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The Best of Times
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The Best of Times More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Ever have and event that you could never out live.

Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg
21 August 2002

*** 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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

If I Could Turn Back Time

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
27 March 2012

If you can ever wrap your mind around the concept of Robin Williams as a high school jock I think you might enjoy The Best Of Times. What this is not is a film using the hit song from La Cage Aux Folles as a theme.

Instead Robin Williams plays a guy with a reputation of blowing a long pass from quarterback Kurt Russell in a final game with Bakersfield that blew the state championship for the best high school team that Taft, California ever produced. In fact the opening narrative makes it quite clear that Taft, California is one loser of a town throughout its history. Still living in a small town and married to Holly Palance, daughter of Donald Moffat who was a booster of the Bakersfield team has made life pretty miserable.

No more miserable than it was for Kurt Russell who blew out a knee when the entire Bakersfield line nailed him just as he got off the pass that Williams dropped thereby losing a possible pro career.

So Williams who's had 15 years of taunts decides to challenge his father-in-law to replay the game and maybe history won't repeat itself. It's going to take a lot though to motivate the rest of the team, especially Russell, but Williams has a bag of tricks.

I guess there's nothing sillier then old men trying to act young again. As Bill Holden said to Gloria Swanson, there's nothing wrong with being 50 unless you try to act like you're 25. That forms the basis for most of the comedy in The Best Of Times.

Both Williams and Russell have done better work, but this one will provide a few laughs. Still Williams as a jock does not compute.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The Big Game

Author: Imrugger from Manhattan KS
18 April 2002

The big game defines the modern male in pre-pc America. Your born, you learn a few things, you play in the big game, and you die. Kurt and Robin struggle with the cycle of life in this movie and committ the un-natural act of playing the game over. Not the classic struggle of good versus evil but the classic struggle simply for the sake of strugle. Where is Kid Lester today, on "Pop up Video?"

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"The Best of Times" is a comedy worthy of your time

Author: sellingsalem from United States
19 August 2015

Underrated movie with a host of famous and near-famous actors/actresses playing "everyman" roles. Football, memories, mud and Robin Williams. OMG!!! This is one of those gems I watch every few years just because it makes me happy. Who hasn't had those moments of "What might have been...?" Ron Shelton's clever, funny and emotional screenplay was brought to life with a talented cast -- yet it failed at the box office. Of course it was competing at the theaters in 1986 when "Top Gun", "Crocodile Dundee", "Stand By Me", "Ferris Bueller", "Platoon", "Peggy Sue Got Married"... and other such classics were trouncing any other good movies. It didn't stand a chance - and has since been forgotten it seems. What a shame. This is a quality movie.

Quick plot: Robin Williams is a high school nerd who dropped the pass that cost the tiny town their destiny win against their biggest rival. He can't forget it -- and neither can anyone else in town. Due to the loss, Robin and the town "quietly faded into lethargy" as he so eloquently states in the opening moments of the film. Ten years later, Robin has an epiphany to replay "the big game" with ALL the old players - from both teams - in hopes of overcoming the depression and pudgy pre-middle-age everyone in the town have seemingly slipped into over these many years. What transpires are the hits (and hilarious misses) of putting those lovable losers back together as a team and maybe reviving the dying town - and their marriages and friendships in the process.

This is an excellent, very funny story about a brave little town forgotten by everyone except the eccentric inhabitants who can't forget the most bitter of endings at the stone hands of a "never-was". Robin Williams is perfect as the pompous-yet-lovable nerdy banker whose inner demons are the catalyst for such a classic re-imagining of their most famous game. Kurt Russell was breaking out of his Disneyesque golden boy image at the time of this movie (remember "Escape from New York"?), so his out-of-shape ex-All-World high school quarterback who has nothing but fading memories of his glory years persona is spot-on. Williams and Russell are comedic gold in this story. Add in all kinds of quirky, character actors and actresses filling the town and teams with an enjoyable experience of football in the mud and attempting to change one's destiny when everyone else has given up on you. I'm thankful to have seen this over and over again. It's just that much fun. :-)

Re-watch this movie. It will be special again. And if you've never had an opportunity to watch it before, I envy you. This is funny, nostalgic, intelligent, athletic, and has just a touch of emotional journey that will not only put a smile on your face, but possibly a tear in your eye at the end. I. Love. This. Movie. 8 out of 10.

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Mediocre and predictable sports comedy elevated by Robin Williams' comic performance

Author: brchthethird from United States
13 November 2014

Who doesn't have something in their past they wish they could go back and do over? In THE BEST OF TIMES, Jack Dundee (Robin Williams) has been known in Taft as the "guy who dropped the ball" in a high school football game 13 years ago. But honestly, he isn't the only one in that small town who longs for the glory days. With him is Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell), the town's star quarterback who now runs a car repair shop. And to complicate things further, both of them are having marital issues, some of which stem from Jack's insistence at not letting go of the past. The whole story is quite a mess, with some scenes leading nowhere, and others being cringe-inducing in their reliance on cliché. Still, there are a couple of scenes which stood out as being particularly good. First, there is a dinner scene between Jack, Reno, and their wives which reminded me of a similar scene in Mrs. Doubtfire. Also, the climactic game was well-done, even if the way it ends is a foregone conclusion before the film really even starts. Full disclosure: I'm not much of a football fan (or sports, for that matter). However, I can appreciate a good sports movie when I see one. This isn't one of those movies. As a comedy, it's adequate and Robin Williams does give a good comic performance as a put-upon man with some unresolved personal issues regarding his past. Kurt Russell also does a nice job as the straight man, but the chemistry between him and Williams isn't as good as one would expect. Still, both of them do the best with the material they were given. Ultimately, I like to think of this movie as not really being about high school football. It works better as a feel-good comedy about wish-fulfillment and fixing past mistakes. On that level, I think the film can be enjoyed. Overall, this isn't particularly essential viewing but should prove a decent diversion for Robin Williams or sports fans.

