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.
Aging screenwriter Felix Bonhoeffer has lived his life in two states of existence: in reality and his own interior world. While working on a murder mystery script, and unaware that his brain is on the verge of implosion, Felix is baffled when his characters start to appear in his life, and vice versa.
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
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 »
"Southland Tales," the latest film by "Donnie Darko"'s Richard Kelly, is like the movie equivalent of one of those whistles that only dogs can hear; it is pitched so far out of ordinary human range that most viewers will be left scratching their heads, wondering where the hell the joke is and why they just don't get it.
The movie, made in 2006 and released in 2007, takes place in Los Angeles in the not-too-distant future (July 2008), three years after a series of nuclear explosions have all but obliterated Texas and placed the rest of the country on a state of high terror alert. As in most post-apocalyptic scenarios, the threat to national security opens the door for a right wing cabal to take over the government and begin violating the privacy rights of its citizens. For counterbalance, there is also a group of loony neo-Marxists bent on wresting control from the aforementioned Fascists. The movie features Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) as a conservative movie star and future son-in-law to a Republican vice-Presidential candidate who becomes a pawn in the life-or-death match between the two clashing ideologies - the outcome of which might well spell the demise of the human race as we know it.
Despite the seriousness and topicality of the subject matter, "Southland Tales" is basically played for laughs, turning the end of the world into an absurd, over-the-top, dystopic farce that thinks it's being hip and knowing about life in a post-9/11/Homeland Security/ Patriot Act world, but which is actually only cheesy, smart-alecky and incoherent. For a satire to work it must have discipline as well as the kind of tethering to the real world that one finds in movies like "Dr. Strangelove" or "Network." Here, the film establishes no familiar reference point upon which to build any kind of compelling drama. As a result, we quickly lose interest and focus, while the enterprise itself spins ever increasingly out of the filmmaker's control.
Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Mandy Moore, Amy Poehler, Miranda Richardson, Seann William Scott, Wallace Shawn and Justin Timberlake are just some of the actors who might want to seriously consider getting this piece of cinematic excrescence expunged from their resumes.
The greatest offense wrought by this eclectic and unholy mixture of sophomoric satire, comic book realism, grunge chic and apocalyptic paranoia is that it runs for an interminable two hours and twenty-four minutes, making this hands-down the most unendurable and unwatchable movie travesty of the past several years.
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