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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: The Room

The Disaster Artist (2017)

Good story, Mark!

Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) is just another young kid looking to become an actor. His dreams seem as if they’re finally going to be fulfilled too, when he meets the strange, mysterious, and downright weird Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). While the two are no doubt opposites, they hit it off because of their willingness to chase the American Dream of Hollywood, fame and fortune. It also helps that Wiseau has a place he calls home in L.A., so they move there and start trying to do what they can to break in the biz. For Greg, because he’s so young, fresh and good-looking, he gets small bits and roles in stuff, whereas Tommy doesn’t. He’s too weird and crazy to really work for most casting-agents and it’s why he decides to just say screw it all and make a movie himself. This then creates the Room, one of the most beloved and strange cult flicks that’s so bad, so ridiculous, and so out-of-this-world, guess what? It’s actually good. However, behind-the-scenes, nobody knew what the hell was going on, where Tommy was getting all of this money, why he was acting like such a freak, where he came from, and oh yeah, how the hell old he was, too. Basically, it all just revolved around Tommy being Tommy.

“I did naaaht.”

The Disaster Artist is one of those breezy, light-as-a-feather biopics that doesn’t get as deep as it should, but still works. Why? All about the source-material, baby! If you’ve ever seen the Room, know who Greg Sestero or Tommy Wiseau are, then yes, this will most likely all work for you. The movie, as directed by James Franco and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, is meant to please those undying and adoring fans of the cult-classic, while also attempting to bring possible interested-parties to just who the hell these people are, what the movie they’re making is, and/or better yet, why so many people love it.

In fact, the Disaster Artist itself doesn’t set out to answer all of the questions it raises and in a way, it’s better than most biopics because of that. It doesn’t feel the need to harp on something, or try to jam it all in – it gives us the characters, their backstories, their plot, their conflicts, and basically just runs with it all. Sure, the real lives of Sestero and Wiseau may be way more intriguing and odd than what we get here, but the movie doesn’t feel as if it has to be over two-hours to really get its job done.

Just a little over an-hour-and-a-half, honestly, is fine enough.

And it’s why, as a director and actor, James Franco does a pretty great job here. Despite him having made nearly six or seven movies in the past few years, none of them have really been all that good; they’re slow, meandering, pretentious and, despite the star-quality attached, a waste of some prime talent who are clearly just doing favors for a seemingly good guy. Here though, it seems like Franco’s at least somewhat poised to avenge himself as both an actor and director, because he doesn’t harp too much on the material – he gives us the funny stuff, the drama, and the characters that matter.

Bros love throwing that pig-skin.

And oh yeah, he also does a pretty great Wiseau which, all things considering, is pretty hard to pull-off, especially for someone as good-looking, tall, and recognizable as Franco. But Franco gets the cadences down perfectly, from the randomly slurred-speech, to the odd laughing and giggling in-between clever-phrases, that make this guy a delight to watch. He also doesn’t forget to show us the true dark and odd nature behind this guy, like where all of his money comes from, why he’s such a control-freak, and the idea that he may be a bit of a sexist asshole who, like most frat-boys, just wants to see boobs and be able to touch them. Once again, the movie doesn’t go nearly as deep as it probably should have into Wiseau, but Franco scratches enough of the surface to where it’s all fine and dandy.

After all, the movie’s so damn entertaining, you’ll soon forget about all of that stuff and it’s kind of the point.

The Disaster Artist makes it clear very early-on that no matter how awful the end-result turned out to be, the Room was absolutely what Wiseau and those involved wanted it to be: A stepping-stone to some sort of infamy. It’s what Sestero and Wiseau themselves have absolutely wanted and while what they really did, in certain situations portrayed throughout the movie, can be held-up to scrutiny, there’s no denying the fact that the movie they made, together, or apart, turned out to be something quite legendary. And the movie of its inception and ultimate creation, while not nearly as legendary, is still entertaining enough to remind us of the fun and the appeal.

If that’s even the right word.

Consensus: With a fun, light, and breezy direction, the Disaster Artist proves to be an entertaining and somewhat insightful look into the life of Tommy Wiseau, and a solid reminder that Franco’s got the goods to pull double-duty as actor and director, in an effective manner.

7 / 10

Gotta get the right shot for whatever the hell they’re doing.

Photos Courtesy of: A24

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The Room (2003)

When in doubt, toss the old pigskin around.

Uhm. Well, the story goes, Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a successful businessman who plans on getting married soon to his lovely fiancee Lisa (Juliette Danielle). Though they are more than in love and, most times, share hot, steamy, passionate, and sweat-inducing sex, there’s still something missing – well, at least from Lisa’s point-of-view anyway. For reasons unknown, Lisa goes behind Johnny’s back when he isn’t around, to sleep with his best buddy, Mark (Greg Sestero). Though Mark and Johnny are good pals and often throw the football around for fun, this love for the same woman is what ultimately keeps them from embracing one another, and always fighting. There’s also another subplot going on here about an orphaned kid named Denny (Philip Haldiman), who is neck-deep into the world of drugs and has debts that he needs to pay. Eventually, these issues among this small group of friends, lovers and confidantes all come together when Lisa decides that she wants to throw Johnny a b-day party.

