Southland Tales (2006)

This is normally where we would tell you the plot of the movie. We tried to come up with something that made sence, but we couldn’t piece this things together into anything that was even remotely coherent.  There are probably 4 or 5 plot-lines going on in this movie which center around a movie star with amnesia, a new clean energy source, people using said energy source as a drug, a plot to overthrow the government, a flying ice cream truck and world war 3!  There is just way too much going on in this thing.  They try to recap it all in the opening montage, and that might have worked if it was like an hour, but at 5 minutes it just makes thing more confusing.  So we decided to list the many famous actors in this thing, of which many of their parts are a stretch from the previous roles.  So read on and try to keep up…

Dwayne “The Rock” JohnsonAn amnesic actor named Boxer who is married to the daughter of a politician. He believes himself to be the real life embodiment of “Jericho Cain”, the lead character in a screen play he wrote. He is the catalyst for everything going on in this movie  and seemingly as confused as we are.

Justin Timberlake – A wounded soldier with massive facial scars and a goatee that looks just as gross.  He narrates the movie via bible verses atop a building with a huge sniper rifle overlooking Venice Beach.  He also likes to inject the new fuel source fluid karma and get high and break out into musical numbers.

Eli Roth – Just some random dude who is killed on a toilet.

Sarah Michelle Gellar – A pornstar named Krysta Now who aspires to have her own clothing, perfume, energy drink and handbag lines. She is the girlfriend of Boxer, and advocate for Teen Horniness and had starred in such adult movies as Cock Chuggers 2: Cock Chuggin’.

Cheri Oteri – A tattooed dreadlocked Neo-Marxist with plans to overthrow the government.

John Laraquette – The campaign manager for the hopeful vice president, and an all around d-bag.

Jon Lovitz– A spray-tanned cop with amazing hair, and a penchant for violence and rough sex.

Mandy Moore – The Senator’s daughter and Boxer’s wife who has recently been impregnated by her father’s aide.

Sean William Scott – Playing the dual role of twins, al la Jean Claude van Damme, one of which is a cop and the other is just a loser. Or are they the same person?

Amy Poehler – A famous performance artist who plans on framing Boxer for murder.

Will Sasso – A pimp, a card shark and gun-selling drug dealer with awesome Hawaiian shirts.

Wallace Shawn– The cross-dressing inventor of the energy source fluid karma… inconceivable!

Kevin Smith – The leader of the neo-Marxist movement, who looks exactly like Karl Marx.

Alex’s Thoughts: This plot is just a mess, which you can probably decipher from the characters above.  This movie is part of a larger story that includes three graphic novels and an interactive website.  Maybe with all that material I could figure out what the hell is going on, but with just the movie on its own, you really don’t have a chance.  The acting is fine, and seeing people in atypical roles is fun, but you can’t really enjoy that since you are spending all your time trying to figure out what is happening.  If you are a fan of good acting you might appreciate this, assuming you are also a fan of over production and an excess of political ideals.  Alex Rates This Movie 4/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Yeah, I don’t know what to say, this movie in more capable hands, and with a bit more restraint could probably be really good. Sadly that is not the case, the acting is fine, but the story while ambitious doesn’t work. It’s muddled with social commentary that is so extreme it’s almost parody. Strange as it may sound, Southland Tales may have been better with a lower budget, I think it would have forced the director to be a little more confined, and make him work a little more creatively. Instead we have an inflated overblown story, that is obviously out of control, and is almost too self indulgent to enjoy. I think this is a well shot movie, and I do respect it’s ambition, but it doesn’t work. There are scenes that I think are excellent, but as a whole, this is not very good, and at 3 hours plus it’s a chore to watch. Tim Rates This Movie 3/10

“This is the way the world ends. Not with a whimper, but with a bang”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here, or add it to your Netflix queue