Southland Tales review 39 of 52.

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This week I continue to compare and contrast the various Southland Tales timelines as I examine Fingerprints, the second installment of the Southland Tales prequels.

I have yet to reopen the script or peek into the 2nd graphic novel since the first time I read them back in review 21 when I first read this section of the graphic novel, and review 31 when I first read the entire prequel screenplay.

In the first installment, both the graphic novel and the screenplay start at the same jump off point, and by the end we end up in the same location in the middle of two different stories following the same character in the same timeline. I’m beginning to wonder if that is why the first section it called Two Roads Diverge, and I’m excited to see how the two part twos compare.

So here we go:

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  • Again both stories start out in a very similar yet different jump off point.  Thought they both start with the introduction of the two Seann William Scotts, and Sean’s father explaining to one of the Seanns why the other Seann is tied up, in the graphic novel this is a reintroduction of the non-tied up Seann.

    Back in section one of the graphic novels we’ve already met the free Seann William Scott during the cutaway that tells Will Sasso’s backstory with him gambling on a houseboat on Lake Mead where we also met Sarah Michelle Gellar and the guy with the red white and blue Mohawk.

    Meanwhile, in the screenplay this is our introduction to the house boat, Seann, Seann's mother, his father and the red white and blue Mohawk guy.  The screenplay also goes into a little more detail about Seann William Scott’s father’s plan for him to take over the identity of his brother to bring down USIdent. It also goes into a little more detail about the drug that everyone is shooting into their necks, explaining that it is in fact fluid karma, and Seann’s father informs Seann that they are working in cahoots with the Neo-Marxists.
     
  • The graphic novel breaks away for a quick explanation of what USIdent is. This summary is very reminiscent of the summary given in the Southland Tales movie.
     
  • The stories then sync up as the free Seann is introduced to Cheri Oteri. They loads the “brother’s” drugged up body into her Cheri Oteri's truck as Seann William Scott learns more details about his mission. They then drive in Cheri Oteri’s Chevy truck and talk about poop and pooping.
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  • The two stories are now synced up the most I’ve read so far as the Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Will Sasso visit a house of a friend of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s. Both the house and the friend are featured in The Power script. Sarah’s friend goes on to explain the military drug testing program that eventually led to her husband's overdose. She goes on to talk about her husband acting weird and wondering out to visit an Indian chief, causing the Rock to get nervous, having seen this Indian chief on the roller coaster.
     
  • The Rock excuses himself to use the bathroom, where both stories remain synced up as the Rock talks to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s friend’s dead husband in the mirror. He informs the Rock about time bleeding and how the people that use fluid karma can bleed back in time, while the Native American, natural time bleeders can bleed forward in time. I think the husband can bleed forward because he’s dead. The scene ends with the Rock witnessing the husband’s overdose and is brought back to reality by a knock on the door, only to get kicked out of the house when he talks of seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar’s friend’s husband die in the mirror.
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  • The Rock then collapses in the front yard after being escorted out and told his movies suck.
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  • In both stories the Rock wakes in the sand maze where he is chased by a giant serpent. In the graphic novel he runs into Seann William Scott while in the screenplay he runs into both of the Seann William Scotts. It’s reminiscent of the dream Seann William Scott tells the Rock about during their conversation at the Café in the Southland Tales movie.
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  • In both stories we wake through Seann William Scott’s eyes in Cheri Oteri’s Chevy. In the graphic novel Cheri Oteri is insistent that Seann William Scott describes every detail of his dream, saying that it’s part of her orders. Meanwhile in the screenplay their conversation focuses on whether or not to take the second Seann William Scott to a hospital. Cheri Oteri insists that she has the situation under control.
     
  • The graphic novel cuts to Booger, the old lady from the poltergeist, and the Baron’s mother as the old lady from poltergeist explains how she discovered Sarah Michelle Gellar’s psychic abilities by reading her The Book of Revelations, and feeding her mushroom.
     
