Category Archives: Movie Review

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Movie Review – Call Me by Your Name

Category : Movie Review

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg

Year: 2017

Lady Bird is the coming of age drama of the year for you if you graduated in the early 2000s and loved Dave Matthews, Call Me by Your Name is for those who were teenagers in the 80s and fell in love over the summer with someone who was destined to leave & break their heart.  Incidentally, both feature Timothee Chalamet, and both are excellent, ranking among the very finest of 2017.  While Lady Bird is extremely honest and relatable, Call Me by Your Name is more romanticized and melancholy, but both hit you in your most vulnerable places, leaving an imprint that won’t soon spring back.

Elio is on vacation with his multi-cultural family; they speak English, Italian, French, and a little German in a pinch.  His father is an esteemed professor, and each summer, when the family travels to Northern Italy, a research assistant makes an appearance to stay for a few weeks and to help with linguistics, relics, and notation.  The newest guest, Oliver, is an amiable American who slides right into the routine, which is half vacation, half archeological  dig.  Elio falls for Oliver hard, but even in his progressive family he fears the taboo nature of his desire for this older man, as he also fears his own body and the unquenchable urges issuing from it.

From the director of A Bigger Splash comes another, lush, unpredictable, sexual sizzler, but while that film dragged with the weight of its narrative, this one soars with the hopes of youth.  You don’t have to relate perfectly to Lady Bird or to Elio in order to appreciate their stories or to understand the drama of their growing up, they present their problems in such a way that each of us can see pieces of ourselves in their experiences.  Call Me by Your Name is lovely, just lovely, from the music to the scenery, a pure delight to view.  And its characters are immaculately 80s, so extremely well-represented by the actors, so well written into their places.  There is a scene at the end, a conversation between Stuhlbarg and Chalemet, father and son, that absolutely blew me away, and might be one of the strongest, most honest, touching moments in cinematic history.  That might sound over-dramatic, but that’s this film, an ultra-emotional moment in time that has shards for all of us to claim as our own.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Victoria & Abdul

Category : Movie Review

Director: Stephen Frears

Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard

Year: 2017

Judi Dench was in 1997’s Mrs Brown, a film about Queen Victoria after she lost her husband and how she fell in love with John Brown.  This film is a companion piece to that, picking up years later when Victoria is an old woman, but referencing the past events to keep us in the loop.  Director Stephen Frears has worked with Dench before, in Philomena, and he did The Queen, so he’s got some experience in those areas.  All I’m saying is that there’s no reason that Victoria & Abdul should fail, it was basically veterans coming together to do what they’ve done before.  And it didn’t fail, it’s a fine film, a bit of history as well, but basically not something that needs to be watched.  There are character dramas, sure, movies that give us a slice of life for no reason and we love them for it.  But there are also biopics like this one, in which nothing much happens and we are left wondering why exactly it was we wasted our time watching.

In the last years of Victoria’s reign, she was the morbidly obese Empress of India, titles she would hang on herself, a lumpy old lady awaiting death and going through the motions of ruling the greatest Empire in the world.  India didn’t want England’s overlordship, neither the Hindus nor the Muslims wanted a foreign power to rule their ancient land, but there was little they could do about it.  When Britain said jump they said how high, including a clerk named Abdul Karim, who was ordered to head to London for a special ceremony in which the Queen would receive an important coin from her southern subjects.  It was supposed to be a short trip, but Abdul caught Victoria’s eye, she was curious for the first time in years, and she wanted him to stay to teach her about his homeland.  So began a wonderful friendship between a teacher and a student, a young man and an old women, a dutiful vassal and his royal majesty.

