Everyone Needs To Watch Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

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What if I told you that an animated Spider-Man movie would be so stylish, so well done, so dense and so thoughtful that it would be one of the greatest animated movies of all time? Well, you better believe me because Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse exists and it totally whips.

This movie is a masterpiece overflowing with style and care. I don’t remember the last time a movie had so much style that I kept thinking about it. On a rewatch all I wanted to do was pause and take in every single scene and setting. Most movies have scenes or sequences to that affect, but another movie that is end to end as stylish as Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse? Honestly don’t think it exists. This movie is excellent on so many levels it’s impossible to spill enough digital ink on it.

This may be my new favourite animated movie. It’s right there with The Lion King. It won a freaking Oscar. It captures all the best parts of an animated movie in a time where Big Hollywood seems to want to make everything that was animated into “Live Action” at the expense of imagination.

It’s a Spider-Man movie that doesn’t even follow Peter Parker. We’re following Miles Morales, the half African American and half Puerto Rican Spider-Man through his origin story. A super hero origin story in 2018. That isn’t rote.

Miles is an awesome character. They do a great job establishing him as his own hero.  He isn’t just the new Spider-Man. He wears sneakers, a black suit, hoody, doesn’t tie his laces. He has confidence even as a kid. He’s into graffiti and is creative.  He’s so much more than “Black Spider-Man”. He’s a real character.

And he’s still a high school kid. High school Spider-Man is so much fun. Spiderman should always start in high school. He can move on and grow, but you got to get to know Spider-Man when he’s a kid. Spider-Man learning to Spider-Man as a kid is integral to the character. He’s a young teenager going with the suffix “Man” when that is typically reserved for ambiguous 30-something’s like Iron Man, Batman, Superman, etc.

Miles’ personal style is woven into the storytelling and visuals. I don’t think this movie works with a Peter Parker at the center of it. It feels like the movie is entirely in Miles’ perspective and you see the world as he sees it.

Can’t overlook how refreshing it is for a super hero to have parents that are alive and supportive. It provides new avenues for the hero to work through the conflicts and motivations that give a unique take on being a vigilante. The story moves, twists, turns and satisfies in so many different ways with this flexibility.

We’re living in a Spider-Man exclusive New York. It is helpful to distinguish this world from the live action films (RIP now) where Spider-Man is hanging out in a New York where Doctor Strange, Iron Man, the Avengers and everyone else seems to room on the daily.

Getting the weird fringe Spider-Man’s into the movie is radical too. Peter, Gwen and Miles are pretty mainline at this point, but Noir, Ham and Peni are pretty obscure. It’s neat to see them get some time on screen instead of this being more of a Batman family style movie where you get Peter, Miles, and Gwen hanging out with like Kane Parker, Flash Thompson, etc. and whatever other dudes find themselves adjacent to mainline just Peter Parker.

The movie gets meta in a fun way. Sometimes it’s a gag that subverts your expectations. Other times it’s a small love letter to everything Spider-Man at some point: how many times Uncle Ben has needed to die, the spider bite that gets everyone, dancing emo Peter (which I defend) and a great post credit scene that memes out .

The visual style is the main attraction to this movie though. It does some weird 2 frame play, 1 frame hold, 1 frame skip type look to give it movement as if it’s a flip book or a motion comic but also keeps fluid animation. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but after a little your brain adapts and gets absorbed by it.

There is so much to look at. The base animation mixes with comic panels and hand drawn inserts for flashes. Thought boxes, onomatopoeia words coming and going, panelling in and out. Backgrounds are “drawn” but the characters look 3D. Elements of cell shading and Ben-Day dots/halftones mixing with CGI creates a sharp focus in part of the frame, while having the background look as if it’s a 3D film when you don’t have the glasses on.

Every frame is packed in detail without being distracting. The colour work is phenomenal. So much pop but also keeps the scenes distinct. There’s impressive use of long takes, which is typically unimpressive in an animated movie. There is so much “Show, Don’t Tell” storytelling going on. The directors, animators and cinematographer really outdid themselves.

The score is rad and the mix of hip hop totally fits the style and tone of the film. The music melts right into what you’re looking in every frame and raises the visuals. The voice cast whips and is only outdone by the art style of each character. Nic Cage, Mahershala Ali and Chris Pine in the same movie? And they’re all varying levels of secondary supporting characters? Damn man.

