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Massawyrm Says SOUTHLAND TALES Goes South Fast And That KILTRO And MIRAGEMAN Can't Come North Fast Enough!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Southland Tales The word you're going to have to get used to hearing is "Mess." Complete mess, total mess, something of a mess. If it has the word mess, people are going to use it about this film. And the kicker is that mess isn't exactly the word I would use. The word mess seems to intimate that there is a number of different things going wrong simultaneously in Southland Tales. And there isn't. There are exactly two things wrong with Southland Tales - the first is that Richard Kelly REALLY wanted to write a Phillip K. Dick Novel. And secondly, rather than putting it in novel form he decided to adapt this unwritten novel to the screen using the imagery of Terry Gilliam. The result is one of the most stunningly incredible failures I've ever witnessed. It doesn't just fail. It completely implodes. Like a college kid trying to find his identity, this movie shows every indication of wanting to come across as complicated and profound without first actually having anything to say. Oh sure, there are messages here, a steady stream of political static that won't seem new to anyone who has heard of this newfangled, magical device called the internet, but there's nothing at its core. This is a movie written around story elements and held together with all the same conventions that hold together the works of late 60's early 70's sci-fi writers. Problem is that those kinds of stories work on the page but not on the screen. The idea of a porn star trying to be a visionary television icon while simultaneously getting caught up in a violent, underground Neo-Marxist organization is one I will gladly give myself over to in print. But onscreen? Only if that's as weird as it gets. Sadly, that's just the beginning. Kelly said it himself: he was making Pop Art. And the problem is that truly effective Pop Art rarely comes from someone setting out to make it. It just happens naturally. Setting out to make pop art tends to leave an artificial, superficial shell wrapped around a whole lot of nothing. Which is a great way to describe Southland Tales. This is a very sad collection of great ideas that never gel into a solid whole. It's watery Jello that is nice to stare at and dream of what it would be like if it all came together like you hoped, but never, ever will. Making matters worse is that certain sections of the film become visual attempts to slip into the Gilliamverse and instead end up looking like they were painstakingly stolen from Shock Treatment, the long ignored and truly terrible sequel to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And can someone, for the love of God, explain to me what the fuck was up with the midgets in raincoats? For fucks sake, at least Gilliam makes his midgets make sense. They're hotel bellboys or temporal thieves. This movie just has truly random appearances by the vertically challenged for the sake of it. Phillip K. Dick and Terry Gilliam are like Matter and Anti-Matter. Both are extraordinarily power forces, neither to be trifled with. But most importantly the two should never, ever be combined. The result is a work so dense, so weighed down by its own needless over-complication that it collapses in upon itself. It is a work that seems to be promising a light at the end of the tunnel, a primer that, if you can locate it, will make all the meaningless bullshit coalesce and begin to make sense. But it doesn't exist. It's not there. Unlike Donnie Darko and Domino before it, there isn't a magical moment of realization in which every tiny little fragment becomes important. Instead, I've seen people swimming through the 3 Graphic Novel set that we were all given afterwards which is the first three chapters of the movie - not because those people were so in love with the movie that they wanted more, but rather because they are praying that the primer is hidden somewhere within those pages. And maybe it is. I could give a shit. This isn't a fucking installation piece. It is a movie. And if an audience can't walk out with a rudimentary understanding of what exactly the fuck it is that they just watched without a precursory few hours of reading, then the filmmaker has failed. I don't look at this and see a modern marvel of complexity – I see a cast and crew afraid to admit to a genius director that they might not be smart enough to understand his work and instead are just playing along with the assumption that this genius knows exactly what the hell he is doing. But this time he doesn't. Sorry guys – the emperor has no clothes. I love Kelly and his work. I love his mind. He writes exactly the kind of films that I want to spend hours watching and dissecting. But this is the one he got wrong. This is the idea that wasn't ready to come out of the box. Not in this form at least. I might have LOVED to read Southland Tales: the novel. But the movie? The movie is a complete failure on every level. It cannot come and go fast enough, freeing Kelly up to make another piece to wow us with. I love the guy. But Southland Tales let me down in a big way.
Mirageman and Kiltro Hell yes. Here's a buildup that didn't let me down, the Chilean cinematic dynamic duo – writer/director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza and stuntman/action hero Marko Zaror. Working together to blaze trails in the South American film market, these guys are building a very special body of work that combines intense martial arts action with smart writing, carefully crafted comedy and a whole lot of heart. In short, their films are feel good kung fu flicks – more akin to early Stephen Chow than anything else. Both Kiltro and Mirageman deserve being reviewed together at this point, because that's how the rest of the world is going to discover them. And they are not entirely dissimilar. One is Ernesto and Marko's riff on Kill Bill, combining their love of Asian cinema with that of retro Italian and American cinema. That's Kiltro. The other is a superhero film about a somewhat average joe who attempts to become a masked vigilante and discovers it is nowhere near as easy as they make it look in the comics. What these movies share is a star who is not only a complete and utter badass, but is also unafraid to play a bumbling, lovable idiot who is just unintelligent enough to keep getting himself into the wrong kinds of trouble but never stupid enough to make you want to roll your eyes at the trouble he gets into. It's a level of intelligence that makes him very human and incredibly believable. He's not the perfect hero that most action stars attempt to play – the smart, good looking, ass kicker with just the right one liner to finish up with. Marko Zaror plays the tall, brooding, quiet type who will kick your ass from here to Arica, but you know could easily be outsmarted by even the most average of thugs – which gives him a level of vulnerability that always allows for danger to exist. But whenever he is about to settle things HIS way, you know bodies are going to start flying and some kind of incredible flying kick is just around the corner. Is Marko as stunning a performer as Tony Jaa? No. His physical style and stunts aren't at that level. At least not yet. But how do his movies compare? They are infinitely better. Let's face it, we all say the same thing about Ong Bak - none of us watch it for the story. But try walking out of Mirageman talking only about the fight scenes. You can't. You'll want to talk about its heart, its humor and its highly original story. And Marko in real life is smart enough to put his faith in a writer/director that knows how to play to both his strengths and weaknesses in order to craft exactly the right kinds of stories for him. And it makes a world of difference. My wife pretty much hates martial arts flicks, but she loved Kiltro and wants to see its superior followup, Mirageman. It's safe to say that I loved both of these films and can't wait to see what happens when foreign investors begin to notice this pair and decide to drop a little more dough into their films. These guys appear to only be getting better. And a third film cannot come soon enough for my taste. Highly recommended. If you're at Fantastic fest right now and haven't seen either of these, seriously, for the love of all that's holy, poke someone standing next to you, ask them what THEY thought and realize that I'm not alone - these are two of the movies that you cannot miss this week. They are everything everyone is saying and then some. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:32 a.m. CST


