"VIVA LAS VEGAS" marks the debut of "Elvis" films on blu-ray! Being released simultaneously with "JAILHOUSE ROCK," WARNER BROS. has really proven its commitment to offering great transfers for catalogue titles with this one!
One of the better "ELVIS" films, "VIVA LAS VEGAS," showcases the great chemistry of Ann Margret and Elvis in a story revolving around a race car driver and a swimming instructor, within the setting of Vegas! Ah, true love! Silly as it is, "VIVA LAS VEGAS" still has a great quality to it. To begin with, director George Sidney is no slouch. He helmed "Anchors Aweigh," and "BYE BYE BIRDIE" and knew how to blend music and comedy, with "some" drama thrown in for good measure.
The budget for this film looks better than on any of the previous "ELVIS" films, and it's technically dazzling to watch, as well.
WARNER BROS. has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is flawless from beginning to end. With the opening credits showcasing the neon lights of Vegas, one is dazzled with the detail. It's just incredible! Colors are rich and vibrant in virtually every scene, and fleshtones are perfect. There is incredible detail even in the darker settings, with deep blacks and grays. "VIVA LAS VEGAS" ranks up there with the best high-def "blu-ray" transfers thus far!
WARNER BROS. has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix along with standard 5.1 and a 1.0 Mono mix. The TrueHD mix offers notably better dynamic range, particularly during the musical numbers. Most of the separation is focused on the front speakers, but surrounds kick in at appropriate times for added impact to some numbers. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
As the film historian, Steven Pond, explains in his commentary, "VIVA LAS VEGAS," is Elvis's 15th film, dead center in his movie career. It's better than many of his films, but not up there with "WILD IN THE COUNTRY," or "FLAMING STAR." It's to this reviewer's surprise that the commentary is so incredible. Out of all the audio commentaries heard on dvd or high-def over the years, this optional commentary is one of the best ever! One will learn a great deal about "Elvis" and filmmaking from this era after listening to this one. Definitely worth checking out.
A featurette and trailer is included.