As you might know, one of my hobbies is making fun of bad films, and on Saturday I had a late-night seven-course glut: The Room has been nominated as one of the worst films of all time. After seeing this cinematic emetic, I understand why.

My friends (Blanders, JC and PM) and I weren’t able to do too much riffing because of the enthusiastic audience participation: mostly howls of “because you’re a woman”, “Hallo Denny!”, and the frequent hurling of spoons, as if everyone in the cinema were budding Blue Rajahs. Almost every seat in the cinema was taken, predominantly by people in their late teens and early 20s; most appeared to be familiar with the movie. Arts students, I suspect.

The person who first told me about The Room said the director must have read a book on filming techniques and tried to use every one. I think he must also have read a like publication on acting.

My critique of The Room (remember, a critic is a person who can read a road map but can’t drive):

If you’re going to include two sex scenes between a couple, don’t reuse footage from the first one for the second.

If your rear end looks like a lunar landscape, don’t show it; not for any reason.

When using a well known feature, such as the Golden Gate bridge, to establish your geographical location, one shot is enough. Five of these establishing shots is too much, unless you have Korsakoff’s Syndrome.

Throughout the film, establishing shots show where the succeeding action takes place. Panning across a nondescript park at night does not establish a lounge room.

Heterosexual males do not wrestle each other in fun; not even if they are best friends; not even in San Francisco.

It’s okay to look like the offspring of Robert Plant and Ozzy Osborne; however, if you wear a suit to work you should also tie your hair back.

Blue screen backdrops should match the weather and time when the action, apparently occurring in the same place, shows different angles. There is a marked difference between late afternoon cloud haze and bright blue midday sky.

Approximately 80% of interpersonal communication is done by non-verbal means, such as facial expression, movement and emotion. In contrived interactions, such as between actors in a film, non-verbal expressions may be simulated; in fact, this simulation is encouraged.

When simulating emotion, simulate it from real life. Beware of extremes, such as under- or over-acting.

Every scene should take the movie in a direction. This direction is called the plot. Scenes that do not assist the plot should be removed.

A plot should include the development of the relationship between characters. This relationship can be shown in more ways than by overt repetition of phrases like “he’s my best friend”; “I’m his best friend”; “you’re his best friend”.

A traumatic event has results that affect the people involved for a long time. A teenager facing death by the pistol of a loan shark should affect the characters throughout the rest of the movie. When the effects last only as long as it takes for the assailant to be removed from the blue-screen sound stage, it isn’t so much character development as celluloid bug splatter.

If your girlfriend and mother-in-law-to-be remind you of Estella and Miss Havisham, get out of the relationship. Fast.

If every outfit your mother-in-law-to-be wears makes her blend into your furniture, be careful what you say: she might be two feet away from you, invisible against your feature wall or curtains.

If you’re going to base a film on your own life, it might be best not to end with the main character kill himself: it doesn’t send a message of hope. It says that the addition of firearms to emotional imbalance equals bad ending.

Having excoriated – yes, I used that word in my last post, but I like it so much I’ll use it again – The Room, I would appreciate seeing it again with my friends, so we can get some real riffing done. All hail Tom Servo!

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