Tag Archive: Robin Williams


A very British twist on Bruce Almighty, Absolutely Anything has amusing script that is bought to life in a stunted fashion with mixed results.

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Absolutely Anything has two main selling points – firstly it is the first film since the Meaning of Life (1983) to have all five surviving members of Monty Python together again and secondly it is the last film to be released that stars Robin Williams. Unfortunately both of these selling points are hugely disappointing as both Williams and the Python Crew perform voice-work on just a small number of scenes with the Python contingent being particularly unsatisfactory.

Once you embrace this disappointment though and accept that the roles are simply bit-parts the film becomes easily enjoyable as Simon Pegg gains magic abilities and uses them with escalating ridiculousness.

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The opening of the film is slow and feels incredibly awkward as many of the early jokes feel forced, cringeworthy and simply fall flat. It feels like a late-eighties comedy made in the modern day and after twenty minutes the film is on a crash-course for disaster.

Luckily however it is saved by Pegg’s powers. Once he realises what he can do the film improves and is all of sudden filled with comedic gold. As it progresses the film just gets increasingly stupid and simultaneously increasingly fun. Embracing it for what it is the last three-quarters of the film are truly laugh a minute; particularly as Pegg struggles with the overly precise nature of the rules.

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Throughout the film there is a strong sense of Britishness to the humour as it embraces dark comedy in a stupidly light-hearted and satirical way. In no other film would you see a group of 38 children murdered for almost no reason for example (although shortly afterwards they are bought back to life).

Absolutely Anything is then a slow starting train that once you embrace it and hop on takes you a hilarious world. It’s just a real shame that the Monty Python members have little more than a cameo.

6/10

 The final film I selected to watch in tribute to Robin Williams was one of my favourites growing up. The ridiculous, slapstick comedy Flubber. I remember the film well from my childhood and being enthralled by the fast-paced and the wackiness of Williams alongside the comedy created by the bouncy green gloop – however I did also expect to be disappointed – maybe the effects would be look super lame? The plot would be full of holes? Maybe it wouldn’t even be funny?

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Luckily I was wrong on most counts… yes the plot does have a few holes and is borderline ridiculous – for example the flying car – however this does not matter as the comedy maintains it throughout. The comedy is mostly slapstick with laughs coming from Robin Williams bouncing around a room or a goon being hit in the head by a bowling ball… but this doesn’t matter – after all it is a kids film!

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The effects however do not look as dated as I expected; I doubt if the film was remade they would be able to improve on the flubber as it looks entirely how you would expect it to.Screen shot 2014-08-14 at 17.59.05

 

Flubber is a childs film and I believe I enjoyed it more for the nostalgia than the actual film itself – I think that if I where to watch it for the first time as an adult it would be horrible. Saying that I would surprised if you showed to a child of today and they didn’t enjoy it – so timeless is Robin Williams’s performance.

 

Flubber is a perfect example of what Williams can achieve and will always stand in my heart as on my favourite of his performances.

 

Story – 2/5

Style – 3/5

Technical – 5/5

Enjoyment – 5/5

 

Total: 15/20 = 7/10

 

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Dead Poet’s Society is a standard coming-of-age story in which a teacher (Robin Williams) inspires young children at a boarding school to embrace their freedom – with mixed results. The story is rather predictable however some great dialogue and several astounding performances set the film apart from others of the same genre.


Robin Williams is at the crux of the film with his performance of the unconventional teacher who aims to inspire the young boys of his class. As the film develops we also see the characters develop particularly the extremely shy ‘Todd’ (Ethan Hawke) become a much more confident person who embraces his side. The performance by Hawke is amazing and shows why he went on to become the most successful of all the younger actors.

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The films has ‘twist’ ending that whilst a shock to some extent doesn’t quite have the desired impact because although it does add a tragic element to the story it just doesn’t fit the tone of the film and feels forced.

 

The film scores as follows:

 

Story – 2/5

Style – 4/5

Technical – 3/5

Enjoyment – 4/5

 

Total: 13/20 = 6/10

 

 

The Birdcage is a fantastic comedy romp which delivers a hilarious situation and great character interaction. It is truly hilarious from start to finish and one of a few films that to make me laugh out loud.

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The film follows Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) a gay, flirtatious nightclub owner. When his son decides he is getting married; Armand and his partner (and popular drag-queen) Albert (Nathan Lane) must pretend to be straight and upright citizens – for the father of the sons fiancée is a high-ranking and very right-wing politician (played by Gene Hackman). This obviously leads to countless jokes as the couple attempt to act masculine and also avoid touchy political subjects during the dinner.

 

The film is based on a 1973 French play ‘les Cage aux Folles’ and retains a very theatrical style both in the script and the performance. Much of the film is set in a single room with characters moving in and out to have private (and hilarious) discussions about what is going on. This style works very well and adds to the farcical nature of what the story; which although ridiculous raises some good points about societies homophobia which are still valid today.

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A mustachioed Robin Williams stands at the centre of the film as the head of the family and rather than be the creator of the jokes using slapstick (as he is in Mrs. Doubtfire) the jokes happen around him and allow him to show a different side of comic performances in reactions. He does this extremely well and dominates the screen – although Hank Azaria as butler Agador Spartacus does steal some scenes.

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The Birdcage is a fantastic film and I would rate it on par with Mrs. Doubtfire as being Robin Williams’s greatest comedy.

 

Story – 4/5

Style – 4/5

Technical – 3/5

Enjoyment – 5/5

 

Total: 16/20 = 8/10

 

 

 

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By some strange coincidence I decided to watch Good Will Hunting this morning; only to turn on my computer and discover the tragic news of Robin Williams’s passing. This post was already going to be a praise of the actors Oscar-winning performance however with the news of his death it is hard to praise it enough. I have also decided to dedicate the next several films in my challenge to Robin Williams and will therefore watch (and review) a collection of his works in order to pay a kind of personal tribute to a filmic genius.

 

Good Will Hunting follows Will Hunting (Matt Damon) a mathematical genius living in South Boston; who attempts to juggle two lives. His genius life and that of living in poverty. It is clear from the start of the film that his character is full of potential that is effectively getting wasted as he works as a janitor and spends his free time drinking with his best friend (Ben Affleck). It isn’t until his genius is discovered and he is forced to visit a therapist (Robin Williams) that he starts to see himself for what he is.

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The relationships between Will and the characters surrounding him are what drive the film with the most powerful probably being the one with his therapist. They two characters have many similarities in their lives which are drawn upon and although the therapy is supposed to be helping Will it is soon clear that the therapist himself is also being helped recover from the grief of a dead wife.

 

The film is made entirely realistically with some fantastically written scenes that are fully deserving of winning the awards they did. Robin Williams is also magnificent in one of his more serious roles; he really brings depth to his character and dominates every scene he is in; particularly towards the end of the film during the heartbreaking ‘it’s not your fault’ sequence.

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Good Will Hunting is an excellent movie; with great writing and a fantastic cast.

 

Story – 5/5

Style – 4/5

Technical – 5/5

Enjoyment – 4/5

The film scores a total of 18/20 or 9/20.