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8/10
Not a Mockery, It's a Celebration of Two Men Pursuing Their Dream
Jared_Andrews24 December 2017
Going into the theater, I was under the impression that this was a silly James Franco and Seth Rogen movie that made fun of The Room, a legendary bad movie. That's not what the Disaster Artist is at all. Instead, it celebrates The Room. It celebrates Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, their passion, and their pursuit of a dream.

Sure, The Disaster Artist comments on how The Room bombed terribly; it had to acknowledge this. It comments on the utter lack of acting talent that Tommy and Greg possessed; it had to acknowledge this too. But it handles these details with such delicacy and care that I never felt that it was putting down the characters. Actually, it seemed that the film admired them. Even when the world told them to quit, they never gave up on themselves or each other. The message is surprisingly inspiring.

The movie becomes something more than mere mockery because of the way it handles the relationship between Tommy and Greg with such care and affection. The two genuinely liked each other and saw each other in ways that no one else did. Greg certainly did not understand all of Tommy's methods and decisions, but he understood Tommy's good intentions. Establishing this buddy connection is crucial later in the movie.

After Tommy writes The Room and they begin filming, Tommy expresses his idiosyncrasies in full force. While the film crew sees him as a confusing weirdo, we know there's something more. Despite his utter incompetence in directing and acting and all aspects of filmmaking, we still root him. And we still root for Greg, ever the supportive friend. Tommy makes absurd and confounding choices that don't make sense to Greg and they don't make sense to anyone else either. Even one of Tommy's explanations was simply "people do crazy things." Still, Greg remains loyal.

With as strange as Wiseau behaves, capturing his eccentricities would clearly prove challenging. Give James Franco credit for capturing Wiseau's weirdness in character without ever devolving into derisive mockery. Franco captures his gait, stiff shoulders, hunched posture, indeterminable and inconsistent accent, and his laugh. Watching The Room and hearing Tommy Wiseau laugh, I thought that it sounded completely fake. I chalked it up to another instance of poor acting. But after seeing Wiseau in interviews, I realized that it was his real laugh. To him, the laugh wasn't poor acting because that's what he thinks a genuine laugh sounds like.

Seeing and hearing Wiseau behaving as himself explains a lot about his behavior in The Room. He's just an interesting and very unusual guy. His acting and the acting of others in his movie is still atrocious, but it shifts from startlingly and confusingly bad to understandably bad. And more importantly, seeing the real Tommy makes his movie all the more fun.

You don't need to see The Room to enjoy The Disaster Artist. Would it help? Sure. Seeing The Room first makes many of the inside jokes made in The Disaster Artist funnier and gives a clearer sense of how confoundingly weird the movie truly is. Words cannot do it justice. To understand, you have to see The Room for yourself. I recommend seeing both.
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8/10
James Franco breaks new ground
danielledecolombie8 December 2017
Ed Wood was Stanley Kubrick compared to Tommy Wiseau but James Franco treats him with such loving care that we can connect with his humanity without letting his eccentricities pull us away from him. That, I think, was the most moving aspect of this outrageous true life tale. James Franco is spectacular keeping it true and real in a character that lent itself for caricature. Dave Franco, James's brother in real life is the most believable instant soulmate of the James Dean wannabe. Seth Rogen is also perfect as the one knows that they're in for a major disaster and yet sees the whole thing to the bitter end. I must confess I hadn't heard of The Room but now it's on top of my list of films I want to see next.
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8/10
A funny, sincere and heartfelt story of chasing your dreams.
jackcwelch2318 November 2017
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. A comprehensive look at the making of what might be the most perplexing piece of cinema ever. I was not disappointed. James Franco is so spot on in his portrayal of Tommy's quirks and character its actually surreal. His first scene having him enter an acting class with the confidence of a rockstar but the talent of a fingerless piano player. Almost all of his endearingly strange lines had the audience laughing their heads off. I tip my hat to him and hopefully the Oscars come calling. He deserves to be nominated.

That presents a problem as well. He makes Tommy too likeable. While he was humanised to a certain extent and some solid insight was given into his motivations and feelings, it has to be acknowledged the real Tommy was far more obnoxious, manipulative and plain nasty. It was hard to present an accurate portrait of him as James Franco focuses more on his quirks and his charm and his tyrannical side was a bit glossed over. Nonetheless I gave him a pass and still loved watching him. And hey, you can't say Tommy isn't sincere. Other changes were made to the story 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, though it wouldn't have hurt to be a little longer either. 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 like the real Greg was so likeable and warm you just wanted him to succeed.

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 famous actors popping up left right and centre. The making of the movie is the most enjoyable part and is seriously funny. One of the biggest laughs in the cinema was Josh Hutcherson's first appearance as the room's most peculiar character, Denny, goofy haircut and shirt intact. It was also great to see that Ari Graynor and Jacki Weaver, playing Juliette Danielle's Lisa and Carolyn Minnott's 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. No water or air conditioning combined with gratuitous belly button sex would have probably broken others but they soldiered on.

