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VIVA LAS VEGAS

VIVA LAS VEGAS ($25) is one of Elvis Presley’s most entertaining and magical films, despite the fact that the plot and characters are completely disposable. What sets VIVA LAS VEGAS apart from the other formula films in which he appeared was his costar Ann-Margret. When VIVA LAS VEGAS was made, Ann-Margret was at the height of her sex-kitten appeal, and the film uses her to a tremendous advantage. Another feather in this film’s cap is the undeniable chemistry between Elvis and Ann-Margret. Their on-screen pairing literally sizzles (almost as much as their relationship did off-screen).

There is a sexual tension in their musical numbers, as well as in their glances at each other. The plot of VIVA LAS VEGAS places the action squarely in the desert gambling capital. Elvis is a race car driver trying to secure the funds for a new engine in time for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Ann-Margret is the hotel swim instructor to whom Elvis is immediately attracted. Cesare Danova is Elvis’ romantic rival and competitor on the racetrack. The cast of VIVA LAS VEGAS also features William Demarest, Nicky Blair and Jack Carter. Director George Sidney keeps things light and frothy and the musical numbers are staged with a bouncy exuberance.

MGM Home Entertainment offers VIVA LAS VEGAS in both Letterboxed and pan and scan presentations on opposite sides of the DVD. The pan and scan presentation crops away about half the image of the anamorphic wide screen film, so it certainly isn’t the best way to view this film. The cropped transfer has respectable image quality and color, although blowing up the image to fit the television aspect ratio introduces extra film grain. The Letterboxed transfer is fantastic looking. Not only is this Panavision film presented with most of its 2.35:1 theatrical framing intact, the image is finely detailed and the colors are terrific. I don’t think this Metrocolor film looked as good in the theater, as it does on this DVD. Digital compression artifacts were never bothersome on either the Letterboxed or pan and scan presentations.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack sounded pretty good and will take a fair amount of amplification. Other soundtrack options include a French language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Interactive menus feature access to a theatrical trailer as well as the standard scene selections.

All reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 
VIVA LAS VEGAS 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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