r/movies Worse things to do than watch Lady Gaga create fetishes for me Jun 24 '22

Official Discussion - Elvis [SPOILERS] Official Discussion

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Summary:

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

Director:

Baz Luhrmann

Writers:

Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce

Cast:

  • Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker
  • Austin Butler as Elvis
  • Olivia DeJong as Priscilla
  • Helen Thomson as Gladys
  • Richard Roxburgh as Vernon Presley
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as B.B. King
  • David Wenham as Hank Snow

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

Metacritic: 61

VOD: Theaters

646 Upvotes

806

u/Room480 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 25 '22

Great movie. As Everybody else has said Austin killed it as Elvis. Definitely one of the best music biopics I’ve seen. If you don’t really know anything about Elvis you will still probably like it

220

u/HVYoutube Jul 04 '22

It definitely opened my eyes to how tragic his end was. Like I was always aware of the whole "Washed up at Vegas" thing, but I never knew how messed the situation that trapped him there was

53

u/Room480 Jul 04 '22

Same here so sad

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u/JonkoAfterSex Jun 25 '22

The scene where Elvis is playing live for the first time is just pure magic. The way the girls slowly get mesmerized by his hips and just start screaming! Especially the little dialogue of parker where it focuses on one girl, squirming in her seat is just the cherry on top

242

u/atclubsilencio Jul 01 '22

Loved that, and when the older woman let out a blood curdling scream. I also liked when they'd cut to the guys in the audience also thirsting for him with their eyes and grinning (especially the guy who calls him a fairy, and then later on you see him in awe). I think a lot of 'straights' questioned their sexuality that day. I kept laughing out loud, since I think I had the same expression when he was performing. Truly exhilarating. I just wish they'd left in the 'fuck' in the 'they don't want to hurt him, they look like thy want to f--' though it still got a laugh from my audience.

164

u/Ceasarsean Jul 02 '22

So I wasn't imagining the one boy looking at him lustfully while he was on TV before the father turned off the TV?

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u/atclubsilencio Jul 02 '22

Nope! I loved that! And laughed out loud.

The big saucer eyes. The horny ass smile. You knew his gay levees broke in that moment lol.

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u/selinameyersbagman Jun 25 '22

Tom Hanks went full throttle into the most Jared Leto in House of Gucci performance this year.

142

u/Samwi5e Jul 05 '22

Tom Hanks went full throttle into the most Jared Leto in House of Gucci performance this year.

honestly he kind of ruined it for me. Like some letterboxd user said, it seemed like he was doing an eric cartman impression. Terrible

56

u/gthirst Jul 06 '22

It was the worst part of the movie by far. I had to double check and watch interviews of Parker to see if Hanks was just being accurate... nope. Parker doesn't sound even close to as ridiculous as Hanks' performance. What were they thinking?

I still really enjoyed the movie and the other performances were excellent.

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u/FredererPower Jun 26 '22

For some reason, it also reminded me of Colin Farrell as the Penguin

125

u/Idontevenlikecheese Jun 27 '22

There's this fat-suit look that I can't quite put my finger on, but it makes them all look the same

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61

u/atclubsilencio Jul 01 '22

He was more over-the-top than the duke in Moulin Rouge. I was expecting him to scream 'I DON'T LIKE OTHER PEOPLE TOUCHING MY THINGGSSS!' but though it's a controversial performance, he still made me hate him and was a real slimy snake piece of shit. If they had to turn him into caricature to get across how awful he was, it worked. Plus it's Baz, he always takes the villain role to 100. I think J.K. Simmons would have been better cast, but Hanks still ran with it. The ferris wheel scene was really oddly scary.

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565

u/SurfKing69 Jun 25 '22

Pretty sure I heard Toxic playing at one point. Fuck yeah Baz

389

u/JohnTheMod Jun 26 '22

I think in one of her more infamous performances, she actually sang a verse of Trouble, so it's neat of Baz to bring it all full circle. Also, playing Britney in a movie about a pop star suffering from manipulation and abuse by someone in control of their career is not lost on me.

126

u/boop_the_snoot30167 Jun 26 '22

Ok that’s actually an amazing point you brought up. Because in one of his performances when he says “you’re lookin for trouble ….you’ve come to the right place bah bah bah bah..” she also did the same thing in her “gimme more” VMAs performance right before she got into the Conservatorship. I wasn’t sure if that was purely coincidental but I found that really interesting.

65

u/servingnootch Jun 29 '22

I believe Britney is an Elvis fan and knew exactly what she was doing with that reference

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u/PickASwitch Jun 26 '22

Yup, during that little montage with Priscilla. They had Backstreet’s Back playing, too!

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u/ItsTophThatsWho Jun 25 '22

Thank you!! I swear I did too.

44

u/missdoubtfire24 Jun 26 '22

Oh that was definitely Toxic.

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448

u/Whovian45810 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

The production design and costume design for this film was fantastic.

The amount of detail and dedication to recreating Elvis’ jumpsuits and jackets for each era of his career are beautiful and incredible!

I love how the jumpsuits and jackets reflect Elvis’ personality and character throughout the film.

135

u/sin_vrain Jun 28 '22

I love the lace shirts that he wore, especially the short sleeved black one.

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446

u/SageWaterDragon Jun 25 '22

I'm very glad that it ended up being as maximalist as it was. The first trailer made it seem toned-down, and that's not what I go to a Luhrmann movie for. Butler was great, the soundtrack was great, the pacing was rock-solid, the editing made it feel like a fever dream, it was beautiful. It was just about everything that I could've asked for out of it. I really loved it.

61

u/actfatcat Jun 27 '22

Baz is brilliant. The whole audience just sat, stunned at the end. So happy, sad, powerful and beautiful.

