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Southland Tales Gets Torn Up

Published May 25, 2006 in Early Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Warner Independent Films.
Southland Tales Southland Tales Poster
Tons of moviebuffs out there have been thrilled about Southland Tales for only one reason -- the film is the second outing from Donnie Darko creator Richard Kelly. With an all-star cast people had been planning for something incredible. Unfortunately for them, the first review we have read for the film is anything but positive.

Southland Tales Gets Reviewed


With Southland Tales finally getting screened we had expected a ton of positive, cult-like reviews to begin popping up everywhere. Instead we have only spotted one review for the film over at Variety, and it is far from what we expected.

Rarely has a picture been so self-consciously designed to be a culturally meaningful touchstone, and fallen so woefully short, as "Southland Tales." A pretentious, overreaching, fatally unfocused fantasy about American fascism, radical rebellion, nuclear terrorism and apocalypse set two years hence, sprawling pic boasts 10 producers, clearly none of them strong enough to rein in the overweening indulgences of second-time director Richard Kelly, coming off the promising indie fave "Donnie Darko." Without a firm U.S. distrib -- despite having been co-financed by Universal, which is handling it in numerous foreign territories -- this wannabe visionary epic may find cult believers among gullible undergrads ready to embrace anything that projects the worst paranoid notions about America. But the fiasco at hand will be evident to everyone else, making commercial prospects exceedingly dicey.


A July 4, 2005-set prologue conjures up a nuclear attack in Texas. Three years later, the heavy hand of government is everywhere, with the adjunct of some Germans who have come up with a "tidal generator" that uses waves as an alternate energy source to scarce gasoline.

But when it begins introducing what eventually becomes a telephone book-sized cast of characters, several of whom have multiple identities or aliases, Kelly's script begins fracturing irreparably, losing coherence before it has ever achieved any. Sooner rather than later, you give up trying to try to make sense of anything, which brands the picture as a lost cause.


Ok, so not the review we had expected for Southland Tales. Well, at least we should be able to come up with a ton of 'interesting' theories about the film with a cast this ginormous.

Southland Tales has yet to receive an official release date for 2006.

For more movie info, go to the Southland Tales Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Warner Independent Films.
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