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Old People and Aliens
ericventura28 June 2017
What could have been a simple disaster movie took a late turn into the depths of mysteriousness and emotional ignorance. Like a horrible aftertaste, Cocoon starts out well and turns sour halfway into the meal. What Jaws (1975) did, Ron Howard decided not to do. Trading in simplicity for a screenplay of old people and aliens, he attempts to weave a tale of redemption and fate, instead finding himself directing an action movie with no purpose.

In fact, this movie has no purpose whatsoever. It says nothing, it accomplishes nothing, and it does nothing. It's a story for telling a story's sake. But where Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) tells a story because of the existence of the story, Cocoon must search out the material to make the story. And the screenplay looks long and hard for that inspiration for a good story – and gives up. So we get a movie with old people and aliens. A story where old people of Earth have more in common with aliens from some distant planet (that have apparently been to Earth already, explaining certain human legends) than with their own kind. But where E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) makes good use of moral children and friendly aliens, this movie decides to attempt to make a sentimental story with a stupid child and indulgent aliens. But wait…there's more! Don't forget the necessary, underdeveloped, and makes-no-sense-whatsoever love story – in this case between a human and an alien.

The beginning was decent however. Howard attempts to construct a slowly building tense storyline of gradually revealed twists. Which works until it feels like the movie should end at around the 80 minute mark instead of the 120 minute mark. The slow sci-fi drama of the first half is quickly overshadowed by the feel-good catastrophe of the second half.

Don Ameche was decent, but I think the Academy has something for old people, like Art Carney in Harry and Tonto (1974). While good performances, do they deserve the Academy Award? The visual effects were good for the time and not abused unlike many an action and sci-fi movie of today, not to name names. If only Howard could have kept the slow build up going, like Arrival (2016), he would have had a fine classic entry into the 80s sci-fi movie collection. Now, we just have Cocoon, the classically bad movie.
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heart felt movie with legendary actors
SnoopyStyle17 April 2015
It's the Sunny Shores Villas Retirement Community in St. Petersburg, Florida. Art Selwyn (Don Ameche), Ben Luckett (Wilford Brimley) and Joe Finley (Hume Cronyn) sneak into the mansion next door to swim in the pool. They are slowly losing against time. Jack Bonner (Steve Guttenberg) is a struggling boat owner. Walter (Brian Dennehy), Kitty (Tahnee Welch) and their group hire Bonner and his boat. Then they rent the mansion next to the retirement home. The old men sneak into the pool and discover that the new people have put in egg shaped boulders. They find themselves rejuvenated.

Directed by Ron Howard, this is a real feel good movie. It doesn't hurt to have acting legends doing some 'heavy lifting'. There is a real heart in their story. Guttenberg is almost comic relief as he drools over Tahnee Welch. That's perfectly understandable. The plot is somewhat like 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. The older characters are not simplistic. They have fallibilities and nobilities. They make the movie great.
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Lightly entertaining
grantss7 February 2015
A lightly entertaining comedy-drama from Ron Howard.

Interesting plot that isn't very watertight. Feels very loose and slapped-together.

Whole movie, in fact, lacks the gravitas necessary to make it a classic. Starts to feel like a chase-caper toward the end.

Performances are so-so. Wilfred Brimley does a solid job and Don Ameche got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and most of the performances are fine, just some seem very unconvincing. Tawnee Welch is particularly bad, and Steve Guttenberg should really stick to B-grade comedies.

So, quite disappointing for such a well-known movie.

However, not all bad. It keeps up a decent pace, is never dull, concept is reasonably original (if not sound) and does pose some interesting questions about life. Watchable.
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Forgotten 1980's Classic
slightlymad2225 January 2015
A movie I consider an underrated classic of the 1980's Cocoon, just gets better with age.

Plot In A Paragraph: A group of aliens led by Walter (Brian Dennehy) and Kitty (Tahnee Welch) return to earth to retrieve cocoons containing the people they'd left behind from an earlier trip. These cocoons had been resting at the bottom of the ocean. They hire a boat from a local captain Jack (Steve Guttenberg) who helps them retrieve the cocoons. Once retrieved, they stored these recovered cocoons in the swimming pool of a house they'd rented in a small Florida town. Problems arise when three elderly people, Art (Don Ameche) Ben (Wilford Brimley) and Joe (Hume Cronyn) from a nearby retirement community have been secretly using the pool, and who discover a new lease of life after using the pool with the cocoons in it.

