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Harry has seen how the world ends according to Richard Kelly's finished version of SOUTHLAND TALES at Fantastic Fest

I’ve been wanting to see the second film by Richard Kelly for far too long now. And tonight at Fantastic Fest – with the first of the AICN SECRET SCREENINGS we had the World Premiere of Richard’s sophomore film in its final form. Richard has a habit of transforming premieres. DONNIE DARKO debuted to oddly lackluster reviews at Sundance – only for a different finished film to be welcomed with open arms worldwide as a cult hit. With SOUTHLAND TALES, the unfinished film played at Cannes to disastrous reviews and now… a year and a half later – the finished version of SOUTHLAND TALES played to a beyond capacity, added folding seats screening at FANTASTIC FEST. The film is a Science Fiction Religious Film Noir Satire of a post-9/11 future that we pray never comes to be. It is an imaginable alternate future where the energy crisis is solved by a gigantic odd Octopussy-esque looking machine that transmits energy directly to the objects needing it. However, this strange device has also created a strange rift in the space-time continuum. Which also is possibly responsible for the birthing the second coming of Christ signaling the end of days for mankind. Basically. The film is a lot to consume on an initial viewing, but imagine it like this. Richard Kelly has set out to create a film of the same ilk as CANDY or SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 or the original CASINO ROYALE. These have always been controversial films for a very niche crowd. Films so packed with detail and nuance that to the average viewer it becomes simply a mess, but upon further inspection, you can find a method to the madness. The first question that I had for Richard Kelly after the screening involved the insane casting of this film which was some of the most daunting against type-casting that I’ve ever seen in a film. You start with Duane Johnson channeling Ralph Meeker re-envisioned as a lantern jawed tattooed Hollywood Superstar come political tool for the right, that through amnesia ends up as a pawn of the liberal Marxist movement of Venice Beach through whom they hope to embarrass the Republican Presidential Candidate, whose daughter he is married to, by his affair with a porn star Oprah and his ties to a racist cop double homicide. Duane is perfection in this role. His panic mode is hysterical – but he seems to be operating on about half cylinders – which is explained later in the film. Next you have Seann William Scott aka Stifler – who is playing twins, one of which is a cop – the other is the twin that is in cahoots with the Marxist movement to mess with the Republican election. His characters are again – slightly off. At no point in the film does he do that goofy stupid grin that he’s famous four. However, Kelly does use the actor’s natural confusion to enhance his doubt about what he’s doing. He has a dark history, having injured his best friend in Iraq… Who, btw is played by Justine Timberlake, who had his film career ruined by a terrible mis-thrown grenade by his best friend. He’s our narrator for the film, as well as being placed on a high powered gun tower mounted atop a restaurant along Venice Beach. Now the Porn Star, Krista Now is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar – who has all the best lines in the movie. You see, Krista Now is a prophetic porn blonde Barbie version of Oprah. She and Duane Johnson’s character have written a script titled THE POWER – which is about how the world ends… and as the film plays out – what they’ve written is coming to pass. That’s the main characters – but throughout you have others like Bai Ling, Nora Dunn, John Larroquette, the amazing Wallace Shawn and his mother played by Beth Grant (SparkleMotion’s Coach). Then there’s Jon Lovitz as a racist homicidal cop, Kevin Smith buried in make-up, the brilliant Miranda Richardson, Donnie Darko’s dad as the would-be President (Holmes Osborne) – and there’s Mandy Moore and Cheri Oteri and even Eli Roth taking a shit. And absolutely no way could I not mention the brilliantly creepy Zelda Rubinstein – in full on creepy scary mode. The film’s design and conception is so tightly packed with a billion details that there are moments and sequences where you’re left wondering – “WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN?” – but then the film is about the world coming to pieces – and when the world ends, does anyone really know that that is what is happening. The ending is particularly cryptic and bizarre – but left me not so much scratching my head in confusion – as much as thinking… damn, I’m going to have to watch this a few more times. If you want a simple tale, look elsewhere. This is the type of end of the world conspiracy that you’d expect to come out of Terry Southern or Hunter S Thompson or Kurt Vonnegut. It concerns alternate realities, subversive sub-cultures, neo-politic-paranoia and religious doomsday soothsaying. You may not get what it all means, but it is about asking what it means and laughing at the absurdist fever dream that you just watched. It’s a Basquiat at 24 frames a second – if that makes any sense to you – then perhaps this film is for you.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Count me in

    by newkie brown

    It's Richard Kelly, so he's got all the slack in the world as far as I'm concerned!

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST


    by Chewbaccalypse Now

    Wow. 3 days with an account and I'm already first.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST


    by Chewbaccalypse Now


  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:32 a.m. CST


    by Bill Clay

    This is either gonna be brilliant or 'Blair Witch' horrible.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Eyeliner and Deep Thoughts

    by Chewbaccalypse Now

    Sounds like the college kids are gonna eat this shit up and bitch about the people that don't like it. "You just don't get it man!" Sounds like Harry's reaching a bit. He tends to do that when he likes a movie that isn't structurally sound. It could be wonderful, It might suck balls, Donnie Darko was a pleasant suprise, but I'm not holding my breath for this....

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:39 a.m. CST


    by Kingdaddy

    This seems to be about the most negative review Harold could ever write about a respected, cultish director. Harold, its can say you didn't like it. You don't have to taste shit 3 times to admit it tastes funny. I don't know that this is shit...but this review sure does smell like it.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Get loaded before viewing

    by BetaRayBill07

    Sounds like some sort of Being John Malkovich and Stranger Than Fiction meeting Minority Report with a splash of AI and Crash. What does this hold for us? How the hell should I know-it's the middle of the friggin' night!?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Sound like an interesting original movie.

    by hamslime

    Can't wait to read all the negative reactions to it once it releases. Hopefully not many will see it and the ones that do tear it to shreads, that way we can get more sequels and remakes that true film geeks crave.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Robocop meets Short Cuts

    by TequilaMocking


  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    But is it good Harry?

