I suspect that the extended release will be that 2 and a half hour version which was pretty great.
I find the comment that "This is Elvis" is not for the general public interesting as I have always taken it as Elvis for beginners. By the way if you can get one of Roger Ebert's old film guides, you can read the 3 1/2 star (of four) review he gives the movie.
My problem with the movie is that the narration is often clumsily handled and that nearly all of the dramatic recreations, save perhaps Elvis in Tupelo are dubious. But, they help retain the dramatic arc of the film better than stills. I'm also not crazy about the overdubs on some recordings. To me these are completely unnecessary.
Still though for a clip fest it's about as lively as you can get. Despite its flaws, it engages you in a way that "The Great Performances" never really does. It gives you almost a real movie feeling in its best moments and really gives you a sense of who Elvis was and why he was important. And the commentary, although strained, combined with the clips does give the perspective of going through it all with Elvis. I think Elvis would have loved the "Too Much Monkey Business" movie montage. It's hilarious.
The movie's ending is unbearably sad. I also like the way the producers capture Elvis' final triumph at the end with the clip of maybe the best ever performance of "American Trilogy". Elvis hits that note at the end, the crowd goes wild and he gives that little smile showing genuine pleasure and amazement. It really shows the beauty of Elvis the performer and how much of that comes from the man himself and his fans.
I look forward to the DVD. Hope it's released in the US.