Los Angeles, 2008;
The city stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. SOUTHLAND TALES is an epic story set over the course of three days that culminate in a massive 4th of July celebration.
A large ensemble cast of characters includes Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson), an action star stricken with amnesia, Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott), a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Southland Tales worries me, and itís not because the few who saw an early print seemed to hate it. Iím worried because of Donnie Darko. No, not the good version that ended up in theaters. Iím talking about the modified directors cut, which Richard Kelly wasted a bunch of money on and re-released after his nearly perfect film had already become a massive cult hit.
Hereís why that worries me: Richard Kellyís Donnie Darko Directorís Cut made his movie worse. It didnít ruin it, Donnie Darko is too good a film for some flashy, unnecessary effects to destroy it. But it lessened it, and it lessened it because, frankly it seemed as if Richard Kelly had no idea what it was about his movie that made it so good. His Directors Cut made him seem clueless, and that makes me wonder whether Donnie Darko was so good because heís an amazing talent or if maybe, just maybe, the film was nothing but a fluke.
Kelly has a chance to prove heís more than just a happy accident with his second film Southland Tales, but most of the news out of the production hasnít been good. Itís been nothing but delays, recuts, reshoots, and in some cases utter panic. Kelly and the cast put on a happy face whenever theyíre asked about it, but Southland Tales may well be a tremendous mess.
The thing is, Donnie Darko is so genius that any concerns anyone might have donít change the fact that this is one of the real must see movies of the yearÖ assuming of course it actually gets released. Darko is just that kind of movie. The irony is that when Donnie showed up in theaters, no one bought a ticket to see it. Now Southland Tales is coming and the seats will be filled with fansÖ even if, unlike Darko, it doesnít deserve it.
Length: 138 min
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release Date: November 14, 2007
Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, Cheri Oterri, Will Sasso, Miranda Richardson, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Smith, Wallace Shawn
Directed by: Richard Kelly
Produced by: Bo Hyde, Sean McKittrick, Kendall Morgan, Matthew Rhodes
Written by: Richard Kelly
if you're excited for Southland Tales