Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 64° Rain

Friday’s openings: Ain’t nothin’ but Baz’s hound dog

Dan Webster

Above: Austin Butler stars as Elvie Presley in Bad Luhrman's "Elvis." (Photo/Warner Bros.)

Baz Luhrman loves his music. Who could doubt this with films such as “Moulin Rouge!” and the rock ’n’ roll Shakespeare adaptation “Romeo+Juliet” on his resumé.

And now he’s tackling the tale of Elvis Presley, that legend of mid-20th century rock.

Luhrman’s “Elvis,” starring Austin Butler as Presley and Tom Hanks as his manager (and guru) Col. Tom Parker, headlines Friday’s mainstream openings. The horror film “The Black Phone” is also on the slate.

“Elvis”: Butler portrays The King from Memphis from before he was a star, keying on his complicated relationship with the Dutch-born Parker.

Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine wrote, “Does Luhrmann show us the real Elvis, or is he just re-embroidering the Elvis who already lives in our imagination? The answer seems to be that Luhrmann sees equal value in fact and myth.”

Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “To complain that ‘Elvis’ is basically a compilation of musical-biopic conventions is a bit like complaining about a greatest-hits album; it also misses… [Luhrmann’s] ability to suffuse clichés with sincerity, energy and feeling.”

“The Black Phone”: A kidnapped boy receives phone calls from the victims of his creepy kidnapper (who, notably, is played by Ethan Hawke).

Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote, “ ‘The Black Phone’ carries you along on its own terms – that is, if you accept that it’s less an ingenious freak-out of a thriller than a kind of stylized contraption.”

That’s all for the moment. I’ll update as the week progresses.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.