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Sweet, funny, innocent. One of my favorites

Author: whidbeydanielg
12 August 2014

Fell in love with this movie when I first saw it in a theater in 1986. It has not lost its charm, as I have enjoyed it about every 2-3 years since.

The plot is about replaying a football game where Taft high school, a perennial loser, almost beats the best team. Except on a crucial play, Williams drops an easy pass.

He can't move on, and initiates a rematch. It is at one level a fairly decent sports movie--think Hoosiers with funnier people.

The film has heart. Both men have problems with their wives, who they love deeply and who love them dearly. Russell, in particular, is touching in how he refuses to fix up his wife's car so she can leave him, and then when he finally does......well, see the film. It's very sweet.

The extras are a hoot, especially M. Emmet Walsh (who is never in a bad movie). There are even a couple of fun musical numbers.

I liked Robin Williams more in films like this one than in his manic comic routines. In this film he actually seems happy.

I can heartily recommend this film. It isn't dated because it is from a time that really never existed. I think I'll watch it again this week, as a matter of fact.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It really can't be said this movie was the best of times for the makers.

Author: Aaron1375
26 November 2010

This film looks like it did nothing at the box office and with only 28 reviews at the time of this writing one can say it was not the most memorable of films. However, despite the fact it was not a success at the box office it had its moments. It was not all good, but not all bad. The film stars Robin Williams, a man who in high school dropped the winning touchdown against his school's biggest rival and ever since that time the town has gotten stale and so has his life. So too, has the life of the star quarterback played by Kurt Russell. So to try and put things right in a way, Williams character tries to get a football game together between the schools again using the same players that played that fateful game so many years ago. It is humorous in some parts, but one of those films that gets slow too, it also has Robin Williams and he can be a bit over the top a lot of the times. Here he is actually kind of reserved, for him anyway. His character has a nifty way to get everyone on board with his idea as at first people are a bit hesitant about doing it. However, the film plays out in rather predictable fashion as one just knows how this one is going to end.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I'm from Taft

Author: ralpht22 from United States
21 May 2007

hi I'm from Taft California and i like this movie because it shows how us little town people love our sports football is the main thing in Taft and this movie shows just how important it is i personally think they should make another one but instead of actors use us kids to play the games well show you our determination we've beat Bakersfield every game for the past 6 years and since I'm a senior next year its my last chance and then its college we've had running backs lead the state and I'm next if you want to know me I'm kyle Taylor and i average seven to eight yards a carry and about five times a game ill break away on a 75 or around that yard run so check us out at our website and go to our sports page bye

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Classic David VS. Goliath on the Small Town GridIron !!! A Triumph of the Human Spirit !!!

Author: cshep from Laguna Woods, CA.
12 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For all of the Has-Beens or Never Was's or for the curious, this film is for you....Ever played a sport, or wondered what it felt like after the lights went down and the crowd left..this film explores that and more.

Robin Williams(Jack Dundee) is a small town assistant banker in Taft CA., whose life has been plagued, by a miscue in a BIG rival high school football game 13 years ago, when he dropped the pass that would have won over Bakersfield, their Arch-Rival, that takes great pleasure in pounding the Taft Rockets, season after season . Kurt Russell(Reno Hightower) was the Quarterback in that famous game, and is the local legend, that now is a van repair specialist, whose life is fading into lethargy, like the town of Taft itself.

Williams gets an idea to remake history, by replaying the GAME ! He meets with skeptical resistance, so he goes on a one man terror spree, and literally paints the town , orange, yellow and black , to raise the ire of the residents to recreate THE game . After succeeding, the players from that 1972 team reunite, and try to get in shape to practice, which is hysterical . The game is on , Bakesfield is loaded with all of the high tech gadgets, game strategies, and sophisticated training routines . Taft is drawing plays in the mud, with sticks, stones, and bottle caps, what a riot ! Does Taft overcome the odds, does Robin Willians purge the demons from his bowels, does Kurt Russell rise from lethargy, watch "The Best of Times" for one of the BEST viewing experiences ever!

One of Robin Williams best UNDERSTATED performances, the chemistry between Robin and Russell is magic . And who is Kid Lester ???

Holly Palance and Pamela Reed give memorable performances as the wives of Williams and Russell. Succeeds on Many Levels. A 10 !

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Oh to be able to replay the game that cost you your dignity.

Author: Bruce Howell from Lisle, IL
12 February 1999

Although not the best work of either Kurt Russell or Robin Williams, this familiar comedy does what it sets out to do. It offers an hour and a half worth of good feelings. William's cowering nerd plays well to Russell's washed up high school hero and together their plan to replay the football game that set each one's destiny in motion is predictable and fun. And in the process, they both get to impress the women in their lives. There is one warning, if you are a football fan don't watch the action too closely. Even for players supposed to be past their prime, these guys really stink.

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