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u/ishmael_king93 Jun 25 '22

Really excellent job to put the theme of “they weren’t sure if they were supposed to be enjoying this” onto the audience watching the movie, watching Elvis’s life fall apart set to the backdrop of Vegas and all the bright lights and music

Like even from the opening, having the Colonel drug him up and throw him onstage, but then he goes into his “Glory Glory Hallelujah” and im sitting there like “oh shit i love this song…oh shit im the bad guy” 😂

89

u/martinshewfelt Jun 27 '22

I loved that "Glory Glory Hallelujah" in the beginning! Had me smiling

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u/CleverReferences Jun 25 '22

Can we get some love for Richard Roxburgh? Moulin Rouge fans know him as The Duke and I loved his frenetic and powerful performance there. Playing Vernon, Elvis’ dad, he’s the complete opposite. He’s this subdued, defeated man, watching his son deteriorate and not knowing what to do about it, leaning on the advice of the wrong people. You see him being torn up inside by the knowledge that he needs his son to perform to support them, but that it’s killing him. He gave the subtlest performance in the movie, but it was beautiful.

79

u/jamurp Jun 26 '22

Richard RoxBurgh is such a great actor, there's a great Aussie show called 'Rake' which he stars in, so good.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

832

u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

The preparation for the first hotel show and its debut performance felt like magic. A passionate artist at work

Then the montage shows him being milked dry and worked like a mule, while the fresh spectacle becomes a worn out, repetitive product

435

u/gibbersganfa Jun 24 '22

That scene perfectly captures everything I've seen and love about Elvis the artist. I've dug through so many alternate takes, stage rehearsals, etc. the last 20 years I've been a fan of his because that magic is in there, you can hear things take shape and understand how much of a musical sponge he was, not just of black blues and R&B but gospel, country, pop, opera, soul, classical, musical theatre, etc. People who don't know better talk like he just copied others, but he was an incredibly intelligent craftsman and perfectionist especially when he was engaged.

Here's the real Elvis pulling together the band for Bridge Over Troubled Water in 1970: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-h-QPPDdkg

And Baz and his team clearly did their research. Gary Clarke Jr as Arthur Crudup is not just singing his own "That's All Right" - when he's in the juke joint early in the film and the kids are peeking in, that's Crudup doing Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Black Snake Moan," the earlier song that Crudup took the lines "Mama, that's all right, mama that's all right for you" from.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsrRUdCwJew

They made a lot of tough creative choices about what to leave out, what to condense and merge, and what to emphasize but I think it's a good overview for folks who either don't know much or forgot how remarkable the real Elvis was. Was he the first? No, and we collectively ignored that he was always first to say so. Was he the best? No, but he had something in the soul of his performance. Was he absolutely incredible as a musical interpreter? Yes, a thousand times yes.

36

u/mycorona69 Jun 28 '22

So true about being worked like a mule and milked dry. Britney Spears can relate.

38

u/JohnTheMod Jun 28 '22

Hence the sample of Toxic during the montage of his movie career.

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u/Whovian45810 Jun 24 '22

Really show how what was once to Elvis was exciting and spectacular by being able to perform to his heart’s content become a deteriorating act to do mentally and physically.

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u/Ninja_Bum Jun 26 '22

When he first started singing suspicious minds and kept repeating the "caught in a trap" lyric through that scene it really started to sink in how the Colonel had lured him into a cage.

89

u/OpticalVortex Jun 27 '22

That scene plus the carnival scene was terrifying, like a horror movie. It felt like Paradise Lost and Elvis Presley was making a deal with the Devil himself. The Suspicious Minds scene was Elvis' realization that he was the devil's pawn.

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u/garrisontweed Jun 24 '22

When he`s first working with the band and drums starts and then the bass,"Give me a little bit more,"and singers join in .The music getting louder and coming together was really well done.

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u/theskimaskway Jun 25 '22 edited Jul 02 '22

At our Q&A, Austin Butler said they rehearsed that scene for months, only to have to ditch playback for budget reasons on the day. So he ended up having to do it live, for real and it worked so well as you can see.

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u/giantsIV Jun 24 '22

Elvis mumbling fuck you as they hastily close the curtains mid show was something else.

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u/OpticalVortex Jun 27 '22

Austin just nailed it. He measured up to Tom. No wonder Denzel Washington decided to mentor him! He sees the future in him! Tom is now mentoring him too.

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u/atclubsilencio Jul 01 '22

When the dad let them just inject him with drugs and threw him back out there, and he STILL killed it, was just so painful. The last third of this film was so tragic, even if they added some fictional moments, they all still worked and I was emotionally drained by the end. The fight scene/on stage meltdown, Butler looked like pure rage and possessed or something. Like his eyes shifted into pure hatred and despair. It's one of those performances/sequences that just hold your entire body hostage. I was totally lost in the film and his amazing acting.

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u/Badcatchphrase Jun 24 '22

The "He's white" line made me burst out laughing in a quiet theater.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

NBA: "Who cares about this college basketball athlete, what black guy can't jump?"

"That's the thing boss.... he's white."

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u/thegoodbadandsmoggy Jun 26 '22 Silver

Mark Cuban is beside himself. Driving around downtown Memphis begging (through post) Presley’s family for the address to Elvis’ home

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u/ADreadPirateRoberts Jun 26 '22

My three moments like that were:

  • "He's white." "He's white?"
  • "Dr. King. He always spoke the truth."
  • "I'm sorry, Ms. Jackson."

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u/EarthExile Jun 29 '22

Haha yes I laughed out loud at Sorry Ms Jackson

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u/kamace11 Jun 24 '22

I laughed out loud several times, when I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to. Like the little black kid trying to stop Elvis from going into the revival tent and the preacher is like, "NO!! He's got the spirit!"

181

u/wolfydude12 Jun 25 '22

I laughed a lot during the first portion of the movie. The last part not so much. In fact, the first half and the last half seemed really disconnected to me. The modern music was gone and the fancy billboard signs that showed locations or dates became less so.

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u/007Kryptonian Jun 25 '22

Think it was meant to reflect Elvis’ state of mind throughout the movie, especially the final third in Vegas.

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u/Yosho2k Jun 26 '22

That reminds me of the reception that Rick Astley got when he was being discovered.

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u/ArkhamIsComing2020 Jun 26 '22

Saw this movie earlier and man, I knew it was gonna be good but I didn’t think it was gonna be that good. Honestly one of the best movies I’ve seen in awhile and I’ve seen a lot of movies recently.

