The Disaster Artist and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24
Directed by James Franco
I may not be as over the moon in love with The Room as plenty of other people are, and it has admittedly lost a bit of its charm once you realize just how misogynistic the whole thing is, but it certainly has my respect as being one of the more unique examples of a GOOD BAD MOVIE due in no small part to the auteur himself, Tommy Wiseau. Now he’s far from the only ridiculously cocky creatives out there who write, direct, and star in what they perceive to be their one true masterpiece (*cough* Old Fashioned *cough*), but with Mr Wiseau there’s a genuine sense of mystery about the guy as many details of his origin are STILL unknown to this day (HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE IN THE INTERNET AGE!?) and his… shall we say UNIQUE brand of acting certainly sets him apart from many of the other low rent struggling artists out there. No doubt there is a VERY interesting story to tell about this one guy, his one movie, and his friendship with co-star Greg Sestero, which the wannabe auteur himself James Franco has opted to do by adapting Greg’s book The Disaster Artist into a motion picture; one that he directs, produces, and stars in of course. Will this examination of one of Hollywood’s biggest oddities be a worthwhile exploration of the creative process and what it truly means to be an artist, or are we just desperately trying to milk a novelty that had lost its luster many years ago? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the journey of two men; aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and… I guess aspiring actor as well Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). The two meet in an acting class where Greg finds the eccentric weirdo with bad hair and a worse accent rather endearing for his utter fearlessness and ability to throw himself out there in ways that Greg is still struggling to do despite his hopes of becoming an actor. Because of Greg’s admiration for Tommy and Tommy’s love of being admired, the two move in together and work their way through Hollywood; getting small gigs here and there but nothing that will truly set them apart from the thousands of other working actors cluttering the streets of LA. After a particularly rough string of bad luck, Tommy eventually starts writing his own movie and wants none other than Greg himself to be the co-star. The Room is what he titles his masterpiece and he funds it himself with his seemingly unlimited supply of money but things go from awkward to unsustainable as Tommy’s ego and complete inexperience with the process starts escalating tensions with the cast and crew and even with his best friend Greg who’s trying to stick by him but is finding it hard and harder to deal with Tommy’s unpredictable behavior. Can Tommy find it within himself to get past his issues and foster a good working environment for the only people in the world who are helping him achieve his dreams? Will Greg stand by his best friend, or will he realize just how much Tommy is holding him back? WILL THE WORLD EVER UNDERSTAND THE BRILLIANCE OF THIS ONE MAN’S VISION!?
Before I Fall and all the images you see in this review are owned by Open Road Films
Directed by Ry Russo-Young
Oh look! It’s that movie that looks like that one movie that came out two decades ago! Okay, so maybe it’s not a TOTALLY original concept, but it at least looks more interesting than other YA novel adaptations like Divergent or The 5th Wave, and it does so without having to be set in the apocalypse! The trailers seem to be leaning into the central conceit of the movie, and while it still has that YA aesthetics that look more drab and cheap than anything else, there seems like there’s some more effort thrown into this one than you’d typically expect. Does this manage to rise above its peers and be one of the better examples of the genre, or are they just getting better at marketing these kinds of films to the general public? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) waking up on CUPID DAY which is NOT Valentine’s Day because these super hip and cool teenagers say so… even though it’s celebrated exactly the same way; down to the roses being handed out which I’m sure by any other name would still make this Valentine’s Day. Anyway, she’s going through her day like it was any other; hanging out with her friends Lindsay, Ally, and Elody (Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu, and Medalion Rahimi), dodging the creepy kid who’s been pining after her for years (Logan Miller) and making out with her boyfriend (Kian Lawley) who’s honestly not much of a prize considering the dude wears his baseball cap backwards AT ALL TIMES. Still, thing seem to be going fine in their lives and the four of them go to a party that night at the creepy kids place in celebration of Love Day or whatever the hell this is. Hey, say what you will about his social skills; the dude has an awesome house! The party however turns out to be less awesome because the creepy girl at school Juliet (Elena Kampouris) starts some beef with Samantha’s friend and is swiftly run out of the party by everyone there. Feeling deflated, the four of them leave the party and WHAM! They get in a car crash which… I THINK kills them? Either way, Samantha wakes up the next day… EXCEPT IT’S NOT THE NEXT DAY! She’s stuck in a time loop where she wakes up on the same morning each day and has no idea what it would take to break out of it; if that’s even an option. Can Samantha find a way to escape the purgatory that she’s found herself in? What can she learn by having to repeat the same day over and over again, and is this a wake-up call for her to become a better person? I feel like I’ve seen this in a movie before. Have they done this in a movie before?
Why Him? and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by John Hamburg
Ugh… so just because Daddy’s Home was a decent movie means we’ll be getting raunchy sitcom movies every Christmas? I’ve been dreading this movie since the first trailer came out; not just because of how bad it looks, but because it has two REALLY talented leads in it who both can be doing so much more than… whatever the this is supposed to be. Oh well, I could be wrong. After all, Daddy’s Home looked almost as bad as this film, and I ended up enjoying that quite a bit! Can this be the surprise hit of the holiday season; even with Rouge One and Sing looing large over the multiplexes!? I kinda doubt it, but let’s find out!!
The movie is all about the Fleming family; headed up by Ned (Bryan Cranston) and consisting of wife Barb (Megan Mullally), teenage son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) and grown up daddy’s girl Stephanie (Zoey Deutch). Without much warning, the family finds out that Stephanie has managed to land a boyfriend while at college and that she hadn’t bothered to tell them about him for months now, so OBVIOUSLY she has to drag them out to California just so they can meet him and of course this happens during the holidays so we can add that bit of tension on top of things. When the family arrives they find that the man of Stephanie’s dreams is some dude nearly forty named Laird Mayhew (James Franco) who acts like he’s still in college and is never called out on his shit because he is LOADED. Yeah, something about a monkey war game app which has to be Candy Crush levels of popular for him to be THIS rich, but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that this overzealous bohemian stoner has ensnared the heart of Ned’s baby girl, and while there’s not much he can do to stop this, he’ll be damned if he enables this. That attitude comes to a head when Laird confides that he is going to ask Stephanie to marry him on Christmas Day and wants Ned’s blessing which he doesn’t get. Not one to give up though, Laird promises to make this the best weekend ever and try to convince Ned that he’ll be a good husband for Stephanie and the best son in law ever! Will Ned warm up to Laird’s unique ways of expressing himself and accept him for who he is? Will the rest of the family fall in line with Ned, or will they be enticed by Laird’s limitless supply of money and video games? Is anyone else finding this just the TINIEST bit creepy?