Overall it's a hilarious and genuinely moving account of an insane true story. It softens the darker edges a bit too much and I would have loved it to have included some even crazier parts of the book that didn't make the cut but what we're left with is still an excellent and enjoyable movie. OH HI MARK!
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8/10
Loving pastiche of a cult film catastrophe
TwistedMango28 November 2017
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?
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7/10
"I Do Not Choose To Be a Common Man"
paul-allaer9 December 2017
"The Disaster Artist" (2017 release; 103 min.) brings the real-life story of how the 2003 cult movie "The Room" got made. As the movie opens, a number of current day movie stars, including Kirsten Bell, Adam Scott. J.J. Abrams and others gush about the virtues of this "so bad, that it's so good" movie. We then shift to "San Francisco, July 13, 1998" when Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero meet at an acting class and strike up a friendship. Later that year, they decide on w him to move to Los Angeles, where Tommy somehow has kept an apartment. Tommy and Greg pursue their dream of becoming an actor (inspired by James Dean, among others), but when it's becoming clear that nobody wants to do anything with them, they decide to make their own film... At this point, we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is a labor of love primarily by James Franco, who directs, co-produces, and stars as Tommy. His brother Dave co-stars as Greg. The real life story is so beyond anything believable that if this were a work of fiction, it would immediately be dismissed as just that. Let me state upfront that I have not seen "The Room" (although I see it frequently listed as a midnight listing at my local art-house theater). From everything we witness in "The Disaster Artist", Tommy is so incredibly inapt yet convinced of his own talent, it reminds me of those American Idol auditions back in the day where certain contestants think they are super good yet they were horrible. Another similarity is the Meryl Streep movie "Florence Foster Jenkins" (about a real life wealthy NY socialite who thinks she sings well and nobody dares to contradict her, leading to a notorious Carnegie Hall concert). James Franco does an outstanding job in the lead role, and I'm going to predict that he will get a number of nominations in the upcoming awards season. It isn't until the very end of the movie (when scenes from the original "The Room" are played in parallel with the recreated scenes for "The Disaster Artist") that one gets a sense how incredibly meticulous Franco has been in recreating them down to the last detail. Absolutely amazing. Last but certainly not least, the movie features a bunch of other well-known performers, some of them in very noticeable roles (such as Seth Rogen and Alison Brie), and others in "blink and you'll miss it" roles (such as Sharon Stone, Zoey Deutch, Zac Efron, etc.). In an early scene of the movie, when Tommy and Greg become unlikely friends, they head over to Tommy's place, and Greg notices a prominent sign on the apartment's wall: "I Do Not Choose To Be a Common Man". Whatever you think of Tommy, he certainly is not your "common man"!

