DVD Review: Elvis & Nixon

ElvisDVDSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Liza Johnson | CAST: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, Ashley Benson
RELEASE DATE: 7/19/16 | PRICE: DVD $15.59, Blu-ray $24.99
BONUSES: director’s commentary, featurette
SPECS: R | 86 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

 

The stranger-than-fiction meeting of music superstar Elvis Presley and American president Richard M. Nixon is a pairing made for the ages, and this humorous, well-acted account of the get-together offers diverting entertainment for history fans and pop culture enthusiasts even though the film didn’t really click at the box-office.

elvis_and_nixon_optThe story goes that in December 1970, Elvis (Michael Shannon, 99 Homes) decides he wants to be made a special federal agent, so he decides to head to Washington to ask Nixon (Kevin Spacey, TV’s House of Cards) to deputize him as a special DEA agent. Kind of ironic considering “The King”’s increasing dependency on meds.

The film follows all of the goofball incidents leading up to the event, including how both the Elvis and Nixon camps try to control the summit, but ultimately have to bow to the two larger-than-life personalities.  Johnny Knoxville (Jackass franchise) and Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike) are Elvis handlers, while Colin Hanks  (Barry Munday) and Evan Peters impress on the administration side.

While Elvis & Nixon doesn’t match the number of laughs or stylish approach of the now-forgotten 1997 made-for-Showtime gem Elvis Meets Nixon (featuring Rick Peters as the singer and Bob Gunton as the politician), it does entertain in a low-key way at odds with the bombast of its two protagonists.

Buy or Rent Elvis & Nixon
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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.