I have my doubts as to the authenticity of this story.  I’m no historian, but the film clearly shows Abdul becoming rich off his relationship with the Queen, and then later having this terrible disease; it’s the weird facts layered upon a romanticized friendship that I find hard to swallow.  I want to trust that these characters were as lovely as they were portrayed here, but I have serious doubts.  Anyway, it’s just a movie, and at the beginning it even says “based on a true story …sort of”, so they’re allowed to paint whatever picture they want to.  Aside from that, the film was rather dull.  You’re left with the feeling that you really didn’t need to know this legend, that it matters not, especially when compared to the much more interesting historical tidbits we could be learning about.  It’s not a love story exactly, it’s not a feel good story either really, it’s partly a comedy, but then it isn’t, so I’m not sure what to think.  Dench is wonderful as always, Fazal is very likeable, there’s nothing specific to point to and mark as ‘bad’, the target was simply missed, resulting in a fine but forgettable experience.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Hostiles

Category : Movie Review

Director: Scott Cooper

Starring: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi

Year: 2017

You can feel Scott Cooper’s hand hovering over this film’s mood the entire way through, which I think is a positive for critics but a negative for casual audiences.  His films are Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass, and Hostiles, the only one he didn’t write as well being Black Mass.  That makes sense because it’s my least favorite of the bunch, so label me as a Cooper fan and let’s move on.  I know some people who aren’t, though; I was told rather vehemently that Out of the Furnace was a terrible, boring, depressing, worthless movie, one that I was crazy to give a solid review.  And that’s my point; Cooper’s vision isn’t for everyone, and won’t comply with your solidified notion of what a Hollywood feature should me.  It’s just that, in my book, that’s a good thing.

Captain Joseph Blocker is nearing the end of his military career with the U.S. Army, after years of hunting down Indians for the government and slaughtering anyone he was told to.  Blocker knows that he is a murderer in a uniform, a savage in a savage land whose only tie to sanity is the chain of command.  His last and most difficult mission is to escort a Cheyenne chief, Yellow Hawk, to his ancestral home in Montana before he dies of cancer, an errand Blocker wants no part of.  He fought against Yellow Hawk years before, he knows what kind of cold-blooded killer the Chief is, but duty calls.  He and a select team of men will head out across dangerous country, following the trails to the Valley of the Bears, protecting a dying man along the way, witnessing one more time the terrible tragedies that await anyone who takes a moment to blink, sleep, or feel.

I would say that Christian Bale is such an excellent actor that he can do no wrong, but that wouldn’t be exactly accurate; he has made plenty of bad film choices in his career, and I’m sure he’ll make more going forward.  But Hostiles isn’t one of them; this is one of his great successes, if an extremely understated one.  His role here showcases a restrained demeanor, a deliberate form of acting that can turn some audiences off, but did the opposite for me.  Bale is perfect for Cooper’s style, able to play a character with quite strength so well, able to share the goals of his director and lead the film down the exact right path.  His co-stars were all in as well, the entire group succeeding in smaller ways: Pike, Studi, Stephen Lang, Jess Plemons, Timothee Chalamet, Adam Beach, Peter Mullan, Ben Foster.  The cinematography was beautiful, the Western atmosphere was spot on, and the raw brutality of the time was firmly captured.  The story tended to be a little redundant and unsettling, but then so was the West; an ‘A’ for accuracy.  This isn’t a film for everyone; it’s quite heavy and crafted in a very specific way.  But count me among those who like it anyhow, and count me in to watch Cooper’s next project, Antlers.  It’s a horror movie done in his natural, dark style; should be a rousing good time.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Bright

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Ayer

Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramirez

Year: 2017

David Ayer is on some kind of a roll, with Suicide Squad and now Bright, two action-packed fantasies starring Will Smith, two movies that completely bombed.  One was supposed to be a big deal, one is an attempt by Netflix to become a big deal, and both failed miserably.  I won’t blame the director completely; I think quite highly of Fury and I’ve heard only good things about End of Watch, another buddy-cop drama set in L.A.  So Ayer has succeeded before; what happened this time?  The answers are probably too numerous to count, as problems arose around every corner, within every scene.  I don’t think it’s dramatic to say that Bright is one of the worst films of the year, Netflix or wide-release, and should be avoided & forgotten at all costs.

In a world where creatures straight out of a fantasy novel live alongside humans, all bets are off.  Apparently, two thousand years ago, there was a great war, and the orcs sided with the Dark Lord, ultimately losing when their leader was banished from the world.  But time doesn’t heal all wounds, the elves and the humans still remembering the ancient mistake.  Elves are now the wealthy of the city, humans are in the middle, and orcs do the dirty work, racial lines being drawn in blood and no one daring to cross them.  Until now, as Jakoby, an orc, joins the L.A.P.D., teaming up with a reluctant partner named Ward.  The duo is unlucky enough (or prophesied?) to stumble upon an ancient wand that all sides desperate want, a power that is far too strong for any faction to hold alone.

It’s not that Bright is bad, it’s that it’s so bad that you question ever watching a movie again.  Alright, I exaggerate, but Netflix can’t be happy with the product that was released, and it’s sure to tarnish the blossoming reputation of a studio that wants you to take them seriously.  It’s like someone combined Training Day with What Happened to Monday, caked Joel Edgerton in creature makeup, and sprinkled in some magic.  That turns out not to be a good thing, because this film was all over the place.  It was wild but in a dumb way, unique but incomprehensible, funny but kinda like an idiot wrote all the jokes and dialogue, so that you really couldn’t be sure what exactly they were trying to do.  Smith was dead on his feet, Edgerton was all covered up, Edgar Ramirez and Noomi Rapace embarrassed themselves, and I dare you to find someone you know who enjoyed this flop of a film, find them and then stop being their friend.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 


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Movie Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Category : Movie Review

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver

Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson

Year: 2017

From what I can tell, feminists love this film, fanboys want it removed from the canon, and critics were supposedly paid by the studio to give it high praise.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen and read such immediate controversy surrounding a movie, especially one that is made entirely for entertainment purposes.  Star Wars is a legitimate and well-loved universe, it stands completely on its own as one of the best ever made in Hollywood, its sole reason for existence is to be enjoyed by young and old, to survive for decades as a space opera/war story on a grand scale we’ve not seen before.  For those who loved it to call those who didn’t ‘butt hurt’, for those who are angered by it to call those who are not ‘false fans’ seems contrary to the entire spirit of this movie series, to fly in the face of why it was created.  Without distancing myself completely from both sides, because I think they both have valid points, I was able to have fun watching something that was at the same time flawed, so I can’t say I wholly agree with either point of view.  The Last Jedi is a sci-fi flick with problems, but one that endeavors to solve them by the final credits, not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but another part of the greater lore that we need to remember was written, basically, for fun.

Picking up soon after The Force Awakens ends, audiences are thrown directly into battle without any time for preparation, so strap yourselves in.  The First Order has located the Resistance base, and has come in force to crush the rebellion once and for all.  The Rebels mount an escape attempt, but their fighters, led by Poe Dameron, must hold off the Imperial fleet long enough to allow Princess Leia’s transports to get away.  Unfortunately, the plan only half succeeds, and the Empire chases the Resistance through space like a cat chasing a mouse.  Meanwhile, Rey has located Luke Skywalker and attempts to convince him to join his sister, lead the Rebels, and bring back the Jedi.  But Luke remembers his failure in training Ben Solo, an exercise he doesn’t want repeated, and he senses a frightening amount of power in young Rey.  Poe holds off the Empire, Rey learns the ways of the Force, Finn searches for help, and Kylo Ren struggles between choosing the light or the dark, while control of the galaxy hangs in the balance.

It seems ridiculous, but we can’t talk about this film without talking about the controversy of its content.  First, let’s remember that ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’, and that it’s these fans that made the films and stories into the legends they are today.  Without them reading the books, learning the obscure facts, dressing up as Stormtroopers at ComicCon, this franchise isn’t the giant that we now know.  So these “fanboys” need at least that much respect, need to be remembered as the die-hard followers who’ve been with this series since the beginning.  They are upset because this movie is a departure from the norm, because it brushed aside fan theories, because it exhibits a different sense of humor.  Those who haven’t seen Episode IV a thousand times might not understand the gravity of small changes, but to some this is the biggest possible deal, and I’ve tried hard to understand that as I contemplate The Last Jedi, because I don’t care as much as some people do, but that doesn’t mean that their passion is worthless.  And if I sound like I’m siding with those who want this movie stricken from the record, believe me I’m not; I didn’t mind that Rian Johnson took this story in a unique direction, and I still had chills as the final climax shocked the entire theatre.

So I completely understand why some are angry, I totally get why some enjoyed every minute, and I guess I’ll claim to be somewhere in the middle.  This film, especially the first hour, is riddled with flaws.  I quote Bob Wiley, “Simply put; I have problems.”  If that had been stated at the beginning, before the scrolling text, I might have stood up to applaud, to praise someone for being so honest.  The first lines of the film, some throw away words about a transport, are so incredible bad I wanted to slap the actors.  The jokes, especially at the beginning, are juvenile to the point of insulting.  The animal rights activism, the constant new creatures, the lack of traditional fights and fighters, the side actors, every single word out of Laura Dern’s mouth; it wasn’t just bad, it was hideous.  But given time, the ship begins to right itself, if by that point you haven’t given up.  Rey and Ren’s plot is solid, the action with about an hour left is extremely intense, I didn’t mind the choices they made with the big reveals, the music flows perfectly underneath throughout, and by the end I was able to stand up completely satisfied with what I had just seen.  I don’t understand why this has to be an all-or-nothing issue; The Last Jedi is neither the worst nor the best Star Wars feature we’ve been given, and each one that is handed to us is another gift from the cinema gods.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Darkest Hour

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joe Wright

Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn

Year: 2017

This year, I have seen three new movies about Dunkirk: Darkest Hour, Their Finest, and, of course, Dunkirk.  Perhaps this will spell the end to that phenomenal & terrible bit of history being an unknown factoid that only WWII buffs know anything about.  I wouldn’t have guessed that to be the case, but every time in the past few months that I’ve brought up the place/battle/retreat/rescue, I’ve been greeted by blank faces, as people ask me “what’s that?”  Well, hopefully enough people got near a theatre this fall & winter and discovered for themselves this important moment in time, a moment that wasn’t all that long ago, a time that was among the most dangerous in modern remembrance.

Hitler’s armies have begun their conquest of Europe, routing the Belgians, the Dutch, and the French with ease.  Their air attacks are too fast, their tanks are too numerous, their supply lines work to perfection; the Nazis seem an invincible army.  England’s response meets disaster, their entire army defeated and forced back to Dunkirk and Calais, with little hope of returning home.  Without a military, Britain seems poised for surrender, or at least peace terms that will allow them to sit out the War while the Germans & Italians do as they will with the free world.  But one man, newly elected Prime Minister Winston Churchill, refuses to give up the fight, will not accept that the boys of Dunkirk are lost, or that Londoners want their government to wave the white flag and become Hitler’s vassals, not while there is breath left in their bodies and bullets left in their guns.

One of the strongest aspects of the film, and one that I will take away from my viewing experience, is how awesome Churchill’s oratory powers were, how his speeches had the power to rouse a nation and to defy an unstoppable and wholly evil tyrant.  What a voice he was during this time, and then what a leader, a historical figure with few equals.  Oldman’s transformation to play him is unbelievable, and I know we may get tired of praising actors for wearing makeup and expecting Oscars, but this time I don’t think there is any doubt that he is deserving of all the praise he gets.  James & Mendelsohn as supporters were great as well; don’t miss out on watching basically everything they appear in, from James’ The Exception to Mendelsohn’s Mississippi Grind.  And we can’t forget the director of Darkest Hour, Joe Wright, who you might know: Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina.  His paces are deliberate, but I am a huge fan, and that might be the biggest criticism that anyone has about this film, that it’s a bit slow, but I didn’t mind in the least; I could have watched days and days of these events playing out and turned off the movie a very happy man.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Godless

Category : Movie Review

Director: Scott Frank

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels

Year: 2017

I don’t review TV, that’s not my interest and it’s not my focus.  Also, I don’t watch a ton, I’ve always just stuck to a few reality shows just for fun, and I’ve successfully stayed away from the dramas and comedies that American audiences can’t seem to avoid watching.  Recently, with the emergence of HBO and then of Netflix, TV has become something more solid, approaching film if never quite catching up, and some of it has demanded my attention.  I watch OITNB, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, a few like that, and I’ve learned to let them entertain me without having to critique them too harshly.  Also, in the past and present, I’ve stumbled upon a few short-run shows that I enjoyed very much, like Band of Brothers, Firefly, Rome, and Godless.  Here’s my review of the latter, a short-run mini-series that feels like a long-running movie, and something that is easy to consume.

