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Two Very Different Reviews For SOUTHLAND TALES!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Well, we’re just around the corner now from the release of SOUTHLAND TALES, and I fully expect epic bouts of name-calling to commence immediately. This is the type of film where people won’t just disagree about the movie... they will feel required to attack anyone who feels differently than they do, where people will scream at each other about it, and where friendships will end over it. It’s that polarizing a picture. I’ll have my own review of it up soon, but for now, I’ll kick things off with a guy who liked it just a li’l bit...
NAME of WRITER: DAVID STANLEY THE PORN DIRECTOR LOCATION: HOLLYWOOD MOVIE: SOUTHLAND TALES SEEN: @AFI Fest, 2007. What the fuck is wrong with critics? okay, first off. Southland Tales is brilliant in about a million different ways at once. A passionate, complicated, beautiful, hilarious - but most importantly - VISIONARY work of post modern, pop culture savvy, film ART. the shit that this movie has taken astounds me to no end. this is a movie that - since it's premiere (in unfinished form) at the cannes film festival a few years back - has been run out of town on so many rails it could call itself the Great Northern. it's an amazing, amazing movie. from first frame to last it succeeds in what it's doing. but, apparently, what it's doing isn't something that a lot of film critics want done. why has this movie taken such an unfair drumming in the press? is it just a great big bandwagon that the critics are afraid NOT to jump on? amy taubin and j. hoberman got it. and they got it back at cannes. before richard kelly had a chance to tighten the thing up and finish the effects. amy taubin and j. hoberman are two highly regarded, fairly iconoclastic, New York film critics. amy taubin was one of the very few critics to champion "eyes wide shut" when that came out, even going so far as to quit the publication she was writing for when they didn't agree with her estimation of what has turned out to be one of Kubrick's best films. (watch it NOW. you'll agree.) hoberman is a critic who, i believe, is primarily known for not cow-towing to common opinion. and by liking "southland tales" (it was so good i wanted to rip a hole in the screen, stick my dick in it and come like a water park ride) hoberman has certainly distanced himself from the status quo. and thank God. because a film like this - and like a lot of Kubrick's work - is definitely not something that can make a single, slim gilder at the box office without the critics on it's side. which is why - sad to say, in this age of remakes and otherwise shitty, derivative flicks - "Southland Tales" won't make any money. and because it won't, the chance of making other movies like it will diminish down to a skinny drizzle. this sucks balls. and the reason it sucks balls is because we are FUCKING CRAVING great art. now, more than ever. we need it. it's the only thing that keeps us sane. okay, maybe not "all" of us. but the ones of us who are not anesthetized. the ones who are awake. those of us who exist - in great masses, i believe, however silent and therefore powerless in this alpha dog culture - who LIVE for great movies and great music and great photography and great paintings - because it MAKES LIFE BEARABLE - should not be cheated on the art out there that DOES exist, but which the FASCIST PIGS (!) would rather leave in the desert like a amnesiatic action movie star. I myself REFUSE to stand by and watch movies like "Southland Tales" be birthed stillborn before they're even released. We need a movie like this to succeed. Why? Because it has balls. It's daring. It's smart and multi-layered. And it - again, like Kubrick movies (read what the critics had to say about "2001" when THAT was released, they hated it) - will undoubtedly grow better and richer every time i see it. that i can guarantee. it is a phantasmagoria of ideas. all of them seemingly disparate if you have the attention of a bumblebee. but if you LOOK at the thing, there's a million beautiful pieces. if you STAND BACK from it, you easily see that it's all of one. one singular vision. one singular, dazzling thing. like justin timberlake tripping balls and singing about bad things that he has done in a skee ball arcade in venice while beautiful girls from another era dance and smile as he pours beer on his head and looks like his pain could cut him in two. (this is just one shot from the movie. there's plenty more . . .) there is nothing like it. you can compare it to other great movies. all similarly decimated in the trades upon release. movies like BLADE RUNNER and 2001 and EYES WIDE SHUT and DAYS OF HEAVEN. i'm not saying that it's as great as those that go aforementioned, but i will say that it's really fucking good. now what constiutes as "really fucking good?" for me, it's the buzz of the thing. and i don't mean the hype type of "buzz." God, no. i mean, the feeling i get when i watch the thing. anyone who truly loves movies - and there are a lot of you out there, by God - knows this feeling that i'm referring to. it's a full body thing. the movie is stroking some part of your brain. the part that can leave and go anywhere it wants to. let's just cut to the quick, shall we? movies are inter dimensional travel. they fucking are. we sit in a dark room and a dream unfolds before us and we enfold within it. when it's GOOD. when a movie sucks balls (Tranformers 2:Electric Boogaloo, Paul Haggis' Crash) you don't go anywhere. you don't travel. you just sit in the theater, getting your seat kicked and trying to keep your feet from falling asleep. (i usually think about sandwiches i'm interested in eating.) but when a movie is good, you travel well. the skies get friendly, oh my Brothers. and you float just like Pennywise said you would. oh, how you float. southland tales gave me the floaty feeling. the buzz i like. and it gave me in in spades. i could tick off everything i like about it, but i won't. you should see for yourself. as the guy who introduced the film at the Arclight said, "no matter what you heard about this movie, i promise you it will be a surprise." part of me wanted to hate it. because liking it will just be more proof that, as far as public opinion goes, i'm farther off the grid than is comfortable. but so be it. i'm pissed at the grid. it owes me money and it won't return my texts. so i say - with fantastic aplomb and amazing grace - fuck the critics. Fuck 'em for trying to stillbirth "Southland Tales" before it even got out of the gate. it will be released on November 16th. in "select cities" of course. but it's a great film. if you don't like it, i'll come in a cup.