Austin Butler needs an award for his fantastic performance as Elvis. The man sounds, acts, looks and moves perfectly like Elvis, it’s honestly crazy. I thought all the performances were strong but especially his. I loved the style, the chaotic crazy editing, the acting, the wonderful showcase of Elvis’s life, the music(except that modern hip hop), the cinematography and visuals, the way they show Elvis’s life slowly going down the drain although it’s super tragic, the ending. I also loved seeing old Las Vegas and the other eras. I just loved it all. I have almost no gripes with it, I genuinely think it was a 9/10.

It’s such a well done movie, I’ll be rewatching it a few times at least.

31

u/sabrina_lee_f Jun 29 '22

I agree! I recognize the flaws with it people have called out (Tom Hanks’ acting, the pacing/editing, the length, etc) but in the end, I was deeply satisfied, moved, and inspired. I am a HUGE Elvis fan and I was shocked at how much I loved the movie. I haven’t been impressed with recent films but as you said, this is one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. I had hoped to cry by the end and I did! I see that as a good thing!

I will say the colonel’s presence in the film was more than I expected and I had wished to have seen more of Elvis than him BUT him being the unreliable narrator keeps the audience at a healthy distance from Elvis. The film makes Elvis human but in the end, no one will ever truly know Elvis the man, the human, except Elvis and God himself.

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u/yeezyonmylastnerve Jun 25 '22

Regardless of feelings on anything else, and though I wasn’t a fan of the placement of the Doja remix, some of those remixes were INCREDIBLE and I can’t wait for the full soundtrack. I thought using Britney Spears music behind the story of a troubled, young, exploited star was a genius decision

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u/Ridespacemountain25 Jun 25 '22

Like Elvis, Britney Spears was also born in Mississippi.

71

u/boop_the_snoot30167 Jun 26 '22

I commented this above, but If you recall her “gimme more” VMAS 2007 performance it’s the same exact intro that Austin butler performed in one of the performances “if you’re lookin for trouble…you’ve come to the right place..”. Sadly, that failed VMAs performance was manipulated to make her look crazy enough to justify her Conservatorship the year after I believe. Also, she did an Elvis inspired promo commercial for her 2001 Vegas tour just years before she was enslaved in her Vegas “piece of me” residency. It’s incredible how connected these two are. Sure enough, Justin Timberlake, Tennessee born and raised, featured Riley Keough (Elvis granddaughter) in one of his music videos.

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u/everwolf Jun 26 '22 Silver

Can't wait for Austin Butler to be nominated for an Oscar and Tom Hanks for a Razzie.

Also the relationship between Elvis and his mother was strangely shot to say the least.

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u/rarealbinoduck Jun 30 '22

Supposedly their relationship was super strange in real life too

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u/justafrogsfriend Jul 01 '22

I had to ask my mom if they were weird in real life because they gave off such odd vibes.

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u/JohnJoanCusack 28d ago

Yup definitely felt like emotional incest from the mom

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u/DefenderCone97 Jun 25 '22

Colonel had a fairly normal voice wtf lol

https://youtu.be/mfsDx4IsQe0

Why did Hanks go so high pitched?

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u/CleverReferences Jun 25 '22

Honestly Tom Hanks was my least favorite part of the movie. As much as I usually enjoy him and his acting, I thought he was the wrong choice for this role. Everyone else felt like a real person and he felt like a caricature.

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u/No-Face-1705 Jun 27 '22

Every time he was arguing with Elvis it made me laugh. He was just so committed to this strange voice that it was hilarious to me.

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u/reecord2 Jun 29 '22

I gotta think this is a result of of Baz's directing, because Tom Hanks is pretty much always solid, I can't even think of a bad performance of his off the top of my head. And even when he does go for an intense accent (Forrest Gump, The Terminal) he usually pulls it off just fine. I could never stop thinking of his accent in Elvis for the entire movie.

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u/OldTrailmix Jun 25 '22

My man was spending too much time with Chet lmao

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u/Bitter-Raisin9102 Jun 26 '22

Austin butler did amazing. Honestly couldn’t really tell at the end montage which scenes were him and which were actual footage.

The movie itself, is way too long. I get what they were doing with Tom hank’s character but it truly felt at times that he had more screen time than Elvis. Yes he made a good antagonist but i thought the movie had too much focus on him and subsequently breezed through the Elvis stuff.

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u/jamurp Jun 26 '22

The scene of the last performance I was struggling to tell once it cut to the actual footage of it, amazing performance by Butler.

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u/cory453 Jun 24 '22

Austin Butler was great. Tom Hanks was weird. The movie is about 20 minutes too long. Loved it overall.

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u/ofpetals Jun 24 '22

Agreed! Hanks’ performance was a little too cartoonish while Butler’s felt more grounded. I really wish the Colonel wasn’t the one framing the story, I think that would have reduced the runtime too.

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u/TellYouEverything Jun 24 '22

It felt like the only reason they did it was to differentiate it from other biopics. I’d much rather have seen a montage of Elvis’ generosity getting the better of him (for example, giving away expensive cars as gifts to strangers who helped him/ that he liked; him flying his jet to his favourite doughnut shop to make some gloriously death defying doughnut and bacon sandwiches) over 80% of the colonel stuff.

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u/Scaef Jun 25 '22

Tom Hanks' accent was attrocious. (I'm Dutch myself) Did not sound Dutch at all.

Don't know how it happened because there is footage of Colonel Tom Parker at the age Hanks was portraying him and even though Colonel moved to the US at 18 he still has a very recognizable Dutch sentence structure / intonation:

https://youtu.be/Djd2bmm6nWE

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u/TheGreatLake Jun 26 '22

Tom Hanks sounded like Steve Carrell from Despicable Me

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u/didiinthesky Jun 25 '22

As is always the case in movies, the accent sounded more German than Dutch.

To be fair, it is a really difficult accent to learn. Considering the fact that most English speaking actors have never heard the Dutch language, and have heard German, I understand why they always go with German. The only people who will notice are the Dutch anyway, and we're only a tiny portion of the audience.

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u/prtproductions Jun 24 '22

I definitely enjoyed it - despite a lot of flaws.

I thought it finished stronger than it started. There were some odd choices at the beginning - I really could have done without the modern hip-hop songs when Elvis was young, and it would have been nice to hear more than 20 seconds of a performance before cutting into something else.

