Robin Williams: In Memoriam (1951-2014)

“I heard a joke once. Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels alone in a threatening world. Doctor says ‘Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.’ Man bursts into tears. Says, ‘But doctor… I am Pagliacci.’ Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.”   -Rorschach (Watchmen)

I swear, I’m not gonna cry while typing this. Here goes.

At 1:02 PM on Tuesday, American Academy award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams  was pronounced dead at his house in Tiburon California. Pending investigation, the Coroner Division of Marin County suspects the death to be a suicide via asphyxiation, as he was battling severe depression in the time leading up to the incident.

To be completely frank, I think I might’ve grown up a little bit past Robin William’s heyday. It’s not like he was inept in the 21st century or anything, he still gave great performances, for the most part, but in recent years, for every World’s Greatest Dad , there were at least a couple RV or Old Dogs thrown in there. There might’ve been a TV show somewhere in there, but it got lukewarm reviews and got promptly cancelled.

Thankfully, my parents are Robin Williams fans and introduced me to some of his stuff from the glory days, like Good Morning VietnamDead Poets SocietyGood Will Hunting and so on. I fell in love with the guy immediately, although one kids movie in particular really sealed the deal for elementary school me.

Popeye.

Nah, just kidding, it was Aladdin.

Personally, my favourite Robin Williams movie is Good Will Hunting, while his best performance was in Good Morning Vietnam, but that’s a topic for another day.

The tragedy of Robin Williams got me thinking though: What was it about him that made such a large group of people spanning multiple countries lose their collective minds (Myself included)? Well, in my humble opinion,  think it was because Robin Williams represented the uncle we all had, or all wish we had. A funny, irreverent guy who always emitted a very friendly, approachable aura.  It helps that he was a nerd too, and was especially a big Legend of Zelda fan (Even going so far as to name his daughter Zelda, which, admittedly, isn’t that outlandish of a name). Check out this commercial that he did for the 3DS Ocarina of Time revamp.

It makes me so sad that someone who brought so much joy to so much people suffered with enough internal demons, enough to make him take his own life in what I imagine to be a rather gruesome and painful manner. I would go on a rant about the people who would scoff at Robin Williams for his unfortunately successful suicide attempt, but this is neither the time nor the place.

In conclusion, I’d like to offer as much condolences as possible to his family and friends, and thank Mr. Williams for making so many people around the planet laugh themselves silly and for making this world just a little bit more awesome through both his charitable work and his all-around decency as a human being. He truly was one of a kind, and Planet Earth is worth off without him.

Fuck, I swore I wasn’t gonna cry.

Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad

Here at PKTM Inc., we (I) rarely stray into serious topics.About the most serious article I’ve posted is a review of the 1989 Batman movie, and I spent half of that post raging about Bat-Nipples.

BAT-NIPPLES!!??

Because I’m a mold breaking visionary, I have decided to review a movie that is (sort of) about teen suicide. Being a teenager, this is an  issue that could have serious repercussions on me and those around me. I say “could have” because it hasn’t actually affected me. There isn’t a ton of teen suicides being reported up here in Canada, and when they are, it’s usually only pretty girls.

Okay, I may take a lot of flak for this, and I’m about one year too late in talking about this, but Confession Time: I didn’t really give a shit about Amanda Todd. Any more than other teen suicides, I mean. Before Amanda Todd, tons of teens were cyberbullied or just plain bullied and a lot of them committed suicide.

For example, this kid.

Check the above link if you want to go into specifics, but long story short, a fourteen year old high school student in New York State committed suicide because a bunch of assholes wouldn’t stop teasing him for allegedly being gay. So, did the western World erupt in anti-bullying mania?

Nope. Know why? Mainly because a) He didn’t make a dramatic, heartbreaking YouTube video that nobody gave a shit about until it was too late, and b) the poor kid wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Amanda Todd.

Am I saying that no pretty girl has committed suicide before? No, I’m just saying that (And don’t quote me on this, I’m just a bemused observer) that they would have less reason to right? Again, I am completely lacking in scientific proof of this, but it seems to me that a girl who looks nice would be more popular, and doesn’t it make more sense that someone who is more popular would be less likely to kill themselves then someone who is picked on for being ugly, gay, a minority, a nerd etc.?

And am I saying that Amanda Todd is just some dumb bitch that killed herself for no good reason? No. Not only no, but FUCK NO. I think it’s absolutely tragic that anyone who was their whole life ahead of them is driven to the unthinkable by (In this case) some perverted, sadistic, psychopathic piece of infectious human waste who took some sick pleasure out of seeing a kid degrade herself. And I’m certainly not on the side of the assholes who think that she deserved it for exposing herself online. Nobody should have to pay for a mistake that shouldn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things and that someone makes when they’re a fucking teenager.

