Elvis Presley

King Creole [Video]

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Elvis Presley's last movie before he began his two years of army service has always occupied a special place in the hearts of his fans, but King Creole wasn't treated right until the release of this DVD, which runs circles around all prior home video editions. Mastered from the sharpest materials ever used for a video transfer, the film benefits from an almost flawless image, combining crystalline clarity and deep contrasts that emphasize the dark, serious nature of the drama, marred only by small, momentary flaws -- mostly the result of slight wear spots in the film materials -- which go past so fast that they're barely seen. Additionally, the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound adds an extra level of dimensionality to the movie and the action, which will delight those viewers with even a modest home theater set-up. And the songs -- some of the best from an Elvis Presley movie -- are a match for quality with the best CD issues. The mono soundtrack is also available, which is clean and has a good deal of punch. The real treat here, however, is the chance to see King Creole in its authentic VistaVision screen shape, of approximately 2.0-to-1 aspect ratio -- VistaVision was adjustable to the shape of an ordinary 1.33-to-1 television screen, but seeing this movie for the first time in many, many years with its theatrical widescreen image intact, the way the director shot it, is a revelation -- the balance of the image and the framing of the action work as never before. The menu opens automatically on start-up with the "Play" option in automatic default; the 21 chapters are generous and well-chosen, and the only bonus feature is the presence of a trailer and an option for 16x9 enhancement.

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