Well, then. I find it fascinating how defensive and angry that is, and how little he says about the film itself. I suspect there’s a reason for that. If ambition was all it took, SOUTHLAND TALES would be this year’s greatest film. If the desire for greatness was the same as greatness, SOUTHLAND TALES would be everything that guy above says it is and then some. I’m guessing most people will feel a little bit more like this next guy, who doesn’t seem to feel the same need to shit on everyone pre-emptively in his explanation of his reaction to the film...
Drew, "Southland Tales" screened Friday night and Saturday afternoon at the AFI Film Festival in Hollywood, and while I'm sure you'll get a couple of reviews, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I'm a 34-year-old novelist who loves "Donnie Darko", but had low expectations for Richard Kelly's follow-up based on its negative publicity for the last two years. That said, I went in wanting to like the film. If I can sum "Southland Tales" up in one word, it would be this: "Dune". While there are fans of David Lynch's "Dune" and those who still sign off on it, saying "Yeah, it's all right. It's okay. At least it's different", both that film and "Southland Tales" are 2 1/2 hour long sci-fi/comedies, needlessly convoluted, filled with questionable B-actors and iffy special effects. And at the end of the day I don't know what the fuck either one is about. The good: * The prologue - depicting nuclear attacks in Abilene and El Paso as shot on home video - is pretty potent. The only intriguing geopolitical stuff in the film are the glimpses we catch on newscasts of how World War III - a U.S. counterattack on Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and Syria - is progressing. That was believable, as well as a bit unraveling. * Some of the performances. Dwayne Johnson has a charisma I liked; he's fun to watch in this and I will say it, a good actor. Cheri Oteri is terrific as a dreadlocked revolutionary. And while she's on screen maybe 4 minutes, Mandy Moore again proves she's a good comedienne. * Some of the music. Moby is credited with the score and seems like a good choice for your apocalyptic L.A. movie. As with "Donnie Darko", Kelly demonstrates a real flair for music video, even though I think his forays into choreography hurt this movie instead of helping it. The bad: * The entire film - start to finish - is needlessly convoluted. The political material bogs the movie down and kills it, just absolutely kills it. Just like "Dune", where you need a scorecard to keep track of the various houses or spice guilds or whatever the fuck – here we've got Neo-Marxists, a Republican senator, his aides, his power hungry wife. Bush is glimpsed on video (I guess as the current president) and Carl Rove has his own franchise of banks. Veterans are returning from Iraq, but it's not clear if they're part of the police state, or against it. There's an alternative energy genius played by Wallace Shawn as a cross between Robert Oppenheimer and Andy Warhol that I wasn't sure was good or evil. Sarah Michelle Gellar spoofs Paris Hilton fairly well, but it wasn't clear whether she was a femme fatale or our heroine. Was I supposed to be afraid of her, or are porn stars our 21st century heroes? I'm getting a headache just typing this shit. * Poor casting. In "Donnie Darko" we had Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wylie and Drew Barrymore. Great casting. I can't make heads or tails out of most of the people Kelly cast in this thing. Nora Dunn plays a revolutionary. Jon Lovitz an evil cop. Amy Poehler another revolutionary. Laraine Newman must be upset she didn't get a reading. Every time someone from "SNL" shows up, the audience started chuckling. Oteri is good, but this casting is just bizarre and took me right out of the movie. * If anything brings a movie to a halt like politics, it might be the Internet. Way too much of the plot revolves around the Internet. Who's broadcasting what on the Internet. Who's watching who on the Internet. None of that is cinematic, and it's not the least bit interesting. * There needs to a limit of three Bible verses per movie. That's it. Even three per movie is pushing it. Every other piece of narration by Justin Timberlake is out of the Book of Revelations. It's just too much, Kelly vaporizes the audience. * "Southland Tales" is not a good title. There are no multiple storylines going on here. No "tales", just vignettes or bits. It's about as episodic as "1941". To sum up, the movie isn't tense or unnerving enough to be a thriller. It isn't funny, so it's not a comedy. It becomes gradually ridiculous and completely abandons reality, so it's not a satire. What the fuck is this? Timberlake's narration riffs on "Apocalypse Now", but that film had a very concise story. Willard is headed up the river to kill Kurtz. I cannot begin to unravel who was going where or why in this movie. In the elevator, I heard a teenager saying that nobody outside of the Southland/L.A. would understand this movie. Uh, I live here and don't fucking understand this movie. The producers deserve most of the blame. Richard Kelly is talented, but someone should have had the sophistication and intelligence and yeah, balls, to tell him that his script needed work. A lot more work. So, if you love "Dune", you might appreciate "Southland Tales". I don't know Richard Kelly, but have a feeling that like David Lynch, he'll want to move on to his "Blue Velvet" and forget this movie ever happened. You can call me "Laszlo Vilsay."

