"3,000 Miles to Graceland," Monkeybone," "Pollock," Down to Earth." 

Quick Flicks

!B! "3,000 Miles To Graceland"!B! "Monkeybone"!B! "Pollock" !B! "Down To Earth"

"3,000 Miles To Graceland" — This latest from Kevin Costner does nothing to restore his tarnished image. Gratuitously ultraviolent, degrading to women, uneven and ultimately pointless — and those are the movie's good points — this thriller feels like a bad flashback to the days of B-movie drive-ins. Joined by Kurt Russell, Christian Slater, Bokeem Woodbine and David Arquette, Costner masterminds a bloody holdup of a Vegas casino. But there's trouble in paradise: Russell's ex-con character has a semisoft spot for a kid and his trailer-trash momma. So before the FBI starts shooting the gang, they take aim at each other.

"Monkeybone" — Loosely based on the comic book, "Dark Town"stars Brendan Fraser in a tale about a cartoonist trapped in a comatose state peopled with his own nightmares. Fraser is Stu Miley, our mild-mannered hero, whose comic alter ego, Monkeybone, is the simian expression of his uh, hmmm, shall we say "onanist" fantasies. When a car crash puts Stu in ICU, Monkeybone escapes from Stu's subconscious, takes over his body and wreaks havoc and confusion. A frankly uncomfortable and uneven film, "Monkeybone" also brilliantly mixes lewdness with astonishing creativity. Not for the faint of heart.

"Pollock" — Ed Harris stars in and directs this portrait of abstract artist Jackson Pollock as a tortured soul battling mental illness and alcoholism. Harris shines in front of the camera. Behind it, he's still a novice. As Pollock's muse, lover and wife, Lee Krasner, Marcia Gay Harden stands toe-to-toe with Harris. Both more than deserve their recent Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Actress for this work. Equally eloquent are Pollock's massive abstract canvases, which are displayed powerfully throughout the movie. As a biography, "Pollock's" script seems inchoate. Luckily, the performances are riveting.

"Down To Earth" — espite more than a few of Chris Rock's stand-up routines being dropped into this remake, the plotting is gimmicky and unimaginative. Rock plays a wannabe comic and bicycle messenger who gets hit by a truck. When St. Peter's right-hand-man takes him one-tenth of a second before impact, Rock gets a free ride on the reincarnation cycle. However, he gets stuck in the body of a miserly old white guy. The laughs should come from watching Rock try to interact with others in his new body, but since Rock is in every scene, with only a few glimpses of him as the white dude, the comedy falls flat.


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