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Friday, September 28, 2012

Life of Pi Review

Fox 2000
Life of Pi Review
2012, 120 minutes
Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.

Life of Pi is the new film by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback MountainCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and was screened tonight as its world premiere at the opening of the New York Film Festival.  Ang Lee was present at the screening tonight and said that he had been working on the film for four years and that he had two weeks to make some tweaks before handing in the film to Fox.  Life of Pi is obviously the work of a master director working at the peak of his powers as it boasts a huge heart and the best cinematography, visual effects, score, and 3D (the film was actually shot in 3D, not turned into 3D during post-production) that you will probably see all year.  The film follows a young Indian teen, Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) who gets stuck in the middle of the ocean on a lifeboat with a tiger after the ship carrying him and his family sinks.

Let me get my gripes out of the way before anything else, so that it doesn't seem like this is a negative review.  Every problem with this movie came from the screenplay by David Magee (Finding Neverland).  The pacing was uneven.  There were sequences that were heart-stoppingly stunning and suspenseful, such as the shipwreck sequence, but after that, the movie literally seemed to stop, especially in the scenes with Pi at sea.  It also became quite repetitive and some scenes were too dramatic (in terms of the dialogue, the tone was perfect).  

With that out of the way, let me mention all of the wonderful parts of the movie.  First off, the score, by Mychael Danna (Moneyball, Little Miss Sunshine) is the best of the year.  It is subtle, moving, and sets the tone of the film.  It never overwhelms and gave me chills.  

Claudio Miranda's cinematography is perfect.  Each shot is exquisitely and carefully picked and the images that Miranda captures are breathtaking.  The way he works with the 3D is especially impressive (you'll see what I mean when you view the film).

The 3D effects for this film are the best that I have ever seen.  The film uses 3D to both deepen the image onscreen and to also have the occasional object pop out of the screen into the theater.  It immersed me in the film's world.  Also, it is amazing what a difference it makes to shoot a film in 3D as opposed to post-conversion.  The image has depth and each object onscreen looks three-dimensional as opposed to two-dimensional with a little shading on the background (as it typically looks in post-conversion).

The visual effects were jaw-dropping.  Much of the water and the animals were rendered with CGI and it was very hard to tell what was real and what wasn't.  The animals, particularly the tiger, have emotional depth in their animated faces.  The backgrounds are colorful and are colored much like some Bollywood films.  While it was obvious that backgrounds and images like many portrayed in the film do not exist, in the context of the movie, they looked very realistic.

While technical work is very important, especially for a film of this scope, what really matters is the amount of care and humanity that is put in the film.  Ang Lee and crew really made sure that this was not another $100 million CGI-fest with no heart or soul.  Lee captures moments of such humanity that it brought tears to my eyes.  In one sequence, the tiger is clinging to the side of Pi's lifeboat, its head bobbing in and out of the water.  It knows that if it doesn't get aboard, it will die.  Pi looks over the side of the boat and looks into the tiger's eyes.  The tiger looks back at him, sad, alone.  This image was captured beautifully as we stare right into the tiger's eyes; into his soul.  We see the humanity in this wild beast.  He is as alone as Pi is and realizes this.  Lee carefully places the formerly majestic tiger's face in the middle of the frame with the dark blue ocean around it, showing the desolation.  Less experienced filmmakers would have simply shown Pi looking over to see if the tiger is there and then just show a brief image of the tiger.  

Overall, Life of Pi is a solid film, partially undone by a weaker-than-it-should-have-been script.  But, it is redeemed by its big heart and outstanding technical work.  This is a film that will appeal to people of many ages and will surely do well (in the least in the technical categories) come awards season.

-Joshua Handler

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dredd 3D Review


Dredd 3D Review
2012, 96 minutes
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, drug use, and some sexual content

2012 has been filled with movies that were way better than they should have been (21 Jump Street and The Avengers were the perfect examples of this).  This is one of them.  Dredd 3D could have been just another genre picture, but instead was turned into a thrilling, extremely violent exercise in action filmmaking.  Dredd 3D shows what a good script and cast can do because they do serious wonders.

