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The Disaster Artist (2017)


starri
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YMMV, but he looks more like Tommy than his brother looks like Greg Sestero.

I'm curious about the rest of the cast who's playing the cast.  The actresses playing Lisa and Claudette are pretty good stand-ins, and June Dianne Raphael is passable as Michelle, but I'm not sure about the rest of them.  Particularly Zac Efron as Chris-R.

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Ha, yeah, Dave Franco looks sort of ridiculous as Greg to me - too short, and that hair/beard... I guess we shouldn't be too hung up on looks, but it's hard not to for me, especially when it comes to Greg and Tommy. Josh Hutchinson seems really well cast to me, though.

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It changes the dynamic between them if Greg isn't a tall Aryan-looking guy, which was a lot of the basis of why Tommy wanted to be friends with him.

I really hope that James covered all his bases legally because Tommy has a history of turning against people making documentaries about him and then threatening to sue to stop the distribution.

If they had really filmed when she was a little younger, Ari Graynor really would have been dead-on casting. Still damn good.

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1 hour ago, methodwriter85 said:

I really hope that James covered all his bases legally because Tommy has a history of turning against people making documentaries about him and then threatening to sue to stop the distribution.

Tommy has a cameo in the movie.  I'm sure they didn't go at him too hard.

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(edited)
9 hours ago, starri said:

Tommy has a cameo in the movie.  I'm sure they didn't go at him too hard.

Which is a shame, because Tommy could be a real asshole. In particular, the moment where he berates Juliette (a young girl all of about 22) for not being sexy/beautiful enough until she starts crying. But yeah, I can see them taking kid gloves because Tommy is insane and you don't want to be on his bad side.

They also said somewhere flat out that they took out the homoerotic subtext between Tommy and Greg, primarily because James and Dave didn't want to play that.

Also, again, the only modeling I can see Dave Franco's Greg modeling for is for a gay porn twink mag. Dude has a nice body but god he's way too short to even fake him being tall.

Edited by methodwriter85
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  • 1 month later...

Full disclosure:: I have not seen The Room.

I saw a midnight screening of The Disaster Artist at the Toronto Film Festival.  James and Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Scott Neustadter (writer), Michael H. Weber (writer), Greg Sestero, and Tommy Wiseau were all there and did a brief Q&A after the screening.

The film itself was really good, although still leaves a lot of questions unanswered -- probably because Tommy Wiseau is like a black box of incomprehensibility and there are no answers. Tommy comes off as sympathetic at points but also as an asshole, unstable, unpredictable and generally insane. Honestly, I felt a bit uncomfortable laughing at him since he does actually, clinically, seem to be mentally ill.

@methodwriter85 they do include the scene with Tommy, butt-ass naked, berating Juliette and definitely highlight, particularly there and through other interactions with Sandy Schklair (Seth Rogen) and Raphael Smadja (Paul Scheer) that he could be an asshole. Also, there's at the very least a vague one-sided homoerotic vibe coming from Tommy to Greg but that isn't highlighted. During the Q&A James made a comment about the weirdness of the "sexual tension but it's my brother." Dave was like, "I was not aware of that" as in, the sexual tension, not the weirdness thereof and James said "oblivious just like Greg."

The one thing that I did know about going in was that Greg was not the first actor cast for the role of Mark but that entire story was completely skipped over.  Zac Efron appears at the premiere of The Room within the film as the actor originally cast as Mark but, unless I literally blacked out for some period of time, nothing about that was mentioned before.  Admittedly, the audience was really boisterous and I definitely missed lines of dialogue but I think I would recognize Zac Efron on my the screen at least!!

Edited by dusang
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9 hours ago, dusang said:

Zac Efron appears at the premiere of The Room within the film as the actor originally cast as Mark but, unless I literally blacked out for some period of time, nothing about that was mentioned before.

Efron is playing Dan Janjigian, who played the character Chris-R.

Do I know why Tommy decided his name needed the "-R?"  Like so much of the whole experience, I do not.

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Tommy also couldn't decide if he wanted to shoot on film or digital, so he decided to do both at the same time, and put two cameras side-by-side.  They don't appear to have kept that detail.

It's also why some of the footage of the actual film is slightly off.

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13 hours ago, starri said:

Efron is playing Dan Janjigian, who played the character Chris-R.

Do I know why Tommy decided his name needed the "-R?"  Like so much of the whole experience, I do not.

Interesting, in the "character biography" for Zac's character on IMDb it says: "After hiring Dan to play the pivotal role of Mark, Tommy concocts a bizarre scheme to replace him with Greg Sestero. Consistently referred to as 'Don' by Tommy."

Either way, he doesn't appear during the "filming" of the movie-in-a-movie.

@starri they don't spend a lot of time with it but when he's getting the equipment he does purchase rather than rent and he gets both formats.