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:37 a.m. CST


    by BrightEyes


  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Fix the damn articles.

    by Lenny Nero

    This and the "Dungeon Siege" article are unreadable. our spies deserve at least a quick format edit. Or if it's code...whatever...I just know I'd be pissed.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST

    I've been waiting for Southland for years

    by BrightEyes

    So I hope it will be good,I get the vibe that Kelly was trying to do his own version of Dr Strangelove, not saying it will be anywhere as good as that just the whole political epic dark comedy.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:45 a.m. CST

    It's The Book of Revelation, folks - no "s"

    by Mister Man

    I walked out of "Dune" when it first hit the scene in theaters, so this doesn't bode well for me.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST


    by The Real MiraJeff

    I'll have an exclusive 1:1 interview with Richard Kelly up this week along with my 2500+ word review of the film. Shit's gonna be epic. Be prepared.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:15 a.m. CST

    That second review...

    by Toonol

    ...most of his criticisms made me more curious about the film. I haven't even seen Donnie Darko, so I don't have any stock in the director. Did like Dune, though. Its flaws just didn't matter in comparison to the epicness of it.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Agree about Eyes Wide Shut...

    by Kirbymanly

    Not that its Kubrick's "best film" but the meaning of it has grown on me since I've grown older and more experienced with relationships. He's it again.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Have to agree with bad casting

    by Prague23

    I'm not a fan of ANY actor who has a major role in this film and think that the only thing more confusing than actually hearing that a movie starring The Rock (even if you use his real name in the credits) is supposed to be so good that Kubrick comparisons are being made from the get go. And now I learn I have to sit through Moby music throughout it's 2 1/2 HOURS?! I LOVE Donnie Darko but hated Domino and it looks like, just from the trailer, that I'll wait for Tales on DVD, when maybe my flatmate pays for the rental. Maybe I'll check out the comic books first and put this one on the back burner for a couple of years to see if it ripens with age (FYI - just like Eyes Wide Shut DOESN'T).

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:43 a.m. CST

    for some reason I'm trusting the first reviewer

    by palinode

    The second review may be full of valid points, but it reads like someone who's too immersed in storycraft or whatever and doesn't like the many rules that Kelly broke or disregarded. Fair enough. But the first reviewer connected with the film on such a visceral level that I'm willing to believe him. I hope it's better than Dune, though. And Eyes Wide Shut.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:44 a.m. CST

