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Cine-Men: Disney’s ‘Flubber’ cooks up mad laughs with late Robin Williams as lead

What comes to your mind when you think mad scientist? Dr. Frankenstein? “The Island of Doctor Moreau”? That “Weird Science” movie that had an early appearance of Robert Downey Jr.? This is not one of those tales; this is the tale of the fantastical flying green Flubber.

“Flubber” tells the story of eccentric Professor Brainard (the late Robin Williams) and the discovery of a new miracle substance, affectionally named “Flubber.” The film centers on his discoveries on the capabilities of the new substance, such as jumping incredible heights, launching heavy weights like bouncy balls and even using it to make his car fly.

Along with the professor’s day to day life, including how he forgot to attend his own wedding three times, with some twists and turns of criminal intrigue. Will the professor sell the flubber to a corrupt businessman to get the university out of their debt? Or will he leave the university to sell his invention and become a millionaire? Will he give a false pass to the child of the businessman, so he can play on the already dreadful basketball team?
“Flubber” was also a remake of an old black-andwhite movie titled “The Absent-Minded Professor.” Upon some cursory research many of the plot points are quite similar, if not identical. So, it may hearten any fellow avid moviegoer to see a remake loyal to its source material, especially to a historical Disney movie.

My Take:

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Having heard of the movie and seeing it on several video clearance racks, I was curious as to what this would entail. What I got was several moments of that special blend of real-world cartoon violence that should kill normal men. I think that is hysterical and that is all the movie is trying to do. But I don’t know if that is a problem.

There are some weird moments that raise eyebrows out of context, like how the professor is in a weird love triangle with his now three-time fiancée and his hovering robot helper, or how it seems that most of the animation budget went into a rather long scene where the Flubber dances. Yes, you read that right. Flubber dances with a copy it pulls from itself.

But looking past those weird moments, it is something for you to turn your brain off and laugh at the good guys winning and the bad guys losing in very painful, and possibly deadly massive-blunt force-trauma-to-the-head ways. Plus, who doesn’t want to watch Robin Williams jump and dunk a basketball from past the half court line? A solid 7/10 viewing, if you don’t take it too seriously.

If you wish to join us for a movie viewing you can find us at McCormick room 3237 on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. We hope to see you there!


The late Robin Williams stars as mad scientist Professor Brainard in the 1997 Disney comedy “Flubber.”


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