Sean’s review published on Letterboxd:
Every complaint about Southland Tales is valid. It is too long. The story doesn't make any sense. Richard Kelly does overextend himself with what he is trying to accomplish, which isn't clear in the first place nor when the movie is over. Southland Tales may just be an over stylized retelling of Revelations. Those Starship Troopers-esque video segments happen way too frequently and are annoying. There are too many characters and all of there stories don't come together nicely in the end. The narrative as a whole is just all over the place.
All of these things are rushing through my head as I'm watching the movie, and all I'm thinking about was how I could be catching up on something new instead of re-watching this trash that I couldn't remember anything from the first time I saw it years ago.
An hour and half in and all of a sudden something just clicked. I stopped caring that the plot lines were terribly convoluted. I stopped caring that nothing made any sense. I stopped caring every time a new video segment came on it took me away from characters that I realized I actually enjoyed watching on screen. I just started to have fun with it.
It really doesn't matter to me what Kelly is or isn't trying to say here. I think there is a misconception as to what people expect to get out of this movie or what it is trying to represent. I know this, as I was searching for something initially as well. It was only when I stopped caring about looking for some deeper meaning that I felt the movie should be offering that I came around and just gave in to its whimsy.
It really is quite whimsical.