"The Disaster Artist" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati on not one, but two screens (a rarity). The Friday evening screening where i saw this at was attended very nicely, I;'m happy to report. The audience roared with laughter on many occasions. The positive word-of-mouth this movie surely will generate makes it likely to have long legs at the box office (at least within the art-house theater circuit). If you are in the mood for something truly different, I encourage you to check out "The Disaster Artist", be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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8/10
An absolute must-watch for fans of The Room
Jeremy_Urquhart20 November 2017
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.
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6/10
Hollow
Joetampa9017 December 2017
There was an odd buzz surrounding this film, that in my opinion was totally unmerited. It just scratches the surface of the story and embellishes some things. I'm someone who is not a fan of The Room because, well it's really bad. That being said I really wanted to see what Franco had to offer here as far as unpacking what the hell caused the debacle of a film. Really Disaster Artist was an empty look and borders on biography and parody. I found the end to be very very overdone and from what I know, entirely fabricated.
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8/10
A Hilarious Dramedy About The Art Of How Not To Make A Movie
TheJediWay915 November 2017
"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 clichés 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
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10/10
An incredible REAL Hollywood MOVIE
Jared90018 December 2017
The Disaster Artist is absolutely incredible. I don't want to go into detail because honestly this is one of those movies that is best seen relatively blind. What I will say is that the performances are great, the chemistry between Tommy and Greg is pitch perfect, and Seth Rogen and the rest of the supporting cast do an excellent job. The tone of the film is absolutely spot on. The last scene of this movie, and what comes after the end card, absolutely blew me away; this film is so much fun. I just saw this movie, and I already want to see it again. I rarely say this, but I can't think of literally anything this movie could've done differently that would've made it better. Everything it set out to do is done incredibly well. I highly, highly recommend this film. 10/10
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6/10
Surprisingly disappointing considering its source material and the talent involved
2001ASOfan10 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I thought for sure "The Disaster Artist" would be a slam-dunk based on advance buzz and reviews, and eagerly got out and saw it when it went wide and opened in my hometown this weekend. I enjoyed the heck out of roughly the first third of the film, but then, when it got around to the lengthy section depicting the making of "The Room," the "best worst film ever made," and the supposed mayhem of the actual real-life production crew and cast, I thought it fell flat and became a cartoon riff on what likely actually did happen on the real-life set. For some reason, Seth Rogen, who I normally get a big kick out of (though sometimes his trademark snark wears out its welcome) irritated me, as did other actors laying it on thick with the script's "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" too-obvious reaction to the mystery of Tommy Wiseau and his approach to life and filmmaking: I'm sure in real life crew and cast members' reactions to actually working on the "The Room" had a lot more complicated depth to them-- especially since they were being paid well and their checks were clearing at the bank as the production proceeded. Instead, we get this obvious, wafer-thin, surface and stereotypical reaction to Wiseau, with well-known actors doing small parts and winking at the camera as if to say "isn't this funny"--which works for some films but just doesn't work here. Thankfully, the ending section of the film, depicting the premiere of "The Room" and all that's happened since, almost saves it, but it had flagged too much by then for me to feel I got my money's (or time's) worth. I like the Franco brothers, am truly a fan of their wide variety of mainstream and independent film efforts overall (I'm one of the few who actually liked "Why Him?" and "This is The End," two polarizing comedies that either brought belly laughs or annoyed the heck out people) but "The Disaster Artist" is not either of their best efforts. It's clearly meant as a star-studded-cameo playtime lark, but a lark that those same actors likely enjoyed more than we do as an audience--and in my opinion it doesn't serve the real-life people it depicts very well, either, except to make viewers curious about the real "The Room" film, and about the people involved in that production. I was surprised that in the end the Francos and all involved in "The Disaster Artist" seemed to be laughing at--and not affectionately with--the real Tommy Wiseau and actors/crew of "The Room."
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8/10
The Disaster Artist is a Funny and Informative Look at a Spectacularly Bad Movie
CANpatbuck36649 December 2017
The Room is one of those movies that is like a right of passage. If you're a fan of campy movies or you want to call yourself a movie lover, you have to watch it. I watched it just to prepare for The Disaster Artist. I thought there's no way its as bad as people say. Ya... it really is. I didn't fall in love with it as Franco and his friends obviously have but I wasn't angry while I was watching it. There are some moments where you can't help but laugh (I did naaaat! Oh hi Mark) and there were many times where I couldn't help but cover my face because of how awkward it gets (any part where anyone imitates a chicken). But it is the definition of awful film making. I just felt sorry for everyone involved, they obviously threw everything they had into it, they just didn't have the required talent to pull it off. Having seen The Disaster Artist, those suspicions are now confirmed.

The Disaster Artist is really Greg's account of how crazy the process of making The Room was and how his friendship with Tommy developed. I think you'll get the most out of this movie if you have seen The Room because with all the behind-the-scenes stories, it gives context to how the bizarre choices in the movie happened. This is effective because you can't help but ask yourself who thought making this movie was a good idea? after you've seen The Room. From Tommy's new style of on camera love making to why they replicated the alley from outside of the studio to film in rather than the actual alley, you find out why. I've seen movies that delve in deeper to the process of how to make a movie but I enjoyed this all the same.

The biggest surprise of this movie is they are so heartfelt when they really delve into Tommy's psyche and his relationship with Greg. I have to echo Seth Rogen when he said that it would have been really easy to just relentlessly mock Wiseau and call him a freak. There's a scene with Bob Odenkirk and a room full of acting students where they address that. But Tommy wants to be the hero so badly that you feel sorry for him. Although he isn't always the good guy, he really went for it and that is admirable. His friendship with Greg also is heartwarming. At the beginning of the movie, every time Greg was hanging out with Tommy I wanted to yell STRANGER DANGER! But you can see why these guys would be friends and when Greg consoles Tommy in the end, its a really nice moment and it highlights one of the big strengths of the film.

If you haven't seen The Room, the first thing that's going to grab your attention in the trailer is how wacky James Francos is playing Tommy Wiseau. If you have seen The Room, you know how close he is to Tommy as he nails his accent, his style and his weird mannerisms. Some people have suggested a Best Actor nomination but I don't know if I'd go that far. He gives a funny and engaging lead performance. Dave Franco is just as good as Greg Sistero. He's great at playing a very innocent and starstruck young actor who finds a kindred spirit in Tommy. Dave's a better actor than he's given credit for and he's both funny and sincere in this movie. Past those two lead performances, this movie is a parade of famous actors in supporting roles or cameos. Seth Rogen is really funny as Sandy, he's the one who calls Tommy out on his bizarre behaviour the most. Alison Brie is decent in her small role as Amber. Jacki Weaver and Ari Graynor were both amusing and sweet. My favourites of the cameos were Zac Efron and Josh Hutcherson as a way to intense Chis-R and a completely miscast Denny.

