on May 14, 2001
In another classic example of RCA/MGM's attempts to give fans only portions of songs and performances, this DVD, while adding new concert footage, also cuts several songs from the original film. Why? You have to feel somewhat insulted by the fact that the DVD version still features a nervous Elvis talking about forgetting the lyrics to "I Just Can't Help Believin'," and then doesn't include the song! It's almost insulting.
We all know DVD is capable of much longer footage, yet this release barely outruns the original. Even songs that are included in the original are cut for this version, such as the shortened and sadly missing "Hut-two-three-four, I learned that in the army" seque in "Polk Salad Annie." They could have included everything here, they simply chose not to. Probably so that a "special, special edition" can be released later, or for a new product named "Elvis Live In Las Vegas," for which we'll all have to shell out another $...
Put this together with the original concert footage, include the original version on Side 2 of the DVD (which they're perfectly capable of doing) and you've got something. But why do that when they figure no one will know the difference?
on April 26, 2003
Fantastic, Super, Dazzling. This 90 minutes of concert and behind the scenic footage is breath taking. It is 1970 and Elvis has a Vegas tour planned, he has finished his movie contract and has been reborn more mature, thanks to his 68 comeback. 'That's the way it is' captures Elvis' charisma, talent and amazing voice, it is totally re-cut and restored by Rick Schmidlin (Greed, Touch of Evil). It is basically split into two parts - off and on stage. The off stage section follows Elvis in the MGM studios and his endearing clowning around through the Vegas warm up and the show itself. And what a show! It shows Elvis at the height of his carer holding the audience spellbound. There is a variety of songs (full list of songs below) incorporating R & B, Blues, Country and of course Rock & Roll. There are touching and spin tingling versions of You've lost that loving feeling and You don't have to say you love me. But naturally all the songs are outstanding. In conclusion I think even if Elvis hadn't had any of his movies, no previous concerts and no fame what so ever, just this - he would still be the King.
The full song list -
That's all right
Little sister/Get back
My baby left me
Twenty days and twenty nights
Bridge over troubled water
Santa Claus is back in town
Mary in the morning
Mystery train/Tiger Man
That's all right
I got a woman
Love me tender
I can't stop loving you
The wonder of you
In the ghetto
Patch it up
You've lost that loving feeling
Polk salad Annie
Don't be cruel
Blue suede shoes
All shook up
You don't have to say you love
Can't help falling in love
This documentary was originally released in 2007. This new blu-ray disc consists of outtakes of the rehearsals, minted from newly found master tapes, followed by the concert itself, also minted from a new master.
From the outtakes of the rehearsals, we got a glimpse into how exact every note is taken in Elvis’s concert. Elvis paid attention to every note of each song. It was funny to see his small microphone attached to the pole actually “wilted” during his singing of “That’s Alright, Mama” during the rehearsal. You also get to see the back-up groups (male: Imperials and female: Sweet Inspirations) performed in a separate room while Elvis was singing in another room. One appreciates how exact every song was performed. It is also nice to see his guitarist James Burton up close. He is one of my favourite guitarists, next to Hank Marvin of the Shadows.
The concert followed continuously after the outtakes. Before the concert, you got a glimpse of many celebrities, such as Juliet Prowse, Cary Grant, Xavier Cugat and his wife Charro. This concert was filmed in July 1970 at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, consisting of performances from 6 different nights. The connections were quite seemless, unless you paid special attention to Elvis’s costume or the amount of sweat on his chest. I have compiled a song listing of the concert which is as follows:
01 That’s Alright, Mama
02 I Got A Woman
03 Hound Dog
04 Heartbreak Hotel
05 Love Me Tender (lots of kisses from Elvis to all the ladies)
06 I Can’t Stop Loving You
07 Just Pretend
08 The Wonder of You
09 In The Ghetto
10 Patch It Up
11 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
12 Polk Salad Annie
13 One Night
14 Don’t Be Cruel
15 Blue Suede Shoes
16 All Shook Up
17 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
18 Suspicious Minds
19 Can’t Help Falling In Love
Elvis was in top form. (Concert: 5+/5)
That’s The Way It Is arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC @ 20.95 Mpbs 1080p 2.40:1 encode on a BD-25 disc. Shame on you, Warner Brothers for such low bit-rate count and not using a BD-50 disc. The quality of both the outtakes and the concert was actually quite good. Apparently, the outtakes for the DVD were atrocious. I appreciate the use of 2.40:1 so that the entire picture filled my 12-foot wide screen (using anamorphic lens). I also appreciate that subtitles, even for the songs, are included. For old-timer like myself, this is really helpful. But be careful, half of it is outside the picture. Fortunately with my new Oppo-103 BD player, I could adjust the position of the subtitles. The colour was quite saturated. There are quite a bit of details, like the hair on Elvis’s chest. For a video 44 years old, I have no complaint. (4/5)
That’s The Way It Is arrives on blu-ray with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. The sound is very well remastered. Elvis’s voice is centred, surrounded by James Burton’s guitar on the right front channel, the back-up singers on the right lateral channel, while the string and horn section was on the left. There was very little surround activity. Dialogue is very clear. Every little grunt by Elvis was clearly recorded. It was simply a very well recorded concert. (4/5)
The entire concert, including outtakes of rehearsals, is totally enjoyable. Finally, we have the high definition treatment of That’s The Way It Is – and it is fit for our King. And the price of $14.99 is definitely right too. Very highly recommended.
