During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
The electrifying FutureSex/LoveShow finds Justin Timberlake putting on a typically stunning set before a sold-out crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden. Fans looking for pulse-pounding ... See full summary »
Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. Written by
Richard Kelly wrote the script shortly before the September 11 attacks. The original script involved blackmail, a porn star, and two cops. After the attacks, Kelly revised the script. He said, "[The original script] was more about making fun of Hollywood. But now it's about, I hope, creating a piece of science fiction that's about a really important problem we're facing, about civil liberties and homeland security and needing to sustain both those things and balance them." He described the film as a "tapestry of ideas all related to some of the biggest issues that I think we're facing right now . . . alternative fuel or the increasing obsession with celebrity and how celebrity now intertwines with politics". With the film's premise of a nuclear attack on Texas, Kelly wanted to take a look at how the United States would respond and survive while constructing a "great black comedy." See more »
After Pilot Abilene (Justin Timberlake) sings "All These Things That I Have Done", Roland Tavener (Seann William Scott) is found lying on the ground. He gets up and starts to run, leaving his radio on the pavement. Later, we see Roland Tavener walking down the sidewalk with the radio back on his belt. See more »
Private Pilot Abilene:
In the aftermath of nuclear attacks in Texas, America found itself on the brink of anarchy.
[overlapping news reports]
Private Pilot Abilene:
World War III had begun.
Private Pilot Abilene:
The accelerated conflict in the Middle East placed significant restrictions on American access to oil. Alternative fuel sources became a lucrative commodity. Americans were transfixed by the terrorist's threat, and were willing to prevent another attack by any means necessary. Military checkpoints were erected at each State line. ...
[...] See more »
After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME" See more »
The real failure of this film isn't that it's overcomplicated in terms of plot. It is definitely overloaded with plots and subplots, characters, and various allusions to the arts. Its downfall is that it uses its central theme of media criticism as an excuse not to present its ideas coherently -- it critiques an incoherent form in an incoherent way. Pot Kettle Black.
The primary thing that keeps the film from succeeding as a whole is its constant shifts in tone. While the filmmakers might argue that they are aping/satirizing the way we get information through the media, it makes for a rotten experience at the cinema. Some scenes are sketch comedy, some are ponderous (in a good sense), there is a bit of action and bit of fun with setting of the film. Without a truly riveting lead character or other weighted focus point it falls apart -- really by the conclusion of the film it's just white noise.
The casting is meant to be part of the media critique, but it's works against the film to keep thinking, 'hey -- that's the guy from Revenge of the Nerds and Moonlighting again', and keeps you distracted from the plot and characters' relationship to the plot. When thinking of this aspect of the film AFTER viewing it's a straightforward idea -- hey the filmmakers are saying that the government is using entertainment to keep us from following the real news, man! But during the actual experience of watching the film, the casting starts one thinking of Mars Attacks or dare I say it, Cannonball Run......
The lighting was very flat, which I assume again is part of the 'fast food media' critique - but ugly is still ugly. Especially considering Donnie Darko I was expecting something worth looking at visually. There are some big IDEAS presented visually, but they are not visually interesting in a formal sense. There has to be SOMETHING for the audience to hang its hat on beyond an idea. Cinema is a sensate experience, not merely an intellectual one.
I look forward to reading about this someday in Scott Tobias's "My Year Of Flops - Redux" on the Onion AV Club....
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