05/31/2009

“Finally we?ll be able to build Neo-Tokyo?”

by Matthew Hawkins

Been a low-key weekend, yet still a busy one…

The Midnight Room

First off, this past Friday night was a midnight screening of Tommy Wiseau’s cinematic masterpiece The Room, which some folks out there might recall me being a pretty big fan of. It’s apparently the new Rocky Horror in LA, so Katie and I wanted to be there before it became something similar here in NYC. Because nothing makes you seem more on the pulse of what’s hip that being able to claim that you were there for some pop cultural phenomena’s infancy before all the bandwagon jumpers ruined everything. And as expected, it was both tons of fun and kinda lame.

It all went down at Village East Cinema, which if I’m not mistaken was the original site for the original NYC Rocky Horror (who are now in Chelsea, I believe). Got there somwhat early, though it was for the best since the long developed fairly early on, which basically resembled a block party, with folks getting drunk and high right there on the street. Not before too long, we found ourselves in its super big screening room, which was where I caught the New York primer of the Spawn movie with John Green so many years back (lol). The crowd energy was high, and a good time seemed to be guaranteed… that was until we noticed the idiots to our right with assorted instruments.

Right before the kick-off, the organizers began giving out plastic utensils (one midnight Room tradition is for the audience to chuck plastic spoons whenever a picture of a spoon, which is in a frame resting on an end-table, pops up on screen) and tiny foam footballs (another tradition is for folks to toss the pigskin back and forth during the ridiculous and nonsensical football scenes) to the audience. I’m afraid that I don’t have any real info regarding said people, like if they’re officially affiliated with Wiseau or anything like that. They were selling the DVD and movie poster, along with shirts, though they were all lame and paled in comparison to some of the fan made ones that Katie and I occasionally caught glimpses of. At the very least, the organizers didn’t come off as annoying as Eventually one of them came out to greet the crowd and introduce… some no-name female stand-up comic. None of us had any idea who hell she was, nor what she was doing (one would think that maybe she would do jokes based entirely on, or at least related to the movie) but it was soon made crystal clear that she was perhaps the worst comic ever. And once who totally didn’t handle being heckled well at all. What a train-wreck, and not even an enjoyable one. But the next guest was actually legit: Mike Holmes, who played Mike! AKA the guy who makes the comical blowjob face, for those who’ve already seen The Room already. Didn’t say much, other than it’s amazing that everyone loves such an abortion of a movie, plus offered to answer any questions afterwards. And with that the movie rolled…

When I first told Hilary that I was seeing it yet again, but at a theater, she could only scratch her head. But even those who have seen the DVD a million times already it owe to themselves to catch The Room on the big screen. It’s SO much worse, mostly because all these fine details (i.e. mistakes) become far more noticeable and therefore comical. The ridiculous green-screen scenes looks twenty times more ridiculous. And it was fun hearing people yell stupid shit like “HI DENNY!” and “YOU’VE GOT CANCER!!!” Again, you have to see it to know what the hell is going on. Because we sat kinda close, Katie and I were constantly getting hit by plastic spoons, which was all good cuz, aside from them not hurting one bit, it gave us plenty of ammo as well.

Though the worst part was easily the aforementioned douchey band. During the Skinimax sex scenes, which btw way feature some amazing r&b duets, these jack-offs felt the need to be part of the show and play along. Not only did they completely drown out said music, which we both wanted to enjoy echoing throughout the cavernous theater, along with everyone’s groans at the most un-erotic thing ever, but they also completely sucked. Sorry, but I hated band geeks back in high school, and their late 20s Willamsburg counterparts are even more obnoxious. I think the worst part was when they were done, the audience members would cheer the onscreen action, but they thought it was for them, and then take massive swings of their Budweiser 40s (lulz). There’s also this one part where the audience all does the Mission Impossible theme, and it wasn’t until Katie noted “You’d think of all things, they would play along to that” that they actually began doing so. At least I was able to throw plastic spoons at them.

