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August 7, 2007

DVD of the Week – Jailhouse Rock (1957)

by HELEN GEIB

Jailhouse Rock is the most notable film in a set of Elvis Presley’s films being released in restored editions by Warner Home Video. Made in 1957, Jailhouse Rock is Elvis’ third movie and commonly considered his best.

Those who’ve only seen his shallow fluff like [fill in your title of choice!] may be thinking right now that saying a movie is Elvis’ best isn’t saying much, but he did make a few movies that are really quite good. And not just good as showcases for his songs, but good as movies. Jailhouse Rock has some great music too, of course, especially the exhilarating title number, but it’s much more than just an “Elvis movie.” The story has substance and grit, and Elvis shows a charisma and raw dramatic talent that was too seldom brought out on screen.

The Warner website promises a fully restored and re-mastered picture and soundtrack. Judging by the quality of the clips on the website, it’s going to look and sound fantastic. Special features include a featurette and commentary track by a music journalist. It’s a missed opportunity to not include a film critic or historian on the commentary track as well. There’s a lot that might have been said about Jailhouse Rock the movie and Elvis the actor.

New releases this week: Are We Done Yet?, Disturbia, I Think I Love My Wife, Private Fears in Public Places, The Salon, TMNT, Unaccompanied Minors


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