    by PVIII


  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Donnie Darko had SERIOUS Nickalodian elements

    by birdybirdmanreturns

    ya dig

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST


    by bigfroben

    a sane review on tales. thank you!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    wow, harsh review

    by PVIII

    nothing redeeming in the movie? Nothing worked? Oh and the graphic novels were great - not wanting to read them for the sake of being an asshole is ignorant. They're just as good as standalones, so if that makes you feel better about yourself. Also, I'd rather watch a trainwreck like ST that tries do something different, then some paint-by-numbers film.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Midgets in raincoats ... and whiskers on kittens

    by half vader

    Hey Massa, maybe it's a nod to PKD by way of Ridley Scott's Bladerunner - that had midgets in raincoats!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST

    You've Convinced Me

    by bnl771

    I will check out Mirageman this week. Was going to skip but between your enthusiasm and the fact that Marko Zaror stopped to talk to me the other night and seemed genuinely interested in how I was enjoying the festival and then asked me kindly to come to his movie IF I was interested... Well... I can't say no to Marko.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Southland Tales rocks

    by Doc_Strange

    Because I looked over at Kurt Russel and he was laughing so it's OK.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    A mess

    by gride9000

    Yeah, wow harsh. This movie is becoming more interesting the more people seem to get angry at this film. Donnie Darko was a "Mess". "Inland Empire", how bout Bunuel films? Are they a mess? Dude listen up the only thing that was a mess, was this wack ass hatchet job of a review.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Might of saw this coming.

