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Scrolling through the 135+ comments, I'm amazed at how outraged so many viewers are at the "excessive violence," "explicit sex," "foul language," etc., etc., etc. C'mon. A film is advertised as Elvises robbing a Las Vegas casino during an Elvis convention. How much more lead in do you want? You expect, action, thrills and ... content? Amazing. Listen. This is one of the funniest, outrageous films I've seen in a long time. Yes. The story's incredible. But, in any film, we have to consider the level at which we're willing to "buy in." I mean, some people were outraged at the farting scenes in Shrek. Now, they're complaining because Russell and Costner-- especially the latter-- are too violent. Well, let's go back a year or so when Russell and Costner both made Wyatt Earp films, playing the title roles. From my view, both vehicles were ghastly but entertaining. So, I submit that what we have here is the COSTNER and RUSSELL Revenge vehicle. Costner is always on the leafy edge, whether he's dancing with wolves, building baseball fields for ghosts or water-skiing as bait for sea monsters. Russell, whose track record in shoot 'em-ups is no less than Stallone or Arnie, is likewise coming off some hound dog roles, such as being an automated soldier, a remake of his Escape from New York (LA? Why'd anyone want to go there in the first place?) and the sci-fi Stargate. Now, we get these two guys in a mindless, black comedy, full of S&V-- the most since the cult film Thursday-- with quirky twists and turns. Mindless violence? Yes. Gratuitious sex? Yes. Entertaining? Yes-- but only if you don't take it too seriously. I loved it.
Like True Romance, and Pulp Fiction this film is movie junk food that I love to eat. Film purest will classify this film as crap, and so it is; but this is crap that the masses want and the movie elite hates. For action films this is great, a few slow parts, and the action scene at the end got a little predictable, with the high kill counts, but rebounds with a great ending. An old western show down, and being a road movie it gives the junk food escapism I love and need. The acting is great, Costner plays such a great jerk in this film, his attitude makes the viewer dislike him, like a bad guys in wrestling. Costner should keep playing bad guys. I believe this is his strong point. Russell plays the hero or the not too bad bad guy. Russell character is the all American type he acts too the tee. Stay at the end of this film for they have a bonus with the credits, an Elvis video and a funny out take from the film. Taker easy, and give yourself a break and watch this film.
Directed with a slightly overused yet still very affective "artsy" style by
relative Hollywood virgin Demian Lichtenstein, GRACELAND starts with a
Judging from the television spots and theatrical trailers one would assume
the film revolves around the slowly bubbling brewing plan to knock off a
Vegas casino dressed as Elvises on International Elvis Night. But that is
where you would be wrong. The ten minutes of nonstop action that are a
result of the casino robbery (and in a weird dimension almost mirror the
bank robbery scene in HEAT)happen in the first ten minutes of the movie;
other 120 minutes, revolve around the aftermath and repercussions of the
Costner, who I swear to God will never do wrong in my eyes, does well for himself departing from the usual character and plays a bad guy. The great thing about this film is that all the characters are bad guys, we just have to decide how bad they are and how much we want to let ourselves care about them. Costner, is the baddest of them all, and eventually it becomes clear that the bad guy we are supposed to care about is the one played by the best "Average Guy" actor of all time---- Kurt Russell (remember BREAKDOWN?)
In any case we have the romance, Courtney Cox and Russell. We have the bloody, cold hearted illegitimate (possibly) son of Elvis, Costner. We have the two cops chasing them, Kevin Pollack and Thomas Haden Church who compliment each other with wonderful chemistry. And we have the slew of supporting actors that plug up any possible holes the film might (but doesn't) have; Howie Long, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine (a Black Elvis), Ice-T, Christian Slater. Blah Blah Blah.
This film on the whole becomes the first film in quite some time that I know I will see multiple times in the theater, and one that I am sure I will eventually know all the words to. Making it the fourth of the Costner Movies I can recite word for word (Robin Hood, Tin Cup, Postman)
The relatively young director also made a unique decision in the editing of the film, allowing both of its stars, (Costner and Russell) cut their own version of the film. Costner's version concentrated more on the action, the blood, the guts, the death, the explosion, the "F" word with a strange annunciation of the "G". And Russell's focused on the budding, and slowly blossoming love between Cox and himself. Costner's cut won, but I can't see anywhere that film lacks because of it. overall this is one of the most fully fleshed, well rounded films I have seen in quite a while.
I loved it.
Blah, Blah, Blah. Yes, there is a lot of violence and foul language in this movie. If that is the sort of thing that offends you than don't see this movie. If not, this was a great action movie. I was really surprised because of negative reviews. I wanted to see it in the movie theater, but couldn't find anyone else to go. I regret now not seeing it at the theater. Costner was EXCELLENT as the bad guy. Russell was good too. And there was an excellent supporting cast. You will see this movie and after you were done with it you will say this movie was different than I thought - guaranteed. This is a perfect example of critics killing a great movie (it was the violence and language). One of the best action movies I have ever seen.
OK, it a piece of trash. It is one of those guilty pleasures of mine.
You know, the movie you are not supposed to like, but can't resist
every time it comes on.
I mean, look at this cast: Kevin Costner from The BodyGuard, one of my favorites; Kurt Russell from Grindhouse; Christian Slater and Howie Long from Broken Arrow; Kevin Pollak from Hostage; Ice-T as the token rapper; and the best part of all, Courteney Cox, in a role that is so far from Friends that it is a classic.