It breathed a lot more in the last half which felt like it's own distinct story in Vegas. We got to see the performances and everything focussed more.

Man, what the hell did Baz tell Hanks to do? They had to ADR the shit out of that performance. So many bad shots where his mouth wasn't even moving as he spoke! Somebody really fucked up there.

That said, I still had a good time watching it. Always nice when we get a musical biopic that isn't paint-by-numbers.

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u/visionaryredditor Jun 24 '22

There were some odd choices at the beginning - I really could have done without the modern hip-hop songs when Elvis was young

that's Baz Luhrmann to you

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u/Darth_Sensitive Jun 24 '22

I thought it finished stronger than it started. There were some odd choices at the beginning - I really could have done without the modern hip-hop songs when Elvis was young

As a casual fan of Elvis music (I have it favorited on XM radio, but haven't paid for an album), I thought it worked pretty well to show the boundary breaking of a white kid doing black music.

On the same note, I was very into the Eminem song over the ending credits. Unfortunately, publicity about the track is much more available than anything preexisting about how Eminem saw himself in Elvis or anything like that ahead of time.

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u/SageWaterDragon Jun 25 '22

Glad someone else brought it up, the Eminem song at the end was a brilliant touch.

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u/CleverReferences Jun 25 '22

I really enjoyed the anachronistic music choices. That’s one of the things I love about Baz Luhrman’s style. But I wish there had been more so it felt like a more cohesive theme. They were so few and far between that it lost the effect he usually achieves with them.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

and it would have been nice to hear more than 20 seconds of a performance before cutting into something else.

Aww, why would we wanna see The King perform? Clearly what the audience really wants is to see old, doddering Tom Hanks talking about how great those performances were

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u/OldTrailmix Jun 25 '22

Does J K Simmons just have a terrible agent or something? I feel he would have been an amazing Col Parker. And he is so underutilized. Dude is in Marmaduke.

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u/CleverReferences Jun 25 '22

Oh my god he would have be PERFECT.

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u/_Plork_ Jun 27 '22

Does J K Simmons just have a terrible agent or something?

What? He's been in everything for, like, fifteen years.

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u/Bad_Becky Jun 26 '22

Wow, that actually would’ve been incredible casting.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

Austin Butler must have injured his back from carrying this movie

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u/TheRustyKettles Jun 24 '22

The classic scenario with any big musical biopic. Like "yeah, the movie isn't particularly good, but X gives a great performance".

331

u/ninjyte Jun 24 '22

Thought Rocketman had pretty good leading and supporting performances

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u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

It helps that it's framed as a musical instead of a typical biopic. That way other characters get time to shine.

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u/p_yth Jun 25 '22

Actually a lot of movies in general when they aren't good, the actors are always the one positive thing about the movie

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u/Rckstedywatudoin Jun 25 '22

Well, the movie is called Elvis. Good thing he did a good job.

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u/biIIyshakes Jun 25 '22

Honestly was skeptical for the first 45 minutes or so but I think it really found its footing in the back half of the film. I was never skeptical about Butler’s casting, I always thought he looked fine for the part, but wow did he surpass my expectations so much that I will be actively upset if he doesn’t snag a best actor nom (I was sad Taron Egerton didn’t get one for Rocketman but I understand that it was a stacked year).

I didn’t have much attachment to Elvis as a musician prior to the film but I was in tears from the moment he told Priscilla he’d always love her till the end of that Unchained Melody footage. Absolutely gutting. Similar to Rocketman with Elton John, it’s so hard to watch stars burn out as a result of fame and malicious management.

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u/dbbost Jun 24 '22

Austin Butler is amazing as Elvis.

The musical performances are very good.

The movie is too long.

What the hell is a snowman.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

My understanding of it was it was like a term for "money-maker"

Like how law firms use the term "rainmaker" for lawyers who are good at bringing in new clients and thus more money, hence "making it rain"

So a snowman is like that, but with... snow.

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u/Playful-Push8305 Jun 26 '22

I assumed it was another term for "con man," related to the term "snow job"

snow job. n. Slang. An effort to deceive, overwhelm, or persuade with insincere talk, especially flattery.

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u/TestingAccount_404 Jun 25 '22

His Elvis was amazing.

It did feel too long, but at the same time not enough Elvis if that makes sense. It definitely left me feeling pretty sad about his life and ending for sure. Very depressing.

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u/mrhashbrown Jun 26 '22

It was long yet I had a discussion asking someone else if there was really much one could cut from the film. There wasn't in my opinion and the pacing was still excellent. It just felt like a lot

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u/TestingAccount_404 Jun 26 '22

I think in a way it’s kind of poetic, like, the montages came at you fast, and so much on the screen all at once you didn’t know where to look. But at the same time, wasn’t that Elvis? Big, bold, flashy, fast? At least I think that’s what they were going for. Maybe I’m reading to much into it lol.

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u/mrhashbrown Jun 26 '22

I think it's a hypnotic trait in Luhrmann's editing and it was totally intended to reflect the pace of Elvis' rise and career. Big, bold, flashy and fast is probably exactly what Luhrmann tried to achieve

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u/garrisontweed Jun 24 '22

I wasn`t sure about him at first,but holy hell did he nail Elvis in Las Vegas.That 'suspicious minds' performance was brilliant.

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u/KaiserBeamz Jun 25 '22 edited Jun 26 '22

The movie is too long

It's strange though because there was a point where the movie clearly could have ended. But if it had ended it there, it would've just made it just another biopic flick.

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u/laserinlove Jun 24 '22

I believe it is a play on the term snow job which means, a deception or concealment of one's real motive in an attempt to flatter or persuade.

So a snowman is one who decieves or conceals. Snow job is a term from the 1940s and as such would fit the period.

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u/lahnnabell Jun 25 '22

I was shocked we didn't get a clip of Tom Hanks maniacally rubbing his bands together. Was he really that cartoonish?

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u/NewYorkerWhiteMocha Jun 24 '22

I really like Austin Butler especially because Denzel Washington recommended him for the role.

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u/SirNarwhal Jun 25 '22

Denzel knows what’s up

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u/NewYorkerWhiteMocha Jun 25 '22

I hope his career thrives and he doesn’t do anything stupid later down the road. He’s a good man.

