Tag Archives: robin williams

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is a 2018 documentary about the iconic comedian. Robin Williams was one of a kind, renowned for his quick wit and manic energy. Director Marina Zenovich takes you on a journey through his life, starting with his childhood, exploring how he developed his talent, the highs and lows of his comedy and acting career, revealing aspects of his private life, and ultimately his final days and his enduring legacy.

I was kind of reluctant to watch it at first. It was kind of late to be starting a two hour movie, and I was afraid that it would be depressing. It wasn’t. I was laughing and learning and reminiscing for pretty much the whole running time. It only got sad towards the end as his mind started to betray him and his talent slipped away.

The documentary is pretty thorough but doesn’t cover everything. It goes into behind-the-scenes stories from a lot of his movies, but omits Hook for some reason. It loses a couple of points for that. It also doesn’t delve into his habit of stealing jokes from other comedians. Yeah, he was brilliant but a lot of his jokes came from other people. They should have addressed that.

Robin Williams was larger than life, but Come Inside My Mind makes you realize that he was a real person too. He had hopes and dreams and flaws and fears. He accomplished a lot and was an inspiration for many. His death left a void in the world. This documentary is a nice tribute to a great performer.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A Good Idea for a Restaurant 

I have a good idea for a restaurant. You remember that dinner scene with the Lost Boys in Hook? The one where Robin Williams as Peter Pan regains his imagination and an amazing feast appears before them, you remember that? My restaurant will recreate that wonder. 

You start by approaching a large communal table. You’ll sit right next to strangers. It’s real friendly like. The servers will bring out a bunch of empty plates and dishes and put them on the table. There’s about five minutes of pretending to eat, then suddenly the empty plates and dishes are replaced with real food.

Of course the food is all inspired by the food that appears in the movie. All the different types of meat and fruit, the hunk of cheese with Thud’s face in it, the crazy colered pie things, cups of hot cocoa with heaping servings of whipped cream, it’s all there. Everyone eats their fill. The feast ends with a food fight. It’s a little wasteful but it’s worth it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Robin Williams

Robin Williams passed away on August 11, 2014 and so did a piece of my childhood. Hook was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I know every single moment and can recite it line for line. I literally grew up watching Robin Williams. I remember seeing Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, Jumanji, and What Dreams May Come in theaters. I even taped that episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? that he appeared on. And now he’s gone and I can’t believe it. His death is significant. It has meaning. You’ll always remember where you where and what you were doing when you found out that Robin Williams died. It’s sad because he made you happy. He was born to entertain but he couldn’t deal with his depression. Someone who brings that much joy to the world shouldn’t be suffering.

Williams was wild and crazy, but still seemed warm and inviting. He crafted a unique persona that made you feel like you know him. And that’s why his death feels like a friend died. He made an impact on your life whether you want to acknowledge it or not. He was a controversial comedian and not the best of role models, but you can’t deny that he was a celebrity among celebrities and accomplished what most of us can only dream of. He won’t be forgotten. More importantly, he deserves to be remembered.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Minnie Driver

If you can remember back to 1997 and a film called Good Will Hunting, you might recall an up-and-coming actress named Minnie Driver. Remember? There was Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, and that girl. Minnie Driver was that girl.  She had a little success after that film; she provided the voice of Jane in Disney’s Tarzan, she had a few other movies that only a few people saw, and she was in The Riches on the FX network. That’s about it. She provided a voice for The Simpsons Movie but her scenes were cut, so it doesn’t count. I actually forgot that she existed. If you’re a celebrity and people forget that you exist, you aren’t doing a good job.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed By Brendan H. Young.

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What Dreams May Come (film)

Vincent Ward directs Robin Williams in one of his more dramatic roles. This is not a comedy. This is a depressing movie about death and the afterlife. It’s about the lengths a guy will go through to be reunited with his soul mate. It’s based on a book that I never read and probably never will because I’ve seen the movie.

Robin Williams plays Dr. Chris Nielsen, and when he was young, he met an artist named Annie (Annabella Sciorra). They fell in love and had a couple of kids and life was good. Then life wasn’t so good when their kids died in a car accident. Annie goes a little crazy with grief and tries to kill herself, but Chris pulls her through. He is her strength, her rock. And then he dies too, and Annie is all alone.

Chris is dead, but he’s not gone. A part of him still exists and he stays around for a while. A blurry Cuba Gooding, Jr. appears and acts as his guide to the afterlife. They watch Annie grieving at his funeral and at his gravesite. He has to move on and so he goes to his own personal Heaven.

You create your own Heaven and Chris goes into his wife’s paintings. His old Dalmatian is there and so is Cuba Gooding, Jr. and he’s no longer blurry. Cuba identifies himself as Albert Lewis, Chris’s old mentor. He teaches Chris the basics of Heaven, what you can and can’t do, free your mind, all that hoopla. Chris and Albert see a tree that wasn’t in the painting before. Annie just painted it, and they are able to reach each other through her art. Because they are soul mates. And that’s how it works.

Chris mentions that he hasn’t seen his kids. Albert says he will see them when he wants to see them. Even though he saw his dog right away. I guess we know his priorities. Chris continues touring Heaven and meets a hot Asian chick. She ends up being his daughter. I saw this movie in theaters and I was really confused at this point, because I thought he had two sons that died in a car accident. I didn’t know that the younger kid was a girl. Girls should have long hair. I thought he just had an effeminate son. Anyway, the hot Asian chick is his daughter. His daughter assumed the form of a sexy Asian because her dad said that Asians were sexy. So she wanted to look attractive for her daddy. That’s kinda gross. And I guess that even though Chris loves Annie he still has a case of yellow fever.

