Red-flagging 'Southland Tales', Again

southland.jpgIMDB Keywords: Riot / Dream Like / Marxism / Dystopic Future / Ice Cream Truck

Lest we forget that the 2 and 1/2 hour, pre-apocalyptic, dark-Orwellian-comedy Southland Tales was broadly panned at Cannes over a year ago – in light of news that it has finally earned a release date – November 9th, The Guardian’s Shane Danielsen opts to start a pile-on redux, referring to Southland, boasting [?] such talents as Seann William Scott, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, as “the worst film I’ve ever seen” right out of the block. Reflecting back on 2006:

“Southland Tales was one of those rare Cannes moments…when more or less the entire audience was united in its contempt. As the film proceeded, there was the sound of jaws dropping, then titters of laughter – growing steadily louder as the audience contemplated the full panoply of horrors on display, which included Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as Boxer Santaro, literally twiddling his fingers – yes, like Shaggy in Scooby-Doo – to convey his terror, and Wallace Shawn, one of America’s finest contemporary playwrights, dressed in a silver foil costume straight out of Radar Men from the Moon.”

Hindsight shows director Richard Kelly’s previous film, Donnie Darko, grasping hands with Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite to form the trinity of most overrated cult-hits of the decade, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that his next was dissed and dismissed at its overseas unveiling, then triaged in some kind of bombed-out bunker for another year of rethinking and visual retooling as a salvage attempt. Edits or not, Danielson concludes that Southland Tales “is unrelenting; there are no highs or lows – and no character development, nor any story to speak of. And no amount of creative re-editing will disguise that..”

Posted by Ted Zee on August 02nd 2007 | Home Page | 9 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

9 Responses

  1. rosa Says:

    Give him a fucking chance; he’s got 90 new special effects shot and richard kelly has been personally overseeing the editing over the past year (with all criticisms in mind). I find it unfair to lump donnie in with ND and LMS too, and this is just when you account for the originality of DD. And if you actually remember, it didnt really perform at all like ND or LMS, so that comparison is just a bunch of emo-whine coming from the peanut gallery.

  2. PS317 Says:

    Maybe you should stick to talking about something you actually know… instead of blowning shit(or in this case-other peoples shit) out of your mouth.

    I hate when people bash a film before they’ve even seen the damn thing… like some group of critics in France can tell me which films “I will” or “will not” like enjoy. lol.

    thank you.

  3. Ted Z. Says:

    If the insinuation is that only crepe-eating Frenchies had a problem with the picture, the bulk of criticism that I referred to was coming from stateside writers.

    Maybe 90 new effects shots and pinpoint re-editing are all the polish this thing needs to turn it around. But when the original iteration gets a “worst film ever” tag, it’s noteworthy. I’m passing on reports that Southland Tales was an “alleged” turd. No more, no less.

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  5. Maryjoi Says:

    Awww, come on, James I LOVE your angry trailer rants, so there’s good inecntive for me to continue picking awful ones. What fun is it picking movies that actually look good?

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