Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 12/08/17
The Disaster Artist (R)
Starring: Sharon Stone, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Adam Scott, Kristen Bell, Josh Hutcherson, Lizzy Caplan, Seth Rogan, Zac Efron
Directed by: James Franco
For decades, the consensus was that writer/director/producer Ed Wood’s 1959 film, Plan 9 From Outerspace was the worst movie ever made. The notoriety was so great, it prompted late-night TV marathons, a special showing in Santa Rosa, and a Hollywood movie about the making of the film starring Johnny Depp as Ed Wood. Then, in 2003, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, produced and starred in a feature-length Indie he called The Room. The plot involved Tommy, his almost always topless girlfriend, Lisa and her “secret” affair with Tommy’s best friend. It almost ends with Tommy’s graphic suicide by handgun. The result was “marginal” at best, until it won the 2004 Best Feature Audience Award at the New York International Independent Film Festival. Since then, the movie and its maker have acquired cult status—especially among the students at colleges and universities that offer a degree in filmmaking. Now, in The disaster Artist, James Franco stars and directs a film about The Room in which he plays Tommy Wiseau. Like Depp did with Ed Wood, Franco plays Tommy as a dedicated “artiste” who truly believes he is making a good movie. Since we audiences are much more sophisticated and worldly-wise, we see the humorous aspects of the endeavor, and revel in the disaster that unfolds.
3 and 1/2 pieces of especially fun for those who make (or wanna make) Indie films toast
Just Getting Started (PG-13)
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Jane Seymour, Joe Pantoliano, Glenn Headley, Elizabeth Ashley
Directed by: Ron Shelton
Despite his checkered past, the high-spirited Duke Diver has held coveted “cock of the walk” position as the manager of partying at the Villa Capri Resort in Palm Springs for years—until a charming former military man checks in and stakes his claim to a newly arrived guest named Susie. This current version of the aging buddies movie is populated with an ensemble of familiar faces when Duke’s life is threatened by people from his shady past. Will the new military guy, the new lady guest and the grizzled old-timers band together to protect Duke? But of course, what else would you expect?
3 pieces of these great actors seem to be having a lot of fun toast
Bill Nye, the Science Guy (NR)
Starring: Bill Nye, Francis Collins, Ann Druhan Heather Berlin Neil deGrasse Tyson
Directed by: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado
In this documentary, we discover that behind his bow-tied brainy image, Bill Nye is—brainy, bow-tied and a tireless advocate for Science (with a capital S). The only surprising thing about this doc is how Nye can debunk climate-change-unbelievers face-to-face, and do so in such a way, that his opponents may actually begin to question their own assumptions. Known on TV as a “kids show” personality, Nye has never wanted to be famous, but to the grown ups who watched him on TV when they were kids, Nye is a superstar. Several fans credit Nye with sparking a love of discovery, while others admit that their careers were launched because of the guy with the bow-tie.
4 pieces of here’s a guy that not only tells it like it is but also provides replicable ways to have nay-sayers test things for themselves toast