3000 Miles to Graceland

Tuesday, September 4, 2001

I don't know about you, but I have certain expectations about films that involve the following motifs:

 · Elvis
 · Vegas
 · Robberies
 · Seedy Drifters
 · Duffel Bags Full of Money
 · Old Caddys with Fins

I expect long, slow shots of cars driving through the desert landscape. I expect blues-flavored bar rock on the soundtrack. I expect truly sleazy femme fatale types.

What I certainly do not expect is really bad throbbing techno and astoundingly cheesy "avant-garde" editing. These elements work fine in certain genres, but the low-budget desert road/heist movie really does not need an MTV makeover. People have been ripping off John Ford and Sam Peckinpah for years to make these movies, and I see no reason to stop now.

Demian Lichtenstein has done wonders to setting back the public perception of music-video-directors-turned-feature-film-directors all the way back to the early days of Russel Mulcahy. I can only hope the next time David Fincher walks into a trendy Silverlake club and see Lichtenstein doing blow off a hooker's chest, he gives him the beating he so richly deserves for not only inflicting this vile piece of cinema on the American public, but for making all of us just a little less likely to see a film when the promo materials describe it as "a bold first feature from a respected music video director." How does directing freakin' Sting videos qualify you to blow $62 million of Warner Brothers' money?

Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy. Clearly he has no concept of genre convention, nor does he have any idea how to pace a script (which he allegedly co-wrote) He did have the good sense to cast Kurt Russel, but, then again, that may have just been accidental, given that he also cast Kevin Costner and David Arquette. And who told him Courtney Cox would make a good femme fatale? Is there still someone out there who thinks the stars of Friends are bankable?

The more I write about this film, the angrier I seem to be getting. I'd better stop now before I get into legally actionable material...

Rating: D- (Not even a good dumb movie)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees



Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip


The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State


13 Going On 30




Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper


Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case



Joan of Arcadia



Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island



To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

JalapeƱo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life


Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar


Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club


The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland



The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito



Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down


Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes


That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos


Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center


American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides