The Disaster Artist

(2017)

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Title:
The Disaster Artist
Release Date:
1st December 2017
Runtime:
105 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
James Franco
Writers:
Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 91%
IMDb Rating 8.3

Casts

Alison Brie as Amber
Ari Graynor as Juliette/'Lisa'
Dave Franco as Greg/'Mark'
James Franco as Tommy/'Johnny'
Seth Rogen as Sandy

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TwistedMango 28th November, 2017

Loving pastiche of a cult film catastrophe

Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau met at a San Francisco acting class in 1998. A young, nervous model, Greg was amazed by the bombastic, crazed performances of Tommy. Greg agreed to be his scene partner and had soon moved to Tommy's LA apartment on a peppercorn rent. As Greg started to find some success as an actor in Hollywood, a jealous Tommy decided to make himself a star, pumping six million dollars into a film he wrote, directed, produced and played the male lead. Greg was given a supporting role, and the cult 'best worst movie ever made' The Room was born. Like many others, my experience with The Room began watching with friends, before cinema screenings and listening to audiobook The Disaster Artist written by Tom Bissell and Greg Sestero himself. This book is revelatory not just for its depiction of the massive tensions on the set of The Room as Tommy's behaviour cost him crew after crew, but in showing the strange, interdependent friendship of Tommy and Greg. The Disaster Artist film adaptation plays off the ironic success of The Room, now played to packed midnight screenings in a manner akin to The Rocky Picture Show. It is also able to deftly pit the emotional core of the film Greg (Dave Franco), against the force of nature that is Tommy Wiseau (played by James Franco). James Franco is able to capture some of the bizarreness of Tommy, most memorably in a scene where Tommy prances around naked while bellowing orders at an enraged crew. Franco has finally found the role where he can be as weird as he likes, thanks to Tommy's unplaceable accent, black locks, missing millions, and unwavering narcissism. The script is a lighter version of the downright madness Greg Sesestro recalled, and while amusing before shooting of The Room starts it could have done with some more of that deranged bent. Seth Rogen also comes into The Disaster Artist at this point, and is a highlight as the bemused script supervisor Sandy. What is an enjoyable film takes on a whole new level at the premiere, as the loving homages to The Room comes to life. Seeing James Franco do his take on 'you're tearing me apart!' and the many other classics is a reminder of what makes watching The Room so hilarious in the first place. The Disaster Artist has huge fun imitating scenes of The Room, even showing their recreation side by side with the original (one with HD cameras and the other in 35mm, a nod to Wiseau's inexplicable decision to shoot in both formats simultaneously). It's clear the Franco brothers love The Room and its cult fans. This film is unashamedly made for them, talking head celebrities opening The Disaster Artist by waxing lyrical about their own obsession with Wiseau's 'masterpiece'. As one of the converted to the 'so bad it's enjoyable' this made the film all the better, though I also questioned how much crossover appeal The Disaster Artist will ever have to those with no previous knowledge of The Room. The most obvious comparison to The Disaster Artist is Tim Burton's Ed Wood, a biopic of the director who made the notoriously awful Plan 9 From Outer Space. While both are ready to mock their subject's failures, Franco and Burton also have a clear admiration for their subject's tenacity. We can all deride Tommy Wiseau, but what feature film have you made recently?

