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Remake of "The Absent-Minded Professor' finds Robin Williams concocting a physics-defying substance that may save his failing college.

Starring Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
It was very exciting!

It's about a scientist that discovers something. It has a flying car.

by HC, SR, CS, AB

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Plot: Professor Phillip Brainard, the world's most absent minded professor, creates flying rubber, called Flubber. Also, he is having trouble with his fiancee (he can't remember when their wedding is) and with a greedy tycoon who wants to steal his invention.

Critique From a Thirteen-Year-Old: "Flubber" was not Robin Williams at his comedic best. It almost seemed as if he was holding back. He was playing more of an emotional character. The movie itself was okay. It was really geared to the young and the older audience. It had a little yellow robot that was pretty corny. It really isn't a movie for the in-between set (except for the fact that his college's basketball team was called the Squirrels, which, you can imagine, produces a lot of "nuts" jokes).

Critique From a Nine-Year-Old: "Flubber" was a pretty good movie. I also liked the Squirrel jokes, but I thought the robot scenes were too long and dramatic (see it and you'll know what I mean).

Grade (13-Yr.): C+

Grade (9-Yr.): B+

-Z-Man 9000 (13) and Jedi-Boy 2099 (8) are also trying to create a Flubber-esque compound. But, whereas the people in the movie wanted to use it as a new source of energy, they just want to get it to hang out their noses and gross people out.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
When Robin Williams fades, he just keeps right on going. "Jack" and "Father's Day" are among the two disasters that he has made since 1996, and every time he bombs, it is noticeable. The reason is that he ran out of gas way too long ago and we are suffering from it. And with "Flubber", he has come to a complete stop.

Which I am not saying that "Flubber" the movie is a complete failure because of him. Based upon the tale "The Absent Minded Professor", Williams plays the bumbling scientist who keeps forgetting to get married, since he is always hard at work at inventing. While this makes no sense to us or to the woman he is trying to marry, one day he invents a green Jello-like substance that has a pulse and can bounce at a very fast rate. This, Williams hopes, can save the college which is facing foreclosure.

When this green Flubber appears, the movie seems to liven up a little. But no. This has been written by none other than John Hughes, who has beaten up people past the point of extinction (I am referring to his characters, of course) with his "Home Alone" movies and "Nine Months" idiocy, so once again people get hit with something. When Williams finds out a way to make a transparent Flubber, he coats it onto a baseball and basketball. Enter two thugs that have been sent by a wealthy but angry College donor (Raymond Barry), to fix Williams up. Bounce go the balls, and bam it goes right into their heads, knocking them ten feet back. Hughes lives again.

And that is the biggest problem: the writer who keeps writing the same things, and the dumb Hollywood execs who give him the large sum of money to write it. "Flubber" is a disaster, another Disney movie that has squeezed the money out of you for 94 minutes of pure stupidity. The most alarming problem with the movie is that it is SLOW! Kids will hate it just like the disater "Fly Away Home" last year: the companies lure kids into a noisy theater to be put to sleep.

Not all of it is bad, though. There are scarcely a few good laughs in "Flubber", including when Flubber is introduced into a car so it can fly, when the substance is used during a basketball game (Good moral to kids: it is all right to cheat), and some of the antics that go on inside Williams' factory (The split surround effects in SDDS make it really exciting). Not to mention Williams' personal assistant in the movie, Weebo, that is a cute contraption, even though she has a sexy voice and can get very annoying from time to time. The special effects are noticeable, too.

It sure seemed like Disney had a sure fire good movie with "Flubber", yet throughout the movie is slow, unfunny, and annoying. Yet even though how much money they put into advertising (first 200 people each day in the first week get a free 25 cent Mr. Magoo countdown calendar! I left it in the theater!), they never get any substance out of their movies. They just weigh a film reel to a pile of cash to see which one is heavier, and they market with that.

Grade: D

Tech Review:

Picture: 5 A great looking picture, finally Disney scores technically, with solid blacks, beautiful contrast and great colors. An real treat for the eyes.

