Belatedly, Here’s The First Teaser For The Disaster Artist!


Hi, everyone!

Well, look, I’m just going to admit it.  I failed you last month.  Usually, I try to keep this site up to date with all the best trailers.  However, last month, I got very busy with another one of my summer projects and, unfortunately, I ended up running behind on keeping up with all the latest trailers and teasers.

So, if you’ll indulge me a little, I’m going to try to get caught up.  Admittedly, some of the trailers that I’m going to share today are going to be old news.  But I still want to share them because they’re films that we’re excited about here at the Shattered Lens.

And who knows?  Maybe I’m not the only one who had a busy July.  Maybe you missed some of these trailers as well.

For instance, check out this teaser for James Franco’s latest film, The Disaster Artist.  Now, if you’re like me and you love getting together with friends and tossing around plastic spoons while watching Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, then you can’t wait for the chance to see The Disaster Artist.  Telling the true story of Greg Sestero’s friendship with Wiseau and his involvement in the production of The Room, The Disaster Artist was one of the best books of 2014.  Rumor has it that The Disaster Artist is also one of the best films of 2017.

If nothing else, James Franco is getting Oscar buzz.  If James Franco wins an Oscar for playing Tommy Wiseau, my life will be complete.  If it happens, I might even take a year off so that I can bask in the glories of fate.

The teaser below features the filming of one of The Room‘s best-known scenes:

Lisa’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For January


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Why are these Oscar predictions “way too early?”

Well, unlike every other movie blogger right now, I am not attempting to predict who and what will be nominated on January 24th.  Instead, with this post, I am attempting to predict which 2017 releases will be nominated next year!  In short, I am attempting to predict what movies and which performers will emerge as Oscar contenders over the next 12 months.

Needless to say, this is more than a little bit foolish on my part.  I haven’t seen any of the films listed below.  Some of these films don’t have release dates and others are coming out so early in the year that, in order to be contenders, they’ll have to be so spectacular that neither the Academy nor the critics end up forgetting about them.  For the most part, the true picture of the Oscar race usually doesn’t start to emerge until the summer.

For now, these predictions are, for the most part, wild guesses and they should be taken with more than just a grain of salt.  Each month, I will revise my predictions.  At the very least, next year, we’ll probably be able to look back at this post and laugh.

(Whenever trying to make early Oscar predictions, one should remember all of the award bloggers who predicted Nicole Kidman would win an Oscar for Grace of Monaco, just to then see the movie make its long-delayed premiere on Lifetime.)

With all that in mind, here are my way too early Oscar predictions for January!

Best Picture

All Eyez on Me

Battle of the Sexes

The Beguiled

Blade Runner 2047

Crown Heights

Darkest Hour

Downsizing

Dunkirk

T2: Trainspotting

War Machine

Again, for the most part, these predictions are a combination of wild guesses, instinct, and wishful thinking.  It’s entirely possible that none of these films will actually be nominated for best picture.  (Some might even end up premiering on Lifetime, you never know.)  Here’s why I think that some of them might be remembered next year at this time:

All Eyez On Me is a biopic of Tupac Shakur.  Assuming the film is done correctly, Shakur’s life would seem to have all the elements that usually go into an Oscar-winning film.

Battle of the Sexes is a film based on a true incident, a 1970s tennis match between a feminist and a self-declared male chauvinist.  It’s directed by the team behind the Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine and it stars two former nominees, Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

The Beguiled might be wishful thinking on my part but, at this point, wishful thinking is all I have to go on for most of these predictions.  The Beguiled is a remake of a Clint Eastwood film and it’s directed by one of my favorite directors, Sofia Coppola!  Much like Battle of the Sexes, its misogynist-gets-what’s-coming-to-him storyline might make it the perfect film for the first year of the Trump presidency.

Blade Runner 2047 is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2017 and it’s directed by Denis Villeneuve, who is hot off of Arrival.  The Oscar success of Mad Max: Fury Road proved that a sequel can be a contender.

Every year, at least one contender emerges out of Sundance and this year, it could very well be Crown Heights.  It tells a fact-based story, about a man trying to win his best friend’s release from prison after the latter is wrongly convicted.  That all sounds very Oscar baity.

Speaking of Oscar bait, Darkest Hour stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.  If that doesn’t sound like Oscar bait, I don’t know what does.

Downsizing is Alexander Payne’s latest film.  It’s about a man (Matt Damon), who shrinks himself.  It may not sound like typical Oscar bait but Payne is definitely a favorite of the Academy’s.

Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s big epic for 2017.  Will it be another huge success or will it just be bombastic?  We’ll see.  The Academy has a weakness for World War II films and it could be argued that the very successful yet never nominated Nolan is overdue for some Academy recognition.  (It is true that Inception received a nomination for best picture but Nolan himself was snubbed.)

T2: Trainspotting is probably coming out too early in the year to be a legitimate contender but who knows?  The trailer was great.  Danny Boyle is directing it.  And, much as with Blade Runner 2047, Mad Max: Fury Road proved that a well-made and intelligent sequel can find favor with the Academy.

War Machine is described as being a satire about the war in Afghanistan.  Could it be another Big Short?  With Obama out of office, the Academy might be more open to political satire than they’ve been in the past.

Best Director

Danny Boyle for T2: Trainspotting

Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Alexander Payne for Downsizing

Denis Villeneuve for Blade Runner 2047

Again, there’s a lot of random guessing here.  Personally, I’d love to see Sofia Coppola receive a second nomination for best director.  Payne and Boyle are always possibilities and, if Villeneuve’s work on Arrival is ignored this year, nominating him for Blade Runner would be a good way to make up for it.  As for Nolan, he’s going to get nominated some day.   Why not for Dunkirk?

Best Actor

Tom Cruise in American Made

Sam Elliott in The Hero

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Logan Lerman in Sidney Hall

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

In American Made, Tom Cruise plays a real-life drug runner.  It sounds like one of those change-of-pace roles that often results in an Oscar nomination.  Gary Oldman has never won an Oscar and has only been nominated once.  The Academy might want to rectify that situation by nominating him for playing Winston Churchill.  And finally, Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in a big budget musical that’s scheduled to open on Christmas Day?  It sounds like either a total disaster or the formula for Oscar gold!

Logan Lerman is one of those actors who appears to be destined to eventually be nominated for an Oscar and, in Sidney Hall, he ages over thirty years.  Finally, Sam Elliott is a beloved veteran who has never been nominated.  If The Hero is a hit at Sundance, it’s easy to imagine the Oscar campaign that will follow.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Zookeeper’s Wife

Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul

Nicole Kidman in The Beguiled

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Naomi Watts in The Book of Henry

As of this writing, Meryl Streep does not have a movie scheduled to be released in 2017, which means that another actress will get the sport usually reserved for her.  But who?  Jessica Chastain could be nominated because she’s Jessica Chastain and the Academy loves her.  Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria for a second time in Victoria and Abdul.  The Academy loves movies about British royalty and Dench has already been nominated once for bringing Victoria to life.  Naomi Watts plays a loving but possibly crazy mother in The Book of Henry, which again sounds like a very Oscar baity role.  If Emma Stone doesn’t win for La La Land, the Academy could make it up to her by nominating her for Battle of the Sexes.

As for Nicole Kidman in The Beguiled — well, let’s call that wishful thinking.  My hope is that Sofia Coppola will do great things with The Beguiled and she will get another great performance out of Nicole Kidman.  We’ll see if I’m right.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Carlyle in T2: Trainspotting

Johnny Depp in Murder on The Orient Experss

James Franco in The Masterpiece

Bill Skarsgard in It

Kevin Spacey in Billionaire Boys Club

Admittedly, the guesses here are fairly random but there is a logic behind each nominee.  Robert Carlyle was great in Trainspotting so he might be just as great in T2.  In Billionaire Boys Club, Kevin Spacey plays a sleazy con artist and that sounds like the type of role with which he could do wonders.  If It is to be a success, Bill Skarsgard is going to have to be a terrifying Pennywise.  If Heath Ledger could win for playing the Joker, surely Skarsgard could be nominated for playing Pennywise.

As for James Franco in The Masterpiece … yes, it’s more wishful thinking on my part.  Franco will be playing Tommy Wiseau, the director of the notorious The Room.  Wiseau is, needless to say, an eccentric figure.  Not only do I think James Franco could give an award-worthy performance in the role but I also just like the idea of someone getting an Oscar for playing Tommy Wiseau.

Finally, we have Johnny Depp in Murder on The Orient Express.  Why not?  It seems like someone from that film’s huge cast is destined to be nominated so why not Johnny Depp?

 

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Aniston in The Yellow Birds

Danai Guirra in All Eyez On Me

Kelly MacDonald in T2: Trainspotting

Kristin Scott Thomas in Darkest Hour

Tilda Swinton in War Machine

These guesses are even more random than my guesses for supporting actor.  Jennifer Aniston and Danai Guirra will both be playing mothers who lose their sons.  A lot of people were surprised when Aniston was not nominated for Cake so here’s a chance for the Academy to make it up to her.  As for Kristin Scott Thomas, she’ll be playing Winston Churchill’s wife and the Academy loves historical wives (i.e., Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech and Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything).