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Or bad?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:56 a.m. CST

    fuckin hell

    by Holodigm

    the more i see and read about this, the more jizz-happy i get. i don't care if i'm not gonna understand it, this movie is gonna be one hell of a mind trip.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Knowing when to move on..

    by peterwatts

    No one does nicer negative reviews for his friends than Harry. Sounds like the clusterfvck it appears to be. Kelley should have moved on and made another movie and chalk this up to his sophomore mistake rather than making his life's work to not let go. The Darko directors cut was an exercise in futility that was far inferior to the theatrical release, sounds like this whole film follows that trend closely.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:58 a.m. CST

    i don't care

    by maluquiro

    i'm excited for this movie. also, i liked the director's cut of donnie darko.<p> i also liked land of the dead and nacho libre, so eat me.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:58 a.m. CST

    i don't care

    by maluquiro

    i'm excited for this movie. also, i liked the director's cut of donnie darko.<p> i liked land of the dead and nacho libre, so eat me.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:59 a.m. CST


    by maluquiro

    my bad.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    No, I definitely liked it.


    However, I will readily admit that it is a very particular film that challenges you to process all that is happening, which isn't necessarily what many people go to films for. <BR><BR>This is a very complicated, layered film. I laughed throughout the film at much of it. The Rock is very funny, without overtly joking it up. It's circumstantial humor. <BR><BR>That said - it isn't as strong as the original theatrical cut of DONNIE DARKO. It is a very very different film. It is a film written as a reaction to all the crazy things that were happening in the weeks around 9/11 - and if you can remember those days - the paranoia that still plays in various liberal sects and republican cabals - this film plays in the Hollywood/Venice Beach version of that world - but as if what was happening there would ultimately be the doom of Planet Earth. <BR><BR>It is an ambitious film that never implodes on itself, but it does shake at the very seams of what it is attempting... it never crumbled for me though. For others it may.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Director's Cut of Donnie Darko

    by TequilaMocking

    Absolute trainwreck. Huge mistake. But the theatrical cut of DD, the Domino script, and the Southland Tales graphic novels are all fantastic.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Somebody call Penn and Teller on this review.

    by GQtaste

    Talk about some bullshit. Jesus Harry, why did you even attempt to review this? Notice that you NEVER reviewed this pos. You all did was describe the main actors in the film. Thats it! So did you like it or not? It's a simple question. But since you obiviously didn't and didn't have the balls to admit it. Then I ask you why in the hell did you write this jumbled mess? You shouln't have even brothered w/ this junk.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:37 a.m. CST

    directors cut

    by maluquiro

    i dunno. what i really liked about it was the added scene between donnie and his father. i thought it added a warmer element to their relationship that wasn't in the theatrical version. it was the small additions like that that i enjoyed. i guess i could've down without all the time travel exposition.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Yeah, what MrMonkey! said...

    by Ribbons

    ...some Kelly fans probably got the impression that I don't like him or his films from the last 'Southland Tales' TalkBack. That isn't really true; it's kind of complicated, but I don't want to try and drudge it back up again. And in truth, my curiosity for this movie's been piqued by that trailer. But I'm getting mixed signals from the review. Harry says "this isn't a movie for everyone... you actually have to process what you're seeing" while admitting that he didn't understand the ending (yet? Ever?) at the same time. Again, not to extrapolate my frustrations with some of Kelly's fans, but is excusing it as "complicated... in a good way" just a method of smoothing over the fact that it's completely senseless, or is there actually a sailboat in that jumble of colored dots?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:49 a.m. CST

    I get the ending


    With the revelation that it is - you know what follows - essentialy. Should be clothes and watches and cell phones hitting the streets.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:04 a.m. CST


    by Redfive!

    WTF?? I respect Kelly for trying something different but to the extent where nobody understands what is going on is just bulls*it. This dude is just turning out to be a hack,plain and simple. He watched way too much Twilight Zone as a kid "hell his next film is based on an episode" and now he's basicly putting episodes of that on the big screen and making up his own logic so people will think hes some boy genius. Even at comic con afew years ago this dude tried to debate with him about the space time continuum and kelly broke down after 5 mins and said he doesnt even know how it works,its just shit he made up.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:05 a.m. CST

    I just wanna see the damn thing myself

    by red_weed

    Hurry up and release it so that i can watch it i australia! I don't think you can judge films like this on reviews, you really just have to see it for yourself and make up your own mind. I read the graphic novels and i liked them, i will probably like this too

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:09 a.m. CST

    If it hadn't been for the Donnie Darko Directors cut

    by emp

    I would have come all the way from Norway to catch that Fantastic Fest screening. It is actually the only solid proof that we are experiencing an invasion of body snatchers. Or is it the "Lucas-syndrome"? There is no way the same person could have made the theatrical version and the directors cut.<p>That said, I am willing to give it a go.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Too much time on my hands.

    by hamslime

    It seems that this movie is like Primer. The more you invest in it, the more you will get out of it? I love picking out details I missed the first couple of times watching a certain movie. If that's the case, it looks like I'll be having myself a Southland Tales marathon when this hits theaters.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Strange how this film feels old already

    by Mullah Omar

    Really, until people recently started talking about this film again, I thought it had been released years ago. I hope it's worth the wait.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:59 a.m. CST

    In other words, it's a mess,

    by C Legion

    but you're just too polite to say so. Because you don't do negative reviews, ever. I'll watch it at some point (on DVD), simply because I liked the original DD. Hopefully it's an interesting mess at least and not just a piece of shit (which I fear it is).

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I finally now have a feel of what this movies about. I think Im interested now. Just as long as it doesnt try to be too clever like Darko. Coz Darko failed!

