on January 24, 2009
Let's assume that you've seen The Room. Imagine that Lisa's eyebrows matched her hair. Imagine that Johnny was about twenty years younger and a person that you actually wanted to see naked, with a decent haircut. Imagine that the movie's budget allowed for more than three or four sets. Imagine that characters didn't keep repeating the same meaningless lines over and over again--"Johnny is a good man." "Johnny is my best friend." "I don't want to talk about it." "Well I have to go now." Imagine that instead of being a simple Jekyll/Hyde caricature, Lisa was actually a complicated and real-seeming person, torn between security/domesticity and freedom/passion. Suppose that the revelation that her mother is dying of breast cancer actually contributed to her inner conflict. Imagine that the minor characters were adequately introduced and actually came across as real people with their own problems/motivations instead of simply allowing the filmmaker to kill some time while he waits to advance his plot. What would we have then? A simple morality tale (actions have consequences!) that no one would ever want to buy on DVD. Instead, we have The Room.
I first heard about The Room in the December 19, 2008 edition of Entertainment Weekly. I immediately tried to put it in my Netflix queue, but it was unavailable, so I came here, to Amazon, and was delighted to find that I could own this intriguing piece of cinema for only 8.49, so I bought it. I have watched it twice and have been trying to figure out what makes this movie so awful and yet so oddly entertaining ever since. Now I must admit I am a huge fan of bad movies--I can debate which is worse, Plan 9 from Outer Space or Manos: The Hands of Fate with the best of 'em. I have a tradition of watching Showgirls with the excellent commentary from David Schmader every Fourth of July, because it's so much better than fireworks, and you don't get caught in a traffic jam. I think it is hard to pin down all the disparate elements that make The Room sublime. Still, I agree with the EW article--it is the Citizen Kane of bad movies.
For those of you who haven't seen The Room, the plot goes something like this: Johnny is a guy who loves his live-in girlfriend, Lisa. He brings her presents. They have sex to horrible R&B-lite tunes. Their creepy teenage neighbor, Denny, tries to watch them having sex, but luckily they kick him out before things get too hot and heavy. Lisa seems to enjoy the sex, but it turns out Lisa is a big faker. Lisa doesn't love Johnny, but she thinks his best friend Mark is pretty hot, and apparently, no one can resist Lisa. To paraphrase what David Schmader said about Nomi in Showgirls, Lisa immediately pulls people into her orbit and makes them fall in love with her, because...well, we don't know why. Lisa and Mark have sex. Lisa and Johnny have sex again, just to make sure Lisa's duplicity is obvious enough. Lisa's mom is dying of breast cancer. Denny pisses off a drug dealer. Lisa encourages Johnny to drink too much and then makes up a story about him getting drunk and hitting her. A psychologist advises Johnny. Lisa and Johnny make out on the sofa in their house, except now they are played by two entirely different actors. Oh no, wait, these are different, unknown characters making out on their sofa. There is a mildly amusing incident with Lisa's mother and the unknown young man on the sofa and his underwear. We see the incident, and then it is repeated verbatim for us in the next scene. Johnny, Mark, and Denny play football while wearing tuxedos--ha ha! Lisa hosts a birthday party for Johnny and announces that she is pregnant, and then confesses to a friend that she's really not. Lisa then hits on Mark during the party, even though they had agreed to end their affair. Johnny finds out his beloved girlfriend is not really a human being, but is instead an evil robot. Disaster ensues. Actions have consequences!
I find that the movie makes more sense to me if I imagine that the character of Johnny is actually mentally challenged, but everyone is too polite to say this explicitly. (Once you hear Tommy Wisseau's odd accent and the strange cadence and emphases to his speech and his dorky laughs, not to mention what he's actually saying, it's actually not much of a stretch at all!) Johnny maybe has a rich, powerful uncle somewhere who has gotten him a handsomely-paid job fetching coffee at a bank. He's mentally challenged enough that he doesn't realize he's going to be the coffee boy forever, and he thinks his money-saving ideas for the bank are going to get him promoted ("Hey, if we stop giving away free toasters with new checking accounts, we could save money!" "That's a great idea, Johnny. Now go get me some more coffee. And a bagel. Cinnamon. Light on the cream cheese. That's a good man! We should think about promoting you to bank president, eh, Johnny? Heh heh!") Lisa is getting tired of having a mentally challenged boyfriend. Even though he is good to her, he has started to disgust her. And it's kind of understandable, really. It also explains Johnny's melodramatic reactions to everything.