    First reviewer

    by Brendan3

    First reviewer said Blade Runner, 2001, and Eyes Wide Shut received lots of negative reaction in the press. Completely untrue. Eyes Wide Shut was panned (an deserved to be panned)... Blade Runner and 2001 were not. They were hailed as visionary... not just later... but at the time as well.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 2:27 a.m. CST

    first reviewer

    by necgray

    Way to spew invective at mainstream filmmaking. Now would you like to actually comment on the film or is dimwitted hyperbole good enough for your purposes? Reviews like that make me want to see this less and less. If you can't articulate yourself better than a crack-fiend on a 2-day IFC/Sundance Channel bender, then you deserve every bit of scorn thrown your way. Palinode, how in the fuck is it EVER a bad thing to be immersed in storycraft? What is it with people that they think "breaking rules" is the same thing as "breaking ground"? Or that disregarding traditional narrative automatically makes you a cut above mainstream Hollywood fare? As much as I admire the independent film spirit and filmmakers who want to push the envelope, there are times when I just want to shout "Fuck You" at the whole indie/hipster scene. I want to say this and I want it to be perfectly clear: There is NOTHING wrong with traditional narrative.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Did Harry already write an insanely positive review?

    by IndustryKiller!

    I think he did, but if he didn't you can expect one anytime. The only thing you need to do to get Harry to love a movie is confuse him and you have an insanely positive review in which he at least once says "This isn't like other movies. This isnt a movie that does thing X, it's not a movie that does thing Y, what it does is thing Z!" and then explains erroneous motivations that the characters don't actually have while relating it to his own life.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 2:36 a.m. CST

    'Dune' is difficult to follow?

    by prbt

    Nah. The BOOK is, but the film? Never had a problem with it. Now, Syriana, THAT'S a film that made me turn to my friends after forty minutes and go "anyone got a clue what's going on?"... and when it was obvious none of us had any idea, we turned it off.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Southland Tales and Eyes Wide Shut?

    by JAGUART

    Somewhere in Heaven, Stanley Kubrick is throwing up.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Different Doesnt always mean Better!!

    by Redfive!

    Why do fan boys continue to think that just because a movie is different then the regular formula that its better? Bad word of mouth for the last 2 years has made me not care about this,but i will give it a chance. Also the fact that ALL the actors in this are shit "especially timberlake". Now i will say im always up for something different,but different doesnt always mean better.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Justin Timberlake

    by meatygoodness

    "narration by Justin Timberlake is out of the Book of Revelations"... And that's about where I stopped reading. "That crowd" who get off over Donnie Darko are gonna love this.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Lenny Nero...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... not sure what you mean. What's wrong with the articles? They look fine on my computer, and there are no major formatting issues. Same thing when I posted them. Can you tell me what you're seeing that's got you riled?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 4:30 a.m. CST

    "The bad" column starts with "The entire film.."?

    by newc0253

    hmm, apt segue.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    the Kubrick analogy works on at least one level:

    by newc0253

    From watching Donnie Darko, Kelly strikes me as a very gifted director but an utterly overrated storyteller ... much like Kubrick was.<p> To judge by the above review, though, Kelly doesn't want to be Kubrick so much as David Lynch.<p> Sadly, it seems that David Lynch he ain't.<p> Darko was impressive as a first film but the amount of overthinking that went into the story and the subsequent acclaim for its genius both strike me as sophomoric.<p> Now, i don't mind films that are complex or even batshit insane (c.f. most of Lynch's stuff). But even when you don't quite know what the frak is going on in a Lynch film, you're still struck by the compelling nature of what he's doing.<p> What's interesting about the second review above is that, in Southland Tales, Kelley doesn't seem to be able to manage even emotional resonance: instead, it's apparent 'not unnerving enough to be a thriller. It isn't funny, so it's not a comedy. It becomes gradually ridiculous and completely abandons reality'.<p> Fortunately, Southland Tales is only Kelly's second film. If he's lucky, its crashing failure won't screw him forever. If we're lucky, maybe he'll learn something and make better movies in the future.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Hi Richard!

    by C Legion

    I presume that was Richard Kelly who wrote that first rant (it wasn't a review), or it was someone associated with the film.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Richard Kelly

    by konkrete590

    Southland Tales reminds me of the Donnie Darko directors cut. The movie has brilliance in it, but it seems like when Kelly has too much time to rethink and rededit he confuses things and makes them bad. I love Donnie Darko and was really excited to see the director cut in theaters. Then I saw all the dumb music changes and it ruined it for me. It almost seems like he kept going back in this one and adding things. At the end, scenes almost seem like they were edited in out of order. One minute the crowd is in the bar, the next sitting down, then back at the bar.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 7:27 a.m. CST

    any movie

    by chrisco

    with Justin Timberlake,the Rock and Jon Lovitz gotta be good

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    a review full of "fucks"


    What the hell. That first review sucks. I know i wont like this crap. Eyes wide shut sucks because of cruise, not Kubrick. This guy didnt tell me anything about the movie.. just dropped "f" bombs.....which generally suggests low intellect...especially in print...

