CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
DVD Review: ‘Elvis 75th Birthday Collection’ Seven-Movie Set
CHICAGO – Attention Elvis Presley fans. Coming out a few months after what would have been his actual birthday on January 8th is the “Elvis 75th Birthday Collection” from 20th Century Fox, which includes seven of the King’s films in one set. With a few hits and a few more unheralded gems, the “75th Birthday Collection” has a very low price point (under $6 a movie) that might make it the perfect Father’s Day gift choice for the patriarch in your family.
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
With no special features and standard video/audio quality, the only notable thing about the “75th Birthday Collection” is the chance to have seven films from Presley’s career in one affordable set. With only the films that Elvis made under the MGM banner available, instantly recognizable hits like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Viva Las Vegas,” and “Girl Happy” are not included (but will be in a massive, 17-film set from WB later this summer). But there’s still a lot to like for fans of the King in this Elvis sampler.
Elvis 75th Birthday Collection was released on DVD on June 8th, 2010
Photo credit: MGM
The seven films, in chronological order, with plot synopses and their technical specs:
“Love Me Tender” (1956) — Widescreen 2.35:1, English Stereo, English Mono, Spanish Mono
“This timeless classic features Elvis singing the title song, one of the world’s most cherished love song. Believing his brother Vance died in the Civil War, Clint Reno (Elvis) marries Vance’s beloved, only to have his brother return home alive.”
“Flaming Star” (1960) — Widescreen 2.35:1, English Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono
“In this frontier adventure, Elvis stars as Pacer Burton, born to a Kiowa mother and a white father. When fighting breaks out between the two groups, Pacer finds himself pulled into the violence despite his peace-making efforts.”
“Follow That Dream” (1961) — Widescreen 2.35:1, Full Screen 1.33:1, English Mono, Spanish Mono
“Good-ol’-boy Toby Kwimper (Elvis) just wants to make a life for himself and his family in sunny Florida. But he soon gets more than he bargained for, hounded by hoods and pursued by a social worker with more than just welfare on her mind.”
“Wild in the Country” (1961) — Widescreen 2.35:1, English Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono
“In this gripping drama, Elvis plays Glenn Tyler, a rebellious backwoods delinquent, gifted with literary talent, while Hope Lange plays the sympathetic psychiatrist who tries to help him. This is Elvis at his untamed bad-boy best!”
“Kid Galahad” (1962) — Widescreen 1.85:1, English Mono
“When a shrewd gambler (Gig Young) attempts to use a young, gallant boxer, Walter Gulick (Elvis), as his pawn, it’s up to Walter to show him what winning’s all about in this one-two punch of an action-packed musical.
“Frankie and Johnny” (1966) — Widescreen 1.66:1, English Mono, French Mono
“Elvis stars with Donna Douglas (TV’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”) in this fiery musical about Frankie and Johnny, two riverboat entertainers with a passion for performing — and each other.”
“Clambake” (1967) — Widescreen 2.35:1, English Mono, Spanish Mono
“A million-heir (Elvis), hoping to learn about life from the bottom up, trades identities with a penniless water-ski instructor. Now without money or title, he’ll have to rely on his charm to compete with a rich playboy (Bill Bixby) for the affection of a beautiful co-ed (Shelley Fabares).”