Released through Elvis Presley Enterprises is the box set “Elvis – The Ultimate Film Collection”, is the box filled with new goodies?
The set comes in a cardboard box with a suitcase look. Inside two multi DVD boxes, two 16-page collector booklets with film synopses, photographs, trivia and behind-the-scenes stories, a copy of Elvis's script from the movie “Jailhouse Rock”. And from the Graceland Archives: “The Elvis Movie Files”, a collection of duplicates of vintage news clippings and confidential documents relating to Elvis's film career from the files of his illustrious longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker. This “old” material is always fun to read, it are reactions and reviews from the original time of release, and not looking back knowing the outcome as we do today. The goodies end with a collection of six 8"x10" photographs of Elvis from the production of some of his films and a collection of 5"x7" reprints of the original movie posters for all 9 MGM films and for the “Elvis: Black Leather” disc.
The main content of this movie collection are of course the movies. We’ll skip the movies “Jailhouse Rock”, ”It Happened at the World's Fair”, ”Viva Las Vegas”, ”Harum Scarum”, ”Spinout”, ”Double Trouble”, ”Speedway”, ”The Trouble With Girls”, and ”Elvis: That's The Way It Is, Special Edition” because we all have or know them. At first glance it are the same versions as we already have in our collection when we bought these when they were released on DVD for the first time.
The most interesting movie is “Elvis: Black Leather” with highlights form the “’68 Comeback Special”. This special edit of the show was created for distribution to European television stations starting in 2005. It contains the traditional Trouble/Guitar Man show opener and a special white suit/black leather suit combination of the If I Can Dream show closer. The balance of the disc contains highlights of Elvis's "black leather stand-up" and "black leather sit-down jam session" performances that were shot as a source of core content for the original TV special. Always a joy to watch, but again, nothing really new.
The most fun to watch is the second bonus DVD with “Elvis Movie Music Performances”. A compilation with musical performances was available on bootleg, and finally it is available officially. This release contains two performances, "Bridge Over Trouble Water" and "I've Lost You" which were on the original "TTWII" but not on the "Special Edition" release. For the disc itself goes why not release this worldwide? The problem with this and the “Black Leather” discs is that they don’t come in surround sound.
For the collectors in us the most interesting part is the unreleased material. Well there isn’t any. The “unreleased” audio is taken from the Follow That Dream series, so most of us will have this in their collection. But still, it is a nice compilation of some of the better movie performances in an alternate version, giving this compilation a different sound than the standard compilation.
It is a well designed package for collectors, with some nice goodies, but unfortunately nothing “new” besides compilations of material we already have several times.