    by pretentiousboy

    We all witnessed kelly crossing the pretentious line when he did the DD directors cut. Maybe he's gone overboard. Still seems like a good kid. Hope he can make a better movie next time. Still... it can't be any worse then solaris.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by Aquatarkusman

    Bunuel has Fernando Rey, Monica Vitti, and Jeanne Moreau to fall back on; I don't think the iconic casting of Stifler is going to make up for overreach. I mean, honestly: even Gregg Araki probably thinks this casting is shit. But I do like this game: WAS HOWARD THE DUCK A MESS?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Looks like the review Harry should have written,

    by C Legion

    but didn't have the nuts to do so. By the way, I've noticed people comparing Kelly to Lynch in a number of "Southland Tales" talkbacks, don't. Lynch is a genius, Kelly has made one good film (then fucked it up with the DC).

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I actually want to see this more now

    by hktelemacher

    I was only so-so interested until that review.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    You are all much smarter than Richard Kelly

    by JAGUART

    So don't give him the credit for you making his shitty movies better than they really are.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by harold_maude

    this only makes me want to see it more.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Sounds like we have another Dune on our hands

    by Garbageman33

    Speaking of David Lynch, what the hell was he thinking there?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Hey, did you guys hear Southland Tales is a mess?

    by Demosthenes2

    God, way to dismember a horse when it's down. With that malevolence you'd think Massawyrm was writing about the Bush administration. I'm starting to pity Mr. Kelly; this movie has taken an obscene number of beatings, and every critic writes as if they're the first to recognize how convoluted it is, even if they acknowledge the disastrous reception at Cannes. On any given day I'd rather watch a movie with innovative ideas that don't come together, than something formulaic and pedestrian. Southland Tales may not be a good movie, but that doesn't mean we don't want movies like it that are trying something new. And beating Southland Tales to a bloody pulp will certainly shy many producers away from any ambitious projects like this one.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST

    C Legion

    by MatDGZ

    You have a good point. Lynch is established, he's made a fuckbucket load of films and the guy has his style down. Kelly made one good movie, and it was a REALLY good movie...and then the DC came out and I cried, then the dog cried, then I cried again. What a shitmess of awfulness. I know no one is saying this means Kelly is an ass, I think he is finding his feet and has every right to fuck something up. I will see this movie, because I truly feel I have to. Kelly hit hard with DD and I would like to see something he didn't get so right, I just have to. he will do something wonderful again.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Nice to see...

    by mastes360

    ..all the 'intelligent' and 'cool' posters trying to defend this mess as if its oscar material or something!. The trailer looked a mess and dumb as hell, just because a film is hard to understand, doesn't mean thats its great guys!.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Massa - Little people are geeks too...

    by Aloy

    and they really don't get off on being called midgets, evocative as the raincoat midget term might be for you. has a fascinating discussion on this that dates back to 2005.... so get with it dude!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    thank you

    by master bitchfist

    for that review of southland tales. you took the words right out of my mouth and then spun them into a cohesive and well written thought.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Hey, you goofy apologists...

    by GabrielsChains

    ...since when did the choice become between Formulaic Crap and Esoteric Crap? Call me crazy, but I actually prefer CLEVER movies that think OUTSIDE THE BOX that also deliver in terms of story, character, and experience. "Being random" and "being fresh" only equal the same thing if the filmmaker knows that the hell they are doing. Very few great movies, if any, have been the result of a filmmaker that doesn't know what he's doing getting everything they want -- which is exactly what it sounds like happened with Southland Tales. I mean seriously -- raise your expectations. Breaking Rules is only to be commended if a picture is the better for it. Otherwise, a piece of shit is a piece of shit, no matter how many conventions it bucks.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:43 p.m. CST

    HalfVader, you gave me the biggest laugh of the week.

    by Lenny Nero

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm editing a documentary on movie musicals right now, and I really cannot freakin' stand to hear another bar of "Sound of Music." For the love of Jule Styne, leave me alone Rodgers & Hammerstein!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Big ups, Massa!