After the credits rolled, Katie and I sat there, waiting for Holmes to show up, but never did. And because this anorexic drunk chick who was part of the band kept going on and on about a party at the accordion player’s place, we decided to get f*ck outta there, pronto. But swinging by the bathrooms proved to be an especially smart move since that’s where Holmes was, entertaining a small yet captive crowd. He shared a bunch of fascinating tidbits about the production, including…

- Everyone did the best they could to eek as much information from the extremely enigmatic Wiseau while on-set, including Holmes himself, but hardly anyone was successful. Though Holmes was able to find out that he’s from Poland. The dude is also “at least” in his 50s, and everyday he would put “some kind of product on his face to make him look the way that he did.”

- As for where he gathered the money to finance The Room, that too is a mystery, though as also reported in a few other places, Wiseau was somehow involved in either the textile or fashion industry.

- During the eight months of production, Wiseau went through five different sets of crew. He was constantly firing and re-hiring people. Each and every day he would go off on someone different or have something new to go on a tirade about.

- Holmes himself went through three different onscreen girlfriends. The second girl was fired because she stood up to Wiseau or something like that, which infuriated the director so much that he threw a water bottle at her. Wiseau noted that anyone familiar with the movie already knows that Wiseau has definite women issues.

- This would somewhat explain the extended shooting schedule, since certain scenes were apparently shot over and over again, due to the constantly changing cast.

- It was noted numerous times how everything was exceptionally unprofessional, from top to bottom. For everyone, from the actors to the crew, it was just another paycheck. Regardless of where it came from, Wiseau clearly had money to burn (as further evidenced by his curious decision to shoot everything in both 35 mm and HD at the same exact time).

- Though Wiseau himself was clearly the worst offender, like how he’d audition different women for assorted female roles on the spot at the set. Which among other things is very uncomfortable for any actor, to be put on the spot like that, since they generally take place behind closed doors. Again, a sign of his view towards the fairer sex.

- Holmes thought Greg Sestero, the lead co-star, was a cool dude. But he was ultimately just a pretty face, a model, which clearly showed via his very stiff acting.

- Juliette Danielle, who played the female lead was, was also very sweet. Though she too had absolutely no idea what she was doing. Everyone would sit around and watch her performance via the monitor, which was described as watching a trainwreck. Eventually, Tommy had to forbade such activity since it was become a distraction or the like.

- The weird man-boy who played Denny, Philip Haldiman, is actually a friend of Mike’s. And was actually older than him, despite playing a kid of undetermined age; t the time he was around 26.

- Mike at one point also supposed to play the drug dealer. To accommodate the duel roles, Wiseau suggest he wear a hat or pair of sunglasses. But he didn’t bother to show up to on set that day, so Wiseau got someone else instead.

- At premiere of the movie, Wiseau brought with him two girls, who were obviously hookers.

- The Room was supposed to be a serious sexual drama, no joke, but halfway through the screening, people began to laugh and make fun it. Sestero, who aside from being an actor on the movie, also helped to run the production, and was basically Wiseau’s assistant, whispered into Tommy’s about how he did an superb job crafting a dark comedy, which the audience was clearly reacting to in a positive manner, and he just rolled with the punches.

At Least The Musketeer Won

Meanwhile, there’s not nearly as much to talk about regarding last night’s Rumbo In Dumbo 18: Mayhem In May. It was an okay show; the crowd was definitely hot, and there was some in-ring decent action, but the problems that have always persisted are starting to become especially annoying.

The first match between Cowboy Billy Walker and Benji the Klown was was easily the best; both guys are some of the best the WUW has to offer, plus it was short and sweet and to the point. Billy Walker was able to win thanks to his “cousin” interfering, this super pasty white guy who had to be easily 6’5, so tall that he was able to climb over the top rope, plus had a tall cowboy hat on, making him close to 7 feet tall in the end. His big boot was a tad bit sloppy, but it was maybe his first time in the ring and seemed nervous overall, so it’s all good. At the end of the match, Billy Walker (who next to the Musketeer is the second best heel in the entire company, with a totally hilarious Texas drawl, especially from someone whose actually Puerto Rican) tried to introduce the latest addition to his stable, whose name is Big Bad… couldn’t hear the rest cuz that’s when the mic died (they really need to work on the audio), but he played along, like he was cut off on purpose.