The hype around this movie was enormous and while I am generally a fan of the Franco brothers, Rogen and they're troop of friends, the only negative is that while this movie is funny, it still fell a little short in the comedy department. I got a couple of really big laughs but it was mostly just chuckles throughout. Almost all of the best parts are when they are directly skewering a specifically awful part of The Room so the parts exclusively dealing with Tommy and Greg outside of the movie can drag a little.

The Disaster Artist is a love letter to The Room and all the unintentional laughter it inspires. It gives you some insight into how this movie caught lightening in a bottle in delivering a horrific product that people could still enjoy. To add on that, you get some good performances, a laundry list of funny celebrities making cameos and a nice story of enduring friendship. The Disaster Artist isn't my favourite movie of the year but I enjoyed it enough to give it an 8/10. I'd recommend it to fans of The Room, campy cinema or the Judd Apatow stable of comedians.
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Franco's meta-take on the infamous The Room
gortx8 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps the hardest thing about judging THE DISASTER ARTIST is how to suss out how much of this odd bio-pic is sincere, and how much of it is James Franco putting on another of his art projects. The story of Tommy Wiseau (played by Franco himself) is intrinsically fascinating. A forty-something immigrant passes himself off as a twenty-something from New Orleans and moves to Hollywood with an actual twenty-something (Greg Sestero, played by Franco's real brother Dave). Each aspire to become actors. Together, they make a vanity project which becomes notorious as a 'So Bad It's Good' film classic. I personally drove past that curious Highland Boulevard billboard hundreds of times, shaking my head all the while.

DISASTER starts off promisingly. Franco seems earnest in trying to tell Wiseau and Sestero's off-beat Hollywood wannabe tale. The brothers Franco use their kinship to give their on screen friendship an extra bit of verisimilitude. As a Director, Franco manages to balance the satirical and the sensitive portrayal of the duo pretty nicely. And, then we get to the making of THE ROOM itself.

From there on, DISASTER takes a turn for the worse as the movie shunts aside much of the goodwill towards Wiseau in favor of mockery. Chief among the flaws is Seth Rogan as a fictionalized version of script supervisor Sandy Schklair (the actual Sandy quit during the shoot, and, in a bizarre turn of events actually tried to claim credit for Directing much of THE ROOM). Rogan comes off as a wise-ass who openly mocks Wiseau and the film from the get-go (Schklair has said he has trouble with the portrayal). Rogan's version of Sandy becomes a stand-in for all those who attend THE ROOM's midnight screening in order to hurl wisecracks at the hapless Wiseau. The fact that Wiseau now claims that his is "in" on the joke, doesn't make it any less cruel.

It's unfortunate that Franco lets this aspect take over DISASTER ARTIST. There is much to praise, including Franco's own uncanny mimicry of Wiseau's seemingly inimitable style (Franco's accent does slip a bit during the 'Directing' scenes). Parts of it seem to genuinely have an affinity for Wiseau and his dreams, and the depiction of the making of a low budget feature has a certain ring of truth to it, despite exaggerations.

And, yet... The big premiere scene isn't credible (I've been to many a disastrous screening, and, they don't spontaneously turn into a Rocky Horror style midnight event; my suspicions backed up by first person accounts of attendees). Why the Bryan Cranston scene was invented is never explained (to get in yet another celebrity cameo?). And, why maintain the illusion of a "mystery" surrounding Wiseau's origins? He's from Poland and he was in his late 40s when THE ROOM was made. Franco's brave decision to end the body of the movie with side by side clips of his recreations of scenes from THE ROOM with actual ones is quite meta (as good as they were, I have to say my attention still drifted more to Wiseau's originals than to the Franco ones; There's still something to be said about authenticity - even if incompetent).

A large group of millennials sat in the back row of the screening I attended. They seemed primed to mock Wiseau at every turn. And, on cue, they openly guffawed at every poorly pronounced word out of Franco/Wiseau's mouth. They cheered and jeered at all the infamously poor scenes recreated from THE ROOM. Even as someone who loves 'So Bad It's Good' movies myself, I found much of their reaction unsavory. They weren't just cheerfully playing along with Wiseau's amateurishness, they were ridiculing his accent, his very gall at trying. Unfortunately, I felt some of that crept into Franco's movie, even if semi-inadvertently. Compare that with ED WOOD where Tim Burton and screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander openly showed great affection for that hapless filmmaker and his cockeyed dream. Franco's performance is deeper than Depp's in that film, but, it still can't save THE DISASTER ARTIST from its failings.
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4/10
"I did naht like it...I did nahhht."
RussHog16 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is not as fun as just watching the movie The Room. It does have some interesting moments, such as showing how James Dean famously yelled, "You're tearing me apart!" and now that factored into the backstory behind the film. It shows how Tommy had a strange amount of money and made a really bad movie with it. The film never really gives us any characters to root for, however. They come across as selfishly motivated for fame as opposed to being motivated to use their powers to help other people. This isn't really bad - it just means its hard to care for the characters. There is also a moving camera, and it gave me motion sickness.
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4/10
Disappointed With This Much Anticipated Film
Daedsikcaj26 December 2017
I may come back and flesh this review out a bit sometime in the future. For now I'll just give you the broad strokes.