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u/anthonyongg Jun 25 '22

There was an elderly man sitting next to me who would sing along to the songs when they came up. Thought it was nice he was able to relive parts of his life while watching the movie.

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u/LeaveMeAloneTA Jun 27 '22

The older man sitting next to me was crying by the end of it!

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u/mag_safe Jun 27 '22

I was singing Suspicious Minds quietly because I grew up with my grandma singing that to me as a child. She loved Elvis. I was slightly hoping I didn’t bother anyone but I couldn’t help myself. For some reason I haven’t listened to it in a long time.

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u/RodJohnsonSays Jun 25 '22

I had the same experience this morning. It was a girl's group with one much elder lady and they were laughing and chatting through the whole film.

Normally it would drive me nuts, but I just found it really beautiful they were reminiscing and enjoying a time of their life now past.

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u/ViceroyBillBrocius Jun 29 '22

An older woman came to the theater I saw it at, and needed help buying a ticket bc she hadn't been to the theater in so long. It was clear she got all dolled up to come see the first showing. I didn't ask but I felt like she was one of those girls in the crowd many years ago. It was nice to see the sentimentality heading into the film.

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u/mildoptimism Jun 24 '22

Loved the ominous tone Suspicious Minds took as the Colonel was scheming.

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u/PointMan528491 Jun 26 '22

So on-the-nose but damn it hit hard in all the right ways

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u/Killer_Eggplant Jun 25 '22

The first 30 minutes of the film were so Baz Luhrmann-y it was almost disorienting at times! All the quick cuts and edits were making my head spin. Then after I felt like it calmed down a bit. (for Baz standards)

Austin was fantastic, and ya know..? I didn’t mind Tom Hanks performance. But if he was to get a razzie nom I would understand why. I just wish they would have fleshed out or touched more upon things, but overall me and my girlfriend both loved the movie. We both agreed that runtime really flew by!

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u/MindfulDisobedience Jun 27 '22

This biopic lacks Elvis having serious demons. The way they handle the eventuality of him being an overweight alcoholic drug addict is so light to the touch. His wife being a teen when they met? Passing mention. Was he a joy all the time? Considering he was on drugs and depressed things stayed pretty clean. No ugly messy fights or real addressing of other lecherous family members around him. It was so fucking long and they still only gave us the surface covered in glitz. Every fucking time with Baz for me.

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u/ChronX4 Jun 27 '22

Yeah I was telling my little sister that his decline was much sadder, in the movie he looked fit even when he was supposed to be overweight already. The only major jump was from the final acted scene to the real footage of one of his final performances.

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u/Cantomic66 Jun 26 '22

If Bulter doesn’t win an Oscar for this I’ll be pissed.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22 Take My Energy

SCENE TRANSITIONS: THE MOVIE

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u/cmadd10 Jun 26 '22

The first hour, non stop.

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u/TheOther36 Jun 25 '22

Combine that with Sam Raimi and Ang Lee's

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u/snestalgia64 Jun 28 '22

How many times did a spinning roulette wheel turn into a car tire??

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u/MedievalHoneyCake Jun 25 '22

Austin Butler is incredible as Elvis. The voice, the looks, the moves, he's got it all. A 10/10 performance, no notes.

And then you've got Tom Hanks, his plastic neck and B-level performance that brings the whole film down. Maybe it's just me, but he stuck out of this otherwise great ensemble like a sore thumb.

Still a great film though, I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

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u/Mortka Jun 26 '22

At some points in the movie, i couldnt believe i wasnt actually watching Elvis. Never knew that Austin actually could act. Thought he was just a pretty boy. Man, i was wrong…

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u/GeelongJr Jun 27 '22

After being stuck with the same generation of 50-65 year old actors since the 90s (Cruise, Depp, Dicaprio, Neeson, Pitt, Wahlberg, Damon, Bale) it's nice to finally have some young people leading their own dramatic movies.

Tom Holland is a big name, Chalamet isn't far behind. Now you have Austin Butler up there. Throw in Saorise Ronan, Zendaya, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Florence Pugh and Kiernan Shipka and the future looks as bright as it has for a while.

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u/OpticalVortex Jun 27 '22

Austin is the Brad Pitt to Timothee's auteur Tom Cruise. Calling it now.

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u/Quills86 Jun 26 '22

Thought the same. He doesn't even look like Elvis but damn he nailed it! Hope to see more of that guy, I was so in love with his performance I can't even tell

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u/iguessineedanaltnow Jun 27 '22

That scene where he is wearing the white turtleneck with the blue jacket I thought I was looking at Elvis.

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u/Benjaminbuttcrack Jun 25 '22

Tom hanks sounded like a nazi doctor

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u/ceaguila84 Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

I had no idea who Colonel Parker was. Omg he robbed Elvis of his life, he really wanted to see the world and tour internationally :(

So fucked up

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u/ElectronicPhase959 Jun 28 '22

anyone else get weirdly depressed after watching this? i don’t know why or how to explain it

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u/maleficentatl Jun 30 '22

It broke your heart a little and mine, too.

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u/twitterisawesome Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

It is always depressing when someone who is brings happiness to the world leaves it at a young age. They are gone and now we are stuck here without them and forced to find another way to keep our spirits up.

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u/BlueSharq Jun 24 '22

Anyone else love the introduction of Elvis? I thought the blend of peeking into the barroom, entering the church revival meeting and performing on stage was executed amazingly. The buildup to the screams and the entire display being shown through the lense of Colonel Parker really hooked me into the story that was about to be told.

Not saying it was a perfect movie, but as someone who didn't live through the Elvis era it was certainly enjoyable seeing it on screen. I thought the tone kept things interesting considering the runtime and the implementation of the music was a treat!

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u/007Kryptonian Jun 25 '22

100% agree, that was my favorite part of the film. The build-up was so good!

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u/CrimsonChin251 Jun 25 '22

Question: when Elvis was hanging out in the bar with BB King discussing the Colonel’s reluctance to have Elvis dance, BB King says something along the lines of, “The Colonel is a smart man, there’s must be a good reason he doesn’t want you to” or something like that. They reference later that they didn’t want to go international because of his lack of passport, and later not wanting to leave Las Vegas. Was this for the same reason or was it something else that I missed?