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    worst cast ever


    Timbertoes? The Rock? IS this an MTV Network production or stunt casting?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Lazy film....lazy script....etc.


    Narration? Didnt anyone read McKee? Using text on the internet to advance the story? Sounds like amatuer night to me...

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Funny how niether review mentioned Stifler

    by MatDGZ

    I will see this film. I have to because Donnie Darko was a wonderful, mind shifting film that made many people realise what independent filmmaking can be. I have always been a fan of indi and offbeat filmmaking. Lynch, Kubrick, Cronenberg and Kelly are filmmakers who bend the rules of filmic storytelling to their advantage (in some cases). Their films will rarely fill every seat because they require involvement in more than just a 'fuck me the special effects are amazing' way. I am not saying i will certainly like this film, but I'll give it my £5 because its good to see how great directors make mistakes too.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST


    by micturatingbenjamin

    The first reviewer says it's good, the second says it's a mushy, mish-mash, hodge-podge.<p>I could get my friends to go see this, and I'd be the world's biggest dick for doing it. I'd say "Hey, let's go see the new flick by the guy who did 'Donnie Darko'!" They'll be jazzed, and the second Justin Timberlake starts wheezing about his "awful pain" and wasting beer, my buddies are going to nail my nuts to my leg.<p>I guess I'm a fascist. But, here...'The Shining' is scary as fuck, but tell me what the story was. '2001' is an amazing fucking sci-fi effects movie, creepy and weird...but...What the fuck is it about, Alfie?<p>Someone earlier in the thread said it best, Kubrick is an amazing director and a spotty storyteller.<p>I'd have to give this movie a big....Pass. If I got to see it by myself, which I guarantee's gonna happen for this stinkburger...I'd probably enjoy it, and 'get it', and think 'wow, this is great!'...but I'm not the old adolescent douche who needs to like incomprehensible, dense, and emotionally awkward cinema to define 'me'.<p>Who'm I kidding? Halfway through this and I'll be chuckling and quoting 'Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man' to myself and asking why the fuck they don't give John Carpenter 80 mil to make ANYTHING anymore. He broke rules, and told a fucking rad story...W.D. Richter, where are you?!<p>Like Kelly, like Donnie Darko, will see this and probably like it, but ain't going to bat for someone who's TRYING to be 'dense' and 'important' and tweak the noses of so-called 'mainstream' society.<p>Pass.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    "I’m guessing most people will feel...."

    by oisin5199

    that both these reviews miss the mark. Something more in the middle, please? I'm sorry, 2nd reviewer, but in what way was Dune a comedy? That little statement definitely made me doubt the rest of the review. I really wish the first reviewer had toned down the ranting and talked about the actual movie enough to back up his claims. And after reading the second review, I'm pretty sure that my sensibilities are such that I would totally disagree with his way of looking at films. And, oh yeah, let's not rewrite history. I wasn't alive yet when 2001 came out, but I distinctly remember most reviews of Blade Runner being negative. Can't wait for this one.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    The big problem with this film...

    by CatVutt

    Is that I feel like I've been hearing about the goddamn thing since the late nineties. Good, bad, brilliant, awful...WHATEVER. I just can't wait for the fucking thing to be released and forgotten already.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Brendan 3

    by carpetofstars

    I remember seeing Blade Runner when it came out and I thought it was sensational. Imagine how bummed I was to read all of the reviews slamming the film. Don't make irresponsible comments.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:27 a.m. CST

    I dunno

    by dr sauch

    Is anyone else just not interested in this whole thing? I mean, Donnie Darko was pretty cool. It had time travel, and a rabbit, and stuff. Why is this movie more hotly debated than the next election? I'll prob. just DVD this movie on a rainy night.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:30 a.m. CST

    That first guy.

    by JaggedSac

    Is a pretentious asshole who didnt say one thing about the movie itself. Just saying that because he liked it he was above everyone else's lower tastes. What was it about the movie that made it such an overwhelming piece of artistry?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    You people just want to hate.

    by Saluki

    That said, this movie looks terrible. =D

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    OMG, are people still flogging this stupid movie?

    by AnnoyYou

    GIVE. IT. UP. It's a spectacular failure, it will make no money - end of story. Why didn't it go directly to DVD, where all the little "Darko" fans can wank over it in private? The reviewer who said the casting is horrible hit it right on the head: except for the angelic Rock, the use of every SNL alum available AND Scott AND Gellar equals sheer poison. Kelly can slice and dice it until the cows come home, but he won't be left with anything better.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Discredited, really

    by alwaysthenerds

    The second reviewer just totally discredited himself when he said that "Mandy Moore again proves she's a good comedienne." She's the weakest link in this movie.


