Monday, December 11, 2017

Movie Review … The Disaster Artist

Nobody sets out to make a bad movie.  Despite enthusiasm in creating a cinematic masterpiece, often outside forces render that impossible.  There have been countless films like that such as ‘Plan Nine from Outer Space’.  Even the worst of them have become enduring cults which the 1994 Tim Burton film ‘Ed Wood’ touched on.  ‘The Disaster Artist’ is cut from the same cloth as it explores the making of an eternally wretched movie.  Even the most appalling endeavour has something going for it with several more entertaining than the most over-blown Hollywood blockbuster.

Wanting to make his mark in films, Tommy (James Franco) aims for the stars.  Taking total creative control of his dramatic epic ‘The Room’, he crafts a story about a man searching for love.  With friends Greg (Dave Franco), Sandy (Seth Rogen) and others, Tommy shoots his magnum opus with gusto.  Thinking fame is just around the corner, he receives a rude shock.  A different type of fame awaits with the film’s wayward notoriety cementing Tommy’s name into a folklore he couldn’t have imagined.

‘The Disaster Artist’ is an entertaining and occasionally touching look at ambition.  Tommy’s egocentric and bizarre behaviour instantly makes him a strange type of hero to watch.  As with any artist wanting to achieve something, it’s about how passionate they are about a project. Tommy’s passion shines through even if his methods are extremely questionable.  ‘The Disaster Artist’ pays tribute and mocks its subject in equal measures.  The audience can laugh at and with him just like any bad movie.  The screenplay generally follows a predictable narrative path in telling the story although it’s never less than engaging.

Actor/Director James Franco does a fine job in getting under the skin of his quirky protagonist.  Whilst it’s frustrating that Tommy remains an enigma with his background still hidden, Franco at least successfully conveys Tommy’s desperation in making it big.  Dave Franco also provides strong support with a cast of well-known performers having a grand time re-creating ‘The Room’s famous scenes.  ‘The Disaster Artist’ is mostly a comedy with slight drama thrown in and in a way becomes inspiring in that dreams can be achieved no matter the quality of the end product.

Unlike the making of the movie it explores, ‘The Disaster Artist’ isn’t a dud.  A consistently enjoyable biography of a peculiar film and star, it may derive its own type of cult.  Good and bad movies will always happen but the passion making them will be the same which in the end is what counts the most.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.


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