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trapped in the closet.
When I began my hunt for the worst movie ever made, I pretty much started knowing the answer. I don't have much doubt in my mind that 'Manos the hands of Fate' can't be beaten for that award, although there is plenty that comes close (ankle biters for example). There is, however, another reason I went on this mission, I found Troll 2 so funny, and became determined to find other movies that had the 'So bad it's funny' magic. Movies have come and gone, and provided many chuckles (Shark Attack 3 anyone?), but never did I expect to find a movie that would surpass the greatness of Troll 2. A movie that is so funny it hurts, so funny it could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. And that movie is performed, written and directed by non other than R Kelly.
In some ways you could consider R Kelly to be a genius (and according to Wikipedia he persists that he is a genius), but not many. R Kelly has not only invented a whole new genre of moviedom, a 'Hip-Hopera', but he has also brought the ability to sng/mc/rap down to a level that can be accessible to the common man. For example, previously to sing/rap a "song" from the top of your head would perhaps require a large amount of quick thinking and talent. You would need to get your lines to fit a pattern of some sort (a 'tune' if you like) and perhaps try to make each line rhyme with the previous one by using words of a similar sound (for example, you can rhyme 'carrot' and 'parrot'. Did you see what I did there?).
But now the rules have changed. It is now possible to rhyme lines with the same word exactly, over and over again, take this verse for example ...
Then opens the dresser (dresser) He looks at the closet (closet) I pull out my Beretta (Beretta) He walks up to the closet (closet) He's close up to the closet (closet) Now he's at the closet (closet) Now he's opening the closet
. Or if that is too much for you try taking completely different words, and force them to rhyme by singing them in the same way. (note baretta and dresser above) take this verse for example
He hopped out the car and walks over to me And said, "License and registration, please" I looked up at him and said, "Officer, is there something wrong?" He said, "No, except you were were doing 60 in a 40 mile zone"
There is also the classic rhyming of 'nuts' and 'spatula'
And best of all, you don't need to sing about anything important, you can sing about mundane everyday tasks, but make sure you include every little thing you do. Now anybody can sing about anything at all. (eg, "she wiped her nose and said ...). For added interest, try singing the sound of a police siren, or singing in a southern USA Accent.
Without wanting to spoil to many of the plot twists (and to be honest there are more of them than minutes in this movie) The entire movie can be summed up pretty simply, everybody is sleeping with everybody else, and R Kelly has an inferiority complex that requires him to pull out his gun, and want to shoot someone (at last! an actual rhyme!) in almost every scene. Needless to say there are many plot holes in this movie (surely the image of a well en downed midget stripper is one that will haunt you forever? why did R Kelly not recognise him the next day?), and a saturated amount of plot twists (who isn't having an affair?). It will probably take a few watches to understand everything that happens in 'Trapped in the Closet', but believe me, you will watch it many times, you will pass it around to everyone you know, this piece of history must be shared. And the 12th chapter even ends with a cliffhanger ... does that mean we can hope for more?
But not all is good. Yes, this could be the funniest piece of work ever created, but what does this mean for the future of comedy? We have reached the limits of how funny something can be, meaning that all other comedy from now on will only ever measure up to be "not quite as good as 'trapped in the closet' ". It will reduce your enjoyment of any other comedy out there. To be honest, that is quite a depressing thought.
Genius! He has re-written the musical rulebook in such a profound way that quite frankly I feel honoured to be alive as history is written.
"Man, this is getting scary I'm going to shoot somebody"
I could tell in the first 10 seconds of watching trapped in the closet that this was going to be an instant classic. R Kelly is truly a genius.. No, a GOD! His voice is amazing and his rhymes are genius(like beretta with dresser) After each chapter ending with R Kelly singing the last word quieter an quieter I didn't want it to end and you know what? It didn't ever end!!(well it did eventually) But I haven't had the urge to watch something over and over all day since I watched xanadu. I love how he sings the whole time and everyone is just lip-synching, oh and the one white person in the plot has a southern accent. You can imagine how great hearing R Kelly sing in a southern accent while this fat white lady is lip-synching. Bottom line: Trapped in the Closet is pure f...ing gold. Every time I watch it i get something new from it that I missed because I was probably busy crying or laughing or both...If you get the DVD watch the commentary- R Kelly smoking a cigar on a couch in front of the movie mostly pointing at the movie and looking at the camera, he doesn't really say much... I know R Kelly, I was speechless too.