Shameik Moore never falters as Miles. Jake Johnson is perfect as Peter. Hailee Steinfeld couldn’t capture Gwen better. Brain Tyree Henry nails being a father in the soft moments and the harder ones.

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An issue you could have in a movie like this is “how do you differentiate what are basically six spider people?” Just have every single one of them radiate their entirely own style. Miles has his modern hip hop fusion from the suit and his movements. He has his own set of distinct abilities on top of the base Spider-Man ones. Peter A Parker as the ideal and Peter B as the “I’ve been at this for so long” shlub version. Gwen’s mix of punk rock while moving gracefully like a ballerina. Noir being… well very noir with the suit and classic “Put up your dukes” fighting. Ham is full on Looney Tunes and Peni gets the anime treatment complete with posing, mannerisms and a 2D style.

This carries through the villains too: from the behemoth that is Kingpin to the fluidity of Doc Ock to the precision of everything Prowler does. The freedom of imagination and creativity is on full display and while you might not pick up on everything, your brain is noticing and picking up every bit of subtlety. Every character has a distinct silhouette so despite the richness on screen you can still pick up everything going on. The action isn’t a mess.

I can go forever. The movie is so damn good. There are more layers to this film than an onion. I also have the same pair of Nike’s that Miles wears.

If you’re already seen the movie and want to just get more about how great it is then make sure you watch this video. You won’t spend 15 minutes better today.

@Adam_Pyde on Twitter, Adam Reviews Things on Facebook. CanadianAdam on Twitch.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Is Where The Heart Is

Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer – Nick Fury, Mysterio Invade Peter Parker’s Holiday in Europe

There is no better live action Spider-Man than Tom Holland. He’s so good at everything: his physicality, his look, his age, how he plays Peter, how he acts as Spider-Man. He’s perfect.

High school Spider-Man is so much fun. High school hijinks and comedy are great because everyone can relate. Everyone remembers having those awkward moments as a teenager. It’s so entirely different to follow a kid around in a “serious” super hero movie and that’s the key reason that you’d go see a film like Spider-Man: Far From Home. Having a kid involved in these big conflicts while he’s also worried about how he’ll handle his first kiss and how he finds both of them as difficult and stressful. It is a refreshing side to the big story.

It’s an excellent wrap up to the Infinity Stone/Thanos saga. It doesn’t quite tap into all the depth there like overpopulation, how the revived people reintegrated and relationship dynamics that would be fundamentally altered between people.

But it does give you get enough of a taste for what the new post-Thanos RIP-Iron Man world is like that you feel like you can move on. It provides enough answers to the surface level questions about what happened when people came back, how they aged, how relationships are affected, etc.  It even gives you a taste of what the response is now for an Avengers level threat without the world having their big hero six Avengers.

Also, the movie is about Spider-Man and how he’s getting on in this world without his father figure and all the newfound responsibility and infamy he’s webbed up in while still trying to figure out how to navigate high school and nabbing that first kiss from his crush.

Like the first film, Iron Man/Tony Stark plays a role but he isn’t a shadow over the film. Not to say the presence of Iron Man is minimal or passed off. It isn’t. But it is no different than the Uncle Ben Guilt cloud that usually hangs over Spider-Man films. Tony Stark dying is this Peter’s “Uncle Ben” moment and subsequent arc.

We’ve seen Uncle Ben die in 2 films, like 143 times in the comics and 69 times in cartoons. While Uncle Ben existed and passed, or has at least been alluded to in these movies, this is a new grief. And it’s handled really well. Handled exactly how I probably would have handled this if I was a 16-17 year old who just wanted to date a pretty girl and not fail my classes. I could barely manage school, a personal life and sports in high school.

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John Watts is back as director and did a really good job with a really tricky spot. He’s got to develop the overarching MCU in the dust of Thanos. But also tell a silly high school kids story where horny teenagers just want to make out. And then also show how a teenager is handling the grief of losing his surrogate father and the boatload of great power and responsibility that’s been thrust on him.

The movie is at its best when it is being most personal. The high school kid moments are great. Supporting characters playing off each other is great. Characters bouncing dialogue and chewing scenery is great. Peter having one on one chats with people is great. When it’s him 1v1 against the villain it’s great. The movie loses some steam when it gets a bit too big and loud.

