Southland Tales

“It’s been about 15 years since Richard Kelly wowed the world with Donnie Darko. Well, okay, it sort of slipped in thru the backdoor, gaining attention over time. We all know I’m among the many who not only love but obsess over that cult masterpiece. He followed it up a few years later with Southland Tales. Despite a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott (when he was still relevant) and Justin Timberlake, it also got an under the radar release. So much the better because it was mostly reviled by those who saw it. A few years later, Kelly returned with The Box in wide release. I actually kinda liked it, except for the confusing third act, but I was firmly in the minority on that. Kelly hasn’t been heard from much since.

Anyways, today we’re zeroing in on that center flick, Southland Tales. I’ve tried watching it once before. I was utterly confused, but much too bored to try and make any sense of this 2.5 hour mess. I’m hoping it goes better this time.

I’m currently 20 minutes in, and things seem pretty bleak. I’m already confused about this futuristic setting, and half of the lines delivered sound like the actors have no idea what they’re saying, but they’re convinced it’s utterly important. And hey, is that Amy Poehler? Seriously how did he land this cast? Just skim thru the list of actors he managed to pull together. Yet, there’s a reason people don’t generally speak of this film. God help me, I’ve still got two hours left.

Did Sarah Michelle Gellar really just say “”Scientists are expecting the future to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted?”” Please send help. Oh lovely, Amy Poehler just said “”Where does it say in the Bible that you have to have a bowel movement””. Yeah prolly a good time to point out that I think this whole thing is meant to be an interpertation (clearly a secular one) of the book of Revelation. They were just talking about the two prophets.

The only way I think he was able to assemble this cast is that they prolly only saw their scenes and just assumed it would all make sense when it was put together. That has to be the only explanation.

On the upside, there’s a lot of shots of Venice Beach, Santa Monica and other areas of LA that look moderately familiar. That’s cool, I guess.

Now we’re an hour in. I know a little bit of what’s happening with a couple minor characters, but I don’t have the big picture.

And now SMG is singing that “”teen horniness is not a crime””. Did I mention she’s playing a porn star? How very un-Buffy-like. And Mandy Moore is pregnant with The Rock’s child. I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but Richard Kelly did. Oh Wallace Shawn said it’s not The Rock’s. Well that makes everything better?

Okay, hour and twenty. Justin Timberlake basically had a music video in the middle of the movie. I’m so confused. Although, I’m fairly sure he’s at the arcade on the Santa Monica Pier. I’ve spent many hours and tokens there on the Wizard of Oz game.

Just in case things weren’t confusing enough, let’s add in an element of time travel, shall we? Quoth The Rock at 1:53 “”I’m a pimp, and pimps don’t commit suicide””. WEll okay then, if you say so.

In a move mimicking Mulholland Drive, we’ve got Rebekah Del Rio singing while weird stuff happens. I get the desire to wanna emulate that incredible movie, but it’s not enough to just be weird and confusing.

In other news, reading thru IMDB trivia, multiple cast members have been quoted as saying they don’t understand the movie. At least it’s not just me. Kelly calls this his “”misunderstood child””. There’s also a really long FAQ and a (broken but I fixed it here) link to an article that’s supposta explain it all. Maybe I’ll try and sift thru that all later. But not tonight.

Oh man, it’s over. Whew. That was interesting. I’m gonna try and regain some brain cells by diving into my ASL book, trying to learn some new things. At least I’ll have done one productive thing tonight”

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