I was SO excited when my U.P.S. driver delivered my package from Amazon containing my copies of the new ALOHA and '68 COMEBACK DVD's on Tuesday!!
I immediately opened both of them and looked at the packaging for both, and I have to say that the packaging for both sets is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!! RCA/EPE did an OUTSTANDING job with both packages....everything from the covers (I know some people find the ALOHA cover a bit bland and boring, but I think it works nicely, in my opinion) to the booklets....just a completely top notch effort from everyone who worked on these projects!! (y)
BUT THEN...I started watching the first DVD in the ALOHA set...and I just have to say that I AM IN LOVE!!!! The quality is so crisp and clear throughout the whole disc....no flaws, skips or other glitches as some people have unfortunately been reporting they have found with their copies! Everything worked perfectly, and looked FANTASTIC!!! I was just in such awe of the whole first DVD!!!
Although I personally found the raw helicopter footage to be a bit slow going (would probably not watch that portion too often), it was fascinating to see!!
As for the rehearsal show....all I can say is WOW!!! They definitely did a remarkable job with the reediting of this show....I LOVE the montage effect they employed during BURNING LOVE, with Elvis on top of the screen and also on the bottom....just outstanding!! And, I was absolutely floored with the beginning of MY WAY where they did the close-up of his face and you could clearly see the emotion as he sang the song! And, did anyone else notice his eyes seeming to glance off to his right, almost as if he was reading the lyrics from Charlie's music stand? The whole show was just ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!!
And the final segment of disc one, with the original January '73 broadcast was once again OUTSTANDING!!! I loved EVERY MINUTE of it, including the much wider camera shot they used when Elvis took off his belt and threw it into the audience!!
Disc Two was just as awesome!! The outtakes from the after-hours session were very interesting to watch...kind of neat, although hard on the eyes because of the way they arranged it with both camera angles on screen at the same time!! That got to be a bit frustrating for me to watch at times, but fun nevertheless...
And watching the American broadcast of the special was fun, although I certainly would enjoy watching the original January broadcast much more often! The montage effect is quite outdated, when you have the original January broadcast to compare it to! Plus I think the bonus songs (BLUE HAWAII, EARLY MORNIN' RAIN) kind of slow down the pace of the show, although the performances themselves are quite good! Personally, I will probably watch the January broadcast more often!!
The only negative I can find so far with the new ALOHA set is that they still didn't address the issue of the back-up singers being so low in the mix...it's especially noticable (and frustrating to listen to) during AMERICAN TRILOGY when it's quite hard to hear them....this first popped up on the last set of VHS videos for ALOHA and ALT. ALOHA that were released, and I was kind of hoping they would fix that problem this time around. While it is a bit easier to hear them here on the DVD's as opposed to the VHS videos, they are still quite far back in the mix and it would be nicer to have them up more, especially during solos like TRILOGY! Aside from this, I really have NO COMPLAINTS about the ALOHA DVD set at all!!!
AN ABSOLUTELY FIRST RATE, TOP NOTCH JOB from RCA/EPE on this set!!! I am VERY IMPRESSED!!!
Still haven't had time to watch the '68 special yet, but will be doing that soon and I will give my review of that when I have a chance to finish watching that set!!