Next up was another super strong match, between Mickey Firezone, who is supposed to be a clean cut kid, the all-around good guy that the crowd was booing heavily, vs Rick Cataldo, the flaming gay guy who used to play the heel and still does I guess, but was now the fan favorite, either because he was facing against Firezone or perhaps because he’s just so damn charming! Then you had Jorge Santi vs Anthony Starr, two super talented young guys that wowed the crowd with plenty of technical moves and high-spots, thought the match just went on forever, to the point that people began to stop caring near the end. That there is one prime problem with the WUW; with so many people on the roster, you’d think they’d keep every match nice and brisk, as to allow everyone ample time in the ring. Instead, you get a bunch of overly long one-on-one matches, and by the end, you get four or five tag matches that include eight guys at the same-time, with so much crap going on that you can’t keep up and only burns you out.

There was also a championship match between Reggaedones, who is Mooney’s friend, versus Tristan Spade, the pimp character that I like a lot, and surprisingly, Tristan won the belt! Match was okay, even with the couple of botched spots. Afterwards Tim Arson challenged Spade to a championship match, but since he wasn’t in his zombie get-up, it wasn’t nearly as cool as it should have been. Everything else was pretty lackluster; just one long and boring match after another. Another major annoyance were all the camera people getting in the way. There was like five this time around, which would be tolerable if all this footage was being utilized for some cable access show or on YouTube or anything, but it’s not. What’s the point?! Worst was how one dude was totally in the field of vision for a bunch of kids in front of me, but thankfully he was moved eventually. Mooney was more or less infuriated when The Unknown Masks came out with some broken looking blonde, and not the hottie they’re normally escorted to the ring by, the brunette with the glasses, otherwise known as their case worker.

We were so bored that we decided to jet early, but we thankfully stuck around long enough for the Musketeer’s match against some random fat black guy that neither of us had seen before, but for some reason had a belt. Musketeer had to carry his fat ass the entire match, but at least he won the title! Mooney and I were seriously the loudest Musketeer fans in the entire audience, with people giving up looks like “who the hell are these guys?!” Afterwards was yet another potentially boring match, meaning…. yes… I wasn’t around for Brooklyn Jeff’s match. Perhaps if I had checked the website ahead of time, or maybe if they actually went down the card at the show, I would have know enough to stick around. Bummer.

Seriously?

Okay, we’re now less than 24 hours away from E3 2009. Once again, I actually don’t feel too bad for not being able to attend since it’s gonna be hella busy all this week, getting reading for next weekend’s film festival/comic book show super combo. So busy that I’m basically forbidding myself from even going near NeoGAF, which basically becomes a black hole for productivity during any E3 week thanks to it’s up to the millisecond breaking news and “scintillating” show related discussions. Not sure if I’ll even have the time to post about it on my blog in a timely manner, so may as well pass this along now, even though everyone and their moms have already seen it….

… Wow. I was expecting an iPod Touch rip-off or the like, but instead we simply the Mylo, risen from its grave? Like so many others, I can’t help look at that drool-worthy (yet semi-plausible) looking concept piece that was all the rage a while ago…

… And wonder what things could have gone so wrong. There’s also word how the box art for the PSP Go basically legitimizes those pics of the PS3 Slim from a while back. Though I have to ask where those pics of the PSP Go’s box are from as well. Don’t even get me started on how fugly the new PS3 is either (which has more or less been confirmed to exist, though we won’t be getting it till this winter from what I understand). Granted, the original PS2 looked like ass as well, but the PStwo was a very pleasing to the eye revamp. Meanwhile, the original PlayStation was not murder on the eyes, with the PSone still going down as one of the sexiest looking consoles ever. What the hell is with Sony these days? Can’t seem to do anything right, no matter the front.

Anyhow, the current hot rumor is how there’s a new Mario might be announced at the show? Now that’s a surprise! Given how the last one came out only two years ago, and how in recent years, the gap between Mario titles has traditionally been between five and six years. Which then makes me wonder if it’ll be a “true” Mario title or just another pin-off. Guess time will tell!

5 Seconds Later

You know, I used to also have a fairly strong reputation for finding plenty of non-game related nonsense on the internet, in addition to all the wacky video game stuff as well. But ever since the forums popped up, which has become my primary place of depositing such stuff, things have been a bit dry on that end around here. So just for the hell of it…

- As most folks have heard from now, North Korea seems raring for a fight! And how does the people of Japan, who seem to be right in their sights, feel about this? How about we ask the internet!

