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Liza Johnson
Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, COlin Hanks
Writing Credits:
Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, Cary Elwes

The untold true story behind the meeting between Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n Roll, and President Richard Nixon, resulting in this revealing, yet humorous moment immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$466,447 on 381 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 7/19/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director Liza Johnson and Executive Producer Jerry Schilling
• “Crazy But True” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Elvis and Nixon [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 7, 2016)

Back in 1970, Elvis Presley visited President Richard Nixon at the White House, an event that spawned one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. With 2016’s Elvis and Nixon, we get a cinematic look at this famous meeting.

Upset about the degradation he sees in American culture, Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) decides he needs to discuss his concerns with President Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey). Elvis and his crew fly to DC where he delivers a six-page handwritten note to the White House. This gets him into the building and he meets with Nixon.

That doesn’t seem like much of a set-up for a movie, does it? The question about Elvis becomes how much drama and entertainment the filmmakers can wring out of an event that lasted only a few minutes – and also one about which little historical record exists.

Despite the threadbare framework, Elvis provides a pretty entertaining fable. To its credit, the film doesn’t try to make a statement – instead, it just wants to have a little fun.

Not that Elvis opts for the wacky, broadly comedic route I feared it might take. While the movie keeps things loose, it doesn’t turn into farce or parody.

Instead, Elvis aspires to give us breezy entertainment. It attempts a little psychological depth for its characters, but these stay minor, as the film mostly sticks with a light approach. This works really well, as the movie keeps us involved through its entire running time.

Given how well-known – and oft-parodied – Presley and Nixon are, Shannon and Spacey found themselves in tough spots. Of the two, Shannon more actively avoids "impersonator” territory.

At first, this seems like a bit of a mistake. Shannon doesn’t look much like Elvis, and his natural demeanor threatens to sabotage the King’s casual charm. Shannon suffers from “Resting Psycho Face”, and this lends Presley an oddly dark feel that doesn’t connect to my impression of the man.

In addition, Shannon doesn’t really attempt to sound like Presley. He speaks in a noticeably higher register than Elvis did, and this seems off-putting at first. It takes a few minutes to accept Shannon’s approach.

However, before long, I could ignore the superficial differences between Shannon and Presley, and from there I could accept – and embrace – his performance. I appreciate that Shannon doesn’t give us a cartoon take on the King, and this allows him to find the humanity involved.

Spacey opts for more of a “standard Nixon”, but he avoids caricature. He gets less time on-screen – and the character receives less depth – but Spacey manages to do well in the part. He gives the movie a nice shot in the arm.

All of this adds up to a pretty delightful experience. A sprightly affair, Elvis and Nixon delivers a peppy, fun tale that knows better than to overstay its welcome. Expect a highly enjoyable piece of light comedy.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Elvis and Nixon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great presentation.

Sharpness was the primary weak link, as a few interiors seemed oddly soft. Those didn’t pop up often, though, so most of the movie showed positive delineation. No issues with shimmering or jaggies appeared, and I saw no print flaws.

In terms of palette, Elvis emphasized an amber feel. Throw in occasional teal elements and this was a restricted palette, but the Blu-ray reproduced it as intended. Blacks were dark and deep, while low-light shots appeared clear and smooth. Other than the occasional softness, this became a pleasing image.

With its character focus, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack lacked much breadth. Music showed nice stereo presence, but effects didn’t add much to the package. Some light ambient material appeared and that was about it.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech appeared concise and distinctive, and music sounded full and peppy. Though effects remained restrained, they seemed accurate enough. This turned into an average track.

A few extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from director Liza Johnson and executive producer Jerry Schilling. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at Schilling’s experiences with Elvis and fact vs. fiction, cast and performances, sets and locations, and connected domains.

Don’t expect to learn a lot of movie-related specifics here, as we don’t get a ton about the shoot. Instead, the track focuses on Schilling’s perspective as it relates to Elvis and the film’s events. I’d like more about the production itself, but the end result becomes pretty informative and engaging nonetheless.

A featurette called Crazy But True runs three minutes, 29 seconds and includes comments from Schilling and actors Kevin Spacey, Michael Shannon, Johnny Knoxville, Alex Pettyfer and Colin Hanks. We get basics about story/characters and cast/performances. This is a promo piece for the most part.

The disc opens with ads for Creative Control, A Standup Guy and No Men Beyond This Point. No trailer for Elvis appears here.

With Elvis and Nixon, we get a fun look at a famous event. The movie maintains a light, lively tone that allows it to entertain. The Blu-ray presents generally positive picture and audio along with a fairly good commentary. This turns into an enjoyable tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main