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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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Posted: 06 December 2017 at 12:27am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Yeah, Vogt is among the very few to acquit himself well in the film...and then he had to quit halfway through, and ended up being replaced by another character/actor!

I own a copy of the script, and "Peter" is literally crossed-out and replaced with handwritten "Steven"s in the film's later scenes.


Anyway, THE DISASTER ARTIST has already made a million dollars after being released in a mere 19 theaters prior to the wide release that will happen on Friday. That's really impressive.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 December 2017 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I can really get into bad movies- "Valley of the Dolls" is an all time favorite (what Susan Sontag would label as "true camp" as it was made with true intentions and not to be deliberately bad) and I am a huge fan of John Waters early works with maybe the exception of "Desperate Living." But there's just something about "The Room" that I cannot enjoy unless it's in small doses.  Maybe because it's beyond bad.  Or should really only be watched with others.  It's artless/formless. 
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 07 December 2017 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I don't know quite where to fall on The Room. My taste in bad movies runs more toward the big-budget Hollywood production that results in bizarre, ludicrous failure: Exorcist II: The Heretic, Showgirls, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 "Brando's Midget" version), and so forth.

The Room definitely has a huge number of puzzling and unintentionally funny moments, and Wiseau by himself is weird enough to keep you watching, but the film's sheer earnestness and lack of irony also made me feel terrible for everyone involved...a feeling amplified when I read Greg Sestero's book.

I'm looking forward to the Franco film, which opens near me this weekend, but I wonder if any fictional portrayal could truly do justice to the events Sestero described.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 07 December 2017 at 12:52pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I keep hearing great reviews, and nearly every one of them point out how Franco celebrates the independent spirit of filmmakers like Wiseau. It is something that despite his shortcomings as a filmmaker, Wiseau still has unquestionably become a success with his film.

This is a fine distinction from what happened with Ed Wood. The cult like following of "Plan 9 From Outer Space" didn't seem to take off until after Wood was gone. I'm sure that he never profited from the film in any real way, but Tommy Wiseau has become a celebrity and has reaped benefits from his own movie.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 08 December 2017 at 12:54am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

LOL!

THE ROOM as a Prince song!




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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 December 2017 at 1:12am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The Room definitely has a huge number of puzzling and unintentionally funny moments, and Wiseau by himself is weird enough to keep you watching, but the film's sheer earnestness and lack of irony also made me feel terrible for everyone involved...a feeling amplified when I read Greg Sestero's book.
+++++++++

There's a fascinating mixture of hilarity and pathos to the whole thing. It's bizarre and clumsy enough to be unintentionally hilarious, but it's also at times mortifying to watch, especially when you consider what the actors and crew went through. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 December 2017 at 12:16am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"You're Tearing Me Apart" music video.


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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 December 2017 at 6:42pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Franco on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show":

LINK.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 December 2017 at 10:53pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

RedLetterMedia's review, which is mixed-to-negative:



I saw the film, today, and I find myself agreeing with a number of RLM's points. THE DISASTER ARTIST is fun and entertaining, but rather slight, especially in comparison to the book. A lot of interesting details are condensed, omitted, or embellished. It feels more surface-level than it shoud, although it does (eventually) get into Wiseau's darker traits.

This is more of a loving tribute to THE ROOM and its mythos than it is a deep exploration of Wiseau and Sestero's friendship. That friendship--and its many ups and downs--is the key to what makes the book work. The movie glosses over some of the messier details in favor of celebrating the wacky spirit of do-or-die independent filmmaking, which is clearly what attracted Franco and Rogen to the project.

Franco pretty much disappears into the guise of Wiseau, and it's at times surreal to watch. I wouldn't be too surprised if he got an Oscar nomination. Dave Franco is clearly having fun, but he doesn't quite capture the energy of Sestero. Movie-Sestero comes off as rather naive, whereas the book presents him more as someone who suffers through all of Tommy's eccentricities for the sake of preserving their friendship.

Lots of celebrity cameos, lots of fun moments. The actual cast of THE ROOM is rather underserved, with the focus being almost entirely on Wiseau and Sestero. This is more of a ROOM fanfilm-tribute than it is a work which stands on its own. For fans, there's a lot to enjoy, but I wonder how people who aren't aware of THE ROOM and its backstory will take it.

Tommy's cameo comes in a fun little post-credits scene, although he also appears at the end of the film proper, which presents side-by-side comparisons of scenes from THE ROOM with Franco's recreations of them.


All in all, the film is definitely worth a look, but not quite a knockout. As RLM notes, it feels like there's a better and deeper movie than could have been made from this material. The book is better than the movie. I'd give it a solid "B".
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 December 2017 at 1:27am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Thanks for the review, Greg. If nothing else, THE DISASTER ARTIST has given THE ROOM a larger fanbase. I am sure there were still very many people unaware of the film before James Franco went on the marketing campaign.

I saw the RLM review earlier, but I am still somewhat anxious to see the film. They also have their commentary of THE ROOM, which I plan to give a listen to soon.
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 11 December 2017 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Greg Kirkman: "Movie-Sestero comes off as rather naive, whereas the book presents him more as someone who suffers through all of Tommy's eccentricities for the sake of preserving their friendship."

