Friday, July 31, 2009

The Room: A Trio of Reviews

For our trio of actors above, we have a trio of reviewers from the Chicago screening at the Music Box Theatre last weekend....Please to enjoy

(Mark) Do you know what "The Room" even is? I did not, until the day before I saw it when I looked it up on Wikipedia.

(JWalk) "Keep Your Stupid Comments In Your Pocket" - SESTERO! Never has a movie-going experience exceeded expectations as profoundly as "The Room".

(Gabe) Wow. Just wow. I feel with a level of certainty that if you gave me $6 million to make a movie, I could do a better job. But my movie would not be the family viewing experience that The Room provides.

I learned that in Los Angeles, and to a smaller degree, in other parts of the U.S., this movie had garnered a large cult following not unlike "The Rockey Horror Picture Show". Apparently people yell at the screen at certain parts of the movie, throw plastic spoons, and even throw footballs around. This did not really rouse my interest all that much.

I expected the production to be shoddy at best. And it is, but so irrevocably wrong that to describe it would be like giving you an example of what an understatement is. I expected the dialogue to be laughable in it's awfulness. It is, but it is the truly head-scratching lines that elevate them to some of the most quotable phrases ever uttered on screen. "Anyway, how is your sex life?" I was expecting the acting to mostly suffer from the aforementioned dialogue. But of course, the dialogue is only a lump in the neck of what is a flux of incompetent performances, lead by Tommy Wiseau, the enigmatic, performance-enhanced writer/director/star/muttonhead of "The Room", and the dashingly douchey Greg Sestero.

Recently this film has been gaining a lot of momentum. And rightfully so. It’s more along the lines of Troll 2 than Transformers 2 (by which comparison I mean that both are terrible but in wildly different ways). You read the reviews and articles. You watch the small clips on YouTube, but you really can’t grasp it until you get the whole thing in one sitting.

I like to go see movies in silence so that I can pay attention to the whole movie experience, from the dialouge to the cinematography, to the music. Why "The Room" works so well is that you don't wan't/need to pay attention to any of that stuff. Everyone is yelling and laughing and throwing things and having a great time.

The movie fails in nearly every possible way. It is the motion picture equivalent to a sheet of white construction paper. Thick, coarse and just so completely unnecessary. But the high-five is, this was one of the best experiences I have ever had at the cinemodeum. At any given moment you could hear shouts of familiar observations or ridiculous phrases from the film. You could be struck in the shoulder with a barrage of plastic spoons; or in my face's case, a stray football. It was mad and wonderful.

In preparation for this movie going experience, I asked a friend who had seen it for the first time a month earlier, what to expect. She said “bring a football you’re willing to lose and make sure you have lots of plastic spoons”. So my team was ready from the get-go. With the friendly nature at the venue I gladly handed out some extra spoons to neighbors sitting close to us.

It's like a 6 year old's birthday party, but without the cake and the peeing in the pants. Although I did laugh so hard on occasion that it was touch and go at times. Go see this movie in the theatre as soon as possible, and bring plenty of plastic spoons.

There were often moments where it was actually quite difficult to hear several lines of dialogue, which seemed upsetting at times, but made the lulls in audience participation all the more worthwhile - a collective sigh in which we all seemed to dwell in the absurdity of what we were watching. And those were the most memorable moments. When you just had to stop shouting or laughing, widen your eyes, grab your forehead and shake your head in amazement. It is all too real, and all too spectacular, to fathom. I specifically have to applaud the man sitting in the 5 o'clock position of our seats for his phenomenally witty quips throughout the movie. I'll most likely be taking them with me to my next viewing.

The only complaint I have is the same one I have of most Chicago crowds, too rowdy. I have been to concerts where people have been so obnoxious that I wanted to take action that goes against everything in my nature. Now, to be fair, this is supposed to be the movie venue for this type of reaction. But the one guy up front, yelling out incoherent gibberish the whole time? Take it down a notch, buddy.

And now, the Krull Nugget Kriteria:

Did you enjoy it?
Yes, more than I ever should.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Yes. I'm already excited for the next time it rolls into town.
Definitely. If it's here, I'm there!

Would you rent it?
No. Only way to watch it is with a group. I throw enough spoons at the TV from my home as it is.
No. I would never want to watch this privately. Nor would I want to expose someone else to it without the theater experience.

Would you buy it?
Hellllllll no.
Never (unless I was planning a large watching party)

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
No. I would have watched it from Adult Swim last April Fool's Day, but I'm glad I got to experience it with an audience.
Maybe, just to experience it's horribleness without the fun.
Yes, as long as I was alone.


David said...

Get ready to rumble. The Room returns on August 21st. So says the "screenings" page on The Room website.

Gabe said...

you're a gentleman and a scholar.

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