- Sticking with Sakaku Complex for just a sec, everyone say hello to the world’s oldest otaku.

- Was I the only one out there who had no idea that Mad Max 4 was going to be a 3D anime? Well, it’s been cancelled anyway.

- Scientists recently got together to develop the most annoying song ever. I personally don’t think it’s half bad!

- Now this is a killer way to get laid. Or at least attempt at it.

- It’s true what they say, it’s not easy being a woman. NSFW btw. EDIT: They took down the ultra detailed and highly uncomfortable tutorial video? Damn!

- Speaking of videos, 5 Second Films is filled with very brief movies that tell a story are indeed five seconds long, and quite a few of them are actually pretty neat! My favorites thus far are the ones on Cinco de Mayo, magic, monster hunting, triplets, a robot dog, a strange encounter, and a changeling.

- And regarding the forums, it’s not only a great place to find such stuff and more, but also original content, or at the very least, answers to all of life’s most pressing issues.

- Sorry, one last link and it’s video game related, but one that’s just too amazing not to share. From SC of course: those who have long been fascinated by the science behind the breast jiggling in Soul Calibur finally have some detailed answers.

5 Years Later

Much of this weekend has been dedicated towards the new zine. There’s an old article I wrote a long whiles ago that I’m dusting off, so that meant going all over the city and making sure stuff is up to date. Plus taking pictures to add a bit of an extra color, despite the actual thing being in black and white. One such place was Video Games New York, and because I sometimes forget that not everyone who reads this blog lives in New York, and since I’ll only be using one of the many that was taken in the final product, here’s some of the rest…

… Guess I’ll upload all of them on Flickr or something. But yeah, it’s coming all, though I’m a tad behind on my schedule. Which is mostly my fault, so I have zero room to bitch. At the very least, the cover is finally done, and man is it ever beautiful…

… Give it up to Lamar, that guy is mad talented and mad awesome to boot! As for this particular installment’s cheesecake centerfold, Mia is currently making some last minute additions and tweaks, and I’m fairly certain that the result will kick lots of ass. Or at least feature lots of ass!

BTW, today marks the five-year anniversary of this blog! I still remember the day that Jason suggested I started one up, and my only response was, effectively, “no, cuz blogs are dumb.” Ha!

I almost feel the need to say something eloquent or philosophical, like it’s some kind of big occasion or turning point in my life. Which is pretty silly, given that it’s just the internet, stupid. Then again, such a sentiment may not be so ridiculous, since a lot has happened in my life because of this site, either directly or indirectly. Among other things, it’s allowed me to see, hear, and go to so many incredible things, and more importantly, introduce me to quite a few awesome people. So I just wanted to thank everyone out there, especially those who have been so supportive, it really means a lot!

Plus, whenever there’s any kind of milestone, I also try to make some kind of promise, like my posts will be more frequent and shorter. Not gonna say that this time. Though… I might finally have this site (or at least portions of it) translated in Japanese in the very near future. As usual, I’ll keep everyone posted. Anyway, here’s hoping that I can keep everyone entertained for another five years and beyond!

  • http://neo-rama.com lamar

    uhm…i think i may have to make another trip up to nyc just to see that game store. so much stuff!

  • http://www.fort90.com Matt

    It’s definitely worth a visit, but almost everything is WAY overpriced. Then again, not everyone is as internet savy. Yet I’d figured everyone would have heard of eBay by now.

    I guess much of the stuff is for the hardcore collector. Since, what the point of paying $80 for Super Metroid cart when you can simply nab the Wii version for ten times less? The real issue comes with the exact condition of said cart, which as far as I could tell, was kinda crappy.

    But it does have practically everything; pics of some of the best stuff came out crap unfortunately. I’d kill to have a Twin Famicom… just because. Yet it is missing one thing, that being Radiant Silvergun! Though that’s pretty much it.

  • Joe

    Congrats on the 5 Fort!

  • http://www.WUWonline.com Tristan Spade

    Thanks for the ink…. or in this case text

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