Thursday, May 1, 2008

Richard Kelly's Dreaming Again

Writer/director Richard Kelly’s first feature, Donnie Darko, was a little more than a bonafide cult whambang, and it, despite it’s uneasy mix of the fantastical and the mundane, held it’s viewers in heady sway. It was one of those films so strikingly weird and arguably original that (a) you couldn’t take your eyes off it as it unfolded and (b) it stuck with you well into your dreams at night. Well, Kelly’s finally released his much anticipated follow-up, Southland Tales and it’s gone almost overnight to DVD (2007, Sony, $24.96 ), strangely truncated from a theatrical running time of 142 minutes down to 92 minutes, and once again is a strange brew-conspiracy film, futurtustic fable, political satire. It’s has its amusing moments, and it’s Philip K Dick-lite plot convolutions revolve around a highly unlikely set of actors (The Rock, Sarah Michelle Geller, Seann William Scott, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake), but it never hypnotizes or even jells, reducing all the wild and wooly proceedings to a smorgasbord of weirdness.

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