In a way you can say that the big noise action being distracting is the point, if you want to get all meta about what’s at the middle of motivation for the villains.

The real world themes are played with humour, but do well to accurately capture and comment on modern society from how the news cycle is handled/vetted to people risking their lives so they have the best viral Instagram video. Playing a very modern perception vs reality debate and how people believe what they want these days is pretty fun without getting too preachy, though if you’re the kind of person who might get mad at this then maybe you’re the kind of person who needs a bit of introspection as to why that is.

The realization of Mysterio as a character is excellent and so is the execution of his abilities. Whoever it was that concepted and coordinated this needs to be involved in any future Doctor Strange movies. The personal action scenes with him are full of thrill and wonder and suspense all at once.

The action does grow and get big and loud, but it sticks to what is within his character. There isn’t some random turn where he decides to shoot a blue laser into the sky or unleash a gas to turn people into obedient creatures.

I really appreciate that they’ve kept Spider-Man villains to what non-symbiote Spider-Man villains mostly are: dudes or ladies who want to rob banks or steal technology to become rich and villainously famous. Captain America fights the dudes who want world domination. Thor stops aliens who want to destroy planets. Spider-Man tries to keep the neighbourhood friendly.

The cast is great. I’ve gone on enough about Tom Holland, but Zendaya and Jacob Batalon nail it. They’re the two characters closest to Peter and help represent two of the three ways he’s pulled, with Nick Fury representing the third way.

Zendaya is a treat as MJ. Her chemistry with Peter is wicked and the twist on her being a bit of a “darker” take on MJ’s personality is refreshing. Hopefully we get that red hair soon. Batalon as Ned is lit. Dude’s such a full on shlub with a heart of gold.

John Favreau and Marisa Tomei are great as well. Watching them awkwardly adult flirt is a great foil to Peter and how he navigates his relationship with MJ. The smaller roles of the other students and teachers are well done too. They all feel like people despite being relatively one-note.

Jake Gyllenhaal has a blast playing Quintin Beck aka Mysterio and it radiates through. You can always tell when an actor is on board and all in with what they’re doing and it makes things that much better. He’s chewing it up, being a little hammy, but is able to pull that serious side out. I get a warm feeling when memed actors pull their careers back around and whip ass.

There’s so much potential with this Spider-Man and the stories they’ve crafted around him. There could be a full on Spider-Family movie at some point. Marvel is able to keep pulling off live action versions of things I thought could never exist beyond a cartoon as a kid. This movie is a great ride.

The mid-credits scene is an absolute thriller and makes sure that you want more Spider-Man even after you’ve just sat through his 5th appearance in 4 years. That’s quite something when the exposure has reached the levels it has.

Unfortunately, there may not be a MCU Spider-Man much longer. So enjoy this while you can before the guy who thought Deadpool was a bad idea gets his hands on another beloved property.

@Adam_Pyde on Twitter, Adam Reviews Things on Facebook. CanadianAdam on Twitch.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is Radical

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the movie is everything your brain would make you think it would be. When you picture that title, you get a certain movie in your head. That is exactly the movie that gets delivered. Godzilla. Monsters. And a Wrestlemania match to determine who is king. Oh and, like wrestling, some worthless human drama you want to skip over.

That isn’t to say that the movie is completely mindless. It isn’t Transformers. There is substance to this movie. There is movie to the movie. Maybe not as much as some audience goers would want, but it isn’t devoid of craft beyond well done CGI. The movie isn’t insulting you for watching it.

Now, maybe there is a Godzilla film someday that’s sort of Cloverfield-esque and focuses on the disaster movie side of how you could tell this where it’s all about a really interesting drama on the ground following an ensemble cast of not-invincible characters. But when you put Godzilla in the title, you gotta deliver on Godzilla. This movie does exactly that.

It’s Godzilla. It’s monsters. It’s well done destruction porn without feeling like Man of Steel. It’s a big, dumb, fun, good, well made, cheesy movie. Plus, have you ever subscribed to the theory of “F*ck Boston”?

It isn’t just a retread of a 1v1 monster fight as if it were a procedural show. “This week on Godzilla, he fights Ghidorah!” They really spider-webbed out to make this “universe” bigger without going all The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

If you’re a long time Godzilla fan, you’re gonna get your easter eggs and mythology. If you’re new-ish, you’re gonna get your mythology and a few nods you might remember. If you’re new-new, then I think it does a decent job of introducing you to the world and catching you up. If you’re a fan of the Fallout games, well this may be your new head-canon.

