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Southland Tales [DVD]


Price: £4.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake
  • Directors: Richard Kelly
  • Producers: Bo Hyde, Sean McKittrick, Kendall Morgan, Matthew Rhodes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Video
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Mar. 2008
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00127N64W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,642 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Richard (Donnie Darko) Kelly directs this fast-moving ensemble piece set in a futuristic Los Angeles suffering economic and environmental meltdown. It's the fourth of July 2008, three years after a nuclear strike has wiped out a large part of Texas. The federal government, having assumed control of most people's lives in the interim, moves to stop the introduction of a seawater-based energy solution, under pressure from big business. Meanwhile, the government has also got its hands full with a Marxist underground movement intent on revolution, operating on the west coast. The various plotlines revolve around three central characters: Santaros (Dwayne Johnson), an action movie boxing star, suffering from amnesia, who's trying to get a new project off the ground; Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a porn star trying to break into TV punditry with her views on everything from teenage sex to west-coast culture, and Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott), an LA cop, who is searching for his, literally, split personality.

From Amazon.co.uk

Well, filmmakers should aim high, they say. And Richard Kelly shot the moon on his highly-anticipated follow-up to cult sensation Donnie Darko, which expands the apocalyptic mood of that movie and blows it up tenfold. Set during the election season of 2008, Southland Tales proposes a series of apparently linked events: the reappearance of a vanished movie star (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), now an amnesiac; the bizarre doubling of a policeman (Seann William Scott in two roles); the development of an energy source from ocean waves; and the presence of an Iraq War veteran (Justin Timberlake) who seems to be watching everything, and narrating some of it. Not that the narration helps; even with voice-over (reportedly added after the film's disastrous debut at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival), Southland Tales doesn't come close to making sense, let alone at the minimum level of dangling a carrot to lead the audience along (even Mulholland Drive had a semblance of murder mystery to be solved, or not). The cast is loaded with Saturday Night Live cut-ups, but only Jon Lovitz connects, and in other roles people like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christopher Lambert, Bai Ling, and John Larroquette are utterly mystifying, by no fault of their own. In some of the musical sequences Kelly gets in stride, but it's easy to create drama in a three-minute music video, and harder to do over two and a half hours. Some top critics rushed to champion the movie, as though flying in the face of philistinism, so feel free to try out this incoherent pastiche for yourself. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Whittington on 2 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So here's the thing, the first time I watched this film I came away feeling a little confused, a little happy and a little sad but ultimately feeling like I had just watched something special.

After watching Southland Tales multiple times I am staggered at how many ideas have gone into this film and actually link up to make it one of the most mind boggling and sheer brilliant films I have seen in some time. I'm not going to discuss the plot as you will find enough of that on here but I will point you in the right direction with some things that aren't apparently obvious.

Southland Tales is a modern day adaptation of the book of revelations played out in a post apocalyptic reality. The characters and scenes play out various set pieces that bear symbolic references to the book of revelations. Southland tales also encompasses a lot of Karl Marx's (famous philosopher) theories about social uprising. Without any knowledge of both of these you can miss the unravelling of Southland tales but still appreciate it for the beautiful film it actually is.

Southland Tales is not for everybody and while some may find it pretentious, I personally found it extremely engaging and thought provoking and in my opinion is a misunderstood masterpiece.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ash Moore on 3 May 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I first watched this movie with friends of mine; many of us sat scratching our heads. It is by far the most confusing yet strangley compelling movie I have ever seen. Many will attempt to put you off this movie and it is my suggestion that you watch it for yourselves. Many sub- storylines are reletivley easy to understand, whilst others are not but the amicable acting and pace of the movie are worth their rental fee. give it a go. It's richard kelly doing what he does best; making you ask questions.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fil Weltoni on 11 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
This film has really stuck with me. At first I didn't want to see it because the cast sounded awful (Buffy, a wrestler, that guy from American Pie, Justin Timberlake) but it blew me away. Absolutely bizarre, totally pretentious and tremendous fun. It aims for big, big things and doesn't quite pull it off. But I love it for being so obstinate and audacious in a world of boring, predictable films!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. R. Burkes on 2 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whilst many of the reviews I'd seen for this film were resoundingly negative, I was a big fan of Donnie Darko and I noticed that many of the people who liked it referred to other artists I liked such as Philip.K. Dick and David Lynch when discussing this film. So I took a gamble and ordered it.

And indeed, the reviews here on Amazon are right. Yes, all of them. This isn't just a Marmite movie, which people either love or hate, it's a movie that has so many strengths and weaknesses that it's possible to have any, and all, opinions about it simultaneously.

The cast have received unfair criticism. While I've never been a fan of either the Rock or Seann William Scott, they turn in solid, affecting performances as do other "lightweight" actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Justin Timberlake and a wonderfully creepy Jon Lovitz. Similarly, the cinematography and direction are excellent - every shot is wonderfully framed. However, even here limitations in Kelly's style are evident - there are several examples of the "slow motion / wandering" camera that he used to great effect in Darko, and uses again here. It IS great, but one has to wonder how limited his directorial vocabulary if his style is already so evident after only two films. The musical interludes, are again, as in Darko, beautifully filmed and the score is a mood-enhancing, integral part of the movie. And the SFX are excellent.

So a joy to look at, with an interesting cast on top form. However, where the film falls down is the script. It's ambitious, yes, which is always a bonus. And there are some nice allusions to literature and music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Albatross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For those of you that don't know, `Southland Tales' is the second film from (Donnie Darko-acclaimed) writer/director Richard Kelly. After the success of Darko, he was given a much bigger budget to play with for his next feature and the stars queued up to be in it. How could it possibly fail?

It did.

And I was quite saddened by the reaction from viewers and critics alike (because I really loved it!). Yes, if you're thinking of watching Southland Tales, know that most people absolutely loathed it. They described it as unwatchable, too complicated and not making any sense.

And they're probably right. But I still love it anyway. For a start, it's set in the same `Darko' universe and, like its predecessor, is a mixture of genres. Ultimately, it's an `end-of-the-world' film, but it encompasses comedy, romance, action, musical, thriller, science fiction and even political satire on the constant `war' on terrorism.

It has numerous characters, all of which are playing their part in the overall story. However, this is where the `haters' start to build their argument. There are so many characters that none of them (bar Dwayne Johnson possibly) are really afforded the screen time they deserve. Hence we never really know an awful lot about them and then suddenly they're killed off and we're left none the wiser to what they were really about.

Then you have the narration. There's an old saying in the writing world: `Show, don't tell.' Here, Southland Tales simply tells half of the important plot points through a narrator and various fictional shots from the internet. Again, this does give off the feeling of being a bit rushed.
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