SYTYCR Round 1.13: Hayley VS. Karl Freund (THE ROOM)

by Nick Jobe · July 27, 2012 · So You Think You Can Review · 7 Comments

I’ve noticed voting seems to be waning a bit lately. Is it burnout or are y’all just busy? Let me know! Anyway, the last battle was a tight race the entire time, never staying much more than a couple votes’ difference. But in the end, Zelda’s Kid Sister nabbed the win and will be moving on to the next round. Congrats! We have to skip yet another battle and go ahead to the one after, this time looking at the one you’ve all been waiting for. It’s considered one of the worst movies ever made, and it has fans everywhere… it’s The Room. Read, vote, comment, enjoy! You have until Sunday. Below is the updated bracket. Click to make it bigger.

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Review #1
By Hayley
Oh Hi, fellow LAMBs
The film that was chosen for me was the train wreck cinematic masterpiece known as The Room. I feel like I should point out that this review is coming from someone that usually enjoys “bad” movies and can find the humor in them.
The main story line that is actually consistent throughout the film is that sweet Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, with an accent that suggests he grew up in Poland/Denmark/United States/Sri Lanka/Antarctica/France) is being played by his fiancee, Lisa (Juliette Danielle). Lisa has grown bored of predictable Johnny, and has moved on to his reluctant best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero). When I say a story line that is consistent, I’m referring to the fact that there are multiple subplots that arise during the film, but go absolutely nowhere and are soon forgotten.

Tommy Wiseau really wants us to know that this is his film. Hell, his name appears in the opening credits about 5 different times. Perhaps he put a lot of work into this, the problem is that it’s horrible. Not even campy horrible (Think: Mommie Dearest), just plain bad. The worst part is that it doesn’t even feel like it was intended. It lacked that tongue-in-cheek, self aware vibe that some films give off when they know they are a giant stereotype. Everything about The Room feels unnatural, from the sets, to the way he cuts to different scenes, to the way the “actors” deliver their lines. It reminded me of a class I took in high school where we had to film ourselves “pitching sales in a commercial.” No one wanted to do it, so of course everyone came off like a robot reading from cue cards. That’s exactly what the film felt like! Then again, how can you blame these actors when they are given gems of dialogue like “Sometimes you feel love deep down in your heart.” “I want to do what I want to do..what do you think I should do?” and “I definitely have breast cancer.” (That last line delivered so nonchalantly that you think she would be telling you about something as simple as the weather vs a life threatening illness.)