Edited by dusang
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You can see him in the trailer at 1:22.  I haven't read the book in a while, but I don't believe he was ever intended to play Mark.  As I recall, he was an Olympic athlete that they found...somehow.  Sestero never names the other Mark, and refers to him only as "Don."  The first scenes that were shot involved both Mark and Chris-R, so both "Don" and Dan were on set at the same time.  Basically, Tommy had decided he wanted Sestero as Mark, but didn't want to confront "Don" directly, so he told the cast that "the producers" (who were fictional, the movie was made with Tommy's money and only Tommy's money) wanted to cast Sestero as something else, and wanted to screen test him by having him play Mark simultaneously.  "Don" figured out pretty quickly what was going on, and quit, taking his girlfriend, who was the original actress cast in the role as Michelle, with him.

Unless Sestero was grossly misrepresenting things, that IMDb bit is incorrect.

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Interesting.  None of that was in the film -- Greg gets the part of Mark no questions asked and they never introduce a different actress as Michelle.

As I said, the audience was loud and appreciative, so I definitely missed dialogue, but I didn't catch a lot of the names of the "cast" -- either as the real person or the character they were playing.

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  • 1 month later...

  • 4 weeks later...

I saw a photo floating around Facebook of one of theaters, I think in LA, that's doing the movie's Oscar qualifying run.

It doesn't list show times, just the title and above that "Oh Hai, Marquee."

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Can anyone who has seen this tell me if there is any explicit sex in it?  My son wants to see it and asked if I wanted to go see it with him.  While we've never been embarrassed by nudity and have always been open about serious discussions about sex (you know--"the talks"), I don't exactly enjoy sitting through explicit sex scenes with him right next to me--even in a dark theater. 

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On 11/30/2017 at 3:40 PM, BetterButter said:

The Room / The Disaster Artist - Scene Comparisons

I really wish that Ari had been willing to take one for the team and put on about 15 to 25 pounds pounds to play Juliette Danielle who still had her babyfat when they filmed (people are absolutely BRUTAL about that in the screenings I've watched of the Room), but she still nails it. You can tell she studied it closely.

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On 12/6/2017 at 4:54 PM, methodwriter85 said:

I really wish that Ari had been willing to take one for the team and put on about 15 to 25 pounds pounds to play Juliette Danielle who still had her babyfat when they filmed (people are absolutely BRUTAL about that in the screenings I've watched of the Room), but she still nails it. You can tell she studied it closely.

She got every single motion and inflection dead on! Amazing!

I'm really impressed at how closely they were able to replicate The Room. The set design and staging was almost exact, so much so that when they had the movie premiere scene, at first I wasn't sure if the movie was going to be the actual Room, or a recreation with the actors, because the opening establishing shots were exactly the same. The outfits were almost exact. James Franco mostly nailed Tommy. The one part he didn't do accurately was the "I did naaahhhht" from "oh hi Mark" because he elongated it too much, but the rest was pretty spot on. The Wiseau laugh was PERFECT. I actually felt like he BECAME Tommy. In certain scenes with certain lighting and angles he looked really similar to Tommy too although I do think he should have worn colored contacts because his eyes are very blue. But you can really tell how much love the cast and crew have for The Room and how they really wanted to do it justice.

Here are my two gripes about The Disaster Artist though: 1) I really wish they had shown the filming of the "hi doggy" scene when Tommy asks the shopkeeper "your dog, is he for real?" There was an audiobook excerpt of The Disaster Artist detailing the filming of this scene...comedy gold. It would have been a nice addition especially considering it's one of the most iconic scenes from the film.

2) Why wasn't Me Underwears Guy in it besides one cameo?! I know that it was based on the book and perhaps he wasn't mentioned much in the book (I didn't read the book yet, although now I definitely have to) but I always wanted to know the story behind that guy. My theory was always that he realized how bad the movie was and was just trolling everyone the whole time and I always wanted to know if that was the case. He was such a vital part of The Room too, despite being such a minor character. I remember when I first saw the "chocolate is the symbol of love" scene I had to pause the movie to laugh for five minutes straight until I couldn't breathe. And this is quite possibly the greatest scene in cinematic history.

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I love that because the shrink had to drop out of filming the movie, he added an entirely new character for the scene where Lisa is confronted about her cheating instead of just giving those lines to MeUnderWears. Which would have made the most sense since he was an established character and that scene was done with Michelle, who was his girlfriend.

