Niquisha

A constantly hungry film student, it goes without saying that food and movies are my life. I have a refined taste in both, but that doesn't stop me from indulging (punishing) myself with the boys. Oh, yeah. I'm a girl. Honestly, I don't know why I'm here. Someone please help me.

Apr 232011
 

I never thought there would be a day that I’d give the infamous and now-cult-classic The Room any form of a written review let alone a second viewing. But life if unpredictable like that and GADAMN would not be GADAMN if we didn’t pay any attention to this God damn disaster.  Don’t get me wrong. There is a part of me that loves The Room. I gave it to my best friend for Christmas for a reason. But sometimes our emotions are like a circle. Once you’ve made a full cycle of hate, you might as well start loving.

Apart from being so bad it’s funny (unlike Zardoz which was so bad it was sad), there’s a lot of mystery to why and how The Room has come to exist. Allow me to introduce you to Tommy Wiseau.

Writer, producer, director, and star of The Room, Tommy Wiseau looks like something you’d peel off the bottom of your stool in the dirtiest dive bar in town (you know, the one with the topless waitresses). There’s something incredibly fishy about Wiseau right up front. For one, his origin. His accent gives the impression he comes from somewhere else which would excuse his inability to speak fluidly, but the man claims to have been raised in New Orleans. Fine, whatever. But how he acquired money for The Room is still up for interpretation. According to Wiseau, funding came from a leather jacket export business to Korea, but come on. Movies are expensive, even bad ones, and The Room cost someone a really pretty penny. Sets, 35mm and HD technology adds up quick. Like, $6 million quick. That’s right. This monstrosity against cinema cost over $6 million.

What gets my goat the most is how the The Room was filmed. With $6 million to blow, Wiseau had the privilege to choose between using 35 mm film or rising HD cameras. Unable to decide (and possibly needing to find a way to spend his suspicious money), Wiseau settled for both. I repeat, both. And I don’t mean interchanging cameras between scenes. I mean building a double shooting apparatus so all scenes could be filmed with both cameras, simultaneously. Needless to say, every single damn shot is off-center. In the special feature interview with Wiseau on the DVD, he claims he will be writing a book comparing the two medias. Yeah, this guy really is out of his mind.

I find it important to cover these topics of interest before ever trying to explain to someone what The Room is actually about. It makes it more compelling than “some love triangle between a busted up chick, her physically deformed and possibly psychologically damaged fiance and his best friend who, by anyone’s standards, is actually pretty normal.” To be honest, after two viewings, I’m still not entirely sure why it’s called “The Room.” It seems to me there were actually two rooms that had any sliver of significance. Oh, and a roof deck. But that’s just because that’s where the majority of them film took place. I digress.

So this chick that everyone just can’t seem to get enough of, Lisa, well… What is there to say about Lisa? Not much. I mean, I’m all for women breaking the Hollywood standard of beauty but Lisa could have easily been played by a plank of ply wood with a smiley face painted on it. There’s something creepy about Lisa, and not in the manipulative way intended. It’s like we’re watching her being taken advantage of and somehow, she doesn’t even care. I guess she really believed this was her ticket. According to a random cast member, she was 18 and right off the bus from Texas when Wiseau insisted on kicking off filming with the ultra uncomfortable softcore porn-esque love scene with his barely legal blond bomb shelter. Again, there’s just something not right about that guy.

Anyway, Lisa is engaged to Johnny, played by Mr. Wiseau. He is by all means an upstanding citizen and the idealistic husband. He works, he’s charitable, he loves Lisa endlessly, buys her flowers, adopted some creep kid named Denny and paid for his school and he doesn’t even drink. Bored with life, Lisa gets the man drunk, tells everyone he hit her and sleeps with his best friend, Mark (not to be confused with out very own Maahk).

…Yeah, that says it all.

Oh, except this part happens too.

Yeah. I think that’s enough summary.