All the lead cast are brilliant and Brian Dennehy is as excellent as always. Every time I see him on screen I warm to Steve Guttenberg, and I can't help but wonder what happened to his career, and looking on here, he didn't make a movie from 1990 (A sequel to "3 Men & A Baby") till 1995. Which is forever in Hollywood.

The film marked the first collaboration between director Ron Howard and composer James Horner. Horner would go on to compose the music for many films directed by Howard.
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Absolutely sublime
GusF7 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's an absolutely sublime film with a stellar cast of actors playing the elderly characters, particularly Don Ameche (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the film, only his seventh in 36 years, at the age of 77), Jessica Tandy (another elderly Oscar winner but for "Driving Miss Daisy"), her husband Hume Cronyn and Wilford Brimley (the only one still alive, sadly). The younger actors are well cast too such as Brian Dennehy, Steve Guttenberg, Tahnee Welch (who is a better actress than her more famous mother Raquel) and Barret Oliver.

The film has an excellent script and explores its timeless themes very well. You certainly don't have to be the characters' age to appreciate the film or even relate to all of their experiences. Ron Howard, one of the best directors of his generation, does a sterling job with the material. Not many films then or now focus their attention almost entirely on characters (particularly ordinary ones) in their 70s but it was a gamble that paid off. These days, I don't think that Hollywood would be willing to take the risk.

Only 50 when the film was made, Brimley was decades younger than most of the film's other stars but he looked older than he was. By way of comparison, he was 27 years younger than Gilford and less than 11 years older than Linda Harrison (of "Planet of the Apes" fame, who it was nice to finally hear say more than one word!) who played his daughter in the film. He may have played an elderly man but he is seven years younger than Roger Moore, who played James Bond for the last time in "A View to a Kill" which was released at much the same time! One thing that I loved particularly loved about the film was that the elderly people act like real people. Most of them are just as confused and apprehensive about life as far younger people are. Often in films and TV, elderly characters are either on life support or have no personality outside of the fact that they're old. In this film, they're all individuals and behave as such. Art Selwyn - played by the simply wonderful Don Ameche - is my favourite character. He is basically a well-meaning cad (for want of a better description), an older version of the kind of character that Ameche often played in the 1930s and 1940s.

I've always thought that 1985 was the best year for kids, teen and family films and this is my favourite of all the ones that I've seen with the exception of "Back to the Future".
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"We don't know what forever is."
utgard1421 May 2014
Aliens, disguised as humans, rent Steve Guttenberg's boat to help them recover some alien cocoons from the ocean. Then they store them in the bottom of a swimming pool next door to a retirement home. A group of oldsters from the retirement home take a swim in the pool and find themselves feeling youthful and reinvigorated.

Charming, pleasant, and touching film from Ron Howard that's a showcase for a fine cast of elderly actors. Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton, and the other oldsters are all great but Wilford Brimley is the standout. It could be argued Steve Guttenberg is only in the movie to give it some youth appeal, to say nothing of his 'sort of romance' with Tahnee Welch (daughter of Raquel). But he doesn't detract from things at all and is likable throughout the picture. It's a truly unique and wonderful movie. One of the many classics made in the '80s, a decade that is vastly underrated by film snobs.
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The cast of seniors makes this a special film
vincentlynch-moonoi15 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After reading many of the reviews here, I wish to compliment our reviewer FilmFlaneur, who really seems to "get" what this film is about. Even the title of his review -- "Charming fable..." -- hits the nail on the head.

I think what some other reviewers need to refocus on is: what story did Ron Howard decide to tell us? After all, there are many directions this film's basic premise could have gone in. For example, it could have become a science fiction film, but instead, Howard told a story that only depended on a science fiction substrate. The real focus here is actually human life ON EARTH. How do humans react to growing old.

What a wonderful ensemble of actors portray a wonderfully interesting group of old codgers. The gem, of course, was the almost forgotten Don Ameche...for my money, one of the most underrated actors in American cinema; what a joy to savor Ameche's acting here, and to rejoice in a career renewed. Wilford Brimley...not a favorite of just right here. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, a real-life married couple that always brought joy and dignity to their roles. Jack Gilford, interesting as always. Gwen Verdon, another mostly forgotten actor who did very nicely here. So how are these old folks going into that good night? There's all variations here...just as there probably would be in real life.