And yeah, that’s about it. I think.

Best friends always play ball together.

Best friends always play ball together.

Honestly, who the hell am I kidding? The Room, literally and figuratively, has no plot. Sure, you could make the argument that it’s really about the love-triangle between Mark, Lisa and Johnny, but if you do make said argument, you’re a tool. Just know that the movie does have a central plot, but everything else that happens around it, are sometimes so random and abrupt, that they really don’t make much of a different to a movie that, quite frankly, is a whole jumble of nothing.

And you know what? I love every second of it.

So yeah, everything you’ve either heard, read or been made to understand about the Room by now is most definitely true. It’s a nonsensical, poorly-made, over-the-top, and unintentionally hilarious drama that, somehow, some way, was able to raise $6 million. Also, let me not forget to mention that, with all the midnight showings and infamy it’s created, has most likely made back all of said $6 million dollars, if not more. If there is a perfect example of the injustices society has created, look no further than this movie.

But honestly, that’s the true beauty of this. That somebody actually looked at this final-product, thought, “Hmm. Yeah.”, and actually released the damn thing, is absolutely astounding. And the person we have to thank most for that is in fact, the man, the myth, the odd legend known simply as Tommy Wiseau. Since the Room’s premiere, Wiseau has become something of a 21st Century Ed Wood; while his pieces of work are terrible, he still loves them enough to not just create more, but to also make it out like they’re pieces of art that need their prizes immediately. Whatever goes through Wiseau’s head on a everyday basis is beyond me, but from what I’ve seen with the Room, I know that I want to know more and more about him.

Wiseau is, yes, a terrible actor, but there’s something so odd about his presence and the way he speaks, that you wonder if he ever could be considered a “good actor”. Something tells me that if the likes of either Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorsese saw him, picked him up, took him under their wing, and worked with him, that he’d become a scene-stealer who, after hearing he was in something, we’d look forward to getting a glimpse of from right as soon as the movie started. Of course, though, that hasn’t and probably will not happen, so what we’re left with is a dude who is, yes, a terrible actor with a weird accent, who also seems to be sleep-walking through his own movie. That said, you can’t take your eyes off of him, or wait to see what he does, expresses, or yells out next.

Denny and Johnny were truly like, father-and-son.

Denny and Johnny were truly like, father-and-son.

Honestly, I haven’t been this taken with an actor’s presence in quite some time.

But what’s perhaps the most interesting aspect surrounding the Room, is the fact that it’s a movie where everything seems to be happening, yet ultimately, nothing ever really does happen. People sit down and have over-long, aimless conversations with one another; emotions are cried-out on top of ceilings; footballs are passed-around; pizza is eaten; people are screwed (both literally and figuratively); and fists are exchanged. But really, there’s nothing to any of it here; if anything, the Room is just a whole big pile of nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an enjoyable, funny big pile of nothing, but a pile of nothing, nonetheless. Which, in actuality, is a bit of a shame. For one, it’s a shame that Wiseau, through whatever wizard trickery (aka, blackmail) he was able to commit, actually got over a million dollars for this movie to be made, whereas well-known, immensely talented directors like Steven Spielberg, Spike Jonze, and, yes, Scorsese, still have to battle their ways to get full-financing for whatever projects they want to get off the ground. I’m all for a movie that’s made for people to enjoy and laugh at, but I’m also for a movie that sets out to do that from the beginning, which the Room, despite what Wiseau himself may claim, does not set out to do.

Still, it’s a shame that everybody else in the Room, other than Wiseau, actually do seem to be trying with the wacky material given to them. Though none of them, judging by what I’ve seen on their respective IMDB’s are ever going to get past the shame and humility that this movie caused them, it’s still interesting to see what careers any of these people would have had, had they never said “yes” to Wiseau in the first place. For instance, Greg Sestero actually seems like a competent actor who, not only has good-looks to help him out when it comes to getting roles, but also seems like he could be called on for snarky one-liners, when need be. However, this is all just taking place in an imaginary, never-going-to-be-real world that I’m currently creating in my head, and not the one where the real life Sestero hasn’t worked since steadily since 2003, but is still in the spotlight for writing a book about this movie and everything else surrounding it.

So yeah, I guess you could say he’s doing alright in the real world. But still, you have to imagine! The possibilities!

Consensus: Unbelievable, in terms of how bad it gets, as well as how many people thought it was fine to be released, the Room is every bit of the midnight legend it’s been made out to be, for better, as well as for worse.

10 / 10

but really…..

0 / 10

That damn football again!

That damn football again!

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire