The Disaster Artist (2017)
When I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought it was just going to be just another James Franco and Seth Rogen disaster of a movie. I feel like James Franco is a very talented actor who has made many terrible choices when it comes to the films that he decides to be a part of. I think that he has this need to want to be funny all of the time, when in reality, he is a much better serious actor than comedic actor. He seems to not take his career very seriously.
I blame Seth Rogen for James Franco’s often wasted talent. The two are best friends and it seems like Rogen has sucked Franco into the world of stupid and crude humor. Sometimes it works for them, but usually it does not. Either way, James Franco belongs in films opposite heavy hitting actors like Robert De Niro and Frances McDormand, like he was in City by the Sea (2002). He rises to the occasion and does his best work when he is surrounded by talent. His skillset is dumbed way down when he tries to be funny and is the most talented person in the room.
James Franco’s little brother Dave Franco has followed in his big brother’s footprints. Dave got his break in comedy and often, seems more believable than James when it comes to crude and stupid humor. Dave is likable, but is only famous because of his older bro. Dave lacks the acting gift that his brother continues to take for granted.
Needless to say, I waited to see The Disaster Artist on DVD.
The movie is based on a true story about two unlikely friends who move to Hollywood to try to become big movie stars. After they fail desperately, they decide to make their own movie together to try to get famous even though they are in hopelessly over their heads. The Disaster Artist is the story of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero and how they came to make the movie The Room (2003).
The movie was directed by James Franco and the noteworthy cast includes James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Jacki Weaver, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Jason Mantzoukas, Melanie Griffith, Bob Odenkirk, and Tom Franco.
It is almost as if James Franco and Seth Rogen were sitting around one day, likely smoking pot, and they thought as a joke, it would be funny to make a movie about the worst movie ever made. Then, they went ahead and did it.
The movie The Room, The Disaster Artist is about the making of, has become a cult classic and apparently, widely known as one of the worst movies ever made. Ironically, The Disaster Artist won some awards for mimicking one of the worst movies ever made. James Franco won a Golden Globe for his role in the film. Let that sink in for a moment.
James Franco likely would have been nominated for an Academy Award for The Disaster Artist, but has had some bad publicity about sexual misconduct, as of late. This is easily why the Academy left him out.
Like the title suggests, The Disaster Artist is a true disaster. James Franco’s character is unusually bizarre and humorous, and has a dreadfully annoying voice with a terribly bogus accent. However, after a while, the voice is pretty comical. He played his senseless character very well. I am not sure that is saying much though. James Franco delivers a grand performance of being awful.
It is a tiny bit weird seeing the Franco brothers acting opposite each other, but also likable. Because of their dumb characters, it was just stupid overall.
The fact that James Franco directed did not mean a whole lot in this movie. I think it just says more about how he does not even try to be good anymore.
The film was cheap because it was trying to be cheap. But, it was still cheap and less than B-rated cheap.
Zac Efron and Josh Hutcherson both had fun cameos.
When Seth Rogen tries to be serious, it does not work. Serious is out of his league and his desperate attempt to mask this, bleeds through. This makes his character less believable and therefore takes away from the film.
It is worth noting that Dave Franco and Seth Rogen have been in 5 movies together and James Franco and Seth Rogen have made 6 movies together, excluding television and documentaries. This is not similar to Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn getting cast together often because it works. This is more like Adam Sandler getting his buddies together to make a comedy to pay the bills. It gets old and worn out. Still, I think it would be fun to watch the Franco Brothers get together and make a serious movie as a way to try again.
Once again, for James Franco, the talent is there, but he just does not channel it into the right work. The Disaster Artist is in fact, a misadventure full of squandered talent and wasted time. Is it skill to duplicate a train wreck and the whole process of a train wreck? Not in my book. It is entertaining at times, however.
I rate this movie a 3 on a scale of 1-10.
Here is a list movies that I recommend that are better than this one:
Ed Wood (1994)
City by the Sea (2002)
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
127 Hours (2010)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Get Shorty (1995)
The Aviator (2004)
If you liked the movie This is the End (2013), then you might enjoy the upcoming film, Neighbors.
Neighbors is a comedy about a couple with a newborn baby who get stuck living next door to a fraternity house.
The movie was directed by Nicholas Stoller and the noteworthy cast includes Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Zac Efron, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lisa Kudrow, Chasty Ballesteros, Jake Johnson, and Bobby Moynihan.
I’m not a huge fan of Seth Rogen, but for some reason I continue to see his movies. This is the End certainly had its moments. Neighbors looks like it could at least be good for a few laughs.
The film is set to release on 05/09/14.
Now You See Me (2013)
Now You See Me is a film about a group of 4 magicians brought together by an unknown person. They are convinced to become a team and eventually they land their own show in Las Vegas. When one of their tricks involves stealing a large amount of money, they become part of a cat and mouse chase with the FBI.
The film was directed by Louis Leterrier. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common, and David Warshofsky.
Now You See Me hypnotized me with its excitement. It was certain to amaze. The cast of characters were all clever and quite entertaining. For a while I was caught up in the illusion of the promise of something great. Eventually I was let down. The ride was a thrill. The destination however, was a disappointment.
I enjoyed seeing Eisenberg and Harrelson teamed up together again for the first time since Zombieland (2009).
This is the 4th time that Freeman and Caine have been in the same film. The previous 3 films were The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Now You See Me could be Dave Franco’s best performance to date.
It was nice to see Laurent in another American made movie. This is the first film that I have seen her in anything since Inglourious Basterds (2009).
The story was unfinished and sort of lacked a point. The movie became dependent on sleight of hand in order to entertain. You can only one-up a magic trick so many times before it starts to get a little worn out.
The ending of the film acted like it was a big grand conclusion when in reality it just fizzled. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was fun and amusing. It was worth seeing, just not in the theatre. The film is like any magic trick, once you know the secret behind it, it is no longer exciting.
I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Now You See Me (2013) (click on the title for my full review)
The movie is about a group of famous magicians turned bank robbers. It appears that the sleight of hand in the film will mess with your mind and keep you entertained just like real magicians are supposed to do.
The casting is a reunion of sorts. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are together again for the first time since they were teamed up in Zombieland (2009). Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are reunited for the first times since the Dark Knight Trilogy. The film also has Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Michael Kelly, Elias Koteas, rapper/actor: Common, and James Franco’s little brother Dave Franco (proved himself in 21 Jump Street (2012).
It looks like a cross between Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and The Prestige (2006). Looks like it could be missing something, but maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.