So after this awkward father-daughter reunion, Albert tells Chris that Annie committed suicide and is now in Hell. She was suffering and she ended her suffering and ended up in Hell. When the dog was suffering and they ended his suffering, it ended up in Heaven. Why did she end up down there and the dog end up in Heaven? Did they murder the dog? Is that the difference?

Anyway, Chris decides he wants to go to Hell to rescue Annie. Albert takes him to a Tracker (Max von Sydow). They all go to Hell, and Chris remembers telling his son that he wouldn’t walk through Hell with anyone other than him. And he realizes that Albert is actually his son. So the first two people he meets in the afterlife were actually his kids and they were lying to his face. Everyone lies in Heaven. Maybe his dog is really his old cat.

So Albert/Actually-his-son stays behind and Chris and the Tracker go through Hell to find Annie. And the Tracker reveals that he is actually the real Albert Lewis, the same guy who his son was pretending to be. Small world or lazy writing?

Chris finds Annie trapped in her own personal Hell. She doesn’t recognize him. He chooses to stay in Hell with her and they end up back in Heaven. Because they are soul mates and that’s how it works. They are reunited in Heaven with their two kids and it seems like the perfect ending. But Chris and Annie decide to get reincarnated and get sent back to Earth to start a new life together. The two kids get to stay in Heaven and not live full lives, while their parents get to go back and start a new family and forget about their two kids they already had. That’s a terrible ending. It’s child neglect from beyond the grave.

This is not a comedy. Just because you see Robin Williams on the cover doesn’t mean it’s a good time. This movie is sad. It tries to be uplifting but it fails. There are great depictions of Heaven and Hell, and the plot seems original at first, but it becomes mundane. It’s a decent movie, but I wouldn’t say it is essential viewing.

Critically Rated at 11/17

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Hook

What if Peter Pan grew up? According to Steven Spielberg, he would become Americanized and look like Robin Williams. Hook tells the story of a grown up Peter Pan, who must return to Neverland to save his kids from the evil Captain Hook. Robin Williams plays Peter Banning, an American lawyer who finds out he is Peter Pan, and Dustin Hoffman plays Captain Hook, the Sleaziest Sleaze of the Seven Seas.

Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a father and a lawyer, who would rather spend his time lawyering than being with his kids. His wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) worries that Peter isn’t spending enough time with his kids Jack and Maggie (Charlie Korsmo and Amber Scott). Peter misses Jack’s baseball games and is too busy working to notice his kids. The Banning family goes on vacation to visit their Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith). Wendy claims to be the Wendy from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

While Peter, Wendy, and Moira are out one night, the kids get kidnapped. The only clue to their abductor is a note signed by a James Hook. Granny Wendy tells Peter that he is Peter Pan, and that only he can save Jack and Maggie. He has a hard time believing her until Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) shows up and takes him back to Neverland.

Peter finds himself in the midst of a bunch of pirates, including Smee (Bob Hoskins) and the notorious Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Hook offers Peter his kids in exchange for a war. Peter has three days to find his inner Pan and fight Captain Hook.

Peter finds his old allies, the Lost Boys. They don’t recognize the old geezer in front of them as their former leader, until Pockets pulls back his wrinkles and finds his long lost friend in the folds. Not all the Lost Boys are convinced that Peter Banning is Peter, most notably Rufio (Dante Basco).

As Peter struggles to discover his inner child, Captain Hook decides to brainwash Jack and Maggie into loving him. Maggie is hard to convince, but Jack already had a strained relationship with his father, so he starts to turn to Hook’s side.

Peter eventually remembers who he is, and what he can do. He finds his happy thought, and he is Peter Pan again. He and the Lost Boys launch an attack on Hook and his pirates, freeing Jack and Maggie. But this is an exciting Hollywood climax, so people die. Like Rufio. Peter and Hook have an exciting duel, culminating in Hook getting devoured by a crocodile clock. Neverland’s a bitch sometimes.

Peter Pan wins, defeats Hook, and frees his kids. And then he goes home. He did what he had to do, and he can’t stay and have fun anymore because reality is waiting. It seems like kind of a bummer way to end a fantasy about childhood immortality, but who am I to judge?

This is probably my definitive childhood movie. I saw this movie when I was six years old in the theaters. I know every single line, every single moment. I grew up on this movie. I could watch it every day and not get tired of it. It’s almost like a part of me. It impacted me, especially lines like not wanting to grow up “because everyone who grows up has to die someday.”

I’ve seen this movie a lot. And I noticed that when the dog is barking and Toodles starts saying Hook (right before the kids get snatched), you can see a teddy bear. The same teddy bear that Peter later finds in Neverland that gives him a happy thought that allows him to fly. And later Hook tells Peter that he’s only dreaming. And Peter wakes up outside in the park… Maybe he was dreaming the whole time.

The imagination banquet, where Peter first uses his imagination, is one of my favorite scenes from any movie. It starts with an awesome battle of wits between Rufio and Peter as they hurl insults back and forth at each other. Peter wins and triumphantly flings an empty spoonful of food at Rufio, and everyone is amazed as brightly colored food smashes into his face. Everyone looks around astounded as the previously empty table is filled with generous platters of the most gorgeous and spectacular dishes you’ve ever seen. It’s a feast fit for a king and your mouth waters just thinking about it. Before the miraculous moment can fully sink in, a food fight starts. Slowly at first, but then it suddenly explodes into a frenzy of food and filth and laughter. The scene represents all the themes of the film.

Robin Williams does a great job playing a workaholic father, and he is able to transition from being a gruff adult into acting like a little kid. He even shaved his arms and chest so he would look more childlike and less like a yeti. That’s commitment.

Hook is one of my favorite movies of all time. I know that doesn’t make it a good movie, but I’m biased. Check it out if you haven’t.

Critically Rated at 16/17

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