Nov. 18, 2007, 5:43 a.m. CST
That's goinna be a porno right?
Nov. 18, 2007, 5:55 a.m. CST
That sums up the guy's career quite nicely.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST
Are we talking about Richard Kelly here? He doesn't hint at self-indulgence he plows straight down at terminal velocity into Self-Indulgences' bedroom.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:54 a.m. CST
First and formost I LOVE the theatrical version of Darko,its amazing and Inspiring and a truly amazing first or any feature. Southland is a complete mess,kelly is getting so into himself and his world even he's not sure how it works,but quite frankly it just doesnt work at all.Social commentary on our society and the times we live in is so 4 years ago.Bush's reign is at an end,we just have one more short year.PLus the fact that theres 10 different genre's it doesnt know what it is. This has the worst big name cast in any film too,none of these actors are anything but the characters they've already made themselves to be.The rock,buffy and stiffler.And dont get me started on PUNK'Ds Justin Timberlake,the worst thing since Vanilla Ice. Im just hoping the box is a conventional film,becuase Kelly's "originality" is nothing but Jibberish.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:54 a.m. CST
Is Billy Walsh the brilliant but unstable director in the HBO series Entourage based on Richard Kelly and Walsh's "Medellin" is referring to Kelly's "Southland Tales"? The episode where "Medellin" received a lukewarm reception in Cannes sounds suspiciously like the reception that "Southland Tales" got.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:59 a.m. CST
by Jack Black
Saw this Friday..and it is a mess. Maybe in the future when your blitzed out with your friends at 3 in the morning and it comes on cable you'll figure out what it all means. Or care.
Nov. 18, 2007, 7:38 a.m. CST
these where great. magorium had me peeing my pants. saw southland tales last night and i was pretty pleased with it, after all the junk ranting lately, the first half hour is painful but once it gets started it's pretty awesome.
Nov. 18, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST
Film maker takes a dump on the carpet of cinema, AICN reviewers fumble about to make up excuses for it's 'misunderstood greatness'. Rest of the cinematic world yawns and moves on.
Nov. 18, 2007, 8:21 a.m. CST
Maybe you were thinking of Ashton Kutcher? Who isn't in this flick, far as I know. Also, Timberlake was great in ALPHA DOG.
Nov. 18, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST
and it disappointed on almost all levels. I think the film it wanted to be the most was Repo Man, but where Repo Man had great dialog throughout, you had to wait about twenty minutes for something funny or clever to happen. So there are moments where you see the film being what it really wanted to be, but unfortunately those moments are too few and too far between. All of the revelations at the end are about things that happen offscreen and are explained to the audience in the first fifteen seconds of the movie, so you could really care less. I will give The Rock points for giving what could have been a great performance if he was given better material.
Nov. 18, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST
Fantastic movie. What I'm surprised about is how no one has mentioned how much this film resembles a Steve Erickson novel: a brilliant, sprawling apocalypse set in LA.
Nov. 18, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST
by dr sauch
I'll wait for this one on DVD.
Nov. 18, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST
couldn't Kelly have gotten ready for distribution two years ago? It jut felt so dated. Or, realizing that it was gonna take ages to get it edited, he could have at least shifted the timeline down a couple of years. Cause really, a movie set 6 months in the future? where a nuclear bomb went off five months ago? Alternative reality stories are great, but this movie was originally produced as a not-so-distant future tale. i think it had the potential to be more powerful if it had been allowed to be that. but he lost his window of opportunity by taking over two years to get the film ready.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST
tv last night and still have not got a fucking clue what that film is all about.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST
Capone likes it. Seriously everyone is HATING this.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:16 a.m. CST
is that Darko had a character you actually cared about. In Southland Tales there are no characters, they're completely empty. This wouldn't bother me so much if the plots left me cold and the social commentary wasn't particularly revealing (although the CNN split screen advertising/infotainment stuff was pretty clever). All in all, it was a letdown.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:23 a.m. CST
been there done that.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST
It sucks harder and makes even less sense than Donnie Darko (If that's even possible) Waita shit the bed again, Kelley.
Nov. 18, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST
This film is a godawful embarrassment that makes Donnie Darko look worse in retrospect. It's not funny, not insightful, not dramatic...just a long, unsightful, unwieldy bore. The Rock and Timberlake may actually emerge from this relatively unscathed (The Rock 'cause he exudes charisma despite the horrible writing, JT 'cause he has one of the better scenes in the film (The Killers)) But everyone else, not so much. (Then again, it's not like a lot of the folks here have been working much lately.) Stringing together a gaggle of current C-list celebs and 80's B-icons (Lambert, Larroquette, Booger, Zelda Rubenstein) does not substitute for a well-written, well-made movie. Nor does "updating" Revelations or quoting Eliot and Frost like they're going out of style. (They're not.) Long-winded, pretentious...you don't have to see this film twice to "get it." You'll get it the first time: It's bad. And, like the Donnie Darko directors cut, it has a horrible case of the Midichlorians.
