grrgoyl: (Pilgrim Thunk)
[personal profile] grrgoyl
Addendum to my bike post (because I have so many observations they were bound to spill over):

I forgot to mention the level Six-and-a-Half bikers--the ones with aerobars and teardrop-shaped helmets doing speed trials. The Six-and-a-Halfers don't even have actual drop bars, just weird prehensile vestiges of bars with shifters at the end, so small they look like they were made for carnie folk.

I got my first proper bike jersey from eBay and wore it today, which earned me nods from TWO Fives...apparently not so "in the zone" as I thought. That was a bit thrilling. The jersey puts me at a Four-and-a-Half, I figure, but I'll never be a true Five. Not with my big clunky $25 hiking sandals

my "suicide" levers (considered taking them off but I do use them quite a bit)

and most of all my cow skin speed bag, which I love to death but will always hold me back from full Fivedom:

I was sort of in a peloton for all of 90 seconds once, when I was passed by three guys just as I was passing two girls. We stayed together in a little pack for a hundred feet or so before breaking up again. That was kind of thrilling as well.

Most thrilling of all is the wildlife in my park. Deer are a dime a dozen, prairie dogs even moreso. But I've seen a snake that had to be about 2-1/2 feet long twice now (ran right over him the first time but he seems unharmed), a golden hawk that I startled out of the weeds, and two coyotes. The second one was just trotting on the side of the trail, chasing a butterfly. He turned and looked at me and it was the most bizarre sensation. I've looked into animals' eyes before, of course -- but my cats look at me with affection, and even the dogs at the hospital have an expression of familiarity. But this coyote, a truly wild animal, not used to seeing humans all day long like one in the zoo, had this look of strangeness, utterly inhuman and alien. At the risk of sounding corny, it was like looking into the eyes of the cosmos. Yeah, that's corny.


My review of The Room, arguably the worst movie ever made (at the very least top five for sure):

I first heard of The Room in an "Entertainment Weekly" article proclaiming it the worst movie ever made. It's not often a movie is so bad a major magazine dedicates a two-page spread to it. Perhaps the only thing that elevates this movie above a sea of other really bad movies is that it has been taken under the wing of such comic luminaries as David Cross and Paul Rudd. Now reportedly it has attained cult status, with midnight showings much like a certain Horror Picture Show (there's one in Denver at the beginning of September).

The Room. Rather an ominous-sounding title, like "The Cell" or "The Beaver" (correction: That second one sounds like a porno). The movie poster doesn't do much to dispel this impression:

But really the most horrifying thing about this movie is the acting; or the writing; or the set design; or...oh, I could go on for hours.

Plot: A guy is madly in love with his fiance, but unfortunately she's bored and starts sleeping with his best friend. The majority of the action (if you can call it that) centers on their comings and goings, and those of their friends. The only tension (if you can call it that) comes from waiting to see what happens first: will the poor schlub catch on or will she develop a trace of decency and end it?; or third option, will the friend stop whining about betraying his pal, realize she isn't as dazzlingly breathtaking as the script constantly reminds us, and end it?

I'll spare you the ninety minutes of abject misery we suffered waiting for the answer: the poor schlub does catch on (after really far too much time); his fiance never displays a shred of decency, or even any sign of a single trait to explain what makes her so desirable to these men (apart from her willingness in bed and, in one uncomfortable-looking scene, on a spiral staircase); and the friend never stops whining, but never finds the stones to do the right thing until after his pal kills himself in the climactic (if you can call it that) conclusion.

The first thing to be said about this movie is the director (and writer, producer and star) Tommy Wiseau couldn't get financing (whaddya know, Hollywood has some standards after all), so it's low, low, low budget. The first thing to be said about Tommy Wiseau is no one knows his country of origin (he says "American" when asked,) but his accent, and line delivery for that matter, is distinctly Schwarzeneggerian (vintage Ahnold; characterized by strangely wooden mannerisms with sudden outbursts of at times inappropriate and obviously forced emotion). He looks like the lovechild of Gene Simmons and Andre the Giant, with an enormous head of hair so heavy that most of the time he can barely lift it from the back of his seat, even when uttering deeply impassioned (if you can call them that) lines. Ditto his droopy eyelids. Watching him lumbering through his scenes is downright exhausting.