Dredd 3D takes place in a world where the United States has been turned into a wasteland and the only establishment left is a crime-ridden city that stretches from Washington, D.C. to Boston.  In this city, a man named Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) lives.  He is part of a law enforcement group in which “judges” function as judge, jury, and executioner.  He, along with a new recruit (Olivia Thirlby), have to take down a drug lord (Lena Headey) who runs her operation out of a 200-storey building.  The story is remarkably similar to the superior (and far more brutal, if not gory) The Raid: Redemption, but it still works well.

Karl Urban plays Judge Dredd perfectly.  He delivers the one-liners with spot-on timing, takes the silly role completely seriously, and is just fun to watch.  As his nemesis, Lena Headey plays the psychotic drug lord Ma-Ma with the Urban’s same seriousness and a lot of charisma.

The script for this film is first-rate.  It is simple, witty, and builds in a lot of fantastic action sequences.  Dredd’s one-liners are reminiscent of the Terminator’s and got me to chuckly every time.  As mentioned, the story is similar to The Raid: Redemption, but works because it has good characters and is a sci-fi shoot-‘em-up, not a martial arts action film.

The icing on the cake for this movie is the fact that it is designed for maximum entertainment value and is technically very well-made.   Oscar-winner Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire, Antichrist, 127 Hours) was the cinematographer for this film and used some very clever camera angles, particularly one in which a person falls 200 stories and he does a first-person point-of-view shot of the person falling.  The music, by Paul Leonard-Morgan (Limitless), is also thrilling as it is a pulsing techno score that keeps the movie energetic.  And, the editing by Mark Eckersley is quick and keeps the pacing on target.

This is the rare occasion when it would be worth it to spend the extra money and see this movie in 3D.  This film, unlike most others which are converted to 3D in post-production, was shot in 3D.  This makes the image much deeper and actually makes the 3D look 3D, instead of an image that slightly pops out.  The excellent 3D effects complement the stunning slow motion sequences best.

I really appreciated the filmmakers’ decision not to use shaky cam and make a “gritty reboot”.  The cinematography is still exciting while still being  fluid, polished (it still has some grit) and cinematic. 

Dredd 3D really has nothing wrong with it.  I can’t give it a perfect rating, though, because it is simply a solid piece of entertainment, nothing more and nothing less.  It isn’t groundbreaking or revolutionary, but I had a great time.

-Joshua Handler

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lola Versus Review

Fox Searchlight

Lola Versus Review
2012, 87 minutes
Rated R for language, sexuality, and drug use

Lola Versus is pretty bad.  Starring the always-reliable Greta Gerwig (Damsels in Distress, Greenberg), the film follows a 29-year-old woman, Lola, whose life falls apart after her fiancé breaks up with her weeks before their wedding.  Sound familiar?  If it does (and it should), it is.  We have heard this story 100 times, and to make things worse, writers Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister Jones use every cliché in the book to tell this already boring story.  They include the best friend who the main character is secretly in love with, the cheery and offbeat parents, and the foul-mouthed best friend.  It is as if Wein and Jones took pieces of every good and bad romantic comedy and just mashed them together poorly to create this one.

Thinking about everything that didn't work with this film, I realized that everything goes back to the screenplay.  One of the biggest flaws of all is that there is no character arch for the character of Lola.  The "change" that happens to Lola just comes out of nowhere with no motivation.  And, as some friends pointed out, the change that occurs isn't even good (even though it is portrayed as heroic in the film).

This movie wants to think that it is fresh, original, and hip.  It is none of these.  Lola Versus wants to use every "hip" phrase it can and tries to make Lola relatable by having her constantly eat at organic food stands and hang out with her friends.  For starters, Lola isn't relatable especially because she isn't a likable character.  Her constant complaining and moping gets old fast.  From the minute the movie starts, the character of Lola has nothing interesting or distinctive about her, and when her fiancé breaks off the engagement, she just whines, sleeps around, and eats for the rest of the movie.

Another issue with the movie is that it tries to be an independent film.  It has hand-held camerawork in certain scenes that simply looks ridiculous and it attempts to use some sort of ineffective quirky humor.  The best independent films (Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and Beasts of the Southern Wild come to mind) are great because they don't try to be independent films.  They are naturally artistic and brilliant.  Lola Versus comes across as an imitation of films like these and tries too hard for the natural style that the aforementioned films possess.  