    by ye olde shiza

    Southland will be fun to watch, I have no doubt, even if it's a disaster as you say. But I do have to give you the credit you deserve Massawyrm. Thank you for having the balls to be honest. If this film is indeed fucked, then Richard Kelly needs to hear it before he becomes like an M. Night and runs off touting himself to be the Queen's English. He needs to get knocked a good bit and hear honest, well-intentioned criticism so that he can become a stronger, better artist next time around. Look at ol' Aronofsky and "The Fountain." Some say it's beautiful. Hell, I like watching it for the sole reason that it is visually incredible, but that's about it for me. When you become full of yourself as an artist, you try to destroy the boundaries of the medium, to become like a zen master of film or painting or whatever your art form is. Well, Kelly failed this time, it seems. No biggie. Who hasn't, I would ask? Every artist has big dreams, and I'll be buying my DVD and paying for a ticket just to watch this "mess." Massawyrm being honest about the film made me feel much more at ease than Harry's sales tactics.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:53 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    The sleeper must awaken.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Dude - SUCH a smart, eloquent review...

    by martianalien

    seriously. I am pysched to see this and am pretty sure it'll annoy the BeJeeze outta me but your description was so on the nose with the problematic script I groaned through. Here's the other thing: BRAZIL isn't even diffuse - its a fairly simple narrative about misID. What is complex/interesting/off-the-wall are the DETAILS that paint the world for you (my fave-DeNiro the nonunion plumber)...this is why you can actually focus on and take in Brazil so well. Southland Tales has a zillion different plots - many without sense or closure to them. After the first act you just feel distracted, not engaged. Still, I wanna see the Octo-energy thing for myself(!) :)

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Tell me...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    What the fuck was El Topo about? Or for that matter, what the fuck is The Shining really about? The elements and visual style and Jack Nicholson are all creepy slapped together like that...Hell, isolation is scary...but there's no story in the film version of the Shining...It's just a scary fucking movie mess...I know, I'm gonna come off as a visigoth or something for saying that Kubrick's movies are sometimes densely made and just...don't hit me where it counts...<p>I tend to disagree with Massawyrm on stuff...but just reading the idea of the characters makes me go..okay, this is one of THOSE movies...I'm probably gonna wait for DVD...I'm just saying it's not the mission of flicks to say to you :THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT ALFIE...<p>That said, I bet Massawyrm's on the money about it...and Kelley better have another fucking 'Mad World' soundtrack moment that fucking cements the flick. What sold Donnie Darko? The art directed rabbit, the soundtrack, and Jake Gyllenhaal in that fucking skeleton shirt.<p>

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by martianalien

    Brazil's main character SAM LOWRY was the only decent/sane character in the world. Southland's characters are all caricatured FREAKS.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST

    it's fun, chasing MOM around the talkbacks

    by necgray

    Dude, you're doing it here too. I knew you would. I absolutely knew it. "Let me tell you about Dune", "Apparently, our friendly reviewer", etc. Are you done? Have you posted enough douchebag talking-down comments to feel sufficiently superior? I like that you referenced the Lynch book as though it was a valid counterargument. Of course Lynch doesn't want people to talk about Dune. Because it failed. And maybe it failed due to studio interference, and he's pissed. Good for him. But it still failed. You haven't at all given us any reason to believe that Dune succeeded. If the point of making film is just to piss in the face of the establishment, then sure, trying something different is to be commended and exalted above all things. But it's NOT. And you don't know that Gilliam and Dick are a match made in heaven because, oh gee, Gilliam didn't actually MAKE the movie, did he? No, he didn't. So way to speculate, but you have no evidence to back up that statement. And Massawyrm didn't say that Pop Artists pull it out of their asses. He said that it happens naturally. You can work hard to achieve something and still have it happen naturally. I believe what he means is that if your GOAL is to create Pop Art, then 9 times out of 10 you'll fail because you're too self-aware, and part of the appeal of Pop Art is that it isn't self-aware. I could be misinterpreting his point, but I believe that's what he's saying. You know, it occurs to me that all you do is get on here and basically rip on the real posters. If you have such a big problem with these guys, why don't you start your own f'n site? I'm sick of reading your constant negative teardowns of the administrators and site regulars. You talk endless shit about internet movie geeks and yet you come back to Talkbacks time and time again. Why don't you do something about it instead of bitching?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST

    You can see this watching the trailers, for God's sake.

    by AnnoyYou

    And the leaked footage, come to think of it. I love the Rock, and it pains me to say this, but Southland Tales seemed like pure idiocy from the beginning. Of course, I think Donnie Darko is pure puerile cinematic wanking, so maybe I'm prejudiced, but I think everyone will agree that ST is a POS.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST


    by ye olde shiza

    No need to be sorry to disagree. I like it when people do, which is why I'm praising Massawyrm for his review in one respect. Disagreeing with something means you have a different opinion and you need to share it. <br><br>As far as The Fountain goes, it is indeed a beautiful film. It has a structure. But I feel it was very heavy-handed. I don't feel confused by it, and I actually enjoy the message, but I felt like by the time I walked out of the theater, I had been eaten alive by Aronofsky's message instead of being able to uncover it for myself. <br><br> It felt like an state-paid war-film, just about love, instead of "fighting the good fight."

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Harsh (with small spoiler)

    by BDT

    Too harsh on Southland Tales, Wyrm. I'd actually like to see ST again, being too caught up in trying to find out what happens next more than seeing the little connections, clues, etc, wherein the entire story actually lies...not the what happens next. *SPOILER* You are told what happens "next" from the beginning. *END SPOILER* I thought this was visually interesting and the music was awesome. Richard Kelly is a genius for picking music...or whoever helps him do it is. This movie is about destiny, serendipity and details that happen in a split second. I know some folks didn't much care for it, but I truly would like to see it again. I'm not apologizing for RK, but I think this was more than a decent effort and shows a lot of hard work and is not nearly worth the harshness of your review. My only complaint was there were too many famous faces that seeing them in this story was a tad too tongue in cheek distracting and took me out of the suspended disbelief... like John Travolta in Hairspray. He did a remarkable job, btw, but all I kept thinking was "that's John Travolta" everytime he was on screen. Every time Wallace Shawn is on the screen, all I think is "there's Wally Shawn". It was distracting... other than that, I really enjoyed the movie, especially Dwayne. What a cutie!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST

    okay Memories-of-Murder

    by GabrielsChains

    I like how you just got DESTROYED by necgray and then didn't even attempt to refute one of his points. Probably because he NAILED you. HEADS UP RETARD: Ambition doesn't mean shit. Execution does. The world is filled with a ton of folks with ambitions to change everything -- film, politics, the economy, humanity -- and they don't do shit, and history passes them by and their intentions are forgotten. Having ego and ambition is EASY -- just look in the mirror -- having the talent to create an original vision is DAMN HARD (I'm guessing we can all ask Richard Kelly about this one). We'll all see ST through one medium or another, and we'll call it as we see it, but for the sake of all things holy, GIVE UP THE DESPERATE RHETORIC. SHIT is SHIT, no matter how well intentioned it was. Maybe if all shitty movies come with 3 part graphic novels explaining how nobody really MEANT for them to be SHIT, they just sorta turned out that way, it would be a different story, but for the time being we're talking about FILMMAKERS, and if their film SUCKS, it begins and ends there.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Genius Director?

    by Redfive!

    This is why im starting to Hate Kelly.Donnie Darko's Theatrical cut was far superior then his crappy directors cut,The directors cut made the movie far worse. This guy is hardley a Genius Director,he has yet to prove sh*t. Plsu like ive said before he owes his carrer to The Twilight Zone.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    The only reason anyone cares about Southland Tales

    by wintocha67

    Is Sarah Michelle Gellar. She ought to be in pictures.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Richard Kelley and his "career"?