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:48 a.m. CST

    I wanted to look forward to this film


    Ive watched the trailer a few times and it looks a bit much like Kelly is trying to make his own version of Brazil. I do like the sound of his 3rd film hes got coming up. Something tells me that one will be a lot more straight forward and easy for audiences to the studios are gonna start finding his vague confusing storytelling a bit of a risk.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Sounds a bit like the first time you watch Fight CLub


    It knocks your head sideways although I'm a bit worried by the Basquiat comparison as that guy couldn't paint! just sort of sloshed shit doodles around.<P>Donnie Darko still perplexes me! I never heard a defifitive explanation of that oddity but I really liked what was there, saying that i only saw it 1 time and it took me 3 times to get Memento fully.<P>Was a bit of a guarded review but I can empathise with H for not stated strongly one way or the other until he's had a chance to see it again and it sounds like this director likes to shove it all at you to melt your brain. Who the fuck 'Gets' a Lynch film these days!? but plenty folks shout Genius!

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:39 a.m. CST

    "it is a very particular film that challenges you"

    by newc0253

    in other words, Harry found it really confusing but isn't yet prepared to say that it was a confusing mess that sucked balls because he wants to make completely sure that he didn't miss something important that, upon reflection, might have made the movie that little bit smarter and suck a little less hard.<p> sorry folks but this sounds like Kelly has disappeared up his own ass. At least when Lynch makes confusing stuff, he makes it compelling. Southland Tales, otoh, just sounds like a pretentious train wreck.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Even if this film is a complete failure...

    by rbatty024

    I would much rather watch it than most of the dribble coming out of Hollywood. I'm sad to say it but I'm starting to get bored with contemporary mainstream films. I'll go see independents or rent older movies but that's about it. There's nothing wrong with different for difference's sake. Hell, no one else is trying it.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    MOM et al

    by necgray

    "If you can't keep up with it, don't try." Wow, could you be any more insulting? To you and anyone else on here who wants to pull out the "you just don't get it" bullshit card, I ask: Do YOU "get" it? Can YOU "keep up"? The thing about movies like DD and probably ST (at least if Harry's review is an indication) is that they allow pretentious assholes to hide behind a pseudo-intellectual smokescreen. It's entirely possible that there's nothing to "get". Or that whatever is there is tenuous at best. And some people dig that. Obviously Harry is a guy who is okay with narratives that are more esoteric and make you work to grasp their meaning. Others aren't. I, myself, don't like having to watch a movie more than once to feel satisfied that I understood it. In my opinion (and it's just mine), a movie that REQUIRES repeated viewing has failed to communicate to me sufficiently. Therefore I dislike it. Now, that's different from a movie that REQUESTS repeated viewing. If I get some meaning out of it but I know that my meaning will be ENHANCED by repeat viewings, that's more acceptable. I liked DD's atmosphere, but I felt that it ultimately was misleading. It tricks you into liking it because of the atmosphere. But the story is kind of all over the place. Especially the director's cut. And I don't like feeling that I HAVE to watch it again in order to "appreciate" it. To me, that doesn't say that the movie is complicated in a good way. That says the movie is overly complicated and loses the audience. If that's purposeful, then kudos to Kelly. He's good at confusing people. Personally, I don't have the patience.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Give Harry a break (this time)

    by leiabox

    Seriously, I 100% agree that Harry sugar coats reviews - sometimes you just can't sugar coat a turd. This time, I'm totally with Harry. I agree with his review... To be honest, my brains are still dripping out my ears. The movie totally fucked with my head, but I think it was a good thing. The soundtrack was purely amazing - Justin Timberlake lipsynching "I Got Soul" - wtf indeed! BUT it was stunning and a fun ride. I already know that, very much like Donnie Darko, I will see this flick many, many more times.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Here's the trailer.

    by Gozu

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    i don't get it

    by maluquiro

    is there some 'guess what harry really thinks' game? he said he liked it.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    "Sarah Michelle Gellar - who has all the best lines..."

    by Garbageman33

    Academy, take note.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    kinda encouraging

    by reckni

    Maybe it isn't such a train wreck anymore, but does Kevin Smith distract from the action?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I love how this review insinuates...

    by honestune

    ,,,that if you don't like it, well, you're probably just a shallow dunderhead who doesn't have the capability or attention span to parse complicated fare; if you don't like this movie, you must only like big, dumb, loud Jan De Bont movies. I'm already not worthy.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    This is good news. I'm looking forward to this...

    by rbatty024

    film. The more I hear about it the more intriguing it sounds.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Guys, even if it is a confused clusterfuck....

    by Freakemovie

    it could still be entertaining as hell. If the ending makes no sense whatsoever but I'm entertained by most of what I'm watching, it'll still be a really cool film. We'll see.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    The cast of this film

    by Garbageman33

    Sounds like a couple casting agents were sitting around, getting high, and throwing out the funniest, most obscure names they could think of. "Hey, what ever happened to Nora Dunn? We should put her in this". And then, they had another hit and laughed some more and came up with Jon Lovitz. Then, they ordered pizza. "He, he, he, Mandy Moore".

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    That's sort of where I'm at. I don't know how or if the movie will come together (even for the people that pretend it does), but at the very least, this movie looks different, which at this point in time is like an oasis in a desert of sequels and remakes.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Duane Johnson?

    by troutpencil

    Is that a reference to something? Is it supposed to be funny to misspell Dwayne as Duane? What jackassery is this?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by hollywoodsummers

    A huge steaming pile of mess. Too bad.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    When you consistantly misspell someone's name

    by CerebralAssassin

    it shows you really don't care enough about them to get it right. A huge insult, of course.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST

    How many episodes will Bai Ling be in?

    by Redfoot the Fence

    Oh wait...wrong thread.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    This whole Southland Tales thing sort of reminds me...

    by mr.underwater

    ...of "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues." Some initial hype, abysmal first reaction, a year or so re-editing, and well, we haven't got to the final part yet with Southland.<br><br>Cowgirls was as an incoherent clusterfuck of a movie as I've ever seen. Maybe Southland will take that honor.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    This is gonna be another Fountain/Darko

    by dr_buggerlugs

    It's going to be split audiences down the middle - people will hate, people will love; I doubt it'll particularly rock the box office but it's gonna have a healthy video life - personally I'm looking forward to it; the graphic novels were kinda interesting and a film with a line like "I'm a pimp and pimps don't commit suicide" sounds a-ok by me.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST

    My prediction....

