Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Southland Tales

We just spoke about my favorite movie of all time. Now lets talk about my least.
Southland Tales. 
This will not be as long as Jurassic Park because I only saw it once. Which might not be fair, maybe I should give it a chance. However, I tried once and I couldn't
I was having problems thinking of a film that i think is worse than and have less respect for, but I couldn't think of one so, here we are. 
I was on a date to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (which is brilliant) and a trailer for this came on. Here is what went through my mind: The Rock, Timberlake, Epic Apocalyptic tale, that looks funny. Awesome.
Little did I know that Richard Kelly was the director. Donnie Darko was miserable. But at least it was short. The amount of concepts and ideas that went into Darko and didn't pan out pale in comparison to Southland Tales
With a huge cast of A-D list stars one would think that they would be able to take a nonsensical script out of the fire and into something resembling coherence. But alas, seeing as how Kelly was unsure of how to direct* it seems that no one was really ever sure of what movie they were in.  I felt as though it took me a week to watch this and I still am waiting for a conclusion. What a waste. 

The big theme of the movie is from a TS Eliot Poem, in reverse. TS wrote "the world ends not with a bang but with a whimper." Kelly writes "that the world ends not with a whimper but with a bang." See what he did there. It's funny because I am still waiting for his bang. This seems to happen a lot, Many of the lines feel like things I have heard before or make an allusion to something else but I can't place it, and there are hundreds of them. The characters are hard to follow. And by that I don't understand who or what they are, in terms of there status position, clothing, names, mannerisms, idiosyncrasies. I remember one scene with Wood Harris. I feel like there was a chicken suit, and a cake, guns, and prosthetics, two to three other actors in the scene, lots of yelling and then someone got shot accidently...? I liked that scene.

As I am rereading this, I feel like all I am doing is complaining and not giving an adequate review or idea of what is going on in my brain. Here is what I would like to see in a movie.

A good story/plot - storytelling from a directing standpoint I feel goes hand in hand with that
Good Acting - In the context of the movie as a whole helps

Honestly thats really it. I mean there are some things that i enjoy more than others but in general I feel like I should simply be able to know what is going on, be interested in it, and believe that it is happening. 

Lets make those the three most important things to any kind of story telling.

Me caring about everything that is happening helps.

What happens when you take one of those away? Two? Three?
What if they were never there to begin with?
What if someone gets so bogged down with personal details and little pretentious messages and completely disregards the audience as a whole?

I want to say masturbation but there has to be a better way to describe it because sometimes people like  watching that. But even then there is some idea of a cohesive story and performance involved.

I don't want anyone to fail, so I am a little hopeful that The Box is going to be better, because it was written by someone else and seems to have only one plot line. But until someone gives it a favorable review I won't see it.

*I realize that IMDB is not always reliable but I buy it.

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