5.5/10
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Southland Tales (2006)

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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.

Director:

Richard Kelly

Writer:

Richard Kelly
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos Amezcua Carlos Amezcua ... Himself
Curtis Armstrong ... Dr. Soberin Exx
Robert Benz Robert Benz ... Tab Taverner
Todd Berger ... Bing Zinneman
Joe Campana ... Brandt Huntington
Chris Andrew Ciulla ... UPU 4 Officer 3 (as Chris Ciulla)
Rebekah Del Rio ... Vanessa Vera Cruz
Aaron Dillar Aaron Dillar ... Jimmy Hermosa
Nora Dunn ... Cyndi Pinziki
Shari Dunn Shari Dunn ... USI Dent Reporter
Michele Durrett Michele Durrett ... Starla Von Luft
Jon Falcone Jon Falcone ... Soldier Falcon
Leila Feinstein Leila Feinstein ... Herself
Jaret Gardiner Jaret Gardiner ... Shane Laverne
Janeane Garofalo ... General Teena MacArthur
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Storyline

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 TheGuyInThePj's

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The future Is just like you imagined. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence, sexual material and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

DVD site [Japan] | MySpace page

Country:

France | Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A káosz birodalma See more »

Filming Locations:

Hermosa Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,428, 18 November 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$275,380, 20 December 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$374,743, 29 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The policeman who says "flow my tears" is called Bookman. In Philip K. Dick's novel 'Flow My Tears The Policeman Said', one of the central characters is called General Buckman. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Private Pilot Abilene: [narration] 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 »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME" See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally running for 160 minutes, Southland Tales premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 to a disastrous reception. Because of this, it was re-edited and shortened in length as part of the distribution deal. Since the shortened version was shown theatrically and released on DVD, the Cannes cut has been shown on Cable TV and DVD releases in Europe. Some of the changes between the theatrical cut and the Cannes cut are as follows:
  • Opens the same as theatrical cut, with home video in Abilene, except with music ('Water Pistol' by Moby) and runs longer. Video is also shown in its original aspect ratio, instead of cropped for 2.35:1.
  • Doomsday Scenario Interface is not present in the original cut, it was added to provide background information present in the graphic novels. Instead we have narration from Pilot Abilene explaining the present situation and Treer Corporation.
  • The meeting between the Baron and Hideo Takehashi takes place much earlier in the film, Pilot explains the Baron dislikes Takehashi.
  • The character of General Teena MacArthur is more fleshed out in original cut, she mainly communicates with General Simon Theory and the Baron.
  • Many scenes with dialog between main characters have been extended i.e. scenes with Boxer & Roland, Krysta & Cyndi, Boxer & Starla, Cyndi & Vaughn Smallhouse etc.
  • Pilot explains that Bart Bookman is an 'angry man' with a willingness to die.
  • Some events that take place are better explained in original cut e.g. Boxer ringing Fortunio before meeting him, Serpentine explaining her actions at the end.
  • Features additional effects of the blimp not in theatrical version.
  • Features music by Moby not present in theatrical version i.e. 'Ceanograph' is heard in scene giving information on the rift, 'Hotel Intro' is heard as characters visit different sections on the blimp.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Monster (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

3 Steps
Written and Performed by Moby
Courtesy of Mute Records and Little Idiot Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Most Misunderstood Movie Masterpiece Ever?
18 November 2007 | by emvanSee all my reviews

Note well and full: my rating of 10/10 is for the combination of the graphic novel "prequel saga," which is nothing less than the *first half of the story*, and the movie itself. I'm not sure if it makes sense to rate the movie as a separate entity, but it is wildly entertaining enough, I think, to rate a solid 7/10 or 8/10 for anyone who can lock into its satirical mode.

A word on that: it's amazing how tone-deaf some critics can be. I've read numerous reviews that criticize the movie for attempting to make deep or profound statements that instead fall flat because they are in fact trite, shallow, or stupid. Duh! I think it fair to say that at no point does any character say anything that Kelly thinks is profound; what we hear is a steady and very funny parody of exactly that. Maybe because the tone of the movie, its vision, is fresh and unique, that those who don't get it just assume it must be serious. This is part of the reason the movie is getting such wildly mixed reviews. Half the critics don't get the tone at all and hate it. Half the critics get it, and about 1/3 of those think the movie still isn't coherent enough to recommend, while the other 2/3 of the 1/2 think it's got just enough coherence to make it a treat.

So how coherent is it? *Without it's first half*, I think it's fair to say that it's confusing as hell and a challenge to follow. But we are given enough of the back story that the pieces can be put together reasonably well *by someone with decent experience seeing and reading complex science fiction stories*. I can certainly see how someone could regard the story as wholly incoherent, but that's their inexperience with this kind of story. Anyone who has "gotten" ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, PRIMER, or, yes, the original cut of DONNIE DARKO on the first viewing, gotten them enough to figure out the broad outline of the plot, should be able to do the same here (as did my companion at the theater).

There is a big difference, though, between the movie half of SOUTHLAND TALES and these other flicks. The broad understanding of the story that you can get from a first viewing is an understanding of the WHAT of the story, but not of the WHY. In particular, it is impossible to understand the motivations of the movie's most important characters, the Treer Corporation, without having read the first half of the story.

Now, here's the astonishing part. Usually when a movie is widely dissed as incoherent, the best argument its defenders can muster is that some decent sense can actually be made of it after all. Often that involves inventing plot points that the actual story omits! However, the complete SOUTHLAND TALES, the graphic novel first half and the movie second half, is not just adequately coherent, not just satisfyingly coherent, it is *thrillingly* coherent. It's every bit as coherent as its reputation for the opposite. The big reveals near the end make numerous pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and once you leave the movie theater the pieces keep on locking up, bit by bit by bit. It's one hell of a science fiction story.

In short: if you have any strong interest in this movie, do yourself an immense favor and read the graphic novel. (Ideally, read it first, but I think that seeing the movie, reading the graphic novel, and seeing the movie again would be highly satisfying).

I still cannot figure out what Kelly was thinking when he decided to split this huge story the way he did. There's one alternate universe where this is a 600 page Hugo-Award winning novel, standing in the precise relationship to 2007 as John Brunner's brilliant STAND ON ZANZBAR did to 1967. And there's another alternate universe where it was a 6-part HBO miniseries that was universally regarded as doing for sci-fi on cable TV what the Sopranos did for crime and family drama. It's our sucky luck that we live in the universe where it was a mostly unread graphic novel plus a widely misunderstood motion picture. Then again, it's the point of the story that we do live in a sucky reality, so maybe there's perverse ironic sense in that.


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