    by landosystem

    The guy made one movie, hardly a career, since when is producing one low budget movie a career? If I made a table by gluing some broom handles onto a board I wouldn't call myself a carpenter... He may redeem himself in time, but as far as I've seen, he made a so so film called donnie darko, fucked it up in the directors cut, and that is all. Oh yeah, and from that trailer all I see is a giant mess, I may be proved wrong, but sean williams scott and the rock? I am dubious.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST


    by GabrielsChains

    Well, when somebody responds to your post, breaking it down and calling you out point by point, and you have no response whatsoever, other than to try to sidestep their points with "stalker" talk, it's pretty clear to me that a) you've been called out, and b) have no substantive response. Hence, destroyed. Not only that, but your analysis of ST and APOCALYPSE is also woefully reaching (or just naive, not sure which). Saying "I don't care if I'm being pretentious" is very different than setting out saying, "I'm going to be pretentious", which is essentially what Kelly did with ST. Which seems to be one of the main issues Massawyrm has with the film -- it's showy and flashy, with fancy ideas and juxtapositions that are supposed to make everyone sit up and go "oooh, clever!", but it has no SOUL (something APOCALYPSE truly oozes with). So, you're wrong (again).

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    What might be wrong with Southland Tales

    by Neo Zeed

    Maybe Richard Kelly didn't put enough vital details for the audience to "get" his movie. For example, Donnie Darko had a great atmosphere and some cool scenes, but he didn't give enough info to help interpret it. Even Mulholland Drive or The Fountain played fair with the audience. They are confusing at first, but there's enough vital information and clues to help interpet the film in a logical way. Kelly instead seems to not film thosee scenes. Instead, he tries to retroactively fill in the blanks by putting text over his movie like in DD: Directors Cut or make comic book prequels like with Southland Tales. In Donnie Darko, there were passages in that Roberta Sparrow book that if filmed with actual scenes (not creating text overlays after the fact) would've helped clarify and improve the film. Not overexplanation but just enough details to help connect the dots. Lynch has Naomi Watts waking from a dream. Aronofsky has a present day/future scenario. These concepts we are familiar with. Kelly says that you're dealing with fictional logic, that's only available in a fictional "Roberta Saprrow" book...and he won't let you know what's in it. Come on, that's just incomplete writing. Even in "mindfuck" movies you gotta play fair.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:37 p.m. CST


    by PVIII

    In many respects, Lowry isn't supposed to be a likeable character at all. I.g. not giving up his seat to the one-legged woman on the tram, and in an earlier scenes where he asks for the woman to sign a receipt for he husbands death. He's more a creation of the society around him.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Memories-of-Murder is an interesting dichotomy

    by Garbageman33

    He's an elitist who also happens to be semi-retarded. Weird combination.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Mirageman and Kiltro

    by ye olde shiza

    Now since everyone's seemed to ignore these flicks, I have a suggestion for you AICN'ers: put stories about highly controversial movies by themselves. It seems like putting Mirageman and Kiltro on the bottom of this review vaporized any chance they had of being read or responded to. <br><br> Either way, I think I will go check them out. I wish every Chow film would be like the beginning five minutes of Kung Fu Hustle. He should make a dance/musical/comedy.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Hey PV111

    by martianalien

    hey there - very good point. I meant that he ends up sane/decent by pic's end....and of course is lobotomized for it. As he should be! :) Ah, it brings me back to that sad CU of Jonathon Pryce's face over which we hear Palin say "I think we've lost him." Gives me chills! :)

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:14 p.m. CST

    What about the people who hate Donnie Darko?

    by BitterMan23

    Will we love this thing, or find it even more excruciating???

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:41 p.m. CST

    This really seems like a 'must see twice' movie

    by performingmonkey

    Donnie Darko is the same. You haven't watched it unless you've seen it twice (and I'm not talking about the director's cut, which should only be watched if you want sucky explanations for what's happening in the movie). Donnie Darko simply cannot be understood and yet it's still a great movie (it's don't really know WHY it's a great movie!). However, it seems Southland Tales is a BAD movie that cannot be understood, at least on first viewing. Does that give people the right to call it a 'mess'? Maybe. But I think everyone should have to watch it twice. It know what you're thinking 'why would I want to put myself through that trainwreck again yada yada fucking yada' shut the fuck UP you idiots, you think you know EVERYTHING about movies, don't you? Well I'm Richard Kelly and I'm asking you to GIVE ME A FUCKING CHANCE! I mean...Kevin Smith is in this movie, for frak's sake! Is that not enough for you?? Am I not merciful? AM I NOT MERCCCIFFFULL????!?!!!?!??!?!?!??!!??!!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Southland tales is probably one of those movies that...

