Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Southland Tales (DVD)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake, Nora Dunn, John Larroquette, Bai Ling, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Miranda Richardson, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Lambert
Directed by: Richard Kelly
Universal Pictures, Darko Entertainment
The Official Site of Southland Tales
Discuss Southland Tales on the boards!
Southland Tales starts with a bang. A nuclear explosion actually, captured on home video in the suburbs of Texas to make us feel like it could happen to us. Like we had a ringside seat for the event that launched World War III in this alternate timeline of 2008 from the mind of director Richard Kelly .
From there we’re treated to a lengthy lump of ugly back story, necessary to catch us up to speed for the convoluted adventure we’re about to go on, but presented in someone's sloppy vision of what cable news might look like in this reality. Mixed with clips from the movie's prequel graphic novel, scrolling banners of current events and a cryptic monologue from Justin Timberlake, this intro makes for a messy welcome to the Southland.
Even though Southland Tales was a critical and box office disaster, I’d always regretted not covering it last fall when it was released in theaters. I thought that the unique adventure about the twin cops, an amnesiac action hero and opportunistic porn star offered more bad than good and deserved to be seen. So why wasn’t it?
Well, it’s presented terribly. There’s just too much going on to understand in one viewing. Neo-Marxist agendas, new sources of energy, mega zeppelins, the coming of the new messiah, WWIII, and whatever the hell happened in the desert… Southland Tales is an epic adventure that can not be contained or explained in its 2-hour running time.
My first experience with the film was definitely an arduous one. In theaters I found the first hour to be overbearingly frustrating, I was desperate for answers that were not coming. At least they weren’t coming easily. Still… somehow… as time passed I became inexplicably invested in the characters and the outcome of their journey.
Watching the film a second and third time, that first hour becomes equally fascinating as the second, not so much because you know what’s happening, but because you understand the movies perspective. You understand its presentation and the social commentaries it’s making on things like gun control, violence, politics and war.
As for the plot, I wouldn’t even begin to think of trying to actually explain it to you. I’d spend so much time dancing around spoilers that it would be a long-winded, confusing pile of gibberish. More so than the actual film, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it - Southland Tales is a movie better explored than explained.
The film boasts a broad collection of weird characters that every actor, from Kevin Smith’s giant bearded lawn gnome creation, to Lovitz as a bleached blond rebel cop, throws themselves into these parts whole-heartedly. Kelly must exude an air of trust and respect that’s infectious because on paper these characters are a huge leap to take and in one of the DVDs features everyone in he film seemed game and eager to please. Though admittedly somewhat confused as well.
Of the leads, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in particular is fantastic. As the biggest marquee name in the film all eyes are on him and he could have easily turned in a cookie cutter action hero performance. Instead he embraces all these nuances and subtle ticks of the character that accentuates his confused state. Even in the movies final scenes when his character finally grasps what’s going on around him, Johnson goes so big with a performance that works so beautifully with the films sardonic tone. The action hero is a master satirist and no one showed up to see it.
Despite what you’ve heard, despite the booing at Cannes, despite anything derogatory I said above - Southland Tales is not a bad movie. What it is is dense, complicated and completely inaccessible at a glance. (Seriously, if you stumble upon this on cable 20-minutes in, just turn it off and head to the video store.) However, Southland Tales thrives in repeat viewings offering new incite and new ideas unseen the first time around. Southland Tales is an ambitious failure that somehow redeems itself with each viewing.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 - So, in case I wasn’t crystal clear in my review - Southland Tales warrants a second viewing, and with its DVD release last Tuesday, that should be easier than ever. Don’t send me any e-mails telling me it sucks, I suck or we both suck. Just watch it again – then yell at me. In fact that’s a good rule in general. Watch something twice before telling me I’m wrong about it. Even Hitman was better on DVD.
