Much like John Carpenter, Richard Kelly has a massive lust to tell us about his vision of the end of the world. John does it with Ghosts and Demons and eventually got to politics. Richard has gotten to it on his second attempt. Bravo Richard Kelly.
Additionally, bravo to Mr. Kelly for including a musical sequence (or two) in your film. This was a brave choice.
I can't say that I disliked "Southland Tales" any more than I can say that I disliked any John Carpenter film, as I have loved every John Carpenter film I have watched and own. So what can I say about "Southland Tales" that approximates a critique?
I could comment that the plot was transparent, but the same is true for Mr. Carpenters films.
I could say that the acting in places was … poor. However, I have seen "Escape from New York" and it is hardly the magnum opus.
One might actually point to Dwayne Johnson (the eponymous 'Rock') and look at his affectations in the movie and question whether this was a bad movie at all. To get the kind of believable soul-depth panic that appears in Mr. Johnson at points in this movie, one would have to be a great director indeed. MR. Johnson is known for being a movie tough guy who raises and eyebrow for emphasis, when he twiddles his fingers in desperation I saw a scared little man who was lost in a scarily bad plot of his own creation.
That is of course the crux of it, the bad dialog. the insane plot, the wild references to greek mythology. It is all the plot of a movie created by a Porn Star and Action Star. No wonder the lines are terrible, they are supposed to be terrible. When "the hero" finally confronts the Furies he is told that he has cheated fate, he is a man who escaped his own death and now lives outside of it. This is incredibly deep for a movie that has the line "I am a Pimp, and pimps don't commit suicide" delivered with a serious face in the ensconced hideout of a political rebellion.
Then there is the Hummer Sex. Jen tells me that my face looked strange during that scene, like it was more entertaining than it should have been. I simply could not believe that someone paid money to make such a thing appear on screen.
One more thing, this is an end of the world movie; why the Repo Man moment at the end?
So did I like "Southland Tales" Yes. I loved it like I love "Prince of Darkness". Am I going to watch it again. hell yes. I have to, I'm not sure I got under the skin of it. I'm sure there is more there.
What if there is no "there" there?
Um, here is a squirrel.
Originally posted on nitemayr.vox.com