    by Doc_Strange

    Are so cerebral that it will take decades for the movie to finally catch on, kind of like Blade Runner and Tron. So in its initial run it'll bomb hard. But then over the years it will develop a cult following, if it hasn't already, then will be screened at midnight showings and shit over several years and will sell well on DVD until one day it becomes a part of pop culture. Kelly is a genius.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST

    "I love Kelly's work"

    by MPJedi2

    yeah - he has such a long history on which to base a statement like that. "I thought Donnie Darko was a pretty cool mindfuck" is a more honest statement. And this film shows us tha, in fact, Kelly doesn't know what the fuck he's doing. Donnie Darko = Pure, stupid, blind, doo-dah LUCK.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Thank you MPJedi2...

    by GabrielsChains

    ...for making sense. I think Donnie Darko has found so much appeal because Kelly's success has been sorta like Forrest Gump -- it shows you can luck into the greatest success in the world. And if all it takes is luck, it can happen to any of us. Kelly keeps the 30-year-old bedroom dreamers' hopes alive.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:16 p.m. CST

    If your going to fail, fail spectacularly!

    by Yeti

    Kudos Kelly. Kudos.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST

    People defending the intellectual content of "pop art"

    by Monkey Butler

    By its nature, pop art is totally meaningless. It's literally all style, no substance. You can try to read any number of things into a badly screen-printed image of a soup can, but Warhol's whole point was it looked cool, and absolutely nothing more. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but when people start reading so much into this film like they did with Darko, it'll just make them look stupid. Darko was a weird little time travel movie with some decent performances and zeitgeist "random 80's" humour, nothing more. The script to Domino was in the same vein, with a lot of room for style and humour but ultimately meaningless, and Southland Tales looks to be more of that. If you want to cannibalise classic literature, here's something for you R.Kelly: "sound and fury, signifying nothing". Fret and strut all you like, but you'll just look ridiculous.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST

    "Pop Art rarely comes from someone setting out...

    by rbatty024

    to make it." WTF! No, pop art is characterized by its extreme sense of self-consciousness. That's the post-modern condition. Andy Warhol was extremely self-conscious about his image and about how people viewed his work and the work itself, it didn't "just happen." Anyway, that remark was terribly off base. Even if this movie does suck, I'm still interested. I've just seen too much of the same recently, I have to watch something that's completely different, even if it fails.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Spectacular Failure

    by Rustle

    I couldn’t agree more with your review of Southland Tales. I was at the screening. I thought Harry was a bit too kind to this one, and am glad to see you call it out for what it is.. I was glad I saw it. I enjoyed the Justin Timberlake musical number. It’s not boring, but it’s not a cohesive film either. Here’s hoping Kelly can put this one behind him and give us future projects that come together better.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Pop Art comes EXACTLY...


    from someone setting out to make it as Superficial and artificial, as possible! Screenprint of Soup can!!!<P>Enlargement of Comic Book Frame!<P>I hope the confused are getting this wrong like when everyone including Harrison Ford didn't ''Get'' BladeRunner but sadly it does look like an unmitigated MUSH MUSH!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Okay then..

