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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Chat Room (2002)

"Surfin the net for cyber booty"
- Tagline

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: March 20, 2003

Stars: Brian Hooks
Other Stars: Christopher Richards, Troy Winbush, Darryl Brunson
Director: Barry Bowles

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for grotesque humor, language, sexuality
Run Time: 01h:29m:42s
Release Date: July 02, 2002
UPC: 012236128984
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
D+ FD+C C+

DVD Review

Internet chat rooms have been the butt of many jokes since their inceptions in the early days of the World Wide Web. The idea that the person on the other end of the modem may not be who they say they are, admittedly, is the chance for comedic gold. So here we are with Chat Room, a direct-to-video release that relies heavily on the setup but fails to deliver a punch line. Instead we are left with low-brow humor and some truly awful performances in a film that is as entertaining as a chat room aimed at diehard Barry Manilow fans.

Max (Hooks), Drew (Brunson), Jellyroll (Christopher Richards) and J-Ron (Winbush) are lifelong friends who are fast approaching their ten-year high school reunion. Normally this would be just another day but as luck would have it, the group made a bet a decade ago that whoever shows up at the reunion would win fifty dollars. What the guys did not count on was that through some creative investments, the fifty dollars has turned into fifty thousand dollars and the race is on to find a beautiful date. With no options left, they each turn to the internet in order to land a prize catch. The only snag is that the ladies found on the internet are not exactly what they say they are.

Given the right amount of satire and raw humor, Chat Room could have been a very funny film. Instead, the script by Barry Bowles and Carl Washington resorts to tasteless humor to drive home the jokes. It is a given that each of the women will be the exact opposite of what they claim, but the script keeps offering up the same of what we have already seen in each woman. By eschewing any sort of development for the characters, it becomes a detriment I that I did not care so much as to who won the bet but if they were ever actually going to get to the reunion. In the end, a lack of real ideas is what keeps this from being even remotely enjoyable.

Another factor is that the bathroom humor seems an effort to add on to the already boring joke. When we see a woman who keeps fat from her liposuction procedures in jars on her mantle, it is intended done for laughs, but induces cringes. When she puts it in her mouth as a before dinner snack, I would imagine we're expected to be gasping for air because we are laughing so hard. What is worse, as if it could possibly get any worse, is that the liposuction bit is not even the lowest point. I will save those surprises for those who willingly partake in viewing Chat Room. You deserve it.

A mess from start to finish Chat Room is a wasteland of humor in every conceivable way.

Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: F


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The full-frame transfer is below average in terms of quality. Colors are poor with heavy bleeding apparent in several scenes, while black levels show excessive grain. Sharpness and detail are each below average giving the film a hazy look that lasts throughout. A poor transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: D+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track for Chat Room is rather flat sounding in that the action is largely anchored to the center speaker, which is mixed very poorly. The dialogue fails to deliver the rich tones that would make the mix sound natural and enveloping.

Audio Transfer Grade: C


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
Extras Review: Ten minutes of outtakes are available and they are a lot funnier than the film itself.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

If you want laughs go to a real chat room, because surely someone will say something even the slightest bit more humorous than what can be found here.


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