'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'

Since 2014 they’ve realized that there are more than just three or four of these giant monsters. Secret government organizations are researching them and trying to harvest/control them. There are fanatics who see Godzilla as basically Jesus. You have your “lets just blow them up!” politicians and military people. You have your scientists that are so horny for the science that they get blinded by the science so they don’t really see reality. That’s neat because it’s accurate. The human-world side of this is intriguing because we’re no longer the alpha species and watching people react to this is endless potential.

But the human-people story side is always so lame because they have to Main Protagonist Power a select few individuals where convenient plot armour protects them from the dangers of the world that everyone else is vulnerable to. I guess I get it. They’re actors, you’re paying for some name value, they want to deliver a performance, etc. It can just feel silly at times. It doesn’t help that the human-people story side of it kinda flatlines and stops evolving after like 40% of the way into the movie.

The Dad gets kind of annoying. The Mom sucks. Millie Bobby Brown is pretty good. Charles Dance didn’t get enough screen time to really round things out and fill up his character to max potential. The rest of the humans were adequate.

Ken Watanabe steals every scene. He really gets to act his ass off and its a pleasure. He’s the best human in the entire movie and really gets to shine. Full praise. I’d have rather he was the main character in the film instead of a supporting character. Less can be more though.

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They get into it pretty early with the monsters/Titans and emphasize how little of a chance the humans have. Its almost a running gag that every time the humans are like “blah blah containment fields/our anti monster guns/super bombs” that the monsters brush it off as if it was a mildly coordinated house fly attack.

The McGuffin is pretty dumb. The rest of this paragraph is mild is spoilers for the first 14 minutes of the movie. How do you mimic something you’ve never been able to encounter ever just by spinning a dial? That’s like being able to speak a language just because you brained really hard. Yes, coexistence good. But the idea that all these monsters somehow all speak the exact same language and you just need to spin the computer dials like it’s a hack mini-game from Arkham Asylum is full on dumb. The existence of the Brown Note is more realistic.

There’s some Venom level dumbass-ness that happens. Like comically dumb plot just to make that plot get plotting. And that’s where I started to really tire of the characters we’ve been hanging out with. Luckily, outside of two extended lulls, they keep the monsters doing monster stuff.

The money in this movie really does go to the look and sound of the Titans. From the monster growls to the way they sound when they move to the sound of their breathing, it’s amazing. And then the music is even better. It’s a great score that never overpowers you but totally hangs out as a really good sidekick to add to the scenes.

The cinematography is good and has a few of those key frames that make you go “Wow!”, but I’m not really sure if this movie is shot any better than the previous one. There were a few times where the camera felt like it was doing too much and moving too freely and when that happens it can make the action and the monsters feel smaller than they are. It’s only a couple times, but I noticed it.

Every monster looks distinct and they each get their own colour which really aids the aesthetic. Most of the movie is so dark that it could have been a bit of a mess trying to track Godzilla vs Ghidorah and Rodan, etc. But because Godzilla gets blue, Ghidorah gets yellow, Rodan gets red, etc. it makes it easy to follow. They’re all lit excellently. It isn’t quite Pacific Rim with it’s colour palette and lighting, but it makes sure you know what is happening which is always appreciated in action movies of this scale.

They give the monsters their own characters. And while it largely isn’t much above Titans fighting to be the alpha, you get a sense of personality from them. Without giving too much hinted at+stated plot away, Ghidorah’s more about anarchy+destruction while Godzilla is about order and a semblance of coexistence (but he still makes sure the humans know who the king is). Mothra gets a bit of character and so does Rodan. It isn’t much, but it’s another step to making them more than just fighting monsters.

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Much like the first Godzilla movie, this one is an In Theatre experience. You need to see it on a big screen with a booming sound system to really help add that weight and effect to the scale of these monsters. When your seat shakes as the monsters rumble, it helps the movie feel that much more visceral. When one of them roars loud enough to shake a building, you want that vibration. A D-Box showing would be an excellent way to get every penny out of your movie ticket.

