I first heard about The Room while I was in South Korea. Labeled as one of the worst movies ever filmed, it had somehow attracted a huge following that included sold-out midnight viewings.
To this day, I have not been able to get myself through one complete viewing of the original film. It’s an assault on the senses and a failure by every standard metric I hold regarding filmmaking.
It’s bad. Real bad.
The acting is subpar, the dialogue needs heavy editing, and the threadbare plot just sort of… happens.
Tommy Wiseau, the director, writer, producer, and star of the film plays Johnny, a man who eventually finds out his fiancee is cheating on him with his best friend Mark.
Supporting characters weave in and out of the movie, adding to the conflict and drama with the subtlety of a runaway Mac truck backing its trailer through a warehouse. There’s Denny, Johnny’s teenage friend, who is in debt to a violent drug dealer, and Peter the psychologist who learns about the secret affair from both Tommy and Mark. Lisa, the fiancee, tells Johnny she’s pregnant, admits the pregnancy was a lie to cover up her affair with Mark, and then moves in with Mark.
The theme of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire can be summed up in one word: more. Where the first movie left off with young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) as the victors of a brutal arena competition, the sequel gives us more romantic tension between the victors, more family drama as the Everdeens come to grips with Katniss’ popularity, and more arena battles when the oppressive government regime draws up plans to put Katniss and Peeta back in the arena.
It’s good in so many ways, and for so many different reasons. The Hunger Games as a movie (I have not read the book) does what so many movies based on popular things forget to do — stick to the essential script.
There seems to be a healthy fear, it might be better to say concern, about this movie — it’s as if the filmmakers were afraid to screw this up for the hardcore fans who appreciate and love the novels written by Suzanne Collins.
The filmmakers don’t handle the material with kid gloves — instead, they’ve approached it with disciplined tact, and they’ve created a movie that’s refreshingly intelligent, focused, and terrestrial, so much so that I sat there in the theater after the movie was over feeling astonished and, this is important, thankful.