As for the last two predictions, Tilda Swinton is listed because she’s Tilda Swinton.  Kelly MacDonald is listed for the same reason that I put Robert Carlyle down for supporting actor.  She was just so good in the first film.

So, there you go!  Those are my too early Oscar predictions for January!  Will they prove to be accurate?  Probably not.

But we’ll see how things change over the next couple of months.  At the very least, you’ll be able to look back at this post and laugh at me for thinking that … oh, let’s say Battle of the Sexes … would ever be nominated for an Academy Award.

As for me, I’ll be revising my predictions in February.  At least by that point, maybe the Sundance Film Festival will have provided some guidance…

Tommy_Wiseau_in_The_Room

Scenes That I Love: The Party Fight From The Room


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Today is James Franco’s birthday!  That’s practically a holiday here at the TSL Bunker!  Or, at the very least, it’s a holiday here in my little office.

We’re all very excited about James Franco’s upcoming film, The Masterpiece.  Directed by James himself and based on Greg Sestero’s wonderful book, The Disaster Artist, The Masterpiece will take viewers behind the scenes of the making of The Room!  Along with directing, James is playing Tommy Wiseau while Dave Franco will be taking on the role of Greg Sestero.

But, before we see The Masterpiece, why not rewatch a scene from the film that started it all?  The scene below is one of the key moments from The Room.  Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) finally confronts his “friend,” Mark (Greg Sestero) over the fact that Mark has been sleeping with Johnny’s future wife, Lisa (Juliette Danielle).  This is the scene that features the classic lines, “I fed up with this world!”

Enjoy this great scene!

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If you’re celebrating James Franco’s birthday today, why not read some of the following James Franco-related reviews:

  1. My review of True Story
  2. My review of Milk
  3. My review of Palo Alto
  4. My review of Veronica Mars
  5. My review of Lovelace
  6. My review of The Iceman
  7. Ryan’s review of Spring Breakers
  8. Arleigh’s review of Rise of the Planet of The Apes
  9. My review of Your Highness
  10. My review of the 83rd Academy Awards
  11. My review of 127 Hours

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And, if you’re a lover of The Room, check out Jedadiah Leland’s interview with Tommy Wiseau!

After you’re appreciated The Room, why not read a review of a different film that happens to have the same title?

And finally, here are my thoughts on The Neighbors, Tommy Wiseau’s TV show.

And now, let’s sing it!

the-masterpiece

 

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for October!


It’s that time of the month again!

No, not that time!  I mean that it’s time for me to, once again, attempt to guess which films and performers will receive Oscar nominations next January!

This year’s Oscar race is shaping up to be an interesting one.  Even though some favorites have finally started to emerge, there doesn’t yet seem to be any true consensus choices.  For instance, last year, from the moment the film premiered at Sundance, we all knew that J.K. Simmons was going to win an Oscar for Whiplash.  There was never any doubt.  This year, however, has yet to see any such certainty.

Up until a few days ago, I thought a best picture nomination for Carol was about as close to a sure thing as we could hope for.  But now, word is coming in that American audiences are not reacting quite as enthusiastically to the film as the audiences at Cannes.  Much like last year’s Foxcatcher, it’s starting to sound as if Carol might be a film that people respect more than they like.

Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies has been getting positive but not exactly rapturous reviews, which is pretty much what I was expecting.  Spotlight seems to be becoming more and more of a certainty.  A lot of self-appointed award divas are going crazy over Cate Blanchett in Truth, a film that looks incredibly tedious.  Myself, I’m hoping that Suffragette turns out to be great and gets all sorts of nominations.  Unfortunately, this means that I’m now in the rare position of actually agreeing with Sasha “I am the game” Stone of AwardsDaily.

And who would have thought that The Room would suddenly emerge as an Oscar front runner!? Way to go, Tommy Wiseau!  Oh, wait.  It’s a different Room?

Well, never mind then.

Anyway, below you can find my predictions for October and no, I’m still not hopping on the Revenant bangwagon, I don’t care how great the damn trailer is!  (Actually, the trailer is really good…but I made my choices for this month and I’ll live with them.)

Be sure to check out my previous predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.  (Daaaaaaaaaaamn…that’s a lot of predictions!)

