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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Southland Tales

    In the time I have taken off to concentrate on class projects, my friends and I have discovered a movie that is not like any other recent release. “Southland Tales” is the latest film from “Donnie Darko” director Richard Kelly. The film is a doomsday sci-fi narrative that takes place in Los Angeles, and stars a collective of actors and actresses who would not otherwise be working together if not for its bizarre and amusing script. The cinematography alone is worth a second screening.

    Boxer Santaros, played by Dwayne Johnson, is a famous actor married to the California senator’s daughter, played by Mandy Moore. But because of amnesia he is staying with porn star actress and “social commentator” show host, Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Krysta and Boxer have written a screenplay of how the world ends and soon enough their film becomes reality.

    Roland Taverner, played by Sean William Scott, has been hired by a Marxist radical group to impersonate his racist LAPD officer twin brother to bring down the government. The senator’s wife, played by Miranda Richardson, has complete control over the new international Internet surveillance program, US-IDENT, and prefers to dress in leather boots and high collared capes. Garish scientist Baron von Westphalen has invented an energy source called Fluid Karma, which will save the world from oil, but has alternative plans to take over the world. Past and present SNL actors Jon Lovitz, Amy Poehler, and Cheri Oteri, as well as MadTV’s Will Sasso, play other supporting characters. The film’s narrator is none other than Justin Timberlake, who has returned from Iraq with a reconstructed face and trigger-happy finger. These are the players of the apocalypse.

    Just when you think the story is slowing down, there is a surprise that brings the action right back. The absurdities of what happens, the characters’ peculiarities, the dialogue, and smooth camerawork create a film that is entertaining, polished, interesting, and different. It has so many quotable lines and unforgettable moments. Even though just over two hours long, it is not a slow paced or drawn-out narration. Every moment matters.

    Next week’s Reel Deal will feature the Short Film Showcase that is to be held Tuesday, April 22, at 8 p.m. in the Union Auditorium.

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