Wednesday, August 13, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams and My Top Ten Robin Williams Movies

R.I.P. Robin Williams
1951-2014 (Age 63)

With the very sad news that Robin Williams allegedly took his own like on Monday, it got me thinking about all of the movies of his that had an affect on me growing up.  I was never really a fan of his stand-up stuff, although I realize that just about every single other comedian in the last 40 years was influenced in some way by him.  It was a little to manic for the type of stand-up that I like, but that's neither here nor there.

Robin Williams was a hell of an actor.  He was a major part of kids lives for basically his entire career.  If you grew up in the 70's and 80's, you had Mork & Mindy.  You grew up in the early 90's, you had Hook, Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Aladdin.  If you grew up in the late 90's, you had Jumanji, Jack, and Flubber.  If you grew up in the last 10 years you had Night at the Museum and Happy Feet.  He was a part of children's childhood memories for 40 years.

That's not to mention that I might even enjoy his dramatic work more than his comedies.  Just an insane filmography of classic movies from start to finish.  It's so sad that he suffered from depression when he gave happiness and laughter to so many over the years.  From all the stories about him, he never turned it off either.  Just the nicest guy who wanted to to make you laugh at all times, whether there were cameras or not.

A real loss.

O Captain, My Captain.

Here are my ten favorite Robin Williams movies below.  It was hard to come up with a top ten since his career spanned so many years, so a lot of good movies were left off the list.  I didn't put any stand-up stuff or TV work in here, so it'll just focus on the film part of his career.

Missed The Cut:
Lee Daniels' The Butler - Haven't seen it yet and I'm not sure how big his role was in it.
Louie - Just watched the episode with him in it this past week actually, which makes it a little surreal as his final conversation with Louis C.K. is them agreeing to go to each others' funeral if they die so that they'll at least have one person there.
Night at the Museum - I was a little too old when this movie came out but it's really a Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson film in the end anyway.
World's Greatest Dad - This is the movie being recommended as his underrated one to see if you haven't...this will be next on my list.
August Rush - I probably like this a lot more than most but that's fine.
Happy Feet - No feelings one way or the other to this one.
The House of D - Actually pretty good.
A.I Artificial Intelligence - He's a voice but I actually like this movie more than most seem to as well.
What Dreams May Come - Ahead of its time and trippy, but didn't make the cut.
Flubber - Great re-make.
The Birdcage - Robin Williams in his element to basically do whatever he wants.
Toys - Barely missed the cut.
The Fisher King - A little weird and I wasn't the biggest fan but pretty good.
Mork & Mindy - I'm too young for this one.
Popeye - Not my cup of tea, early Robin Williams.

Top 10

10. Good Morning, Vietnam - Adrian Cronauer

This movie is what gave him his big breakthrough in film, so I couldn't not have it on the list.  His radio stuff is very similar to his stand-up stuff which is probably why I don't gravitate to it as much as I might otherwise.  Still, some of the stuff is pretty funny, and I love movies that have skinny Forest Whitaker.

9. Insomnia/One Hour Photo - Walter Finch/Seymour Parrish

I'm cheating already and we're only on number 9 in the list, but I don't really care.  In both Insomnia and One Hour Photo, Williams played an insanely believable creepster.  I think both movies are really underrated and underappreciated but they might suit my tastes towards a slower and more cerebral movie at times.  They both really show his actual range as an actor in my opinion.

Just take a look at the One Hour Photo trailer.  It makes my skin crawl.

8. Jack - Jack Powell

I wanted to do either the pick-up basketball scene or the scene where he meets Fran Drescher, his best friend's mother for the first time, and pretends to be a guidance counselor.  It's hilarious when he keeps looking at her boobs and starts making nipples with his hands under his shirt.  I'm not sure if my description of that scene makes any sense or not, but if you've seen it then you definitely know what I'm talking about.

7. Awakenings/Patch Adams - Dr. Malcom Sayer/Patch Adams

Another double-hit.  Two movies where he plays doctors and two very touching performances.  Patch Adams is gut-wrenching and the scenes between him and Philip Seymour Hoffman are hard to watch now, since they've been lost their lives this year.  Two all-timers taken too soon.

6. Jumanji - Alan Parrish

I would have loves to have seen the movie pitch for this idea.  It's so ridiculous yet and it completely works.  I wish there were still original and interesting ideas for movies like this for kids these days (that aren't animated) rather than just the 4th or 5th sequel to something else.  I still have no idea if I would want to play this game or not.

5. Mrs. Doubtfire - Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire

So, I've been using both of these references from Mrs. Doubtfire over the years and apparently, I've been saying both of them wrong the entire time.  I've been saying, "Toodaloooo" instead of "Helloooo" for the first one.  And I've been saying, "Drive-by fruiting" instead of "run-by fruiting" this entire time.  Mrs. Doubtfire easily dethroned Tootsie as the best cross-dressing movie out there.  I'm talking about guys dressing up as girls only because Just One of the Guys is a great 80's flick too.

4. Aladdin - Genie

Aladdin is in my top 5 Disney movies of all-time.  The character of Genie lets Robin Williams do all of his impersonations and sometimes a couple of them at the same time.  Just an all-time great animated movie.  "Never Had A Friend" is up there with the best Disney songs too.

3. Dead Poet's Society - John Keating

I still watch this movie on the reg.  Not only do I watch the movie, but I look up these scenes a couple of times a year too to watch on their own.  I wish I had an english teacher like this growing up.  I was pretty much the Ethan Hawke character who hid behind his shyness and needed a teacher like Mr. Keating to break me out of my shell.  Unfortunately, that never happened (sad face).  You also have the iconic scene at the end and the "O Captain, My Captain" line is all you need to describe the movie to somebody and they know exactly what you're talking about.

2. Hook - Peter Banning

I still use quotes from Hook in my day-to-day life.  Not even kidding.  One of my favorite movies growing up and one of the handful of Robin Williams movies I own.



True story, I wanted to call this blog Bangarang but it was already taken so I landed on The Morning Hangover.

1. Good Will Hunting - Sean Maguire

An all-timer of a movie and Robin Williams' 4th Oscar nomination (the others being Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poet's Society, and The Fisher King) that finally landed him his only win for Supporting Actor.  

R.I.P. Robin.  You will be missed.