I had been looking forward to this movie since it was announced. I tracked the development with a lot of interest and was really looking forward to it, not necessarily as a fan of The Room but as a fan of films of that ilk.

I'm a big fan of bad movies and cult classics. I'll take an entertaining B horror flick with an original idea over a piece of pretentious Oscar bait any day of the week. I'll gladly take a low budget movie with good writing over a big budget movie who's dialogue serves only as a tool to set up the next car chase. John Carpenter movies the cheesier the better(even (or perhaps especially)Dark Star), anything involving Jim Henson / Frank Oz that wasn't well received, (Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors, Labyrinth) anything involving the effects of Tom Savini (beats the hell out of CGI), anything featuring the acting talents of Bruce Campbell or Jeffrey Combs (though no set has ever been large enough to contain both presences at once); I love movies that don't try to be odd or different but are genuine and authentically unusual, movies that have heart and take chances and never take themselves too seriously. I love a good Best Picture winner every now and then but most of the time I don't want something heavy and thought provoking, I just want to have fun and escape. I'd rather see Chucky than Billy Bibbit on my TV, I know I'll be happier. I wanna watch movies like Dead Alive (aka Braindead), not the artsier Heavenly Creatures. I prefer Wolf of Wall Street Scorsese to Raging Bull Scorsese. I want Raising Arizona Coen Brothers not No Country for Old Men Coen Brothers. I'll take The Hudsucker Proxy over The Shawshank Redemption. I'd rather watch Troll Hunter than The Deer Hunter. I'd rather rewatch Werner Herzog's appearance in Freaks of Nature (another B horror flick) than rewatch one of his less than uplifting films. Sure I could sit there and b.s. and talk about auteurs. I could cite Peter Greenaway movies and dissect and analyze and critique and try to make myself seem more intelligent by watching more artsy garbage, films with bland uneventful stories and ambiguous endings. Camp. Cult classics. Bad movies. That's what I choose to spend my time on today and I don't miss the days when I was younger and insecure when I'd try to see all the award nominated films thinking they were somehow better and buying in to the lie that being in the minority signals good taste, as if a limited release for a movie indicates that it is "real" art and something better than what most theaters are showing. And here we have this very film using that tactic. It demands to be taken seriously. The masses don't have access to but the masses wouldn't understand it. Good taste is in short supply and or so the exclusivity would suggest. This isn't James Franco staring in something goofy with his Hollywood friends, this is him giving it his all and trying to do something more dignified and esteemed. And it's very plain to see that he wants to be taken seriously here. Ironically he is putting this forth as his best work, ironically portraying a real life person who's creation was never to be taken seriously or given the regard he wanted his work to receive. And I just have to say, I don't see a performance that merits the praise that Franco thinks he is due. I think that Franco's expectations of critical recognition is as delusional as the expectations the real Tommy Wiseau had when believing that his creation, the film The Room was this grand work of art. That film did not receive the accolades Wiseau assumed were its due. It was mocked. It was declared unintentionally funny and clever by accident. . The Disaster Artist doesn't outright mock the Tommy Wiseau. It celebrates his desire to create The Room and to have an impact in Hollywood despite unflinching rejection. And James Franco stated from the start and throughout the marketing of the film during its release that he felt connected to Wiseau and related to his plight.

And because I love bad film and cult classics I wanted so much to like this homage to one of the worst films ever.

So many reviews make the same observation their main focus . The exclusive release of the film and Franco's marketing and publicity stunts that involve him staying in character as if he is setting The Disaster Artist apart from the rest of his body of work, it's all built to foster this talk of critical acclaim for his performance.

And am not seeing it at all. I started to have doubts when I first saw the trailer and when I saw the actual film my fears were confirmed. Franco just can't pull it off. His accent is not believable. Tommy Wiseau I'm sure is not easy to imitate, Franco had his work cut out for him, but for me he just did not get the job done. I did not find him believable or convincing. At no point in the film was I not fully aware that I was watching James Franco wearing prosthetic makeup and struggling to replicate Wiseau's odd accent and mannerisms.

