Kendall Morgan

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Southland Tales Review


Extraordinary
At its Cannes 2006 inception, Richard Kelly's Southland Tales was plagued with walkouts that, reportedly, rang close to triple digits. The follow-up to Kelly's post-millennial, Reagan-era-set cult hit Donnie Darko, Tales seems destined for the same cult bin: a film maudit with a cast best suited for the WB or for the next slate of romantic comedies to hit the multiplex. If Darko was post-9/11, Southland is post-Republican justification. It makes sense that they would end up in roughly the same nebula.

A terrorist group has just set off a bomb in Texas that, while killing hundreds, has also created a parallel universe unbeknownst to the general population. Not too long after, the Republicans have an eye on everything, the Democrats have turned into militant twits under the banner of Karl Marx, and action superstar Boxer Santaros (Dwayne "The Rock Johnson) has gone missing. Though his wife (a brilliantly bitchy Mandy Moore) is the daughter of prez-to-be Bobby Frost (Holmes Osborne), Santaros appears in plain sight with his current flame, porn diva Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar). It's to Kelly's credit that almost every shot of them together is framed to look like it was taken by the paparazzi.

Continue reading: Southland Tales Review

Mail Order Wife Review


Very Good
Not too long ago, I attended the wedding of my best friend from high school. Iit was my first. These days, one shouldn't be surprised by this, but I sure as hell am. I sat at the outside ceremony in my dressiest shirt, watching the guy I spent most of my time with in high school make the biggest of all commitments. We talked after the ceremony and I knew that he was sincere in his tearful vows. As much as I think marriage before you can rent a car from Hertz isn't the wisest action, I felt like he wanted to make her happy and that she wanted to make him happy. One can't say the same for the two grooms and their wife in Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland's Mail Order Wife.

First off: It's a mockumentary. Don't start thinking Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy; think Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel's Man Bites Dog. Adrian (Adrian Martinez) has agreed to let a three-man crew to follow him as he orders, weds, and begins to live with a Chinese Mail order bride, in exchange for a little help with the cost. After three months of sending letters, Lichi (Eugenia Yuan) comes to America and weds Adrian. We start seeing subtle sadistic behavior in Adrian as he makes her watch his snake devour a mouse and then attempts to get her tubes tied... without telling her. Things get darker and flat-out creepy after that, and she begins to see the documentary's director Andrew (Andrew Gurland). They date and eventually get married too, and things start off well, but it's all downhill from there, and boy, do I mean it.

Continue reading: Mail Order Wife Review

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Southland Tales Movie Review

Southland Tales Movie Review

At its Cannes 2006 inception, Richard Kelly's Southland Tales was plagued with walkouts that, reportedly,...

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