Recently released are two DVD sets, presented by Mike Freeman. “Elvis’ Memphis” and “Beyond Memphis” bring a tour through historical Elvis-related locations. First, let’s go to the place were it all started… “Elvis’ Memphis”.
The design is simple but effective. Everybody recognize Elvis’ famous Jailhouse Rock pose, we don’t need a face there (but it would have been welcome). The two discs are simply in a white red gradient with a label, just telling which of the two discs it is.
The menus are a bit hard to read, because of the chosen font. Gladly it is not so bad that you need to gamble.
Those who met Mike Freeman know he loves to talk to people. That’s exactly what he does on this DVDs. Nothing wrong with that, but obviously the sound(wo)man is the target, since he hardly looks into the camera. That is about the biggest minor I could find in this 2 DVD set of nearly 220 minutes! Overall the sound is good (although you can hear the wind pretty loudly sometimes) and the images are sharp, except for some transitions and “car scenes”. Unlike what Amazon mentions the DVDs are region free (and not region 1 only).
Spread over the two discs Mike takes the viewer to probably every Elvis related spot in Memphis, including some “former locations”. For people like me who don’t have the money to visit Memphis every year and are too lazy to film themselves, it is a great recollection of memories. Audubon Drive, Fort Lauderdale Courts, Stax, Sun, Graceland, the Overton Shell and many more do all get their minute of fame.
Next to the “intimate” guided tour there are interviews with several people, restaurant keepers, Lansky… and George Klein. The interview with the latter, which is almost a monologue by G.K. last for about 45 minutes. Not one single one of them is boring. Boy, has that guy some recollections in a honest and sometimes touching way. No wonder George is still one of the most popular in the “inner circle”.
This set was a welcome surprise just around the holidays! It would have been great if some things were decorated with more pictures or footage, but probably that is a copyright related matter. One of the biggest pros on this set is that it is not “decorated” with the usual irritating country tune, but with some great blues tracks.