So what’s entertaining about The Room? All the stuff that isn’t. The terrible acting, the terrible dubbing, the terrible filming, the terrible sets and again, the terrible acting. Wiseau struggles to defend The Room, so he’s learned to go with the hype and bank. He’s reverted to claiming the humor is completely intentional, but when you see this guy, you just know he has no idea what he’s talking about and is willing to hold onto any fleeting thread of a recognition, not matter what it means.

In conclusion, everyone should watch The Room. Why? Because pointing out the abundant and  obviously terrible factors of this film can bring a whole room together. Maybe that’s why it’s called The Room after all. It’s a means to bring world peace by bringing us all closer together over something that everyone can agree on: this film fucking sucks in the best way possible. Bless your heart, Mr. Wiseau, wherever you came from.

Mar 172011
 

Hello, internet. I acknowledge that you don’t neccessarily know me, but take my word for it: It goes without saying that the GADAMN location I had the pleasure of picking was the GADAMN dinner that everyone enjoyed. I’m a girl. I don’t want to participate in the vomit race. Despite training myself to ingest food that I don’t particularly like for the sake of good manners and values, I don’t go out of my way to eat magnitudes of food that disgusts me. So why am I on the GADAMN team? Sometimes I wonder, but the fact is I’m a very hungry person all the time with very little motivation to cook for myself. Beggers can’t be choosers, but this round, it was my choice. And I chose Red Lobster!!!

One word: Biscuits.

Catch my drift? Not to mention, we’re dealing with large portions here. Sure it’s not the most delectable seafood our vast oceans have to offer, but they’re buttery and they taste good. Also, they’ll push two tables together to host your ridiculously large party. Especially if you’re Catholic on Lent.

There’s very little to say about Red Lobster. My cajun chicken alfredo dinner was yummy yet forgettable. The biscuits and lobster nachos were the best thing I ate that entire week, but really, that goes without saying. So what else is there to say that hasn’t been said? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that’s the way I like it.

But then there was Zardoz.

Woof. There’s a reason I didn’t get to pick the movie too or we’d all be watching Citizen Kane, praising the genius of Orson Welles, complimenting each others’ attire and sending our kindest and most sincere regards to each others’ mothers. It’s a slippery slope of class.

So what is there to say about Zardoz? Well, not much either. There were a few aspects about this film that were so close, SO CLOSE, to being awesome. And when I say a few, I really mean the underwater glass fetal/human aquarium underground pyramid lab seen at 0:47. Granted, the entrance into said pyramid leaves little to the imagination (1:10). Despite my general “meh” reaction to a truly terrible movie that isn’t all that fun to watch, I do have a bone to pick with Zardoz. A really angry bone.

I have opinions. One of my opinions I would like to challenge as an actual fact. The 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony may be the most beautiful music in the world.

It’s like Beethoven knew that one day, people would make epic movies that he could soundtrack in the awesomest way, thus melting my face and exploding my heart every time I see/hear it. An excellent example would be Tarsem’s The Fall. Hell, they even used it for the “best feature” montage at this year’s Oscars. I’m not gonna lie. It gave me the chills and I may have gotten a little choked up (hoping Curdo didn’t notice that one).

Guess who else used my beloved 7th? Why yes, Zardoz. It’s like they understood the full potential of the 2nd movement… and then decided to take a giant shit on it. Unfortunately, I cannot find Youtube footage of this horrific crime, but if you’re really feeling like getting sad and bored, Zardoz is available on instant play on Netflix. Seeing as I have no aid, allow me to describe.

The floating angry head space ship rock that spews guns from the trailer, gliding in the foggy distance to the staccato chants gasps hiccups, of the saddest male choir I’d ever heard, to my beloved 2nd movement. All while the gods of A Capella wept for humanity.

And I cried:

No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It’s a sin, it’s a sin, it’s a sin! That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!

