Tag Archives: Four Rooms

Four Rooms


Four Rooms is an anthology film of sorts, segmented into four episodes, two of which are pretty inspired as they just happened to be helmed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The other two outings… well, let’s just say they kind of bring the whole film down. As solid as Robert and Quentin’s efforts are, they’re two quarters of a whole that needs to be engaging all the time to work as a cohesive package, and sadly that’s not the case. These four tales all take place in one hectic and seedy L.A. hotel, in various rooms that showcase a host of troubled weirdos just trying to get through the night. This quartet of nocturnal misadventures is tied together by one central character, Ted The Bellhop (a peppy Tim Roth). In the first, which is also the weakest, a goofy coven of witches carry out some asinine ritual. This is a well casted bit as we see the likes of Madonna, Ioan Skye, Valeria Golino, Lilli Taylor and Alicia Witt, but the tone comes off as grade school level shenanigans and there’s many a cringe to be had. The second is an oddly placed noirish bit that finds Ted caught between an unhinged gun wielding whacko (If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, David Proval is criminally underrated) and his femme fatale wife (Jennifer Beals). This one isn’t as awful as the first, yet feels a little off putting and claustrophobic. The third sees Robert Rodriguez step up to bat with ‘The Misbehavers’ a riotous black comedy concerning an upper class couple (Antonio Banderas and Tamlyn Tomita) who leave Ted in charge of their troublemaker kids for the night as they go out dancing. Anything can and does go wrong here, as the youngsters get into all kinds of shit including finding a half decomposed hooker (Patricia Vonne) stuffed in a mattress. Rodriguez shows comedic flair in fits and starts in the pulpy action side of his oeuvre, but here he’s purely having fun and the result is a sleazy hoot of a good time. The fourth and best is by Tarantino, and as such is mostly talking. But what talking it is; Ted stumbles into the penthouse suite which is home to a string out Hollywood film crew, and they’ve decided to place a dangerous bet that involves bodily dismemberment. Quentin is usually a fairly awful actor, but he’s not bad here as the motor mouthed ringleader of this insane posse, while Paul Calderon, Marisa Tomei and a very stressed out Bruce Willis chime in as well. This segment is pure gold, with an abrupt, trademark Tarantino payoff that leaves you chuckling darkly. All kinds of folks have cameos, so watch for the recently disgraced, supremely ugly Kathy Griffin, Lawrence Bender, Salma Hayek and others. There’s always stronger and weaker entries in an anthology film, competition is par for the course. This one has quite the ups and downs though, and would have been far better off being just a Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature, but oh well. 

-Nate Hill

PTS Presents ACTOR’S SPOTLIGHT with PAUL CALDERON

Calderon POWERCAST

Paul Sh #2Podcasting Them Softly is honored to present a chat with veteran actor Paul Calderon, who has appeared in a wide range of some of our favorite films and TV shows for close to the last 40 years. Paul has worked with filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Abel Ferrara, James Mangold, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, Sydney Pollack, Harold Becker, Sydney Lumet, and Arthur Penn, to name only a few, with credits including Pulp Fiction, King of NY, Bad Lieutenant (which he co-wrote with Ferrara), Welcome to New York, Q&A, Sea of Love, Copland, 21 Grams, Out of Sight, Clockers, and The Firm. His massive list of television credits include Boardwalk Empire, Hostages, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, How to Make It In America, Miami Vice, and an epic run on the daytime soap One Life to Live. He’s also no stranger to the theater, having appeared with Robert De Niro in Cuba and His Teddy Bear. He also runs his own acting school, which you can find out more about at his website www.paulcalderon.net. Paul is a founding member of the Touchstone Theater, The American Folk Theater, and The LAByrinth Theater Company, as well as being a member of the Actors Studio since 1984. A consummate NY character actor all throughout his career, Paul brings energy and edge to every performance in every project, and we’re extremely excited present this interview! We hope you enjoy!