If you wait until Netflix for a movie like this, you’re not going to get that chair shaking audio every time Godzilla steps forward. And with how much of the movie takes place at night time and in storms, you’re dealing in a lot of grey, navy and black tones which always suffer in the digital compression of movies on streaming services.

There isn’t much more you could want from a Godzilla movie. Unless maybe he fights King Kong next.

@Adam_Pyde on Twitter, Adam Reviews Things on Facebook. CanadianAdam on Twitch.

Shazam! is Totally Awesome

Shazam! whips. This movie is great. I wanted to see more of this character and his adventures before the movie was even over. I’m already hyped for Shazam! 2. It’s the best movie this year about a character involving the name Captain Marvel.

It’s nice to have a made for kids live action super hero movie. Movies like Into The Spiderverse and The Incredibles also slap, but they’re animated films. This is way more along the lines of typical kids movie. It’s really corny and silly and tries its best to nail the kid side of it. It tickled parts of the Power Rangers fan inside me. Teenager with attitude gets super powers and has to learn to be a hero.

It’s almost a Disney flick like The Lion King. It’s a kids movie but its great for adults too. Big goofy kid stuff, but it also has its dark and spookies. And the dark and spookies are great as well. If the movie didn’t nail how fun and colourful the kid stuff was, then this dark and spooky evil bad guy stuff might have fallen flat. The contrast here is executed really well.

There’s something weird about horror directors taking over big action movies and knowing exactly what they’re doing. Who would have guessed that the guy behind Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation was going to do a great job with a child friendly character? David F. Sandberg did a great job, and he got to show his horror chops at points.

I guess it would be just that a good filmmaker is a good filmmaker, so they know how to make good film. Scott Derrickson did Sinister and an Exorcism movie before taking over Doctor Strange. Peter Jackson did a bunch of gory, bloody horror movies before Lord of the Rings. Sam Raimi and James Gunn have done this as well.

It might be the closest super hero movie in spirit and execution to Spider-Man 2002 that we’ve gotten in 17 years. Shazam is so corny. So corny. But its sincere. Much in the same way Aquaman was big and corny, but this is just done better. It takes itself seriously, but it isn’t a serious movie overall.

I love movies that know what they are and nail that tone the whole movie. The Fast and Furious franchise knows it’s a big dumb car movie series, and they act accordingly with it which makes it super awesome. The Deadpool movies get what they are and they take it and run with it. WWE is at its best when it understands how dumb wrestling actually is and goes with it, instead of trying to mimic UFC or boxing.

This movie knows exactly what it is: a lighthearted adventure comedy. A teenager, who is a bit of a jerk like any teenager, goes to a cave where an ancient wizard gives him super powers and doesn’t know what to do with them besides kid stuff: make YouTube videos, buy beer, skip school, busk for money, take selfies, see boobs, etc.

Oh, but also he has to fight demons. Sprinkle in a few cute shenanigans.

Mark Strong is awesome as the villain. In a movie where the main character is so corny, you need contrast in the villain to counter that. He’s such a straight shooting evil jerkoff who wants to be evil because being evil is power. It’s similar to Ronan in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but Strong has more to do and thus can give a better performance.

This is a movie that I don’t think could exist in a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy world. I think that movie opened up a lot of opportunities for Super Hero movies to become more weird and silly and show that people still can take them seriously as long as they’re made well. I think it also helped to open the door for directors to have more influence in their vision of the project and I think it’s benefitted blockbuster cinema as a whole.

Zachary Levi and Asher Angel both do great jobs. I’m curious how much time together they spent on set because Levi is very believable as Asher as an adult-boy. There isn’t much dissonance at all between the two of them. It’s so refreshing that movies are finding kids that can act instead of using the producer’s nieces and nephews.

There is some excellent writing that really fits the characters. Jack Dylan Grazer is excellent as the fanboy+BFF+nerd. The siblings all get their moment and have at least a couple one liners or moments to shine. I don’t want to spoil it, but I really hope you laugh as hard as I did. It was also neat to see some completely unexpected cameos.

There are some neat little references that are just brief enough that they aren’t distracting, but are fun in the meta whether they’re about DC or just winks towards classic movies.

Part of the movie is stopping the bad guy, but the main arc of it all is How To Be A Hero. That sounds like the same thing, but the focus isn’t on doing hero stuff as much as what it means to actually be a hero. Kind of like how another teenage super hero needed to learn that with great power came great responsibility.