Reviewed by Jeremy_Urquhart 20th November, 2017

An absolute must-watch for fans of The Room

So yeah, The Room is pretty well-known by now, becoming just about the most popular 'so bad it's good' film of all time over the last six or seven years, as has the story behind it- as detailed in Greg Sestero's book, The Disaster Artist. So being a fan of both, I had a good idea of what I was in for, approaching the James Franco directed The Disaster Artist, but I'm pleased to say the film ended up meeting my expectations and then some. First things first: James Franco's performance in this is incredible. His accent and mannerisms are a spot-on imitation of Wiseau's, and he manages to make you feel sympathy towards the character too. It's one thing to so directly portray such a unique individual and make doing so incredibly funny, but it's another thing entirely to make him feel (almost) like a real person, and to make you genuinely care for him. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I truly think this performance is worth an Academy Award nomination (fingers crossed). Everyone else was good too. Dave Franco had a less flashy role than his brother's, sure, playing Greg Sestero, but he did a good job as the more grounded, 'straight man' type character. And some of the casting was genius too- I could list almost everybody, but special mention should go to Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, and Jacki Weaver. Also worth mentioning is how well the cast and crew recreated the look of the original The Room- the mannerisms of the actors, the set design, the lighting, the camera-work- it's all perfect. It makes the film an impressive technical achievement in many regards; not simply a funny film with inspired casting and good performances. As for downsides? There aren't a whole bunch. Perhaps the most significant is that this may not have a great deal of appeal beyond those who've watched and loved The Room already. I'm sure it would still function as a good film, but it might lack something for those who aren't already indoctrinated into the cult of The Room. Other nitpicks I could think of may be that the film is fairly conventional in terms of plot- not a ton of surprises here (other than maybe a few cameos throughout). And it feels a tiny bit longer than just over 100 minutes- but again, that's a nitpick. I am more or less struggling to think of too much that I personally didn't like with this film. So as a long time fan of The Room, this is about as good as I hoped it could be. I hope I'm wrong in my views that the audience for this will be limited, and that it does have appeal beyond hardcore fans of The Room. And hey, if there's enough buzz behind it to allow for James Franco to earn an Oscar nomination, then that would be fantastic. And deserved (in my opinion). This is one of the most pleasant surprises of the film year so far, and second only to Tim Burton's Ed Wood in the (admittedly probably non-existent) sub-genre of films about making terrible movies. If you've ever watched The Room, or even just watched some of its scenes on Youtube, make sure you don't miss this one.

Reviewed by htoussounian 19th November, 2017

Pretty different to the book but awesome regardless

I was really lucky to be able to see the preview screening of The Disaster Artist at the Hayden Orpheum in Sydney last weekend. I don't think I had ever been this excited to see a film, ever. I'd seen The Room countless times and listened to The Disaster Artist audio book twice (which I highly recommend, as Greg Sestero's narration is amazing) so I had a general idea of what to expect from this film. Compared to the book though, I thought the movie was romanticised a bit too much. There were quite a few differences between the book and movie in regards to how things happened and the dynamic between characters. I guess changes are normally expected with adaptations, but I think here it felt like some things were purposely glossed over particularly in regards to how Tommy was portrayed. The film makes Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau's relationship look a lot sweeter than how Greg wrote it. In reality, Tommy was extremely jealous of Greg's early successes and was constantly trying to compete with him. In the movie we see Greg give Tommy the idea to make The Room, when in fact Tommy had decided to make it just to one up Greg. On the other hand in the book it felt like Greg really looked down on and resented Tommy; but we get a much warmer, sympathetic portrayal from Dave Franco. In the movie Tommy is constantly referred to as some kind of a monster, but I just don't think we see enough of that side. We're shown a Tommy that is sensitive, insecure and completely aware that Hollywood doesn't care for him. This isn't so bad because it helps the audience really feel for the guy. However, (again the way Greg wrote him) not only was Tommy delusional, he was also really cheap, pompous, manipulative and just down right mean to everyone. I think I would have loved the movie even more if I had seen more of this mayhem in the film. The Disaster Artist book was really candid and chaotic and just didn't feel like the film was as much. I've read that Tommy in life tries really, really hard to protect his image and hasn't really accepted the reason why he's so popular (see his boycotting of the 'A Room Full of Spoons' documentary), so I'm guessing he had some kind of heavy input into watering down the intensity of his character and the story in the film. I think if this hadn't been a factor, the movie would have been even more hysterical. James Franco's portrayal of Tommy was absolutely incredible. His accent was a little muddy at times which made it difficult to understand what he was saying, but other than that he did an amazing job. The bromance between Tommy and Greg on screen was really heartwarming too. I was sad that the movie wasn't longer, because I felt like there was so much more to see and it all went by way too fast. Overall, The Disaster Artist was a really funny, bittersweet, touching movie and I can't wait to see it again!

