The Disaster Artist Review: It Big Hollywood Movie!

In the same vain as Tim Burton’s 1994 film Ed Wood, The Disaster Artist documents the making of what is widely considered one of the worst films of all time, The Room. Written and directed by Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau, The Room is an absurd and perplexing piece of cinema full of unintentionally humorous scenes, bizarre writing, and atrocious acting. Despite the film’s irrationality, The Room maintains a massive cult following, with frequent midnight showings across the U.S. still a popular occasion. And with so much mystery and fascination surrounding The Room, it was only a matter of time before we got a feature film about the topic.

It becomes evident within the first few minutes that The Disaster Artist was a passion project for Franco, and that he (like many of us) loved The Room with the same level of comedic fervor.

Franco as Tommy Wiseau is as hilarious as it is uncanny. His performance as the eccentric actor/director is hard to get a grasp on, as his character remains quite idiosyncratic and secretive throughout the entire film. Wiseau, for example, speaks with a slurred but strong Eastern European accent, yet adamantly asserts he’s from Louisiana. Wiseau also miraculously funded The Room entirely on his own, spending more than five million dollars to produce it. Only, nobody ever understood where and how he got the money to do so.

And from interviews I’ve seen with the real Wiseau, Franco captured this awkward demeanor incredibly well; pulling off what I consider to be my favorite role of his yet.

The rest of the cast, featuring such talent as Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, and Josh Hutcherson, all give wonderful performances as well, elevating The Disaster Artist in numerous ways. Seth Rogen as Sandy Schklair (the script supervisor) acts as the main form of comic relief, as film continuity proves to be less than useful in Wiseau’s production. Dave Franco as Greg Sestero (an actor who befriends Tommy and stars in The Room) allows the audience to see a more sensitive side to the usually unpleasant Tommy Wiseau.

The Disaster Artist documents the mysterious and baffling nature behind the making of The Room, however it sadly doesn’t say much about it. The one key feature that this film desperately lacks is a central point of focus. More specifically, The Disaster Artist needed more of a purpose. Sure, the film details the making of The Room with a brilliantly keen sense of self -awarenessbut what does have to say about Wiseau and his big Hollywood movie? What does the mere existence of The Room mean for filmmaking and aspiring filmmakers? Is it possible that any blindly passionate individual with enough conceit can rise to infamous Hollywood stardom?

Those with a vehement love of The Room will have the most to gain from watching The Disaster Artist, while others with no frame of reference will likely find themselves bored. Already having extensive knowledge on the subject allowed me to enjoy watching The Disaster Artist with a heightened sense of awareness and understanding for the strange events that unfolded. I more than enjoyed watching it, and I hope that others will respect the enthusiasm and love Franco put into his tribute to one of the most bizarre films ever made.

The Verdict: A-

-Zachary Flint

Sausage Party Review

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Sausage Party is a hilarious comedy adventure that allows audiences to finally see into the minds of their favorite foods. It discusses such topics as what foods might be thinking as you buy them, and what they think as you eat their friends. This is all greatly done in a comedic, R-rated, animated fashion.

Sausage Party stars Frank (Seth Rogen), a packaged hot dog who excitedly awaits for a human (known as a God to the food in this world) to purchase him for the Independence Day weekend so that he may be taken to heaven. However the afterlife may not be so great after all, when a bottle of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to the store with horrible stories of what humans do to food. And, spoiler alert, they get maliciously eaten. Things go wrong when Frank attempts to save Honey Mustard from suicide by jumping out of a shopping cart. Frank is thrown out of the cart and onto the floor, along with his hot dog bun girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig), an Arabic Lavash named Kareem (David Krumholtz), and a Jewish bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton).

With the help of his new friends, Frank must now make his way back to his isle on the other side of the store, as well as learn the dark truth about the food afterlife.

This film is packed with as much foul mouthed, hyper sexualized, and offensive humor as possible. Most of the clever humor pays off well for the writers, as it earns big laughs with the audience. Some of the sexual jokes get repetitive and some jokes just get awkward silences, but those are few and far between.

There is one particularly funny scene where a woman accidentally knocks her shopping cart into another, causing all the food to fall out onto the ground, including Frank. What ensues is a parody of the D-Day invasion scene of Saving Private Ryan. Where chip bags are exploding, an Oreo is searching for his second cookie, and a jar of peanut butter is crying over a broken jar of jelly. The scene is hilarious in a horrific sort of way. The idea of parodying a scene from Saving Private Ryan doesn’t sound like something that would be funny, but to my surprise it actually works very well.

The creativity and lore of the food world is pretty detailed. Each grocery isle corresponds to a different country’s native food, creating a situation for funny stereotypes to ensue.  This includes an Arabic Lavash with a pointy beard and heavy accent, a Jewish donut that is a pacifist with a big nose, and even Sauerkraut Nazis who attempt to exterminate the juice. The jokes are all pretty creative and unique, and the film even throws in a little social commentary on the warring Middle East. How much people enjoy the humor will be relative to how they enjoy racial and sexual jokes.

The animation for Sausage Party is surprisingly very well done. The pallet is colorful and the characters show expressions and emotions very well. Each food product is unique from the next and functions in a completely different way than the next. The set of the grocery store always feels so vast, like it’s an entire world of food to explore.

Sausage Party’s biggest downfall may be that its core audience is made of people who don’t get offended easily, which isn’t many in this day and age. The human-like food orgy, ethnic stereotypes, and anti-theistic moral (if this film even has morals) are definitely enough to turn many heads. Those that don’t find stereotypes funny will roll their eyes, and those pure of heart will leave the theater blushing after watching food perform every sex position known to mankind.

But then again, maybe this film isn’t for any of those kinds of people. Sausage Party pushes the envelope on what people are allowed to find funny these days, and maybe that’s precisely who it’s made for. Raunchy people who are ready to be shocked by the utter vulgarity of a talking hot dog, and the racist stereotypes portrayed by food products.

Those who find vulgar, racist food jokes told by Seth Rogen voicing a hot dog funny, will all love this movie. Those who want to be left with some sort of innocence should steer clear of this flick. Either way, your choice is definitely respectable.

Zachary Flint