Lastly, be careful when you read the reviews. Amazon.ca has the habit of putting old reviews of DVD from 2004 into the blu-ray section. Also, when I typed in the title Elvis Presley That’s the Way It Is – the expensive import 2001 edition blu ray came up. I have to search to find this $14.99 item. Be careful.
on September 23, 2002
If you have the original version of this great film, in whatever format, hold on to it! This is not the original movie!! I love Elvis and I love "Elvis: That's The Way It Is." But this new release is such a butcher job, depressing me so much that afterwards I had to watch the original to set things straight. Everything that made this film such a unique in-depth look is gone. A look not only at the King, but the whole Vegas scene at that time. Keep in mind that Elvis' return to live performance was as much anticipated by the celebrity world as it was for average fans. The feel of that is lost in this edited version. Sure, raw footage of Presley is always great to watch, but that's all there is here. Instead of a thorough, complete documentation of an event, we're left with nothing more than a bunch of videos strung together with no apparent relationship. And that's okay, but it's not what I bought this DVD for. Yes, many songs are gone, but the interviews were important, too. That's what makes a documentary, folks! I missed seeing all the preparation at the International Hotel leading up to the moment, and prepare they did. The souvenirs they sold for pocket change are now worth hundreds, if not priceless. I like that history aspect, cut out of the new release, of course. One scene I was particularly disappointed to see cut was the beautiful montage of casino lights on the Vegas strip, underscored by a smooth bluesy rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel." What a sin! "Elvis: That's The Way It Is" was done right the first time, in 1970, and it still works for me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!
on January 12, 2004
This DVD of Elvis's times in Vegas is unbelievable. I am in awe when I watch it. So much better than the VHS version obviously because of the picture and 5.1 sound. On my bigscreen and home theatre system, it's almost as if I am there in concert. This is a must have for any Elvis fan. What is good about this DVD is that it is all rehersal and concert. Gone is the fan and other footage from the original.
on February 4, 2004
Elvis Thats The Way It Is in this Special Edition of the legendary Las Vegas concert shot in 1970. This movie goes in the studio with Elvis and back-stage. I have seen all the live Elvis movies and nothing can compare to this one. This DVD is Restored, remixed, it focuses on a new look at Elvis Presley. The sound is out of this world its way better than the orginal the cameras keep rolling their is not a missed piece of footage. This is a must have for an Elvis Presley fan I enjoyed this and so will you so what are you waiting for go buy this!!!!!
on October 31, 2001
For my money, Elvis was at his peak in 1970. Not only had his voice taken on a very satisfying richness, but there was plenty of power there as well, with none of the tiredness and wobbly vibrato that marred some of his later moments. Furthermore, he was singing with real commitment, proving that the '68 Comeback Special and '69 Nashville sessions were no mere flukes. This is popular singing in the best sense of the word, as Elvis pours everything he has into making each song a memorable event.
What a treat, then, to have this beautifully restored documentary on DVD. I bought the videotape of the original film over ten years ago, and in many respects it has dated badly. The original fan interviews ARE ghastly, and the impact of the original is muted compared with this fresh look at a unique singer. This is Elvis unleashed, and his energy, passion, and excitement will thrill the most jaded of viewers. I've been playing this DVD to friends who had previously been dismissive of Elvis, and in every case they reacted with astonishment at the raw power of the man.
The picture and sound quality are, for the most part, outstanding. A fuzzy veil has been lifted from the original visuals, and the sound will thrill new listeners used to the synthetic whinings of today's boybands and other "stars".
My only gripe, in common with a number of other reviewers, is that certain songs have been removed from the original. The concert performances of I Can't Help Believing and Bridge Over Troubled Water were beautifully sung in the earlier version, and they would have given this film a larger degree of balance, showing the reflective, balladeer side of Elvis as opposed to the over-represented rocker. (We do, however, have the powerful and mature Just Pretend, which redeems things slightly.) Eliminating repetition seems to have been the aim of the producers, and while I understand this, it would still have been nice to see both the rehearsals and concert performances of these songs.
