Review from the Vault: Southland Tales from 2008

Review from the Vault: Southland Tales from 2008 by Salty

After finally discovering the maker of one of my all time favourite films, Donnie Darko, was releasing his second directed film in 5yrs (since Donnie), I nearly choked on my own salivation at what I could expect.

Southland Tales - Poster by ramarmy
Southland Tales – Poster by ramarmy

It was a film about his favourite topic – the end of the world. This was going to be momentous!!! It had a superb cast that would make it unbloody believable. Sarah Michelle Gellar fully stripping her Buffy image and going a bit R rated, The Rock in his first film not to be known as The Rock but Dwayne Johnson, Sean William Scott, Justin Timberlake in what I thought was the best role for the film and superbly & surprisingly done, Mandy Moore, John Lovitz & Miranda Richardson to name a few!!!!!


Plot Summary:

California is at the epicenter of a political and environmental disaster that threatens to destroy the world in this ambitious fusion of comedy, drama, dystopia science fiction, and music. In the year 2005, a nuclear attack wipes out part of the state of Texas, and three years later America is a virtual police state, with the government taking control of nearly every part of people’s lives, supposedly for their own good. A German firm has found a way to generate energy using seawater, but both public and private concerns are desperate to prevent the new technology from being introduced in the gasoline-starved United States. A Marxist underground based on the West Coast is determined to bring down the federal government through violent revolution. In this midst of this chaos, we follow a number of stories that continually return to three principle characters. Boxer Santaros is an actor famous for his role in action films; he’s trying to secure financing for a new project, but reality keeps mirroring the events in his script and he struggles to hold on to his identity following a bout with amnesia. Krysta Now is a porn star who is reinventing herself as a television pundit offering her views on politics, contemporary culture, and teenage sex. And Roland Taverner is an L.A. police officer whose identity has mysteriously split in two and he struggles to track down his other half. Written by The GuyInThePj’s 

Richard Kelly has been described as a genius. Donnie Darko was applauded as a masterpiece and the apocalypse appears to be his field but let’s be honest. This film is PURE S H I T. It tries to hard to be arty and falls flat on its face. Did the studio not see anything in this film? I understand it was released on 63 screens in the US and made a massive 37000- on opening day. It is so confusing it makes Cronenberg films look like Disney Cartoons and this is half the problem – art geeks have united and are claiming it is one of the most amazing things ever made. I admit it’s shot well, the visuals are stunning, the acting is fine (especially Justin Timberlake) but the story has too many characters that you can’t keep up with what’s going on and you don’t even know what you are trying to keep up with as the entire plot is senseless.

This is what one person thought of it from IMDB: “Immediately after watching this movie I lost the use of both my legs and somehow could speak fluent portugese. My girlfriend also immediately became 7 months pregnant. Has anything like this happened to anyone else?”

Southland Tales grossed $275,380 at the North American box office, and $81,028 elsewhere, making a worldwide total of $356,408, falling far short of the film’s $15-17 million budget.

It is just too difficult to watch and am so saddened that it is pure schlop. Don’t even bother on DVD OR TV. CRAP $7- Out this week on DVD in Australia. In current scores from 2013 – I would award this 4 out of 10.