This Week In Cinema: November 18-24, 2012

Love is complicated, but Tommy Wiseau is more clueless about love than what should be humanly possible!

Almost a handful of movies this week,

Mongolian Death Worm (2010, Steven R. Monroe, United States Of America) *

Everyone should know by now that I am quite the fan of very bad movies. But, the caveat is that the “so bad, they’re good” movies that I enjoy must be fun, teetering on atrocious in all the technical categories, and be a film that I can laugh at and have a great time watching. Mongolian Death Worm wants to be such a movie, it’s certainly in the atrocious level as far as anything technical goes, but it’s not fun and it’s not a movie I enjoyed for a second. I fell asleep about four different times watching Mongolian Death Worm, it’s simply not a fun or interesting movie. That’s all I ask of my bad cinema, be fun and interesting, not boring and a chore.

The Room (2003, Tommy Wiseau, United States Of America) ****

A movie like The Room only comes around every once in a while. For a lover of trash cinema, such as I, a movie like The Room instantly stands out as something special. It’s complete trash, yet at its core The Room is a movie about something. That’s what put The Room over the edge with me, the fact that this is clearly such a personal movie for Tommy Wiseau. He’s not just a guy trying to make a schlocky movie, he’s a guy trying to understand love and why it has wronged him so harshly in the past. He explores love through terrible acting, writing, lighting, direction, and even outright repeating of scenes. But, he is exploring love and that gives The Room a tangible edge of earnestness that separates it from most other “so bad, they’re good” movies. The Room is a fantastic film, I laughed throughout and I had a great time watching it, what more can one ask of a film?

Volcano (1997, Mick Jackson, United States Of America) ***

I understand that Volcano is throwaway entertainment. But, I still had a good time watching this with my family. Tommy Lee Jones is still awesome, even in a movie where he could have phoned it in. The lava/volcano effects are well done, and for the most part the movie smartly stays away from social commentary (with a few notably bad exceptions). Volcano is a disaster movie, and I have a soft spot for disaster movies that are well done. Mick Jackson’s movie was well done and enjoyable, and in a disaster movie that’s good enough to get a thumbs up from me.

The Village (2004, M. Night Shyamalan, United States Of America) ***

Discussing The Village is rough, because I feel that the film comes with a certain stigma. It is a film where M. Night Shyamalan uses a twist and that leads people to believe it is a movie about its twist. That may be the case with The Sixth Sense, but I didn’t find that to be the case with The Village. The more I think about the ultimate reveal the more it seems necessary to hammer home the point about the dangers of insulating yourself from the outside world. The villagers in The Village haven’t run away from anything, it has followed them whether they want to recognize that or not. It is in Mr. Shyamalan’s arresting visuals that The Village is at its best. The performances from Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix are also a highlight, but they do speak to the biggest weakness of the film. There are a lot of great actors in The Village, but I never felt like they were adequately utilized. Miss Howard and Mr. Phoenix overcome the deficiencies of their roles, and that should not be a sentence I am forced to write. The Village is not the terrible movie some make it out to be, nor is it a movie about its twist or dependent on its twist. Mr. Shyamalan’s film is well made and is an interesting take on isolation, if a bit off in the way it uses its actors.


Some good movies this week, but nothing comes close to The Room. Tommy Wiseau’s excellently bad film easily takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!


2 responses to “This Week In Cinema: November 18-24, 2012

  1. The Room is amazing. I hope you saw it in a packed theater — it doesn’t get much better than that.

  2. I watched it at home, with my wife. I can only imagine that it would be a great theater experience.

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