People want to draw a comparison between this and Ed Wood. This is not Ed Wood. This contains absolutely none of the elements that were found in that film. Ed Wood was touching and moving. The Disaster Artist is not moving in the least. Ed Wood harbors a secret and shares the secret obsession that he hides from the world with us audience. He forms a bond with the viewer when he does that. We learn about who he really is and with Tommy Wiseau we still know essentially nothing. Whatever secrets the real Tommy Wiseau keeps from the world, none of those secrets are shared with the audience of The Disaster Artist. We aren't opened up to or given anything personal that would give us cause to feel closeness with or sympathy for this bad director.

There was an Academy Award winning performance in Ed Wood. There is no award winning performance here. Martin Landau WAS Bela Lugosi. It was one of the most believable and memorable performances I have ever seen and likely ever will see. I still remember a friend being upset that Samuel L. Jackson didn't win the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Pulp Ficiton which was the fan favorite choice for the award. I remember sitting next to him in class and saying to him "Have you seen Ed Wood?" Catchphrases and snappy Tarantino dialogue might appeal to movie goers, but if you are talking about the actual art, the performance, the skill, ACTING, Martin Landau was perfection. The Disaster Artist has no Bela Lugosi nor its own Martin Laudau. Nothing against the younger Franco, but Dave Franco wasn't portraying someone with Lugosi's level of character or someone with that much personality. He plays Greg Sistero who is your everyday average man. Dave Franco does fine that role just doesn't allow for a whole lot of flair or much of a personal touch. It just isn't a role that allowed for any kind of greatness.

James Franco's role did however allow for greatness, he just wasn't able to achieve it. Johnny Depp was simply terrific as Ed Wood. Every bit of empathy for Wood that Tim Burton wanted the audience to feel was there because Depp portrayed him as so incredibly lovable. We wanted him to be treated better, for him to find success in film and in life as well. We wanted him to be loved and were made to feel he deserved better than he was treated. When Wood meets his second love, after losing his first love for the secret he shared with us but could not with his partner, and where we accepted him and his friends accepted him but his girl did not, that arrival of a woman who loves him knowing everything it is satisfying. It gives all the sense of fulfillment that we know is not coming via any celebration of his work. We care more deeply than just wishing him professional success. We smile because he finds love and although we see his professional skill may be lacking we know that his heart is not lacking. He deserves happiness and he finds it and we are fulfilled.

We never make friends with Wiseau the way we made friends with Ed Wood because the facts just don't allow for a friendship. There is no trust or opening up and sharing with the audience. The real Tommy Wiseau has kept his origin a secret, the source of his money a secret, we know virtually nothing about him. And maybe that is the reason that The Disaster Artist lacks any real passion. How much can we feel for a person that we never really get to know, someone who never tells us the truth about who he is? How connected are we supposed to feel to someone who tries to keep the things that define him from us?

Perhaps if Tommy Wiseau comes to write a book and really open up and tell people where the 6 million dollars that financed The Room came from, maybe THAT would have been the time to make this movie. Maybe if he ever tells us what country he came from and what his life had been like and what hardships (if any) he had endured, maybe then we'll be given a true story worth listening to and maybe losing ourselves in for a little while. As it is we are left with nothing but a tale that is shallow, superficial, fluff, and meaningless. He wants to be famous, people tell him he never will be, and so he makes his own movie. We never learn anything personal about the main character and as a result we don't know if he's done anything to earn those things. Would we like him if we knew him? Would we want that same dream for him that he wants for himself? The film tells us nothing special, gives nothing but a superficial summary of events and simply changes the angle of the camera that was on the set of The Room It gave no more insight into their lives.

Reading a small article on Wiseau and/or The Room would give no less perspective that this unrevealing empty film.
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5/10
A Watery Synopsis and a Thin, Over-Hyped Leading Performance
drqshadow-60-37988610 March 2018
James Franco takes a swing at the story behind The Room, a film so hopelessly inept it's developed a tenured, loyal cult following. This take has moments, but often seems to merely skim (if not altogether miss) what makes the subject so fascinating. Maybe I'd have better appreciated it if I hadn't read Greg Sestero's tell-all of the same name, which delves much deeper into the production's dysfunction. By comparison, this feels like a watery synopsis that, puzzlingly, leaves out some of the most interesting backstage dishes. It can't have been in the pursuit of a smoother narrative or a more clear-cut relationship between the two leads, because those blessings never arrive. Franco both directs and stars as Tommy Wiseau, the confusingly secretive social outcast at the center of it all, but given the buzz and awards surrounding his performance I was left wondering if I'd missed something. The famous accent doesn't feel quite right, often played with a wink and a grin that belies a soft undercurrent of derision, and his wardrobe may as well have come from a seasonal Halloween shop. His role comes off like an awkward cosplay rather than a serious performance, a gag act that went too far, and the surrounding film isn't fiery, appealing or even interesting enough to compensate. Good for a few laughs at best, maybe more for viewers less familiar with the subject, but as a one-man show it falls flat.
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8/10
Almost defines "odd"
neil-4762 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Greg Sistero meets the downright peculiar Tommy Wiseau at acting classes in San Francisco. Finding an odd sort of mutual harmony, they go to Los Angeles to try to break into movies. When Hollywood fails to break their door down, they decide to make their own movie: Tommy writes, produces, directs and stars.