I had a really fun time at the show I went to. There was about 10 people but most of them knew the Room. We had so much fun shouting out the lines and pretending that this was a screening of the Room.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I just got back from seeing it.  I by in large enjoyed it, but I didn't think it was as great as some people are saying it is.  I wasn't sold on either of the Franco brothers being in it at first, but I have to say James did inhabit the weirdness that is Tommy Wiseau.  Dave, on the other hand, I wasn't as impressed with.  I don't really care for him as an actor, to begin with, and I think he was miscast as Greg.  When I think tall, blonde, former model, I do not think of Dave Franco.  I actually am a "fan" of The Room and I've watched it a few times, and I read The Disaster Artist.  I realize that they needed to streamline the plot and give characters actual arcs, but I didn't really care for the fact that they made Greg come across as rather dim to do it.  In real life, Greg didn't want to be in  The Room and only worked on the production side to help Tommy, but Tommy kept insisting that they film scenes with Greg while they were on set, to give Greg "footage to show other producers." This annoyed the actor originally cast as Mark to the point he quit and then Tommy convinced Greg to take the part.  Greg had no fantasy that this was going to be a good movie, I doubt he knew it was going to be a so-bad-it's-good-movie, but he certainly didn't think it was his big break.  The reason his (and most of the rest of the casts' presumably) performance is so bad is because he was generally just phoning it in because he thought the movie would never see the light of day.  He was also a working actor prior to The Room, he had had parts in movies.  He mentions in the book that, ironically enough, he beat James Franco out for a role at one point. The movie implies that he hadn't actually worked on a production before.  

I think they probably could have kept the themes of Greg learning to be more comfortable with himself from Tommy, without making him seem like such a naive idiot.  The best parts of the film for me were the parts dealing with the actual making of The Room.  I think I actually laughed the most at Rogen's Sandy and his, "sure why not?" attitude to most of Tommy's bizarre demands and behavior.  I also really cracked up at everyone's reaction to the "Chris R" scene.  Apparently, the gentleman who played the character did really pace back and forth the set to get himself pumped up, but I wish they had mentioned that he wasn't actually an actor but a motivational speaker who I think got involved because he was "Me Underwares" guy's roommate. I also wish they had included that he scared Tommy into reimbursing him for a pair of his own shoes that were ruined during filming.  It would have been nice to see Tommy get a taste of his own medicine when he's so nasty to the cast and crew.

Edited by Proclone
because the room and The Room are two different things
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There's something funny about the fact that he gave the best performance of that film, even though he wasn't actually an actor. LOL.

I went for a second screening and still had a lot of fun, especially during the second half. I honestly think Franco has a great shot at getting the Oscar here. He disappeared into the role. He really did.

I do agree with the criticism of the casting of Greg. I wonder what Garrett Hedlund could have done with the role? (I would have said Armie Hammer but I'm not sure he can be funny.) The biggest problem with Movie Greg is that he feels more like the sidekick, instead of the guy who would totally be cast as the Alpha Male Lead. Dave Franco can't help his height but there isn't a shortage of Hollywood Blond guys that are six feet tall or over. And I do love Dave Franco, but he kept doing that wounded/naieve puppy dog eye look that he always does and it felt really off for the guy we got to know in Greg's book.  Still, I did love the bit where Greg finally has it and goes at Tommy.

As a Gilmore Girls fan, I was happy to see Rory with Cute Dean, but that scene per my estimation is taking place around early 1999. Gilmore Girls wasn't around until the fall of 2000. Otherwise, I really loved all those circa 1998-2003 era touches. They did a great job with the wardrobe, even outside of the film.

I also need to give a shout-out to Josh Hutcherson's Denny impression. He also nailed it.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I read the book around the time this project was announced, and I was kind of disappointed by how they adapted it. It may be because they wanted to stay in Tommy's good graces (or respect his privacy) but the book did give a few, interesting slivers of Tommy's past. Like how he started out selling bird kites and other knick knacks on the Wharf, and that his fortune was most likely due to selling counterfeit clothing (at one point he takes Greg to the store he owns... or something... it's been a few years since I've read it.) I think I would have liked the movie better if they had inter cut Tommy and Greg's relationship with the scenes during filming (which was by far the strongest part of the movie) like how they did in the book. I also agree that Dave Franco wasn't the best choice for the role of Greg. He did a fine job, but he definitely felt miscast.

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On 7/19/2017 at 4:14 AM, starri said:

YMMV, but he looks more like Tommy than his brother looks like Greg Sestero.

When Greg mentioned modeling, I thought, "Huh???"  Because no.  But then when I saw the real Greg Sestero (I've never seen The Room), I understood. 

I think Disaster-Artist-Greg will make a good Martin Scorsese if there's ever a biopic.

 

On 7/21/2017 at 1:12 AM, starri said:

Tommy has a cameo in the movie.  I'm sure they didn't go at him too hard.

Was he the guy in the scene after the credits?  It looked like that person was trying to be in a disguise, maybe.  

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11 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

When Greg mentioned modeling, I thought, "Huh???"  Because no.  But then when I saw the real Greg Sestero (I've never seen The Room), I understood. 

I think Disaster-Artist-Greg will make a good Martin Scorsese if there's ever a biopic.

