ELVIS – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Elvis: The Showman and The Snowman

After an 8 month delay it’s Now or Never and Elvis has finally entered a movie theater near you.
Get ready to get All Shook Up at this bombastic biopic that plays like a 3 ring circus, but would we expect anything else?

Those who have a Burning Love for Elvis say Don’t Be Cruel to the hip gyrating heartthrob as this dubious documentary is told from the point of view of the man who crowned The King, his longtime shifty manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The Devil in Disguise didn’t always Love (Elvis) Tender because the pseudo serviceman was Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.

An almost unrecognizable Tom Hanks gives an over the top performance as Parker. The makeup is phenomenal, but despite his odd, almost Yiddish accent, it’s obvious Tom is behind the prosthetics. Young mega star in the making, Austin Butler, is the hunky and chunky Elvis. He’ll make you Shake, Rattle and Roll as he slips seamlessly into The King’s jumpsuits doing most of his own singing and swiveling.

Suspicious Minds will say Hanks, as Parker, is too much of a caricature rather than a character. Playing the role too campy. He is and he does, but this Elvis is a Baz Luhrmann production. There’s A Little Less Conversation and more sparkle and splash. There’s crotch shots, fainting women, squinting and snarling. Favorite songs are performed with bits of the real E.P. spliced in.

Elvis is a sensational spectacle meant for the big screen. Even with a runtime of 2 1/2 hours, Luhrmann flashes Presley’s life before our eyes. He keeps things moving as fast as Elvis’ pelvis. Elvis Aaron Presley was unique and irreplaceable and this film shows us why, warts and all. It’s not always good to be The King.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Put on your Blue Suede Shoes, make a peanut butter and banana sandwich, leave your Heartbreak Hotel and drive your Pink Cadillac to the nearest Metroplex. You Can’t Help Falling in Love with Elvis, the movie. It gets an 8.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.