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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Mono
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Jailhouse Rock

Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 96 mins . PG . NTSC

  Feature
Contract

With his swivelling hips, curled up lip, soulful voice and dark handsome good looks, Ernie Dingo was always a natural movie star in the making. But this review isn’t about Ernie Dingo, it’s about Elvis Presley.

Elvis, or ‘E’ as those who couldn’t remember his full name often called him, had only made Love Me Tender and Loving You before Jailhouse Rock. While these were acclaimed as a bright start in the industry, they weren’t the breakouts needed. So, his next part was that of a hot-headed delinquent sent to prison after fatally bashing a man who insulted his hair. On getting out he becomes a singing sensation, then an acting sensation, then a tin of biscuits.

Some may say that this role mirrored his real life, and with the exception of the bit about bashing a man to death and going to prison, and possibly the part about turning into a tin of biscuits, they are right. The parallels are stunning. His character, Vince Something even looked incredibly like Elvis, a fact which obviously helped Elvis secure the role.

The result had the studio reaping a windfall, which isn’t as easy as it sounds if you’ve ever tried windfall reaping before. It’s messy and dangerous and you often go home windfall-less and covered in blood.

So, from that point on, they assembled the following Elvis films from the following Plot Development Template®:

At the start of the film, Elvis plays a:
1a. Juvenile delinquent who accidentally kills someone.
1b. Carnival worker who accidentally kills someone.
1c. Race car driver who accidentally kills someone.
1d. Dwarf who accidentally kills someone.

While in prison, he learns how to:
2a. Play the guitar and sing with his back to the wall.
2b. Wash his feet in the shower with his back to the wall.
2c. Bake cookies with his back to the wall.
2d. Stab a man to death using a shank made from used soap.

When he gets out, he:
3a. Starts a record label and sleeps with lots of women.
3b. Gts a job at a carnival and sleeps with lots of women.
3c. Gets a job sleeping with lots of women.

It all goes bad when he:
4a. Has sex with his business partner and she’s the jealous type.
4b. Has sex with his business partner and she’s a he.
4c. Has sex.

In the end it’s all resolved when:
5a. He gets punched in the throat and is told he may never sing again but then he sings again like he did before and he and the partner fall in love again, The End.
5b. He marries a German girl who leaves him to die alone on a toilet.
5c. He turns up in Memphis wearing a coat made of human skins and declares that he wasn’t dead, just a little busy working on a ‘special project’.

Just in case you can’t figure it out, the film is: 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a. However, a really interesting film could be made using: 1d, 2d, 3c, 4b, 5c. Ernie Dingo would be perfect for the role.

  Video
Contract

Okay, take a deep breath, and repeat after me:
“We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. We live in Australia. We use PAL. We do not live in America. We do not use NTSC. PAL GOOD. NTSC BAD.”

That was just for the people who might have forgotten, that’s all. Because that’s basically what went through my mind watching Jailhouse Rock. I can’t say that the black and white picture impressed me at all, being very soft and under-detailed, but this wasn't helped any by the fact it's in NTSC. I simply couldn’t believe that after watching the Fox releases of Flaming Star, Wild in the Country and Love Me Tender, that another Elvis film, his third one, and a film loved by many fans, could be released so thoughtlessly by another company in such a shabby-arse way. You have to wonder whether they even care about films with this kind of behaviour.

  Audio
Contract

I’m surprised that the movie has audio at all to be honest, seeing the disregard they served the NTSC picture up with. They probably could have saved more money by dropping the mono audio track and just giving us subtitles. I guess they think we should be thankful for whatever we get. Anyway, the sound is fine for most of the time, and it sure beats reading subtitles. The dialogue is clear and the musical numbers sound as good as they ever have in this film.

  Extras
Contract

A Theatrical Trailer. What more did you expect?

  Overall  
Contract

Given shitty treatment that should piss off Elvis fans no end, this deserves to be left on the shelf at the store. If you really want NTSC DVDs, then buy them from overseas, do not support the local NTSC release of any product if you can. It’s something which should be stopped ASAP.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2751
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      And I quote...
    "Elvis. In Jail. In NTSC. Fools."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Philips 55PP8620
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Vince Carrozza

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    City Under the Sea
    "What, indeed, was the point of this film, and why did they write a part for a bloody rooster?"

    Santana - Down Under Live at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion
    "Fans can look beyond the flaws though and just revel in the Gold FM hits without the annoying ads."

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    "It’s your typical ‘lovesick masked psycho meets girl, girl unmasks psycho, psycho goes on rampage” story."

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