And then I cried some more before visiting my cat loving yoga instructor.

Actually, I’m kind of crying now. Quick, let’s all watch the opening credits to The Fall.

Fucking-A. THAT’S how it’s done. Sean Connery, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Feb 192011
 

I used to pretend I was a mermaid whenever I went swimming. As a matter of fact, I still do. The only difference now is that I don’t watch The Little Mermaid every single day.

I wonder which cast member I’ll be eating tonight.

I wonder if Ariel would be classified as “Surf n’ Turf”.

Feb 192011
 

I was fast asleep on my bed in a weird, upside down configuration, as in my head was where my feet usually go, as in to eliminate the possibility of falling asleep in the first place, as in my body is quite accustomed to associating my bed with the greatness of sleep (or at least the pursuit of it), when I received a call from Curdo that the Gadamn car pool would be arriving shortly. Still fighting a terrible bug in my body which started as a death rattle and has since been tamed to a head cold, I knew it wouldn’t be my night. I expressed excitement in returning to Hooters earlier in the week. I think I was the only one who had ever been to one, and I remembered my experience being satisfactory in the sense that I went to an establishment where I was served wings and cheesy curly fries. As I contemplated the state of my body and how much junk I’d be able to eat, I decided that I might have to save a little face by getting myself a classy Hooters tee. By the time the boys got here, I had come up with plenty of arbitrary reasons for me to have that tee, and I felt confident in my plans.

When we sped off from my house, Dreams asked me what was for dessert. I guess there was some gain to last time’s pain, and Dreams was looking to make the experience that much more uncomfortable for everyone. Thinking within my budget, I requested the $1.00 McDonald’s sundae. Damn, I love that caramel. He agreed and it was set. We were off to see some Hooters.

I was surprised how nervous the boys were. Once we arrived, I immediately jumped out of the car and headed towards the door with them slowly dragging behind. I thought to myself, don’t boys like scantily clad girls flirting with them for the sake of a better tip? Apparently not. I guess men and women aren’t all that different in the end. But I assured them, there was nothing spectacularly grotesque or amazing about Hooters. It was just kind of average apart from the orange hot pants. Maybe they were anticipating some poles and mothers. After scoping out the waitstaff, I’m pretty sure they were just a bunch of daughters.

I lost steam after reading the menu. With Curdo and Dreams gushing over the prospect of a 50 wing platter (which, low and behold, would be gushing with grease), I immediately lost my appetite, started feeling a little dizzy and wanted to turn my ears off. My senses were already being accosted and I hadn’t even placed my order. Knowing none of this would end pretty, I took control of my life, ordered the fail safe grilled cheese to buffer my innards from any harm a platter of 10 hot boneless buffalo wings might cause. This was the best idea I had all week. I mean, apart from not finishing said wings.

That’s right. I DIDN’T finish my food. And I’m proud of it. The grilled cheese was fine and went down smoothly, but the boneless wings? Good God. What happened? The first few bites were… decent. The chicken was kind of dry, but the outside was crispy and saucy, just the way I like it. And then I took a 30 second break and the grease decided to show itself. I bit into another chicken chunk and tasted a flavor that I can only describe as a feeling: the feeling of your mouth being coated. I wanted to die, kind of. Except not. I tried a different one, hoping I simply received a bad nugget. Nope. That one turned on me too. As a matter of fact, they all turned on me. And by all, I mean everything, even Curdo and Dreams’ nearly brilliant but-totally-not mountain of wings. You see, I traded them a boneless wing for one of their drums. The bite it received hardly constituted a bite before I immediately returned it. All greasy breading and no chicken does not a buffalo wing make!

That weird coated feeling and taste had spread to my stomach. I fantasized of ginger ale which, after Ruby Buffet’s Gadamn, had saved my life. Nausea isn’t the worst thing in the world, but throwing up is, and I was ready to prevent it with all my might. After all, I did just take a 12 hour decongestant and my sinuses were not ready to part with it. I watched Dreams eat two more chicken wings, filming them with my phone even, all while grimacing. I’m not sure why I’ve never asked myself why I spent so much time with these people, but I was definitely asking myself then.