  • The screenplay skips this little bit about Sarah Michelle Gellar’s writing process but then both stories go into the Baron and his Mother’s back story and how they got the contract to build the mega zeppelin. The screen play goes into more detail but they both cover very similar key point
     
  • I got a little confused here because of the order of events. The screenplay transitions to Booger explaining how he discovered Sarah Michelle Gellar’s psychic abilities, not the old lady from poltergeist. There are a couple other details that are the same, but just slightly different, leading to this confusion of mine.
     
  • The graphic novel transitions into the story of The Power, with Booger picking up the script to see what this talk of Sarah Michelle Gellar being psychic is all about, while the screenplay transitions into the story of The Power, with a quick cut to the Rock and the gang as the Rock studies the script to learn about his character.
     
  • In both cut aways to The Power, they are in the house with the farting baby and have to escape from bad guys. They escape and head out to a barn where they meet the Bai Ling character from the story within the story. She informs everyone that this baby is special before feeding him to a snake. Everyone freaks out until the baby burst out of the snake because he is the Messiah. The screenplay stops there but the graphic novel goes on to have the Rock (as Jericho Cane) preparing to get all the religious symbols of the world tattooed onto him using fluid karma as ink.
     
  • The screenplay has a quick scene of Will Sasso slamming on the breaks to avoid a rallying crowd member as they approach the barn from The Power, while the graphic novel has a quick scene of the Rock’s burnt body being delivered to Janeane Garofalo in Utopia 3.  This scene happens real quickly in the screenplay back where I said I got a little confused by the order of events.
     
  • Both sync up at a MacDonald’s where Seann William Scott attempts to shit but cannot.
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  • To make up for there being no scene with the Rock coming back to reality after reading The Power, the graphic novel has him waking in a motel near the barn from The Power.
     
  • The two stories then sort of sync up as we find ourselves with the Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Will Sasso at a rally being held by the Neo-Marxists. Only in the graphic novel everyone has gather to see Jericho Cane, while in the screenplay everyone is there to see Amy Poehler and Wood Harris.
     
  • The screenplay then backtracks to the scene from The Power, where the Rock meets Bai Ling and she prepares the Rock (as the Rock) to get all the religious symbols of the world tattooed onto him using fluid Karma.
     
  • In both stories, Sarah Michelle Gellar rejoins the rally where she runs into Cheri Oteri and Seann William Scott while the Rock receives his magical tattoo.
     
  • The graphic novel ends with a brief introduction of Nana Mae, while this section of the screenplay end with her intro only she orders that the houseboat on Lake Mead that’s owned by Seann William Scott's father be blown up, ending with a fireball of an explosion.
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Sorry, there are no illistrations in the screenplay or elses I'd end with a bang, but no, I'll end with an intro.

Well that’s it for the reading portion of this week’s experiment. I was kind of surprised how similar these two stories were especially based on how different the two part ones were. I guess it makes sense if he adapted these stories one section at a time.

 After all, this entire piece is made up of six chapters so there must be something that he’s trying to say in each piece. I can see rewriting it one chapter at a time keeping the start and end point to each chapter the same or similar. This would allow one to make some pretty big changes in the middle of a chapter without affecting the others.

It’s now 5:16 in the pm on Monday the 11th of November and again as soon as the podcast that I’m listening to as I write finishes I’m going to fire up the Cannes Cut of Southland Tales for the 39th time.

I’m pretty excited about this week’s viewing. The other day I decided to join the nanowrimo.org movement to write a novel in the month of November.I started late but I’m already caught up writing 16788 words in four day.

I partially credit this speedy accomplishment to the fact that I finally realized that I can move the TV, that's been sitting in my bedroom, unwatched, for over a year to my desk. As I said in past reviews, I only use my laptop when I travel.  I now have my unused laptop hooked up to my unused TV to watch Netflix while I write.

Tonight I will be watching Southland Tales on said TV through said laptop while I continue to plug away on my first attempt at writing a novel!

Wish me luck!!!

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.