Nov. 18, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST
People feel like they have to take a defensive stance toward this film because it obviously sucked donkeys, and no amount of wishing it didn't is going to change that. I really liked Donnie Darko (first cut), but here, we got a solid case of the Emperor's New Clothes.
"The thing I admire about Kelly's works the most is that he steadfastly refuses to exist in a conventional place in the film world." Haha, it's so amusing because this review is totally on the defensive. The above is the worst quote people give to movies they didn't understand, but think the problem is with them, not the filmmaker. Right.
Nov. 18, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST
Simply so I ca rewatch it as from the reviews theres almost too much going on in the story to make it cohesive.
Nov. 18, 2007, 12:56 p.m. CST
then what is Southland Tales about? Humanity's dispostition for self destruction?
Nov. 18, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
stupid subject line only good for kicking.
Nov. 18, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST
by The Alienist
How can you review this movie (which I was not threatened by at all, though confused, I LOVED it) and not mention TANGINA IN DA HOUSE!!!!
Nov. 18, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST
by The Alienist
...the new bible (listen to what Timberlake is saying)...and we only get Books 4 5 and 6...sorta like the first Star Wars movies....
Nov. 18, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST
by The Visco Kid
I still plan on seeing this. I happen to like "Donnie Darko", go ahead and criticize me if you want. Some people like certain movies when other people don't. That is how the world works my friends, we all have our own opinions and we don't all have to agree on every single detail out there. That being said, I think this films looks and sounds interesting and I want to see it, if only to satisfy curiosity. If it turns out to be a horrible film, I at least will know what I am talking about when I say so.
Nov. 18, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST
I'm not trying to dissuade you from seeing this movie, a few days ago no one would have stopped me from seeing it either, but be prepared to be disappointed. On one level it's nice to see something different (even if at times it felt like it was a Frankenstein film, made up of better movies made before it). Although different doesn't mean it's executed properly. During the film I perked up every twenty minutes when an interesting scene or idea popped up only to be forgotten minutes later, but overall there wasn't enough. I will admit that while I didn't think the movie was very good, I would rather sit through crap that's a little different (Southland Tales) than crap that feels as if I've seen it many times before (Transformers).
Nov. 18, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST
by Simon Moon
"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred" - Super Chicken. I went to see Southland Tales knowing full well that it had been lambasted by other online reviewers. But here's the thing, it was made by Richard Kelly. You know, the guy what did Donnie Darko. And I liked that film. A lot. And the other things is, I usually like odd movies that other people don't get. So I assumed it was likely them, not the movie, that was off. Wrong. What a big stinker this film is. This film is Hudson Hawk bad. "But I like Hudson Hawk" you say. No you don't. You just like parts of it. But deep down you know it's just an ambitious piece of crap. And so is Southland Tales. The question I have is, what was Kelly on when he wrote and directed this film? And where did he find a drug that lasts that long? Okay that's two questions. Kelly likes Philip K Dick. I like PKD. We have that in common. There are very strong references to Dick's work in this film. But It seems less like an homage and more like "Hey, I'm going to make my own PKD story." There was even an "effect " that was pretty much straight out of Richard Linlatter's adaption of Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" (probably the truest adaption of a PKD work yet.) But unfortunately you have to really work out your shit ahead of time to accomplish that. And you have to be writing for years and be published and lauded. Kelly made one movie. A very good movie, but it's still just one movie. And as much as I like Donnie Darko, it's just not enough experience to make Southland Tales. So what is it about? I dunno. Something about a nuclear bomb went off in Texas, oil relations with the Middle East have been severed and we're now getting our "Alternative Energy" from a big machine in the waters of Venice, CA that looks like the Encounter Restaurant thingy at LAX. But that's the back story. What is it really about? Again, I dunno. Not in a good Donnie Darko way where I was fine with not knowing all the answers. This film, as others before me have written, is a mess. I do not believe that multiple viewings of this film is going to make it much clearer. It starts with narration. Narration! Jesus on a stick, can we stop with all the narration already? Every show on TV has narration now. No more. A pox upon anyone who employs narration. If you can't show your story using the film medium, go back and re-write. Oh yeah, there's this Marxist group (based in Venice, CA) trying to undo the work of the right wing government. Marxist? Really Kelly? That's what you came up with? Were you just being ironic by picking something so antiquated as a bunch of commie wannabes? And the lead is a movie star shacking up with a porn actress (based on Charlie Sheen?) who has amnesia. Evidently the plot revolves around him trying to find out something about something that is introduced so late it doesn't really seem like a plot point. It's because of this that the film lingers. Meanders. It doesn't go anywhere. It's huge in scope, but it feels so claustrophobic. Its tone reminded me of the 80's anti-nuke cult film "Miracle Mile". Wouldn't be surprised if that was another influence. As was the the "Repo Man " inspired ending. So who's in it? Well Justin Timberlake does the narration. Yeah, the guy who got his dick stuck in a box But he's not in the film much and his presence is pointless (at least to my sober eyes ). Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is in it and Sara Michelle Geller and Wallace Shawn and Nora Dunn and John Lovitz and John Larroquette and Miranda Richardson among others. Sounds like a fun, quirky cast, right? No, it sounds like "Hudson Hawk" (Willis, Aiello, MacDowell, Coburn, Grant and Bernhard). Also half the cast of SNL from the late 90's to present. Oi vey. Does Kelly have an SNL obsession? Don't get me started on the great and powerful SNL. The performances are hindered by wooden, cliche, over the top dialogue that would be funny if this were a comedy. But it's not. Or is it? I truly think Kelly was high making this film because direction is absent. Instead of directing, I think he just observed. The best performance came from Seann William Scott. I think he must have told Kelly to fuck off and brought in his own director for his scenes so he could do what he had to do. Such rancor. I'm sorry. I didn't want to not like this film. I wanted to love it. I wanted to see the follow up to Donnie Darko. But what I ended up seeing was what appears to be the script Kelly wrote years before Darko while still learning screenwriting in film school. The tight story structure and careful plotting found in the former film is completely gone here. It's so damn sloppy. And it pissed me off. I have no idea what this film cost, but why couldn't I have the money to make a couple of films? Yes, I'm a frustrated writer/director still waiting for his big break. Even a little one. Please. And it bugs me when someone who has the opportunity to make films squanders it. Look, Kelly was ambitious. There's a lot here that he was reaching for. And I applaud him for it. He's about ideas. I like that. So am I. That's what attracted me to DD. He at least tried to do something different while all the others keep churning out the same crap. So for that I cannot condemn the man. I just wish he had done it sober and with same attention to detail he exhibited previously.
Nov. 18, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST
if only because it tried something completely different and it is a film that I still don't know how it got grreenlit. you really have to se it to fully understand what Kelly did here, I'm not saying you will like it but you should see it to know what your criticizing.
Nov. 18, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST
by Larry of Arabia
There were great scenes, and you can tell that Kelly wants to tell a sprawling apocalyptic story. He just doesn't have the ability to do it. I wanted to yell "focus" at the screen. Not for the projectionist, but for the director. Kelly knows who everyone is and how they fit, but he gives us only hints of a clue. That's hints of a clue. Not a full clue. A great director can take a vision and focus it, cut out what's unimportant. Altman, for all the sprawl in his films, was able to keep everyone and everything clear. He told his story and stated his themes clearly. Kelly can't. That's why this movie is a massive failure, but an interesting one. In his next film he needs to take one small set of characters and clearly tell us who they are. If he doesn't he will be straying into a lesser version of M Knight, making bad films that are in his mind so great that nobody can be expected to understand what he really means.
Nov. 18, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST
BrightEyes... look up. What colour is the sky on that planet you're on, 'cause it sure isnt blue with white fluffy clouds. How can you say that this is one of the years best? I've seen this 'film'. It's a train wreck of ideas and terrible casting. You're right about one thing... how did it get greenlit? This makes M. Nights recent throw ups look mundane and full of sense. Since when did not understanding a film narratively make it some sort of genius? What sort of a half assed benchmark is that? Sheesh. In that case you can get away with anything!
Nov. 18, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST
I'm not expecting much. Regardless, I still think Donnie Darko was great and think The Box could be really cool.
Nov. 18, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST
it's my top 3 of the year, but I am probably bias since Donnie Darko is one one my favorie films ever. There were alot of problems in SLT but also some scenes (justin killers sequence) that just blew me awway and took me by suprise, If you like Donnie Darko or the Fountain than I'd say your gonna dig thus film just don't expect to get it.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST
I like Donnie Darko. I like The Fountain. This is not those films. Southland Tales is flat-out terrible, and it has nothing to do with not "getting it." Justin's Killers sequence is one of the better moments in the film, true, but that's really not saying much. And it was basically Big Lebowski transposed to ski-ball, or "Happiness is a Warm Gun" from another misfire this year, Across the Universe. Really, how this film got greenlit past the script stage is beyond me.