Not right now. Despite my doubts on its DVD worthiness, I was prepared to buy Southland Tales when it came out last Tuesday, but decided not to after seeing the weak list of special features. This movie is BEGGING for a commentary from Richard Kelly. Some voice of reason to walk us through the busy landscape. Now, I do believe that art is subjective but Southland Tales is overwhelming and a guiding voice from its creator would have had me buying instead of renting.
In place of a commentary is two featurettes. One focusing on the making of Southland Tales where we get a brief look at Kelly’s perspective and goals in creating the world as well as time spent covering everything from Production Design to Stunts. It’s a well-done, compact look at how the movie was put together. The second feature is an animated short documenting the world after it ends. It’s cute and a nice way to close out the Southland Tales. experience, but like the rest of Southland Tales, I wish they’d shown us a bit more.
After watching my Blockbuster copy a couple of times over the past two days I realize that Southland Tales is a movie I would like to own at some point, with or without someone to hold my hand through it. It’s such a lush field of originality, full of imagination that I look forward to revisiting again.
When it was released, a lot of the buzz for Southland Tales revolved around a sequence featuring Justin Timberlake lip-syncing The Killers Song “All These Things That I Have Done”. It seemed to be all anyone was talking about when the film was mentioned, other than the fact that it was booed at its premier at Cannes. Something this video claims is not true.
If you’re not expecting it, the musical number, which also features 8 leggy dancers dressed as Marilyn Monroe prancing around an arcade, is going to be a bit of a shock, so I suppose it was good people were talking about it. It definitely prepared me for the moment and let me appreciate it as it was meant to be – a drug induced breakdown from a lost solider. The lyrics take on a whole new meaning when sung from Timberlake’s character’s perspective.
That’s definitely worth checking out, but this third video I stumbled on while looking for the first one, will give you a much better understanding of the movie’s point of view. This fake car commercial featured in the film captures the movie’s spirit of commentating on society with humor pretty effectively. Hopefully this little collection of Youtube gems will prepare you for your trip to the Southland.
The reaction to Saturday’s LOST strip was pretty solid, most folks saying they’d love to see more comics about the island mystery TV show. A few folks were quick to point out though that focusing on a TV show that’s so convoluted, and not exactly accessible this late in the game, might lead to me ostracizing some of you guys that just aren’t into the show. I definitely don’t want to fall into a trap of telling a bunch of in-jokes so if I can’t figure out a way to make these LOST comics work on a broader scale I’ll need to find a new approach.
Check out the strip and let me know what you think.
It was slow at the movies this weekend. Owen Wilson’s latest Drillbit Taylor was the only new release I decided to check out and I’ve got to say I’m surprised it did so poorly. The bodyguard movie targeted at a younger crowd was only able to rake in just over 10 million and was still beat by the weekend’s other two debuts Shutter and Meet the Brows. I didn’t especially love Drillbit (check out my first reaction over on the boards) but I thought the huge marketing push over the last few months would have made it a contender. Last weeks big winner Horton Hears a Who! easily held on strong.
Over the weekend MTV.com posted an interview with Chris Evans where he admits that a third Fantastic Four movie is probably not happening. The actor, who played the Human Torch in the first two FF films, is quoted as saying, “After the first one was released we got wind of potential titles and plots [almost immediately], and I’ve heard nothing from anyone at Fox [yet],” he grumbled. “We had all planned on doing [another] one but if there were going to be a third I think a week after the second one was released we would have heard.”
“It takes up a lot of time. It’s a big commitment,” he said “I’m happy with walking away.”
As a big fan of the series and the films (FF1, FF2) and more importantly – Evans in the role (he’s been a perfect Johnny Storm) – this news breaks my heart a little. On the positive side, the article implies that he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to a third film or even an appearance in one of the other Marvel franchises like Spidey or the Hulk. That’s encouraging. Evans can next be seen this April in Street Kings with Keanu Reeves.
That’s it for now guys, but thanks so much for reading and for the awesome feedback on the LOST strip. I’ll have more for you soon.
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Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V