Despite Southland Tales being panned by critics and doing terribly at the box office, it remains one of my favorite movies of the last 5 years (maybe even decade). I love the bizzare casting choices, the incoherence of the story, the over-the-top characters, and the pointlessness of it all. The plot twists and turns and leaves you staring at the screen with a cartoonish question mark floating above your head half the time. This is enhanced by the fact that the movie follows several characters and subplots at once and constantly bounces from one genre to another. It is as if several movies worth of information and images have been cramped into one messy epic. My advice is: go against your insticts. If you can accept the fact that you won’t be able to grasp and understand everything (anything?) this movie throws your way, you are in for an incredibly fun ride.
But I digress. You may or may not be aware that the movie is actually the second part of a longer saga. There are three graphic novels that act as prequels to the movie and should make it easier to understand the plot. And now it seems Richard Kelly really, really wants to film a prequel based on the novels which were originally based on his script. Also, there is a fictional script within the novels and the movie which he also plans to bring to life as a part of the prequel. How will he do that? By going into the main character’s mind as he reads the script and have the same actors portray the characters in it. Confused yet? Get used to it.
Anyway, I read the novels and they do clear up a few questions, but they do not make the movie any better (because it is already awesome) and I do not see how adapting them to the screen will help change the minds of all the people that hated it.
Nevertheless, if Kelly can pull this off and make it as visually enjoyable and entertaining as the original, I say go for it. I’ll be waiting.