Friday, December 7, 2012

Four Rooms (1995) Review

Four Rooms poster
Part of Merry Christmas and Happy Tarantino Month!

Director: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriquez, Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell
Stars: Tim Roth, Jennifer Beals, Quentin Tarantino, Antonio Banderas
Genre: Comedy, Anthology

I will never understand all the hate that this film gets. By no means an amazing film, but still a very good one. It's an anthology film with four segments each by a different director, the two notables being Tarantino and Rodriquez.

I'll overview each segment individually.

Frame Story
There's an overlapping frame story that takes place in-between he four main stories which follows Ted (Tim Roth) who is the bellhop in the hotel where the entire movie takes place. Not much happens in the frame story, it's really just a means to bring together each segment, though the phone call Ted makes to Betty's house was pretty hilarious (which features the cameos of Kathy Griffin and Marisa Tomei).

1. Honeymoon Suite - The Missing Ingredient 
Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Valeria Golino, Madonna, Alicia Witt, Sammi Davis, Lili Taylor, Ione Skye

The first segment is about a coven of (very sexy) witches who a mixing a brew in order to resurrect their goddess. The only problem is they're missing one ingredient: semen, which Ted gladly helps out with.

This one is pretty absurd and nonsensical, but it leads to some great laughs. Plus all the ladies here are beautiful and never hesitate to take their shirts off. Plus you have Madonna in here also.

Four Rooms witch coven

2. Room 404 - The Wrong Man
Director: Alexandre Rockwell
Stars: David Proval, Jennifer Beals

This one is a bit tricky to explain. Ted, the bellhop, delivers ice to the wrong room and finds himself involved with a married couples fantasy hostage situation. The wife is tied to a chair and the husband, who accuses Ted of sleeping with his wife, is wielding a handgun.

This one was kind of funny. Very absurd, as is all these segments really. It never really went anywhere though, it kind of just ended.

Four Rooms The Wrong Man

3. Room 309 - The Misbehavers
Director: Robert Rodriquez
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Tamlyn Tomita

A man and his wife go out to a New Year's eve party and pay Ted to watch his kids and make sure nothing goes wrong. Well, to put it lightly, things go terribly wrong.

I'm tempted to say this was my favorite one. Got plenty of laughs out of me, managed to actually keep me interested in what was going on, and it has a really great ending.

Four Rooms The Misbehavers fire

4. Penthouse - The Man From Hollywood
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Quentin Tarantino, Paul Calderon, Bruce Willis

This one is about a big Hollywood filmmaker named Chester Rush (Tarantino) and his drunken friends who involve Ted in their dangerous games.

This is the Tarantino one so you may expect it to be the best but I actually though this was one of the weaker ones. It has its moments and it's highly enjoyable just because Tarantino plays such a large role but...I don't know, a little dull. Not terrible though. Pretty cool ending.

Roth and Tarantino in Four Rooms

I think one of the reason I liked this film so much was due to Tim Roth's amazing performance. I really can't even describe his performance, he plays a goofy yet nonchalant yet angry character that has a certain slyness to him. In fact, the funniest part of Four Rooms is watching Tim Roth's character, Ted, react and deal with each situation he finds himself in. 

The whole film, while it may seem pointless, is really just the story of a bellhop's crazy night.

Tim Roth in Four Rooms

The soundtrack has a very jazzy lounge type feel to it, and is very well composed. It makes the film feel like a Pink Panther cartoon (a theme further supported in the animated opening credits). The whole film kind of feels very cartoonish most of the time, with exaggerated violence and dangers.

All the directors did as good of a job as you may expect, none of their styles differ too much and if you told me it was directed by only one person I'd believe you. It gets the job done though.

Marisa Tomei in Four Rooms

It's a very underrated film that I found to be pretty hilarious. Quentin Tarantino could have done a much better job, Robert Rodriquez was pretty great here, and really all the segments provide some level of enjoyment. Tim Roth carries the film from average to very good and his performance here is one of my favorites. Check it out, it's really not a bad watch. 

Purchase Four Rooms on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - VHS

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