What can we say about this product after all reviews that appeared over the last couple of months? We included a lot of them on our site, but of course we have to say something about it ourselves after receiving the DVD finally.
Let’s start with the most negative. It took way too long before we got it. The DVD was scheduled for January 2001, but was postponed because of copyright problems. “Are You Lonesome”, which was used during the closing credits, had to be removed. The new date was set for early March, and some did receive their version by then. Unfortunately there was a major mistake in the cover-art discovered and Turner decided to withdraw it to replace the cover. Finally, April 2001 the DVD was ready, after they repaired the track list (by removing the additional features that were supposed to be in first), but left another irritating mistake. A couple of the small pictures used on the package aren’t from “That’s The Way It Is” but for instance from "On Tour". Obviously they didn’t pay much attention to that design.
The movie itself is indeed much, much better than the original. Focused completely on the artist Elvis Presley, instead of the icon, one gets a very good impression on the artistic capabilities of the greatest entertainer ever. It is hardly possible to point out highlights on this product, or it must be technical ones like the mix of “Twenty Days and Twenty Nights”. With a gun in the back we would say that “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “One Night” and the new edit of “Suspicious Minds” are highlights, but merely that is because they are “new”. Also the showing of the human side of Elvis, scratching his ass, picking his nose or blowing a mike is fun to see, especially in this marvelous quality. Speaking of quality, both the image and sound quality are fantastic.
It’s a pity that the extra footage wasn’t included, like the removed songs from the original (“I’ve Lost You”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “I Just Can’t Help Believin’” are really missed) and the "Patch It Up" look behind the scenes doesn't make up for the tracks we miss. But we are already looking forward to “That’s The Way It Is SE – The Sequel”. Hopefully it will turn out to be more than daydreaming.
What's Missing From The TTWII DVD
Some early copies of the DVD where sent out with the bonus material still listed before Warner realized the mistake and halted the release while they reprinted the packaging. When you open the flap and you read the contents on the left (Top) it says "scene index" and then it goes from 1 through 31, which is the newly released program and that's all perfect. But then right under that, (bottom) it says: "Plus the following bonus selections, many available for the firsttTime:
Don't / Baby Let's Play House / Cattle Call / Eating Burgers / Farther Along / Hey Jude / I Just Can't Help Believin' / I've Lost You / Little Sister/Get Back (Alternate) / Mystery Train/Tiger Man (Alternate) / Oh, Happy Day / Party Sequence / Poem/Walk a Mile in My Shoes
Something / Stranger in the Crowd / Sweet Caroline /
Yesterday / You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (Alternate)
We can only hope that this DVD gives enough profit to make “On Tour SE” possible (next year? 25th Anniversary of Elvis’ death and 30th of “On Tour”!) first. Looking at this release we now know what's possible. It's up to the owners of the various movies.