Room_Poster

Best Picture

Brooklyn

The Danish Girl

Joy

Room

Sicario

Son of Saul

Spotlight

Steve Jobs

Straight Outta Compton

Suffragette

Best Director

Danny Boyle for Steve Jobs

Tom McCarthy for Spotlight

Laszlo Nemes for Son of Saul

David O. Russell for Joy

Denis Villenueve for Sicario

Best Actor

Michael Caine in Youth

Bradley Cooper in Burnt

Johnny Depp in Black Mass

Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Carol (and not Truth, so fug off with that commie crap!)

Brie Larson in Room

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy

Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

Lily Tomlin in Grandma

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano in Love and Mercy

Benicio Del Toro in Sicario

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation

Kurt Russell in The Hateful Eight

Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies

Best Supporting Actress

Joan Allen in Room

Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara in Carol (though I’m sure Noomi Rapace would have been even better in the role)

Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

Sicario_poster

America, Tommy Wiseau, and Rifftrax


“America is the best country in the world.” — Tommy Wiseau

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Tommy Wiseau in The Room

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Tommy Wiseau, the director of the cult hit, The Room and the man behind the online series, The Neighbors.

In a perfect world, everyone would get to spend 30 minutes talking to Tommy Wiseau.  For someone who has watched The Room over a hundred times, it was at first overwhelming to hear that famous accent and that equally famous chuckle over the telephone.  Once you start talking to Tommy, it is hard not to get caught up in his energy and his enthusiasm.

During our conversation, Tommy frequently returned to the theme that, as he put it, “America is the best country in the world.”  Both The Room and Tommy Wiseau are American success stories.  Along with writing and directing The Room, Wiseau also starred as Johnny, a banker who lives with and loves his “future wife” Lisa (Juliette Danielle).  What he does not know is that Lisa is having an affair with Johnny’s best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero).  Meanwhile, Johnny’s ward, Denny, is stalked by a drug dealer, Lisa’s friend tries to find enough privacy to make out with her boyfriend, a guy that nobody has seen before suddenly shows up towards the end of the film and somehow knows about everything that has been going on, Mark nearly tosses a man off a rooftop, and Johnny and his friends spend a lot of time playing football while wearing tuxedos.

Juliette Danielle, Tommy Wiseau, and Greg Sestero in The Room

Juliette Danielle, Tommy Wiseau, and Greg Sestero in The Room

When The Room was first released in 2003, it played in two theaters and it easily could have gone the way of many other forgotten independent films.  However, through word of mouth, people started to discover The Room and now, in the tradition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room has become a midnight movie success.  Fans come to showings dressed like their favorite characters, repeat the film’s dialogue, talk back to the characters, and throw plastic spoons at the screen.  (Go to a showing and you will understand.)  Co-star Greg Sestero has written a book, The Disaster Artist, about the making of The Room.  (When I asked Wiseau how accurate he felt the book was, he replied, “40%, no more than that.”  He also told me that, despite what some people in the media may be claiming, reports that he was no longer talking to Greg Sestero were totally incorrect.)  I was first introduced to The Room by Lisa Marie (not to be mistaken for Lisa, Johnny’s future wife) and we have both lost track of how many midnight showing we have attended at the Inwood Theater.

As The Room has become better known, so has Tommy Wiseau.  When I asked him if he found all of the fame to be overwhelming, Wiseau told me, “Not overwhelming. Because it’s fun.  You have to believe in what you want to create.”

TribecaWiseau has another reason to be excited, because the guys from Rifftrax will soon be bringing The Room to a whole new audience.  Rifftrax will be hosting a showing and live commentary at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17th and then Rifftrax Live: The Room will screen in 700 theaters across the United States and Canada on May 6th and May 12th.  

The Rifftrax guys are Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy.  They  are probably best known for their previous work on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  In many ways, MST 3K is as much of an American success story as The Room.  If you grew up in the 90s, it is likely that MST 3K shaped the way that you viewed everything from culture to politics to entertainment to whether or not it was okay to talk during a movie.  Rifftrax presenting The Room feels like the perfect marriage of two phenomenons of American pop culture.

Joe Don Baker in happier times

Joe Don Baker in happier times

There are a few famous stories of actors and filmmakers who did not appreciate having their films screened by the MST 3K guys.  On the DVD for MST 3K‘s take on Time Chasers, Mike Nelson mentions that the film’s producers had a party to view the show and that some of them did not take the ribbing as well as others.  The internet is full of rumors that actor Joe Don Baker is still angry over what was said about his performances in Mitchell and Fatal Justice.

