Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Living Room Cinema - Southland Tales

Two of my favorite things lately have been watching straight to video and independent movies and trying different types of wine. Earlier this year, I attempted to swear off the alcohol for four months. I lasted four weeks. It just seems that when you decide to swear off of something, anything, the temptations are just thrown in your face. I would specifically like to thank TGFPH for her reference to a vodka that, of course, I couldn’t get out of my head until I got some liquor in me.

Okay, I’ll talk about my wine encounters later. Right now, I want to talk about the movie Southland Tales. In a nutshell, DO NOT RENT THIS MOVIE. Even if the movie rental is FREE. That’s right. It’s that bad. We should have been paid to watch it. Then again, it still wouldn’t be worth it.

I suppose if I am going to trash it, I should at least say why.

The plot (as I could gather, before falling asleep on the movie, twice) is a hypothetical look at how America could have been after 911. In this case, however, instead of the twin towers as targets, two cities in Texas are hit by a nuclear bomb on July 4, 2005, very reminiscent of the bombings of Hiroshima. This event sets off World War III. The draft is re-instated. Americans need travel visas to leave each individual state. The Internet is now under government control. And since America relies so heavily on foreign oil and friendly relations with these countries have ceased, America faces a serious energy crisis.

The story begins three years later. America, desperate to find an alternate energy source, comes across a German scientist who claims to have a solution. His project is called Karma. This is where I get a bit fuzzy, but I believe that it used the ocean in some way to generate energy. Karma, however, is not the savior to the energy crisis it appears to be.

Now, the side story that doesn’t seem to make much sense. The character that The Rock plays is some celebrity that decides to serve his country, gets amnesia, then wonders around. He is discovered by a porn star, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. While in her care, he writes a movie screenplay. In his screenplay, he predicts the devastating effects to the world caused by using Karma. The porn star is supposedly helping the celebrity to shop the movie, I guess to somehow validate her career. She has some talk show where she and several other women talk about important issues, such as the state of the country, politics and horny teenage boys.

The other thing that bothered me was the narrator, played by Justin Timberlake. I’m a fan of Justin and all, but his role in this movie seemed so unnecessary. Then again, I’m a bit biased. I really don’t care for narration all though a movie. A little here and there, okay. But when it is an important part of telling the story, that doesn’t work for me. I should be able to get the feel of the story from well-developed characters and a decent plotline.

So far, is any of this making any sense? I like abstract type movies, but this was just an abstract piece of crap. All I could talk about was how much I wanted to slap my husband for suggesting such an awful movie. Can you believe the budget for this movie was $15 million??? It opened in limited release, I think in 2006, and made nowhere near that amount in ticket sales.
If I wasn’t clear the first time, DO NOT RENT THIS MOVIE!!! There other more productive ways to waste 2 ½ hours on a Friday night.


Cat said...

you know, I was going to rent this movie on my nextflix but now, don't think i will...

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