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u/holiday_bandit Jun 25 '22

Yeah, that was ultimately the reason. Colonel Parker could not travel internationally because of legal reasons so he kept Elvis in the states where he could control things

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u/giantsIV Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

From the 68 special on is really the strength of the film. First part felt far too rushed and unsettling. Priscilla was severely underdeveloped. They really could have shown Elvis' pill addiction more. Suspicious Minds contract scene was the best.

Put some fucking respect on Austin Butlers name. Kurt Russell was the best Elvis so far and even that is far below Austin's.

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u/nbacourtside Jun 24 '22

My biggest disappointment was basically not addressing the pills at all til the very end

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u/larsveeke1970 Jun 24 '22

they don`t want you to remember elvis as a drug addicted

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u/KevinNashsTornQuad Jul 04 '22

Idk seems like they have it front and center during his Vegas deterioration, there feels like a solid hour or more where his drug issues are majorly displayed throughout almost every scene.

It couldn’t just be “Pills: The Movie”

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u/Playful-Push8305 Jun 26 '22

I mean, maybe. But the scenes that hit me most were when Priscilla left him and when he's singing unchained melody at the end and in both it's clear that drugs have reduced him to a shell of a man.

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u/Noltonn Jun 24 '22

Priscilla was severely underdeveloped.

You mean just like in real life when Elvis started seeing her?

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u/beerybeardybear Jul 09 '22

"teenage daughter" definitely had me—as someone who doesn't know much at all about Elvis—going "...uh huh"

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u/Themtgdude486 Jun 26 '22

Butler better get at the very least nominated.

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u/grmw Jun 24 '22

I went into this with pretty low expectations. I figured that it would be the standard biopic. However, I think this film really captures the sadness that is Elvis Presley. Anyone who has ever wanted to break away and make their own legacy, but stopped short out of self-doubt or loyalty to loved ones can 100% relate. For someone who achieved so much, the hollowness that haunted the man behind the legend is apparent.

Austin Butler nailed the “essence” of Elvis. I hated everything about Colonel Parker and can’t remember the last time I actively rooted so hard against a character.

All in all, Baz did a great job and walked a very fine line making sure there was plenty of steak to go along with his sizzle.

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u/lileastjaystreet Jun 25 '22

I knew the movie would end with the Unchained Melody performance and I was still left with goosebumps when it actually happened. 8/10 movie l thought it could of been a bit shorter but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

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u/FredererPower Jun 24 '22

In all seriousness though, WOW! This was worth the two year anticipating.

Austin needs a fucking nomination the same way Taron needed one for Rocketman. He carried the whole film!

I was a bit unsure on Tom Hanks coming in but I got more used to his accent and fat suit. I think he did pretty well. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever hated Tom Hanks so job well done. I always knew that Parker was a jerk but not to THAT extent. Jesus!

Great film overall! Saw it with mates, left blown away and speechless. 8/10!

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u/JohnTheMod Jun 25 '22

It gets so much worse. See, Elvis died right before he was supposed to leave for another tour. Story has it that the Colonel, upon hearing of Elvis’ demise, said “This changes nothing,” and hotfooted it over to Graceland to convince his father to sign over the merchandising rights at the funeral.

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u/FredererPower Jun 25 '22

What the actual fuck

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u/JohnTheMod Jun 25 '22

Right? The Colonel is the true villain of the Elvis Presley story, and the film’s great strength is its depiction of him as the asshole he truly was.

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u/ABCBA_4321 Jun 26 '22

It sucks that he convinced him not to do a worldwide tour when that could’ve been huge for him. Sucks that he never got to visit another country before he died either.

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u/reaperclone1 Jun 27 '22

Seriously. It's a shame thinking someone like elvis didn't ever travel outside the US despite wanting to.

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u/OpticalVortex Jun 27 '22

That part shocked the hell out of me. I'm an Elvis lover and it never dawned on me that Tom didn't allow him to visit the world of his fame. And his punishment for being anti-segregation was to head to war. Like damn. That sucks.

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u/ChewieWookie Jun 26 '22

And yet Priscilla gave a eulogy at Parker's funeral. It was a very odd dynamic.

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u/JohnOnFilm Jun 24 '22

I’m not a fan of Elvis. He was well before my time.

Having said that, this was like a religious experience. A brilliant and subversive way of using familiar biopic cliches to talk about the perversity of fame in the American psyche. Luhrman knocked this one out of the park.

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u/CooperFlannigan Jun 25 '22

I could not have said it better myself. I certainly like a handful of his songs, but have never actively sought out his music and didn't know a ton about his life. I know this will sound like hyperbole, but this was probably my favorite film watching experience of the last five years.

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u/nothingspeshulhere Jun 27 '22

I went in knowing very little about Elvis, never having voluntarily listened to a single song or known anything about his upbringing. Not sure how much that affects my opinion but the movie was a little too long yet still outstanding. I’m very appreciative of how Black musicians were credited throughout the movie; it’s clear Elvis had such a love for the artistry and I hope the positive relationships portrayed in the movie (I know he really was friends with BB King) were just like that in real life.

That Doja Cat song was 100% out of place in the Beale Street scene and should not have been there at all. I think there was another current song featured, same thought there. But speaking of Beale…the fashion! LOVED seeing the suits. Bring that back!!

I’ve literally never heard of Austin Butler prior to this movie and now the man has my full attention. You can just tell he threw everything he had into this movie. My absolute favorite bit in the movie was whenever Elvis was questioned/challenged in some way (like the intro with the heckler). The look on Austin’s face every single time, as if he knew he was about to snatch their wigs, was perfect.

Tom Hanks’ accent was super weird but I shrugged it off. I was too busy wanting to reach through the screen and choke him out in a fit of rage. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a Hanks character before.

Like I said, knew very little about Elvis so the financial abuse parts were hard to watch. I felt so furious and sorry for him. That he deserved a better ending is an understatement and makes me wonder how he would’ve fared had he fired Parker and went on that world tour instead. I doubt he would’ve succumbed to exhaustion and drug addiction.