  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Both of these reviews sucked...

    by SG7

    ...the first guy was just out to bash the haters. Ok. He liked it. The second guy was just one of those goldfish attention span guys. Dune was lame, yes. But complicated? How? Fat buy bad. Submarine captain good. Then dead. Twin peaks guy good. Fight. Blow up. Yay. Seriously. Dune is not that complicated.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    "Cheri Oteri is terrific as a dreadlocked revolutionary"

    by jrcash

    As much as I love Cheri Oteri.. and I do.. WTF? Is it a comedic role?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST


    by Err


  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Lynch's Dune, overcomplicated? WTF?

    by Fist Dirtbox

    Over-condensed maybe, but thats what you get when you try to cram so much plot into 2 hours of screen-time. Finding that movie incomprehensible is not something to use as critical touchstone, its like admitting you're an ADD sufferer.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    It's just okay

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    a popcorn time-killer. Sort of like Navy Seals or Bad Boys.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Just because it wont make a mint and the BO...

    by TheRealSeveren

    doesnt mean that art will diminish in any way. Saw this at Fantastic Fest in September and by the time Wave of Mutilation comes on I was hooked. I cant wait to see it again and I will have plenty of opportunities to do so. I can go see it at the theatre and then I can buy it on dvd (hopefully in high def) at Best Buy down the street. If you think the film is art it will be readily available for you to purchase. Regardless of how ST does domestically filmmakers will go on making great films. Period. I dont buy this argument that if one film doesnt make money it hurts other movies like it from getting greenlit. Its relationships that get movies made more than subject matter.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST

    What is the Shining About???

    by Internet Thug

    A haunted hotel. Any of the other great mysteries of your life you would like me to solve?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Black Snake Moan


    All I had to hear was that it involved Samuel L. Jackson chaining up a nymphomaniac Christina Ricci, and I knew it would be good. And I was right! Where is the hook like that in Southland Tales? I think I might rent it one day, but this looks tedious to me (and I don't mean boring; I mean "tedious" . . . there's an important distinction). While many critics didn't like 2001, many did, and this thing doesn't look or sound anything like 2001. It looks a little more like a much more fucked up Fast Food Nation, and will probably flop on the same level. "Then, Avril Lavigne will quote statistics on how much acrage is used for grazing livestock! It'll be motion picture history!" 2001 had a coherence and a linearity and an almost worshipful focus on the elemenets of the story--the "storycraft" poo-pooed elsewhere. I don't believe I'm going to see that in Southland Tales. Maybe I will. But it doesn't look like it from the trailers and doesn't sound like it from the reviews.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 4:02 p.m. CST

    First Reviewer

    by MattFini

    Get over yourself. Christ.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 4:24 p.m. CST

    "(watch it NOW. you'll agree.)"

    by DarthCorleone

    I'm an Eyes Wide Shut fan, but that's not exactly a compelling argument. "No, no, it NOW. See! It's incredible!" What presumptuous, condescending twaddle. Just because films accumulate esteem over the passage of time does not mean that it holds true for any individual viewer.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:21 p.m. CST

    How much longer can you polish a turd?

    by metaluna

    'Southland Tales' has been 'in the edit' for the last what, two years? I'm sorry, but one minor indie hit does not make you worthy of being mentioned in the same breath of Kubrick, who was a master cinematic storyteller apart for his last two films (A.I. and Eyes Wide Shut, both are a complete mess) but seeing as how Kubrick brought us the likes of 2001, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Spartacus (to name a few) I think I can forgive him for two blips. Look, just admit it, you made an embarassing turd. Put it out of its misery and move on to the next gig. On paper this is a tragically crap idea and the only thing I applaud you for is that you somehow hoodwinked someone into funding this.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    One thing about EYES WIDE SHUT...