This is my favorite picture of him:

MV5BMTk4NzUxNTU3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjIz

I think this was taken somewhere in his early 30's. His total peak in looks, in my opinion. (He seems to agree with me that this is the best photo of him, because he uses this as his profile on his Twitter and Instagram accounts even though he doesn't look like this anymore.)

The looks thing is kind of interesting, because as cute as I think Dave Franco is, the only thing he could have possibly been a model for is a gay twink porn site. He's apparently playing Montgomery Clift in a movie called Zeroville, which I can buy.

James Franco is now nominated for a Golden Globe and a Sag Award. I'm definitely rooting for him. (I haven't seen Call Me By Your Name yet.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gave this a go even though my only real history with The Room is the clips I've seen on Youtube (including the Honest Trailers bit.)  But even then, I was still able to enjoy it as a dark comedy/insight into a strange individual.  If nothing else, I can understand why it developed a cult following, because while truly awful on almost every level, there is the sense that Tommy and the rest where at least trying to do something and put their hearts into it, which can be bizarrely refreshing compared to the more competently made, but soulless Hollywood films that can be trotted out almost every other week.

My main negative is that I did feel like some of Tommy's more negative aspects where held back, because while not officially involved, they didn't want to offend him.  We seem glimpses of it; especially with the way he berated Danielle during the sex scene; but overall, it seem like they mainly wanted to portray him as an "eccentric artist", whose attitude could be excused because he was trying to create something.  From what I've seen in interviews and whatnot, the real Tommy is probably an even bigger megalomaniac then the way he was made to look here.    

Other negative was that I found Daniel Franco kind of a dud as Greg.  Part of it could be that the writing almost made him come off like a cipher, but even then, he really didn't seem believable as the character.  And, yes, he clearly is a good-looking guy, he really doesn't scream "former model."

On the other hand, I thought James Franco was fantastic.  What was interesting is that he didn't really either look or sound like the real Tommy, but somehow that ended up not mattering, because he just became Tommy whenever he was on screen.  He just embodied him in a way that made buy him as the character and not care about the physical differences.  Really impressive work and I can see this getting him another Oscar nod.

The rest of the cast was good too.  Ari Graynor and Josh Hutcherson really fit their roles, and I enjoyed seeing the likes of Alison Brie, Bob Odenkirk, and Hannibal Buress pop up in roles.  And I know that Seth Rogen can be an acquired taste and I'm not a massive fan of his, but he was pretty spot-on in the "normal guy who can't believe what he is seeing or hearing" type of role.  But I think my favorite was Zac Efron.  It may have only been one scene, but he had me in stitches with the whole "method acting meathead" guy.  I'm really becoming a fan of him now. 

Edited by thuganomics85
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On 12/30/2017 at 1:49 AM, thuganomics85 said:

My main negative is that I did feel like some of Tommy's more negative aspects where held back, because while not officially involved, they didn't want to offend him.  We seem glimpses of it; especially with the way he berated Danielle during the sex scene; but overall, it seem like they mainly wanted to portray him as an "eccentric artist", whose attitude could be excused because he was trying to create something.  From what I've seen in interviews and whatnot, the real Tommy is probably an even bigger megalomaniac then the way he was made to look here.    

They also really skip or skim down on Tommy's creepy manipulation of Greg.

I also wanted them to linger on Juliette's reaction to being berated. Something like a close-up of Juliette crying her eyes out while trying to get herself together saying "It's fine" would have gotten the point across better. They rushed that scene too much.

Edited by methodwriter85
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On 12/14/2017 at 0:20 PM, methodwriter85 said:

This is my favorite picture of him:

What a great photo.

On 12/14/2017 at 0:20 PM, methodwriter85 said:

James Franco is now nominated for a Golden Globe and a Sag Award. I'm definitely rooting for him. (I haven't seen Call Me By Your Name yet.)

It's definitely worth watching.  Timothee's performance is one of the best I've seen this year.

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  • 2 months later...

Finally saw this movie.  I liked both the Room and The Disaster Artist the book better, but I did appreciate that Dave Franco acted more world weary as the movie went on.  Early on, he was too much like an eager puppy, but by the end, he seemed more like how Sestero came across in the book.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/25/2018 at 12:45 AM, Brn2bwild said:

Finally saw this movie.  I liked both the Room and The Disaster Artist the book better, but I did appreciate that Dave Franco acted more world weary as the movie went on.  Early on, he was too much like an eager puppy, but by the end, he seemed more like how Sestero came across in the book.

I thought the beard shaving scene and his subsequent smiling through the pain scene was really well-done.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As a movie, it was good. But since I have the novel so fresh in my mind (read it few weeks before seeing the film), I was slightly disappointed how much they changed and cut from the real story. I enjoyed it more rewatching, when I didn't have high expectations anymore.

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