The second thing to be said about the movie is it takes place in San Francisco. I know this because a solid ten minutes of screen time has been devoted to every conceivable SF establishing shot in existence. Which might be necessary if this was a complicated, trans-continental chapter in the Bourne series, but it isn't. They barely leave the living room, never mind the city. It makes you wonder if this Wiseau person even bothered with any film classes.

The sex! I love sex, but by the third scene I had to start fast-forwarding--it's syrupy, unerotic and seems to go on forever, like a watered-down version of Skinemax. In the first scene Johnny's (Tommy's) pelvis is positioned so high it looks like Lisa's vajajay is somewhere above her bellybutton. And one scene is blatantly re-edited and used twice.

Besides Johnny, Lisa and Mark, the supporting cast consists of Lisa's mother, a busybody who visits every single day to offer unwelcome advice on her daughter's love life, and Denny, a teenaged neighbor who Johnny has practically adopted because he's just so kindhearted and good. Oh, and an unnamed couple who wanders into Johnny and Lisa's house to have sex in one memorable scene in a truly WTF moment. Mostly memorable due to this guy's repulsive "O" faces, each goofier than the last. Can't tell if he's getting a blowjob or is about to vomit:

Honestly, he's almost worth the purchase price all on his own

The funniest thing about the script (apart from the painfully stilted and unrealistic dialogue) is the way major issues are brought up and then either shrugged off or ignored completely. Lisa's mom drops the bombshell that she was just diagnosed with cancer, to which Lisa responds, "Oh, don't worry about it" and we never hear about it again (this is a line she gets to use a lot. As well as "I don't want to talk about it!", usually after bringing up the topic herself). To get her mom to stop nagging her about how great Johnny is, Lisa falsely accuses him of hitting her (twice!) -- but mom insists that his financial stability outweighs such a nitpicky little negative. Denny is accosted by a drug dealer wanting money. Johnny and Mark drag him off, Denny is rather emotionally lectured by Lisa and especially her mother (see below), and then no mention is ever made again of Denny's little drug problem. Near the end Johnny announces to all their friends that they're expecting a baby--then Lisa confides to her friend she made it up to "make it more interesting." Needless to say, she might as well not have bothered since it's almost immediately forgotten.

Inexplicably, there are about four scenes of characters standing two feet apart and tossing a football while delivering lines, as if Wiseau had hit upon a way to make an otherwise dull, talky scene more dynamic. Which I suppose is better than watching him sprawled on a couch like a paraplegic, looking like he just wants to take a nap.

I won't even mention the many, many rooftop scenes that use a really bad, really obvious green screen, because the actual San Francisco sky was just unacceptable.

The movie shuffles ponderously to the dramatic (if you can....oh, you get the idea) climax of Johnny's suicide, gun barrel in mouth blowing his brains out--which of course, this being low, low, low budget happens off-screen. Which I'm okay with, except then Mark and Lisa find him lying there cherubically with barely any trace of a wound. I could almost buy that his ginormous pillow of hair soaked up all the blood, but his face is completely intact with just a dribble of blood from his mouth. Either he missed (but died anyway) or that was one hell of a stealth bullet. The entire purpose of this scene seemed to be to create an opportunity to lie there and listen to his friends wail inconsolably over him. The End

You don't have to rent it, someone has thoughtfully compiled most of the scenes I described above into one handy video:

This includes some of the football scenes, the suicide, and my absolute favorite scene: Johnny dashes into a florist to pick up some flowers (because otherwise the audience would spend the whole movie wondering where Lisa's flowers came from). The whole scene lasts 20 seconds and the actors seem like they're delivering their lines at gunpoint. Oh hell, it's so priceless here's the clip on its own, in case 5 minutes is too much of an investment for you:

What isn't included is the thrilling "Denny is doing drugs" scene. Keep in mind as you watch mom's haranguing that she literally just met him in the previous scene:

At any rate, by the end the movie overall seems so pointless your first thought is to wonder why on earth Wiseau had such a burning desire to get this story told. Chillingly, he assures us in the behind-the-scenes interview that he hopes to make many, many more movies.

