"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






Elvis Has Left The Building

Why is Elvis Has Left The Building so hard to find? To date it has only released (on a limited basis) to theaters in Europe and on DVD in Asia.

Is the film that bad? Actually it's not, it's just that it's not that good either.

The DVD edition of Elvis Has Left The Building from Thailand (Region 3) makes for an interesting, if ultimately flawed viewing.

The Story: Harmony Jones (Kim Basinger) is a sales rep for the company, Pink Lady. As a child in the late 50s in Memphis she knew Elvis and used to drive with him in his car. However as an adult, travelling in her own striking pink cadillac, she encounters a string of Elvis impersonators, who one by one, accidentally die in her presence.

Can her life change when she meets an advertising agency (John Corbett), a man whose company's biggest account is with a business called "Surrender"? What ensues is a mildly amusing romp with the FBI in pursuit and which builds to a fun-filled climax.

The film resonates with a "pink" theme (Pink Lady; pink lipstick; pink Cadillac; pink mobile phone), although by the film's end the pink has narratively given way to black.

The Humor: In keeping with the film being a comedy, there are liberal and valiant attempts at humor. While some come off, unfortunately many fall flat. Early in the film the splashes of rib tickling fun are too sporadic to engender real liking for it, although strong final scenes partially arrest that disappointment.

One of the funniest involves the death of a motorcycling Elvis (Tom Hanks...yes, that Tom Hanks) who bites the dust courtesy of a flying mailbox, while Return To Sender plays in the background. Another amusing incident has a group of "hunka hunka hunka's" in the men's room (enough said).

The film also shows how rumors gather momentum and take on a life of their own. In fact this theme leads to the final stirring scenes which see the demise of a large number of Elvii (and believe me after seeing these Elvii it is a case of justice personified), clearing our heroine (Basinger) of any wrongdoing, and revealing the childhood link between her and ad agency executive, Miles (Corbett).

And as the producers note in the closing credits: "No Elvis impersonators were harmed during the making of this film".

The Cast: Elvis Has Left The Building boasts a very impressive cast. The main players include Kim Basinger (My Stepmother Was An Alien); John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Annie Potts, Denise Richards (Wild Things); Billy Ray Cyrus (Achy Breaky Heart); Sean Astin (The Lord of The Rings trilogy), Pat Morita (Happy Days; The Karate Kid), Angie Dickinson (Police Woman) and a well disguised Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump; Apollo 11; Castaway).

All players (and the Director, Joel Zwick) try hard but are let down by a rather flat script.

The Soundtrack: The film has a very impressive soundtrack including many tracks from Elvis and others involving covers or original recordings of Elvis tracks. Among the Elvis sung songlist are Long Lonely Highway, Hard Headed Woman, No More, Follow That Dream, Return To Sender, Heartbreak Hotel and Hound Dog. Other tracks include It's Now Or Never (Babyface), I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams) and a poignant Love Me Tender that segues into Elvis' own recording of the song.

Technically speaking: The video is a crisp, clean print with no perceptible flaws.

On the downside, perhaps the biggest drawback with the disc is its lack of audio-visual synchronisation. While the audio itself is crystal clear, its lack of synch with the picture is very, very irritating to say the least. We can only hope that on the rumored USA releasse of the film this problem is fixed.

Both an English and Thai language audio track are offered as are sub-titles in both languages. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1. The film runs for 86 minutes.

The Extras: The region 3 disc viewed by EIN included the movie trailer and a shoret featurette "Behind The Scenes" which left us wondering what was going on and why was it included.

Film Verdict: Elvis Has Left The Building utilises an interesting premise that falls short in its execution. It is partially saved by a great soundtrack (available from BMG Records) and a crowd pleasing finale.

EIN's Rating: 6 out of 10.

Disc Verdict: The Region 3 release is a let down because of the terrible (read "lack of") syncronisation between the audio and video tracks.

EIN's Rating: 3 out of 10


(DVD Review, Source: EIN)

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