Sunday, November 04, 2007

Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2007)

Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2007)
Rating: 5.5

After hearing this film was the the most poorly recieved screening at Cannes in the history of the festival, I knew I had to see it. I saw Southland Tales at the AFI film festival. The experience itself was much better than the film as the director along with members of the cast were in attendance and it was my first real experience with big name stars since I've moved to Hollywood. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sean William Scott were all sitting in the row directly behind me. Also in attendance were Bai Ling, Will Sasso, and Kevin Smith who I took a photo of with my friend Mike. The film itself is an ambitious attempt at creating a political sci-fi apocalyptic satirical comedy with a cast boasting of the aforementioned celebrities above along with Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake, Cheri Oteri, Jon Lovitz, John Larroquette, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, Wallace Shawn, Wood Harris, Eli Roth, and several other familiar faces. Despite the overwhelming cast, the film fails in many regards. The budget obviously wasn't substantial enough to support all of the things Kelly had in mind, as most of the special FX seem poorly conceived. The story is so ridiculous and performed in an over the top manner that it can't be taken seriously, yet the comedy isn't original nor funny enough to succeed. Like Donnie Darko before it, Southland Tales tries to convey itself as more important and thought provoking than it actually is, but to the film's credit it at least attempted to do something unique, the music of Moby, and some other song selections were enjoyable, and there was a fantastic little music video within the movie where Justin Timberlake lip synchs to "All the Things That I Have Done" by The Killers. The film is strange, but I felt it was just poorly written and lacked focused more than it was confusing. I wasn't thrilled with the cinematography either.

1 comment:

patrick said...

Dwayne Johnson and J.Timberlake are surprisingly talented actors; but i'm still trying to figure out what Southland Tales was about... maybe it's really obvious, i.e. life in Los Angeles is blurred, cluttered, flashy and not always meaningful.