It's summer 1970 and this concert documentary allows unrestricted access to the hottest show in town: Elvis Presley's milestone four weeks of appearances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas . Dozens of tunes (including favorites All Shook Up and Suspicious Minds) are included as the camera follows the show's development from rehearsal to stage. This 2-Disc Special Edition contains two versions – the original 1970 theatrical version and the critically-acclaimed Special Edition from 2000, which captures even more of Elvis' legendary performances. That's double the entertainment for Elvis concert fans. Elvis: That's the Way It Is 2-Disc Special Edition
Disc 1: (2000 Special Edition)
- Restoration featurette Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis: That's the Way It Is
- 16x9 digital transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
- Presley career highlights
- Director/restorer filmographies
- Theatrical trailer
- Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Czech, Turkish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Croatian, Dutch, Hebrew, Arabic, Romanian, Bulgarian + English & German for the hearing impaired. (feature film only)
Disc 2: (1970 Original Theatrical Version)
Twelve never-before seen outtakes song/nonmusical sequences including ...
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Oh Happy Day
I Just Can't Help Believing'
Walk A Mile In My Shoes
I've Lost You
Stranger In The Crowd
- Subtitles: English, Danish, Spanish, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish, + English & German for the hearing impaired. (feature film only)
Original DVD Review by Pete Smith
If this reviewer was restricted to just one word, while reviewing 'Elvis - That's The Way It Is - Special Edition', the adjective I would chose would be 'fascinating'.
Producer extraordinaire Rick Schmidlin has skillfully revamped the original Denis Sanders 1970 TTWII production - a classic in its own right. It appears that EPE has finally come to its senses and left this Elvis production in the hands of an expert and has given Schmidlin creative freedom with amazing results.
Schmidlin has ingeniously interweaved old footage, new footage, added in old footage shot from different camera angles and in some instances literally spliced together some sections frame by frame and has created a true masterpiece. Schmidlin has truly captured the soul of Elvis Presley the man and performer - prior to this production many have tried to accomplish this but have failed.
One realizes while viewing this film that Elvis, during this period of his life, was completely in charge when it came to the arrangements of his music and its presentation. There is almost something haunting about some of the scenes - one that comes to mind is 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' which is run over the closing credits. Watching Elvis and listening to him sing this song gave this reviewer a chill - I think for the fist time I finally saw the real Elvis.
Summing up all I can say is that I want more quality productions like this and hopefully there will be a part two. There are at least another 16 hours of rehearsals from the original shooting of 'TTWII' that this reviewer is aware of - hopefully someone will give Schmidlin a free hand and allow him to produce another consummate classic.
I would like to compliment the folks at Turner on being involved in yet another superior Elvis project - then again Turner et al are known throughout the tightly knit Elvis community for the quality Elvis projects that they have been involved in - e.g. 'He Touched Me' November 20, 1999 and January 08, 2000.
The DVD: Reviewed by Colin Jacobson
That's the Way It Is appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although it occasionally showed its age, for the most part the picture looked absolutely wonderful, with a vivid quality that belied its maturity.
Sharpness usually seemed crisp and well-defined. A few shots came across as mildly soft and fuzzy, but these were extremely rare. The vast majority of the film appeared detailed and distinct. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and print flaws seemed to be almost miraculously absent. I detected a few speckles and a little grain, but otherwise the image appeared wonderfully clean and fresh - you'd never guess this film was shot more than three decades ago.
Colors generally seemed exceedingly bright and vivid. We were treated to some excellent hues in a variety of situations, but it was El's many semi-psychedelic shirts provided the best examples of the DVD's terrific color reproduction. During concerts, lighting and other hues seemed consistently bold and accurate. Some parts of That's the Way It Is went for subdued hues as a stylistic choice, but when the colors were allowed to shine, they definitely did.