If you rent the DVD, you MUST see this interview. Raising more questions than it answers, it's almost funnier than the movie itself. When asked about the title "The Room," Tommy says cryptically something like "I wanted people to think about a space where good or bad things happen that they could relate to. Somewhere they can have a good time and feel safe." His explanation for all the football-tossing scenes is that it's his attempt to get people to think about the sport outside of a big arena, as if he invented tossing a ball around between friends. And when asked what he thinks of all the negative reviews he's received, he says confusingly "People are entitled to their opinion. But if someone gets the wrong idea, that's a mistake." Deep, Tommy.

This movie has to be seen for you to believe how incredibly awful it is. "So bad it's good" might be a stretch, but yeah. It shouldn't be watched alone -- you'll want someone else there to share an MST-style commentary. If you can't find anyone don't despair: The MST guys took it on already and you can get their audio track here (Tery and I were proud that they repeated many of the jokes we made ourselves).

Date: 2011-08-30 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God, I love The Room so much. My friends and I quote it all the time.


Date: 2011-08-30 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, trust you to be on the cutting edge of any cult movie. You and your friends need to see it with the Rifftrax commentary. The funniest joke they made was an AD reference every time they made the "cheep-cheep-cheep" chicken noises (see icon). You'd love it!

Date: 2011-08-31 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahaha, I totally wanna see that! They have Rocky Horror-esque screenings around here sometimes too. Those are a lot of fun.

Date: 2011-08-31 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OMG, that is SO BAD!

I just watched all the clips and I think the best actor in the whole thing is that drug dealer. lol

It's even worse than the bad lesbian vampire movie Lee & I watched at my friends' house ages ago, Life Blood. If you're in the mood for a bad movie to watch with someone just to laugh at, rent that, you'd write a great review. ;-)

Date: 2011-09-01 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I thought the exact same thing as I was looking for clips (about the drug dealer). Didn't you love the lesbo florist who is obviously a friend of Tommy's and that's the only reason the scene is in there?

Added to Netflix queue! Can't wait to check it out :D

Date: 2011-09-07 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe the fives do communicate but they have their own language that a four couldn't hope to understand. Those five were trying to tell you you're on the right track, and when you invest in some ridiculously expensive shoes they'll teach you the intricacies of their mind speech.

Smalls, let me lay some knowledge on you. The cosmos wants to eat you.


Date: 2011-09-08 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good point, I hadn't considered that. Though if it's going to take ridiculously expensive shoes to be fully assimilated, it's never going to happen: I've spent the last month trying to talk myself into spending $30 on fancy tires with red sidewalls to match Mamba. And a waste of time, due to the aforementioned whimsical speed bag.

I'm sure it does, however, you would make a much sweeter, tastier treat -- not tough and grizzled yet like me (though getting there quickly, thanks to Alabamy).

You'll want to poke your eyes out AFTER seeing the movie, not before -- mostly to try to erase the memory of the director/producer/writer/star's craggy ass as he heads for the bathroom after the boring and distasteful coitus scene.

Really getting use out of the SHIFT button

Date: 2011-09-12 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm told that the sun here makes you look twice as old as you really are. Theoretically I'm catching up quickly.

EW WHAT EW WHAT EW. Had to scroll up for pictures after that and am now even more curious: had "O" face guy never had a blowjob? When you watch the movie can you hear his girl giggling in the background?

In the flower scene: HOW DID SHE NOT KNOW it was Johnny? Presumably he's the only gothish Swedish rocker in the town.

Denny Is Doing Drugs: OH NO HE TURNED IT SIDEWAYS THAT'S A KILLSHOT! I'm surprises it's not Denny's suicide at the end, after that scene. Speaking of "O" faces, Johhny has a good one at 3:36.

Re: Really getting use out of the SHIFT button

Date: 2011-09-14 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, more and more reasons to want to move to Alabamy.

Srsly. Not clear if you watched the "best scenes" video where it also appears, but his BJ is accompanied by this kooky music like a Danny Kaye movie or something.

Haha, that's exactly what I say every time! He must have at least called ahead, because she plucks the flowers right off the counter like they were on hold for him, AND he says "That's me!" Also, how does he not know what the total is?: A) The sex scene that begins the movie makes a special point to show the first bunch of roses he bought her so he's shopped before, B) She says "You're my favorite customer" so he's shopped before. Tommy slept through Continuity Class, obvs.

I can't remember for sure, but the MST guys might have made the exact same "killshot" comment. Haha, that seems to be one of his favorite faces in his repertoire, contributing to the overall feeling of exhaustion and fatigue in all his scenes.


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