Robert Prosky

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Mrs. Doubtfire Review


Excellent
What was the last Robin Williams comedy that anyone was excited about? Williams wore out his welcome about the time he and pal Billy Crystal made the unbearable Father's Day in 1997. About Williams in that movie, Robert Ebert expressed it best: "He's getting to be like the goofy uncle who knows one corny parlor trick and insists on performing it at every family gathering."

When Williams was good--let's say 1982 to 1994 -- the results were oftentimes spectacular, such as 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire, when his cleverness and comic timing transcended the saccharine boundaries of the typical family film and made it legitimately funny. For younger readers looking for a relatively contemporary comparison, Will Ferrell did the same thing in Elf.

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The Natural Review


OK
Robert Redford is beloved for his roles in numerous films, but his work in The Natural has to rank as one of the few on top, despite the fact that, with a $48 million box office, it hardly ranks as one of his bigger hits.

The film remains, next to Field of Dreams, one of the world's oddest baseball movies. Roy Hobbs (Redford) is a child wunderkind at the game. After playing some ball at a carnival, he's summarily shot in the chest by a femme fatale (Barbara Hershey), who is clearly working for agents that want him not to be the greatest player of all time, which Hobbs says he aims to be.

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Funny About Love Review


OK
Funny fact about Funny About Love: Though the box cover and poster feature Gene Wilder with a baby on his head, there's no baby in this movie. At least not until the last two minutes... and it's not even Wilder's!

In fact, people expecting another Three Men and a Baby are going to be sorely disappointed: For such a frivolous image and goofy title, this is serious stuff. Wilder plays a comic strip artist who finds he's really, really anxious to have a kid. Unfortunately, things don't quite click biologically with his new wife (Christine Lahti), and after years of trying, they call it quits -- not just on the baby, but on the marriage too.

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Broadcast News Review


Good
Rather dated now, this acclaimed tragicomedy about the network news sheds a little light on how the news gets made -- namely about how pretty boy anchormen are fed everything they say -- but its romance falls on the flat side. Holly Hunter (hard-boiled producer) and William Hurt (aforementioned pretty boy) are just too mismatched to make for a believable pair, and quirky Albert Brooks (geeky reporter) would never in a million years be allowed on the air. It's absurd but often funny, usually when it's dissecting the TV trade.

Dudley Do-Right Review


Terrible
About two years ago I wrote a short story called "Cinemascopia." The story envisioned the movie critic's hell as being stuck inside one of his own reviews. I revise this. Hell, for me, would be eternally watching Dudley Do-Right.

Dudley Do-Right, a film from Hugh Wilson, the director of Blast from the Past, is a movie so unbearably stupid that it is an utter insult to the industry as a whole for it to have even been created. In Dudley Do-Right, the title character (Fraser) is pitted against his arch-rival Snidley Whiplash (Alfred Molina) when the town of Semi-Happy Valley falls victim to massive consumerism after Whiplash takes over the town and creates an artificial gold rush by placing gold in the streams. At the same time, Whiplash and Do-Right engage in a battle for the affections of Nell (Sarah Jessica Parker). This battle includes, but is not limited to, miniature golf, Indian tribes from Brooklyn, and paint-by-numbers portraits.

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Thief Review


Extraordinary
Director Michael Mann's first movie was this, the often-overlooked Thief (before his stint on Miami Vice), about a professional safecracker (Caan) and his biggest job ever... and the gangsters that he finds himself working for.

Essentially remade as Heat in 1995, Thief doesn't just focus on the job, it focuses also on the man. Caan's criminal is complex and troubled, with a sterile wife (Weld) and a dying friend (Nelson) he wants to remember. Good guys and bad guys have never been harder to peg, which is why Thief is so much fun, filled with nuance and subtlety not often found among caper flicks.

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Dudley Do-Right Review


Unbearable

The essence of Jay Ward's delightfully dolt-driven cartoons like "Rocky and Bullwinkle," "George of the Jungle" and "Dudley Do-Right" was always a resourceful, goofball mix of silliness, self-cognizance and good, dumb laughs -- a combination that might seem difficult to duplicate outside the medium of deliberately dorky animation.

But two years ago, the balance was mimicked surprisingly well in the live-action "George of the Jungle," with a perfectly cast, pratfall-proficient Brendan Fraser in the title role. But that balance is conspicuously absent as Fraser tries to fill the clumsy shoes of another Jay Ward character -- his vapid but lovable, lantern-jawed Canadian Mountie -- in the almost completely giggle-free "Dudley Do-Right."

Not only does the dilly dorkiness turn to idiocy, which in turn runs rings around the infrequent laughs, but just about the only engaging moment in the entire movie isn't even a sight gag or a goof. It's a completely serious stunt.

Continue reading: Dudley Do-Right Review

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