Friday, April 4, 2008

Have you ever sat watching a film for 2 hours and 25 minutes and once it was over think "What the Heck did I just watch?" I hadn't either until last night (Ok I've seen several movies that made my ask that, but usually they aren't that long) Anyways last night I watch Richard Kelly's Southland Tales and I still have no clue what I watched.

I am a huge fan of Kelly's Donnie Darko (Another, shorter film which had me scratching my head), and so I've been excited about seeing Southland Tales since it was announced years ago. Even after it got all the bad press after Cannes I was still very excited. So this past week I picked up a copy for rent and finally watched it last night. What I saw is a strange, strange movie, which somehow blends together Sci-Fi, Satire, Religion, A Musical Number, and numerous cameos and comes out with.... well it comes out with something unlike anything you've ever seen.

The movie starts off in my home of 4.5 years, Abilene, Texas on July 4, 2005, as a Nuclear attack is launched and wipes the town out. (Something that could in fact happen as Abilene houses Dyess Air Force Base and has been rumored to be high up on the potential targets of a nuclear attack, as is strangely my hometown Amarillo, TX, but that's off topic) We then learn through a CNN-like news channel, and narrator Pilot Abilene (Justin Timberlake), that El Paso was also wiped out in the attack and the US then entered into World War 3 and reinstated the Draft.

We then jump forward 3 years to the summer of 2008 and introduced to Boxer Santaros (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) a movie star and son-in-law of a Texas senator running for President, who wakes up in the middle of the dessert with amnesia. He meets up with porn star Krista Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and writes a screenplay which tells the future and describes how the world ends (Not with a Whimper, but with a bang). Unfortunately all of this takes place off-screen in Kelly's 3-part Prequel saga which can be found in Graphic Novel form. So the audience is left without some knowledge which I think might be important to the film. So much so in fact I'm considering picking up the graphic novel to see if the movie somehow makes more sense after reading it.

Anyway back to the film, Boxer has been missing and has in fact been kidnapped by a group of Neo-Marxists who want to use him against his In-Laws. (As I said his father-in-law is running for president and his mother-in-law is the dead of the NSA'a new internet watchdog program USIDent, which requires the use of fingerprints to access the internet) The Neo-Marxists are against the censoring of the internet and want to use footage of Boxer with Krista to get the senator to vote against Proposition 69, which gives USIDent its power, or something like that.

There's also an experimental new power source which uses the ocean to create power called Liquid Karma, Time Travel, A rip in the wall between us and the 4th dimension, a musical number that has Justin Timberlake singing along to The Killers' "All These Things I've Done," and a bunch of other weird stuff that I don't know if I fully understand.

I truly can't put into words what this movie was about. And I'm still trying to decide if I liked it. I think it's going to take me reading the graphic novel and rewatching the movie before I make my decision. But I will say if you want to see a crazy movie, unlike anything you've ever seen, that will mess with your head, and likely confuse you, then go check it out.


jan said...

hu hu, proposition 69. you said 69

jana said...

oops, I left the last comment

The CineManiac said...

really 69? How old are you again? I guess some jokes never get old.

jana said...

I'm never too old for an easy Beavis and Butthead joke!!!!!!

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