The Disaster Artist


As a movie fan I have stumbled upon the general infamy of the low budget cult movie ‘The Room’ and the absurd celebrity status of it’s director and star Tommy Wiseau. However the attention such an ill-conceived endeavour has garnered has me somewhat puzzling, but not overly surprised when these days we give a spot light to some of the biggest idiots on the planet and help them become celebrities.  However when I heard the rave reviews this tongue-in-cheek dramatisation of the true story behind said film had been getting … I’ll admit I was curious.

the-disaster-artist

James Franco plays Tommy Wiseau and his younger brother Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero, two hapless wannabe actors chasing the Hollywood dream.  Despite a rather oddball personality, Greg is drawn to Tommy following a rather unconventional acting class routine, and soon an uneasy friendship is formed.  Tommy is a mystery, keeps his age and where he originates a secret but is able to put his hand to seemingly endless funds, especially once the two decide to make a movie following little to no luck landing an acting job.  As a snapshot of indie film-making and the acting scene in Hollywood, I was fascinated even if we’re following two guys who probably need to consider totally different career paths.  Wiseau is unhinged and a bit creepy but played well by Franco who is doing a spot on performance of a very strange person.  Dave proves the likable lead for the audience to anchor themselves to and I ended up sympathising with Greg much more than Wiseau.  Yet ultimately this is cringy and bizarre, just like the man it portrays and the movie that came out of the experience, with little to say other than being rubbish at something can still make you famous.

There’s more fun here spotting the various celebrity cameos than what’s actually going on, and you do wonder what the point is other than seeing two guys spectacularly make utter shite.  Is it fun watch?  Definitely.  Is it a story that needed to be told?  Not really.

Verdict:  3 /5

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Bad Neighbors


Viewed – 08 May 2014  Cinema

This movie starts with a couple having sex on a table as their baby watches … an ‘I can’t do it when she’s lookin’ scenario.  So that pretty much sets the tone straight away for this mostly juvenile, crude and typical comedy starring Seth Rogan (Knocked up) and Zac Efron (High School Musical).  The story such as it is, has a happy couple, complete with a baby girl whose idyllic suburban paradise is wrecked when the house next door is taken over by a fraternity – cue parties, drugs, alcohol, bangin’ tunes and twenty somethings acting like idiots in the name of fun and excess.  What to do?  Put up with it, or wage war?

Neighbors

This is a funny concept, I’ll admit and Rogen and also Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne etc give it their all – and moments like Byrne getting er, milked and a nunchuku fight using a rubber dildo caused a few belly laughs, revealing the teenager inside me a bit too often.  But a scene involving the baby girl finding a condom (!) on the lawn, and then various other overly sexual and crude situations just felt forced – should I be laughing or offended?  It’s difficult to tell sometimes.  Rogen is basically the same as he always is – the immature potty-mouthed middle aged fella, and Efron sheds his formerly squeaky-clean teen movie image (which I’ll bet was tarnished before this) to little effect other than his many shirtless moments (please, control yourselves ladies…).  Oh and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) is in this … and utterly wasted.

Funny if you’re into very adult humour and jokes about sex, sex toys, pregnancy and drugs … but if you’re after anything with a message (it sort of dodges a potential ‘should have studied harder in high school’ sub-plot) or even the slightest depth, look elsewhere.

Verdict:  2.5 /5

Monsters Vs Aliens


Viewed – 06 May 2011  Blu-ray

When a unasuming woman on the day of her wedding gets hit by a radioactive meteorite, her life is turned upside down as she turns into a giant, captured by the military and housed in a top-secret facility.  There she meets a gang of outcast monster-types, such as a mad scientist turned cockroach, a weird jelly creature, a colossal hamster-looking-thing and a lizard / monkey hybrid, who the government reluctantly turn to when an evil maglomaniac alien invades earth.

This obvious homage to 50’s B-movies like Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman and It Came From Outer Space, was fun, even if the rather ugly art-style was distracting and the voice casting not particularly engaging, with the exception of Hugh Laurie and Seth Rogan.  The action and characters were all entertaining, and there was some good jokes, with certain moments causing me to chuckle (the President doing Axel F, anyone?).  Yet with so many CGI animated movies out there, this one felt at times a little Saturday-afternoon throwaway, with little of the emotion or character depth you’d find in the likes of Toy Story or even Shrek, and as far as animation goes, this one falls way behind those and many others.

Verdict:  2 /5

Paul


Viewed – 15 February 2011  Cinema

It’s easy to like Brit comedy actors Nick Frost & Simon Pegg, two obvious best buds whose television and movie parings have made for comedy gold, helped by their obvious talent and endless knowledge of pop culture.  Shaun Of The Dead, their big-screen debut was the perfect marriage of romantic comedy and zombie horror and remains one of the best comedies to ever come out of the UK.  Pegg has subsequently gone onto a Hollywood career, starring in the likes of the Star Trek reboot.  But as is expected, he’s right at home alongside Frost, and again we have a sure-fire hit on our hands.

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Knocked Up


Viewed – 18 January 2008  DVD

I must confess…I don’t watch many comedy movies.  Its not that I don’t like them, its just that thrillers, action movies or dramas have more deeper appeal.  Yet a good comedy can really have that feel good quality and keep me smiling for days.  So I had heard a few positive things about this rom-com revolving around pregnancy and an unconventional love story, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Relative new-comer Seth Rogen plays ill mannered, obnoxious party-animal Ben who some how manages to score with the classy, gorgeous Alison (Katherine Heigl) after a drunken encounter at a night club.  She’s an aspiring TV presenter and he’s really a bit of a looser – not exactly a partnership made in heaven then.  So what transpires is fairly entertaining and mildly amusing, as we watch the two thrown together after Alison discovers she’s pregnant, and is forced to stick with Ben, despite his ability to say all the wrong things and generally be a complete moron throughout.  If it wasn’t for the fact he didn’t wear a condom during their one-night of passion – she wouldn’t have looked at him again.

OK, so the stoner party animal who falls for the classy girl, is a story thats been done to death, but Seth Rogen brings a lovable charm to the film that makes you believe someone like Alison would eventually see through his bad habits, and fall for him for real.  This is a sweet, but still very grown up comedy, that although not particularly funny, was still well observed and enjoyable…and had more heart than I was expecting.

Verdict:  3 /5