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Entries in James Franco (55)

Sunday
Oct072018

NYFF: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Jason Adams reporting from the New York Film Festival

Anthology films always have a bit of an under-cooked quality - you like a chunk of meat here, a chunk of potato there, but the stew's uneven, the broth skinned over from sitting. Even the very best ones can feel haphazard - you can and should certainly argue that Pulp Fiction is an anthology film, albeit one that's po-mo'd up in glorious fashion, but some days you're just not in the mood for Honey Bunny, ya dig?  The Coens' six-part The Ballad of Buster Scruggs maintains that streak - highs, lows, and everything in between, slapped between two fraying book covers...

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Sunday
Dec102017

You're Tearing Me Apart, Franco!: "The Disaster Artist"

By Spencer Coile 

Tommy Wiseau's The Room is a train-wreck. This is not a unique statement to make. Ask anyone who has seen it, and you'll surely be met with a healthy mix of laughter and endless quoting from 2003's "so bad it's good" disasterpiece. For years, fans have flocked to midnight showings at local theaters or gathered with friends around their TV to enjoy the messy writing, acting, and directing -- just three of the many hats Wiseau wore throughout filming.

What many fail to address, however, is that The Room was not always comedy; it began as a labor of love -- a melodrama with strong connections to Wiseau's personal (but very private) life. Adapted from the memoir by The Room co-star Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell, James Franco dramatizes Wiseau's journey from obscurity to cult stardom in The Disaster Artist. But is his portrayal of Tommy Wiseau given the same loving treatment as Wiseau intended for The Room...? 

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Friday
Oct272017

Calling "The Disaster Artist"

Chris here. We don't spend much time celebrating movie turkeys here at The Film Experience, but the upcoming release of The Disaster Artist provides a unique opportunity of sorts. The film (which I reviewed at TIFF) recounts the making of "worst movie of all time" The Room with James Franco directing and starring as the film's eccentric creator Tommy Wiseau. And it's looking like the film is drumming up an equally idiosyncratic Oscar campaign before its early December release.

What looks like an homage billboard has something a little more special. Take note of Artist's posted phone number - because James Franco has been taking calls.

 

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF: "Disaster" is James Franco's Best Performance

by Chris Feil

It takes a particular kind of cinematic appreciation to love bad movies. For some, there can be a special charm to misguided clunkers and turkeys of only the best intentions. There is a stark difference between laughing at something and laughing with something. The Room has been one of the more recent additions to the beloved trash cinema pantheon and stands as a fascinating psychological testament to its creator and star Tommy Wiseau. As told on the page by Wiseau’s costar and close friend Greg Sestero, the making of the film was as haphazard as you expect.

The risk of The Disaster Artist, adapted from Sestero’s book, is confusing the affection or morbid fascination of The Room’s fanbase for something mockingly mean-spirited. Luckily the film is built on love for its subject, as directed by James Franco who also stars as Wiseau...

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Monday
Jul102017

A First Look at HBO's "Deuce"

Chris here. David Simon is something of an HBO perennial, delivering the likes of The Wire, Treme, and the Oscar Isaac-led mini Show Me A Hero to much acclaim. He's back (along with his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos) this fall for another round of prestige grit with crime series The Deuce, an NYC-set look at the rise of the porn industry and its violent underbelly.

Now before you go calling this HBO's next Vinyl, consider that it also gives us twin James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in several wigs. There is a lot to take in for a seemingly familiar series: a logo that looks like it belongs in an Atlantic City lounge, campy period detail, dialogue that feels intentionally cheesy. I'm not sure if the tone is supposed to be slightly off-kilter, but there are enough bizarre elements to make The Deuce more intriguing than another severe Goodfellas retread. While the first look below features a lot of the expected plots points for such material, it also hints that we could be getting some peak form Gyllenhaal among its glossy production value. The Deuce debuts September 10.

Sunday
Feb122017

Gay Indie VOD Round-Up with Franco, Quinto and Juliet Stevenson

By Glenn Dunks.

It's sometimes hard to keep up with all the films hitting VOD from the festival circuit, particularly those under the LGBTQ banner that can so easily get lost by audiences. More and more films including those with big stars and major filmmakers are now taking the direct route so competition is fierce. Let's take a look at some of the titles hitting the regular services over these first few months of the year. If your interests extend beyond the buzzier must-see titles like Carol and Moonlight, you should definitely keep an eye out for them and others like them.

DEPARTURE
I’m just going to say it – Juliet Stevenson should be next in line for a Rampling/Huppert style dalliance with Oscar. She is far and away the best thing in this pretty if frustrating drama about a mother and son in the south of France. She is exquisite as Beatrice, a permanently sad Woman Who Lies To Herself™ on the verge of divorce who has travelled to the family holiday house to pack up their possessions so the place can be sold. Never too far away from a glass of wine or an angry/tearful breakdown, Stevenson’s performance is the kind of body-shaking reminder of her talent that, should they watch it, ought to inspire somebody to give her another showcase.

[More on Departure and three more queer titles after the jump]

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