Though the screenplay fails on all levels (except for a laugh here or there), the actors all do a good job.  Greta Gerwig, an actress whose work I have really enjoyed ever since seeing her in 2010's Greenberg, does.  She is very believable and has a very charming screen presence.  She, not Lola, manages to be likable and enjoyable to watch, but the horrible character that she plays overpowers her charms.

Overall, Lola Versus isn't the worst film that I have seen this year, but it is one of the worst.  It isn't a complete disaster, but no way would I ever recommend that you see this garbage.  

-Joshua Handler

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Compliance Review

Magnolia Pictures

Compliance Review
2012, 90 minutes
Rated R for language and sexual content/nudity

In a year full of good independent films, Compliance stands out because of its frightening story and its willingness to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as possible. 

A Sundance sensation, Compliance created a lot of controversy.  It is unflinching, incredibly realistic, and very disturbing.  It is not disturbing in the sense that there is a lot of graphic imagery, but disturbing conceptually.  What people are willing to do to each other and subject others to is frightening.  It is made all the more frightening when you realize that what happens in this movie could happen to you.  As far-fetched as the film may appear, it isn’t. 

I do not want to tell you much about Compliance because it is absolutely best going into this film with as little information as possible.  What I will tell you is this: the film follows a fast food restaurant manager, Sandra (Ann Dowd), who receives a phone call informing her that one of her employees (Dreama Walker) stole money from a customer.  From there, the story goes in many wild directions and lays bare scary truths about human psychology and behavior.  It made me question whether I would do what the characters in the movie did if in those circumstances.

This film is based on a true story.  What sets this film apart from the usual “based on a true story” movies is that it is actually completely true.  During this film, I couldn’t believe what I was watching.  It was so wild.  Had this film not been based on real events, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second.  That’s how crazy it is.  Mid-way through, I remembered that this story is true.  My stomach sank. 

Director Craig Zobel could have made this film exploitative, but instead he keeps the tone low-key and grounds the film with solid performances and a great script that keeps the tension for almost the entire running time of the film.  With the low-key tone and a lack of dramatic embellishing, he makes the film feel incredibly realistic.  With his script, he keeps the dialogue realistic and makes sure to develop all of the main characters to avoid making them caricatures or simply little pieces of his grand scheme.  Because I cared about the characters, I felt very ill and uncomfortable when things start to go very wrong.

As a film-going experience, Compliance is unbeatable.  Being the lean, mean, smart thriller that it is, it (as I mentioned before) keeps the tension almost completely from start to finish.  The tension is unbearable and the dread of trying to guess what horrific act will come next made me squirm in my seat.  I couldn’t wait for the film to be over.  But, while I couldn’t wait for the film to be over, I completely appreciated how engrossed in the movie I got.  The reward of watching this movie was massive.  I got to experience a film like nothing else that I had seen and I got to be completely hypnotized by a great piece of filmmaking.  And that, my readers, is the biggest pleasure and reward of being a film critic.  

Overall, Compliance is the most effective thriller since 2009’s masterpiece The Hurt Locker.  It is suspenseful, thoughtful, and well-acted.  Compliance dares to be a thriller with brains in a time when that is not commonplace. 

-Joshua Handler

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Top Films of Summer 2012

by Joshua Handler

Summer 2012 has given us some really great films and a few bombs.  Ironically, all eight films on this list were independently produced.  Over the summer, I saw quite a few films.  There were many that I enjoyed, some that I didn't, but the following eight blew me away.  I always try to see the best new releases and avoid the bombs, hence why the vast majority of films reviewed on this site I really enjoy and why there are so many excellent films on this list (I do not, however, review everything that I see).  So with that, here are eight films that are must-sees.

Sony Pictures Classics

7. Searching for Sugar Man (Dir. Malik Bendjelloul)

Searching for Sugar Man is an outstanding documentary that tells the story of Rodriguez, a musician who sold few albums in the US, but became a superstar in South Africa without knowing it.  What follows that is a compelling and moving film about a mysterious man and a group of South African men who try to find him.  The music (obviously) is great and the film has many surprises that moved and astounded me.  This is a movie for everyone to enjoy.