The opening titles tell you that this is based on a true story. Well, the Coen Brothers said the same thing at the start of Fargo, and there wasn't a word of truth in that. And how could this be true when Tommy is such an outrageous caricature of a character - long black hair, an impenetrable accent in which two thirds of all consonants go missing (think Benecio del Toro in The Usual Suspects x 10), and total mystery as to his true originals and, especially, the source of the money he uses to finance their film The Room.

This film is a little bit slow to get going, and my scepticism as to its veracity, coupled with the fact that the excessively mannered delivery of James Franco (not one of my favourite actors) as the ridiculous and enormously irritating Tommy meant that I was wondering wither to walk out or not. It was only the more likeable Dave Franco as the more likeable Greg that kept me in my seat.

But as the film production got under way and the titular disaster started to unfold, I got more intrigued, and ended up quite enjoying it.

It is populated by a host of the Franco brothers' celebrity friends, often unrecognisable, and all having great fun.

And the end titles and the sequence immediately preceding them add enormously to the impact of the film.

Directed by James Franco, this is obviously a pet project of sorts but, by the time it was over, I could see why it appealed to them. There is a vast amount of oddness here, but by the end the movie had overcome my initial substantial reservations.
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2/10
The Room was better
garthlotel28 February 2018
In this film, the Franco brothers show us exactly why we all want to deck their smug grinning faces. This film is all about them smirking at each other while making fun of an absurd/sad film they saw together once. The Room was a preposterous farce, but it had soul. This film has none and while Franco tries his hardest to win awards for mimicry, he fails to convince anyone he is anything but James Franco being a self aggrandising d-bag.
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1/10
Lets make a movie about a really bad movie and expect it to be entertaining
kenmoring8 January 2018
Absolutely the most self indulgent piece crap I've ever seen.
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5/10
not engaging enough
nickshenoda8 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The idea of this movie is great. it had the potential to be so much. people were genuinely excited about it. it had james franco. yet still this movie kind of faltered after an interesting start. james franco's performace was a little too on the nose. it becomes really apparent when at the end they play side by side comparison shots. it was a little exagerated and though the physical resemblance was uncanny at times, it came off as trying to hard. while that's the problem with james, which is understandable because the movie was literally going for an element of comedy, the rest of the cast didn't seem to be invested enough in the film. no one else really resembled the people, physically or in mannerism, they were supposed to be playing. so the whole setting was weird where james was in too much character and no one else in enough. the room is the room mainly because of tommy but not just because of him, and that's the point I think they missed. casting dave franco was also a mistake in my opinion. I think zac efron, who has a cameo btw, should have played his role instead. he just brings that zest, even to a shy under-confident character, that dave failed to do. so all in all even though it's enjoyable, the disaster artist failed to TEAR ME APART with it's comedy and drama
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1/10
The original was actually watchable
streetfibre15 January 2018
Watched "The Room 2003" then this back to back. The Room is strangely watchable but watching this was like listening to a drunk uncle trying to remember a joke. Perhaps in 15 years someone will make a movie about how bad this one is. It's a pity they cut the scene at the end when Logan Paul found the body, that was the best part.
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1/10
Wasted nearly 2 hours
paulbcallahan15 December 2017
I've never seen or heard of "The Room" and based on this, I won't bother. It's a horrible movie about the making of an apparently horrible movie. There are a few mildly entertaining scenes but most of it is a mumbling mess that left me with a headache. I don't know what James Franco was going for but what he ended up with is a barely understandable character and trite dialogue. Please don't waste your time with this. If you are a fan of "The Room" for some reason, you will probably enjoy it. Outside of that, better to stay home and watch reruns than waste time and money on this crap.
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Interesting story but very difficult to watch
imdb-212269 December 2017
I had fun with the story. Very intriguing. I have not seen the original yet.. but I will search it out now..

The problem with this movie is how it was made, with ALL hand-held camera shots.. The camera is in a constant state of jitter. I mean EVERY SINGLE SCENE.. Even scenes where the two main characters are sitting still and having dialog, the camera is moving.. It is so annoying.. You can even detect the camera operators steps when the scene is moving. Seriously? Has movie making gotten THAT lazy? Do we care that little?

This problem coupled with the very short scene cuts leave your eyes in a constant state of adjustment. This extremely short scene cuts is something you would expect on a modern TV show.