    by TheRealSeveren

    I think Kubrick decided to just fuck with people on that movie. It was his joke on the world. Just as Alex deLarge was messing with his captors, Kubrick wanted to mislead and confuse the audience and do the unexpected. He took the two most famous actors in the world and put them through the ringer. He shattered what people were used to seeing with Tom Cruise and put him in the most compromising situations. First, as an egomaniac with the two models, then a husband whose wife wants someone else. Then he hooks up with a prostitute with AIDS, goes to an orgy, almost gets his ass kicked by college kids, gets propositioned by a pre-teen and the list goes on. You have to credit Cruise for going along with it and he probably wouldnt of if it hadnt been for Kubrick's reputation. Kubrick knew this and decided to exploit it for everything he could. That movie was his version of a practical joke I think and you gotta love that kind of twisted sense of humor.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Why did the guy bitching about "art" write like a serial killer?

    by TallBoy66

    You know, all rambling lower-case sentences without a point? That a good sign?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by thatothercaptainjack

    Eyes Wide Shut sucked then and still sucks now. But I really want to see Southlandland Tales. I loved Donnie Darko and for me Richard Kelly can do no wrong.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Eyes Wide Shut

    by BrightEyes

    is the most complex and mysterious Kubrick film second to 2001.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Horrible, horrible utter piece of shit.

    by heywood jablomie

    Nobody likes wa-a-a-acky, surreal, politically satirical, multi-storylined, three-hour-long postmodern fantasias more than I do...and even I thought this was an utter, unspeakable hunk of shit. Not since MYRA BRECKENRIDGE has a big(gish) budget movie been so wholly incoherent. I challenge anyone who "likes" this movie (including R Kelly) to tell me what, exactly, is going on with Sean William Scott at the end of the movie, who Wallace Shawn is, and above all, why the fuck is an attack on a zeppelin flying above the Staples Center "the end of the world"? Some nitwits compared this movie to Lynch, but really it just reads like a high-school kid's stream-of-consciousness gibberish. And Kelly's joky "stunt casting" of Buffy and the Rock absolutely blows--they both give atrocious performances. The funniest part of this whole fiasco is watching Buffy and Dwayne try to be good soldiers and defend this inscrutable farrago--check out the video at Even funnier: Bai Ling sulking and glaring during an interview with Wallace Shawn. Did he try to grab her rump?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Also saw it. Also hated it.

    by Stifler's Mom

    The second review is pretty much spot on.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:50 p.m. CST

    by the way, Eyes Wide Shut is not that hard to follow, and not a

    by Stifler's Mom

    It's too good a movie to be Kubrick's practical joke.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 10:53 p.m. CST

    heywood jablomie, I can explain that and more *SUPER SPOILERS*

    by pzadvance

    I really don't want to ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it, but what's going on with Sean William Scott involves time travel and...well, the New Testament; Wallace Shawn was the creator of Fluid Karma, the wireless electricity that is serving as the new alternative energy source, and blowing up the zeppelin was part of the Neo-Marxists' move to destroy the Republican party. The end of the world business had to do with old Shawny-boy.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST

    That should be "Seany-boy"

    by pzadvance

    Fuck alternate spellings.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Eyes Wide Shut

    by BrightEyes

    isnt hard to follow on the surface (even then it still is) but the film is filled mith so many meanings and metaphores.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Mort, dod you have to put up EVERY review

    by slder78

    you get from an advanced screening. That first review was just so awful on so many levels. That review had the tone of a petulant 12 year old girl after being told that "Hannah Montana" sucks.<p> Donnie Darko had some nice visuals, but is way overrated. My buddy adores that movie, but my problem with it is that it doesn't follow its own logic. But whatever, I'll wait for cable on this one. I'm not a big SMG, SNL, or The Rock fan anyway.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 2:33 a.m. CST

    1941 is an amazing movie.

    by pdb212

    I get so tired of everyone getting off on the term "sophmore slump" There is no such fucking thing. Fist off, Mallrats is Kevin Smith's best movie. I don't care if he won't admit it... he was just brainwashed by jackasses who think "somphmore slump" is cool to write in reviews. Second off, Pulp Fiction is one of the best movies ever, I rest my case. Oh yeah and 1941 is an amazing movie too. It's influenced by looney toons and fleisher brothers, before Mel Brooks and shit that's awesome.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    I want to like the flick