Frank Griffin is a bandit king known throughout the Southwest in the post-Civil War days of the American Wild West.  He & his band of 30 men terrorize when and where they will, specializing in the robbery of mining towns and their new-found riches.  Griffin’s closest soldier, Roy Goode, a young man who he considers a son, inexplicably turns on Frank, stealing his latest take and shooting his left arm clean off.  Now Griffin will stop at nothing to kill Goode, even murdering an entire town in retribution.  Roy hides out on a ranch near Le Belle, New Mexico, a town that lost all its menfolk in an accident, so is now solely populated by women and a sheriff who is losing his eyesight.  As Griffin comes for Goode, the townsfolk try to revive their mine, not knowing that death has cast its shadow.

Godless is one of the best Westerns I’ve ever seen, on TV or otherwise, rivaling Lonesome Dove with its quality.  Now, both are mini-series and both are great, but they are actually very different.  Lonesome Dove is on an epic scale, while Godless focuses on the lives affected by Goode’s decision on on the fate of this one town.  But both weave together many different characters to create a tapestry of events that showcase the rough existence of the West, the fragile lives that were snuffed out so often and so quickly.  The acting is fair, it’s not going to blow your mind, but the characters are awesome, and the plot is so classic it immediately feels extremely comfortable.  What surprised me most was the cinematography, and the way each scene was paid special attention.  That’s what happens when you only need to focus on seven episodes, you can really devote time to getting it right.  And they did, this is a genre flick done correctly, and done incredibly well.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 


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Movie Review – Stronger

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson

Year: 2017

Jake Gyllenhaal always seems to be making a run at an Oscar; I think that’s simply because he’s extremely talented and in his prime.  He’s one of our brightest young stars, proving himself over & over again, only getting better as he ages slightly.  His newest attempt at awards is in Stronger, a film that has the subject matter to back up a deep run.  It’s the Boston Marathon bombing, it’s still fresh in our minds, and it’s a smart topic for a movie that hopes to make an impact.  Marky Mark tried it last year with Patriots Day to some solid success, Peter Berg being the true-life king he is.  This story gets a little more personal, helping us to see the individuals affected by terrorism, focusing our attention so we can truly understand.

Jeff Bauman is the quintessential Bostonian, from his love of the Red Sox to his thick accent.  He loves his family, drinking at the local bar, and has been on & off again with his beautiful girlfriend Erin.  She’s running the Marathon, so Jeff swears that he’ll see her at the finish line; he’s not always been so good at keeping his promises.  But he’s determined to keep this one, and he shows up with a sign to cheer her on.  Jeff is unlucky enough to stand right next to the bomb that is detonated, losing his legs in an instant and changing his life forever.  As he recovers from his injuries and attempts to find a life for a hero figure who can’t walk, Jeff will be forced to reconsider everything he’s ever known, and to accept that no one stands alone.

Gyllenhaal was the perfect choice for this role, he’s the exact guy who can pull off this character.  He doesn’t exactly look like Jeff, but that’s OK, his acting prowess can make us believe anything he’d like us to.  He plays the part with a heavy does of emotion, drawing audiences in, allowing us to live this story even if we’d rather not.  And Maslany is strong as well, though I think I liked her even better in Two Lovers and a Bear.  The family is funny, the tension is real, the flashbacks are painful; most everything was done right.  The only real criticism I have is that, basically, the movie is a little boring.  It’s repetitive and slow after about 30 minutes in, so once you get hooked there’s nothing to stop you from slipping right back off.  And I did, I faded away from the pull, and it cost me my interest in what was going on.  I still hold that Stronger is a good movie with great acting, I just can’t recommend it with a passion, or over some of the other, better, Oscar-caliber films of this year.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Wind River

Category : Movie Review

Director: Taylor Sheridan

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham

Year: 2017

Taylor Sheridan is, at this moment, one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood, with three smash successes in a row: Sicario, Hell or High Water, Wind River.  But in his latest project, he takes on the director’s role as well, something he has only tried once years ago to get his feet wet.  No Villeneuve or Mackenzie this time to mold his script into a fine film, the movie rests squarely on his shoulders.  As an amateur, the usual course of action is to borrow heavily from another film, stick to a very simply story, or hire amazing, veterans actors to cover up any stumbles you might have along the way.  Sheridan didn’t really do any of those, taking a huge chance instead and banking on his own talent to see him through.  The result is middling.

