Southland Tales Reviews
Southland Tales has a mood unlike anything I've seen: dread that morphs into kitsch and then back again. It's a film that tried my patience, and one I couldn't shake off.
Southland may be ambitious in its genre-defying abandon, sideswiping science fiction, satire, film noir and melodrama along the way, but it's also exasperatingly convoluted, self-amused and politically sophomoric.
Even if the world Kelly's concocted always seems screamingly incoherent, you have to hand it to him. He's made a movie of our messy times that's too ambitious to settle for merely capturing the mess. It actually is the mess.
In its willful, self-involved eccentricity, Southland Tales is really something else. Kelly's movie may not be entirely coherent, but that's because there's so much it wants to say.
A colleague recently burbled to me that Southland Tales is "the worst movie of the year," and I could not disagree more. Yes, it's astonishingly bad, but it's far too demented to warrant that ultimate dishonor.
A Schwarzeneggerian actor, related to a political dynasty, has been kidnapped, replaced with a double, and -- I give up. A plot synopsis would require that the movie have a plot.
We're plunked down in the middle of an apocalyptic mess. This time the mess is not so much addressed as embodied by the film itself -- but damned if it doesn't roll around in your head a while.
Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange Donnie Darko is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
An example of a sophomore jinx encountered by radically experimental directors after their first effort proved to have more traction with audiences and critics than they had anticipated.
Spending $12 and 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes less than the Cannes cut) on something as aggressively bad as Southland Tales is not something I can recommend with a clear conscience.
Richard Kelly's 'Southland Tales' Looms as rude, Confrontational Political Black Comedy about a Very Messed-Up, Dystrophian America - a Film with the Vigor and Incorrigible Quality of a Work-In-Progress.
Compared to the seemingly unsalvageable disaster Kelly screened at Cannes, this overcooked folly is a miraculous, Frankensteinian resurrection. Maybe this is grading on a curve, but I'd always rather have an excess of ambition than the opposite.