The Disaster Artist reviews

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6528
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Disaster Artist reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:21 pm

I didn't like this as much as I'd hoped. Comparisons to Ed Wood may be unfair, but they're pretty unavoidable, and this film has nowhere near the insight nor the weird beauty of Burton's film (nor a character as well-drawn as Lugosi). I also didn't find this near as funny as expected. Perhaps it's because I'd seen the coming attraction a few weeks back, which consisted of the entire "I did not hit her" scene. THAT made me laugh uproariously, but it thus robbed me of the pleasure of discovering the scene for the first time. And the rest of the film just didn't strike me as on the same comic level.

I did put myself through The Room a few weeks back in preparation, and, yeah, it's a bad movie -- abyssmally acted, with ridiculous continuity errors and inexplicable moments (why are they wearing tuxedos? and why do they play football in them?). I've never been much for sitting through movies because they're terrible -- "so bad it's good" has never worked for me -- so I'd have needed something more than this film displayed in the way of added value to make it worth my while to spend this much time in the company of an impenetrable personage like Tommy Wiseau. I truly don't know anything about the guy, other than he's weird, has an indescribable accent, and doesn't seem to relate to other humans very well. James Franco gives a committed performance -- he never steps outside the persona Wiseau projects -- but it feels more like a stunt than something full-bodied. If this were a normal best actor year, he'd probably be a long shot, and even as is I'd not be 100% sure he'll make the cut, even if he wins the Globe (remember, Sally Hawkins won the comedy Globe in '08). It's notable that, after it's huge opening, the film's grosses have fallen off a cliff: this is a cult effort, not a mass audience thing.

The ending felt like a bit of a cheat -- transposing the subsequent-years' reaction of midnight show audiences to the film's opening -- but I guess the film can be forgiven that, for ending on a high. I did find the film's second half more appealing than the first, and Sabin is right, that it felt mostly the story of a friendship (with brother Dave carrying a lot of the audience empathy, and doing a decent job of it). It's not as if I disliked the film. I'd just hoped for something a bit more special than I got.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7431
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: The Disaster Artist reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:37 pm

I don't have much to say about 'The Disaster Artist' other than the fact that I enjoyed it. The film it draws closest comparison to is 'Ed Wood,' but it pales largely because it's not a celebration of the creative process. It could never be one, because the film refuses to get to the heat of who the fuck this weirdo is. If anyone is interested in how 'The Room' was made, the answer is pretty simple: "Tommy Wiseau is a lunatic with a lot of money. That's how." The film attempts to 'Shakespeare in Love' little details of the film all around us, but there are few humans in film as oblivious as Tommy Wiseau so it doesn't really mean anything. But whatever. Not a big deal.

If it's a celebration of anything, it's a celebration of what a weirdo Tommy Wiseau is -- and James Franco's Tommy Wiseau impersonation. And it's a good one. It's a film about a male friendship, familiar territory for Franco and the Apatow crew. But it's just about a friendship and whether or not these two friends can survive the harsh terrain of Hollywood. And ultimately, I think the writer's probably made the right choice. A little bit of Tommy Wiseau acting like a tyrant on set goes a long way. I know this isn't an Apatow film, but it's close enough to being one (I mean, Seth Rogen AND Judd Apatow are in it), and it has it has to rank among the most streamlined Apatow joints in history.

The one thing 'The Disaster Artist' has in exact proportions as 'Ed Wood,' is positivity. They're both cheerful little movies that balance laughing at and with the prospect of total failure. I liked it.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4225
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: The Disaster Artist reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:01 pm

Sabin wrote:I've been resisting the notion of James Franco as an Oscar nominee for The Disaster Artist for some time, but yesterday I was actually wondering if James Franco is actually a very good bet to win the Golden Globe. Do you think he could end up being an Oscar nominee for this?


I think he's a very strong possibility for the Comedy/Musical Globe (though Hugh Jackman might provide some competition if The Greatest Showman turns out to be anything, given HFPA's fondness for musicals). And I think he's as solidly in the Oscar conversation as anybody (save Oldman) at this point -- if the movie becomes a hit (which I think is very possible), it'll hit the sweet spot of popular crowd-pleaser that's also indie/cool enough to be taken seriously. Plus, you know Hollywood loves its movies about movie-making, and the fact that Franco also directed is probably a bonus. I think it all just depends on how strong the sight-unseen candidates (Day-Lewis, Hanks, Jackman) are.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7431
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: The Disaster Artist reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:03 am

The Original BJ wrote
I wasn't really knowledgeable about this story -- or even the film The Room, which I kept telling myself I was going to watch before I saw Disaster Artist, but which I just couldn't put myself through -- but I imagine even the uninitiated like myself won't find this to be a movie full of any great plot surprises.

Well, there probably isn't much reason to see it now. The Room is a lot of fun because of how every single directing choice made is such a visible failure, and of course the added novelty of seeing Wiseau doing a Q&A, which I had the pleasure to attend. There's something perverse about how people lined up in droves to essentially ask the guy "You know this movie sucks, right?" and watch him evade the question.

I have seen The Room and to me, it looks like Franco is just doing a parody of a walking parody. Wiseau has a Trump quality to him like that. I've been resisting the notion of James Franco as an Oscar nominee for The Disaster Artist for some time, but yesterday I was actually wondering if James Franco is actually a very good bet to win the Golden Globe. Do you think he could end up being an Oscar nominee for this?
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4225
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

The Disaster Artist reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:20 am

The Disaster Artist is not a work of great substance. And I think its central arc feels pretty familiar -- a couple of delusional wannabe actors set out to make a movie, have their friendship severely tested during the process, create something godawful, and then experience a kind of redemption when this movie becomes a cult favorite. I wasn't really knowledgeable about this story -- or even the film The Room, which I kept telling myself I was going to watch before I saw Disaster Artist, but which I just couldn't put myself through -- but I imagine even the uninitiated like myself won't find this to be a movie full of any great plot surprises.

But hot damn, this movie is funny. As with many comedies, I think one's individual mileage might vary, but I haven't laughed out loud in a theater this much in a long while. Most of the credit for that has to be given to James Franco, whose performance as the thoroughly bizarre Tommy Wiseau is shtik through and through, but is so committed to every bonkers facet of this mysterious man, you can't help but laugh at every one of his crazy quirks and random asides. In the end, he even manages to make this guy kind of endearing -- at least, as a character you'd be happy to watch onscreen without ever wanting to experience in real life.

I don't know if 2017 will shape up to be a year full of great movies -- I've still got most of the heavy-hitters to see, so the verdict is still out -- but it's already a year full of a good number of movies I've just flat enjoyed. The Disaster Artist is nothing major, but I had a really good time at it, and given the daily horror show that is the news these days, I can find plenty of value in something that simply put a smile on my face.


Return to “2017”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest