Tag: Robin Williams

MOVIE REVIEW | Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters
Original Cinema Quad Poster – Movie Film Posters

“I just want to know one thing. Are your kids well-behaved? Or do they need like, a few light slams every now and then?”

Sometimes a movie permeates the culture to such a degree, that even without seeing it, it feels you’ve seen it.  Twenty years ago, Robin Williams wacked on a dress, a wig and some facial prosthetics and made one of the most famous movie characters to have emerged before or since.  I was 12 or 13 when Mrs Doubtfire came out, so I probably had an adolescent chip on my shoulder about not wanting to watch a kids’ movie.


It was only a year earlier that I’d done my best to avoid William’s voice work in Aladdin as well, I assume for the same shoulder chip related reason.  But it turns out, I never needed to literally see Mrs Doubtfire then, because, after having seen it now, Mrs Doubtfire’s complete saturation then, and for years later, meant I had basically seen it all, whether I tried to or not. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin

“To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.”

I’ve caught up on a few Disney classics for the sake of this blog, but there are still plenty of black spots in my Disney animated knowledge.  Having never seen the really old ones as a kid, I blame on my parents.  How did they never show me Peter Pan, Dumbo, Bambi, 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella or Lady and the Tramp?   But the not so old ones, I can only blame myself.  In the 90s, I was at that age where I thought I was too old and too cool for corny Disney crap.  Which is why I’m only just now getting around to Aladdin, more than 20 years after the fact.


In some gloriously stereotypical middle eastern country of turbans and taj mahals, lives Aladdin (Scott Weinger).  A street rat and hustler, Aladdin and his monkey survive on stolen bread and big dreams.  On the right side of the tracks is Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin), daughter of the Sultan (Douglas Seale).  The Sultan wants his daughter to get married and he’s taking advice from the sinister Jafar (Jonathan Freeman). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The World According to Garp (1982)

Garp
“You know, everybody dies. My parents died. Your father died. Everybody dies. I’m going to die too. So will you. The thing is, to have a life before we die. It can be a real adventure, having a life”.

Robin Williams was known as a funny guy, which is weirder than you might think. Because despite him coming up as a comedian and getting famous as a sitcom star through Mork and Mindy, his filmography from the last 30 odd years seems to be more about the serious roles. I knew that he eventually made his way to those serious roles. What I didn’t know, was how early his turn to the drama side started. It started in the early 80s, with just his second big screen appearance. It started with The World According to Garp.


After pretty much raping an invalid veteran while he’s a patient in her hospital, just because she felt like having a kid, nurse Jenny Fields (Glenn Close) gives birth to a son she names Garp. Growing up in the hospital where his mother works, young Garp is bombarded with his mother’s feminist ideals, as well as her strange aversion to what she regards as lust. Once he reaches high school (from then on played by Robin Williams), Garp splits his time between wrestling, writing, and pursuing the wrestling coach’s daughter, Helen (Mary Beth Hurt). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

peggy_sue_se_caso_1986

When you’re the guy who made The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now and The Conversation, a silly little time travel romance is never gonna be a stand out amongst your illustrious filmography.  And when you’re the guy who made Jack (you know, the one where Robin Williams plays a ten year old kid with a crazy aging disease), a silly little time travel romance is never gonna stand out as one of your worst either.  But the thing is, when you’re a guy named Francis Ford Coppola, your  silly little time travel romance is probably gonna be the best a silly little time travel romance is ever gonna be.  All of that is to say, Peggy Sue Got Married is a much better movie than its premise would have you believe.

What makes this throw away idea work are the lead performances by Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage.  Turner is the titular Peggy Sue.  In present day 1986, she’s separated from her high school sweetheart, now husband, Nicolas Cage, and on her way to a school reunion.  At the reunion, we’re quickly introduced to a few key friends, where their character arc types and current standings in the world are quickly dispatched so we know who’s who and where they’re headed once we meet them again back in 1960.  Coz’ that’s where Turner ends up pretty soon into this movie.

Turner sells the disbelief, acceptance and embracing of time travel so well, that at no point do her attitude or decisions seem rushed for the sake of plot momentum.  And even when she makes decisions that she knows for a fact won’t work out for the best in the future, you believe they really were the only decision this character could ever make, no matter how many chances she might get at a do over.

While Turner is the cynical head of the movie, flash back Nicolas Cage gets the far more fun role of the over optimistic heart of Peggy Sue Got Married.  The fact that we get to see his 1986 loser self makes his 1960 wide eyed romantic all the more likeable.  These days, Cage gets a lot of attention for his bat shit crazy approaches to most characters, but it’s really nothing new.  Cage’s best (and worst) characters his entire career have all come from the weird choices he makes that no other actor would ever even dream of if they were playing that same character.  He’s a go-big-or- go-home kind of actor.  When he misses, he really misses.  But when he hits, you get really interesting stuff.  Whether it’s heavy, restrained drama like Leaving Las Vegas, or total fluff like Peggy Sue Got Married.

Is it all a dream, or did Peggy Sue travel back in time?  The best part of this movie is that it doesn’t really matter.  1986 Peggy Sue has learnt what she needed to learn, whether or not she actually went back to 1960.  And that’s the kind of thing Coppola does to make sure Peggy Sue Got Married is more than just a silly little time travel romance.

Peggy Sue Got Married – Watch the full movie, streaming for free HERE
Direct By – Frances Ford Coppola
Written By – Jerry Leichtling, Arlene Sarner