Entries in Dave Franco (3)

Wednesday
Dec272017

The Disaster Artist- review

 

“The Disaster Artist” (2017)

Directed by James Franco

Starring James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor

Running Time 104 Minutes, Rated R.

3.5 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com


In 2003 a movie classic was released.  The Oscar went to Rob Marshall’s musical “Chicago”, but that has nowhere near the reverence and following of Tommy Wiseau’s infamous “The Room”.  “The Room” is considered by many to be the worst film of all time, right up their with “Plan 9 From Outer Space”.  What makes those two films legendary ‘must see’ movies is that both Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau made their film with a heartfelt sincerity that they were delivering something great.  Wiseau personally paid for the film to stay in a movie theater for two weeks so that it could be eligible for the Oscars.  It’s a mind-boggling watch; where a lot of money, $5-6 million of Wiseau’s own money was put up that showcased humans constantly making very inhuman character choices.  To this day “The Room” plays at midnight showings all over the country to sold out audiences, leading Wiseau’s best friend and co-star Greg Sestero to pen a tell all of the production which made it into James Franco’s hands for the effectively very human movie titled “The Disaster Artist”.

 

James Franco plays the mysterious and odd Tommy Wiseau to perfection.  Franco absolutely captures Wiseau’s easter european marbled accent even though Wiseau hilariously claims to be from New Orleans.  “The Disaster Artist” is basically a buddy movie, wisely focusing on Wiseau and Greg Sestero’s (played by little brother Dave Franco) friendship.  Sestero and Wiseau met up in San Francisco in 1998 where a timid Sestero is drawn to Wiseau’s nutty confidence.  They move to L.A. moving into Wiseau’s nice place he hasn’t used in years, and the two unsuccessfully go after their dream of making it big as actors until they decide to make their own movie.  

The film is funniest when the production of “The Room” begins.  Wiseau becomes a tyrant onset, and his lack of experience and normal judgement play out.  The friendship angle was definitely the right angle to play, and James Franco’s performance could definitely get him his second acting nod. I will say, however, I wasn’t blown away emotionally.   Big Franco and the writers do their best to get you to understand what Tommy being Tommy really is, but we simply can’t understand life from another planet.  Lil’ Franco does fine but doesn’t blow me away either as it’s really hard to understand why Sestero puts up with as much as he does from Wiseau. Regardless, “The Disaster Artist” is fascinating as fact is stranger than fiction.

Proverbs 1:15

 

Sunday
Mar152015

Unfinished Business- review

 “Unfinished Business” (2015)

Directed by Ken Scott

Starring  Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson

Running Time 91 Minutes, Rated R.

2 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

I keep rooting for the super dry, super ranter Vince Vaughn to have a comeback film because simply put, he makes me laugh and he makes me care. Maybe it was my fondness that clouded my judgement into thinking that the trailer for his latest film “Unfinished Business” looked like a pretty good time at the theater.  The film was not a good time, rather, an unfocused mess that can’t handle its unnecessarily heavy load, and even though I could see Vaughn trying his darndest, there just wasn’t nearly enough laughs to approve of.

Vaughn plays Dan Trunkman, a businessman who is tired of the dog eat dog mentality that his boss Chuck (Sienna Miller) enlists, and so he quits to start up his own company.  His only two employees are Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson), who was let go for being too old and the very young Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), whose only sales experience is selling shoes at Foot Locker.  After a year of holding their meetings at the local Dunkin Donuts the team finally gets close to their big break by landing a big account lead by Jim Spinch (James Marsden) and his right hand man Bill Whimsley (the loveable Nick Frost).  Just when they Dan and team think they're about to get the coveted “handshake” to seal the deal, Chuck’s bigger and shinier firms turns up and risks taking over.

 

Ken Scott, director of Vaughn’s previous dud “Delivery Man” alongside “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” writer Steve Conrad have way too many Keebler elves in the treehouse.  Dan is not only keeping his financial woes from his wife, his children have serious bullying issues, he has an ongoing grudge with Chuck and a new one starting with Marsden’s underdeveloped Jim.  Add all of Timothy’s woes, Mike’s new experiences, and an ongoing homework assignment that Dan is trying to finish for his daughter meant to be the connecting voice over threadwork of the film, and you can see that Scott and Conrad are pushing the sentiment, which is great, but the ineffectiveness lets the story get more and more muddled.    