The aliens' characters are less well developed. I've never been a fan of Brian Dennehy, but he does nicely here as the leader of the aliens. Tahnee Welch has a decent amount of screen time, but it's a plot device, not the development of a character. Interestingly, Tyrone Power, Jr., son of Tyrone Power, is another of the aliens, but he mostly just stands around looking not as strikingly handsome as his father.

The special effects here are pretty decent, especially considering that this was filmed nearly 30 years ago. Some of the special effects impressed me, others did not. But the special effects people did their jobs to help tell the story effectively.

I found the ending a bit of a let down. I guess we just had to have faith that the seniors made the right decision to go with the aliens. It would have been nice had Ron Howard done a sequel to tell us the next part of the story. Steve Guttenburg, as the skipper of the yacht, is just kinda left there in the Gulf Of Mexico in a rather difficult legal position. What happened to him? So much more of a story could have been told.

But, I'm not complaining. This was and is a satisfying film. A gem. Highly recommended.
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Watch It For Don Ameche!
namashi_113 November 2013
Ron Howard's ambitious but mostly bland 'Cocoon' has some interesting moments, but is mostly a lazy film, that lacks sharp writing. However, Don Ameche's Oscar-Winning Performance is fabulous.

'Cocoon' Synopsis: When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.

'Cocoon' has attractive special effects & some interesting moments as well. But, the excessive running-time of nearly 2 hours seems a bit too stretched & even the writing isn't engrossing enough. Ron Howard is a master at his craft & he directs 'Cocoon' with his usual memorable style.

Performance-Wise: Besides Ameche, who owns the film, its the amazing Maureen Stapleton who lends wonderful support in the narrative. Brian Dennehy also is good.

On the whole, 'Cocoon' is an okay watch.
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A tale about aging and dying
Maziun1 November 2013
"Cocoon" is one of the science fiction movies made on the popularity of Steven Spielberg's "E.T." . The other are John Carpenter's "Starman" , John Badham's "Short circuit" and Matthew Robbins "Batteries not included". All are family friendly comedies that have good special effects , humor and heart.

"Cocoon" is a lighthearted comedy about serious issues like aging, immortality and death. It's one of those rare Hollywood movies where old people are the main hero's of the story. Sure , there is Steve Guttenberg here , but he's a supporting character and a comic relief for the teenage audiences. I also like the appearance of Brian Dennehy ("Rambo : First blood") and sexy Tahnee Welch.

Don Ameche , Wilford Brimley , Jessica Tandy , Hume Cronyn and Jack Gilford – the old generation actors are the stars here. They have good chemistry together and really make you care for their characters.

I don't think that Don Ameche deserved the Oscar for his performance. I like him , he's a good actor and he's good here , but the Oscar feels here more like a tribute for his overall career than for this particular performance.

The special effects are great even after all those years (they won Oscar). Sure , some of the effects do look a little fake now , but most of them are outstanding – for example the alien in the cocoon . Add to that a great music by James Horner (a little too sweet maybe) and prepare yourself for audio-visual pleasure.

As I mentioned earlier this movie isn't one that takes itself too seriously . It tells important truth – you're as old as you feel. Yes , aging and death are painful , but you should use life to the maximum and live with dignity to the end.

I recommend this movie to everyone – especially old people . People who like darker and more serious science fiction movies might be disappointed with this one , but anyone with open mind and heart probably will enjoy it. I give it 5/10.
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E.T. remake but for the elderly audience
oragex23 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The freaking Life on Mars psychosis of the 80's. First Close Encounters of the Third Kind, then E.T., then this. Common. And the music it's so... how to say, 'you have to believe'. May I suggest this kind of scenario works better for kids than for adults.

Spoiler alert.

And where are those grannies going to go? How would you know that that big interstellar ship won't break in the way letting those folks flying in the middle of the galaxy with no medic care and soap operas reception? Really. I know for a fact that there's no Champs Elysees on planet Antarea. Anyhow, the film is saved by the - for once - very nice and slow to get angry E.T.'s, admirably nice and easy going. And to call Tahnee Welch sweet and hot is just to use more pleonasms than is needed.

