While this reviewer admits finding Director/writer Richard Kelly's "Donnie Darko," not nearly as impressive as its cult-like status might make one believe it to be, that film did have its share of imaginative, compelling moments. Director/writer Kelly has returned with a bigger budget, bigger production values, and bigger(presumably)cast of name stars, with "SOUTHLAND TALES," but he's left the viewer with nothing more than a big mess. The plot, revolves around "The Rock" as an actor, involved with a porn star(Sara Michelle Gellar), and many other bizarre characters and situations, including Marxists, cops, government security forces, and so many other recognizable, but non-famous actors in bizarre roles, within such a convoluted, non-linear plot, that it's really too difficult to explain. Suffice it to say, it's just too much! Allegedly, the film has been cut and recut, due to one bad reception after another. It was originally set for release years ago!
There are some really stunning moments within the film, but none of them are good enough to make one forgive the majority of the film, as was the case with "DONNIE DARKO."
SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release, with 16:9 enhancement. Colors look terrific throughout. Detail is also impressive, however, the special effects which overshadow large portions of the film, are disappointing, lacking detail and appropriate balance with the rest of the film, providing an inconsistent look to many shots. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and grays.
SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's a great mix! Kelly gives the same attention to detail in this area that he did for "DONNIE DARKO," and it is of reference quality. Aggressive separation and discrete effects are perfectly balanced with the captivating score by MOBY, and dialogue. Again, THIS IS A FANTASTIC MIX!!!
A lengthy featurette with behind the scenes images is included as well as an animated short, with what connection to the film, is not recognizable.