This film is funny (Jon Lovitz), sweet (David Kaye), and has more action than you could ever ask for in a heist film. It has showgirls, an Elvis convention, and, I don't care if people diss Costner, Russell, and Cox, the film is just fun to watch.
After hearing a lot of bad reports on this movie I was pleasantly surprised when I finally saw it. The acting is good, Kevin Costner's bad guy is great, it's well filmed with a lot of excellent cinematography, combined with absolutely perfect use of the soundtrack from minor audio cues right through to the explosions. This is not a sophisticated movie, but in its genre it is excellent.
I saw elements of "Out of Sight" and "Honeymoon in Vegas" in this action
movie. The film deals with a heist pulled off by thieves posing as Elvis
impersonators during a convention, and their following dillemas afterwards.
The film becomes fairly predictable and unbelievable in the ensuing chaos,
as most of the action takes place in showdowns between Kurt Russell and
Kevin Costner's characters, the latter of whom claims to be an illegitimate
child of Elvis. I thought it was a pretty good movie, and you might find
something you like in it.
** 1/2 out of ****
This started with such great style, color and pizazz, I thought I had
discovered a real "sleeper," a film I didn't expect to be good that was
turning out to be very entertaining.
Well, after the big Las Vegas heist and shortly thereafter when we got a full look at the wild characters and even wilder action scenes, the film settled down and the dialog took over. Unfortunately, that was the film's downfall as the dialog is either incredibly stupid and-or annoying in the second half of this movie. Most annoying was this young kid, you know - the smart-ass kind that says things NO kid his age would say in real life. He also had a foul mouth, and I don't like to see that from young kids.
All the characters in here are pretty much low-life people, the worst being the one played by Kevin Costner, who seemed to relish this role. If you like low-class people, you'll like this story. I gave it points for the style and the fast-moving story, but it's too unpleasant overall for me.
`3000 Miles to Graceland' isn't quite as dopey as the cover art featuring
Kurt Russell and Kevin Kostner clad in Elvis regalia would suggest.
Although it breaks little new ground in its already overworked genre, the
film does emerge as an efficient crime drama thanks to a gallery of
interesting characters, some impressive performances and Demian
Lichtenstein's flashy directorial style.
After a shaky first half hour or so, in which the film seems to be struggling to establish its direction and tone, the movie miraculously hits its stride and, thereafter, never really lets up. The story centers around a band of ex-cons, united by their almost obsessive love for the King of rock'n'roll, who decide to knock over a Las Vegas casino dressed as Elvis impersonators. Predictably, the heist serves merely as the pretext for one of them, the obviously psychotic Murphy (Kostner), to cold-bloodedly eliminate his accomplices. The fly in his ointment turns out to be Michael Zane (Russell), the most principled one of the group, who survives the holocaust and spends his time, along with a pretty single mother and her precocious child, trying to keep out of Murphy's way.
In terms of plotting, the film follows a pretty traditional route for this kind of film. However, the characters here seem a bit more fleshed out than they often do in some of those other films, particularly Zane, who seems caught between his criminal inclinations and his innate goodness as a human being. Cybil, the single mother played by Courteney Cox, likewise seems conflicted between genuine love and emotion and the excitement of easy wealth and a life lived on the edge. But it is Kostner as Murphy who sets the real tone for the film. His portrayal of a steely-eyed psychotic killer literally sets the teeth on edge, as he callously mows down scores of policemen and innocent bystanders who happen to get in his way. He makes for a truly soul-cringing villain. Russell, who played the actual legend back in his own younger, more halcyon days, makes a fascinating subtle counterpoint to Murphy's unbridled ruthlessness.
The film is not, however, a total success. For one thing, the violence often seems excessively brutal, graphic and mean spirited for a movie that seems to want to be a lark of sorts (after all, a movie featuring robbers dressed as Elvis impersonators can't be bidding to be taken too seriously). Moreover, the plotting, which far too often relies on unlikely coincidences to keep it rolling, also borders frequently on the incoherent. Finally, the morally ambiguous ending doesn't really sit well with those of us who find a couple of thieves, no matter how charming they may appear to be, unlikely candidates for heroism in the context of a `happy' ending.
All in all, however, `3000 Miles to Graceland' will probably appeal to those who like their crime dramas offbeat, quirky and filled with interesting characters.
Costner's best bad guy role since Eastwood's "A Perfect World". He is an Elvis-loving criminal who robs a casino with his buddies and proceeds with plans to annihilate them all before they can collect their share of the loot. Simple set-up, heavy-handed execution. The thing is, though, it works as mindless, forgettable trash. Director Demian Lichtenstein is clearly churning out his Boys Own Gun Movie and he does so with unapologetic enthusiasm and not a single concession to political correctness. Which is refreshing. As usual, Kurt Russell is fine as the guy Costner underestimates and gets a world of trouble from. The climax is predictable, unfortunately, and doesn't leave us with much to chew on, but the overwrought stylings are the thing. The shoot-outs are big and brassy, and there is much collateral damage to be had. The Elvis angle is misleading because it suggests a lighter movie in the "Honeymoon in Vegas" mold; but there is no lightness here, just nihilism and firearm fetishism.
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