Cocoon is cheesy and careless, and in my book also useless. How better would have been to dump the martians, and just let it be a history for older people with a similar scenario. That's what I would've bought.
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"Good, Light-Hearted Sci-Fi Flick!"
gwnightscream25 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Steve Guttenberg, Jessica Tandy and Brian Dennehy star in Ron Howard's 1985 sci-fi film. This takes place in St. Petersburg, Florida where we meet senior citizen pals, Art (Ameche), Ben (Brimley) and Joe (Cronyn) who discover a way to feel youthful again when they swim in a pool energized by alien cocoons. Dennehy (First Blood) plays alien, Walter who is trying to save his friends inside the cocoons and take them to his home planet, Anterea. Guttenberg (Police Academy) plays boatman, Jack who is hired by Walter and his crew to retrieve the cocoons from the ocean discovering they're aliens and Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy) plays Joe's wife, Alma. Soon, Walter loses one of his friends as do Ben and his friends making a deal for them to come with him to Anterea where they will never get older or die. Howard's brother, Clint and father, Rance also appear. This is a good, light-hearted sci-fi flick with a great cast & excellent score by James Horner I recommend.
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Never Gets Old (No Pun Intended)
nickelreviews17 June 2013
Cocoon was the first big movie Ron Howard directed after Splash. I grew up watching this movie. I've continued watching it (probably over 100 times) and it never gets old! It throws out that question what would older people do if they found the fountain of youth? It's too bad I have to travel back to 1985 to find a truly uplifting film. A movie you can watch that will lift your spirits, and although highly unlikely, is made believable by the great acting that actually landed Don Ameche a Best-Supporting Actor nomination that same year. Cocoon also starred Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Wilford Brimley, Brian Dennehy, and Steve Guttenberg. I love this movie...always have always will! Reviewed by AN/NR 11-14-11
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Discovering the "fountain of youth"
Wuchak31 March 2013
I haven't seen Ron Howard's "Cocoon" (1985) for about twenty years and am so glad I purchased it recently.

On the surface the film's about elderly folks at a retirement home in Florida unknowingly discovering the "fountain of youth" via a pool on an adjacent property. A peculiar group of people rent the property to store boulder-like objects they take from the bottom of the ocean. As such, the pool acquires healing powers and restore's the old folk's youthful vigor, to say the least.

Steve Guttenberg stars as the likable protagonist, the boat owner/operator who helps the people get to the objects in the ocean, but he has no idea what's really going on. The stunning Tahnee Welch -- Raquel's daughter -- plays one the members of the peculiar group to whom Guttenberg takes a liking. Unlike Raquel, who's known for being a bit biyatchy, Tahnee shines with a winsome disposition. Brian Dennehy is also on hand as the leader of the odd group, and he does very well.

Most great movies have a deeper subtext, and so it is with "Cocoon." The story is a commentary on aging, death, grieving and the yearning for eternal life. The people of the peculiar group are types of angels or, better yet, the redeemed in glorified bodies. What they offer is the gospel, the key to eternal life in the "new heavens and new earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13). By "the redeemed in glorified bodies" I'm referring to the glorious bodies that are promised to believers at the time of their bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:42-44); these bodies will be imperishable, powerful and spiritual (not carnal) in nature. Believers will be able to defy gravity with these new bodies, walk through doors and teleport from one place to another, all of which can be seen in Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

Needless to say, "Cocoon" has an incredible subtext. But it's not necessary to get so deep. This is just an entertaining movie with a good heart. More than that, it's inspiring.

The film runs 117 minutes and was shot in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area of Florida and the underwater scenes in the Bahamas.

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New Spring in their step
bkoganbing10 February 2013
The Citizen Kane of Ron Howard's directorial career has to be and still is Cocoon. It's a film that combines fantasy and science fiction better than any ever done before or since and it's the most life affirming item you'll ever see on the big screen or small. It also gives some of our older players some really fine roles and brought an Oscar late in his career to one of the class acts of Hollywood.

The citizens of one of thousands of nursing homes are just whiling away the end hours of their lives and in Florida there's more of these homes than most places. Three of those citizens are Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche. One of their activities is to go into an indoor swimming pool in a vacant house next door.

But those activities are interrupted when four strangers, Brian Dennehy, Linda Harrison, Clint Howard, and Tyrone Power IV rent the place. It's that swimming pool that interests them. The quartet also rents Steve Guttenberg's boat and they bring up some large size boulder type rocks which they place in the pool.

