The movie The Room may be the worst modern movie ever made, becoming famous and infamous, inspiring a "so bad it's good" attitude and having midnight showings.  But what about Tommy Wiseau, the writer-director-star of the movie?  The Disaster Artist is a look at the man behind this movie -- and his best friend and co-star.

Greg (Dave Franco) is a struggling artist who meets Tommy (James Franco) at an acting class.  Greg is impressed with Tommy's uninhibited emotional acting, and the two quickly become good friends (despite Tommy being quite secretive about everything from his age to where he's from to his seemingly unlimited supply of money).  Tommy is quite volatile, rejecting every suggestion and overacting every chance he gets,

The two move to Los Angeles together, but acting gigs are scarce.  Greg gives Tommy the idea to make his own movie, which would become The Room.  Tommy spares no expense (and incurs many unnecessary ones) making the movie, and soon even Greg can't ignore the poor choices and terrible writing of the movie.  But Greg is in the movie too, worried about how it will affect his career and his friendship with Tommy.
The Disaster Artist is both entertaining and superficial.  James Franco does a dead-on impersonation of Tommy Wiseau, from his looks to his bizarre European accent.  But we never learn what really makes Wiseau tick (apart from his conviction that he must be the hero when acting) and the result in an amazing recreation of The Room and its star without getting into more about it.
Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch



Based on true events, Operation Finale is about the discovery and capture of Adolph Eichmann, considered the architect of the Nazis' final solution and the highest-ranking Nazi to escape alive after World War Two.  The movie tells a compelling story, though with some forced elements.

The movie begins in 1960, when Israel's Mossad intelligence agency gets a lead that Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) is living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Unfortunately, Argentina has a strict anti-extradition policy; the country also has a large group of Nazi sympathizers.  So the Mossad hatch a plan: send a small team of operatives to Buenos Aires, identify Eichmann, then capture him and bring him back to Israel for trial.
Israel's team is headed by Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac), a soldier who'd just as soon kill Eichmann as bring him home.  He leads the team in Eichmann's capture.  However, they need Eichmann to sign a paper authorizing his extradition to Israel to stand trial.  There's also a delay in the flight to get him home -- and the authorities and Nazis searching for the captures Nazi.

Operation Finale is good, with some flaws.  The story it tells is an important one, and it underscores the need for the trial and the horrors of the war: Malkin's flashbacks are of his sister, killed by the Nazis; Eichmann's are of his getting blue ink on white shirt cuffs.  But the movie also has some plot devices that are a bit clumsy: Malkin's ex romantic partner as a reluctant member of the team, clues left behind at the abduction, a seemingly minutes-close escape from an airport.  These feel heavy handed in a movie that already had plenty of drama in it.

Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch