[box cover]

Dragonfly

In an audacious bid to corner the market on weepy, hospital-based stories featuring terminally sick children, director Tom Shadyac follows up Patch Adams with this competent, manipulative, and thoroughly ordinary emotional thriller. Kevin Costner stars as doctor Joe Darrow, whose grief over the death of his pregnant wife Emily is aggravated by mysterious occurences, including vivid Near Death Experiences recounted by the children Emily used to treat in the hospital's pediatric oncology ward. Dragonfly is a movie totally lacking in nuance and subtext, telegraphing its every button-pushing move with a music-swelling beacon. Costner makes for a solid, if dour, center and tries to restrain the melodrama when possible, but there's nothing he can do to mitigate the pervasive medocrity of the project which, while never reaching the insipid depths of Patch Adams, is often simply boring. Only the ending — despite being obvious far in advance to astute viewers and emotionally manipulative — is remotely satisfying. Universal's Dragonfly is well rendered in an anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Shadyac discusses the film in a provincial, self-important commentary track. Also included are a "Spotlight on Location" featurette, a 12-minute reel of deleted scenes, a short interview with NDE author Betty Eadie, and a trailer. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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