My efforts were hardly glorious as you can see, so I bet you’re all wondering about that tee. Well, first off, I was more taken by the new tank tops the waitresses wear. I mean, I have to keep this genuinely trashy, do I not? Why go baggy when I can be skimpy? So I inquired about the merchandise. Go ahead and guess how much.

Nope!

$35.00.

You heard me. $35.00 for a lousy tank top that’ll make me feel cheap anyway. I expressed my disappointment and our waitress consoled me. I guess the only way I’ll be getting that stupid top is if I pick up a shift. I think it’ll be better for both Hooters and I if I didn’t. Sorry.

Jan 172011
 

As I mentally prepare for this week’s regrouping of the Gadamn crowd (I will admit, I look forward to this one), I cannot avoid the shame for not covering our last venture. In other words, I have to see Maahk this week and well, he’s like Gadamn dad. To be fair, December was kind of a weird month for me packed with finals and holiday obligations, only to wake up New Year’s Day with one of the worst flus I have the power of remembering. I’ve struggled to finish any day this new year feeling normal. Last thing I want to do is dig up the repressive memories of the restaurant God forgot, Pizzeria Uno.

But here we are.

It was my last day of the semester and I had finished all of my finals and critiques swimmingly. I was on the verge of a burnout, but all I had left that fateful Friday was to finish my research paper on Marina Abramovic which I finally sent to my teacher, in all its proud glory, at 5:00pm. It felt awesome, the paper rocked and I was flipping starving. Maahk picked me up in his sexy Buick, and yes, I may have mentioned doughnuts. They were all I wanted while I slaved away, MLA style. To be specific, I was dreaming of the Kreme Delight, a personal DD favorite.

We zipped to Franklin Mills and all I can remember was not talking. I was so hungry. We were seated immediately and I relinquished all control over ordering. I couldn’t even read anymore, let alone make decisions about what kind of food I wanted in my mouth. The appetizer round arrived in what felt like 5 hours, but probably was only 10 minutes. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Wings, boneless wings and then some more boneless wings, potato skin pizza and nachos. Heaven. Granted, I will side with Maahk over the nachos’, how do you say, abundance. It was unnecessary as chips are meant to be crispy, not floppy. But it was all forgiven. I was so gluttonously satisfied.

Then the deep dish pizza came.

Maahk astonished by disgusting pizza.

Sigh.

It was gross.

It was so gross that it made me sad.

I sat quietly as Curdo moaned, groaned and panted. As much as I wanted to make fun of his appocalyptic drama, part of me couldn’t help but worry. Was he really that bad off? It was entirely possible, based solely on my personal physical experience. It hurt in that “whoops, I just accidentally ate a pin cushion…on purpose” kind of way. I wanted to cry for us both. I wanted to cry for Maahk and his terrible suggestion. I wanted to cry for Dreams, his cold and his overzealous bleu cheese intake. I wanted to cry for everything bad that happened in the world.

And then we got doughnuts.

And I wanted them. Bad. I had already practiced such horrific terrors on my body, but damn, that Kreme Delight was all I dreamt about all day. So Maahk ordered one for me, along with a Boston Creme for himself. We took our doughnuts and coffee and headed home.

That’s when Maahk ate my doughnut since the two look exactly the same. And once again, I just wanted to cry, though I would have never admitted it then. I painfully ingested the Boston Creme with a reluctant smile on my.

…And then I ate a pink doughnut. Because it was pink. And had rainbow jimmies on it… Story of my life.