    by skimn

    ...will be this years The Fountain. Some will absolutely love it, some will absolutely hate it. Will do squat at the box office, and it'll be another seven years before we see Richard Kelly's next film.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Umm, dr_buggerlugs

    by skimn

    ..I didn't see your post before mine...that was spooky.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST

    I'm sick and tired

    by tendermelon

    of everyone damning ST before they even see the f-n thing. I mean, isn't everyone complaining about a lack of creativity in Hollywood? Just cause Donnie Darko got the emo label- stupid fucking hipster loser motherfuckers, most of you.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    There's something amusing

    by TequilaMocking

    about reading Memories of a Murder's postings and assuming he's Joe Carnahan, not that he is.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST

    It's even more amusing and probably more accurate

    by Garbageman33

    To imagine that Memories-of-Murder is a spider monkey who's only happy when his owner lets him sit on his lap and bang on the computer keyboard.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by maluquiro

    haha yeah that pimp line sold it for me, too.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by tendermelon

    I thought The Fountain was a bad movie. It was too easy to figure out and didn't end up as more than a lot of cool imagery. I'm getting sick of people with seemingly okay tastes hiding behind dead Michael Bay arguments as if they're any better. I thought Transformers was an alright time in the theatres, and it was the first good movie Bay's made since Armageddon. There are so many different types of entertainment out there and to negate one is to leave your own subject for derision, so don't let it make you into a pretentious tool. Judge not lest ye be judged, as someone once said- I forgot who.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    "that goofy stupid grin that he’s famous four"

    by tonagan

    I'll let you off with a warning this time. Love, the Grammar Police.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Joe Carnahan

    by And Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu

    was also the guy who directed the ridiculous Guy Ritchie ripoff 5 years too late Smokin Aces.<br><br>But I do agree with your point. There is entirely too much devotion to masculine linear narratives. It is depressing to see the hostility that exists towards a more fluid, nonlinear storytelling that persists even today. So many people get violently angry when presented with something different, something that makes them think. "I don't want to think, I want to be entertained!!!" It is embarassing and sad. These people should be ashamed of themselves, but I don't see them ever rising above their ignorance.<br><br>And Domino was awesome, Tony Scott editing notwithstanding. I eagerly await Southland Tales, it sounds extremely promising.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Seann William Scott gets the "Stifler" mention but...

    by CopOnTheEdge

    Dwayne Johnson gets no mention of "The Rock?" Because his acting resume has earned him the right to be taken seriously (unlike Scott)? Hmmm...

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:20 p.m. CST

    It bemuzes ME...

    by Ribbons

    ...that Memories-of-Murder's entire schtick is about how supreme his intelligence is when his spelling and grammar are atrocious.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST

    The Good Ol' Days...

    by AssWhole

    Ah, to remember when I used to go to a theater, look at a movie poster and say, "Hmm, I guess I'll give that one a shot", buy my ticket and go see a damn movie that I haven't heard one thing about and be resigned to the fact that I might be pleasantly surprised or sorely disappointed. This pre-emptive 21st Century notion of spoilerage, praise or condemnation, and pontificating about a film's merits (or lack thereof, including script reviews and other such nonsense) months before it's released is for the birds. If you don't want to be surprised one way or the other by something, then maybe watching films is just not for you. Instead, watch porn or play video games or heat up a TV dinner.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST

    There's clearly no shortage of half-empty glasses here.

    by dance4days

    Not every film that utilizes alternative modes of storytelling is "pretentious." There ARE filmmakers out there who actually know what they're doing and like to create arthouse films that are heavy in metaphor and allegory and don't follow a traditional linear conflict/resolution storyline. Just because YOU may not understand it doesn't mean nobody else does.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST

    a good non-linear movie

    by maluquiro

    the limey.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:48 p.m. CST

    "It’s a Basquiat at 24 frames a second "

    by Chumkid

    Well, that does it. This is definitely a pretentious pile of shit. I'll download it though and make my mind up then.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:51 p.m. CST

    I take back what I said Memories-of-Murder

    by Garbageman33

    Calling you a spider monkey banging away on the keyboard is an insult to spider monkeys. Their spelling and grammar couldn't possibly be as bad as yours.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 4:58 p.m. CST

    "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparklemotion".

    by DallasGoodbar

    I'm glad this character actress is back since "Little Miss Sunshine". She plays uptight suburban so well. Sounds like Kelly captures the paranoia of those days after 9-11 along with the absurdity very well. No wonder he had trouble getting back into the country months ago.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:02 p.m. CST

    There's clearly no shortage of straw men here.

    by Ribbons

    Holy shit, dance4days! You mean that them moving pickchers actually have meatyfours and Al Goreys that are concrete representations of something else, and they're used in the employ of a larger narrative or idea? No way! I thought that was just a myth! And you mean that movies with non-linear structures sometimes do that thing where they come together -- what's that werd? -- co-HEAR on either a literal or abstract level to convey a message as well? Well I'll be! And apparently there's no distinction between movies that do this effectively and movies that don't, and anybody who thinks one is either meaningless or a mess can't possibly like others, and in fact, they clearly doesn't even understand the concept of "artful" movies in the first place? Wow! You learn something new everyday when you're being condescended to! Thanks, dance4days! Glad to hear you plan on liking and "getting" 'Southland Tales' when you finally get around to seeing it. But don't tell anybody else what it means, even the people who claim to know themselves! Guard that secret with your life, young man!

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:14 p.m. CST

    there's clearly no shortage of douches here

    by maluquiro


  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Way to stick it to the man, maluquiro.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:36 p.m. CST


    by maluquiro

    i was pretty proud of myself, actually.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Fuckin' Memories of Murder

    by Al Swearengen

    Come back from the dead to again grace us with his holier-than-thou fuckin' presence. How'd we get to be so fuckin' lucky?

