Southland Tales (2006)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery


Southland Tales (2006) Poster

During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.


5.4/10
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  • Bai Ling in Southland Tales (2006)
  • Seann William Scott in Southland Tales (2006)
  • Richard Kelly and Sean McKittrick in Southland Tales (2006)
  • Justin Timberlake in Southland Tales (2006)
  • Wood Harris and Amy Poehler in Southland Tales (2006)
  • Richard Kelly in Southland Tales (2006)

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Reviews & Commentary

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24 May 2006 | HiddenVoice
6
| Tales that hardly fit in your mind!
This film has one of the most offbeat ideas I've ever come across.They are so unique in a way that they make Donnie Darko look cheap.But it has the same problems like any other film with outstanding ideas.It lacks a definite focus.

I got a chance to get a look at the film at the Cannes festival where it was premiering to a bunch of critics who pretty much didn't like it.And there's no surprise to that.Although,you have to admire Kelly's attempt on something way out of anyones imagination.The film is given a very different approach and it will go down in history as the most offbeat/outstanding failures.He has it all,a mind blowing story,that we hardly get, watching the film the first time, great characters,excellent writing,sets,music,cinematography and perhaps a decent directing.

Kelly surpasses any one's expectation when you go into details about this film.But he leaves a chilling disappointment when you actually watch the entire film ,which is longer than it needs to be.He misses his audience from the very beginning.It seems like he is lost in a cloud of ideas and never gave a hard thought on how to put them on screen,and most importantly ,how will people interpret those issues he is trying to depict.

The story,I don't know how to put it,is kind of out of my reach.It requires repeated viewing to fully understand the plot,but if you do get it, it could turn out to be a cult classic.The sad thing is that I didn't quite get it.Okay,here goes....The film is set in the year 2008,about the downfall of the American society,the economy,and major environmental disaster which is taking place.The whole world is at the brink of destruction,war ,poverty and all those issues are getting more and more serious,and in between these events, a number of Characters are having problems of their own.A Boxer is an action star who seems to be amnesiac and somehow he meets this porn star Krysta ,who is starting her own reality show.David Clark ,who is a police officer with a secret to a conspiracy within the government.And all their stories intervene and chaos begins and confusion reigns.

Trust me ,I didn't get what was going on the first 30 minutes,then it kind of made sense and I knew what Kelly's intentions were.He was trying his ass out to bring us something new but loses everything and never achieves what he could achieve.

I would say this film had massive expectations from audiences ,me personally.Donnie Darko was a film unlike anything I've seen before and it was unique in a number of ways.Here he tried but fails miserably,and in total embarrassment.Kelly somehow may have been affected by the failure of Domino ,which he wrote.But I have to say, you guys should check this film out.For his first film's sake.I mean there is a lot to watch here,the sets are highly creative and a splendid Cinematography in aid.There are some wonderful comic moments and a number of interesting dramatic and exciting moments,even when ideas were floating all over the film.The films main problem is that it doesn't decide what to do.How to present it's story,it's full of confusion and hardly will there be a positive reaction to Kelly's execution.I really found the film somewhat frustrating at time and also somewhat astonishing.It had its moments but it never tries to be the next big thing.For one thing,the characters were underdeveloped,and I had no idea what Kelly was trying to prove.There are hardly any explanations,but I believe if you watch it several times,there is a great chance that you might actually get it.And then you can call it classic.

Performances are okay.The Rock underplays his part,Gellar is fine as a porn star turned reality TV host.And as usual Sean Willaim Scott ain't funny.And the rest of the cast is quite comme si comme sa!

Overall,a film that should join "I heart Huckabees",or "Life Aquatic" as being different and unique on the surface but from the inside it's all shallow and bland.And yes utterly confusing.An interesting disappointment ,I guess.

OR,

Maybe because it was only half complete and everything was jumbled,and mismashed.That's why I didn't get it.Or maybe something else.

Metacritic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarah Michelle Gellar admitted in an interview that when Seann William Scott introduced Justin Timberlake to her on set, she couldn't recognize him right away because of the heavy makeup.


Quotes

Private Pilot Abilene: In the aftermath of nuclear attacks in Texas, America found itself on the brink of anarchy.
Private Pilot Abilene: World War III had begun.
Private Pilot Abilene: The accelerated conflict in the Middle East placed significant restrictions on American access to oil. Alternative fuel sources ...
USI Dent Reporter: ...


Goofs

In the scene when they are stealing the ATM the tires on the SUV change from both spinning, to only the right one spinning, and then back to both spinning.


Crazy Credits

After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME"


Alternate Versions

Originally running for 160 minutes, Southland Tales premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 to a disastrous reception. Because of this, it was re-edited and shortened in length as part of the distribution deal. Since the shortened version was shown theatrically and released on DVD, the Cannes cut has been shown on Cable TV and DVD releases in Europe. Some of the changes between the theatrical cut and the Cannes cut are as follows:

  • Opens the same as theatrical cut, with home video in Abilene, except with music ('Water Pistol' by Moby) and runs longer. Video is also shown in its original aspect ratio, instead of cropped for 2.35:1.
  • Doomsday Scenario Interface is not present in the original cut, it was added to provide background information present in the graphic novels. Instead we have narration from Pilot Abilene explaining the present situation and Treer Corporation.
  • The meeting between the Baron and Hideo Takehashi takes place much earlier in the film, Pilot explains the Baron dislikes Takehashi.
  • The character of General Teena MacArthur is more fleshed out in original cut, she mainly communicates with General Simon Theory and the Baron.
  • Many scenes with dialog between main characters have been extended i.e. scenes with Boxer & Roland, Krysta & Cyndi, Boxer & Starla, Cyndi & Vaughn Smallhouse etc.
  • Pilot explains that Bart Bookman is an 'angry man' with a willingness to die.
  • Some events that take place are better explained in original cut e.g. Boxer ringing Fortunio before meeting him, Serpentine explaining her actions at the end.
  • Features additional effects of the blimp not in theatrical version.
  • Features music by Moby not present in theatrical version i.e. 'Ceanograph' is heard in scene giving information on the rift, 'Hotel Intro' is heard as characters visit different sections on the blimp.


Soundtracks

Teen Horniness Is Not a Crime
Written by
Gerard Bauer, Colin Kelly and Richard Kelly
Performed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Abbey McBride, Clarkent & Greasy Beats
Courtesy of Made Fresh While You Wait Music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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