However, Tommy Wiseau is encouraging everyone to see Rifftrax Live: The Room.  When I asked him how he felt about Rifftrax, he replied, “They’re very nice people.”  He went on to explain that he’s very excited and enthusiastic about the Rifftrax presentation of The Room and he’s looking forward to a whole new audience discovering the film.

Tommy Wiseau and football in The Room

Tommy Wiseau and football in The Room

Wiseau is also hoping that people will continue to discover The Neighbors, his online series that is currently available on Hulu.  When I asked him what had inspired The Neighbors, he replied that it was based on a true life. In regard to one character who is obsessed with a chicken, Wiseau explained, “My aunt used to have a chicken.”  He went on to explain that, like the characters in The Neighbors, “We are all human, we are all multicultural.”

We also talked about Wiseau’s first film, the documentary Homeless in America.  Tommy Wiseau really impressed me with the obvious passion that he felt for the topic.  “I wanted to know about what was happening,” he explained as to why he had made the documentary, adding that not all of the homeless are mentally ill and they not all of them are criminals.  “You cannot eliminate the homeless,” he said.  Homeless in America can be ordered from Amazon.

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

When asked what movies he would recommend that aspiring filmmakers should watch, Wiseau immediately said, “Citizen Kane.”  “Citizen Kane isn’t cookie cutter from Hollywood,” he explained.  “If Hollywood had made The Room, it would be a totally different story.”  Tommy also suggested watching Giant and “Clint Eastwood movies.”

As for the future, James Franco is currently working on an adaptation of Sestero’s The Disaster Artist but Wiseau can not talk about the production.  However, he did say about Franco, “He likes James Dean, I like James Dean.”  Wiseau is looking forward to more filmmaking.  He’s currently working on a new film called Foreclosure and, in June, there will be four more episodes of The Neighbors on Hulu.

And, of course, Rifftrax Live: The Room will be in 700 theaters on May 6th and May 12th.

I asked Wiseau if there was anything he would like to say to his fans.

“Yes,” he said, “You can laugh, you can cry, you can express yourself, but please don’t hurt each other.”

Those are words to live by.

Want to find out more about The Room and buy some Tommy Wiseau merchandise?  Click here!

Want to find out more about the showing of The Room at Tribeca and how to purchase tickets?  Click here!

Want to find out more about how to purchase tickets for the May 6th and May 12th showings of Rifftrax Live: The Room?  Click here!

Want to watch Tommy Wiseau’s The Neighbors?  Click here!

Want to order Tommy Wiseau’s documentary, Homeless in America?  Click here!

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(Thank you, Tommy Wiseau, for taking the time to talk to us!)

Watching The First Episode of Tommy Wiseau’s The Neighbors Was The Most Unpleasant 31 Minutes Of My Life So Far


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The cast of The Neighbors. Yes, that is Tommy Wiseau in a blonde wig…

Earlier tonight, I went onto Hulu and I watched the first episode of The Neighbors, which is the latest project from cult movie icon Tommy Wiseau.

Before I even start watching, I knew that The Neighbors would be bad.  That’s really the only reason that anyone would choose to watch The Neighbors, just to see how bad it could possibly be.  After all, Tommy Wiseau is best known as the director of The Room, a film that has become famous for being one of the worst ever made.  And, as I’ve made clear on this site in the past, I absolutely love The Room.  I own a copy.  My boyfriend and I have attended countless midnight showings of The Room, where we’ve shouted out all the lines and we’ve thrown plastic spoons at the screen with joyous abandon.  When Clint Jun Gamboa showed up on American Idol, I wanted him to win just because he composed three of the songs that appear on The Room soundtrack.  I consider The Disaster Artist to be one of the best film books ever written.  I’ve even been lucky enough to interact with Room co-star Greg Sestero on twitter.  The Room is a bad film that you can’t help but love and I think that a lot of people — like me — assumed that The Neighbors would be a bad sitcom that you could not help but love.

Uhmm yeah … about that.

Having now watched the first episode of The Neighbors (entitled “Meet the Neighbors”), I can definitely say that sitting through it was perhaps the most unpleasant 31 minutes of my life so far.