But these are minor flaws in an otherwise first-rate representation of the greatest pop performer of the 20th Century. Buy it, and be dazzled by the man's sheer interpretive genius.
on January 8, 2003
I have been an Elvis Presley fan since I was 6 years old. I was only 6 1/2 months old when he passed away. I'm not really sure how it all began, but what I do remember is being very young and seeing this man on TV in a white jumpsuit with a fringy belt dancing and singing. There was something about him that absolutely mesmerized me, even at that age. I realize now that what I was seeing was some part of the original That's The Way It Is film. Now, at 25, I have seen that film dozens and dozens of times and as I got older I would fast-forward through the creepy fan interviews, hotel preparations for the show, and other things just so I could get to the music.
When I first decided to view the New Edition I really didn't know what to expect. I had heard that they cut back on the interviews and added some new things. I really wasn't expecting my viewing experience to be any different than it was with the original version. I can honestly say that I was astonished, in a good way. Not only was I extremely glad that they cut out everything that didn't have to do with the music I was excited that they added additional rehearsal footage. I had become so used to seeing the original that I never truly realized just HOW fantastic he was. I felt an excitement that I never felt with the original, a joy that now, finally, THIS is how he was meant to be seen. I can't even begin to tell you how many Elvis videos, cassettes, and tapes I own, that when I view or listen to them there are no surprises for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them but nothing ever struck me as being very different among them. Plus, with an almost constant repetition of listening and viewings you always forget how great some of it was.
This new edition totally changed that. In all my 19 years of loving him I have NEVER seen him in this way. I kid you not, I almost felt like I was THERE. I felt the urge to scream, laugh, cry, clap, you name it. I am really, really pleased at this new restoration. I have seen many reviews now saying that people who could care less about Elvis or were never fans became, after viewing this, people who WERE fans.
It is a shame that most people now, when you mention Elvis, automatically think of spangled jumpsuits and heavy weight. This is all they associate with Elvis when you mention the 1970's. How wrong they are. Elvis was at the TOP in this film. Thin as a rake, gorgeous, handsome, sexy, he's got the moves, his voice is at the absolute height of his ability here. If you want to talk about charisma, this man had it, people. It's there in the rehearsal footage and it's there in BUCKETS in the concert footage.
I could go on and on but I think by this point you understand what I'm saying. THIS IS A MUST-SEE!
on July 25, 2001
NOT ELVIS IN ANY WAY JUST WARNER BROS,THE DVD IS 110% BRILLANT AND IT HAS A TRUE PICTURE OF THE GREATEST DOING WHAT HE DID BEST ANY FAN SHOULD HAVE THIS IN THERE COLLECTION.
THE PROBLEM I HAD WAS WHEN I OPENED THE BOX AND SAW THE BONUS FEATURE TO THEN JUMP UP AND DOWN AND THEN CRY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ON IT,UNDER THE TRACK LISTING IT HAS THE BONUS MATERIAL OF MAYBE 15 SONGS EXAMPLE:STRANGER IN THE CROWN LIVE,I JUST CANT HELP BELIEVEING ,TIGERMAN,AND MANY MORE.
I THINK AS A TRUE ELVIS FAN I LOVE IT 110% BUT WE AS FANS WERE PROMISED THE EXTRA ON THE DVD AND WHEN WE QUESTIONED IT WE HEARD OF LITTLE PROBLEMS THAT ALWAYS COME UP WITH ELVIS PRODUCTS I AM NOT COMPLAING ABOUT THE DVD AT ALL IT IS THE GREATEST THING EVER BUT WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE GETTING MORE YOU DONT,YOU MAY THINK I AM SELFISH BUT THE PROMISED OVER AND HOUR EXTRA FOOTAGE AS A BONUS TO THE DVD,ALOT OF ELVIS FANS LIKE ME HAVE ASKED WHERE HAS THE XTRA BONUS FOOTAGE GONE THAT THE TELL US ON THE DVD? WE STILL AWAIT THERE ANSWER,YOU MAY NOT HAVE IT ON YOUR DVD COVER BUT ON THE FIRST PRINTS IT STATES THE BONUS MATERIAL UNDER THE ORIGINAL SPECIAL EDITION. I STILL LOVE IT THOUGH AND LETS HOPE THE ON TOUR ONE WILL BE AS GOOD
on December 15, 2002
This newly released video of Elvis's 1970 concert film "That's The Way It Is" is better than the original, which was overshadowed by 2 many interviews. This tape focuses on just the
It kciks off with Elvis rehearsing for his second season in Las Vegas, where he staged a successful comeback to live performing a year before. This segment features Elvis playing around with his band. In one scene, Elvis sings "That's All Right", and the microphone falls off the stand, and he continues to sing. Rehearsing for the tour meant for Elvis that he didn't need to be serious. The concert, however, is serious. It kicks off with a torid "That's All Right", then culminates with a heartbreaking "Can't Help Falling In Love". Also included are stellar performances of "Hound Dog", "The Wonder Of You", "Love Me Tender", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" and "Polk Salad Annie". That's the way it is is the way it should have been in the first place.