Nov. 18, 2007, 6:39 p.m. CST
by Bad LT
This is a great epic sprawling mess of a movie. See it. A mix of Dr. Strangelove, Lynch, comic books, anti-neocon police state satire, PKD, SNL sketch humor and the first time you smoked pot as a frshman in college and came up with a bunch of really cool ideas that you realized the next day were not all so cool. Nobody rocks the cock like Krista Now! And remember, teen horniness is not a crime!
Nov. 18, 2007, 7:02 p.m. CST
and that I'm biased so in my opinion SouthLand Tales is a great film.
Nov. 18, 2007, 7:05 p.m. CST
With some filmmakers something like Southland Tales would come very naturally to them, but Kelly seems to be screaming all the time 'look, I'm trying to fuck up your mind!' and it isn't working in a good way. It's extremely forced and distracting. You want to actually ENJOY the movie you go to see. Southland Tales is like a 2hr30min self-indulgent student movie that only Kelly and a few of his fuck buddies (e.g. Kevin Smith, Roth, various SNL alumni) are supposed to ever see. It's not made for general consumption.
Nov. 19, 2007, 2:13 a.m. CST
Nov. 19, 2007, 3:08 a.m. CST
But ultimately I can't root against the genre as enthusiastically as some here. Also, Across the Universe was very well done, imho.
Nov. 19, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST
that's what I want to know
Nov. 19, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST
I think you nailed it on the head Pierrotlefou. I remember listening to the Donnie Darko commentary and when Kelly says he got the idea for that weird liquid trail comming out of everyone's chest from playin PS2 Madden, i said to myself, "yeah, this guy is a total stoner". And he hangs out with Kevin Smith. I see what's going on here. When your young, you tend to think all those ideas you get from bong hits are some sort of creative revelation but as you get older, you realize it's a couple good ideas with a lot of bad ones, just like Pierrotlefou said. Granted, Kelly's obviously a smart guy, but he also has no real life experince, therefore he doesn't really have anything to say just quite yet. He needs to live more. So when you have nothing to say as an artist and you're a smart guy, you tend to fall back on your college education as a crutch. That would explain the constant Frost quotes someone talked about earlier. This movie sounds (and looks like from the preview)like a mismash of stoner concepts with someintllectual referencing from his college courses. It's okay though. The failure of this movie will hopefully help him build some character. A lot of the best art comes from pain so this will, I hope, save him and make him dig deeper to tell a more sincere, personal story so don't count this guy out yet. At least he's trying to be fresh and original. He just needs to grow up a little more and nothing helps you grow up like failure.
Nov. 19, 2007, 2:44 p.m. CST
senior, you hit the nail on the head with this: "a mismash of stoner concepts with some intellectual referencing from his college courses" That's it in a nutshell. FWIW, I fleshed out my pan of the film here: http://www.ghostinthemachine.net/005055.html
Nov. 19, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST
I paid 11 bucks to see an ambitious mess of a film, and you lovers of this film think it's worth that much??? Come on, you all must have a lot of disposable income to recommend going to see it in your local cineplex. It felt incomplete (over 40 minutes cut) , incoherent, and while there were some terrific scenes scattered here and there, you guys actually say we should spend our hard earned money to see it?? Who here recommends that as opposed to renting it later, or even checking it out at your public library years from now?
Nov. 20, 2007, 3:06 p.m. CST
I've never feel compelled to react to these talk backs but this is the exception. The movie flows wonderfully as a continuation of the graphic novels and it plays exactly like a comic in it's sprawl and pacing. With the struggle for originality in any art I think it is fucking cool that this story took an alternate route by being fragmented in to both comic and movie form. It requires a little extra money, time, and patience but ends up as wonderful experience (unless you go in to it with intention of being disgusted and disappointed). People may not want alternate entertainment experiences but to just write this off as shit is ridiculous. I'm not a stoner or Donnie Darko fanboy but I really enjoy Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, David Lynch, Alan Moore...The story (books and movie) takes a little bit from all of them -see the direct Mulholland Dr reference with Rebekah Del Rio singing the national anthem. As a matter of fact, Southland Tales gave me the same giddy enjoyment I felt after seeing Mulholland Dr for the first time and piecing that film together (and yeah it does make sense). Read the Prequel Saga, see the movie... or don't.
Nov. 21, 2007, 12:29 a.m. CST
by heywood jablomie
Kelly is a frat-bro nitwit posturing as Philip K. Dick. He needs to be taken out and beaten, slowly and methodically, with fifty horsewhips.