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I remember one day I was sitting around the house, bored. I saw that a movie
was coming on and that it had Kurt Russell and Robin Williams, so I thought
I ought to check it out. It was one of those great moments where I was
unexpectedly greeted with a really fun, charming movie.
Both Russell and Williams give funny performances, but their characters also feel pretty real. The girls are also quite believable and fun to watch. The football scenes are funny, but when it's not making you laugh, it seems genuine. I also felt drawn into this little town called "Taft". Here's this little town that seems quite small with not a lot to do, yet I found something enthralling about it. No doubt the characterizations are a big plus for the film. I highly recommend this movie, whether you like football or not because the cast and director really make it work.
Jack & Reno have become very mediocre married men, but they have one claim
to fame: they were heroes in high school when they played football. The
only problem is they lost "that game," the one most important game of the
season; then they went on to live their lives, marry the high school
sweethearts, and never got a chance to redeem themselves. This has become
an obsession, to the point where they can't do anything but think about
football. They watch every game that's on.
The problem is, their wives are sick to death of hearing about it- so sick of hearing about football, they are talking about divorce. Still- this obsession is almost as important to them as their marriages.
There is an hilarious scene in which they have finally talked their wives into giving them one more chance, and the four of them are having dinner together. Unfortunately, the wives have picked the worst night of the week to ask them over for dinner: football night. As the four of them sit at the dinner table, the wives are unaware that the football game is on in the next room, and they are more absorbed in the game than in the conversation at table. Watching out of the corners of their eyes, they finally blow their own cover by hollering and screaming at an exciting football play.
Of course, they end the movie with a horribly-played game in which they redeem themselves and everybody is happy ever after. It is the study of men and how they tend to focus on their masculine pursuits to the most ridiculous extremes. And it is a study of how women deal with these "boys will be boys" types. Very real, very funny, and something many of us can surely identify with!!
Kurt Russell is at his best as the man who lives off his past glories,
Hightower. Robin Williams is his polar opposite in a rare low key
performance as Jack Dundee. He dropped the Big Pass in more ways than
You'll see some of the most quotable scenes ever put into one film, as Jack hisses at a rat, Reno poses, and the call of the caribou goes out.
Don't miss this classic that isn't scared to show football in the mud the way it should be played (note to the NFL).
Have you ever in your life, gone out for a sport's activity, tried your best, and then found yourself in an important segment of it, where for a brief moment, you were given a chance to be a hero and a champion and . . . failed? I believe many of us have had that moment in our lives. This is the premise of the movie, "The Best of Times." In this story a middle age banker, named Jack Dundee (Robin Williams) suffers from the deep melancholy of a football mistake, which happened years ago, is inspired to re-play the game . . again. In order to accomplish this he must convince the once great football quarterback, Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell) to make a comeback. For Reno, who is satisfied with his present lot in life, see's no need to change the past record, which get's better as he ages. Added to both their problem is the fact years have passed and in addition, both their marriages are floundering and in need of re-vamping. Not easy when his Father-in-law (Donald Moffat) habitually reminds him of the biggest drop. Nevertheless, Dundee is persistent and will do anything to try and correct the greatest blunder of his life. Great fun for anyone wishing to enjoy their youth again. ***
I guess that everyone has to make a comeback at some point. And that's
exactly what embarrassed Taft resident Jack Dundee (Robin Williams)
intends to do in "The Best of Times". Yep, the man who went all crazy
with the radio in "Good Morning, Vietnam" is playing football. In this
case, he seeks to replay a game that cost his high school a prestigious
title. But ex-teammate Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell) isn't just going
to go along with it so easily.
Granted, it's not the best movie for either man. But Williams and Russell are actually a pretty good comedy team. And some of the names in this movie are likely to give you the giggles (to say the least). Check it out.
The Best of Times is one of the great sleepers of all time. The setup does not tax your patience, the development is steady, the many intertwined relationships are lovingly established, the gags and bits all work and all are funny. There is lots of sentimentality. Kurt Russell playing Reno Hightower puts in one of his best performances, and Robin Williams playing Jack Dundee is sure-footed as ever. The cast also includes many great supporters. Jack's wife is played by Jack Palance's daughter, who is lovely, as is Reno's wife, who is a great comedian. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this movie, how many times I have enjoyed it and how often I wish that more people could see it.
Why did this movie fail commercially? It's got a sharp script (by Ron Shelton) and great performances by Kurt Russell and, especially, Robin Williams, in a brilliant manic nerd turn that's different from any of his other work. A great renter.
Robin Williams and Kurt Russell play guys in their 30's who put their marraiges in jeopardy by deciding (Russell somewhat reluctantly) to replay their heartbreaking tie with rival Bakersfield years after the fact. Williams is ok, but Russell is flat-out great as legendary Taft quarterback Remo Hightower. Holly Palance does a nice and attractive turn as Williams' wife, who could live without this rematch. Film is worth watching just to see the famed Remo in action. Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film did not do well at the box office.
I saw it in a sneak preview.
I have always enjoyed the film.
I live in 1 of the cities mentioned in the film where past players moved to.
Not the best film ever put to screen, but enjoyable.
Robin did well with his role.
Best line of the film at the beginning, by Robin's character Jack: "I was that SOB!" Cleaned up here as not to offend anyone.
Was glad when it came to DVD a few years back in the wide screen/letter box format.
I am not a football fan or a real sports fan. But, you do not need to be one to like this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoiler This movie is about such a concept. Williams will go to any low in order to replay the football game that haunts his life. Russel plays the ex jock who peaked in high school. Finally the under dog get its shot, and Williams can save face, instead of being the clown. A great reverse tragedy. 7/10
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