Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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I Sez: Holy Fucking Shit on Southland Trailer

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 12, 2007

“This is how the world ends…”

Though I doubt there’s been a single ad for it aired on TV thusfar, it seems like everyone I know has seen the trailer for the upcoming flick Southland Tales. I’ve had so many conversations about it in the last couple of weeks that whenever someone brings it up now, I think, “wait, didn’t we just talk about this?” And everyone who I talk to about the trailer seems to have roughly the same reaction to it:Holy fucking shit.

Not that I’m any different. Holy fucking shit is really the only way to react to the Southland Tales trailer, and the Southland Tales backstory at large. Written by Richard Kelly–best, and only, known for the ’01 cult classic Donnie Darko–shortly before the Sept. 11th attacks, the flick was soon updated to be more topical, and bounced around in production for a few years until actual filming commenced in 2005. Premiering at Cannes in 2006, the 160-minute film was booed by festival audiences, sending Kelly back to the cutting room, where he re-ordered some of the movie’s scenes and trimmed a good 20-25 minutes. Now IMDB has the movie coming out this Wednesday, which feels like it couldn’t possibly be right, but with a movie with such a plagued backstory, who even knows?

But given what the movie actually looks like, any less troubled a development would seem practically bizarre. Much like Donnie before it, Southland looks entirely classification-proof–from the trailer alone, I can count action, adventure, comedy, science-fiction, romance and even musical as among the genres being miscegenated. This is a trailer that includes images of blimps exploding, mirrors giving incosistently-timed reflections and what looks like a dance number atop a row of skee-ball machines. Uh-huh.

And then there’s that cast. Let’s see–The Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sean William Scott, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Moore, Amy Poehler, Christopher Lambert, Mirandi Richardson, Cheri Oteri, John Laroquette, Curtis Armstrong, Kevin Smith, Jon Lovitz, Jeneane Garofalo, and of course, thespian extraordinaire Justin Timberlake. I don’t think I’ve seen an ensemble cast of this depth that still appears to have absolutely no rhyme or reason to it–no general organizing principle, a just sort of grabbag approach that seems to be willing to take just about anyone it can get.

This movie seems pretty unmissable. Where else in 2007 are you going to see The Rock delivering lines like “I’m a pimp–and pimps don’t commit suicide“? Where else are you going to find a movie that realizes what an awesome song Elbow’s “Forget Myself” is? Where else are you gonna find a movie willing to give Sean William Scott one role, let alone two? I’m not even saying it’s going to be great, good, or even anything but an abject failure–if nothing else, the confused word-of-mouth buzz the movie is getting reminds one a little too closely of Snakes on a Plane and what could have been–but this just looks like a movie that demands to be seen. Where else in 2007 are you going to find a movie that makes you say holy fucking shit?

One Response to “I Sez: Holy Fucking Shit on Southland Trailer”

  1. The Platypus of Truth said

    Movie’s got a pretty horrible word-of-mouth buzz going on.

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