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Soundtrack review: The disaster artist (Dave Porter – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The disaster artist (Dave Porter – 2017)

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With The Disaster Artist, James Franco transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau — an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable — into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression, and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy’s cult-classic disasterpiece The Room (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend — and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Dave Porter, whose music for “Breaking bad” I really enjoyed, wrote the score.

This movie is a labour of love project from James Franco (who is in everything these days) and it also stars his brother Dave Franco; the score also contains a few lines of dialogue interlocked with the cues probably to make for a more complete experience for the ones who saw the movie or who know about Tommy Wiseau. If you are not into voiceovers don’t worry, these passages are at most 10 seconds long. The score itself opens with the title theme “The disaster artist” which is one of those light and hopeful cues that put me in a good mood, like seeing a pale blue sky without a cloud; it’s a combination of electric guitar and strings that I like. I like the second cue “Meet Tommy” even more because it has this nice inspirational buildup.

“Tommy’s pad” is the first cue when I recognise Dave Porter’s rather unique style, stringy and sharp, almost ironic; I distinguished his music before by the way in which he combines his motif just a little bit off, as if they don’t have to match perfectly into melodies, just a tad eschew and this is one cue where he does it again. Most of the score though is breezy and relaxing like a Sunday afternoon spent in the park; every now and then I almost need to hear a score like this, a light and enjoyable desert that’s all about the pleasant aftertaste.

Sometimes the music gets as playfully ironic in cues like “Auditions” and “Acting class” that it reminds me of the old Carter Burwell scores for Coen Brothers movies where the pace always left a question mark and a smile on my face even if there weren’t good things happening on screen. All these elements combine into a rewarding and enjoyable standalone listening experience; Dave Porter wrote a light and sensible guitar based score that has an overall feeling of optimism and positive thinking.

Cue rating: 77 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 4 / 36

Album excellence: 12%

Highlights:
Meet Tommy
Tommy’s Pad
Iris Burton Agency

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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