    by RockLobster800

    but that guy who wrote the positive review annoyed the fuck out of me. I mean "eyes wide shut is one of Kubricks best films-watch it NOW, youll agree"? I can make up my own mind-Eyes Wide Shut is still a mess, except for the orgy scene which was creepy as fook. I dont need some twat TELLING me to like it, as if I didnt "get it"and he has some high and mighty mind I cant aspire to. and he keeps harking on about great ART-yeah, dude Im telling ya from the trailer that this film CANT be art due to the sheer amount of bandwagon jumping going on in the casting. Timberlake, Dwayne, William Scott and even Gellar-they all saw Donnie Darko, heard the hype, and thought "hey If Im in that guys next movie then it'll turn my career around cos everyone will think im an intelligent guy with a sense for the quirky-then EVERYBODY will love me not just the tasteless fools who bought my earlier crap" and Kelly thought "hmm...people liked Donnie Darko cos it was weird-HEEEEY, Il make a really weird film and cast completely unexpected people so it'll become REEEEAAAALLLY strange-and everybody will think Im a genius". I mean I hope Im wrong but thats the only vibe I get from the film. I know Kellys a smart guy and all, and he likes his art, but this seems like its just lost all of Darkos mystique and charm under the hype and amount of crap actors leaping through hoops for credibility. I mean if he's such an artist, after cannes he would have just told people to piss off and release the film as was (by himself if necessary) rather than run to the editing suite.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, noon CST

    Laszlo Vilsay is absolutely right.

    by s00p3rm4n

    This thing, this gigantic monstrous thing, was so disappointing. Kelly clearly aimed too high and too low at the same time in terms of the art of this piece. And he forgot, in that 2 1/2 hours, to tell the story. Just get out of the fucking way of the special effects and the blimp and the Christopher Lambert cameo and TELL YOUR MOTHERFUCKING STORY.<br><br> It was brilliantly inspiring to watch just on the merits of its momentous failure. I recommend it to anyone looking for an education in what kinds of excess ultimately fail you - then watch "Apocalypse Now" or "Hearts of Darkness" as a companion piece. See? Art can aim and launch successfully into the stratosphere in the movie biz. It just takes a certain type of person under a certain type of circumstances to make it happen. And whether the timing wasn't right or Richard Kelly isn't right - well, I'm not sure. I thought "Donnie Darko" was a very solid first film. This isn't his sophomore slump as a director; it's more like a sophomore skydive off of Kilimanjaro.<br><br> I wanted to walk out of the screening but The Rock was sitting right behind me and I was afraid he'd make me smell something if I left.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST


    by s00p3rm4n

    This may sound strange, but I thought the casting was one of the few things in this that worked. Especially Nora Dunn, The Rock, and Cheri Oteri (never thought I'd praise these people but yeah). With what they were given, they made the most. <br><br> The saddest part of that is that you can literally watch on these actors' faces as they flail for Richard Kelly to give them SOMETHING human to hold onto in this non-story movie. With the other bit players (and they're all bit players, because nobody's a character but the awful CGI) results are far more mixed. Sarah Michelle Gellar, with way too little room to speak or improvise with her also-amusing character, just felt like booby set dressing. At least David Lynch gives his actors human roles to play (albeit set against inexplicable, frightening worlds) rather than archetypes flailing in shitstorms. When THE LINE of your movie is "Pimps don't commit suicide," you gotta wonder whether Cokie Kelly reached his saturation point of self-approval and should've hired a professional Shit Checking Specialist before spending years of his life on this mess.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Endorsing "Eyes Wide Shut"....

    by Theta

    Not a good thing, in my book. Still, I'm going to see "Southland" simply because it looks like fun. "The Fountain" got shit all over too, give that ten years and people will be falling over themselves talking about how they love it.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 5:16 p.m. CST

    It's not that Kubrick wasn't a good storyteller

    by Mattyboy122

    It's just that he could be a bit of a pretentious dick. 2001 for all of its audio and visual majesty is basically a pompous film, one in which Kubrick basically promises to unveil the meaning of existence in the opening minutes (what with bombastic music and visuals) (or how he sees it, at least), only to keep his opinion unknown to the audience. Thus you get the idea that, when the film is over, Kubrick is just being a douche who is holding back information from the audience (you don't get the idea that, say, Kubrick is just as clueless as the audience is; you know he knows what everything means but he doesn't give you all of the tools to work with). 2001 is still awesome, even if it is pretentious, because at least it has some entertainment value. You want a critically lauded pretentious piece of shit? Watch Bergman's Persona. It's like a feature length student film from that pretentious prick in your class that nobody likes.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST

    As for this film

    by Mattyboy122

    It looks like a clusterfuck on an epic scale. Haven't seen Donnie Darko so I'm not familiar with Kelly's work, but the trailer for this film looks so 'weird for the sake of being weird.' All style, no substance (or substance that could be found on a bazooka bubble gum wrapper, perhaps).