Southland Tales review 45 of 52.

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Some times poor planning actually pays off.

I mentioned a while back that I was working on a novel as part of this year's NaNoWriMo event. This is an event where you write a 50,000 word novel within the month of November. Well it's now Christmas Eve and I am still working on it only I'm 110,000 words deep.

I've been so focused on writing lately that I've neglected almost every other aspect of my life, well every aspect other than my weekly Southland Tales reviews that is.

Friends, neglected.

Laundry, piling up.

Dishes, starting to smell.

Carpets, desperately need a good vacuuming.

Even my furniture is beginning to pile up.

I threw my bedroom mattress on top of my living room futon and have been sleeping like the Princess and the Pea, one, because of the comfort that comes with stacked mattresses and two because their may or may not be a pea down there somewhere.

This week I was planning to compare Southland Tales with yet another movie and hunt down more connections. I had the movie figured out, and the time set aside to make this happen. Then I got a call from my mom.

"What time does your flight get in," she asked.

"Oh fuck, Christmas," I thought as I realized just how quick lost time can catch up to you.

I was in a zone writing my novel and didn't want to take a break, my flight was in less than 24 hours, and I knew that my family would monopolize my time on the day before the birth of our lord and savior, Santa, I had to come up with a plan.

Duh, I'll watch the movie on the plane!

Not only would this allow me to say that I watched Southland Tales over three different states, but this will also be the first time that I've ever watch an entire feature film on my phone, I used to have an HTC 3D phone that came with a 3D version of Green Hornet. I got real high and tried to watch that once, though it was cool I got tired of holding the phone and the 3D gave me a head ache so I gave up half way through.

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Now that I had my plan set. I loaded up the movie and hopped the bus to the train station where I ran into an old friend. I got caught up with him as we took the train to the airport. We got to the airport where is wasn't that crowded, but only one out of four lines were open to get through security.

The TSA was as helpful as ever, opening and closing lines at random. Yelling at people for not knowing how to deal with these random changes. One guy even opened a line out of the blue and yelled at people while they were trying to figure out how to get past the ropes to get to him. He said, "We can't let you through if you don't move people." This was literally seconds after the surprise announcement that he was open.

I made it through with out much hassle this year, though I did find it strange that I had to get an additional pat down because the full body scanner that can see your genitals apparently wasn't powerful enough to see through the knees of my pants, the logo on my hoodie, or whether or not there was anything hidden in the actual hood of the hoodie.

It reminded me of the time I was stopped by security because I had an Abba Zabba bar in my backpack.

Whatever. I made it through and got to the plane just in time to be seated. Another bonus of my poor planning, no waiting. I didn't have my headphones on because of the commute with my buddy. I figured I'd just keep my phone stowed until I was given the okay to use my electronic device.

I got a little confused because no one else on the plane seemed to give a fuck about this electronic dilemma. I saw the lights of gadgets illuminating all the walls. I saw other headphones worn by people who were making no attempt to hide their rule breaking ways. The lady next to me was playing solitaire on an iPad.

"Are we allowed to have our electronics on," I asked her.

Even though she was older than me she seemed shocked and confused as to why I would be asking her this and ended up turning off her device.

I don't know if this woman has never flown with an electronic device before or just hasn't been paying attention since the invention of flight, but I wanted to punch her for her clueless response (not really but I like to say that I want to punch people). How could you not know about this apparent outdated policy? When I was ten I was told to turn my Gameboy off. Last year I was told to turn my phone off. Alec Baldwin had to make a public apology for wanting to finish his game of Word With Friends.

As you may be able to tell, this really got stuck in my head. Now I was angry. "What if there's no longer a rule about keeping your electronic devices off during take off? How the fuck will I know when I can start up my movie?"

At 7:00 in the PM on Monday December 23rd I said, "Fuck it," and fire up Southland Tales on my phone for my 45th viewing. I didn't even wait for the okay because I was concerned that both the flight and the movie were almost the same exact length.

I'm a big guy so I hate flying. I wasn't sure if watching Southland Tales would make the flight seem shorter, being that I'm so used to the movie that the scenes would just fly by, or if my hatred of flight would make the movie seem like it was dragging on.

It turned out to be a combination of both.

I liked having the movie to watch, but my arm kept getting tired from the dumb position you have to hold a cellphone to be able to properly watch video. If I do this again I need to invent a clip that either goes on to the headrest, the food tray, or the bill of my hat, to hold my phone at the proper viewing level.

Though viewing a movie on such a small screen can be annoying I once again heard things that slipped past in prior viewings because I was wearing headphones allowing me to hear everything. I noticed this before when using headphones because my laptop speakers suck so bad, but I love the little details that you can only hear when you are listening close.

Here are a few of the things that I heard.

  • I never noticed that the song playing during the meeting with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Nora Dunn is the song Bobby McGee.
  • There is a scene where Bobby Frost is holding Sarah Michelle Gellar's CD. He reads the title of the album, "Teen horniness is not a crime," then he mutters something. It turns out that something is, "I never said it was."
  • The first guy that Nana Mae orders to be shot is having a conversation about cleaning up cat vomit off of someones pants just before he dies.
  • During the Amy Poehler, Wood Harris argument while they are off camera and we are on the Rock, Seann Williams Scott, and Jon Lovitz as they approach the house we hear Amy Poehler in the background say, "His dick was 200 inches long."
  • As we enter the scene where John Lovitz ask Cheri Oteri if she wants, "fuck or watch a movie," we can hear a news report that says, "Reversible birth control for dogs may make neutering a thing of the past."
  • I also just realized that Cheri Oteri only says, "Let's watch a fucking movie," in the Cannes Cut of the film.
  • Right after John Lovitz is killed everyone is running around like crazy trying to get out of the line of fire. Sarah Michelle Gellar stands at her car panicked, waiting for her Lamborghini's door to open when she yells, "Why did I buy this fucking car!"
  • In the theatrical release where they flash images of news reports and what not they cut to a scene from a cartoon where a red virus is taking over a building. The guy in the voice over says, "paranoia soon consumed their lives." I just realized this is from the bonus cartoon from the DVD.

At around this point the plane started it's descent. There was about a half hour left to the movie, but learning from my mistake during take off I made no attempt to turn off my electronic device and though they made the guy next to me move his seat forward a half an inch, no one said shit about my continuing to watch my movie.

If only I would have went into this venture with the same I don't give a fuck attitude, Southland Tales would have been telling me how pimps don't commit suicide, and the end credits would have been rolling the moment that we got to the gate, but because of my late start I kept the movie playing and watched it as I walked up the corridor, I continued to watch as I walked through the airport and continued watching as I walked out of the building to wait for my ride.

The movie ended and five minutes later I was in the car with my mom, two sisters, and newest nephew.

I consider this viewing a success.

Whether your Santa is black, white, Egyptian or gay; Happy Holidays to all yall :)

See you next week!

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.