Our senior citizens keep going into the pool even with the rocks there and pretty soon they're noticing some marvelous changes, in Hume Cronyn, the most marvelous of all as his cancer goes into a complete remission, mystifying his doctors. That leads our group now joined by wives Jessica Tandy and Maureen Stapleton for Cronyn and Brimley and companion Gwen Verdon for Ameche that these are some special people.

Special they are, humans they're not as the quartet shows them they're aliens in human body suits. And after some heartache and tragedy for both earth people and aliens, the aliens offer these old folks a chance never given to any humans before. For that you see Cocoon for.

This is the kind of film that you can watch over and over and still feel good about yourselves and feel good that there are others out there in the vast universe who've played the game of life and have mastered the rules. There are so many other science fiction films that show monsters and other worldly creatures coming to earth with the most malicious of intentions. Cocoon is such a refreshing change.

Cocoon got two Oscars in 1985 for special effects and a Best Supporting Actor Award for Don Ameche. In a sense it was wrong to single out Ameche because all the senior citizen players cut some fine characters that you'll remember and enjoy. But Ameche was always a class act in Hollywood, a person you'll not hear an unkind word about written or spoken by his contemporaries in a career that lasted from the Thirties to the Nineties. It was an award for a lifetime more than anything else.

One of those characters also was Jack Gilford. There's a famous classic Twilight Zone episode which also takes place in a senior citizen home where the residents there are given the same chance as these people are. With a lot less attention I might add. Gilford fulfills the same function as Russell Collins did in The Twilight Zone, the one who stays behind because he can't bring himself to take the step necessary.

Who knows how long or if humankind will approach what these aliens have, but in many ways Cocoon offers a peak into an existence more fabulous than ever portrayed on film before.
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Another Ron Howard Masterpiece!
Connor Ahrens30 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a story! The story of this movie is believable and grabs you! The inner concepts are thoroughly shown in the movie and serves as a decent "thinker". Though Guttenberg's performance lacked...Brimley, Dennehy, Ameche, and Welch played their characters flawlessly! Hope and a greater appreciation for life are huge in this film which make it so good. The film leaves you with a great feeling for the future and what lies above us. The quarky comedy throughout does work and actually helps lowering the seriousness of the lives lost to a bearable level for all ages. This could have been an awful wreck but Howard and the actors turn this movie into a grand family classic from the 80's!
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Cocoon (1985)
Tom Narvaez25 July 2012
I first saw this movie in theaters in 1985. I never forgot it. It is really a great movie that has stayed in my mind all this time. When I saw the opportunity to buy it at a discount, I grabbed it. Tonight I watched it again, and being my age, it inspired me again. The love the couples have for each other is tremendous and the camaraderie of the friendships is truly something that few have ever experienced. I really love that the older you get does not mean that life is gone. "I got a hard-on", you got one too" God that made me laugh and think. Why should life end just because we get old? I have always believed we were not alone in this universe. As Jody Foster says in "Contact" "Do you think there is life on other planets? Her dad replies "I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space." I have always believed there are others out there. This movie only inspires that belief and nurtures the thought that they don't want to harm us in any way. They are explorers just as we are. They want to learn and you know…there is nothing wrong with that.
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lasttimeisaw5 March 2012
An E.T. fairytale for the elderly with a rejuvenating therapeutic gambit for visual and subconscious entertainment and a belated fulfillment to slam the ageism towards the senior.

Setting against a Sci-Fi backdrop, the special effects might not be cutting-edge even at its time (in a post-STAR WARS era, it is an insurmountable pinnacle, the same could be deduced now are in a post-AVATAR era), but serves benevolently to entice the concentrations and unleash a wacky but improbable plot of the expedition to the mystifying eternal longevity. The extra- congenial extraterrestrial Antareans are merely a wishful thinking, as human behavior has no exception will spoil their plan to rescue their companions sooner or later, their counter- behavior is inexplicably dumbfounded to be taken seriously.

