The Disaster Artist – Should You See It?


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The Disaster Artist is definitely worth seeing. It’s actually worth seeing more than once (which is what I’m going to do because I loved it so much). I haven’t had this much fun in a movie since EVER! James Franco is a spot-on Tommy Wiseau who plays the character Johnny in The Room and James is amazing when he recreates The Disaster Artist scenes from The Room. Because James Franco put in so much dedication to this role, he is a wonderful Tommy and a wonderful director for the movie in general. He even stayed in Tommy’s character when he was directing the movie!

Tommy and James

That being said, I think in order to really enjoy this movie, you’ll have had to see The Room first. Trust me, you will enjoy it!!! I saw it for the first time a year ago and I have probably watched it at least 50 times now. Yes, it is an awful movie! But that is WHY it’s good. Tommy Wiseau is absolutely perfect in the movie because you just can’t turn away. James Franco really captures his essence in The Disaster Artist. And, he is now nominated for Golden Globes due to how amazing the movie is.

the disaster atist crew

The Disaster Artist is mainly about the relationship between the two main actors in The Room: Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. And because of this, it is so interesting. They are the weirdest pair of best friends you could imagine! Tommy is so much older than Greg (even though he won’t reveal his age or where he was born haha). This is why they’re weird best friends. This shows that any friendship can flourish regardless of pointless differences. If two people click, they click. It’s as simple as that.

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Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero in The Disaster Artist. His performance wasn’t amazing in my opinion, though. James Franco picked him to be Greg because he is his brother, and that is apparent. Even so, the storyline makes up for this. The other actors are decent, but the movie focuses on Tommy and Greg’s relationship.

The scenes that James Franco recreates as Tommy Wiseau are absolutely perfect! He put sooo much into this movie. If you are a James fan and/or a Tommy fan, you will like this movie. I guarantee it!

Don’s Plum – The Movie Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire Don’t Want You to See


If you look at at both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire’s movie history, you’ll see a movie called Don’s Plum that had a VERY limited release in 2001. It was actually filmed in 1996, though. Ironically, it was filmed in black and white so it looks like an older movie. Leo and Tobey filed a lawsuit to make sure this movie was not released to the public. They don’t want ANYONE to see it. For me, that heightened my appeal to see it. It took me a long time to find it online since every time a copy becomes available, Leo and/or Tobey’s publicists find a way to take it down.

plight don's plum

Why are they so adamant to avoid people seeing it? It’s not really made clear as to why they want it banned. Even so, the people who watch it can make some guesses. I personally think that the biggest reason for Leo and Tobey to prevent its release was that they were embarrassed by how stupid they acted in this movie. The plot is also nonexistent. This could be because there was no script to the movie…it was all improvised by the actors.

They were so desperate to squash this movie that they paid 10 million dollars to the producer of Don’s Plum. Most of the movies Leo and Tobey have acted in are really good. On the other hand, the majority of this movie just involves some friends sitting around a table at a restaurant called “Don’s Plum” talking about sex and drugs. There are cuts where each character goes into the bathroom and looks in the mirror while talking to themselves. That’s pretty strange and unrealistic.

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EVERY actor has some bad movies/acting in their pasts. This helped them grow before they were really famous. Our mistakes are what make us grow as human beings in general. No one is perfect regardless of what they think or say.

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Was this movie really bad? I’d have to say yeah. Was it bad in a good way? I would say yeah to that too. The fact that it was stupid made it funny. If this movie was available to everyone, it would most likely become a huge success because of its stupidity and the huge actors that were in it. Leo and Tobey would get so much money for its success and so would Kevin Connolly since he is also very famous now and got his start in Don’s Plum. It could even become a cult success like the movie The Room.

Check out this scene where Leo is wearing fake buck teeth and picking his nose:

Embarrassing? Yes. Hilarious? Of course. We can see Leo’s funny side for once.

If you’re feeling really bold and rebellious, here’s the link to the full movie. It probably will only be on YouTube for a limited time since Leo or Tobey’s publicist will eventually take it down. Watch it while you have the chance:

 

Thoughts on Alex Winter’s Deep Web (2015)


“Deep Web” is a documentary from 2015 created and directed by Alex Winter. The documentary debuted on March 15, 2015 at SXSW and was featured on the EPIX cable network. The film goes into great detail and tells the unbiased story of the Silk Road, and the trial of its alleged creator and admin, Ross Ulbricht AKA Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR). Winter’s goal with the film was not to take sides, but to explain what the Silk Road was – a political community and movement of like-minded individuals. He also felt that law enforcement created a completely untruthful narrative of the entire case, and it needed some explaining. I discovered this documentary after Alex Winter was featured on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and was immediately fascinated by the story he was trying to tell. Here’s the trailer.

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We’re All Just Flying Monkeys in Space

Winter featured in a few famous films from the late 80s and early 90s, such as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), BT’s Bogus Journey (1991), The Lost Boys (1987), and Freaked (1993). He’s been interested in the internet and tech world for his whole life. He created another internet-related documentary, Downloaded, released at SXSW in 2012He also gave a very interesting TED talk on how the Dark Net is key to our privacyAnd here he is talking about Ross.