It takes hard people to live in the mountains of Wyoming, hard people who are used to the constant struggle between life and death.  Cory Lambert knows all about that; he is a hunter and tracker for Fish & Wildlife, killing predators who prey upon the local ranchers’ livestock.  He can follow a mountain lion anywhere, and he can follow a man as well, a skill that is about to come in handy.  Cory comes upon the body of a young girl, someone he knew, and the FBI is called in to investigate this murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation.  The agent’s name is Jane Banner, she’s in over her head, but with Cory’s help the pair might have a chance of solving the case.  But it’s no easy task upon the frigid northern landscape; prints fade, witnesses stay silent, and death waits around every corner.

There is a bit of Sicario crime thriller in this film, a bit of Hell or High Water neo-Western violence as well, but Wind River also delivers some original content, touching on the abduction of women, the depression affecting Native Americans, and the evil within the hearts of men.  It’s actually a tougher movie to witness than I had expected, with blood and rape and a cruel sadness that’s hard to swallow.  All of that Sheridan did right, even layering in a backstory to help us understand Cory’s personality and why he needs to find this girl’s killer.  But that’s also where the problems start.  The dialogue is too heavy, Renner given far too many long speeches that don’t suit his character or his talent level.  Olsen holds her own, but she’s also not an amazing actor, isn’t capable of shouldering a heavy load.  Sheridan’s inexperience shows, he gives too much of the lead to his leads, he doesn’t know exactly how to rein things in when they need a good yank, and ultimately his movie waxes and wanes between good and problematic far too often.  There are some great moments, you get a peak of starlight every once in a while, but Wind River can’t compare to Hell or High Water, and so it left me with a slight taste of disappointment.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Disaster Artist

Category : Movie Review

Director: James Franco

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco

Year: 2017

You know your ridiculously horrendous cult classic has reached a whole new level when Hollywood comedians want to create a making-of film for a new generation of movie buffs, just so that they can also enjoy how awful your attempt at making a motion picture actually was.  The Room is known as the best bad movie ever filmed, Tommy Wiseau’s pet project crashing & burning immediately, but somehow rising from the ashes to become something that millions have found entertaining, if not in the exact way it was originally intended.  Franco’s homage will bring The Room back into the spotlight in a big way, hopefully pushing a whole new wave of audiences into theatres to enjoy this piece of cinematic history, keeping the spirit alive a little longer.

This is the semi-true story of Tommy and Greg, two friends who wanted to be actors who decided not to take no for an answer.  Both were struggling in San Francisco, so they took a leap of faith and moved to L.A., where they hoped their careers would take off.  Tommy had money, somehow, and so he paid for everything, including an apartment the duo shared, but the roles didn’t come rolling in, probably because they were both talentless.  But that wasn’t going to stop them, Tommy would just spend 6 millions dollars on funding his own film company, directing his own movie, starring, of course, him.  It would become the worst movie ever made, a complete dud, but a future success in an entirely different and unpredictable way.

As funny as The Room is, The Disaster Artist just kicks it up a notch, or at least kicks it over a category, becoming a comedy about a flop that’s funny because it’s true.  Franco pulls off Wiseau with a flare, nailing the accent, becoming the caricature, losing himself completely is a role that was seemingly made for him.  Because he’s not a great actor, neither is his brother, but they work here, mostly because you can tell that they loved pulling apart this film.  They hit all the details, from the football to the florist’s dog, from the multiple title credits to the embarrassing sex scenes.  You could possibly watch this without watching what it’s based on and still find it funny, but I wouldn’t recommend that; The Room is just too necessary, and it’ll help you find the humor in the little moments in The Disaster Artist.  Watch for a while after the movie ends too, there’s more to see, and each moment is precious when it comes to the insanity that is this classic.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