Anyway, that's the backstory I have invented for The Room, but you could easily invent your own, and that's the great thing about this movie. The gaping holes in character and plot really encourage the viewer to use her own creativity. Whether you're throwing plastic spoons at the screen or trying to make up plausible reasons for the nutty behavior, it's a lot of fun, so buy this movie right now!!
on July 9, 2011
I have now seen Mr. Tommy Wiseau's cinematic tour-de-force, `The Room' three times. With each viewing, `The Room' becomes more complexly entangled in and inseparable from my own life. I no longer know where The Room ends and I begin.
It is, without question, the worst film ever made. Including movies made on beta max video cameras in special education high school classes. But this comment is in no way meant to be discouraging. Because while The Room is the worst movie ever made it is also the greatest way to spend a blisteringly fast 100 minutes in the dark. Simply put, `The Room' will change your life.
It's not just the dreadful acting or the sub-normal screenplay or the bewildering direction or the musical score so soaked in melodrama that you will throw up on yourself or the lunatic-making cinematography; no, there is something so magically wrong with this movie that it can only be the product of divine intervention. If you took the greatest filmmakers in history and gave them all the task of purposefully creating a film as spectacularly horrible as this not one of them, with all their knowledge and skill, could make anything that could even be considered as a contender. Not one line or scene would rival any moment in The Room.
The centerpiece of this filmic holocaust is Mr. Tommy Wiseau himself. Without him, it would still be the worst movie ever made, but with him it is the greatest worst movie ever made. Tommy has been described as a Cajun, a Croatian cyborg, possibly from Belgium, clearly a product of Denmark, or maybe even not from this world or dimension. All of these things are true at any one moment. He is a tantalizing mystery stuffed inside an enigma wrapped in bacon and smothered in cheese. You will fall in love with this man even as you are repelled by him from the first moment he steps onto screen with his long Louis the Fourteenth style black locks and thick triangular shoulders packed into an poorly fitted suit. You will even grow to love his metallic, steroid-destroyed skin. Tommy looks out of place, out of time and out of this world. There has never been anything else like him. Nor will there ever be.
The Room begins with `Johnny' (Tommy Wiseau) and his incomprehensibly evil fiancée `Lisa' (played by a woman with incongruously colored eyebrows and a propensity for removing her shirt) engaging in some light frottage, joined by, their sexually confused teenage neighbor, Denny--played with a deft sense of the absurd by Phillip Haldiman--who is clearly suffering from a cruel form of aged decrepitude. When Denny, who looks like the human version of Gleek the monkey from Superfriends, says, in a slightly creepy yet playful tone of voice, `I like to watch!' as Johnny and Lisa roll around the bed in a pre-intercourse ritual revolving around rose petals, you know you are in for a very special movie.
After a lengthy lovemaking scene (not to worry if you miss it the first time, they show it again in its entirety later in the movie) in which Tommy's bizarre, scaly torso and over-anatomized rear-end are lovingly depicted in great detail as he appears to hump Lisa's extra vagina located somewhere near her hip, we discover that Lisa, for no particular reason, decides she is bored with Tommy's incessant lovemaking and affectionate attention and decides to leave him. But not before she destroys his life.
Just when you think the movie might lapse into an ordinary, pedestrian sort of badness, Johnny's best friend Mark, who seems to have no job other than to wear James Brolin's beard from Amityville Horror, shows up and electrifies the screen with a performance so wooden that you could buy it at Home Depot and build a spice rack with it. Incidentally, Mark is played by Greg Sestero, who, in addition to being described as a department store mannequin, was also the line producer on `The Room' and one of Tommy Wiseau's five (5!!!!!) assistants on the movie. Lisa forces Mark, amid his paltry, unconvincing protests, to have an affair with her on their uncomfortable circular stairs. Lisa decides that she is evil incarnate and proceeds to torture her angelic and insanely devoted fiancé with various lies and manipulations.
Lisa receives pointed advice from her mother who casually announces that she is dying of breast cancer. And then never mentions it again! But Lisa is determined to make Johnny's life a living hell, in spite of the fact that she, according to her mother, "cannot survive on her own in the cutthroat 'computer business". But not before they recycle the sex scene from earlier in the movie where we get another bird's eye view of the insanity that is Johnny's naked body. Denny gets into trouble with a drug dealer. Mark shaves his beard. Tommy gets drunk on an unusual cocktail made from mixing whiskey and vodka. Lisa lies and tells everyone that Tommy hit her in a drunken rage.