The Neighbors is about an apartment complex.  (Every few minutes, we see the exact same establishing shot of the building while some rudimentary but catchy EDM plays in the background.)  The tenants are an eccentric bunch but, fortunately, they’re all watched over by property managers Charlie (Tommy Wiseau) and Bebe (Gretel Roenfeldt).  Remember how, in The Room, everyone was always asking Johnny for his advice?  Well, the same seems to apply for Charlie here.  For the most part, the first episode of The Neighbors consisted of characters stepping into Charlie’s office and telling him about their problems.  Charlie gives advice that is, of course, delivered in that famously impenetrable Wiseau accent.  Characters leave the office.  “What a day!” Charlie says.

(It’s interesting that, in both The Neighbors and The Room, Wiseau played a wise man who keeps his childish friends from making terrible mistakes.  Based on his performances and the portrait of him that emerges in Greg Sestero’s book, The Disaster Artist, I imagine that’s the way that Wiseau prefers to view himself in real life.)

The other main storyline deals with CiCi (Pamela Bailey), a woman who owns a chicken.  When she can’t find her chicken, she wanders around the apartment complex, screaming at people and demanding that they return her chicken.  Eventually, she finds her chicken.

Yay.

There are other things going on, of course.  There’s a guy who is thinking about hanging himself but then he’s paid a visit by Philadelphia (Karly Kim), who has big plastic boobs, looks straight at the camera whenever she has to deliver her lines, and who spends the entire episode wearing a pink bikini.  And then there’s Troy (Andrew Buckley) who smokes weed and sells gun and yells a lot.  When we first meet Troy, he’s angry because he’s found a big note on his door that reads, “BRING $850 TODAY OR BE EVICTED.”  And then there’s Tim (Raul Phoenix) who always has a basketball with him and who is always borrowing money from Tommy so that he can pay back Bebe or from Bebe so that he can pay back Tommy.  There’s a handyman named Ed (Jonathan Freed) and a pizza boy named Joe (Brian Kong) who rents an apartment of his own.  Joe is Asian but his last name is Spielberg because that’s what passes for the height of hilarity in The Neighbors.  Both Joe and Ed also wear Tommy Wiseau-brand underwear.

There was one character that I did like.  Lula (Cheyenne Van Zutphen) is the girlfriend of drug dealer Ricky Rick (played, in a blonde wig, by Tommy Wiseau).  Lula has the power to literally hypnotize people with her charm.  That’s a great power to have and, at one point, she uses it to get a free gun from Troy.  When Troy comes out of his charmed state, he yells and yells while the camera zooms in on his sweaty face.

There’s also a tenant who is upset because his pregnant wife has figured out that he’s gay.  His name is Don and when he first steps into the office, Charlie says, “Oh hai, Don,” and you’re briefly reminded of how much more fun The Room was compared to this.  Don and his wife have a huge fight in the manager’s office while Charlie and Bebe try to maintain the peace.  It all adds up to a lot of yelling.

And that, to be honest, is why The Neighbors was such an unpleasant viewing experience.  Everyone in this show yells nonstop.  They yell when they argue.  They yell when they say hello.  They yell when they tell jokes.  They yell when they say goodbye.  After spending just a few minutes of listening to them, I had a massive headache.  Imagine if the “WHERE’S MY FUCKING MONEY!?” scene from The Room had gone on for 32 minutes and you have a pretty good idea of what it was like to watch The Neighbors.

One reason why The Room is so beloved is because, as bad as it is, it’s also a legitimate movie.  The Room is blessed with such a mix of sincerity and ineptness that the film becomes both terrible and endearing.  You marvel at how bad the film is while also respecting Wiseau for staying true to his own eccentric vision.  The Neighbors, on the other hand, has all of the ineptness of The Room but none of the sincerity.  The Room is fascinating because it’s so clearly the product of Wiseau’s own eccentric world view.  The Neighbors, meanwhile, is the product of Wiseau’s newfound fame.  The Room was made by a director who wanted to make a statement.  The Neighbors, on the other hand, was made by a director who knows that people will watch anything that has his name slapped onto it, regardess of what it may be.

The Room is a guilty pleasure.  The Neighbors is just guilty.  (One side effect of thinking about Tommy Wiseau is that you soon find yourself writing like him as well.)

That said, I’m still probably going to watch the other three episodes of The Neighbors.  The first episode was so bad that the show itself has nowhere to go but up.

 

Trailer: Samurai Cop 2


The improbable career of Tommy Wiseau continues with a supporting role in the upcoming film Samurai Cop 2.  Judging from the trailer, this appears to be one of those films where we are supposed to be impressed by the filmmaker’s ability to intentionally make a bad film.

I never saw the first Samurai Cop.  Will I be able to follow the sequel?

Oh, who am I kidding?

I’m not ever going to watch Samurai Cop 2