MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:32 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kevin Costner, Susanna Thompson, Kathy Bates, Joe Morton, Linda Hunt
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 2002
Kiddie Movie: Nah. Leave them at home.
Date Movie: She might get a little scared and grab your arm.
Gratuitous Sex: One kinda sensual scene, but nothing bad, other than some jungle tribe women with their breasts exposed – kinda like National Geographic.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Only as it got dumb.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

Dear Movie Promotion People,
Please stop telling me in your ads that this movie “has a surprise ending” that you shouldn’t tell anyone, it will astound you, it will make you inspired, or some other crap like that. You want to know why? Because then I, the person who sees a few too many movies, will be able to ruin the surprise ending myself because of the obvious foreshadowing that most likely will be in the film.

The Dude on the Right

I try sometimes not to pay attention to the foreshadowing in a movie, but when you tell me there is a surprise ending, it just makes it so much easier to find it. Such was my case with “Dragonfly.”

“Dragonfly” gives us Kevin Costner in another role where we wonder what might have possessed him to take the role. It’s not that it’s a bad role, it’s just that it is a role that doesn’t fit him, nor his acting ability. For this one he is a doctor, Dr. Joe Darrow to be specific, and his wife apparently dies in an avalanche accident in Venezuela. He’s having a pretty hard time with her death, especially with his atheistic ways and the fact that they didn’t find the body, but then things start happening. First we find the connection between Emily (Susanna Thompson), his wife, and the whole dragonfly thing. Now the good doctor has a dragonfly paperweight mysteriously role around in the bedroom, little kids in the hospital cancer ward have messages from Emily to Joe telling him to meet her at the rainbow, only where is this mystical rainbow? Then his parrot goes berserk, the little kids have been making drawings, and yes, eventually the Doc figures out where he should go. I could just go ahead and give the ending away, but I’ll let you go to the movie and see if you can figure it out before it happens just like I was able to do.

The problem with “Dragonfly” isn’t that it is a bad movie, I think it’s just that it tries too hard to push this message of Doctor Joe getting a message from beyond. Other movies have done it subtly, with great success, and the messages from the little kids when they have their near-death experiences is fine, but when the scene comes where Joe starts to pack away Emily’s stuff, then gets distracted by strange noises in the house, then comes back to the room and all of her stuff is back in its original place, it just took the movie to the wrong level and totally tosses out any credibility the movie was trying to have. And that’s too bad.

“Dragonfly” does have some potential, and the ending is touching, but I saw it coming a mile away. Costner does his best to pull of the role, but as the movie became more of a joke than something I could take seriously, well, it was almost too bad his performance was wasted, as well as that of Kathy Bates as his lawyer/neighbor, trying to help Joe through his wife’s death. The movie went for cheap “shock-factor” things, like the little boy, dead on the table, suddenly opening his eyes, and it really didn’t need to because the story was already there.

In the end I’ll give “Dragonfly” 2 ½ stars out of 5. Catch a matinee, or wait for the video, but just don’t expect too much.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

3000 Miles to Graceland

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:05 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

3000 Miles to Graceland
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz, Howie Long, Thomas Haden Church, Bokeem Woodbine, Ice-T
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: Don’t even think about bringing them.
Date Movie: She might get a little scared and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: You know it’s happening but no nakedness.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of it.
Action: Some, but out of the ordinary.
Laughs: It did have some good jokes.
Memorable Scene: Robbing the casino and Murphy in the car with the bubble-gum girl.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Demian Lichtenstein

“3000 Miles to Graceland” is one of those movies that had just about every element needed to make it cutting edge, but somehow all of those elements just couldn’t come together. It had sex, it almost had nudity, it had quality kills, and it had a story of robbery and double-crossing. Even with all of that I came out of the theater unfulfilled.

“3000 Miles to Graceland”, which I’ll now call 3KMTG, stars Kurt Russell as Michael and Kevin Costner as Murphy. Michael just got out of jail, Murphy a little earlier, and their plan is to rob a casino. It seemed like a good plan – they would be disguised as Elvis imitators, the group of the five of them, and head for the money counting room armed with various forms of artillery. We get many a quality kill as they get the bag-load of dough, they get away, and it’s time to divvy up the cash. But there is dissension in the group, especially with one of the gang now dead, and you know what, the underlying rule of the game is you can never trust a thief. Therefore trust no one.

So you’ve got the story of the thieves, but 3KMTG also throws in a story of Michael getting some action from Cybil (Courteney Cox), but then getting double-crossed as Cybil uses her son to trick Michael while she takes the cash. Who’s gonna get the money, is Cybil trustworthy or just using everyone she can, why can’t cops with laser-sighting hit the bad guys, and is Murphy really an illegitimate son of Elvis? These are just many of the questions we find in the movie. Some are answered, some are not, and some aren’t necessary.

Like I said before, though, with all of these things going on they just don’t come together to make a captivating movie. I liked the story, the quality kills were pretty quality, and Courteney looks good in underwear, but even with all of this it didn’t hit the level of “Pulp Fiction” that this movie seemed to be shooting for, and it could have. Kevin Costner was in one of his best roles in a while, Kurt Russell was great as the bad but still good guy, Courteney played it well as the dudette not knowing if she should be in it for money or for love, and Ice-T was just too cool.

I just wish things didn’t get stupid, especially at the end. Let’s take Murphy and two other bad guys against a slew of SWAT members. Both sides are heavily armed, Ice-T comes through the warehouse, upside down, spinning, and taking out a good number of the good guys, and even with the laser-sightings the good guys can’t seem to hit the bad guys. And if that weren’t enough, how do you lose an ambulance? God this movie had potential.

In the end, even with the quality kills, 3KMTG gets 2 ½ stars from me. It had potential and didn’t get there, but it did have some of the best shoot-em-up scenes in a movie. If only Courteney had gotten naked.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!