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    It was kind of funny, actually. I just didn't really have a comeback, so I went the glib route.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 5:43 p.m. CST

    i give Kelly credit

    by bigbadbua

    I'll see this, and it may end up being a mess, but at least he's trying something different and not doing a remake or a movie based on a TV show. His vision may prove to be a misguided missfire, but at least he has some vision. And I like Donny Darko, so I'm hopeful for this one.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Trailer is actually pretty cool

    by Bass Ackwards

    I've been expecting this to be a pretty terrible clusterfuck, and not saying it isn't, but the trailer looks like a much more coherantly put together film than I was expecting. Harry's review gives me a bit more interest as well, as much interest as one can garner from one of Harry's positive reviews anyways.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by newc0253

    1. You can't spell 'challenging'.<p> 2. You apparently can't read either. I said Lynch was challenging but also compelling and ultimately, in my book, rewarding. Kelly's latest, otoh, doesn't sound challenging, it sounds like a train wreck. i'll wait until i see it before passing judgment, but i ain't optimistic.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 6:28 p.m. CST

    its happening again.

    by dr.bulber

    there it goes.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 7:01 p.m. CST

    The Fountain was more tame than challenging...

    by Space oddity

    I didn't HATE the Fountain, and I did look forward to it when I heard about the innovative 'tiny-camera' effects they used to save money on CGI. But the film never really connected on a solemn level to make the sci-fi philosophy stuff truly pop. Say what you want about Soderberg's 'Solaris' but I think it hit the head of the nail that Aronofsky wildly swung thrice at and missed. As it is The Fountain is definitely different than most of what came out in 2006, but even '...Huckabees' at least improves on the re-watch whereas The Fountain is lackluster on it's first viewing and becomes positively trivial and mainstream on subsequent viewings.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Wait, it's like "CANDY"? 1968 "CANDY" or 2006 "CANDY"?

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    Because I loooove 1968 "CANDY." I haven't seen the 2006 Heath Ledger junkie movie. Which one is Southland Tales like???

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 7:41 p.m. CST

    So Bai Ling is in this episode?

    by PotSmokinAlien

    i am gonna assume she plays the role of the lady who gave The Rock his tattoos. <p> still aint convinced this thing is not a giant mess, but at least the dude is swinging for the fences.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 8:26 p.m. CST

    enough god damn post 9/11 shit

    by BurgerKing

    I'm sick of everyone cashing in on the post-9/11 future. Why can't the apocalypse just happen WITHOUT tying into 9/11 anymore? Shit.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 8:33 p.m. CST

    "This is a very complicated, layered film"

    by JAGUART

    No, its fucking made-up bullshit.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST

    The Fountain had godlike music

    by messi

    which owns your life. Mogwai Motherfuckers!

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Mandy Moore sucks massive vagina

    by messi

    what a shitty actress who knows nothing except pedestrian.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Harry, you're not fooling anyone

    by reflecto

    Every time you see a film you know has failed but you're too scared to acknowledge that and be honest with the readership for fear that you will starfucker points, you write these meandering wheezes that go nowhere. Remember the Lady In The Water review that creeped everyone out? Be honest with yourself, because there's no need to be honest with us, we see right through you. Oh, and comparing to "Candy" did not help your obfuscation.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Harry, I love you big guy, but...

    by BadMrWonka

    read the following sentence:<p>"Which also is possibly responsible for the birthing the second coming of Christ signaling the end of days for mankind."<p>just reading your review through ONCE before posting it qould eliminate grammatical and sensical abortions such as this sentence. murdering the english language this badly while discussing one of the main points of the entire money is equivalent to falling down while giving the money shot in a porn. yeah, you still got it out, but I mean...come on.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:21 p.m. CST

    So watchin this on shrooms sounds like a good idea...

    by The Dum Guy

    But, then again shrooms help everything seem better, or horribly confusing, leaving you in a semi-state of panic that is like a rabbit looking down the front end of a Mac truck... I wonder if at the end The Rapture takes place, but without Kirk Cameron.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Do you have the 'Fountain' soundtrack? It's bee-yoo-tiful.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Nixon, what you do is take the shrooms first...

    by The Dum Guy

    And when you come off those, you switch to the alcohol. That way, you don't stay awake the rest of the night thinking about things that won't bother you in the morning. I miss Growing Pains.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST


    by rhett beavers

    Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhh..... that's exactly what popped into my mind after watching the trailer. The Good Doctor is angry Harry and he is sending you fax from the afterlife.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST


    by The_Fredo

    Chances this film finds a cult-following: 60% (It'll get a lot of breaks from Darko nuts). <BR> <BR> Chances it'll bomb at the box office: 90% (Unless something miraculous happens and all of America decides it wants to support a subversive, political, apocalyptic tale). <BR> <BR> Chances you'll need weed to understand it: 500% (Or to at least, enhance the experience). <BR> <BR>

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:39 p.m. CST

    I love Talkback Literary Interp. 101

    by oisin5199

    where people try to 'read between the lines' of Harry's reviews to figure out how he 'really feels' about a movie ("Oh, this is just Harry's code for 'I hated it'"). Or those of you who just want to know whether it's good or bad, so you can file it into a little movie box category. I was going to see this anyway, but I'm doubly intrigued by a film that has Harry writing so intelligently and analytically. Not that that kind of thing is welcome here. People just want the basics in as little words as possible. Thumbs might help. God forbid people might actually have to think when watching a movie, or reading a review of it.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 10:58 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Well... somehow I suspect you'd feel a little differently if you weren't already planning on seeing the movie (then again, the same probably applies to me). Those are some nice verbal gymnastics, by the way, accusing people of reading too much into a review and oversimplifying it at the same time.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 11:50 p.m. CST

    I love personal attacks, too

    by necgray

    Memories, do you get off on acting superior while never making an actual, valid point of your own that would justify your feeling of superiority? Sure seems that way. You spend all your time in talkbacks talking shit about other people and their opinions, but where are yours? Yes, I tend to prefer a straightforward narrative to one that requires more thought. That doesn't mean I'm incapable of appreciating "left-field" films. That doesn't mean I'm too stupid to understand them. It means that I PREFER, underline italics bold PREFER straightforward narrative. And for the record, where the fuck do you get off insulting ANYONE's intelligence when you talked up Zombie's Halloween like it was the second coming of Godard? For the record, I love City of Lost Children and Amelie. I love Charlie Kaufmann-penned films. I really enjoy Neil Marshall (and yes, I also prefer the European version of The Descent). So don't tell me I lack the imagination to handle a movie that could be qualified as "outside the lines". The fact is that I was raised in America, which generally prefers a more straightforward narrative style. From some of your posts, I gather that you're not an American. That's fine. You were raised in your culture, I was raised in mine. So I'm an American, does that make me stupid? You're what, European? Does that make you an asshole? No, calling people stupid because they disagree with you (with perfectly valid backup, I might add) makes you an asshole.