The film has locked two Oscars, one for the visual effects, another is an utterly surprising Best Supporting Actor win for Don Ameche (whose pivotal showcase is a stupendous street-dance stunt in the film, apart from which there is scant room for him to testify his flair), which could be divined that it is no more than an acclaim to the film's pandering penchant for the demography as most academic members are over-50 white male, this film might help them to mitigate the fear of aging uselessly and hopelessly. Anyway the entire prestigious cast has stuck together to make the indulging fantasy more refreshing than off-putting, ironically the film itself has not aging too well, unlike the characters in the sanitarium, after a minimal 27 years span, it seems that the film backfires on Ron Howard and the team behind it, who in my opinion is an excellent Hollywood hack than a venerable filmmaker.
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Classic movie of all time!
Nisha15 December 2011
I recently learned that this film was directed by Ron Howard. Being a fan of his movies, Ron Howard tests his skill in making this sci-fictional film as realistic as possible. 'Cocoon' as the title of the film goes centers on a group of senior citizens who get unexpected vigor on swimming in their neighbor's pool. A superb cast and Steve Guttenberg of (three men and a baby)fame giving that comedy punch. It is a all time family entertainer.

The concept original and considering lot of sci-fiction movies emerged in the 80's , this film still stands for three things- oldies coming in form, exploring the unknown and last purpose in life.
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A lovely film about friendship and laughter in all our ages
MongoTheMuser3 November 2011
This is a lovely, not-to-be-missed, golden-era style "Fountain of Youth" comedy and drama -- just add a touch of aliens! The incredibly talented cast of actors portraying the "old folks" all breathe wonderful life into each scene. Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, and Hume Cronyn do especially fine, natural portrayals here, as does Jack Gilford, although his role is more that of a single-note character. Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy and Gwen Verdon do stellar work here as well. This is a warm, lovable film about friendship and laughter in the face of aging. Mongo's Rating: 8.3 stars in a 10- star world. That's the Upside -- and this charmer of a film is nearly all so. The Downside? Steve Guttenberg nearly poisons the film with his sticky, clownishly hollow portrayals. He nearly brings his reverse Midas touch to bear here as well, but remains at the far edges of tolerability. Still, your nausea-meter may be pinging in the red, dangerously so, during his unavoidably numerous appearances.)
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You know you're getting old when ...
dimplet10 July 2011
... you're older than Ron Howard!

And you had a crush on Gwen Verdon when she played Lola in "Damn Yankees."

You know you're getting old when you put on "Cocoon" and keep waiting for the Marx Brothers to make their appearances.

You think you are watching "Cocoanuts."

But you aren't quite sure because the last time you saw it was in its original theatrical release.

Just before The Crash.

All you can remember is it was set in Florida.

And they kept trying to sell you some land.

Which you bought.

This movie is set in Florida, and you figure it must be "Cocoanuts" because what else could those things be in the pool?

Then, 15 minutes into the film, you fall asleep.

You dream of an enchanted evening in the South Pacific and think you're still in the Marines.

Then Harpo finally appears.

Playing a harp.

Good night, and sweet dreams.
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Pretty good
zetes20 March 2011
Pretty decent light sci-fi, kind of like E.T. except with old people instead of children. Brian Dennehy plays an alien come to Earth looking for cocoons left in the ocean a long time ago by their race. The cocoons they find are placed in an indoor pool next door to an old folk's home, and a few rascally old men (Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche) sneak in and use the pool. The water has become rejuvenating, and the three men, along with their wives on subsequent visits, become reinvigorated. Steve Guttenberg plays a ship captain whom the aliens hire to take them out to sea, and Raquel Welch's gorgeous daughter, Tahnee Welch, plays one of the aliens for whom Guttenberg falls. Don Ameche somehow won an Oscar for his role, most likely for a silly break dancing sequence which he obviously did not perform. In my mind, Jack Gilford, as the guys' buddy who refuses to go into the pool, is the best actor in the film, though I don't think anyone deserved an Oscar nomination for it.
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Dandy_Desmond31 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Cocoon could have been very depressing and parts of it are very emotional and sad but beautifully handled. It deals with subjects that are quite difficult to sell - being old, facing the death of loved ones or coming to the end of your own time. However thankfully its also very funny contains great well rounded characters and has some great music from James Horner.

Steve Guttenbergs character owns a boat and does crappy tours but is struggling to make ends meet and is down on his luck. Enter four mysterious strangers asking him to take them to a certain point in the ocean with no questions asked. He agrees and while spying on the pretty female played by Tahnee Welch (mmmmm!) he finds out they are actually Aliens retrieving Cocoons containing their friends that have lain at the bottom of the sea for thousands of years. Intercutting with this we have the story of an old peoples home and a group of friends biding their time until death takes them as it takes the people around them one by one. Three life long friends (Ameche, Brimley and Cronin)sneak into a local pool and relax but one day find the pool full of cocoons. After their swim they gain a new lease of life - they all get their libido back, their health and their sense of joy in life.

