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Monday, September 19, 2011

My 100 Worst Films of the 90's - 84 - Flubber(1997)

Disney was on a remake kick in the 90's and a few of those films made this list.  Flubber was one such remake, and it is a plotless, weak and vapid work starring Robin Williams as an unlikable jerk who makes poorly-animated green ooze.  This Absent-Minded Professor remake is a CGI-fest that tries to generate all of its laughs with dancing jelly things and completely forgets all about the screenplay.

Dr. Brainard (Williams), keeps leaving his sweetheart Sara at the altar, this is made even more complicated as she also happens to be the president of the college he works at.  During one such missed wedding, he accidentally discovers a strange new substance while trying to develop a new source of energy.  The green blob flies all over his lab causing chaos and he names the flying rubber "Flubber".  

Naturally, Christopher MacDonald plays the bad guy and in this film he wishes to steal both Sara and Flubber from Brainard.  I think he’s there to remind us that Brainard is the protagonist because he’s such an insufferable idiot throughout the film that it’s easy to hate him.  Still, the characters don’t matter here, the movie is titled Flubber and thus we get a lot of silly animated moments as the Flubber throws a dance party, takes every shape you can imagine, and really just takes over the movie so we can watch green liquid dance around the screen.  This is a film that came out early in the greatly unwanted invasion of CGI and Disney really seemed proud of themselves with this one.

Flubber is just one example of how Hollywood got lazy about filmmaking with the onset of CGI.  This film is so littered with pointless computer-animated Flubber that it forgets that it needs characters and a story.  Jurassic Park did good with its animation because the movie focuses still on the characters.  In Flubber, the animated (and annoying) titular substance takes over large chunks of the movie and when it isn’t stealing the screen, the other CGI gimmick, a robot named Weebo tries to push the plot out of the way.  Flubber could have been a fun movie, but ultimately it's just a disaster.

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