"Trapped in the Closet," the brainchild of rapper R. Kelley, should not be taken seriously at all. You can look at R. Kelley's terrible rhyming, ridiculous plot, monotonous music that goes on for 35 minutes with no variation, homophobia, misogyny, and immorality and bemoan that this is our generation's "Odyssey." Or, you can laugh. And that is what I did. Whether he meant it or not, "Trapped in the Closet" feels like the greatest Saturday Night Live skit ever put together (in fact, SNL did parody this and it was not at all as funny as the real thing). Essentially, it's a parody of R. Kelley's world without trying to be. You will not regret watching this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I almost want to give it a ten for being so perfectly horrible but the fact that he takes this so seriously makes it so bad. I can't help but watch it. It's great! I'll be waiting for the next 2000 chapters, but he calls it "hip-hopera". There is no movement to the music after a chapter ends, he rhymes the same word several times in a row. It's plain awful from a musical standpoint but the fact that it's a farcical, unintentional laugh riot, makes it totally awesome! My favorite line is when the midget (and i love that he's referred to as "the midget") says "oh god, I think I just shitted on myself. How could he sing that line with a straight face?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just when I thought the genre of the rock opera had faded away, R.
Kelly released this masterpiece, a romp through the world of infidelity
with an R&B twist. Bad rhyming is a staple, with words being
brilliantly rhymed with themselves and elements of the plot added
solely for the purpose of creating rhymes (in the director's
commentary, R. states that he gave the main character a Baretta because
he "needed a rhyme for dresser). The plot is an emotional
roller-coaster, with each additional character having slept with at
least two other characters, allowing for the audience to play "Who'd
they bang?" every time someone walks onto the screen.
As for the music, R. Kelly provides the voices of all the characters, carefully crafting his 45-minute opus to the tune of one simple beat that is reminiscent of the drumbeat from a Casio keyboard.
Oh... and there's a midget. An asthmatic one. Who craps himself. And R. Kelly tries to do a Midwestern accent.
Essentially... Trapped in The Closet is an incredible work of art, masterfully crafted with the college students looking for good drinking games in mind. Take a shot whenever someone is caught cheating or somebody pulls a gun on someone else, then last person alive wins! For added difficulty, take a gulp of beer every time you laugh at the ridiculous rhymes.
In short, see this movie. It's incredible, garnering a 10 on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. You won't regret it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
this has got to be one of the funniest things i possibly have ever seen
in my life, and i have seen funny. R. Kelly gives voice to each
character, all characters having the exact same voice but one, who he
gives a southern-fried voice to (keep in mind, once again, in this
"opera" he is singing all voices).
did he even think to take a fiction 101 class? nope, the answer is obvious, he is writing for himself and not an audience. the funniest part of the entire "opera" is the fact that it wasn't written to be funny. R. Kelly takes himself so seriously that watching the overwrought emotion, along with whatever actually rhymes with, yes i am not lying, the word is "baffroom", is too much to handle. the guy actually sings an entire commentary about walking across a room, looking in drawers for jilted lovers, looking behind refrigerators, (nope, no one back there), all the while waving a gun around. who is cheating on whom? who cares. this is freaking hilarious for all the reasons it wasn't meant to be funny, because HE thinks it is marvelous. give it a try- just be prepared to not be able to catch your breath because you'll be laughing so hard. i'm giving it a "1" for awful because the writer's intent was serious, now if it was a spoof of an opera, that would be a different story. honestly, i don't think dave chappelle could spoof it any funnier.
did i mention the midget in a cabinet?
If you asked me what compelled R Kelly to make Trapped in the Closet, I
wouldn't the foggiest clue. Maybe it was a call from Jesus, or some
higher power that only comes to people whilst on the heaviest of
psychotropics. But whatever it was, this is a work where you can never
be completely sure whether or not Kelly was serious or not with what he
was going (in some interviews he takes himself perhaps far too
seriously than someone with his reputation ever should). He absurdly
takes the angle of infidelity to one crazy step after another, until
we're met with a very scary notion of a midget in a cop's cabinet. Did
I mention the music?
Yes, there is, of course, God awful music that doesn't vary in the slightest for the entire 45 minute running time (filled with sounds of droplets and, well, you'll have to hear it for yourself in all cringe-worthy glory). Everything is sung by Kelly, playing over all the parts, and it becomes clear very quickly this is some kind of vanity project taken to a whole other level. First we have the man himself, played by Kelly, trapped in a closet of his mistresses, then there's the mistress's husband comes home, THEN the husband's man mistress, followed by R's wife, then... Should I keep going on, or will it kill the suspense? How much you enjoy this series, basically, depends on how much you can take R Kelly singing out a wretched soap opera, like some Z-grade director with aspirations to be legit, and at times the circumstances not making any sense whatsoever.
In fact, I probably did deep down really dislike this series, but somehow I couldn't stop watching, and laughing my dumbfounded head off. I applaud R Kelly for this achievement, but against all my better reasoning.
Easy to describe this one, you will either love it or hate it - look
through the comments, they are pretty much all either 1 or 10 with only
a few fence sitters.
Personally I saw this for what it truly is - the funniest most entertaining complex and interwoven love dodecahedron ever conceived.
Personally when my friend told me he'd sent me something in the post and that I'd love chapter 9 I thought it was going to be a book, when 'R. Kelly - Trapped In The Closet' arrived several days later little did I know that my life would forever be changed. Well that's an exaggeration but I did laugh from start to finish and as far as I'm concerned anything that can do even half of that deserves every award ever.