The bad guy vs hero plot isn’t the whole movie though. There’s great moments where this movie is quiet and would be great as a “learning about family” type movie. It’s a better movie about family than a lot of movies that try to shoehorn that in to pretend their corporate product has a deeper meaning.

Also, how often is a movie set in Philadelphia? Especially one that isn’t terrible?

It sets up for a sequel in a really non cynical way. There’s some great payoffs all the way through the movie. Even through the credits you want to keep watching. The credits sequence is fantastic and worth every minute you spend in the theater.

Overall, its just rad. This movie whips ass. Its fun and if DC keeps their efforts along these lines with Aquaman, Wonder Woman and emphasis on the good parts of the pre-soft-reboot-post-Justice-League then they’ll have a really successful universe that’ll have people ripping their pants off like they do for the Avengers. I’m honestly excited for Shazam! 2 and I want to see what happens when Shazam crosses over with Aquaman and The Flash and so on.

Get that, this DC movie is so good it made me want to see this character again before I’d even left the theatre.

@Adam_Pyde on Twitter, Adam Reviews Things on Facebook. CanadianAdam on Twitch.

The Room: When an Alien in Human Skin Makes a Movie

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The Room is the greatest mess in cinematic history. It is the Citizen Kane of bad movies. It is the answer to the question of what would happen if something went so far below a zero that it somehow became a 10.

Its awful. It makes no sense. Characters existing is the extent of their existence. It has character moments, arcs and plot that are dropped in the same scene they’re introduced. It is edited at random. In the language of cinema, nothing in The Room works.

This movie is unwatchably watchable. If you were to sit down and try to watch take this seriously, it would feel like you’re “being stabbed in the head.” But sitting down to watch this as a delusional vanity project gone awry and it becomes one of the best 90 minutes you’ll get out of a film.

Tommy Wiseau is the center of the film on screen, as really good guy Johnny, and off screen as well. This man directed, wrote, adapted, produced, starred in and funded the entire $6,000,000 film. Yes, this movie costs $6,000,000.

This entire film is a series of things just happening. Its almost more of a mockumentary around a guy and his life than it is a proper dramatic film.

This is the cinematic equivalent of giving any random person a budget and a script and a camera and a crew. It should make you appreciate how “good” even a regular bad movie is.

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Tommy cannot enunciate. Tommy cannot dress himself. He’s an alien in human skin.

The Room is what the result would be if an alien species studied late 90’s soap opera TV, had a computer program amalgamate a script and then was performed by the aliens in human skin like the first Men In Black movie.

It’s not difficult to find secondhand embarrassment for the actress portraying Johnny’s “future wife” Lisa. She’s given an awkward wardrobe, absurd “motivation” and has 4 or 5 sex scenes. The sex scenes are uncomfortable. They last the entire length of the bad and cheesy love songs. Johnny pounds away at her belly button, has a zombie orgasm and then shows the entire world his butt. Why? Because its “Hollywood”, I guess.

Time passes in the film without any establishment of time passing. Characters talk about meeting up tomorrow and are in the next scene. No establishing shots, no passage of time shot, no CHANGE OF OUTFITS! They just happen.

Set design is bizarre. Like a showroom apartment from a 2003 Ikea. There are candles and photographs of spoons everywhere.

The logic of the film is bizarre. The game of football is just awkwardly hot potato-ing a ball around. Marijuana is considered an aggressive “fly off the handle” drug. Attempted murder is quickly forgiven. Stumbling into a garbage can sends you to the hospital.

The dialogue of the movie is completely bizarre, which probably is why the characters are so completely bizarre with actions that are completely bizarre.

  • Claudette becomes the voice of the people at one point, literally saying “What are these characters doing here?”
  • Tommy Johnny responds to the story of a woman being hospitalized by the beating of a jealous ex-lover with “Ha ha ha what a story, Mark!”
  • Characters will bring up something in conversation and then say “I don’t want to talk about it” after them bringing it up.
  • Adultery is committed and forgiven immediately, but then unforgiven about 12 seconds later in the same scene.

Does any of this sound like it was written by a human?

