Plot: What’s it about?
When Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) finally returns home from his military tour of duty, the last thing on his mind is entering the business world. But this is what his mother (Angela Lansbury) thinks he should do, and work his way into a comfortable executive position. Then again, his parents aren’t the most fun loving folks on the planet. And really, as if Chad’s surroundings, the beautiful landscapes of Hawaii will allow him to stay inside anyway. So in order to make some money, Chad gets a job as a tour guide on the island, showing the tourists and visitors around the island. While he expected to see some sights, he had no idea the sights would come to him, as his tour group seems to laced with lovely ladies. Talk about a great first day on the job, huh? He could just give them the normal tour of the scenic sights, but Chad decides to offer the ladies a special tour, filled with music, fun, and perhaps some romance. The island will be filled with rock ‘n’ roll by the time Chad is through, and even the most stuffy businessman will be hula dancing with the rest of us.
Oh yeah, Elvis has entered the building, the DVD building that is. While See See Rider plays, I have to admit I have a soft spot for movies with Elvis. I mean, it just seems like his films offer an instant good time. No violence, no profanity, no bad stuff, unless you’re one of the folks who thinks his hip wiggling is a tool of the devil. While you won’t find those elements present in this film, you will find a rollicking good time, packed with the good time tunes of Elvis, who we all know is in fact, truly The King. Elvis hits some good notes this film with songs including Blue Hawaii (of course), Hawaiian Wedding Song, Rock-A-Hula-Baby, and more. I love the song Rock-A-Hula-Baby, and this film’s atmosphere only adds to how much I like it. This isn’t my personal favorite of Elvis’ cinematic efforts, but I do feel it’s a must have for lovers of the films of the man. This one is filled with humor and music, which means it’s bound to be a hit with most fans. The disc itself is average, but the visual presentation leaves much to be desired and extras are sparse, so rent before you hammer down your money on this one.
While this cast features other performers, this movie relies on one man to carry the show, and that man is Elvis Presley, the king of rock ‘n’ roll himself. While he best known for his musical efforts, Elvis also had an extensive film career, and his movies have amassed quite a following. Elvis plays a young man filled with energy and passion, and he looks and acts the part in utter perfection. Sure, his acting might leave a little to be desired, but man, he sure is fun to watch. And that’s the reason to watch Elvis’ movies, to be entertained, not to watch superb traditional acting performances. If you like this film, you’re bound to get a kick out of Elvis’ other flicks, which include Kid Galahad, Clambake, and Harum Scarum. Please, whoever owns the rights to Clambake, I need this film on DVD! This film features a downright disturbing performance by Angela Lansbury (Tv’s Murder She Wrote), who is almost eerie in her madness here. The supporting cast includes Joan Blackman (Macon County Line, Shivers), Nancy Walters (The Singing Nun), and Jenny Maxwell (Shotgun Wedding).
Video: How does it look?
Blue Hawaii is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The enchanting landscapes of Hawaii look gorgeous here, with vivid and rich colors, which never bleed or oversaturate. The blues especially look wonderful in this transfer, and flesh tones are natural and distortion free. Also in good form is the contrast, which never overshadows the elements, thanks to well defined shadows which never obscure detail. Now, this all sounds good, but when the print is plagued by nicks, grain, and compression errors, the colors don’t matter much anymore. The condition of this film is quite bad, this film deserves a restoration and a new release.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains the original mono recording as well as a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, and guess which one sounds better? For those of you on crack, the DDS 5.1 tracks wins, of course. Since this title is musical in nature, the surrounds kick into gear quite often, and the music sounds full and enveloping. The dialogue and minor effects sound excellent as well, no distortion at all in the front channels.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In the usual Paramount tradition, only the theatrical trailer is included as far as bonus materials.