Blatant Insubordination: You’re Tearing Us Apart, Tommy!
***“Blatant Insubordination” is a regular column published on Primary Ignition, written by Rob Siebert, editor and fanboy wonder. It reflects his views alone, and not those of the staff of Primary Ignition.***
I knew it. I knew it from the very start. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. There could be no other explanation…
Okay, calm down…just calm down and tell the story…
We here at Primary Ignition are big fans of The Nostalgia Critic over at the That Guy With the Glasses website. I know I speak for Eric Stuckart, Justin Polak and myself when I say we’ve spent several accumulated hours in front of our computer screens laughing as he riffs on, pokes fun at, and spoofs movies, TV shows and pop culture moments from the not-too-distant past. Personally, I recommend his review of The Good Son.
The fact that he, like us, is from the Chicago area probably doesn’t hurt. But the bottom line is, this dude’s funny as hell.
Last week, after receiving various requests from his fans, Critic took on one of the most abysmal and pathetic, yet so-bad-it’s-somehow-amazing films of all time: The Room.
Released in 2003, The Room was written, directed and produced by Tommy Wiseau, who also has the lead role in the film. The plot revolves around Wiseau’s character, as his fiancee gets involved with his best friend. What unfolds is a story filled with atrocious acting (mostly by Wiseau), even more atrocious dialogue, plot holes the size of Arizona, and characters and enter and abruptly leave the film as if it were a revolving door to the dredges of cinema.
All these characteristics have made The Room a cult classic, even among genuine Hollywood stars like Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and Kristen Bell. Movie theaters around the country host showings to raucous fans, anxious to openly mock and laugh at the film. The general consensus seems to be that The Room is so bad, you just HAVE to see it! Even The Nostalgia Critic, after he finished his usual tomfoolery, encouraged his viewers to see the film for themselves.
He wasn’t thanked in kind.
As part of his presentation, the Critic uses various clips from the films he reviews. Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures, and most of the other major Hollywood studios have had their older films spoofed by the Critic. He can do this legally because (and this is me dusting off my media law knowledge here) of the Fair Use doctrine, a United States copyright law which allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the rights holder, based on the purpose and character of the use. This doctrine not only covers entertainment reviews, but also parodies. Critic’s work falls seems to straddle the line between the two. But either way, he’s covered.
Critic’s review of The Room was posted last week on July 14, but pulled about a day later with no explanation. Which is a shame, because now no one will EVER be able to see that video again. I mean, unless You can find it in a Tube somewhere, it’s been completely wiped out of existence…
A week later, in a follow up video, he let his viewers know why: Tommy Wiseau and Wiseau Films blew the whistle on Critic for copyright infringement.
*head on table* DOYE!!!!!!!
Critic rightfully cited Fair Use in his video, and also hinted that Wiseau, and “John at TheRoomMovie.com” thought the review hurt his good image. In the review, Critic called Wiseau a “5 foot girly-haired French zombie,” “the Bizarro Fabio,” and mocks his accent. But it’s all done within the context of his review, and he never commits any actual slander. Hell, if this case was ever brought before a jury, they probably react the same way everyone else did when they saw the review: with laughter.
In truth, Critic is the real victim here. He was trying to review a movie and make it entertaining for his audience. He had no way of knowing about Tommy Wiseau’s apparently delusional thought process. If you actually watch The Room, it’s clear the entire film is a narcissistic self tribute to Wiseau. That’s why he plastered his name all over the credits, and plays a character that is somehow uber-masculine and sexual, yet at the same time a sensitive, nurturing victim.
This is the same man who today will tell you The Room was meant to be a dark comedy, even though it was obviously intended to be a drama. In 2008, one anonymous cast member told Entertainment Weekly: ”He was trying to put together a drama. It was basically his stage to show off his acting ability.”
As scary as it is, Tommy Wiseau actually got what he wanted. The Room made him into a star. But because he made it with the wrong intentions, he got that stardom for all the wrong reasons. Remember that astronaut lady who went crazy a few years ago, and attacked that woman while wearing a diaper? Tommy Wiseau is the diaper-wearing astronaut of cinema. And when you’re a diaper-wearing astronaut, how badly can someone else really hurt your image?
Sometimes, a man thinks he’s created a work of great art. But when everyone else looks at it, all they can see is a turd. My advice to Tommy Wiseau? Be happy that your turd, which should have been flushed far, FAR away, has managed to bring laughter to so many people. And stop being so damn delusional about it. Accept it, and move on with your life.
As for Critic, Primary Ignition will still be watching…
Front page photo from avclub.com.