I won't go into detail but what made this an enjoyable film for me was the characters. Each of the friends had their own background, their own questions and concerns as to what was happening and their new lease of life had a different effect on each of them. For example I loved how Hume Cronins character at the beginning was dying of cancer - you felt sorry for him as a sick old man, then when the pool cures him you find out as he gets his sex drive back he has an eye for the ladies and cheats on his wife and that its not the first time as he has treat her badly this way before. I also loved the relationship between Wilford Brimleys character and Barret Oliver. You felt a real grandfather - grandson bond between them. Special mention to the other friend in the group - the eternally grouchy Bernie who refuses to go in the pool or let his sick wife. After the old folks run rampant the energy from the cocoons is drained and the pool stops working its magic - then Bernies wife dies and he Carry's her to the pool begging for it to bring her back. Its pretty heart wrenching stuff for the likes of me. Thankfully though although sometimes I did have a tear in my eye there was some laughter to go along with it. The interplay between the old folks is very funny and its a joy to see them change from old codgers to teenagers overnight and I find Steve Guttenberg amusing as well. Overall I found Cocoon a very entertaining film. Emotional, sad, beautiful, funny and above all memorable. Sadly most of the cast is gone but through their work they live on.
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What an absolute bore
mindcat26 May 2010
I rented this film for old times sack, having viewed it years ago in the 1990's. I did not care for it then, that opinion now, remains unchanged.

I think it was supposed to be a bland and silly comedy for whom? Well, that's the question isn't it, because I was 40 when I saw it and now in my maturity, hate it.

Why is that? Well, because because the script stinks and is so loaded with bland and absolutely worn out gimmicks and cliques.

The characters are not any worth liking and some sort of worthless. The script must have been written by a very beginning film author. It stunk.

Well, enough said. I was able to watch it only to the point where these old men begin telling each other about their boners. Click, whirred, rewind, lights out.
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A rare and truthful focus on the elderly makes "Cocoon" a nice film
Movie_Muse_Reviews2 January 2010
Very few films have been made with seniors as the main characters. It seems that Hollywood producers are convinced we prefer to see younger people on the screen -- and they're probably right. "Cocoon" is a rare elderly-focused take on the fountain of youth concept, an ancient motif that's enough proof in itself that humans desire young age, whether in general or at the movies. Although science fiction, "Cocoon" is simple and mild-mannered like its lovable old protagonists. It might be light on drama but it's big on heart.

Loaded with stars from yesteryear, among them Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and Gwen Verdon, one could say "Cocoon" was an '80s alien movie made specifically for an older crowd. And that's fair -- they deserve it. It's as if director Ron Howard was hoping to give his cast some of their youth back in letting them take prominence in the film, based on a story by David Saperstein and screenplay by Tom Benedek. It's not riveting sci-fi material but it prompts an honest conversation about aging, one that in reality someone of any age could understand and appreciate.

The film takes place in a senior living center in St. Petersburg, Florida. As part of their recreation time, three of the senior men enjoy swimming in the abandoned pool just through the woods around the center. When a strange group of people come in and buy the old house and rent a boat at the dock, the stubborn old guys still come to swim in the pool, only it appears the people are storing rocks in the water. They swim anyway and find that with the rocks in the pool (actually alien cocoons) that they feel energetic, rejuvenated -- and younger.

Howard's film is easygoing. There is not a lot of suspense or gripping conflict. Instead, you watch and get a kick out of the way these seniors and their wives behave having been affected by the water. Their sex drive, for example, reappears to comic effect and there's general misbehavior. They all come off as bigger children and each have a different reaction to this "cheating" of age. Thus the film's core conflict of whether it's right to defy nature appears and guides the rest of the film. It's a replacement for any major form of antagonism.

"Cocoon" is touching because the story is very frank in portraying these seniors as having nothing to live for but each other and whatever remaining family they have. When you're that old, a chance at prolonged life is like being granted a whole new world of opportunity whereas you're just biding time when you're old and physically and mentally unable to do the things you used to.

There have been better stories, better special effects (although this one an Oscar in 1985) and better science-fiction films, so "Cocoon" is best appreciated as a unique film about old age, something movies rarely focus entirely upon.

~Steven C

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