at.

  • Elvis: That's The Way It Is (2000) Reviewed
    By Michael Thomson
    (BBC Online, March 16, 2001)
    The reviewer would have preferred a documentary which cemented Elvis to his era and included interviews with the star and his band. He also regrets that Elvis was nine-parts showbiz, one part rock 'n' roll, considering "Elvis: That's The Way It Is" to be pleasant, not essential, showing up the limitations of the rock documentary.

  • Elvis: The way he was
    (BBC News Online, 16 March, 2001)
    Elvis -That's the Way It Is, is a revamped version of a 1970 concert documentary. It shows Elvis the performer, singer and person at his potent and charismatic best.

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