There are some pretty decent jokes that do land very successfully.  The German setting provides for the film’s best joke as the only room Dan could find is the one that’s held in a museum where there are no curtains so that the German people and their unique artistic tastes can observe his every move.  Titled ‘American Business Man 42’, Dan becomes a viral sensation.  The main problem laughs wise was that the supporting characters Tim and Mike are wholly unfunny.  Wilkinson is one of my faves, but his Timothy is way too sad of an old man to be funny as his lifelong dream is to divorce his wife.  Even worse is Franco’s moronic Mike, who isn’t point blank called out as mentally disabled, but we’re seriously lead to believe he is of that condition which makes it pretty hard to laugh at someone with that disability screaming and pointing out “buttcracks, two buttcracks!!”  It was downright offensive at points, and I gotta think that Franco will be up for a Razzie.  “Unfinished Business” will be bad business at the box office and I’ll just have to wait for Vaughn’s next film to be a hit.   

I’ll just have to wait for “this” next film to be a hit.

Colossians 3:23 

Sunday
May182014

Neighbors- review

 

“Neighbors” (2014)

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron

Running Time 96 Minutes, Rated R.

3 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

Seth Rogen’s is smarter than you think he is.  He’s allowing his comedy to evolve.  Sure, the joint and penis jokes may be at an all time high in his latest film “Neighbors”, but as the dynamics of aging take their natural course, Rogen is using those experiences and showing the ability to find laughter from multiple angles.  As the stoner dealing with the unexpected first kid on the way in “Knocked Up” to here in “Neighbors” as a married man and first time father.  Both of his characters have to transition into their new stage of family life and figure out what that means for their old life that they’re not ready to let go of.  Much like Judd Apatow, I look forward to growing old with Rogen’s raunchy comedy, eventually watching him deal with being a grandfather and the old saggy penis jokes that will come along with it.  

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) just put every penny they have into buying their first house that they plan to watch their new baby girl Stella (the crazy beautiful baby twins Elise and Zoey Vargas) grow up in.  Life is on track until the college fraternity Delta PSI moves in next door.  Mac and Kelly try to make cool with frat president Teddy (Zac Efron) and vice president Pete (Dave Franco) by making a hip peace offering of a joint but dropping the hint to keep the noise down to a respectable limit.  Teddy agrees and even invites the baby bound parents over for a rare needed night out to party, which includes an amusing mushroom laced bonding debate between Mac and Teddy over who Batman is to them; the softer speaking Michael Keaton for Mac to the growling Bale for Teddy.

Their coexistence doesn’t last long. As the frat parties night after night, the Radner’s feel forced to narc on the Delta’s calling the police with a noise complaint.  As kids we promise ourselves that we’ll never be those ‘adults’ who call the police because of loud music, but getting your newborn to sleep and keeping it so will change that point of view real quick.  An escalating prank war ensues between the two sides; water pipes are busted, air bags are stolen, condoms make their way into a baby’s mouth (that last one sounds worse than it is- if that’s possible). Weirdly enough, “Neighbors” isn’t nearly as funny as I hoped, but it makes up for it by having more fully fleshed characters than would be credited.  All though I will say that Rose Byrne crushed it, stealing scene after scene and proving that that “Bridesmaids” actress deserves her very own R comedy vehicle.  

 

On the other hand, I don’t know how I feel about Zac Efron and his leading man future.  At the moment I’m kind of lukewarm on the chap.  Never seen a High School Musical, and we all got to cut our teeth somewhere so I won’t hold it against him, but I was very underwhelmed with his previous hard R comedic chops in this years earlier release “That Awkward Moment”.  There are times where you can definitely see the young actor take interesting chances in “Neighbors”, and that shows me that he may not have just been a product constructed by the studio bigwigs, that and the fact that Seth Rogen, whom I respect in front and behind the camera, vouches for Zac makes me want to give it some more time on the little beefcake.  Long story short; the jury (me) is still out on Zac Efron and “Neighbors” doesn’t do enough in either direction to sway it.

Director Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and co-writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien are able to show sympathy from both sides.  Mac and Kelly struggle with being not that far removed from where their rowdy neighbors are but having their life completely changed by the responsibilities of parental guidance.  While young Teddy slowly starts to figure out that being a party monster legend doesn’t read well on a job resume and has to deal with fear of life past school.  Pretty much everyone older than 30 can relate to both characters in one way or another and I don’t know if I’ve seen that dichotomy portrayed so well on screen.  

I don’t know if I’ve seen that dichotomy portrayed so well on “this”.  

Mark 12:31