Reviewed by jackcwelch23 18th November, 2017

A Sincere and heartfelt story of chasing your dreams

Having been lucky enough to get tickets to the Australian premiere of The Disaster Artist with Greg Sestero himself in attendance, I was excited and eager to watch this amazing story. I was not disappointed. Almost every line James Franco said had the entire audience laughing their heads off, he is so spot on in his portrayal of Tommy's quirks and character its surreal. I tip my hat to him and hopefully the Oscars come calling. He deserves to be nominated. As I had read the book, I did notice that a few changes were made and some plot points fictionalised, but that's the case in nearly every adaptation so that was to be expected. It did capture the spirit of the story and was never boring or slow paced. Dave Franco does an excellent job as Greg, playing him a little more naive and optimistic than his real life counterpart (the real Greg knew he was not making a good movie, while this Greg seems a little more deluded.) but was so likable and warm you just wanted him to succeed. Tommy, on the other hand, is a little more polarising. While he was humanised and some good insight was given into his motivations and feelings, it was still hard to be a fan of him all the time considering how absurd his behaviour was. I chose to give him a pass, as you can't say he isn't sincere. The film's supporting characters are perfectly cast as well, with Seth Rogen playing a straight man role as Sandy the stunned script supervisor along with several comedians and actors popping up left right and centre. One of the biggest laughs in the cinema was Josh Hutcherson's first appearance as the room's most peculiar character, Denny. It was also great that Ari Graynor and Jacki Weaver, playing Juliette Danielle's Lisa and Claudette from the movie respectively, are portrayed as strong willed and thick skinned people who nobly put up with some of the worst working conditions for an actor imaginable. Overall it's a hilarious and genuinely moving account of an insane true story. It softens the nasty edges a bit too much and I would have loved it to be a little longer to include some even crazier parts of the book that didn't make the cut but what we're left with is still an excellent movie. OH HI MARK!

Reviewed by TheJediWay9 15th November, 2017

A Hilarious Dramedy About The Art Of How Not To Make A Movie

"The Disaster Artist" is a true story based on the making of the notoriously bad cult film "The Room," directed by Tommy Wiseasu. Wiseau is played by James Franco and Wiseau's friend Greg Sestero is played by Dave Franco. This was interesting, because I had heard so much about "the Room" and its cult status as one of the worst movies ever made. The trailer for the Disaster Artist was really intriguing, and I walked out pretty pleased. This movie has the Franco Brothers and Seth Rogen, and we all know the reputation that comes with them. They make stoner comedies and basically all play the same characters in every movie they're in. That is not the case here. All of those cliches from those movies that we see from these guys are thrown out of the window. It was a nice change of pace and pleasant surprise for all of these guys after watching their work and seeing the same stale comedies delivered to audiences. I also wouldn't "technically" categorize this movie as a "comedy." It's definitely more of a dramedy with comedic scenes mixed in, but this is because Tommy Wiseau, who is so magnificently played by James Franco in what is probably his best performance to date (yes I went there), is such a weird, mysterious, eccentric, and strange individual that his words and actions and his weird passion to make a movie come off as comedic. It's the more intense drama scenes that really work well within this movie. I will add that the comedic scenes shown the trailer are not the only funny scenes in the movie. There's definitely more humor in the movie aside from those scenes. My issue with this movie really just comes down to pacing. It took a while for the buildup, and I get it, it's character development and you have to explain the relationship between Tommy and Greg, and that's character development, but it just felt a little too long. There were instances where I was checking my watch and thought to myself "i thought Seth Rogen was in this movie." I would also say that the character of Amber, played by Alison Brie, really didn't move the story forward all that much and I felt like she wasn't needed. Overall, I enjoyed it. Laughed my ass off in some parts. Both Francos and Seth Rogen for that matter are really good in the movie, it's a behind the scenes type of movie that shows you how not to make a movie. I thought they did a really good job of capturing just how strange and determined Tommy Wiseasu was. I am going to give "The Disaster Artist" a B+. Check out my review of "The Disaster Artist" here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT5-PfMK180