Trailer Of The Week: Southland Tales

Trailer of the Week is a little weekly column I plan on tackling from here on out that covers some really good movie trailers for films that might have gone under your radar. Sometimes, a film gets a kick ass trailer and ends up being complete garbage and vice versa. With Trailer of the Week, I plan on tackling film trailers of all genres, from romance and comedy to foreigns and horror.

I won’t have a time cap on it either, so expect films from the past ten to twenty years or even this past year. My goal is to introduce a variety of well-made trailers, for hopefully well made films, but that isn’t always the case. In addition to the trailer I hope to give the viewer a rundown on the film, from its box office success to its troubles getting financing. I want you to leave the post wanting to check out the film or at least having a sense of enjoyment from viewing the trailer. So sit back and strap in for the ride!

Director Richard Kelly made one hell of a debut with his first featured film Donnie Darko. Some people still claim that it is the best indie film out there and all eyes were on Kelly as he prepped and completed his follow up film, Southland Tales. I feel that while Southland Tales is full of problems, it is still a good flick.

That being said, it is extremely underappreciated, which is mostly due to the hype from the director’s debut. People kept wanting the next Darko, so they began to build unrealistic expectations. When Kelly delivered Southland Tales, almost everyone initially shunned it off as a disaster.

People backed Kelly into a corner saying that Donnie Darko was a fluke and Southland Tales was proof, but I strongly disagree. Not only was Southland Tales good, but his last film The Box was also a decent entry. I wouldn’t put them up against the good, but highly over-rated Donnie Darko, but both were well done on their own terms.

While Southland Tales was panned upon limited release, causing it to never really go wide and hastily make its way to the home video market, it still had one positive thing going for it and that was one bad ass, crazy as hell trailer. The whole thing was bouncing around with heavy sci-fi elements and tons of awkward comedy that made the viewer question Kelly’s insanity. It’s these kinds of trailers that I really look forward to and he delivered the goods cutting this one together.

It has action, drama, comedy, sci-fi all neatly packed with a respectable cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott and Justin Timberlake. The trailer also gives off enough details on the plot of the film to help you get some sort of idea on what’s exactly going on.

It’s set in the future and the world is on the brink of destruction. Boxer Santaros (Johnson) is a movie star with amnesia who is trying to piece together his past with an adult film star (Gellar) and a cop (Scott) who somehow plays an important role in the bigger picture.

The trailer still leaves you with a ton of questions that mostly get answered in the film. Kelly shows his artistic ability with several unique shots compiled in the trailer with enough odd dialogue to keep you interested. The trailer for Southland Tales is a perfect example of how to get your audience interested without giving away too much.

The music is perfect, the tone is just right and the hard sci-fi elements are there. Whether you ended up liking the film or not you can’t deny that the film had a good trailer under its belt that got a lot of people’s attention back in 2006.

I present to you this week’s Trailer of the Week. Make sure to drop a comment with your thoughts on this trailer and what you’d like to see next week!

Previous Week: Babylon A.D.