Truly, the apocalypse is right around the corner when I can freely admit that I thoroughly enjoyed a film starring what I call "The Rogen Crew" (Seth Rogen, James Franco, Zac Efron and others). Yet here I am doling out three and a half crowns to James Franco's directorial debut.


More importantly, this is a limited release film - coming out at the right time - that may grow strong legs during the awards season a couple of months away. The great irony is that it is based on the making of one of the worst produced films ever to make it to the big screen; the 2006 cult classic "The Room" starring Tommy Wiseau. Not to be confused with the Osscar winning 2015 film "Room" with Brie Larson.


Tom who? Exactly! Wiseau was a Hollywood nobody who just happened to have a bunch of money and a lot of nerve. He was/is not a good actor. He never was/is good director. And he knew he would never get any studio in their right minds to bankroll his film, so he bankrolled it himself with his friend and colleague Greg Sestero.

Franco, has adapted the book written by Sestero and takes us behind the scenes of the production of this $6 million fiasco. Franco cast himself as Wiseau and his brother Dave Franco in the role of Sestero. Franco does for Wiseau, what Tim Burton did for b-movie legend Ed Wood. Despite what you might think initially, Franco doesn't make fun of Wiseau, instead he mimics him. He recreates the entire event of making "The Room".


He chronicles how Sestero and Wiseau meet in acting class and their efforts to find legitimate roles. After getting brushed aside, Sestero mentions to Wiseau he has a script he's written and the rest is history. The two move with each other and proceed to assemble a crew to make the film "The Room", regardless of the fact that Wiseau has no idea what he's doing. More importantly, he is completely unaware of how bad he truly is.


The crew, which includes long time film collaborator Seth Rogen go along with Wiseau as soon as their paychecks clear. Whil;e Ed Wood films were notoriously bad because he was working with shoestring budget, Wiseau had a seemingly endless cash drawer. He also claims to be a 20-something from New Orleans though he can barely pronounce the city and he has an unmistable Easter European accent; Franco really nails Wiseau's personage.


With his depiction of Wiseau, Franco proves that his 2011 acting nomination in "127 Hours" was no fluke.


"The Disaster Artist" has few flaws though it is about a deeply flawed film and the utterly flawed person presenting the film, but it may just grow legs to make noise during the upcoming awards season.   -- GEOFF BURTON