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.

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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.

 

If you liked this, please go like my page on Facebook. I’ll be reviewing The Disaster Artist both as a book and a film next.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Sucks.

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Getting through the work week thinking “paycheque” the whole time.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a dreadfully boring movie. It plain sucks.

Like, It took me 3 tries to sit through it. At one point I threw an empty bottle across the room when I saw that I still had 55 minutes left in it.

The love stories are terrible. Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are kinda lame. Johnny Depp’s shtick is wearing thin. I can’t not see Tommy Wiseau all over Johnny Depp’s continually sloppier and slurrier Jack Sparrow.

The missionary and the mermaid romance was literally the worst romance I have ever seen on screen. Like, he got his first boner ever seeing her boobs and now they’re in love.

The mermaid attack was kind of cool, but then the rest of this whole mermaid people curse plot thing is just boring.

I saw everything in the plot coming about 20-40 minutes early.

Like, this movie was even too boring to be background nonsense while I played Roller Coaster Tycoon on my phone and ate mini donuts.

One of the biggest issues is how Jack Sparrow has just the most insane plot armour. Nothing hurts him. Not jumping off a cliff. Not jumping off a tower. Not any of that ridiculous chase scene. Not any of the moronic escape scene.

It was endearing when like some minor level of absurd hijinks worked in his favour, but its too many bananas when Jack is Assassin’s Creed-ing across the landscape where every action creates a cascade of other actions that perfectly create the exact calamity and circumstances for the wacky outcome to happen flawlessly. And then to follow it with a joke thats basically Jim Halpert staring into the camera.

There is a lot of fun ideas, but a bit of simple grounding would have gone a long way to make this more interesting. It isn’t the subject matter that needs to be realistic. The Fast and Furious movies get bigger and dumber each time and its great.

But but but like maybe a bit more realism when Jack Sparrow is bounding across palm trees and swinging from them like he’s Spider-man. It sucks the tension from tense moments when you know he’s going to slip on a banana, somersault into a cow that kicks a pig who runs into windmill that falls over with the sails doing skateboard tricks that launch a coconut into space hitting the moon that changes the tides so Jack’s tumbling body lands perfectly behind the wheel of a ship before anyone can catch him. Or whatever.

Sometimes the human kickstarted rube goldberg machine is fun. But not in almost every chase/escape/action sequence. Less is more. Ant-Man doesn’t have Michael Pena doing his story telling gag 2, 3, 5, 69 times a film.

The generic Spaniards were possibly the most interesting part of the movie. And they were generic nerds.

Sword fights are cool.

How can you drink from chalices that are shattered? Like the metal lip edge of the cup have giant gaps between the stone cup portion. But the characters just shoved them towards their faces. You wouldn’t have drank squat with that cup. Like eating soup with a fork.

This movie just sucks. It isn’t worth the commitment unless you’re really a big Pirates of the Caribbean fan.

But honestly, singing water demon creature. Name: Syrena. Like serene beauty but also a siren. Seriously, that subplot was an instant “don’t care” and it never made me care.

Summer Movie Reviews: Now With 100% More Terrible August Movies

Shaun The Sheep 4/5

This was a lot of fun. Its definitely aimed for kids but can be enjoyed by all ages. There isn’t one line of dialogue in the film but you know exactly what is happening at all times. Great music and sound effects. Its funny and charming and good. Sheep do good!

Hitman: Agent 47 1.5/5

More like Shitman.

This movie personifies why video game movies are bad. Because the person making the film has no idea what makes the game itself good. They just think “Video games means explosions and nonsense action and ridiculous fights” where it doesn’t always mean that.

Hitman is a game about strategy and being methodical. It’s like Jason Bourne when he’s doing his infiltrating and not fighting. This movie is a CGI turd.

American Ultra 2/5

It wasn’t that it was terrible. Just that it wasn’t good. It has nothing to do with “being an original idea” or whatever whiny excuse you have, because it isn’t original.

Its just lame. The tone is weird and the way some characters are written don’t make a lick of sense at times. Some movies get away with that because there is enough charisma and charm to make up for it. This doesn’t have that.

We Are Your Friends 2/5

Emily Ratajkowski is gorgeous.

As for the movie, it is Entourage but not as charming or good or interesting.

Group of friends want to become each their own part of a touring DJ thing. Stage manager, booking manager, DJ, etc. and then they meet a girl as they go around performing.

I got the feeling this was written a few years ago when EDM was really trending up and they were just late to getting this out. It probably would have done better then.

Transporter: Re-fueled 1.5/5

Any movie that has the sub-title of “Re-” anything is terrible. Reloaded, refueled, revenge, retribution, recharged, etc. Terrible.

It isn’t even a dumb action movie you can enjoy for being dumb. Its just another film with noise and crap flying everywhere and poor pacing.

Never thought I’d find myself saying “Gee I sure miss Jason Statham!”

Previously:

To come this summer/year for shizzle:

  • James Bond: Spectre, November 6
  • The Peanuts Movie, November 6
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, December 18

Why I Am Disappointed in Dragon Age: Inquisition

First, I enjoy the game. I really do. Its well put together and I don’t feel like I was cheated out of my money upon completion, as far as cut content/withheld content for a later date/etc.

I still give it an 8 or 9/10, but…

But I’m still disappointed. Other people seem to be bugged by little things that piled up.  Other people seemed to be bugged because it isn’t Origins 2.0.

I’m just bugged and disappointed because I felt like I was lied to. I paid too much attention to the demos/interviews. It stems from this general statement,

“We learned our mistakes! Only showing and sharing 100% complete and in the game things!”

They kept going on about how they had learned lessons from previous releases and the whole reason they weren’t showing us anything about this game at first was because they didn’t want to show us anything unless it was working and was for sure going to be in the game.  And then they showed us things that are not in the game.

*sigh*

Choice Missions

No choice missions to save the town/citadel.

I’m actually really disappointed that after seeing the footage of protecting a fort or choosing the village, that it isn’t in the game. Especially since they talked about how “To avoid false expectations we’re only going to show things that are 100% in the game” or whatever it was Mike or Mark said.

Someone else on BSN said this:

Either we get a game in which our choices matter and create multiple and widely divergent endings (but with those choices being retconned or resolved in external media because it would be too much work for one game) or we get a game in which our choices don’t really matter or only result in a few mildly different endings that can be carried over to the next installment without too much of a headache for the writers/developers.

I’m totally cool with option 2, but let my dumb little things that are cosmetic have an impact. (ie, Templar tower, troop armor, sparring grounds/infirmary, etc.)

I get that the big story ones have to be a bit more linear for the sake of future games, but the dumb ones that don’t mean squat the second I get the “You are Winner” screen should do something. The ones that become codex level, if that, in future games should be more visible for the sake of “I did something”.

Clothing/Armor Customization

I remember when they were doing E3 interviews and stuff, they talked about how we could add dyes to our clothes and armor and minions armor. “You can pick these! Multiple outfits! Etc.”

Well, there is no ability to add dyes to your/others/minions armors. There is no way to customize your minions appearance. There is no set of casual outfits to pick from.

I hate looking at my soldiers and scouts run around in ugly armor and booger coloured tunics. After like 90 hours, the grey pajamas got tiring. Even adjusting it to blue/red/black would’ve been great.

I don’t enjoy making armor with the perfect stats, only for it to be soft pink, bright yellow, green and grey. That blows. I have to look at this monstrosity. I found myself wearing under leveled or situation inappropriate armor just because it didn’t look like vomit. Even a basic Minecraft level dye system would’ve been acceptable.

“You collected a Spindleweed” then go to a table “crushed Spindleweed into red dye” then “dying this armor requires 20 Spindleweed dyes”. Totally fine. I can fart and the gas will find 6 Spindleweeds in some places.

I’m not certain on other armor options, but for heavy armor for a warrior I basically had 2 different coat options the entire game with small differences. Lame. I wanted some big cool looking plate armor.

Skyhold

Skyhold doesn’t actually change let alone ever get fixed. Still have busted ass walls and garbage laying all over the place.

Before each upgrade, I made a save and went to both options to see which I liked more.