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Alex Winter

Deep Web is the impartial, unbiased account of the Silk Road deep web marketplace, and the trial of its alleged creator, Ross Ulbricht or DPR. For what its worth, the case of Ross is an account of the government having it’s head in the sand and trying to shove our heads in also. The Silk Road was created in 2011 by a group of like-minded individuals with various libertarian and anarchist political beliefs. It combined the use of TOR (anonymous browser) and bitcoin (anonymous currency) to create a completely anonymous black market. Any goods can be exchanged on the site, but it was mainly used to exchange drugs.  Counterfeit currency, stolen goods, and other things that would hurt people were not allowed to be listed for sale on the site. The overall philosophy behind the site was to create a new relationship between the government and the people, where the government can’t control what the people buy and sell. Another minor philosophy the group shared was putting an end to the drug war.

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Screenshot

DPR was the screen name of the main admin and creator of the site. For those not familiar with this name, it’s from “The Princess Bride” novel and film. It’s a character whose name – Dread Pirate Roberts – is passed down to a new person periodically. This little tidbit is important to the names as it applies to The Silk Road. For example, DPR did an interview with Andy Greenberg. In the interview, DPR says that he did not create the Silk Road, his predecessor did, and he took over the screen name at some point.

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DPR in The Princess Bride

Almost immediately after the site was launched, it was infiltrated by undercover law enforcement who participated in the drug deals. Law enforcement also had informants working for them on the site. The investigation caught speed with an undercover officer named “nob”. Nob started contacting DPR regarding large-scale drug deals, and if he could be connected with a buyer of weight. DPR connected nob with a user named “chronic pain” who bought from nob, the federal agent, and gave his home address as the shipping address.

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Needless to say, chronicpain was arrested, which freaked out DPR. Then DPR told nob they needed to have chronicpain beaten up, which eventually changed to he should be executed. A photo of chronicpain’s bloody was sent to DPR as proof the deed was done. This was one of six total alleged murder for hire schemes. Of note is that two of the victims’ names in these schemes were found to be fictitious.

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Good Old Fashioned Molly

Christopher Tarbell of the FBI eventually located the Silk Road’s server in data centers in Iceland and Germany. It’s still a mystery how Tarbell located these servers legally. At 51:40 in the film, a summary of the explanation given by Tarbell on how he accessed the server is given. This expert calls Tarbell’s story “a heaping pile of bovine excrement”. This explanation is actually contradictory to what was given by the FBI. Regardless, both Tarbell’s and the FBI’s explanations don’t make sense. Therefore, it was most likely an illegal hack. Which, if true, means Ross’ 4th amendment rights were violated.

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Eventually, in October 2013, Ross Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco at the Glen Park library. He was actually logged in to the DPR account on the Silk Road and was unable to encrypt his laptop before he was arrested. They found a journal documenting Ross’ activities in creating the Silk Road, as well as millions (around 3.6 million worth) in bitcoin. Recall three paragraphs above, the Andy Greenberg interview. There was at least two people who have used the DPR screen name. Even though we know about this interview, to the casual observer, it would appear Ross was caught with his pants down. Since this arrest, Ross has been held in prison, he was not allowed bail due to the violent nature of his murder-for-hire charges. Even with Ross in jail, a new “Silk Road 2.0” popped up, ran by a new DPR.

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At 59:55 we get a powerful opinion from ex Baltimore cop Neill Franklin, current director of the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Franklin discusses his memories of violence against families due to drugs, specifically recalling the murder of an entire family of seven by one drug dealer. He says, “If Baltimore moved from street corners to online services, do you know how many fewer shootings we would have every year, which equates to fewer homicides?” He goes further by pointing out that, by using the internet, buyers are removed from the dangerous situations that arises from being around drug dealers. Another interesting fact he brought up is the multi-billion dollar drug testing industry.

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I also found the interview with Amir Taaki to be very interesting. Taaki was involved with the creation of Bitcoin. He states that the next step is to make decentralized drug markets, a la torrenting. This way, the government can never bring down the whole thing. The weak point of the Silk Road was there was a central server, and there was a main admin and creator.

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Amir Taaki

By the time of Ross’ trial, all the violent charges were dropped from his indictment. Regardless, the public and jury were still tainted. The simple fact that there were violent charges against him at one point was a smear against Ross’ image. It’s hard to believe someone with a quote on their LinkedIn profile such as:

“Now, my goals have shifted. I want to use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and aggression amongst mankind…To that end, I am creating and economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”

could have a violent bone in his body. He had his trial in early 2015. It was a sham to say the least. Considering the very technical nature of the case, expert witnesses were not allowed to be called by the defense. The judge said the case did not require expert knowledge. Also, remember “nob”, the undercover drug seller who contacted DPR about selling weight? He was found to be stealing millions in bitcoins from people on the Silk Road. This little tidbit, that the law enforcement officer responsible for the original break in the case was now being investigated for corruption, was also not admitted into the trial. He was sentenced to life without parole. He essentially wasn’t able to defend himself, and is appealing.

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Ross Ulbricht

Luckily, as of the time of this documentary in March 2015, Ross has avoided violence while in prison. This recent update on his appeal shows his defense is focusing on corrupt law enforcement officers. The case of Ross Ulbricht might be a textbook example of obstruction of justice on the part of law enforcement. Please do what you can to support Ross in his fight against false charges.

“I’ll never give up hope of being free again.” – Ross Ulbricht

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Free Ross

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading. Check out Deep Web by Alex Winter. And FREE ROSS ULBRICHT!