Ep. 125 – Aladdin, Booksmart, and a recap of the San Antonio Symphony’s John Williams concert

May 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod review the live-action “Aladdin,” Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut “Booksmart,” and Cody discusses his experience at the San Antonio Symphony’s performance of John Williams classics.

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Ep. 13 – Remembering Robin Williams, re-branding “Edge of Tomorrow,” & reviews of “The Expendables 3” and “The Giver.”

August 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net remember the life and work of actor and comedian Robin Williams. They also discuss the odd re-branding of “Edge of Tomorrow” and review “The Expendables 3” and “The Giver.”

[00:00–29:48] Remembering Robin Williams
[29:48–44:16] “Edge of Tomorrow” rebranded as “Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow” and the notion of terrible movie titles.
[44:16-1:01:30] The Expendables 3
[1:01:30-1:09:18] The Giver
[1:09:18-1:14:29] The Giver Spoiler Talk
[1:14:29-1:16:57] The Giver Wrap-up
[1:16:57-1:19:55] Teases for next week and close.

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Old Dogs

November 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Seth Green
Directed by: Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs”)
Written by: David Diamond (“Evolution”) and David Weissman (“Evolution”)

While he is considered by many to be one of the funniest men in Hollywood, Robin Williams has been attracting some rather pathetic scripts over the last few years.

With the exception of this year’s Bobcat Goldthwait-directed “World’s Greatest Dad,” a dark comedy few people even saw, Williams hasn’t delivered a watchable, non-animated film since he doubled-up on the creepy dramatic roles of 2002’s “Insomnia” and “One Hour Photo.”

As far as comedy is concerned, however, Williams has struck out considerably with mishaps like “RV,” “Man of the Year,” “License to Wed,” and the sequel to “Night at the Museum.” It must only be a matter of time before he’s able to pump out a couple of consecutive winners before “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage” feel light years away.

Sadly, “Old Dogs” is not the comedy that’s going to get things started. It’s another irritating, family-friendly flop that could be described as the cinematic equivalent of a shot to the groin. Those who are easily entertained will probably chuckle even if they’ve seen it a million times before. For everyone else, “Old Dogs” will be old-hat.

In the film, longtime friends and business partners Charlie (John Travolta) and Dan (Williams) are in the middle of landing the biggest sports marketing deal of their careers when they’re sideswiped by some surprising news: Dan is a daddy. Vicki (Kelly Preston), a woman he had a fling with in Miami years ago, shows up with his 7-year-old twins Zach and Emily (Conner Rayburn and Ella Bleu Travolta) and leaves them in his care at the most inopportune time.

The formulaic set-up all leads to a montage-happy physical comedy featuring Travolta and Williams tripping over themselves for 88 minutes of painfully unfunny poop jokes and sight gags. Not even a collection of high-profile cameos by the likes of Matt Dillon, Amy Sedaris, Dax Sheperd, Justin Long, and the late Bernie Mac (in the final film of his career he plays some sort of techno-puppeteer) can thrust “Old Dogs” past its goofy and cliché premise.

Directed by Walt Becker, who has teamed up with Travolta before in “Wild Hogs,” “Old Dogs” is devastatingly short on laughs from the onset. As the random jokes push the limit of idiocy, we can only sit back and sigh while the image of Williams during his best years slowly fades away.

World’s Greatest Dad

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara
Directed by: Bobcat Goldthwait (“Sleeping Dogs Lie”)
Written by: Bobcat Goldthwait (“Sleeping Dogs Lie”)

While he’s still known by many as the high-pitched comedian from the “Police Academy” movies of the 80s, Bobcat Goldthwait is quickly shedding that skin and proving there is more inside of him than just incoherent garble and controversial gimmicks.

With “World’s Greatest Dad,” Goldthwait, who made his directorial debut 18 years ago with “Shakes the Clown,” writes and directs not only his most accessible film to date, but also his most heartrending and satirical. For all you fans of director Todd Solondz (“Happiness”), Goldthwait is right up your alley.

In “Dad,” Academy Award-winner Robin Williams (“Good Will Hunting”) returns to form after a long hiatus (he’s spent most of his time in bad movies since 2002) to play Lance Clayton, a high school poetry teacher who dreams of one day getting a manuscript published, but has become numb to the fact that it probably will never happen.

Lance’s life might just be tolerable enough to get through if it wasn’t for his insolent teenage son Kyle (Daryl Sabara), who verbally abuses his father every time he tries to have a conversation with the young man. Kyle could care less what his father says. All that concerns him these days are matters of the flesh and being as big of a jerk as he can to his vulnerable old man.

Lance is also having some problems in his personal life. His girlfriend, fellow teacher Claire (Alexie Gilmore), is getting flakier by the day and seems to be more interested in spending time with her friend Mike (Henry Simmons), a popular teacher who’s got everything going for him including a recently published article in the New Yorker.

When tragedy strikes, Lance is faced with some difficult decisions that put his moral capacity to the test. It’s at this point in the film where longtime friends Williams and Goldthwait are at their best. As he did with his last movie, “Sleeping Dogs Lie,” which told the story of a girl who can’t bring herself to tell her fiancé that she once performed oral sex on a dog in college, “Dad” is dark and somewhat demented in its portrayal of adulthood. Here, Williams is fantastic as a father whose heart is in the right place at the start but gradually loses sight of his own decency.

This is exactly the type of offbeat role Williams needed to take head on so we could start trying to forget his last few offerings (“RV,” “License to Wed,” “August Rush,” “Man of the Year”). It’s also the type of role he shines in (“One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia”) and one that should be credited for its audacity and deadpan genius.

Like most auteurs in the film industry, Goldthwait’s work will not be for everyone. It’s coarse any way you look at it as it deals with death and grief and everything else in between. The journey through his cynical mind, however, is worth your time especially if you’re open to oddly fascinating dark comedies.