I don’t even know how to begin to talk about Robin Williams. It seems ridiculous to try to remind people of his many standout roles and performances, because he was so iconic that any reminder is unnecessary. I could easily just post a list of his film, TV and stand-up works and everyone would instantly share my feelings by simply reading the list and having a thousand images and moments flash through their heads. I could highlight his unique talents at comedy and improvisation, in which he was in a class all by himself, or pull out examples of his dramatic roles throughout the years in order to needlessly prove that he was a real actor. I could point to his generous charity work, whether with the USO or St. Jude’s, or I could use the tragic circumstances of his passing to help bring awareness to depression and suicide. Yet instead I find myself flooded with moments, each tied to the most vivid of memories.
I’m sure we were all saddened by the death of Bob Hoskins today at age 71. Hoskins would be a familiar face to most film fans, as he had many memorable roles and a distinct style and personality. For me, I’ll always remember him for role in my favorite film of all time, Hook, and also for his brilliant starring role in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But there was a lot more to him than that, in his 40 years in film and television, including his award-winning and Oscar-nominated role in 1986’s Mona Lisa.
I’m a big fan of movies that manage to capture the entire film in just one scene, especially when it is done in a way that doesn’t scream, “This is what the movie is about,” in an annoyingly obvious way. Hook is by far the best example of this, but discussing that scene is an essay for another time, so instead I present you with a similar scene from Pitch Perfect. Take a look:
After Earth seemingly has a lot of things going for it that would get me to buy a ticket. I love science fiction, in particular post-apocalyptic stories (which is why I continued watching Revolution, despite the downturn in quality). I’m a big fan of Will Smith; I had a poster of him from Independence Day on my wall when I was young, I still think Men in Black is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and his performance in Ali is spectacular. I’m also a big M. Night Shyamalan fan, even enjoying Lady in the Water and The Village. And while I was more enthusiastic about Oblivion than I was about After Earth, I still planned on seeing both.
At this point, though, I think it’s safe to say that I no longer have any enthusiasm to see it. That’s not to say that I won’t. Continue reading →
If I were to ask you to name your favorite movie, would that be easy for you to do? I feel like for the general populace, the answer is either easy, or “I don’t know.” But for a film buff the answer becomes a lot more difficult. At least, it does for me. I tend to change my answer depending on a number of factors, including the identity of the questioner, the way the question was phrased, and who the audience is. Here are some of my favorites, and why I will sometimes give them as my “favorite movie.”
If I’m in a situation where I’m being completely honest, my answer is usually that Hook is my favorite film. It’s my de facto favorite movie, as it were. It’s the movie that means the most to me, and that I connect with in a way that surpasses all others. I think it’s a brilliant and remarkable movie, with some of the best sets ever created for the screen. I could (and probably will) write an essay about Hook’s brilliance, but I’ll save that for another time. I feel like Hook has been unfairly maligned through the years (it has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes), though it does have a cult following. Even Spielberg has said critical things of it. I’m pretty defensive when it comes to Hook, because it does mean so much to me, so I often will name something else if I feel like there’s going to be an argument about it. On the other hand, I like defying expectations, and for a film buff to pick a critical flop from the 90’s as his favorite film often surprises people. I give this answer a lot when people who know that I’m a film buff ask me the question. But it is, in fact, my favorite film, even if it’s not always my answer. Continue reading →