  • Sept. 23, 2007, 11:55 p.m. CST

    and that's why I like Harry's review

    by necgray

    Because he says ***I*** like it. He makes no bones that it's HIS opinion and that not everyone is going to like it. And he doesn't try to imply that you're stupid if you don't like it. It's just not your thing.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:08 a.m. CST

    The trailer sucked

    by Stollentroll

    I really liked Donnie Darko, but this looks pretty BOLLesque...

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    that sounds like something I'd like actually

    by CherryValance

    as long as it doesn't have any of that metal and water Grandma Death bullshit in it. Because when I saw DD, I totally loved it and had a completely different interpretation of it than was intended but I was happy with it. So when I listened to the commentary it really pissed me off. I didn't even bother with the Director's Cut which seems like it was a good move based on what everyone has said here. I certainly hope he learned to never ever explain his movies again.</p> As I said this sounds like something I should like. I don't care if movies make sense to me right away. If it's interesting I'll give a film repeat viewings to get it's point across. I do have a Justin Timberlake allergy, but that doesn't sound like too big of a role. So I'll give it a chance if I have the opportunity.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    My point is that people can't read a review for what it is - they want to 'read between the lines' and distill it down to the most easily digestable nugget instead of taking it for what it is - one man's opinion. And also, that even if I knew nothing about the film before I read Harry's review, I would be intrigued enough to want to see it now. I'm just one of those people who likes 'risky' and interesting and doesn't just see any commercially packaged shit. So how 'bout that dismount?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Fired Up

    by Cobbio

    Thanks for the review, Harry. Good stuff. After seeing the trailer and reading your review, I'm fired up for this movie now.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I think MOM is the Iron Sheik

    by necgray

    Starts out coherent and then when you get him riled up he devolves into gibberish and talking about fucking people in the ass. Someone has said it before, and I'll echo the sentiment. Have I ever, once, EVER mentioned Transformers in ANY of my talkbacks? No, I haven't. Not a single, solitary time. What the hell does it have to do with anything? And you're up there saying that you won't stand idly by while people act stupid and they should be like normal human beings. How have I not done that? Yet every time I post a dissenting opinion, every time I respond to you in a well-mannered and thoughtful way, you start throwing insults around, getting beligerent, and your english, which I know is quite good (look at those last two posts, perfectly well-written and not at all beligerent), devolves into blather. What's wrong with Backspace? Do you have to hit the Post button right away because you're just THAT pissed off? I charge, and I believe I'll be seconded by several (including the hilarious Al Swearengen), that you're a hypocrite. You act like you expect us all to have well-reasoned arguments and back up our talking points. Then when we do, you foam at the mouth and start throwing the word Bayformers around. Heaven forbid we actually state that we're American, since that will get us an automatic trash-talking. You're free to like what you like. But don't tell me I'm wrong or stupid if the only arguments you have to fall back are either irrelevent or have been sufficiently addressed. And that goes for how you talk to everyone else. I know I'm not the only one who has to put up with your bullshit.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Memories of fuckin' Murder

    by Al Swearengen

    I can clearly see from my present vantage that your fuckin' use of the Queen's English makes Wu sound like fuckin' Bill Shakespeare.<P>Do you make a habit out of attacking poor hapless cocksuckers who were minding their own fuckin' business? And why is it that when you get rattled, you tend to post even more fuckin' catpiss?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST


    by And Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu

    The editing was atrocious, hence my caveat. It is probably one of the few movies that gave me a headache after watching it (and I hardly ever get headaches). But the script itself, which was Kelly's, was amazing. Maybe it is because I just rented it randomly with no expectations, but I was blown away by the cavalier nature towards the conventions of the typical biopic. Fact and fantasy blur together until nothing is true nor false, but in the end, does it really matter? It is more about capturing the essence of the woman rather than the absolute reality of her life. I do wish the editing was toned down (I know it was supposed to be part of the whole drug-induced nature of the story, but it was distracting, and it looked more coke than mesacline to me). But whatever, it was a good movie regardless.<br><br>Smokin Aces just came out too damn late. If it came out before, say, 2002 (back when Guy Ritchie actually mattered) maybe it would be fine. Coming out in 2007 it was just sad. Maybe the passage of time will be kind to it, but when I saw it I just had to shake my head. And the twist at the end was so obvious it was ridiculous.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    While reading this review

    by GIVL

    I kinda expected there to be a youtube link in the end, where I was going to see an eyeliner wearing Harry Knowles sobbing and crying "Leaaave Richard Kelly Aloooone...".</p>Talk about stretching reality to defend the indefendable.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST

    So What you're saying is...

    by Redbox

    that the 70% of the talkbackers that are the cultural equivalents of late Roman Colosseum season ticket holders won't be in the theater? I think that's enough to make me see anything, much less a Strangelove Donnie Darko style! I'll be there!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Wow, he *is* the iron shiek, mystery solved!

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    Now it all makes sense. <p><hr>So nobody else is a fan of "CANDY," huh?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    sheik, shiek, whatever, I'm an American.