Sound: 5+ The ears get a good workout with SDDS. All throughout the movie are amazing split surround effects that really excite the senses. Any scene with the Flubber will give your ears a workout: first it is at your right, then it bounces behind your right shoulder, then your left, then your right, then bam into the center channel. Also, many of the other open space scenes and the basketball game have really good surround. Hopes this will get a best sound nomination, but lose to "Contact". Also available in dts and Dolby Digital, but try your best to see an SDDS print, if you can brave the movie!

Photography: 2 Shot in 1.85:1, while the commercials, with its 1.66:1 widescreen, suggested Panavision or Super 35. What a disappointment, because you notice all throughout that this is a flat movie. (In more ways than one!)

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Disney's latest creation is very funny. Robin Williams plays the absent minded professor who creates a substance called "flubber". The flubber material is very volitile and lighter than air. It is not only green, bouncy and see-through, the flubber has an inteligence. The story starts out with Williams trying to create a formula to make the flubber with. After he misses his marriage three times, his fiance leaves him for Christopher McDonald who plays the professor's junior. McDonald can be seen in HAPPY GILMORE as Happy's golf rival. Williams incorperates the flubber into his old red car, a Thunderbird which causes it to fly. I saw this movie in SDDS sound, so the bouncing effects of the flubber were all over the theater. Picture wise, a few marks on the screen, and a frame discrepancy, the picture was well framed. I give this movie a grade "B" not Disney's best, but well worth seeing now.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Have Disney's upper echelon board room battles filtered down and contaminated the creative process? Disney's latest "flub" with "Flubber" raises the question in my mind. This once (and, hopefully, future) proud and innovative family entertainment conglomerate continues its march down the road to mediocrity with this unfortunate cop-out of a movie.

I use the word "cop-out" in view of the formula-type plots that have characterized Disney ventures of late. With the notable exception of "Toy Story," the last few years of Disney films have done little to inspire the imagination-- only to rake in box office bucks.

"Hercules" and now "Flubber" are cases in point. There is nothing new here that hasn't been tried before. And even if old retread formula plots are employed, the execution of it is lackluster. So... what's wrong with "Flubber."

First, it followed the "Home Alone" formula-- set up the bad guys and bash them senseless with objects that would otherwise send a person to the morgue in real life. Big mistake-- been there. Done that. Go for the laugh and forget plot and character. Just make 'em laugh.

Second, the movie seemed to try and recapture the look and feel of 1960's, 70's Disney films that were characterized by heavy-handed villains, usually of the entrepreneurish (i.e., greedy) variety, and squeakey-clean good guys thrown into situations characterized by some kind of a gimmick. (a talking cat or a dachsund that looks like a Great Dane will do). The formula works occasionally when the acting and plot are imaginatively guided by a creative director. It falls flat when the performers go through the motions, as they do in "Flubber."

Not that I find fault with Robin Williams or the clever animators who came up with the digital Flubber. Williams performance in my view carries the film. But it winds up being mildly amusing instead of involving. The plot meanders instead of building tension or suspense. This is a movie where you know the good guys are going to win so why even bother to show up? To watch the bad guys get their lumps, what else?

The last great era of Disney films that began with "The Little Mermaid" and ended with "The Lion King" comprised an unbroken string of masterpieces, with dynamic plot and characters, breathtaking music, and a sense of creative pride.

Except for "Toy Story" the most recent era of films seems patently designed to rely on stale plots geared more toward inoffensive marketing schemes than a creative pushing of the envelope. The magic and fire is gone, for now. Here's hoping that Disney can get it back before audiences wisen up and stay away from the box office. (And maybethat's what it will take).

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Flubber is the kind of movie that you enjoy while the movie plays, but afterwards, you find yourself saying, "Wow, that was underwhelming." There are things to like about this movie, but I left the theater wishing I had chosen another film.

Well, lets start off by saying that this movie is very funny if you enjoy slapstick comedy or physical comedy of any kind. Virtually all the humor in this movie involves pratfalls of some kind. People getting hit in the head with flying bowling balls, people falling out of second floor windows, etc. As far as this sort of thing goes, it is really well done.

Also, the special effects involving the Flubber are also very entertaining, particularly a sequence where the many, many blobs of the stuff end up doing a conga dance around the house.

Unfortunately, thats about as far as it goes. The acting is uninspired and wooden. Even Robin Williams, the star of the movie, appears to be just going through the paces.

The lead characters are not particularly involving and the villains are downright bland. The storyline is even more lame, with so many plot holes that one expects the film to break. You don't really expect a great storyline in this type of picture, but this story just seems to be an excuse to string together a series of special effects and sight gags.

Now, don't get me wrong. Kids will undoubtedly love this movie. Lots of things bouncing, breaking, falling, and generally wreaking havoc will always appeal to the juvenile set. Unfortunately, this movie is being promoted as a kiddie movie for adults. Don't believe the hype. If you've got a group of kids with some time to kill, this is probably a good choice. Otherwise, save your money and wait for this one to show up at your local video store.

Jan 25, 2000
First of all...I really didn't like it. It was like watching Robin Williams in `Toys'...it was just there, but a movie you could take kids to. It is unfortunate that this is a Disney film, they should have let one of their subsidiaries handle it, so that the credibility of the Disney name wouldn't be harmed. What is probably the most horrendous aspect of this film, is that McDonalds (which this MRP finds to be a fine dining experience) is making you drink their sodas out of green flubber-colored straws. So what this means is that whenever I go out to a nice restaurant for a sit-down dinner, I am reminded up this not so great movie. You may be wondering how this film stacks up to the original flubber film...well, I think Fred MacMurray was tremendously better as the absent-minded professor. Bottom line....you have to be a definite die-hard Robin Williams fan to like this film...either that or your own mind is full of flubber.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Flubber is an exellent movie, especially for kids! There is a little bit of everything in this movie, from not being able to remember simple things like a wedding, who could when your trying to invent something as importent as flubber! If you like all the old Disney movies with Fred McMurry you'll love this one! Robin Williams is excellent as the absent minded professor, his actions and interactions with his inventions is just plain fun to watch. If you are a kid at heart and like to dream a little, like to take that ever so needed break from reality, go see flubber with a child, preferably between the ages of 4 and 10, their at the perfect age to be able to dream and not let the real world spoil their fun! I'm 31 and saw it with a 3 year old, 7 year old and 9 year old, I felt like a all beliving child again! Go see Flubber and try to think as a child, full of wonder, and beliving everything you see, and you will be glad for the glimpse back into childhood.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Flubber was funny. Robin Williams did a great job, because it looked like he was made to play the role. The computer animation was very well done.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
All I can say is that Flubber is a flub.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
It's the first movie that's clean enough to bring your kids to see! I haven't seen one like this in a very long time.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Bad movie! I can't believe Robin Williams was part of this movie. Go to the dentist it will be less painfull!!

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I thought this movie was fairly enjoyable and humorous. Although I wouldn't mind seeing it again, seeing this movie wouldn't exactly be my first choice of something to do on a Saturday afternoon. I think Robin Williams was funny, but not to the extreme that I have seen him perform before. I don't think the plot exactly fit in with the rest of the movie. I think the little robot that talked and moved was also rather funny, as well as cute. All togther this was a pretty good movie.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie is so cool!! I loved seeing it. It's sort of like the old "Absent Minded Professor", except it's a little more modern... For example, the professor has a little robot named Weebo and she reminds him of things. It's a really funny movie!! See it now!!!

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Flubber (1997). Dir: Les Mayfield. Starring Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden I'm sorry, not even the great Robin Williams could salvage this slimy, gooey send up of the old Disney classic. Spare me the goooooooo!

Jun 15, 2003
Robin Williams has some good scenes in \"Flubber,\" but the film lacks both humor and emotional depth. Williams is the good choice, but the film\'s been there before.

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