*****

I thought that was The Disaster Artist's major weakness, too--sugarcoating Sestero and his relationship with Wiseau. Without the nuances of that relationship, the pinky-swearing Hollywood Dream brothers came off cornier than they should've. It really surprised me that the movie completely omitted, among other things, [engage spoiler-vision] among other things, the car-freakout episode, where Tommy explodes after learning that Sestero "talked about him" to his skeptical friend back in San Francisco [disengage spoiler-vision]. That's a real watershed in the book.

In general, though, I liked the movie--though you're right, Greg: it's an elaborate and very affectionate fan film. If for nothing else, it's worth seeing for James Franco's gonzo Wiseau-channeling performance.




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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 11 December 2017 at 11:53am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I have a feeling that the sugarcoating comes down to the fact that Wiseau was involved with this film, and because of the affection that Franco has for him. As result, the movie comes off more as a loving tribute than as a proper adaptation of the book and its grimier aspects.

A surprising amount of details are left out, like Tommy's clothing business and the wacky commercial he made to get his SAG card, as well as some of the awkward, homoerotic subtext when Tommy and Greg move in together. The movie acts like it can coast on Tommy's weirdness and his ambition to complete his film. It could have used another half-hour to flesh things out, and yet the 90-odd minute film we have already feels a bit overlong and slight.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 11 December 2017 at 11:55am
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 11:22pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

THE DISASTER ARTIST cracks the Top 5 movies:


This is something for a film that hasn't opened wide (sigh... I am still in one of the areas where it hasn't screened, yet).

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 1:02am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Franco and Ari Graynor had a fun interview on CONAN, complete with Franco taking a live call (from someone calling the number on the film's promotional billboard) as Tommy.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Heh.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 9:44pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I've never seen THE ROOM but I count myself a fan of James Franco.  I also listen to Marc Maron's podcast WTF all the time.  So the two linked up a week ago in an expansive interview, over 90 minutes, and much of it centers on THE DISASTER ARTIST.  It's totally worth the listen:  Link
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Thanks for the heads-up, Matt!
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 11:43pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

You're welcome!  The first half of the interview centers on Franco's approach to acting and how it's changed over the years, but the last half is dedicated to a discussion about his approach to the movie.  I find Maron's interviews compelling, so I'd say the first half is worth it to get to how Franco played Tommy.  His change in addressing a role from playing James Dean early in his career to Tommy in THE DISASTER ARTIST is really interesting and he has a heartfelt earnestness to the material.  I'll be interested in your thoughts after you listen to it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 December 2017 at 12:36am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The science of "So bad, it's good":



Totally agree with this. A big part of my personal fascination with THE ROOM is just how utterly baffling it is. It simply Does Not Compute on any level, and the mysteries surrounding its writer-director-star only add to that feeling. The first time someone watches it, the usual reaction is shock and horror mixed with laughter. After that, one become obsessed, and has to rewatch it, to try and understand it. "This was made on purpose!" was the thought which echoed in my brain, during those early viewings. 

The journey of any devoted ROOM fan usually goes from shock to mocking laughter to uncomfortable laughter to grudging love and respect for the people involved. "They made a movie--how many of us can say that?" is a phrase I've heard spoken by fans more than once. Spectacular failure requires ambition and effort. I see the adoration of THE ROOM's fanbase as a sort of participation award that's been given to the cast and crew. They tried and failed, but we love them for trying.

Its totally earnest insanity and high rewatchability are surely the biggets factors in its popularity. I haven't listened to the podcast, yet, but I'm sure Franco's "in" for THE DISASTER ARTIST was that obsessive spirit of filmmaking ambition displayed by Wiseau. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 December 2017 at 12:59am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

THE ROOM: In-depth analysis:

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 14 December 2017 at 1:28am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

"Good" bad movies are something I can enjoy not because of wanting to mock somebody's work when it fails, but because in spite of the shortcomings of the film it still succeeds in holding an entertainment value. It might be an ironic appreciation, and does not get celebrated in a manner the filmaker intended, but it is still a sincere appreciation.

Not all cult films are bad, or even "good" bad. Some are genuinely good, but have limited mass appeal. Obviously,  THE ROOM falls into the "good" bad camp, but I daresay it's fans love it and cherish it more than the people who watched many successfull films that were expertly made.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 December 2017 at 1:43am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Exactly!

Most times, you can watch a few minutes of a "bad" movie, then turn it off. You already have a sense of what it is and why it's bad, and so you don't need to watch any more. THE ROOM, on the other hand, finds new and better ways suck, baffle, and horrify with literally every scene. It holds one's attention, and its total commitment to its own madness is strangely endearing. Its complete wrongness on every single level is strangely compelling.

Also, it's ridiculously quotable. I use lines like, "I just saw you. What are you talking about?" all the time, in daily life!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 December 2017 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Finally got a chance to listen to Maron's interview with Franco. It's quite good. A lot of interesting stuff from Franco about his career, his approach to his craft, and THE DISASTER ARTIST. Thanks, Matt!
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