But, I digress. I guess what I’m trying to say is R.I.P. Amanda Todd, R.I.P. all other unreported or ignored teens who ended their lives, Fuck you bullies. There is no excuse for what you do and you oughta be ashamed of yourselves and Fuck you, Pedophiles, there is nothing you do that is positive in any way.

“Also, while we’re somewhat on topic, fuck these guys too.”

Anyways, this fucking movie…

Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

Genre: (Very, VERY) Black Comedy

Starring: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Evan Martin, Lorraine Nicholson, Henry Simmons, Henry Simmons, Geoff Pierson, Mitzi McCall

Legacy: Shocked parents who assumed this was gonna be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Film-goers never thinking about  Daryl Sabara or Juni Cortez without thinking of auto-erotic asphyxiation and Scheiße porn. (Please, for the love of God, don’t search that.)

Quick Plot Summary:

Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) is a mild-mannered English/poetry teacher  and aspiring author, who declares in his narration that this is his fifth and final attempt at writing a novel. He is also a divorcee and a single parent who lives with his 15 year old son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara). Now, understand that while all teenagers are at least partially unstable (Take my word from it, I am one.) Kyle is severely broken in the head. Along with doing the usual teenager things, like disobeying his parent, being a retard, failing his classes and jacking off to internet porn, Kyle is also fond of insulting and belittling his dad and his friend Andrew (Evan Martin), telling a girl that “[her] pussy is not gonna eat itself”, enjoying scheiße porn (Again, please, please do not search this if you value your sanity) and, um, auto-erotic asphyxiation. That is, choking yourself in order to achieve orgasm. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

Try not to guess what the other hand is doing.

Interestingly enough, he also appears to think that everything and everyone is “gay” or “faggy”. That includes his dad, his dad’s writing, watching porn while not choking yourself, Bruce Hornsby, Heavy Metal, music in general, Andrew , not liking scheiße porn, America and vaginal sex. Because any authority on homosexual culture will tell you that the gayest thing you could ever do is have heterosexual intercourse.

God, how swishy…

In addition to his job as a completely unappreciated father, Lance’s poetry class is extremely unpopular. This may be because poetry was placed on this earth by cavemen as a way to fuck with future generations. On the plus side, Lance is also engaged in a noncommittal clandestine relationship with a younger teacher, Claire Reed (Alexie Gilmore). Unfortunately, he is getting jealous of Claire’s friendship with Mike Lane (Henry Simmons), an athletic black dude  whose Creative Writing class is miles more popular then Lance’s Poetry class. To add insult to injury, he is also a successful writer.

Also, he looks like this.

One day, when he gets back from a date with Claire, he checks on his asshole son only to find that he has accidentally choked himself to death during auto-erotic asphyxiation. In order to save Kyle and himself the humiliation, he makes his death look like a suicide and drafts a deeply intellectual suicide note. Through a leak in the police, or something or other, the note is revealed to the public, much to Lance’s dismay.

However, in a shocking twist of fate, the students at Lance’s high school fall in love with the image of Kyle as a troubled, misunderstood poet. A personality cult starts growing  around his image as a dopey-looking Kurt Cobain and as a result, Lance’s poetry class gets a million times more popular. Taking advantage of the sudden popularity of “Kyle’s” writing, Lance releases a “long-lost journal” of his son’s. The excellently written (And completely bogus) journal brings Lance national fame…. And a growing sense of guilt. (This is what is known in the business as “predictability”.)

A technique also employed by such films as “Every single fucking romantic comedy ever.”

 Overview:

The first time I watched this movie was at the tender age of 11, where my mom picked it out thinking it was going to be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Obviously, it was not. It was promptly turned off, but I revisited it a few days ago when I found it on Netflix.

What’s my first impression after watching it? Well, mainly  that I can see why my mom didn’t want me watching it. This movie is the exact definition of a black comedy, and then some. The movie’s humour is very dry, though not nonexistent, and the overall tone is dark as all hell. I actually like dark or black comedies, but I feel like sometimes this one takes it a little too far.

Two things I liked about the movie were the performances from the two leads, Robin Williams and Daryl Sabara. Starting with Sabara, who plays Kyle Clayton, and is excellent at making himself completely, wholly despicable, almost to a fault. All memories of Juni Cortez in Spy Kids are erased upon seeing this sociopathic asshole be his vile, despicable self. And Sabara does a very good job, such a good job in fact, that it’s kinda hard to resist jumping for joy when he dies.

Fortunately, Robin Williams is able to counteract Sabara’s ugliness extremely well as Lance Clayton. He is pleasantly restrained (Unlike, say, in Aladdin) and well, very dry and subtle. This is, needless to say, quite unusual for a Robin Williams performance.

No, really?

Also, bonus points for the Krist Novoselic cameo.

Overall:

Though it’s not particularly involving, it can sometimes be too dark for comfort and is definitely a joyless movie, World’s Greatest Dad covers up its flaws well through the strong performances of its two leads.

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