Flubber

1997

Action / Comedy / Family / Sci-Fi

87
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 23%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33%
IMDb Rating 5.2 10 69581

Synopsis


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Downloaded 78,280 times
October 06, 2011 at 04:42 PM

Director

Cast

Robin Williams as Professor Philip Brainard
Marcia Gay Harden as Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds
Wil Wheaton as Bennett Hoenicker
Clancy Brown as Smith
720p
647.47 MB
1280*720
English
PG
25.000 fps
1hr 33 min
P/S 8 / 23

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zardoz-13 8 / 10

Not As Good as "The Absent Minded Professor" But Pretty Funny

Tastes and times have changed drastically since 1961 when Fred MacMurray originally introduced the super-elastic stuff called 'flubber' to film audiences in Walt Disney's "The Absent Minded Professor." In the high-tech, 1990's Disney remake "Flubber" reinvents itself as an animated, gooey-green, silly putty blob of flying rubber that talks and dances. Actually, flubber resembles a combination of the Pillsbury Doughboy crossed with the shape-shifting water creature in James Cameron's 1989 fantasy thriller "The Abyss." Inventive, excessive, but tolerably entertaining, director Les Mayfield's remake of "The Absent Minded Professor" will captivate both young and absent-minded audiences. Happily, "Flubber" succeeds as a resilient special effects laden tour-de-farce. Sadly, the remake lacks the wit, warmth, subtlety, and comedic irony that distinguished its black & white predecessor. The spectacular morphing effects of George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic Company and the visual wizardry of Peter Crosman, Tom Bertino, and Douglas Hans Smith cannot offset the film's hopelessly befuddled plot.

The story by John Hughes and the late Bill Walsh follows the zany efforts of a scatterbrained university chemistry professor. Dr. Philip Brainard (Robin Williams of "Popeye") accidentally cooks up a gravity defying concoction called 'flubber.' Generating its own perpetual motion, 'flubber' has uses limited only by the imagination. Unlike the limp lump of 'flubber' in "The Absent-Minded Professor," the 'flubber' "Flubber" radiates a mischievous personality, but the filmmakers never solidify its amorphous character. Not only will Brainard 'flubber' rescue Medfield College from bankruptcy and closure, but 'flubber' will also redeem him in the eyes of the long-suffering sweetheart that he wants to wed: Medfield College President Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden.) Brainard heads up Sara Jean's you-know-what list. Three times in a row he has left her stranded at the altar! If things aren't bad enough, Brainard's old academic nemesis Wilson Croft (Christopher MacDonald of "Thelma & Louise") lurks in the background. Oil and conniving, Croft plans to pilfer Brainard's fiancée as well as take credit for his 'flubber' formula and the millions of dollars that it is sure to reap. The professor's next bigger enemy is perhaps his worst: corrupt businessman Chester Hoenicker (Raymond J. Barry of "Mad City"). Hoenicker's bratty son Bennett (Will Wheaton of TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation") flunked Brainard's class. Consequently, Bennett got suspended from the basketball team. Initially, all that Hoenicker sought was a simple change of grade so Bennett, the top hoopster on the Medfield basketball team, could resume playing. When Hoenicker senior learns more about 'flubber,' he joins forces with the equally avaricious Croft to rip-off Braniard's discovery.

Women have come a long way since the 1961 original. Disney has promoted the fiancée from being the college president's secretary to the college president! Although Sara Jean presides over Medfield, she cannot keep it out of the red without the help of a good man. "Flubber" implies that women indeed have come a long way, but not far enough to get by on their own wits. Moreover, Sara Jean's romance with Brainard appears to occupy her every waking minute instead of the financial crisis that threatens her small, private college. Her priorities appear demeaningly misplaced. WEEBO, Brainard's flying female computer, serves as a sort of bad girl here who gets her just comeuppance for tampering with Brainard's social life. At one point, WEEBO creates a cyber-Siren image for herself to detract Brainard from Sara Jean.

"Flubber" sounds like a can't-miss-hit from this description. If anything, "Flubber" proves that absent-minded audiences appreciate movies with an absence of drama. The original movie contained a richer plot with a variety of nuances that heightened its hilarity. "Flubber" smears on obvious slapstick to churn up laughs. John Hughes' script relies on his tried and true "Home Alone" routines. Hughes deserves the blame for this half-baked farce. For example, Hoenicker's henchman, Smith (Clancy Brown of "Starship Troopers") and Wesson (Ted Levine of "Silence of the Lambs") are clearly stand-ins for the Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern duo from the "Home Alone" comedies. Brainard's flubber clobbers them literally in the form of a golf ball and a bowling ball. Smith gets nailed by a non-stop golf ball, while a hard flying bowling ball wallops Wesson. When either object strikes them, these goons hit the deck like pole-axed ten pins.

Director Les Mayfield of "Encino Man" and "Miracle on 34th Street") and scenarist John Hughes cannot make up their own minds about flubber. Flubber has endless possibilities, and its embryonic personality can be playful but occasionally snappish, too. WEEBO accuses Brainard of giving flubber "too much free will." Flubber never seems to live up to its potential unless it is exploding, flying through rooms, and cronking noggins. Most of the humor comes from how flubber reacts to different situations more than how Brainard applies it. Because they never define the nature of flubber, its wide open character lacks dramatic clarity. For example, the filmmakers don't set any limits to what flubber can do. Perhaps Mayfield and company chose green as flubber's lime-green color because the special effects were so expensive.