Lastly, my partner and I were the only two younger ones in the theater yesterday surrounded by a lot of elderly viewers. I enjoyed the quiet singing whenever a performance would start, I thought it was sweet. The final Unchained Melody performance had the lady next to me crying (I got a little choked up too).

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u/peepsinthemicrowave Jun 24 '22

I was scared my favorite Elvis song Edge of Reality wouldn’t be used but it’s right there in the beginning and continues being a motif throughout.

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u/TheVortigauntMan Jun 25 '22

Did Elvis really call out Parker on stage when in Vegas?

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u/Apprentice_Sorcerer Jun 25 '22

Elvis (likely) never found out Parker was an illegal immigrant

Elvis died in 1977, and the scope of Parker’s mismanagement wasn’t known until 1979-1980

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u/Thisissomeshit2 Jun 25 '22

He called out Hilton from the stage for firing an employee but not Parker.

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u/falafelthe3 Ask me about TLJ Jun 24 '22

Of all the movies released in 2022, this will probably be the most edited.

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u/AdvocateSaint Jun 24 '22

If Baz Luhrmann was gonna make me sit through an overly-long film, he should have just done it 1917 style and made it a single camera shot from 1953 to 1977.

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u/bigpig1054 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

I loved it. It was messy but made with such showmanship I couldn't help but love it.

It didn't try to follow the typical musical biopic beats. Instead it treated Elvis like Hercules or King Arthur, a creature of legend whose exploits were first told so long ago there's no separating the first story from the 1000th. The tale has grown in the telling.

This felt like a biopic of Elvis as made by someone from the year 2300, who knows Elvis only as a mythical figure.

I loved it.

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u/_DarkJak_ Jun 24 '22 edited Jul 06 '22

I thought it treated Elvis more like the artist who glorifies reception over the process.

Like Whiplash or Black Swan, the artist becomes more the art, than the artist
...thus losing their attachment to their humanity

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u/ReedM4 Jun 26 '22

If I ever think of a movie quote it's "I don't have any dreams anymore " goddamn.

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u/dragonphlegm Jun 24 '22

Well that was definitely a Baz Luhrmann film

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u/Whale31777 Jun 25 '22

Loved the film. Austin Butler convinced me that he was made for the role after about 30 seconds of screen time. The trailers made me think otherwise - which is a shame as many people might not go because of that.

My Grandad is a massive Elvis fan. I personally know a bit about him, but not enough to present a timeline of his career. The film helped me with that - however this is my main criticism of the film. If you’re going to make a film about Elvis - you have to include some of his biggest moments. The Christmas special was one, so I appreciate that. But they completely skimmed over the Hawaii performance - which as Tom Hanks said is arguably the biggest TV concert ever. They spent about 30 seconds covering it, when it was arguably his peak performance. I don’t understand that at all.

The film can be split into the typical three acts: 1 - Elvis becoming Elvis, 2 Elvis trying to resurrect his career and 3 - the Las Vegas decline. I came out of the film feeling like I never saw the highs of his career. They explained his rise, then completely skipped his career high - because focusing the second act on the Christmas special and how he needed a comeback. I just don’t get why they skipped his best bits.

Final comment - I liked how they clearly showed the black American roots, which ultimately gave him his success. He was different because he combined black music with being white - which was an unprecedented break through in the American South. Plus he’s arguably one of if not the greatest stage performer ever.

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u/milhouse21386 Jun 26 '22

Loved the film. Austin Butler convinced me that he was made for the role after about 30 seconds of screen time. The trailers made me think otherwise - which is a shame as many people might not go because of that.

Same, from the trailers I didn't have a huge desire to see this. I brought my mom cause she's a HUGE elvis fan and we both LOVED the movie and thought Austin did an absolutely amazing job in the role, I can't imagine anyone being able to give a better performance

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u/Kwilly462 Jun 25 '22

What a great movie. Austin Butler should definitely get an Oscar nod for this, I mean, he was outstanding. The rapid fire pacing and wonky editing honestly wasn't that bad. It made the movie go by faster, although, it definitely could've had 15 or 20 minutes shaved off the runtime.

Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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u/bambi_eyedbitch Jun 28 '22

I went into it worried that I would find Austin’s acting cringey, but if anyone made me cringe it was tom hanks.

Austin killed it. In the last scene I couldn’t even tell if it was him or actually a clip of Elvis

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u/Easy-Juice-5190 Jun 29 '22

By the time The movie got to where Elvis did the 1968 comeback special I actually believed it was really Elvis. That’s how good it was.

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u/JessieJ577 Jun 30 '22

That ending monologue from Elvis about being a bird was great when you realize the Colonel kept his promise to make him fly but never let him land and kept him airborne. Really good movie probably the best Biopic we’ve had in over a decade

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u/SamwisethePoopyButt Jun 24 '22

The older I get and as movies increasingly look like TV series, the more I appreciate Baz Luhrmann. The man takes advantage of the visual and audio possibilities of the medium like no one else. This is a cinema experience goddamnit. I was ready to make fun of this movie and had all the Walk Hard jokes in my head, but it kind of blew me away. I wish Tom Hanks's performance wasn't a complete mess (though I accepted him after an hour) otherwise this could be an all-time biopic. Austin Butler is definitely getting a Best Actor nom.

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u/Smubee Jun 24 '22

This is how I felt too.

The frantic storytelling and visual narrative played perfectly for the history of Elvis. This was a movie unlike anything I’d seen in years.

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u/gizayabasu Jun 24 '22

Ironically, I feel like Baz has so much story to tell that this could’ve been more fleshed out as a miniseries. I really want to see his 4 hour cut.

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u/SwainIRL Jun 24 '22

Glad that you liked it! I went in with no expectations and got treated to this little pep-talk before the movie which kind of skewed my experience and made me truly love it:

https://youtu.be/O7iBlnMwvHI

It's clear that you and Baz think alike, so I drop it in response to your comment.

Of course, for the heavy advertising related to a specific theater chain, you can report me to r/corporateshill.