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    For us, illiteracy is patriotic.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    About this condescending review

    by Flea Circus

    " packed with detail and nuance that to the average viewer it becomes simply a mess, " So if we don't think this movie was worth the time it took to make or watch then we're simply stupid. I haven't seen this movie but I have read the script, which was a waste of time. I hear the Darko script sucked but then he made a great movie, then he made a directors cut and ruined it, so Rich isn't going to get my faith this time around. But I do think there should be someone to say that this whole you're not smart enough or deep enough, or like to think enough, to get this or that movie is really a stupid way to defend something. I like to think, and I think the FOUNTAIN was crap, because it didn't make me think or ponder or be intrigued or most importantly care about the characters in the film. It was laughable. And that's what made it worse, is that it tried sooo hard. It makes me think of those "documentaries" the Secret and What the Bleep do We Know? people told me to watch them, that they would make me think. They did not make me think, to me they were mysticism acting like science, they were foolish bullshit, and I felt insulted. But I love stupid movies, and as long as the filmmakers know they're stupid then it's fun (Transformers) but when they don't know how stupid their movie is (Fountain), that's when it becomes a bad movie. Back to Southland Tales I think the movie will be pretentious, obtuse, and a waste. But: then I see shots like the one of the combat toy crawling along the ground with the light up gun, and think maybe it could be alright.  

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports


  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:11 p.m. CST


    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    and it's spelled "sheik," I don't know why I have a mental block on that. <p> But I don't think the Iron Sheik would love Zombie's Halloween Remake as much as Memories-of-Murder does.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    I'm used to you spewing ignorant "knowledge" about film, but this talkback proves that you really don't know your ass from your elbow. <p>You made this incredibly random assumption: "And what is a movie that is "structurally sound"? One that is edited in linear fashion, from A to B to C in proper chronological order?" <p> When nobody had said anything of the sort, and then you gave three examples (Citizen Kane and, say, 21 Grams and Out Of Sight) that all make perfect sense even though they are non-linear. Richard Kelly's films not making any sense has nothing to do with them being non-linear, it's because Richard Kelly has NO IDEA how to make a cohesive narrative. <p> And your statement about Director's Cuts almost always being better than the theatrical cut is something that I definitely disagree with. I would say quite the opposite is true.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:17 a.m. CST

    one last shout out for the Fountain

    by oisin5199

    To me, The Fountain was one of the most transcendent and emotional experiences I've ever had watching a film in the theatre. It's what I imagine the original audiences who connected to 2001 must have felt. Somehow I don't think that will happen with Southland Tales, but then again, I don't think it's that kind of movie. <p>And why is it condescension to say that some people won't connect to a movie like this? Like Harry said, if you don't connect to it, all you'll see is a mess. That doesn't mean you're stupid. It just means that it didn't work for you. And yeah, some films (and novels and tv shows and plays) simply ask more from their audience. If you like to be challenged, that's a good thing. If you don't, then you'll hate it.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST


    by necgray

    I almost agree with your point, so much so that you might think our points are the same. I obviously am also of a mind to defend people's intelligence, so I don't think it's fair to say, "If you don't understand it, you're dumb." Where I might go a step further than you, and this is up for debate, is that I would say if a sufficient number of people feel that the movie doesn't work, if it doesn't connect with a majority of an audience, then it has failed as a piece of art. Now, I've already established that I believe strongly in the Communicative Theory of Art. Any act of creation is an effort to convey a message, even if the message is just "See Spot Run. Run, Spot, Run." Film is a consumer art form. If you take the time and effort to create a film that you want released to a mass audience, you have to be able to communicate to a mass audience. And if a mass audience doesn't get your message, if they are confused by your film, then you have failed. Of course you'll have your fans. Of course some people will glean meaning out of your film. Statistically it just HAS to happen. And the great, rewarding thing about being a filmmaker, I think, is that you almost always reach at least one person. But that doesn't make you a great filmmaker, and it doesn't make your work a great film. Some dude in Tennessee might collect velvet Elvis paintings. That doesn't make velvet Elvis art. And I tend to think of directors like Kelly and Aranofsky and Vincent Gallo and Jim Jarmusch as great painters of velvet Elvis. Sure, they're awesome at painting Elvis. But who gives a shit about Elvis? What does a velvet Elvis say about anything? It might speak to that guy in Tennessee, but it doesn't say shit to me.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST

    exceptions and youth

    by necgray

    Bearing in mind, of course, that Jarmusch has made stuff that I actually like and that the other three I mentioned are still fairly new/young. I agree with many who believe that Kelly has potential to be good. I also think that The Fountain, while still style over substance, was an improvement over Pi and Requiem for a Dream.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 1:17 a.m. CST

    oh, last thing, thanks to Daddylonghead

    by necgray

    for getting my Iron Shiek joke. The man is hilarious. He's such a nice guy, but all it takes is one wrong comment and suddenly it's all "FUCK YOU I FUCKING BRRREAK YOU BACKAH YOU FAGGOT I CHAMPION IN KENNEDY MACMAN FEDERATION I KILL YOU! YOU FAGGOT I FUCK YOU IN YOUR ASS!!! gasp gasp. You good guy, I like you."

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Harry Why Don't You Just Admit It?

    by DannyOcean01

    Richard is your friend and so you can't possibly say a bad thing about it. You sound like a leper clutching at straws before realising it's just your own fat fingers.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST




  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    well, enough people out there love Donnie Darko AND The Fountain that I know it's not just me. So, sorry, your Velvet Elvis analogy doesn't work for me.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    <td class="talkback_aicn" width="80%"><b><a name="comme

    by SkeletonParty


  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST

    <a name="comment_1697988" />No, I definitely liked it.<

    by SkeletonParty


  • Sept. 25, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST

    yeah, velvet elvis is probably not the best

    by necgray

    analogy. I think this is another point at which you and I may disagree. I know people who LIKE Donnie Darko, and when I ask them why, it rarely if ever has anything to do with the actual story. It's usually mood, setting, camera work, the technical merits of the film. And I've admitted that Darko's got mood in spades. Kelly does have technical skill. I just don't think he's that good yet at telling an actual story. And I think you'll find that if you ask people why they like Darko, you'll see the same thing I did. Few people will point to the story.

  • Sept. 26, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    I think this movie was screened like years ago

    by CuervoJones

    In Cannes. People hated it.

