Blu-ray Review: Viva Las Vegas (50th Anniversary)



I’m a huge Elvis fan. Huge. I have an Elvis tattoo. That said, I’ve always been more fond of his music than his movies. His movies are fun and entertaining, but rarely what one might actually call “good”. The man cranked out 31 movies in 13 years, which has got to be some kind of record. Of those, Viva Las Vegas was the biggest film of his career, but is it good?

It’s a pretty simple story. Boy comes to Vegas for car race, boys meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy fights to win girl, boy loses girl over car race, boy wins the race and gets the girl. Elvis plays Lucky Jackson the aforementioned boy coming to Vegas to race. He meets Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret) and falls for her, but she takes some convincing. While trying to woo her he loses the money he needs to enter the big race. Then the next twenty minutes is a montage of Lucky and Rusty dating and getting closer.

Finally the plot returns and Rusty gets upset when Lucky chooses the race over her and she leaves him. However, like most Elvis films, the plot was secondary to the song numbers. Sure the movie has a little bit of a story, but it’s all to showcase Elvis and Ann-Margret on screen together singing songs.

The plot is silly, the performances are okay, some of the songs are silly, but some of them are awesome. “Viva Las Vegas” is easily one of the greatest songs of his career and this film gets major points if only for producing that song.

Viva Las Vegas is a fun film, but it’s really hard to call it a “good” film, even for an Elvis fan like myself, but that won’t stop me from watching this again and again, nor should it stop you.

The film is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround sound. Viva Las Vegas has never looked better. This is an amazing presentation. The colors just pop right off the screen. If you’re an Elvis fan this Blu-Ray is a must own!

You get Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas: (20 min.), a great look at Elvis’ long history with the city of sin. You also get a Commentary with Steve Pond, author of Elvis in Hollywood.

I’d never seen Viva Las Vegas like this. The presentation on this blu-ray is fantastic! It’s a silly fun movie with one his greatest songs of all time and the amazing chemistry between him and Ann-Margret.

Warner Bros. presents Viva Las Vegas: 50th Anniversary. Written by: Sally Benson. Directed by: George Sidney. Starring: Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret. Running time: 85 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released: August 12, 2014.

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