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Movie Review: 3000 Miles to Graceland

Story: I've been to Graceland twice. And I know I will go again. Yes, indeedy, I am a big fan! I loved all of the Elvis'. The young twitching Elvis, the Elvis in the 1968 comeback TV (who could ever forget that black leather outfit) special, the fat Elvis, the drugged Elvis, the Elvis that met with President Nixon and I even liked the Elvis that dated 13 year old girls. I just can't help it. The first oil painting I ever made was of Elvis (the Love Me Tender years). If you are a fan, you know what I mean. The compulsion was in me. I simply had to go to see this film.

The story actually could have been interesting but director and writer Demian Lichtenstein opted for the been there, gonna copy that school of film-making. That school of thought is, when in doubt, blow something up. An ex-con, believes he is the illegitimate son of Elvis but has been denied his share of the King's fortune. He plans and executes a Las Vegas casino heist during an Elvis impersonator week. The film breaks down 23 minutes into the story (I looked at my watch). The characters are cartoonish and flat. It seemed as if the script did not know what to do with a character, he was simply killed...end of problem. Much of the film reminded me of a video game with lots of endless, mindless violence. But strangely enough, with all of what I just said, I was thoroughly entertained. I enjoyed all of the Elvis references, the Elvis swaggers, songs and costumes. (I love sequins.) I found myself smiling and toe-tapping and laughing at inappropriate places in the story. If you like anything Elvis or just enjoy gratuitous violence, this film could be for you. Everyone else should stay home. Elvis and LOBO have left the building. Thank you, thank you very much!

Acting: I am not a fan of Kevin Costner. I think he should have hung up his hat after Dances with Wolves. However, I did enjoy him as the bad, psychotic Elvis. He seemed to enjoy being an angry sociopath. Perhaps he got into the role thinking about all of the bad movies he has made and is just pissed all of the time. Who knows? Kurt Russell (who played Elvis in John Carpenter's 1979 TV movie) was terrific as the good, bad Elvis. He was charming as the middle aged Elvis in black. Stay through the credits and enjoy his music video as Elvis. He still looks good in a cape and sequins. Not a lot of guys can get away with that. Courtney Cox is not too bad as the sex-love interest. Everyone else gets killed too quickly to even notice them. However, what is with the Arquette family? David Arquette (that 1-800 TV ad guy) gives the term obnoxious a new meaning!

Critters: Two coyotes, a Chihuahua and a few scorpions.

Food: There was mention of fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches but other than beer there was no food.

Visual Art: It is Vegas. It is glitter. It is sequins. It is wonderfully tacky.

Blatant Product Placement: Coca Cola

Soundtrack: I enjoyed the Elvis songs but everything else was awful. Paul Anka had a cameo and there was also an old Paul Anka song.

Opening Titles: Some wacky computer generated scorpion video battle in the desert. It made no sense.

Theater Audience: 18 guys and me. I looked for a hidden cape or some sideburns but could not see any.

Squirm Scale: One scene where a coyote gets hit by a car was baaaaaaaaaaaad.

Oscar Worthy: Ha!

Nit Picking: They should have replaced the editor. They also should have spent less on explosives and more on the screenplay.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental. You could rent all 8000 Elvis movies and have yourself a wacky weekend. My favorites are Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock.

Length: 2 hours.

LOBO HOWLS: a very generous 5 in honor of the King.