  • “I did not hit her. I did not. Oh hi Mark.”
  • “Anyway how’s your sex life?”
  • “Anything for my princess ha ha ha!”
  • “Its not over everybody betray me I fed up with this world!”
  • “If a lot of people love each other the world would be a better place to live.”
  • “Cheep Cheep Cheep Cheep Cheep.”

The best performance in this entire movie comes from the least trained actor on set. Drug dealer Chris R, played by former Olympic bobsledder Dan Janjigian, is excellent. He’s legitimately intimidating and terrifying. There is more conviction in his lines than the rest of the entire film. But even a performance that good is still undermined by The Room as people just appear in the scene like its Looney Tunes while shouting awkward lines. Somehow the violent, giant, gun weilding Chris R is subdued awkwardly by Johnny and his best friend Mark while Lisa yell cries about drugs at a whimpering Denny, Johnny’s pseudo son.

There’s a sad truth in film though. While its a mess, its clearly written from some place of truth or experience in Tommy Wiseau’s heart. There’s something of a biopic going on here, where nice guy Johnny gets manipulated, lied to and taken advantage of by the people close to him. A lot of the dialogue sounds like something from a bitter ex-lover.

Almost the entire male cast is portrayed as sexual vultures. Lisa is a petulant whore. Mark wants to, and does, bang Lisa. Denny wants to bang Lisa. Peter talks about how great Lisa is. Some no-name at the party has one line in the movie and it is “Lisa is so hot” while making a horny face.

Writing this may have been cathartic and even necessary for Tommy, but then turning this play into a film became an ego stroke. Some characters exist only to show that Tommy Johnny is a great guy.

Note: Due to Johnny clearly being a proxy for Tommy, I left in all the places I wrote Tommy.

One of these characters is Mike (pictured) aka Me Underpants Guy, who needs a private place to fool around with his girlfriend. So of course great guy Johnny allows them to use his couch whenever they want.

One of the nonsense characters is Denny, the orphan who was too old to adopt so Tommy Johnny just pays for his entire life as a pseudo father. All he does is be sexually creepy and weird, but Johnny loves him anyway because Johnny is so great.

One of these characters is Claudette, the future mother in law, who essentially repeats how Johnny is rich, nice, caring and an amazing man that all women would love to have.

One of these characters is the Flower Shop Owner, who exists to tell Tommy Johnny how he’s a great customer and great boyfriend.

Most of the characters essentially exist to say “Johnny, you are so great. You’re the best person” in a variety of ways.

Even Mark, the antagonist of the film and Johnny’s “best friend” who is banging Johnny’s “future wife” which frays and destroys the relationships in the plot of movie, will regularly talk about how great of a dude Johnny, his best friend, is. He will say this two seconds after putting his shirt on after having awkward staircase coitus with Lisa.

In years since, Tommy Wiseau has said he was making a dark comedy or a satire of a drama. Absolute crap. He went for a serious American drama and failed so miserably he made a comedy of errors so great he crafted one of the greatest comedy films of all time. The film grossed $1800 in its theatrical release. Marketing of the movie was a billboard in LA, that stayed up for 5 years, and Tommy Wiseau throwing pamphlets at people prior to the films premiere.

Image result for the room billboard

The film is a complete mess. It takes itself seriously. It wants to hit heavy but is undermined in wild swings of tone. Random thrown in scenes interrupt any pacing you may find. Its a movie that doesn’t know what a movie is. Writing, dialogue, acting, screenplay, editing is atrocious.

The movie climaxes in a suicide after Tommy humps Lisa’s clothing following a lackadaisical condo trashing after Tommy shove fights Mark and tells Lisa she’s a bitch. That literally all happens inside 10 minutes.

It was written as a stage play and could not get distribution as a book. Logically when you encounter those obstacles you turn it into a self financed film. The production crew was replaced twice during filming.

So how did this movie become a big deal? Well, The Room was played on loop for April Fools 2009 by Adult Swim. That was the movie’s big break. Beyond that it had a small cult following in LA among film industry people.

How did I find this movie? I wanted to watch Room, the Brie Larson film that won an Academy Award. I didn’t think twice when I saw a theatrical showing of The Room, so I mosied on down to the historic Garneau Theatre. Imagine my surprise when I got this film, complete with fans throwing plastic spoons and singing along to the love songs. My brain couldn’t compute. It was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. And it was great. Everyone should see this movie once. Twice if you’re feeling cute.

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