It was movie time. What better way to commemorate a hellish experience than Chuck Norris’ Hellbound? Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. Now, being a film student, I have a critical eye that must be locked away on Gadamn nights, or I will go to bed crying for all of humanity, food and cinema alike. But Hellbound‘s failure to create  a plot that actually works with the fairly simple 3-act structure still kind of astounds me. It’s like Chuck Norris was brainstorming with his brother and said, do you know who I really want to fight? Satan. And then didn’t.

He didn’t really fight anyone. Monks, demons, naked lady chicks. I wanted to watch all of these things get kicked in the face. But no, not today. I must admit, immediately after the movie finished, I struggled to remember anything that happened. Which brings me back to movie making/story telling basics. Chuck Norris as a Chicago cop has no business partaking in the great battle of good and evil, let alone in Israel. It would take a truly skilled creative mind to simplify any connection between Illinois and Jerusalem, but low and behold, they didn’t even try. One minute there’s a demon in the windy city, next minute Norris and his partner are snooping around the holy land, pissing off the Israeli police. Because, you know, when the Israeli police tell you to stay the fuck out of their business and go home, you stay and poke around. You know, take matters into your own hands. What can Israel do anyway? Psht.

Actual closing credits freeze frame.

The thing is folks, when something happens in a movie, like, oh I don’t know, a character with absolutely no sense or knowledge of theology, anthropology, archaeology or art history flies to Israel to investigate the history of some evil magic wand because he wants to close a cold case back home of the murder of some random scholarly dude that nobody gave a shit about, and everyone in the entire God damn movie is in some kind of danger of Satan, his demons and the paranormal EXCEPT for our main character, well, it doesn’t work. It’s the point in the script where there is no turning back, and everything to lose. Chuck Norris had nothing to lose. Demon dude barely paid any attention to him. I’d even swear that he avoided avoided Norris because, well, why bother? There’s bigger fish to fry. Oh, and he barely kicked ANYONE. Just a crotch or two. Who gives? Not demon dude and certainly not Satan.

The more I think about it (or try to, at least) the angrier I get. Hellbound, I hate you. Your over use of “Dies Irae” and blatantly obvious knocking of Star Wars…

Actual opening credits prolugue crawl.

…has reserved you a special place in my own personal movie hell. I hope you burn there forever.

As for Pizzeria Uno Chicago Grille what-cha-ma-call-it, you too can go to hell. Never will I ever step foot in your overly priced, overly caloried, and disgustingly “sheik”ly decorated establishment of pure gluttony and torture ever again. Especially if the Israel police tell me to. What? I had to take something away from that monstrosity.

Nov 242010
 

Why did I let this happen to me?

Once upon a time, a friend passed information to the group that the modest dwelling known as the Ruby Buffet was a good idea. Ruby, a precious stone that commemorates my birth month. Buffet, a not-so-guilty guilty pleasure. I’ve been known to talk up my buffet prowess, but those places had mashed potatoes. Ruby Buffet did not. But that’s besides the point. There was no way we could have salvaged the situation we got ourselves into. Let’s start at the beginning.

Upon entering the Ruby Buffet, I immediately knew it was a mistake. Must have been my woman intuition ringing. All I wanted to do was leave, but I was hanging out with the boys and a boy I must be. I ordered a coke, hoping that the quick access to its magical healing syrup would help undo any damage about to be done. Fat chance. It was time to slowly kill our bodies.

I circled the buffet a few times before I found the courage to start piling heaps of unappetizing food on my plate. Much to my luck, Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” was playing on the radio, and for that moment, I reveled in the fact that I was the only one in this hell hole who cared more about her than anything I could stuff my face with. Within her Ace Of Base/Madonna tribute, I found the strength.

Plate 1: Green beans, chicken teriyaki skewer, spring roll, pepper steakiness, general tso’s, garlic bread, crab and cheese puff and a pork dumpling.

