Should I finish watching Southland Tales?
November 15, 2007 6:43 AM   Subscribe

I walked out of Richard Kelly's Southland Tales last night. I didn't dislike it, but it was more than I could digest in one sitting. Can anyone think of any reason why I ought to go back to the theater and watch the second half?
posted by eedele to Media & Arts (8 answers total)

Seriously, I think it's goofy to reward a movie that drove you into the night before its end credits rolled with the price of a second ticket. If you really enjoyed it but just couldn't deal with it right then for some reason, I don't think you'd be asking what amounts to, "Should I bother?"

(Full disclosure: This movie has been on my "avoid at all costs" list since it first appeared, God knows how many years ago. I know a number of rabid Donnie Darko people who are likely to try and pressure me into seeing it at some point, but it just looks...dreadful. So I may be biased.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:59 AM on November 15, 2007

Did you read the graphic novel prequel first? I have yet to see the movie, but have read the prequel and am anxious to see the movie now. In fact, after reading the prequel I can't imagine the story making sense without it, given its scope.
posted by sourwookie at 7:08 AM on November 15, 2007

Not really. Certainly not in the theater.

This is what Netflix, and other totally inferior DVD rental services, was made for.
posted by sparkletone at 7:10 AM on November 15, 2007

I am a rabid Donnie Darko fan and I thought Southland Tales was indeed dreadful. However, critical opinion on it seems sharply divided (see here for some examples), so I'm willing to acknowledge that some people are finding it far more satisfying than I did. If I thought Southland Tales worked at all, it's exactly the kind of thing I would love. If you feel like it was working for you, then I think that you could argue it might reward your effort more than a more entertaining but lees complicated movie.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:14 AM on November 15, 2007

Karina, in generally negative but thoughtful review at, writes:

"I’m not someone who usually takes much pleasure from good CGI, but if there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on when it comes to Southland Tales, it’s that the effects are truly special. Particularly in the film’s spectacular final twenty minutes, Southland Tales contains some of the most purely beautiful digital effects that I’ve ever seen on a big screen."
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:16 AM on November 15, 2007

Whoops, posted too soon. What I meant by quoting that is, if you're a fan of special effects, that might be a good enough reason to go back.

(Personally, though, the film seems like a unredeemable trainwreck. The cast list alone makes it seem like a pretentious version It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I can't imagine seeing it once, much less twice.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:20 AM on November 15, 2007

I generally think of movies as "entertainment." If you think you'd be entertained by going back to see the rest of it, by all means.

There are some legitimate entertainment reasons to watch a movie that you don't think is very good. Probably the best is that you can then discuss it with other people and totally slag it. You can even say things like "I'll never get those two hours of my life back!"
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:23 AM on November 15, 2007

I'm stumbling on this thread really late, but I'd say yes. I really enjoyed this movie, on so many levels. You can't view it straight as a blockbuster film; its purpose is to inundate you with sensation and material, like television. There's a reason that the cast is the way it is.

Gushing reviews:,
posted by suedehead at 10:23 AM on December 18, 2007

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