Don’t even get me started on the continuity issues, the poor dubbing, or the fact that the film has 3 sex scenes accompanied by a terrible sound track that go on far too long. I seriously was so embarrassed watching them that I thought someone was going to kick down my door and accuse me of watching cheap porn. In fact, the only way I can actually recommend this film with a clear conscious is if you are curious on seeing how bad it really is. Or if you plan on watching it with a group of friends, a 6 pack, and possibly any herbal substances you choose. Though, there might not be enough alcohol in the world to make this a pleasant experience.
Rating: 1/2 out of 5 Lambs.
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Review #2
By Karl Freund
The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003)
A happy-go-lucky banker sees his world fall apart when his friends begin to betray him one-by-one.
Presented as one of the worst movies of all time, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room was a real head scratcher to me. My interest was mitigated between a curious interest and a little discouragement. Just the poorly made poster with the use of a cheap font and the not-so-appealing face of Wiseau’s character Johnny doesn’t naturally bring you towards this movie. Plus the cheap looking cinematography that looks like a mix of soap and porn isn’t the thing that got me to rush towards the television and ask for more.
Moreover, this kind of actor/director à la Orson Welles or Clint Eastwood might be a sign of pure genius. But in this case it just looks as bad as Ed Wood Jr.’s films. Wiseau who self produced and financed his first film wanted to make his debut outside of the Hollywood system to make it just like he wants. This is, indeed, a very unique film. It might also be the worst film to ever be presented to the Academy. In an interview Wiseau declared that he filled the forms to get to be nominated for the precious statuettes. Well, you know your History and writing that he didn’t get nominated isn’t a real big spoiler here.
Why in the world would someone choose this film for a reviewing competition one would ask? Well, it’s for the film’s cult status just like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, people would dress like their favorite character and go to midnight representations of The Room. The movie actually toured in 2010 around the world and Wiseau would be attending some of these and talk before the actual showing.
At first I thought it was some kind of a joke on me when I begin to watch the “thing”. But when I thought that some people actually attend midnight screenings of this mess I now think that the joke is on them. Why? The plot is very stereotyped and the characters are so one sided that it is like watching a bad play filmed. The sets are so tiny that when the guys are throwing the football it is ridiculous how they throw the ball. And just like one of the films Wiseau loves, Citizen Kane a film so far away from The Room, he directs and acts in the film to do like Orson Welles did. However, Welles had a great talent at both, Wiseau is the complete opposite. He is the cheapest looking director and probably the worst ever actor I ever saw on film. His lines “Aha” reminded me of Beavis and Butthead and his mumbling of words and lines that looks like they were borrowed from well wishes cards weren’t my cup of tea if you let me borrow an expression myself.
The interactions between the characters are almost incestuous and Lisa (Juliette Danielle), Johnny’s fiancée is like pure evil while Johnny is the holier than thou. In real life no one acts like this and nobody is as black or as white. But the best thing I kept for the end are the sex scenes, because without them the story doesn’t hold together, I guess. Shot just like cheap soft core and using footage from one scene to the other. I even fast forwarded those scenes because I got bored to hear Tommy Wiseau’s sighing and worst watching his naked butt. First they are too often, too long and it is just a waste of time because the film doesn’t really needed them and it just destabilized because the movie practically opens with one and without being really graphic they kind of just put the movie on some kind of pause.
Well, The Room is the kind of cult film that may be discussed much longer about it flaws and surprising missteps. It still, nonetheless, earned some kind of recognition amongst film geeks. I suggest that you give it a try just to know what the fuss is all about. At least you now know a little much what you are about to watch. You’ve been warned. This way the joke will be on you too not just on me.
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Now Vote!

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7 Responses to SYTYCR Round 1.13: Hayley VS. Karl Freund (THE ROOM)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Both reviews are about equal. The first one is short, but the second has grammar issues and run-ons. The second one also appears to insult anyone who enjoys this movie, and I did not appreciate that. Hayley wins.

  2. martinteller says:

    I wish Hayley elaborated a little more. But I feel she “gets it” more than Karl. Karl’s review also has some very awkward sentence structure.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I kinda wish all of this just kinda moved on already. But I voted for Haley cause her (I’m assuming) review was awesome and more fun to read.

  4. Bubbawheat says:

    I imagine it will pick back up again when it gets to the later rounds. I think it’s just a feeling of a lack of progression. If you do this again, I’d suggest cutting participants down to 16, or split the difference and do 24, but have the first round be all three-way rounds.

    As for the reviews, the reason this movie was picked for the tournament is because it’s a “so bad it’s good” film that has a cult following that makes fun of it, Karl Freund may have explained that aspect, but it had a very insulting tone and then still reviewed the film at face value. Hayley mostly took the film at face value, but didn’t feel quite so insulting as to why others might like it, so that’s who got my vote.

    • Nick says:

      That’s what I was thinking re: lack of progression. I’m even feeling it a little, too… no offense to those who have yet to be posted! I’m just excited for Round 2 already. And because this round has been going on for a month, I’m (and I’m sure a lot of people) are just getting antsy to move on. But in a week, we’ll move on and it’ll go much faster through each round. I agree, though, that I’ll lessen the amount of contestants next time.

  5. Will says:

    “Don’t even get me started on the continuity issues, the poor dubbing, or the fact that the film has 3 sex scenes accompanied by a terrible sound track that go on far too long.”

    Clearly I need to see this movie.

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