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Fun In Acapulco

Eddie Murphy once joked that, in an Elvis movie, Elvis could turn anything that happened to him into a song. That's funny in and of itself, but once you've watched a bad Elvis movie (which is everything he made outside of the concert films, Viva Las Vegas, and King Creole) it becomes obvious that many of his numbers are in fact derived from the smallest possible character motivation. In 1963's Fun in Acapulco Elvis gets to sing a real corker, entitled "No Room to Rumba in a Sports Car", which consists of these lyrics:

It was going to be the night tonight,
I was going to get to hold you tight.
But I guess I didn't plan it right,
I never stood a chance,
We couldn't dance!

'Cause there's no room to rumba in a sports car,
You can't move forward or back.
There's no room to do what the beat tells you to
Without throwing your spine outta whack.

And a little kiss I want to steal,
I hit my head against the steering wheel.
Now I know how a pretzel feels,
All I can do is shout,
"Hey let me out!"

(Repeat chorus)

Unfortunately, this little bon mot is the highlight of a thoroughly uninspired King vehicle, as Presley stars as Mike Windgren, a circus performer who becomes a lifeguard and singer when he ends up unemployed in Acapulco. Befriended by Raoul (Larry Domasin) — a cute child who wants to be his manager and is somehow connected to everyone in town — Elvis climbs the ladder of success with Raoul's help and is torn between lovely coworker Marguerita (Ursula Andress) and the famous matador Dolores (Elsa Cardenas). Unfortunately, the infamous cliff-jumper Moreno (Alejandro Rey) is interested in Marguerita, and Elvis has to conquer his fear of heights while choosing between the two ladies. Most of Presley's songs have a Latin flavor in Acapulco, but the numbers are unfortunately bland and never that rocking. Meanwhile, the King is so frequently shot against a blue screen or on a soundstage that one has to suspect he didn't actually go to Acapulco to make the movie. That said, Presley looks good, and his natural charisma would carry the piece further if anything actually happened in it. Paramount's DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and in a restored 2.0 mono and brand-new DD 5.1 mixes. No extras. Keep-case.

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