  • Sept. 26, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I love the pro and con arguments for bad movies

    by SkeletonParty

    Con: Transformers is a mindless pile of garbage. <br><br>Pro argument: Just turn off your brain, it aint Shakespeare <br><br>Con: Southland Tales is a mindless pile of garbage. <br><br>Pro argument: Just turn off your brain, it is too complicated.

  • Sept. 27, 2007, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Transformers Bay's first good movie since Armageddon?

    by Mundungus

    Since Armageddon??? And I was actually considering seeing Transformers on rental DVD, but now its been so fairly compaired to a film that actually made me angry while watching it, like someone was trying to force stinky cheese into my closed mouth. I got the same feeling from his crapburger film The Rock. Does Transformers suck that bad? I was getting a redemption vibe from what I've been reading about it. - - - - on topic. This SL Tales might be okay, can't really tell from what I've seen.

  • Sept. 27, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST


    by pretentiousboy

    The longer the blogs, the more money it usually makes. Quit complaining, you're all going to see this film and you know it.

  • Sept. 30, 2007, 1:24 p.m. CST

    MOM, it's a difference in philosophy

    by necgray

    So get over it. Of course if a film is only shown in art house theaters, then it's not going to get exposure to a mass audience. But it will get exposure to a small audience. And if the small audience doesn't "get" it, then it fails. According to the Communicative theory of art. And like I said, one person may love your movie, but one person's opinion doesn't make a difference in the scheme of things. If it did, then all of art would be absolutely subjective, and I just don't believe that to be the case. I also believe that if that one person really loves the movie and can sufficiently argue the case that it's good and can sufficiently point out what people have missed or misinterpreted, then that film should be up for discussion. I was willing to listen to arguments pro-Halloween way back when we were arguing about that. But I wasn't convinced, and I don't think anyone else was either. It doesn't help when you get pissy and start degenerating into name-calling. I'm not equating box office to artistic merit. I'm equating audience reaction to artistic merit. Big Momma's House isn't meant to be a deep thinking man's movie. It does what it intends to do. So kudos. Is it art? Not really. It's just functional. Because it only ever intended to be functional. I guess what I'm saying is that box office success isn't my criteria. My criteria is IF you set out to be an Artist, then you have to recognize that Art is communicative. And IF you're trying to tell a story with meaning, the audience HAS to be able to grasp the story and the meaning. Clearly with ST, that's not the case. Some people get something out of it. Okay, that's great for Kelly and great for the movie. Someone appreciates it. But if the vast majority of people who watch it don't get the story and the message, then it failed. And yeah, it might be a spectacular failure and it might be noble to fail while attempting something new, but a failure is a failure is a failure.

  • Sept. 30, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST

    and mood, setting, camera work

    by necgray

    doesn't mean a damn if the story is shoddy to begin with. AND someone who overuses mood, setting, and camera work is going to DISTRACT from the story. Which is a sin that I find many "alternative" or "indie" filmmakers commit. There are too many hipster filmmakers who worship style over substance. This is my biggest complaint about Aranofsky. His technique gets in the way. It's distracting. It calls attention to itself. Now so does Guy Ritchie's technique. But Guy Ritchie is smart enough (or a least was with Lock Stock and Snatch) to work with a limited narrative. Aranofsky likes to play with "deep" narratives. Okay, go for it. But quit distracting me with your fucking camera trickery. I want to care about the story. Obviously HE cares about the story. So why all the image tomfoolery?

  • Oct. 24, 2007, 5:41 p.m. CST the UK

    by Avon

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by Nick Papagiorgio

    Blah blah blah

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST

    THE LAST WORD!!!!!!

    by playswithbiggerblocksthanyou

    This movie is beyond anything you've ever seen before, in the worst way possible. How can you make a movie so horrible that you can't even laugh at it? How can you make a movie with so many plot nuances and twists, where you can understand it all and just not even care? If you want these questions answered, SEE THIS MOVIE!! Seriously, it pretty much ruined my friendship with my lifelong best friend. I told him I trusted this director, b/c of Donnie Darko (should have read the right on the wall coughcoughcoMYNAMISMYNAMISDOMINOHARVERYHARVYcoughI AMA....). Southland Tales make "The Pest" look like The Godfather. I'd rather watch Saw IV twice in a row, hell, 3 times in a row, then sit through half of this movie! I left the theater, feeling like I had not just lost faith in this director, but movies period. It's like that whole "why would God let this happen if there is a God" type thing! If moviemaking is a noble artform that is entertaining, how could a movie this bad be made???? Luckily, I saw this Oliver Stone movie that blew my mind, late night on HBO, the next night called "Talk Radio", brilliant. Saved my faith in movies. Southland Tales, in a word.. SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 20, 2007, 12:45 a.m. CST

    in australia

    by stephen brown

    does any one know when this will be released in Oz .. Im hangin for some Buffy

  • Jan. 13, 2008, 9:54 a.m. CST

    I would love to see this review if Uwe Boll had made it!

    by Vamp-AICNchat

    Would you?

  • April 20, 2008, 1:49 p.m. CST

    To derive self esteem from movie bashing

    by adamwhite5

    I will never understand people's need to make themselves feel "smarter than a movie" by berating it. So Southland Tales, The Fountain and Donnie Darko didn't break new intellectual ground and reveal deep revelations about humanity. They're just movies! It's not like Richard Kelly is claiming to be Plato, lounging in some courtyard in a toga and dispensing eternal wisdom. And I applaud both him and Aronofsky for trying new things, and not giving us more cookie-cutter, linear films with mundane messages and tired, overused narrative structures. I enjoyed all of the films that are getting trashed on this thread, especially Southland Tales, and I think Harry's review is actually pretty accurate. The movie is art, and as such I don't need to know if he "liked it" or if it's "good." As an old English professor of mine used to say, "a cow knows what it likes."

  • March 12, 2009, 9:50 p.m. CST

    I've only just now seen this movie

    by ApneicMonkey

    ... and it's the most atrocious crime against cinema I've ever witnessed. I loved Donnie Darko but thought Richard Kelley ruined it with his awful Director's Cut version and now he gives us this mess. I can only hope this ruined his career as a filmmaker.