2017 is the year of A24!!!
With all the superhero franchises, sequels, and reboots dominating the theaters, it’s nice to take a break and go see a film that contains actual substance. A film which may win Oscars, not for visual effects or costumes but for performances and story. Something to remind us why we go to the movies in the first place and to show us all hope is not lost in Hollywood. The Disaster Artist is exactly that. A real movie, about real people, real experiences, equipped with subject matter to capture the attention of audiences across the country.
I will start out by saying I have not seen The Room. I have no intention to watch it anytime soon. Some of my friends are slightly detoured from The Disaster Artist because they believe you have to see one to understand the other. That is not the case in this situation nor do I want to be the guy who recommends people devote time out of their day to watch The Room. But if you would like a little bit of an introduction to the topic, check out a podcast called “How Did This Get Made: The Room” which should give you enough to get familiar with what’s going on. I’d also spend a couple minutes viewing clips on YouTube, just to give you a taste of Tommy Wiseau. He’s a complicated man.
I repeat, there is NO need to watch The Room.
The Disaster Artist is legit. It’s an interesting look into the worst movie ever made. Solid performances from everyone on board coupled with the humor you’d expect when you see the names Franco and Rogen together. It’s a biopic, and a comedy, but with weight. Even I wondered exactly how good this could be and I’m happy to say my expectations were exceeded in every way. This is due largely to the on screen power of James Franco, who also directed the film. I can comfortably say this is the best thing he’s ever done and I finally got my confirmation that James Franco can really act. Not just being in front of the camera, but actually acting. I’m not sure if he went the method lived as Tommy Wiseau for a month but it’s clear he went all out. It’s some next level Franco almost to the point where you wonder if he’s had it all along. Any publications predicting an Oscar nomination might find themselves correct in the coming awards season.
Dave Franco, yes the brothers are united again, has the second lead with Greg Sestero who met Tommy at an acting class in San Francisco. The two became friends and eventually moved to Los Angeles where they pounded the pavement in search of work as actors. After many unsuccessful auditions, Tommy, with an unspecified bottomless pit of money, decides to make a movie on his own. Three months later, The Room is complete, and the rest is history.
Dave Franco is equally as solid as his brother but the less dynamic of a character plays second fiddle to Tommy. He’s great in this role, and I’ll bet if he dawned long black haired wig, he’d crush it too.
There is something cooking with these Francos.
Once the filming begins, The Disaster Artist really becomes worth the price of admission. Supporting roles from Seth Rogen and Paul Scheer shine as their real world experience provides the perfect conflict with Tommy’s novice, yet controlling persona. As the budget gets bigger and the tensions run high, the staff begins to turn on Tommy and the production continues to be in jeopardy. But in all the turmoil you can’t help but root for Tommy to succeed. Even when he’s being a dick, Franco crafts the character so well that he appears well intentioned but misunderstood.
It all culminates with a surprisingly sold out premiere in Hollywood. Everything went as bad as you could imagine on screen, but the audience couldn’t help but enjoy themselves. The theater erupted with laughter ultimately birthing the later earned cult status of the film. Though costing six million dollars to make, The Room brought in $1800 on opening weekend. Tommy paid for a two week run so it could get Oscar consideration.
Can’t forget about the cameos! I absolutely love a good cameo and Disaster Artist has some great ones. I won’t list all of them, just know Sharon Stone has all of eight lines and it’s great.
If you’re like me and never saw The Room, The Disaster Artist serves as a great telling of the making of that bad movie a bunch of people like. If you’re a hardcore Roomer, get ready to have your mind blown. Franco captures everything you want; over sixty takes on the “Oh hi Mark” shot, the most uncomfortable love making scene ever filmed, and a side by side comparison you’ll want to sit through part of the credits for. Like I said, I have no intention of watching The Room and I can tell you outright Disaster Artist is a top ten movie of the year. Go see it ASAP!!
And James Franco… this is the type of movie you should continue to make.
Nerdbot Rating: 8.5 out of 10
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- New Line Cinema
Did you like The Disaster Artist? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!