Credit goes to director Les Mayfield for the get-up-and-goo pace of dizzy Disney film. He does a find job of seamlessly integrating the over-the-top special effects with live action, too. "Flubber" is aimless but predictable fun. The villains seem less villainous this time around, and Christopher MacDonald's bad guy appears simply to give flubber something through which to fly. The bowel humor here and there adds little to the humor and seems out of place in a juvenile movie. Parents may find themselves in a curious moral dilemma trying to explain to their kids why Brainard's cheating tactics should be condoned. He applies flubber to the basketball team's sneakers to help them beat their tall, merciless opponents on the court. Danny Elfman's lively music emphasizes the fast, bouncy pace of "Flubber" and helps the film scoot right along to its inevitable happy ending.

Reviewed by blazesnakes9 1 / 10

Liked it when I was a kid. Not so much now.

As a boy, I was always impressed and amused by the movies that I saw. Some of them bring back memories of me watching whatever kids movie that made me excited. But as time goes on, those memories are still embedded in my memory bank. And sometimes, an fellow movie-goer can sometimes get teary-eyed by going down memory lane. Some of those movies do hold up well. Some of them, well.... get lost in my mind.

Take Flubber, for example. Flubber is the kind of movie that I enjoyed as a young boy. But, I've grown up over the years and to tell you the truth, it doesn't hold up for me.

The story was originally from the 1961 comedy film, "The Absent-Minded Professor". In that film, Fred MacMurray played the lead character. MacMurray's character was a complete nut case who invents a new and improved substance that can bounces off the floor due the amount of energy stored inside. The substance was named Flubber, due to the fact that it is flying rubber. The absent-minded professor tried to convince his colleagues that flubber can saved their university from going into shambles.

Here, Robin Williams plays the absent-minded professor. Professor Phillip Brainard, (who could be a distant relative or son of the original Absent-Minded Professor), is in the process of creating a new substance that can raise money to save the college from closure. Brainard's colleague is a flying robot called Weebo. Brainard soon discovers flubber and from the start of it, Flubber doesn't want to settle down.

The story deepens as Brainard tries to convince the college president and his fiancée, (Marcia Gay Harden), but it doesn't turn out the way he wants it to go. He even expands the idea of flubber by converting the substance into a liquid and then into a white cream. In one particular scene in the movie, Brainard tries out the flubber by spraying it onto a basketball that can bounces as twice as much as a regular basketball. The idea even becomes more popular when it spreads onto a basketball team. Their sneakers are also sprayed with flubber, making them bounce more higher and faster than ever.

There are, however, bad guys in Flubber, and their job in the movie is to try to steal the substance from Brainard. But, to tell you the truth, you seen these bad guys before in a movie. And it's no surprise that these characters are ripped right out of Home Alone. It's ironic because the script for the movie was written by John Hughes.

I don't know what happened to John Hughes back then. He started off his career with good movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. But, after the big success of Home Alone, I believe Hughes dropped his pen and started depending on recycled material from his other movies to substitute in his scripts. Recycled material soon resulted in forgettable movies like Dutch, Career Opportunities and Curly Sue. Bad career move. And I supposed Flubber can be included in this specific category of forgettable John Hughes' movies.

Robin Williams looks as if he was practically on speed throughout the entire movie. At certain times throughout this movie, I thought he overacted as being the main character of the story. The slapstick did not work this time around since it didn't make me laugh the first time I saw it as a young boy. The flubber wasn't even worth my time since there wasn't anything special about the green goo. In fact, when Flubber soon shows up, the movie goes downhill from there with the green gelatin bouncing around the movie, breaking windows and panes of glass. I realize that after the movie was over, I forgot how many times Flubber went through a window or a pane of glass. It was very tiresome and boring the second time around.

Is there anything else I forgot? I don't think so. Except to say that I won't be looking forward to seeing this movie since this is one of those kids' movies that I like to forget. But, don't worry. There's plenty of other good or great kids' movies that I saw in my childhood. Flubber wasn't one of them. ★ 1/2 1 1/2 star.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 7 / 10

Fun Mainly For The Kids

This was a fun remake of "The Absent-Minded Professor," with special-effects the main show here. We see and hear the following impossible things: inanimate objects become human (with feelings, no less!) and a flying computer called "Weebo." Obviously, this is just a far-off story designs only for laughs (I know one person who actually took some of this stuff seriously.)

Despite a bowling bowl repeatedly hitting someone in the head, it's a fairly harmless movie with no language problems, which is a rarity in a Robin Williams film. Robin is the "absent- minded professor," in this "Dr. Philip Brainiard." You can call him, "Dr. Phil." There are one or two sneaky-vulgar lines but nothing much.

With the flubber-substance making balls bounce forever, into every object, you get a lot of slapstick scenes that are either stupid or laugh-out-loud funny. The story, geared a lot more for kids than adults, has a nice lighthearted feel to it. For adults, one viewing is plenty, but kids will enjoy it multiple times.

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