Sunday, December 19, 2010

Southland Tales

I'm admittedly not the brightest crayon in the box, I'm intelligent enough to function in society on a day to day basis, but I think we can all agree that I won't be writing any articles to be published in "The Scientific American" anytime soon. That being said, last night I finally sat down to watch Southland Tales, from Richard Kelly of Donnie Darko fame, of course. Now, I like Donnie Darko, I really do. The first time I saw it, I didn't get it, but there was enough there for me to want to watch it again. Southland Tales though? This movie assaulted my meager intelligence with more symbolism, politics, religion, and pretentious pop culture satire than I was able to process.

In fact, I was so clueless during most of the movie, that I wouldn't even know where to begin to write a plot synopsis if I were being paid to do so. Instead, I'm going to use a bullet-point style post, highlighting some of the things that stood out for me, understood or not.

  • Texas gets destroyed in a nuclear explosion, leading to WW3
  • The Rock is a popular action star, who has political ties, and amnesia
  • He wants to write/direct a movie that, after hearing his synopsis of the plot, I REALLY want to see.
  • Sean William Scott has kidnapped his twin brother with the help of most of the SNL cast, as a part of an EXTREMELY poorly thought out ploy to use the Rock's political influence to aid the Neo-Marxist movement.
  • Justin Timberlake narrates the movie, as a vet of the war in Afghanistan, who sits perched (and drunk) on a giant mounted sniper rifle on the top of a building.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar is a porn star looking to turn her life around by attempting to make a career as a pop music singer, complete with a clothing line, reality television show, and her own energy drink.
  • Eli Roth is shot while sitting on the toilet.
  • Christopher Lambert is dealing some sort of hallucinogenic drug from an ice cream truck.
  • Time travel.
  • Kevin Smith, Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, and the lady from Poltergeist. I'm just as confused as you are.
  • The Megazeppelin. Sounds more like a 90's thrash-metal band than a giant airship.
  • Sean William Scott doesn't have a twin brother, just another him from the future. (See "time travel" above.)
  • The Rock is a pimp, and pimps don't commit suicide, and there's also a time-traveling alternate version of him, although dead.
  • Christopher Lambert's ice cream truck can fly.
  • I have no comprehension whatsoever as to the amount of drugs one would need to consume in order to make sense of this nonsense.

Seriously, I get that Kelly is a weird dude, who makes weird movies. That's all well and good, I suppose he considers himself an "artist" and not everyone will understand his genius. Thing about that is though, I'm not going to sit through another 2+ hour movie that's going to leave me feeling dumber than I did before I started it. I literally had a headache by the time Southland Tales was over. If anybody reading this would care to take the time to explain it to me in terms that I might be able to understand, please by all means feel free to do so. As for me, I'm chalking this one up as a fail, and don't know if I would even bother to watch anything in the future from Kelly. If I want a weirdness fix, I'll just stick with Donnie Darko.

Rock, I felt the exact same way by the end.


Drake Sigar said...

Why does Rock do this to himself? He used to be so cool. Welcome to the Jungle was pretty good, Doom was garbage but Rocky was the one bright spot in the movie, and Walking Tall was kinda decent. Now he’s descended as low as Tooth Fairy and Race to Witch Mountain. It makes me want to scream.

Mister Bones said...

I'm hoping "The Other Guys" will turn his career back around, he was great in it. I haven't seen the new one where his brother is killed, and he goes on a revenge rampage, but it looked ok. We'll see.

Angel1649 said...

While I will agree that Southland Tales is terrible. I will watch it just for the Justin Timberlake "All these things that I have done" lip sync scene. I loved that. The rest of the movie is pretty much trash. To much going on everywhere. Pick a topic and go. Was it political? Who knows... Religious? no idea... Did it suck ass? Absofuckinglutely :(