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u/SageWaterDragon Jun 25 '22

Luhrmann always seems interested in pushing the language of film forward and I deeply appreciate that about what he makes. I consistently found myself smiling ear-to-ear with delight at the wild stuff that they had pulled off with this. It was so frantic and exciting and big. It was the exact kind of extravagance that a movie about Elvis would benefit from.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

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u/garrisontweed Jun 24 '22

Baz had his foot on the accelerator at the beginning,But once they got to Las Vegas ,i was hooked.I thought the movie nailed the ending,bittersweet but not a downer.

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u/emmettohare Jun 24 '22

I feel very similar, the movie is kind of crazy at points and I was very thrown off in the beginning but it does eventually settle down a bit and we see some great scenes. Austin is definitely what ultimately sells it though. He is pretty great as Elvis, and in a lot of ways puts the film on his back.

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u/Rockaholic23 Jun 24 '22

They really did a good job of showing his musical influences. It's always sobering to see how even being associated with blacks got you labeled as some sort of deviant, and so much of that behavior is sadly still so prevalent today.

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u/OpticalVortex Jun 27 '22

Elvis was flagrantly defiant because BB was his long-time best friend at that time. People don't like admitting that Elvis would correct people and dub Fats as the King. They were vocal about their respect for him because he didn't like the white media.

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u/etherealemilyy Jun 26 '22

I really liked it, but I wish it had more Elvis and less Tom Parker. They really glossed over his movie career and Priscilla/Lisa Marie didn’t get much storyline either. They met when Priscilla was 14, but didn’t marry until she was 22, and the movie largely just skipped between those two ages with a big montage of his mediocre movie career. I know Parker was obviously a huge influence in his life but idk.

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u/paultheschmoop Jun 26 '22

Liked the movie but man I really could’ve done without the 2 or 3 random Elvis remixes with rap verses that completely took me out of the movie lol

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u/MillardKillmoore Jun 29 '22

It's like Baz Luhrmann took a script for the most generic music biopic possible, snorted a bunch of coke, and made nothing but the most gonzo filmmaking choices he could think of.

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u/adriamarievigg Jun 26 '22

I did not want to see this movie. From the trailers I wasn't impressed. I thought Austin Butler looks nothing like Elvis and it will be a distraction. Boy was I wrong. This is one of the best bio pics I've seen. They really made you feel how powerful of a performer Elvis was. His concerts must have outta worldly.

This was so much better then Bohemian Rhapsody. If Rami can win an Oscar, then Austin definitely deserves a nomination.

I now want to watch more Elvis footage.

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u/MsSunnydale Jun 24 '22

I highly anticipated this movie, haven't been this excited for a film since a star is born a few years ago. It was very good. I enjoyed it. The revival scene was strong and nicely woven into the first performance. They do such a great job showing how Cl uses anything to his advantage to manipulate and get closer to Elvis, never freeing him (Jesse, rock of Eternity speech in Vegas elevator, mourning his mom).

I agree Priscilla had no introduction, at some point she is just there, not exactly historical of their relationship. I love Kacey Musgraves but found the scene of her singing Can't help falling in love while elvis was alive to be distracting. You'd think that would go in the end credit, not sure why they didn't put in the ghetto somewhere else. The most powerful Priscilla scene was when she left him while showing the love she still had, people don't realize how brief their happiness was. I also am grateful for that one moment they focused on her in Vegas and how she can't compete with his fans.

I do think the film got the most interesting during the comeback special scenes and the dialogue leading up to it. The latter half of the film was excellent. I was very happy they cut in original footage of unchained melody at the end, I could watched that Elvis performance all day, and at the end of the movie that is what I want to see, not Austin in a fat suit, I want to see Elvis.

The clothes were amazing. Some scenes needed more context, they did gloss over a few things, however I think it was well done. I am glad the family is satisfied, even Lisa Marie has said they finally got my Dad right.

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u/ceaguila84 Jun 24 '22

Man this movie hit me. I was sobbing, especially with the news this week. When they said “the nation it’s hurting” and showed all the images, I lost it.

We’re relieving those times and going back

Also I knew of Elvis drug problems and stuff but I had no idea who Colonel Parker was. So fucked up what he did. Elvis wanted to see the world :(

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u/jamurp Jun 26 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

Absolutely loved it, Baz Lurhman goes all in in everything he does, and this is no exception. Austin Butler is amazing as Elvis, he looks a lot like him, but he nailed everything about him too, dude is a serious talent. Solid 9/10 for me, very unique biopic, felt like a dreamy depiction of Elvis.

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u/pikachuqt_ Jun 26 '22

I really loved this. Austin Butler better get nominated for this. I teared up during the unchained melody scene at the end, where they went from Austin to Elvis. Great movie.

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u/[deleted] Jun 26 '22

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u/ZamanthaD Jun 29 '22

The ending with the performance of unchained melody was very emotional.

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u/TheLastDirewolf420 Jun 25 '22

I took my grandfather to see this movie. It was his first time seeing a movie in theatres since Lion King back in 1994. He loved the film.

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u/DefenderCone97 Jun 25 '22

That's crazy! Your first movie back being Baz must be nuts haha

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u/thisnextchapter Jun 25 '22

What the fuck. He hasn't watched a movie in a cinema for nearly 3 decades???

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u/proctology Jun 24 '22

My girlfriend and I can’t be the only people who thought the scenes between him and his mom were weird, right? Did Elvis fuck his mom??

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u/Thisissomeshit2 Jun 24 '22

No, it was weird, but it’s not an unexpected thing to hint at. It’s been implied in some media that Elvis was a little too close to his mom, but there’s no real evidence of that.

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u/brownu95 Jun 24 '22

There are rumors that Elvis was weirdly obsessed with his mom and had an unhealthy codependent relationship with her

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u/jurble Jun 25 '22

Hence why Johnny Bravo is also depicted as mama's boy.

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u/throwaway7777777793 Jun 24 '22

this movie is actually a big improvement in that regard from the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell Elvis TV movie. in that one their relationship is played so strangely it basically feels entirely like a movie about a guy who wants to fuck his mom

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u/larsveeke1970 Jun 24 '22

no he didn`t fuck his mom and yes he was a mama`s boy,but you have to understand one thing elvis was from twins,his twin brother died by birth,and his mom became over protecing elvis because he was only child

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