Erik Bates: “It ruled.”

I'm not much of a fan of Elvis as an artist. I recognize his influence, and he does have some songs that I enjoy, but overall, I've never bought into the hype associated with him.

With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Baz Lurhman did what Baz Lurhman does and made something amazing out of the music, bringing in modern artists to create a backdrop that made the whole thing feel much more contemporary. Doja Cat, Diplo, and my two favorites: Yola as Rosetta Tharpe and Gary Clark, Jr. as Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. So. Damn. Good.

I also appreciated the story being told somewhat from the perspective of the unreliable narrator of Colonel Parker, played expertly by Tom Hanks.

− February 5, 2023 • more by Eriklog in or create an account to reply

Scott Hardie: Your review makes me significantly more interested to see the movie. Thanks! My understanding was that this film focused on Parker's financial abuse of Presley to criticize the way that the music industry leeches off of artists parasitically, and while that's certainly worth criticizing, it felt wrong to use Presley as the vehicle for that criticism given how his own early career was so dependent upon the appropriation of Black music. You mentioned the inclusion of prominent Black artists, played on-screen by prominent Black artists, which gives me hope that the film is at least somewhat willing to wrestle with the multitude of injustices involved. (And yikes, I know that I sound like the most liberally liberal by focusing on this, but come on, the movie's the one that raised the subject.) − February 8, 2023 • more by Scott

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