Gathered the materials required to upgrade my main tower. After I finally found the “upgraded” main tower, I feel like I wasted my time. I was told I’d get some killer badass Templar tower. I got three small rooms. My Templars don’t even use it as a hang out. Like 3 guys are there.

I also had a hard time finding it. Usually, the little upgrade… kiosk(?) is right next to it. Not that time. I had a hard time finding it, which means it’s really not that noticeable. I had been doing a Google free playthrough, but had to do it because I needed to know where it was.

When I picked mage tower, I thought that the mages would use it. Nope, still sitting in my library. Schematics or an awesome staff in a chest would have been awesome, but nope.

I’ve also upgraded the chantry garden area, only to get a few flower pots in one corner. So then I decided to try the Chantry upgrade. It was… a few statues. But I get more gold from people making donations! Except there is no way to tell if this is true or not. There is no collection plate and I don’t have any random gold deposits happening when I’m out or when I get back to Skyhold.

If we’re going to upgrade Skyhold, please make it more useful. For example, if I decide I want the main tower to accommodate mages, then perhaps include unique mage gear/schematics in a treasure chest there.  If we upgrade the garden, it could provide exclusive reagents for a powerful potion/tonic/grenade.

Also why the hell won’t the walls of Skyhold ever be full repaired? Parts of it were fixed as I progressed through the game but then I still have like 2-3 busted towers and broken walls. Why did they clean up my room, added nice new furniture…  but didn’t even bother to remove the bricks from the stairs leading up to my chambers? There are spider webs and bits of lumber lying everywhere.

There are holes in the walls, can’t they patch that up? I have like a gajillion gold and tons of alliances. Are you telling me I ran out of mortar?

Poor Cullen doesn’t have a roof above his bed. Its just busted. I’m on top of a mountain in a snowy area. How is homedawg supposed to sleep?

Finally, the training grounds vs the infirmary. I went with the sparring grounds, which actually did something. I have a little sparring ring. I noticed it. Neat. It did absolutely nothing else, but hey I actually noticed this one. I can pretend my soldiers are getting better.

Reloaded, went with the infirmary and I couldn’t find the new infirmary. I thought all those tents out front would be improved, nope. Turns out it was that broken down building next to requisitions. I think there is three whole beds.

Heck, if it gave me an extra military perk for the sparring ring or an extra diplomacy perk for the infirmary, then it would be a thing at least. There were 3 upgrading choices. Could make it 2-2-2 across the ones your advisors represent. Or even doing it in general just unlocked a freebie perk.

Nothing.

Reactivity

They hyped the reactivity of the game and it turned out just to be idle NPC chatter/skins.

You now have a Templar standing there. In Templar regalia despite the fact you abolished the Templar order and said they are just fancy Inqusition soliders.

I haven’t had one quests be different because I’m a reaver or noticed, from what I’ve discussed with friends/BSNers who played different races, any race specific quests. Again, this was stuff we were told we were getting. I remember reading the blog or forum post or whatever Gaider or Laidlaw talked about it in. “No origins but you’ll have race specific side quests/race will open up specific branches in missions… Limited specializations because now NPC’s and quests will be different based off your specialization! We’re only telling you this because its 100% in the game!”

At most I got a couple things that were different at the war table, I’m assuming, or a couple throwaway lines of dialogue. “Oh you’re nobility so you understand noble stuff.” Okay then. That’s not bad. But no missions. Were the like… two(?) war tables mission my specific ones for being a human noble? Is that really a “mission”?

Was that my special reaver centric mission I can only get as a reaver?

I kept waiting and waiting for that stuff to happen and then nope. I’m like 100 hours in and nada. Only have the last main story mission to finish and a few random “put the thing here” quests.

Closing

I kept thinking “Oh, they must be holding that feature until I get to Skyhold. That makes sense!”

But it isn’t there.  At all. “We’re showing you because its in the game!” Nope. It isn’t. I don’t even think that region from the demo where you could save the town/keep is in the game now that I look back at it.

“We wanted it to be worthwhile but we ran out of time…” You delayed the game twice. Maybe cut two of the couple completely needless areas and spend that time on doing what you told me you were going to do.

This isn’t even getting into the busted ass PC controls and poor MP loot design.

:/