A balding psychologist appears out of nowhere, offers some advice, then apparently dies while softly falling on the ground in an attempt to catch a football thrown by Mark.
All of these seemingly disparate events build up to two cathartic moments. The first is when Tommy expressively yells at Lisa with the line `You are tearing me apart Lisa!'. You will cheer at this line as you realize that the film has been tearing you apart the whole time. And the second is at Tommy's birthday party where the worst actor that has ever been born plays a unidentified man wearing a silk shirt who utters a phrase that perfectly describes the experience of watching The Room,
`It feels like I'm sitting on atom bomb that is going to explode!'
The shocking ending will leave you pleading and hoping for a sequel.
See this film at all costs. See it twice. Or three times. Or as one kid that I met from Woodland Hills has, 12 times! See it until you can recite every precious line of dialogue this movie has to offer. Let The Room become your new religion and Tommy Wiseau your prophet preaching the gospel according to Johnny.
My dream is to someday buy a theater and run The Room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the print disintegrates. I hope it becomes your dream as well.
on December 18, 2012
Finally! I thought everybody betray me when it didn't come out years ago when it was supposed to. We are expecting!
UPDATE: I freaking love this movie. The Blu-ray quality is definitely better than the DVD quality, although I can't say I am pleased to see Tommy's white buttocks in high definition. The extras are definitely worth buying the blu-ray. It includes new interviews, which any Room fan would love to watch.
on January 23, 2007
Well, what can I say?
After showing this at a party to a few friends, a round of applause followed the ending. This film is hilarious, and for all the wrong reasons!
After seeing an old trailer for this film, I remember seeing the terrible acting and bizarre mixed European accent of Mr. Wiseau, with him screaming "YOU ARE TEARING ME APART LIIIIZA". Having been shown this, this film was on my 'to get' list. Pure genius!
I don't know why, however, the trailer was changed. I also don't remember it being marketed as a 'black comedy' on this trailer I saw. But still, this film has the potential to be a cult classic over here in the UK, as everyone I've shown it too has laughed their arses off. Memorable quotes include, "We are expecting, AH HAH!", "Hi, doggy!" and the conversation that shows Tommy talking to his 'best friend' about clients at work, then the conversation switching suddenly with Tommy asking him, "Anyway, how's your sex life?"
Even if you don't like films that are funny because they're bad, watch this.. It's well worth the money, and you'll have something to show your friends which *WONT* disappoint them ;D
on August 20, 2009
I now mark my life into two parts - life before and after The Room. After seeing The Room, things seem differently. Colors now have taste. Taste no longer exists. My ears are filled with Tommy Wiseau's "Oh, hi there!"
See The Room, and be transformed into another consciousness that never knows how people behave, or talk, or think. A fever dream in which situations arise and disappear without leaving a trace. Where leading men can look like shambling corpses a few weeks old. Where the meaning of roses and chocolates have become perverse symbols of love. Where perversion is normal, where normal is perversion.
This is... The Room.
on October 8, 2009
When you gaze into the intoxicating eyes of Tommy Wiseau on the cover the DVD you are immediately under his spell. There are plenty of things to warn you about in the god-awful, fantastic, life-changing movie but in this review I prefer to focus on the DVD cover. From top to bottom. Let's start with the top. Wiseau gratefully let's us all know that this film is in fact widescreen. This fact alone enhances the viewing experience. It was, after all, shot in film and video via a monstrosity created by welding both technologies together and shot in 16:9. So the fact he did not deprive us of all of the garbage that takes place in the wings of a 4:3 film is a blessing. Moving down...I am particularly fond of the probably [..] font chosen to brandish the title in our faces. The soft-edge bevel and light shadow provided by Photoshop 3.0 were both nice touches as well. Let's ignore the fact that the title is neither centered nor properly offset. Even when you consider the ridiculous drop mirror (oops forgot the bevel and shadow) it is still not right. Through the graphical placement of the title Tommy gives a little insight to the madness of the film within.
Let's talk about the hair. The term 'three-day-coke-bender' comes to mind when I look at the disheveled mess of octopus-ink blank hair. Nick Nolte's mug shot called and wanted a word with the stylist. My colleagues and I are unable to agree on whether that is his real hair or an abandoned wig lifted from the set of Edward Scissorhands. The apex of his forehead features the slightest indication of a vampirical widow's peak. Why? Some mysteries are meant to stay mysteries. The right side of his coif is particularly baffling. It is a sideways bird's nest made out of black string. Both sides of his face are flanked by an oil-black river of face-cradling brilliance as if to say, 'Look what I am holding. It's my baby. He may not be pretty but I love him so.'
The forehead is a vast wasteland that serves no purpose other than providing a platform to which the hair-mess is stapled.
The left eyebrow, slightly raised, says 'I am thinking about something'. The right eyebrow, well the whole right side of the face, hints at either brain damage or bell's palsy. Probably both.
It is difficult to ascertain if Tommy has a lazy eye or non-bilateral eyelids. Assuming he is human and does not have lazy eye or non-bilateralism, one can only conclude that his left, the viewer's right, eyelid lost interest in the photo shoot. About halfway through the session the eyelid started mailing it in, drifting to sleep. In fact you could surmise that the only saving grace of the DVD cover is the intelligence of Tommy Wiseau's left eyelid. It is telling us, 'at the end of this movie, you will close your eyes and wonder wtf just happened?'
The eyes are the focal point. One would think that Tommy would go with the sweet inviting eyes like the sad ones he used in the 'You are family, Denny' sequence. But no, he chose to the 'I am distraught and confused and will throw this four ounce television out the window' glare. And then the television will defy the laws of physics and change its trajectory like Oswalt's magic bullet. He went with those eyes. The eyes are those of a savant. Some savants are born with the innate ability to play the violin like a grand master but cannot tie their own shoes or wipe themselves. Tommy Wiseau is a savant that has the innate ability to make a bad movie. His eyes tell us this.
The nose is a nose.
I am transfixed by his pouty lips. He is about to kiss the lens. Or he has a throat lozenge on his tongue. His teeth are clenched but his colorless lips hide this fact. The palsy has migrated onto his left lower lip. These are the lips of a mad scientist deftly combining every conceivable bad idea for a movie into one gigantic stinky festering mess.
'Can You Really Ever Trust Anyone?' Good question. In fact since proudly pouring out ten bucks for this fantastic piece of crap I wonder if I can trust my own judgement. Again, he went with the drop shadow but chose an out-of pallet-family reddish hue for the lifeless nondescript font. It is not so much italicized as it is kind of just drifting to the right like it is about to leave. It is good to know that the 'generic slug line generator' was functioning on the day that 'Can you really trust anyone' was birthed.
"Experience this quirky new black comedy, it's a riot!"
Some alternatives that I would've been happier with include:
"Wear Depends adult diapers when you watch this!"
"Experience this accidentally hysterical abomination of filmic art!"
"Learn how to play football sree feet apart!"
"Everything you ever wanted to learn about properly installing air conditioning conduit in a Paraguayan bait camp but were afraid to ask!"
Quirky black comedy? Really? This movie is no more an intentional 'quirky black comedy' than the Hindenberg disaster was an intentional landing exercise for a distressed dirigible. It is one thing to insult our eyes with Johnny's unnecessary butt-shot. It's one thing to insult my ears with the dulcet tones of Clint Gamboa's "I Will". But it is another thing entirely to insult my intelligence by trying to sell me that this project was an intentional black comedy. This is an intentional black comedy? So was the Numa Huma kid.
But the phrase was in italics, enclosed in quotes, and sitting comfortably atop yet another drop shadow.
The picture, with its ridiculous green filter, grainy 'serial killer' quality, and floating head vibe drifts off the page with a gentle fade. Copyright 2005 All Caps TOMMY WISEAU-FILMS (not sure why the hyphen was chosen). All Rights Reserved.
Buy this movie. I cannot implore you with strong enough words. Buy it. Be changed. I will personally respond to any human that asks for a personal reference. I can ask you a few questions about your life and give you a personal reason why you, as an individual, should buy this movie. chance dot mcclain at g mail.
Join the revolution.
on January 6, 2013
The Room is a timeless classic, and easily one of the most fascinating movies of all time. Visionary director/writer/producer/actor Tommy Wiseau stars as tragic hero, Johnny, in this unique tale of a man's world falling apart within "a special place, a private place, a place where you can be safe". It's not just a room, but THE ROOM!! . It begs the questions: "Can you really trust anyone?" and of course, "How is your sex life?"
Having met, acted, and even tossed a football around with Tommy, I can attest that he is a truly wonderful man, worthy of your support. The Room was meant to be seen in high definition, as it was one of the earliest films to be shot with an HD camera. The difference is clear on blu-ray, and considering that certain segments were shot with a 35mm camera the comparison is now noticeable. The sound quality is also improved, and certain lines are given more clarity, some can be heard for the first time. The soundtrack, with its unforgettable theme and original R&B love songs ("You Are My Rose"), sounds better than ever!! As the ultimate (and long-awaited) edition of the film, this is a must buy for diehard Wiseau Film fans as well as newcomers to The Room.
The most controversial aspect of this release is its cover art. I'll admit that the new case is a slight disappointment (the simple black and white photo was iconic). However, the new art highlights an important part of the film's legacy. The setting of San Francisco is a critical element of The Room, as it is the beloved home the characters we all know and love. The Room is mostly praised for its characters, making fans forget that the cinematography was also handled beautifully. To me, the new cover art reflects the classic scene transitions.
As an American, I recommend that all Americans (and people around the world) see The Room. This film may not please everyone, but those who enter the room, will leave forever changed. To enthusiasts, the question of purchasing this blu-ray should be non-existent. To newcomers, I urge you to give this movie at least two chances, because the first time may be too much to handle. The Room boasts some of the most wacky characters, over-the-top acting, and insanely quotable lines to ever grace American cinema. Most people fail to see the brilliance of Wiseau's direction until their second or third viewing. You'll laugh, you may even cry, but no matter what you will gain a new perspective on filmmaking. Tommy poured his heart into this masterpiece, and his devout fans love him for it. "If a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live"
on April 13, 2013
I'm tired, I'm wasted, I love this movie! Order a pizza (unless you've already ordered a pizza), relax, and enjoy. Your daily life is too competitive, and you deserve it.
on December 28, 2012
This movie will change your life, pure and simple.
The story, the direction, the pacing, the acting, the sound track, the special effects, the lovemaking, betrayal, and human drama playing out on the big or small screen truly has not been seen like this ever before. Nor will it ever again.
Though in some ways Birdemic rivals The Room in the special effects and story elements, it cannot approach the level of character-driven nuance exemplified by Wiseau's creations. Some will claim that Manos has performances that eclipse The Room's, but Manos had considerably more pedestrian dialogue, not achieving the lofty, nearly poetic writing of Tommy Wissaue. Others will claim that Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny is even more astounding than The Room, but that is a snuff film and if you're caught watching it you should go to prison.
There are timeless characters in here, so clearly drawn as to become neo-archetypes for the 21st century. From the paragon of humanity (Johnny) to the ultimate betrayal of all his friends and family to whatever Denny is, The Room offers not just a glimpse into the cacophony of creativity that is Wisaeu's mind, but a full-on nearly full-frontal view.
The set design is incredible with ground-breaking techniques used to simulate San Francisco (a scale model of the Golden Gate Bridge was built for some of the establishing shots) and this was the first film to be shot on 48 DPS and in hi-def 3-D. So take advantage of this Blu-Ray offer and make sure you use a 3D capable TV.
The blocking is one thing that never ceases to amaze me. Every scene was obviously story-boarded several times in advance and Coppola, Spielberg and Tarantino could learn a thing or two from what Whyso chooses to do with his characters in a scene (take for example the tuxedo scene where the characters each march to a predetermined position as if they were in a bad middle school play and then stand there woodenly reciting their dialogue, this is Wisaeau's brilliant take on contemporary culture transforming even the affluent of our society into nothing more than caricatures of humanity, standing stock-still to deliver their address to their peers).
I could go on and on, but I really must recommend this movie to everyone except for children and pregnant women. Children should not see it because of the rather graphic nature of this movie's reality. It is just too raw and too real for an undeveloped mind to process. Pregnant women should stay away because the sheer sexual shockwave of Tommy Wisaeu's lovemaking on screen might cause a miscarriage.
Like I said, your life will be different after you see this movie. You will never look at film-making (or even lovemaking) the same way again. Although Transformers 2 is considered its big-budget Hollywood spiritual sequel, do yourself a favor and check out the movie that began it all.
Put your expectations in your pocket, put doggy in his kennel and bring some spoons. And enjoy.
on January 8, 2013
I immediately started laughing at the first sight of the menu screen, this is a must buy for every human on the planet. New interviews, new extras. Oh, and yes, you really can tell a difference between this and the normal DVD version. The video really does look quite a bit better. If a lot of people buy this Blu-ray the world would be a better place.