If you have the opportunity to see this then DO! If you have heard of this 'film' and get past the low rating and make it to this comment then take it as a sign, something has compelled you this far so don't give in now, actively seek it out and spend the most entertaining minutes of your short life.
The world needs more laughter, open the door.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Trapped in the Closet 'Trapped in the Closet' contains a single chord
progression. I am reliably informed that this is an "Am chord with C as
pedal bass to an E-Major chord with B as a pedal bass". For a film that
is sung throughout, this is no mean feat, and the predictability of
Robert Kelly's vocals cements the plot's position as main attraction.
This, perhaps, is the great failing of the project, jeopardising its
status as the first true "hip-hopera".
Hip-hop has, in recent years, become a major player (excuse the reviewer being down wit' the flo') in the televised media, and the prevalence of urban-styled videos on music channels surely made such an attempt inevitable. Many people will immediately observe similarities with the surprisingly underused rock-opera, and perhaps The Who's attempts will spring to mind. The immediate, advantage of 'Tommy' over 'Trapped' is that of variation. Whilst maintaining sufficient momentum within its story, 'Tommy' goes one step further, managing to produce not only a stream of interesting and distinct sounds, but indeed a few memorable classics. In his blatant refusal to omit describing any detail on the screen, to explore a situation on an emotional, digressional level, or even to throw in a new beat once an hour, Kelly destroys the film's potential as a musical device. It would seem fair to rebut this using the basic principles of rap. With its highly illustrative nature and foundations in slow, unimposing beats, a "hip-hopera" would likely be a methodical affair. As much as these tendencies stay true to the genre, anyone recalling The Streets' concept album 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' will appreciate the greater capacity of rap, utilising a myriad of interesting and, wait for it, relevant backing tracks to highlight the private thoughts and emotions of the narrator. It is a very delicate point to make, but I must highlight that R's picture is not suitable for those expecting to see developments in rhyme. Many verses end with identical expletives, and the reliance on the gangsta image makes the censored version solely suitable for those who can appreciate the inherent humour in missing every second word.
So much (or perhaps so little) for the music. To its credit, the opening twelve chapters are remarkably fast-paced, each chapter consisting of 4 minutes of intense conflict with an assured cliff-hanger ending. This reflects more on the serialised nature of Trapped's release than an underlying theory, but it is undoubtedly a useful device in its desperate battle for your attention. However, depending on the viewer's mindset, the shock-tactics might appear to be a little old-hat, particularly in a society where many of the incidents detailed are rife. To spoil, slightly, the start of a very early plot line: Kelly is threatening to shoot an innocent clergyman whose wife he has been sleeping with, until, after much suspense, said clergyman is discovered to be GAY. For no apparent reason, the sexual tendencies of this as-yet irrelevant character cause Kelly great mental anguish, displaying (as do so many characters in a tale where everybody is cheating on their respective spouses) an all too clear sense of homophobia. The movie relies heavily on strange stereotypes, and one can readily imagine R and his crew (film, of course) sitting down with a list of 10 names to devise novel links between each. A could sleep with B, who is married to C, who had an affair with stripper D, whose physically challenged son E went to jail for stealing Mary-Jane of F, and so on ad infinitum. The end-result is a mess of interweaving actors, all being voiced by Kelly, and by the end of chapter 22, the landmark attained at the time of this review, you are left upset, confused and slightly irritated. Put simply, the viewer is not fully rewarded for his efforts.
Chapter 22 revolves solely around an unexplained secret, and the vast number of characters that it remarkably affects. However, there are no clues as to what the promised continuation will centre around, or when it will actually be made. If you are the kind of person who could not live with watching the first two of the Godfather movies, steer well clear of 'Trapped'. The same message applies to anyone without a basic understanding of hip-hop, or one whose knowledge and selectiveness on the subject will be disappointed by the barrenness of the rap. The target audience is those whose lives share enough similarities with the characters that their issues appear real and critical. If you carry a gun/knife, or have experience cheating on a partner who turned out to be in similar shenanigans with a masochistic rabbi, then perhaps this film will ring true. Of course, those of you fully immersed in popular culture, who can view the disconsolate rapper with a cynical and condescending air; well, students, you know who you are...
At the beginning this threatens to be more than an R&B opera. R Kelly
is immediately the closeted narrator and the bewildered protagonist in
the bed outside. The episode - as its successors in this first series -
battles the intent of doing something remarkable in lyric storytelling
with the dramatic dead ends of posturing, homophobia and brandishing
I came across this series after having read an article by Alex Petridis, a pop critic for The Guardian, a UK paper. What he had to say is worth repeating: "These days, record companies have entire departments dedicated to preventing artists like R Kelly from perpetrating acts of grand folly such as Trapped in the Closet. Whatever you think of the end product... you have to be glad he has circumvented them. The increasingly beige world of rock and pop could use the occasional grand folly, however crass, idiotic, baffling and unintentionally hilarious it may be." Jim Swaffield's rather perfunctory committal of R Kelly's plan to video must rank, in both senses, alongside. 3/10
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