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Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006, USA)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I love DONNIE DARKO and was really expecting more from a good film.

SOUTHLAND TALES (Richard Kelly, 2006, USA) Take a plot inspired by two great Philip K Dick works (FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID and NOW WAIT FOR LAST YEAR) add a dash of Roeg’s THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, a healthy dose of Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, spice it with pseudo-science fiction comedy and melodrama (trying to channel the Cohen Brothers) then add the final ingredient, THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION and what do you get? You get this fustercluck! Kelly’s sophomore effort is a real disappointment but I just admire the effort; this is a brilliant mistake, as Elvis Costello would say. The film’s first fault is with its structure. The film begins like the introduction to a video game with abundant exposition that transitions into small vignettes, with separate scenes spliced together to make an incoherent mess. The second fault is in character development. Kelly introduces too many characters and the story bounces around from one to the other leaving the viewer apathetic to any dramatic revelation. The acting is also cardboard and static with Dwayne Johnson having the emotional range of a Rock…it’s really cringe inducing. The whole movie plays like a badly written Saturday Night Live skit that just drags on for 2 hours and 15 minutes; it’s just not worth the five minutes of humor and wit. Kelly is adapting a Richard Matheson novel (my favorite writer after PKD) for his next film so I hope he’s over the sophomore jinx. (D)

message 2: by James (new)

James Marsh (marshy00) This was quite the glorious can kind of see glimmers of little jewels of goodness, individual scenes that might just have worked in a different context, but it is all chopped, shredded, melted down and smeared around into a complete disaster on toast.

The only scene I remember is the musical number...sing-a-long with The Killers, which on its own kinda worked.

Terrible...but you can still see what he was trying to do.

message 3: by Tom (last edited Oct 24, 2008 05:55AM) (new)

Tom | 166 comments Completely agree with the above. A big mess, with glimmers of quality. Beautifully made, but Mr. Kelly's reach extended his grasp this time out.

Alex, which Matheson is Kelly adapting?

message 4: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
He's adapting a story called "Button, Button" about a couple who recieve a strange box: if they push the button they may get a fabulous reward but a stranger will die. At least, that's how I remember the story; I need to find it again in one of my collections. I'm not sure if Matheson is writing the screenplay but I doubt it, Kelly seems to take total control over his work...sometimes to his detriment (see above review).

message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 12 comments You said it, Marshy - I read on IMDB that the graphic novels apparently make better sense plotwise than the movie - but I have not read them...

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