It almost ruined the entire experience..
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8/10
A comedy with a surprising amount of heart
Among hobbies that come and go when it comes to movies, the internet film critic persona really exploded in the early 2000s after the show Siskel & Ebert initially started the trend decades before. But with that, many sensations most notably The Nostalgia Critic played by Doug Walker gained a lot of attention after covering what was supposedly the worst movie ever made. Yet as much as they bashed it, everyone still recommended seeing it and that was because of the man behind the whole production. That man, Tommy Wiseau has now gone from complete movie reject to film celebrity because of The Room (2003) he had released so many years ago. Although there are several things known about Wiseau, there are still many basic facts nobody knows about him like his ethnic background and how old he is. Nevertheless, with his movie now having a collective fan base, there was bound to be a movie made about it whether it be a biopic or documentary. Really the biopic was the only option left because the documentary was already done.

With a script adapted from a book based on the experience of Greg Sestero (one of the actors from the original film), the story seems to have all its cards in place. The adaptation was handled by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (Paper Towns (2015)), who worked together since their start. The components to the screenplay that really hit home for many fans of the movie, or to those who were indirectly introduced to it, was the overall message in plot and the story behind the making of The Room (2003). If Tommy Wiseau is quoted as being 99.9% happy with the finished product, then it is safe to say that the events shown on screen are true. And if that is a fact, then as much as people think Wiseau is a strange person, he really does teach a lesson to viewers. For us the audience, that means to never give up on your dreams and to never let anyone tell you otherwise. In life there will always be things that try to stop you from what you want to do. In order to succeed, one must learn how to work around it.

Seeing that notion repeated over and over throughout the running time is something everyone needs to tell themselves. If this is truly what Tommy Wiseau believes in real life, he is a much deeper individual than many people think. As for the actors who play Wiseau and company, the main cast was great. James Franco who plays Wiseau (and directs this feature too) did an amazing job becoming Wiseau. Franco easily grabs the attention of the viewers with his spot on take of Wiseau. One would really have to sit back and remind themselves that it's only Franco and not Wiseau himself. Playing Greg Sestero is James' brother Dave Franco and although it may seem like cheating, that two brothers are playing the starring roles, the two work well together. That goes even for the times where friction occurs. For supporting actors, Seth Rogen as Sandy the script supervisor has a number of funny lines. Ari Graynor who plays the Lisa character does a good job at replicating the infamous scenes from the film as well.

Playing Denny was Josh Hutcherson who plays the character from the original movie accurately too. There also appearances from other actors like Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Judd Apatow and even Bryan Cranston. Seeing all of this happen though is still astounding due to the fact that Tommy Wiseau went from a complete nobody on the Hollywood radar for a decade or so. Later to transform from incompetent filmmaker to glorified genius. This just proves the fact that no matter what you do, if you keep pushing the direction you want to go, you will be recognized for it. Tommy Wiseau wanted to have his shot at being famous back in the early 2000s, and now he really is. Sometimes success, fame or money does not come instantaneously like some think. The same could also be said for Greg Sestero who had a bunch of opportunities pop up. But in the end, he's best known for this feature and has openly welcomed that notoriety as much as he hesitated about it at first.

The one element to this film that was not the best was the camera-work. Brandon Trost was the cinematographer to this feature and it's a mixed bag of visuals. At times the camera lens flows easily over the scene at hand and does capture a number of backgrounds that are appealing to look at. However, there are moments where the camera moves around while filming like it's being held via camcorder. It wobbles and jiggles to the point where it gets frustrating to watch. I understand the usefulness if Trost wants to replicate the quality of technology at the time when The Room (2003) was made, but most of those times are not used to show that. Trost also worked on Crank: High Voltage (2009), Halloween II (2009), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012), Neighbors (2014) and The Interview (2014).The music on the other hand was composed by Dave Porter. Though it did not have a signature theme for the film, it's probably best it did not since this is not a film that really requires it. He also made the music to Smiley (2012).

While the camera-work can be erratic at times, the rest of the movie prevails in being an underdog story about one of the most mysterious underdogs in all of cinema history. The biopic of how Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero met and make The Room (2003) is actually quite an uplifting adventure.
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1/10
Do not understand the high ratings
jmhaas-265-69936613 December 2017
"The Disaster Artist" is a story about the making of a 2003 movie called "The Room" which was written, produced, funded and starred Tommy Wiseau for an estimated $6 million. It's opening weekend take was $1,800. "The Room" became a cult classic and over time has earned more that the initial cost despite dreadful ratings. For some reason "The Disaster Artist" is being rated very highly. Half of the audience at the matinee I attended walked out before thirty minutes. I stayed because it just had to get better. I was wrong.
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2/10
Rubish
hoosenshiraz21 February 2018
Whoever says this movie is great does not know movies at all. Franco gives the same performance as in all his movies, rather stick to playing characters high, it suits him better.
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