The first thing I ate was the general tso’s. Big mistake. Not because it was bad, but because it was the only appetizing thing I put in my mouth in that entire establishment. Yeah, it was all downhill from there. The teriyaki stick was dry as a desert, the cheesy crab thing was just bizarre, the steak utterly confused my mouth and the dumpling simply made me sad. If there was a time for crying, it would be now, but there’s no crying in baseball. I held my breath, swallowed my dignity pride and moved on.

Plate 2: Corn, more green beans, another spring roll, chicken and broccoli, lo mein and some piece of fried something.

And the winner is.. CORN. That’s right. A stubby cob of corn was the winner of round 2. At this point I could hardly believe it. This plate was strategically planned as a proper get-my-fill-and-get-the-hell-out dinner, consisting of foods I had already tasted and trusted, and others that really couldn’t have been all that bad. So what the hell happened, green beans? You decide to suck over the course of a single serving? And you, spring roll. I trusted you. You betrayed me with your instant yuckiness. How did everything keep getting grosser? Time is not on this buffet’s side. As a matter of fact, I think this may be the buffet where other buffets go to die.

Plate 3: grapes, ?, ?,? ,?, birthday…cake?

While Curdo and Dreamz ventured on for a stupid third plate, Maahk and I threw in the towel…in the name of dessert! Finally, the night was looking up. I was braver than with the savory goods, simply because dessert is dessert, and I can’t complain. I sat down feeling avenged when Maahk popped a grape in his mouth and announced that even the fruit was disappointing. He was right. Upon my grape testing, I managed to crash the reunion of a family of pits and seeds. Bah. Once again a plate went to the kitchen barely touched.

Plate 4: ICE CREAM

Ah, the only plate I finished. I understand now why they put soft serve in these places. They have to make up for everything they just took away from you. Sadly, rainbow jimmies is enough to make me momentarily forget what horrible crimes that my friends and I committed upon ourselves.

Movie time: Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus

That, my friends, is the privileged view of a shark about to bite your plane. Now, I know the boys have all mentioned the display of shark plane biting, but I must reiterate that a fucking shark bites a plane!


Booyah!

So, it goes without saying that Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus was the best thing that could have happened to any of us that night. We were already in hell, might as well have stayed for a while.

Plot: Random turn of events puts us front row to the random rebirth of the Mega Shark and Giant Octopus, that apparently were at war with each other before they were frozen in mid-battle millions of years ago. Oh, and Debbie Gibson was there too. Because, really, who else can drive a submarine? From there on, these mega super destruct-o giants terrorize humanity by biting their planes and bridges and shit, before remembering how much they hate each other. Thus the official battle begins.

Worth Noting: I don’t want to go and give anything away because this movie has very little going for it already. But here’s a few details I enjoy pondering.

-Debbie Gibson changed her name to Deborah Gibson. You know, to legitimize herself. For that role. In Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. Mmmmm, it makes my brain hurt so good!

-Someone pitched this to someone who gave them money. While the quality is not much greater than a floppy soupy brown finger painting, it cost more to make than your life is worth. Ouch!

-When Mega Shark and Giant Octopus finally get to fighting, Mega Shark’s only defense is to bite tentacles off. This happens twice. As in Giant Octopus’ legs magically grow back. Some may say this is shoddy repetition of already crappy CGI animation. I say it questions the biology of Giant Octopus, a mysterious being who can immediately rejuvenate its limbs. Fascinating! There’s so much we don’t know about the ocean.

-Science! Man, there’s so much science in this movie. Seriously. They’re all up in their labs and mixing test tubes of glowing liquids and shit. Plus, they’re so good at being super scientists, they don’t even have to measure anything. It makes me wonder what kind of science they’re actually doing. I have a hunch it’s magic (aka AWESOME).

-Despite the presence of Lorenzo Lamas, everything about Debbieorah Gibson makes me gag. How does she do it? Riveting performance.

I’m exhausted from re-visiting these memories that I had intended on forgetting. But if you’re interested, Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is still available on Netflix Instant Watch (skip the meal!).