Indomina Films
6. The Imposter (Dir. Bart Layton)

The Imposter is another fantastic documentary that follows the story of a kid who disappeared from his Texas home in 1994 and how a person who claimed to be him appeared in Spain in 1997.  Director Bart Layton structures the film like a mystery-thriller and kept me guessing at every turn.  This film is incredibly entertaining and more than a bit disturbing.

Magnolia Pictures
5. Compliance (Dir. Craig Zobel)

By far the craziest true story (and it is completely true) that I have seen this year, Compliance asks the question "how far will someone be willing to go to follow authority?"  I will not give you any synopsis for this film as it is best to view it without knowing anything about it.  It is the only film that has made me uncomfortable in the theater and feeling ill afterwards.  This sounds terrible, but it is a testament to how effective this film is.  The performances, particularly that of Ann Dowd, are very good.

IFC Films 
4. Your Sister's Sister (Dir. Lynn Shelton)

Your Sister's Sister is a beautiful little comedy shot for a small sum of $125,000.  It stars Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, and Rosemarie DeWitt and follows a man (Duplass) who's best friend (Blunt) sends him to her family's lake house after the death of his brother.  There, he meets her sister (DeWitt) and has a fateful one night stand with her.  The cast gives their most heartfelt performances to date and Shelton never settles for cheap laughs (her dialogue is very realistic too).  I came out of this film with an enormous smile on my face.

Magnolia Pictures
3. The Queen of Versailles (Dir. Lauren Greenfield)

Documentaries were great this summer, but the greatest of them all is Lauren Greenfield's The Queen of Versailles.  The film follows Jackie and David Siegel, billionaires who were building a 90,000 square foot house until the 2008 housing crisis when they lost much of their money and had to put their unfinished house on the market.  Greenfield shows all of the Siegels' excess in detail and shows every aspect of their lives, sometimes from more than one perspective (she even interviews one of the housekeepers in a fascinating segment).  Greenfield pays sharp attention to detail and paints a sometimes very disturbing portrait of the American Dream taken to the extreme.  

Sony Pictures Classics
2. Chicken with Plums (Dir. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)

Based on Satrapi's graphic novel of the same name, Chicken with Plums is a clever film about a man who decides to die after his wife breaks his beloved violin.  The film shows the man's final eight days and his the memories that he remembers during that time.  Satrapi and Paronnaud (Persepolis) use beautiful animated back-drops and whimsical humor mixed with drama to create this magical story.  The film has a one-of-a-kind magic to it that only Satrapi and Paronnaud can make.  I felt enriched after the movie ended.  Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) heads the fantastic cast.  Read my review here.

Focus Features
1. (Tie) Moonrise Kingdom (Dir. Wes Anderson)

I have never seen a film quite like Wes Anderson's masterpiece, Moonrise Kingdom.  Following two pre-teens who escape their New England town and the people who chase after them, this film, like the next one that I will write about, captures the pure magic of cinema.  Anderson's whimsical world looks as if it was created from a children's book (the references to Peter Pan throughout the film support this) and his story tells the timeless tale of two children discovering love and the adults who want to crush the magical bond between them.  Moonrise Kingdom features an excellent cast and script and will easily go down as one of the best films of 2012 by the year's end.  Read my review here.

Fox Searchlight 
1. (Tie) Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dir. Benh Zeitlin)

This film is a miracle.  Director Benh Zeitlin creates a unique world unlike any other.  The film, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d'Or (best first feature) and three other awards at the Cannes Film Festival, follows a young girl, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), who lives with her ill father, Wink (Dwight Henry) in The Bathtub, a self-sufficient community south of the levee in Louisiana.  However, when a storm hits, it nearly destroys Hushpuppy's world.  Under these circumstances, Hushpuppy must learn how to survive and care for her father.  This film is the most emotional film that I have seen this year.  The performances, particularly those of Wallis and Henry (both non-actors), are Oscar-caiber.  They contain a raw power that few actors have today.  The story is wrenching and magical and Ben Richardson's 16mm handheld cinematography is gorgeous, as is the score by Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin.  In short, this is a must-see film that you will never forget.  I have seen it twice and could easily watch it another five times, at least.  Read my review here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cosmopolis Review

Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis
Cosmopolis Review
2012, 108 minutes
Rated R for some strong sexual content including graphic nudity, violence and language

Cosmopolis is one of the strangest films that I have seen in a long while.  There is much in common, stylistically, with director David Cronenberg's (Dead Ringers, A History of Violence) previous film, A Dangerous Method in that the film consists almost exclusively of idea-filled conversations between two people interrupted only by the occasional sex scene.  This approach has turned many off of these two exquisite films, but this approach has mostly worked for me (I do have a few reservations).  