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Fine...let's play this game: Close your eyes and in your head picture the movie that stars the Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Stifler. I don't give a flying monkey's ass, that sounds like Kelly should have stuck with the original name for this flick: BOX OFFICE POISON. (Thank You Norm MacDonald)

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Thanks Mass

    by Captain Hollywood

    Now I definitely won't be seeing it... or at least pay to. I'm intrigued to see how 'bad' this could be.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 1:01 a.m. CST

    More I hear and see about Southland Tales...

    by GilesT

    ...the more I'm convinced I'm going to love it.<br> <br>...and be the only one who does.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 1:02 a.m. CST

    @garbageman and gabrielschains

    by necgray

    Thanks, fellas, for the compliments and the understanding. I'm glad to see that my points are understood by someone. And those are some hilarious posts, by the way. I don't think I "destroyed" MOM, but I do think I pointed out a habit of his behavior on here. Do you like how I made a sarcastic remark about following him through the talkbacks and he took it literally? I wonder if he realizes that I'm following topics, not him. I would've replied in this talkback regardless of his presence because I feel strongly about Kelly and about "deep" films that pretend to Art. Not that ST isn't Art, I think it's too early to say that. But all indications point to no. And before beret-wearing "ars gratia artis" sycophants start tearing reviewers a new asshole for disliking it, I want to get in here and make some valid points about Communication Theory of Art vs Pure Expressionism.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 3:20 a.m. CST

    The fifth element

    by Affleckwasthebomb

    This remind any one else of the fifth element, another disaster? I like the fifth element though so I'll hold out on judging to harshley.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Why have people started to say "I COULD give a shit"?

    by Edward_nygma

    It's COULDN'T give a shit. You're saying the opposite of what you mean. You're saying you care.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 5:28 a.m. CST


    by C Legion

    It seems to be an Americanism. I'm English and I've never heard anyone say it, they always say "I couldn't give a shit", as they should. It's the same with "I could care less", dumb fuckers (not Americans, just people who misuse those expressions).

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 5:48 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    That's what got him banned when he used to be BladeRunnerUnit.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 6:34 a.m. CST

    memories of Murder is my enemy

    by messi

    I ahve been wanting to fight the cunt for along time. Though i forget why, but like every superhero and his arch nemesis they will continue fighting. Though I destroyed part of my rogues gallery already, like Ganymede2010.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Would be funny if this movie

    by messi

    ends up being the Blade Runner of this Generation(even though I consider it to be Children of Men or the Matrix most likely). I mean you can say all you want about Kelly but it's not like Ridley Scott did anything magical after Blade Runner, his career has been living off that and Alien.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    M-O-M is the J.R. Ewing of Aint It Cool

    by Garbageman33

    Sure, he's a giant douche and nobody likes him. But it'd be a lot less fun without him around.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Shock Treatment

    by bingo the clown

    Is NOT a sequel to Rocky Horror. It has some of the same actors, and some of the characters have the same names, but those characters are not the same ones as in RHPS. It main problem is rotten choreography, and the fact that it was a satire of something that didn't exist at the time (reality TV).

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 10 a.m. CST

    Lenny Nero

    by half vader

    My pleasure dude. One of my favourite games is scarring my wife by changing lyrics so she can never hear the song the same way ever again. Sucks to be her.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Bingo the Clown, you're mistaken

    by geekzapoppin

    SHOCK TREATMENT is most certainly a sequel to ROCKY HORROR. Just look at the shooting script. You can't tell me that Brad and Janet Majors and Ralph and Betty Hapschat are just coincidentally the same names in the two movies. THEY'RE THE SAME CHARACTERS. That being said, Massawyrm is an idiot. SHOCK TREATMENT isn't a classic, but it's highly underrated. His "review" of SOUTHLAND TALES made me want to see it even more than I did. Even if it is a "mess," I'd rather see an interesting catastrophic mess than a dull Hollywood cliché any day. Seeing something different is the reason I watch movies.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by GabrielsChains

    Namaste. I honor the place where you and I are one. p.s. Geekzapoppin -- I'd rather see a well told, well acted, innovative story than either a gimmicky catastrophic mess OR a bunch of Hollywood clichés. It's easy to see genius in an empty canvas.

  • Sept. 26, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by bingo the clown

    Sorry, you're wrong. Shock Treatment started as a sequel to RHPS, but that script was dumped after they lost financing. Watch the documentary about Shock Treatment on youtube.

  • Sept. 26, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Way to go.

    by Chumkid

    I didn't expect to read anything negative about Southland Tales, especially not here on AICN. Anyone with half a brain knew that it was going to be a failure as soon as they read the synopsis.