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Entries in James Franco (52)

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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Tuesday
Dec202016

New on DVD: Goat

By Sean Donovan

Goat has an important discrepancy between its advertising and the final film we end up watching. The poster, released just before the film’s 2016 Sundance in-competition premiere, specifies a clear focal point and it is male nipples. A man’s tight nipples exposed as other clothed men gather around him pouring liquor down his chest. Any hunch as to what sizable market population Goat is trying to advertise to? If you need more clues, how about the fact that this film was produced by queer cinema legend Christine Vachon, features the star of Pride Ben Schnetzer, and the straight male pop star Nick Jonas (confusingly labeled a gay icon by Out Magazine), and the man who wants to be gay icon so much it hurts, James Franco, in a dual role as producer/supporting actor? No more clues needed: Goat is hunting for THE GAYS. 

The opening credits more or less bear out the promise of this advertising, set as they are to a slow-motion montage of bouncing shirtless men. Yet the resulting film is a very dark, gritty experience, lacking even the typical scenes of sexualized rowdy excess that one usually finds in films about fraternity bros...

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Wednesday
Apr272016

New Actor Obsession: Dominic Rains

Confession: I normally remember actresses names with their faces straightaway even if they've only had a bit role that impressed me. Sometimes actors take a few roles to reel me in as if I'm face blind. And so it was at Tribeca where Dominic Rains took the Best Actor prize for his strong sympathetic work as Osman, an Afghani journalist transplanted to rural California in Ian Old's The Fixer (2016). All throughout the picture I was like "who is this guy?" like I'd never seen him before only to discover thereafter that I'd already seen him AND loved him in two other movies. In my defense the Iranian-American actor, born in Tehran and raised in Texas, looks different in each of his key roles. But still! I'd never let this talent slip by me with an actress no matter what they did with their hair and costumes.

Rains was the mohawked punk rocker in the little-seen but high-energy Taqwacores (2010) and the sleazy drug-addled pimp in the stunning Iranian vampire picture A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014).

More after the jump...

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Monday
Apr252016

Beauty vs Beast: All Their Jazz

It's Monday and this is Jason from MNPP writing at you, so it must be time for another round of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this week's duo are each individually and together beautiful and beastly all at once, and I don't know which their prouder of, honestly. A little of this, a little of that, some razzle dazzle and a lotta sheba shimmy shake. Indeed we speak of that pair of murderin' funny honeys Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) & Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) in Rob Marshall's 2002 Oscar winner Chicago. Today is Renée's 47th birthday and this we do in celebration of her. Now make like Lipschitz and choose.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we took a little ride on the Pineapple Express and y'all decided it was James Franco's Saul that two-thirds of you decided you wanted bringing up your caboose. Seth Rogen had his defenders though -- taking up his cause in the comments forever1267 had this to say:

"Big laugh. Big personality. Big Dorkiness. Big Chest hair. Seth Rogen is my secret crush boyfriend."