The film follows a young billionaire, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), who, over the course of one day, loses his fortune (and much else) while going across Manhattan in his limo to get a haircut while street protests are occurring, the president is visiting, and a rock star's funeral is going on.

There is much that I loved about this film, particularly the characterization of Packer.  Packer is a man who has had everything come easy for him.  However, now, he wants more.  Wealthy men in the financial business commonly "want more" and go to extremes to get it.  Packer epitomizes these selfish men.  He, like Bernie Madoff and others, sacrifices others to get whatever that "more" is.  However, being human, he is susceptible to failure.  The one hurdle that he cannot master is the Chinese Yuan which leads to his financial downfall.  In addition, this film acts as a critique of the "Information Age". Packer wanted to know about his security and his finances at all times and with the constant searching for this information, he isolated himself.  In this age we want more and more information on every aspect of our lives, but in that quest for information and the constant stimulation from that, we lose our ability to socialize properly and isolate ourselves.  

This film (as many others before it have) shows the coldness that characterizes many wealthy people today and their inability to connect with the common person.  In a few particularly interesting scenes, Packer has meals with his wife (Sarah Gadon), another billionaire.  The two cannot relate to each other.  Packer even mentions to her how he is trying to make conversation by using small talk.  These people have been in their own worlds for so long that they no longer can relate to others.

Packer's world is in his limo.  He has sex in his limo, he has a daily doctor's appointment and prostate exam in his limo, and he does much of his work out of his limo.  The limo symbolizes the bubble that Packer lives in.  Everyone comes into the limo, except for Packer's wife.  She is completely shut out and the only person not intertwined with Packer's business.  Slowly, but surely, the limo is trashed.  Protesters spray paint it and hit it.  A giant rat object that the protesters hold smashes into it.  These acts destroy the exterior of Packer's limo (and simultaneously, Packer loses some of his clothes and dignity).

To complement the complex story is the clever camerawork (much of the film takes place inside a limo and it rarely gets boring) and the excellent score by Cronenberg's frequent collaborator Howard Shore.

In addition, the acting is universally great.  Robert Pattinson, an actor who has been slammed for his acting in Twilight and many other films, is a perfect match for DeLillo's stilted dialogue.  He says his lines well, but adds a little something extra that makes him interesting to watch.  However, Paul Giamatti steals the show in the one scene that he is in.  His performance is intense.  I could not take my eyes off of him.  Playing an unhinged man, he captures the nervous movements and speech pattern perfectly.  This is one of his best performances.

Great as Cosmopolis is, it isn't perfect.  The main issue, albeit a minor one, is that a few conversations carry on a bit too long and are a bit too hard to follow.  Conversations like these do not happen often, but one scene where it took away from the film is the end.  The final sequence has one long conversation with a lot of tension, but after a while, some of the tension is lost.  However, it picks right back up and ends on a very powerful note.

Overall, Cosmopolis is not a perfect movie, but it is absolutely one that I would watch again (there is too much there for one viewing).  I would also only recommend to fans of Cronenberg's other work.  This film is incredibly ambitious and brilliant and was a perfect marriage of author, director, and star.

-Joshua Handler

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Room Review

"You're tearing me apart, Lisa": Tommy Wiseau in The Room
Wiseau Films
The Room Review
2003, 99 minutes
Rated R for sexuality, language, and brief violence

The lights dim, the clapping begins.  Audience members howl, and it starts raining spoons.  Welcome to the world of midnight screenings of the cult classic film, The Room.  Nothing is quite like The Room with its gratuitous sex scenes, obvious continuity errors, and repetitive dialogue.  Directed, written, and financed by Tommy Wiseau (he is also the lead actor), the film is truly incredible in how it got to be what it is.  

The Room follows a man named Johnny (Wiseau) who is living the perfect life with his "future wife" (the word fiancé is never said), Lisa (Juliette Danielle).  Suddenly, she decides to cheat on him with his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero).  Everything gets out of hand after that.

There are quite a few films that are absolutely awful (Showgirls, Bellflower, Plan 9 from Outer Space), but they all have some form of redeeming value.  Showgirls, for example, has some scenes that are well-filmed.  Bellflower too has an interesting look to it.  But The Room, there is not one redeeming quality about it...except for the fact that it is absolutely hilarious because of how inept it is.  Much of the ineptness of it comes from the fact that it takes itself completely seriously and Tommy Wiseau's legendarily bad acting.  

Tommy Wiseau is the worst actor to ever have graced the silver screen with his presence.  He has some sort of a unnamable European accent, long black hair, a creepy laugh, and skin so icky that you'd think you were looking at a dinosaur (you get the "pleasure" of seeing plenty of it during the ridiculous sex scenes).  He says his lines with a complete commitment to his material, but the delivery either comes out wrong or he overacts so much that it causes unintentional laughter.  Wiseau has no facial expression besides that of a zombie.  He cracks a weird-looking smile every once in a while, but it always goes back to a zombified look.

The script is unbelievable.  It is so horrifyingly terrible that one has to wonder what was going through Wiseau's mind when writing it (he still insists that The Room is a great film).  The story is cliched and there are so many plot holes and abandoned plot lines that it is a miracle that the story (somewhat) stays together.  In one scene, Paulette, Lisa's mom, announces that she has breast cancer.  We never hear of it again.  In another scene, Peter, a friend of Johnny's makes an appearance, but we never see him again for the rest of the movie.  However bad these are, the dialogue takes the film to a whole other level.

The dialogue is laughably bad.  "Leave your stupid comments in your pocket" and "What planet are you on?" are just two examples of this.  The best example of the hilarity is the well-known "flower shop scene".  In those 20 seconds, the bar for dialogue has been set to a new low.  In addition, Wiseau adds some lines of ridiculously un-subtle "philosophy" or "important" questions such as, "Do you understand life?"

Technically, The Room is a disaster.  All shots on the rooftop are obviously green-screened (the weather mysteriously never changes and soft lines form around the outlines of the actors against the background) and there are continuity/logical errors that are mind-blowing.  As someone at my screening of the film pointed out, why is Johnny and Lisa's TV covered by a chair?  The exterior shots are randomly placed and rarely set up a new scene and the editing is incredibly awkward (the opening scene is the perfect example).  In the opening scene, Johnny gives Lisa a new dress, she puts it on, and their neighbor/son-figure, Denny walks in.  Upon entering, the camera focuses on him and he says, "Hey guys!"  After that, the camera cuts to Lisa looking towards Denny at the door, then after an awkward pause, cuts to Johnny saying, "Oh hi Denny," in a way that only Wiseau can manage to say.  Moments like these happen throughout the film.  Also, there is no attention paid to the passage of time.  For example, Johnny and Lisa go upstairs to have sex in the afternoon (Denny interrupts their pre-sex pillow fight: a prime example of a weird scene).  When the scene is over, it is morning.  Why this happens, I don't know.

There is no way to accurately describe just how bad this movie is and just how funny it is without seeing it for yourself.  This is not a film to be seen at home.  For maximum effect, it must be seen in a movie theater full of people with footballs and plastic spoons (you'll get the jokes if you see it).  Many fans (myself included) love the film so much that they begin to recite lines from the movie with the characters.  Seeing The Room in a crowed theater is an experience like no other.  While a great cult film like The Rocky Horror Picture Show is extremely entertaining to view in a theater, it does not have the consistent laughs that The Room does or the consistent energy of the audience.

Overall, The Room is one of the hardest films to review because it is completely awful, but one of the most entertaining movies ever.  From an entertainment standpoint, this film gets the full four stars from me, but from a critical standpoint, there is no doubt that this gets a zero.  Do yourself a favor and watch this thing.  Your life will be changed forever and you will be quoting it endlessly.

-Joshua Handler