Black levels also looked deep and rich, and contrast was solid; Elvis' white jumpsuits appeared pure and clean. Shadow detail seemed appropriately heavy but never excessively thick, a factor that was especially important during the concert sequences. Live shows can be very difficult to reproduce on film, but I found Elvis' performances to come across as clear and vivid in this very attractive film.
Also quite good was the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of That's the Way It Is. For the most part, the soundfield stayed strongly oriented toward the forward channels. As a whole, the audio offered nice stereo separation in the concert sequences, with instruments clearly and specifically located within the forward spectrum. Surround usage seemed mild. Some crowd noise appeared in the rear channels, and I also heard very occasional instrumentation from the back speakers.
The localization seemed a little awkward during some of the rehearsal sequences. Instruments and vocals appeared rigidly stuck in one side or the other of the front soundfield, and they didn't blend especially well. However, the sound mainly just provided clear, smooth stereo imaging, and that worked well for the project.
Audio quality seemed very good. During some of the rehearsal bits, things could sound slightly rough, but those concerns were minor, and when we entered the true concert segments, the audio appeared very clean and professional. Elvis' vocals were rich and distinct, and the various instruments came across as natural and accurate. I thought that the track could have provided more substantial bass; I heard modest low end throughout the film but these elements seemed a little too modest. Nonetheless, the audio for That's the Way It Is provided generally bright and vivid music, and as a result, it presented a very listenable and enjoyable auditory experience.
One disappointment about the presentation relates to the English subtitles. These appear only for spoken material and we don't get song lyrics. That makes no sense to me, as it seems logical to give us subtitles for the lyrics. Ironically, this omission would bother me less if the DVD included no subtitles at all, but since the producers provided some text, why didn't they go all the way?
That's the Way It Is includes a few minor supplements. We find a minor documentary called Patch It Up: the Restoration of Elvis: That's the Way It Is. While this nine-minute and 10-second program does offer a few details about the creation of the special edition of the movie, for the most part it simply gives us a modest retrospective. Although it wasn't a great piece, it was fun to hear from musicians like James Burton and Ron Tutt, all of whom give us their reflections upon their experiences. It's a superficial piece, but I enjoyed these snippets nonetheless.
Lastly, we get a few DVD basics to round out the package. Cast and Crew provides biographies for Elvis and restoration producer Rick Schmidlin, while Behind the Scenes and Elvis and His Films also give us some brief but interesting text about those areas. In addition, we discover the theatrical trailer for That's the Way It Is; note that this ad is for the original film, not for the special edition.
Although his legacy has lost some luster over the years, Elvis Presley remains one of the all-time great rock stars, and he continues to demand respect for what he did. Unfortunately, Elvis: That's the Way It Is features Elvis as he began his decline. Though the 1970 concert performance occasionally catches fire, too much of it resides in the category of campy blandness. The DVD offers splendid picture and solid sound but lacks substantial extras. Elvis fans will definitely enjoy the piece, but those who are less familiar with his work may want to start out with something else, as That's the Way It Is doesn't present the King in the best light.
The genius of Elvis Presley is celebrated with the release of the defining concert movie Elvis: That's The Way It Is - Special Edition. The film chronicles Presley's 1970 Las Vegas tour and this special edition is totally re-cut and restored. Film archivist / restorer Rick Schmidlin (Greed, Touch of Evil) has recovered more incomparable music - over thirty minutes of rare performances - from studio vaults in this dazzling rejuvenation. Capturing Elvis both on stage and off, the film follows Elvis from the MGM Studio rehearsals and his endearing clowning, through to the Las Vegas warm up and the show itself. And what a show! With digitally re-mastered sound and pristine images, this is an Elvis at the height of his powers, holding an audience spellbound with his charisma, talent and amazing voice.
Tracks include: 'Suspicious Minds', 'One Night', 'The Wonder of You' and 'In The Ghetto'. If ever there was evidence needed that Elvis was the King of Rock 'n' Roll, then Elvis: That's The Way It Is - Special Edition is it.