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Arts and Entertainment

DVD Review: The Lost Room

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I confess to being somewhat of a geek. I read Zapp comics, collect vinyl records and can recite Monty Python sketches verbatum. Which I guess makes me a "stoner-variety" geek. I am not a "braniac-geek" of the chess club, sci-fi variety. I don't watch the Sci-Fi channel unless TiVo decides I have to watch Outer Limits. Because TiVo is my god and must be obeyed.

I picked up The Lost Room in the video store thinking it was a movie. I soon discovered it was a Sci-Fi channel mini-series. If your brain is starting to atrophy (wow, maybe I am a little bit of a science club geek). Umm, anyways, if you are frustrated because Lost is in hiatus, and if you obsessed over minute details looking for clues as to who killed Laura Palmer, you should run to the video store right now and pick up BOTH disks of The Lost Room. BOTH disks. Waiting for the last episode could drive you insane. Like Lost and Twin Peaks, this miniseries is filled with millions of mini-clues, mysteries, and "aha!" moments.

The hero of the Lost Room is Joe Miller, played by Peter Krause of Six feet Under. Joe Miller is a detective who ends up with a key that will take him anywhere in the world, through the portal of a mysterious motel room. Through a chance encounter (...or was it really by "chance"?) with the bearer of a bus ticket that allows him to transport people to Gallup, New Mexico, Joe discovers that he is now the owner of an object. Not an object, an object. Through strange and mysterious circumstances, approximately 100 objects in a 1950s motel room were transformed into indestructible objects with mystical powers. Their powers are sometimes strange, frightening or humorous. Some powers are yet to be discovered, and some are practically useless (the wristwatch can cook eggs. Only eggs). Some of the objects possess different powers when used in conjunction with other objects.

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The Lost Room's plot revolves around Joe's search for his daughter, who disappears into the motel room. Needless to say, there is a strange assortment of people, organizations, cults and cabals who are willing to do anything to get that key. Most of these other characters possess their own objects with powers. Casting is fantastic, with actors like Kevin Pollack, Julianna Margulies, and Margaret Cho slipping into their characters as easily as into a pair of old sneakers. The objects are practically characters themselves, and there are a number of mysteries involving them, how they came to be, how they work, and especially, how Joe can use them to find his daughter.

At the end of the miniseries, there are still some unanswered questions, but you aren't left unsatisfied. You don't feel ripped off. But there are so many other places the plot could go. There is a small faction of sci-fi fans trying to convince the Sci-Fi channel to turn The Lost Room into a regular series. Peter Krause is already appearing in the ABC series, Dirty Sexy Money, and I'm sure Kevin Pollack isn't sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. But even if they don't recast Joe Miller, or any of the characters for that matter, it seems like there could even be a different main character every week. With so many possible combinations of objects, and the endless variety of motivations people could have for possessing their powers, I feel like I could start writing episodes right now. I'm hooked. Is this the line for the comic con?

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