Tag Archives: Peter Pan

Robin Williams-Gone Three Years Today

Today we remember the late, great Robin Williams who took his own life three years ago. He is sorely missed for his humor, his heart and his own unique brand of comedy that can never be duplicated.

When I think of Robin Williams, I think of one of my favorite childhood movies, Hook. There was no other actor who could have portrayed that character of the adult Peter Pan so perfectly.

His death also reminds me of how mental illness and depression specifically are not one size fits all diseases. For some people depression means staying home all day, mindlessly watching television and afraid to step out the door. For others, it means scheduling every moment of their day so they don’t have to face what is brewing inside them. For another group, it means putting on the mask and doing what has to be done, even though all they want to do is lay on the couch and watch television.

If I take away anything from his death (in addition to recent and heartbreaking loss of Chester Bennington), is that we need a new approach to treating mental illness. We also need to remove the stigma of mental health to allow those suffering to receive treatment openly and honestly.

Z”l Robin Williams. You are truly missed and loved.

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Thoughts On The 25th Anniversary Of Hook

Nearly 25 years ago, a little movie hit theaters. The movie was Hook and it’s star is the late and very missed Robin Williams.

Taking place a generation after the original Peter Pan story, the movie starts off with a very grownup Peter Pan, known as Peter Banning (Robin William). The mischievous, trouble making, charming boy has been replaced with an adult who spends more time at the office than he does with his family. When his kids are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), Peter must return to Neverland and save his children. The problem is that Peter is more in tuned with the pirates than the lost boys.

That being said, here are the reasons why I love this film:

1. It is one of my favorite childhood films.
2. Robin Williams was born to play this role.
3. What kid does not want Peter Pan as a father?
4. What kid at the time did not want Rufio’s hair or his skateboard?
5. It taught adults that it was ok to let out your inner kid every once in a while.
6. I was introduced me to Maggie Smith, who would later play one of my favorite television characters, the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey.
7. It’s just a fun film.
8. The screenplay is completely quotable.
9. This film makes me feel old.

Here’s to Hook’s 25th anniversary, thanks for the memories.

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Filed under Downton Abbey, Fairy Tales, Movie Review, Movies, Television

Flashback Friday-Peter Pan (2003)

Peter Pan is youth immortalized. Based on the story by early 20th century playwright and author J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan has been on screen and on stage many times since his introduction to the world in 1904.

In 2003, the story was turned into a film. The movie starred Jeremy Sumpter as the title character, Jason Isaacs in the dual roles as the villainous Captain Hook/Mr. Darling and Rachel Hurd-Ward as Wendy Darling. Keeping to the traditional telling of Peter Pan, Peter brings Wendy and her brothers to Never Never Land and battles his long time nemesis, Captain Hook.

This movie is not entirely bad. It’s still Peter Pan, there is nothing new or different about the plot. The filmmakers could have heavily leaned on special effects to tell the story, but thankfully, they didn’t.

The only problem is that we all know the Peter Pan story, there is nothing at this point to shock or surprise the audience.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Books, Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies

Pan Bombed And I Am Glad It Did

*- Before I go any further, I must state that I have not seen Pan. I am going off what others have said.

No career in Hollywood is complete without a bomb or two. Acclaimed director Joe Wright, known for literary dramas Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, directed Pan, the latest adaptation of Peter Pan. Over this weekend, the film recouped only $15.5 million of the film’s $150 million dollar budget.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why the film may have performed poorly at the box office:

  1. A story that has been retold to death: Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the story of Peter Pan. But the issue is that Hollywood often turns to the same stories and the same writers instead of taking a chance on a new writer or a new story. A good example of taking a chance on a new story is Something Rotten. I saw it for the second time yesterday and it was just as new, different, fresh and gut busting funny as it was back in May.
  2. A poorly written screenplay is made up for with heavy special effects: From the perspective of a writer and an audience member, the screenplay holds the key to the film’s success. If special effects have to be brought in to fill in the holes of a poorly written screenplay, then something is wrong with the film from the start.
  3. Hollywood continues the antiquated tradition of casting a Caucasian performer in the role of a minority: Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily. I’m sure she is a fine performer, but we are in 2015. Tiger Lily should have been played by a Native American actress.

Only time will tell if Pan will succeed with audiences and reviews while recouping production costs. But I have a feeling that it won’t.

Pan is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under Books, Movies, Pride and Prejudice

She Is White

I am convinced that some in Hollywood think that they are living in 1955 instead of 2015.

The trailer for the latest Peter Pan adaptation, Pan, has been released.

In this adaptation Tiger Lily is played by Rooney Mara. Ms. Mara is Caucasian.

I am sure that she is a talented performer, but I am also sure that there are Native American performers who are just as capable and talented.

Even NBC, when they were casting for last year’s Peter Pan Live saw the light and cast a Native American performer in the same role.

I understand that it is called show business for a reason. The studios are at the end of the day, looking to make a profit. That means they may be more inclined to choose a known performer with a proven track record over an unknown.

But what message do they send when Hollywood continually casts a Caucasian performer in a non-Caucasian role?

It’s not 1955. It’s 2015. It’s time to stop giving the majority of roles to Caucasian actors and open the door to greater opportunities to non-Caucasian actors.

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Bangarang Peter- Peter Pan Live Review

 

Peter Pan is the immortal youth. He is energetic, optimistic, intelligent and just a little full of himself.

Last night, NBC aired Peter Pan Live. Starring in the title role was Allison Williams. Playing Peter’s long time nemesis, Captain Hook was Christopher Walken.

Using the same format as they did last with the Sound Of Music (live television program, classic family friendly musical, hiring Broadway and non Broadway actors), NBC has created a new tradition.

The supporting cast included Taylor Louderman as teenage Wendy, Christian Borle doubling as Smee/Mr. Darling, Kelli O’Hara as Mrs. Darling and Minnie Driver as the narrator/adult Wendy whom we meet briefly at the end of the program.

I liked this Peter Pan. Whatever was missing from Sound Of Music last year was not missing from Peter Pan. Despite being known for non Broadway roles,  Williams and Walken were well cast.  Williams played Peter with the right mixture of youthful energy and silent questioning. Walken, for his part, was foppish, but with just enough menace to keep the audience on their toes. The supporting cast, especially Broadway veterans Borle and O’Hara gave the program a nice authentic Broadway feeling. Louderman, as the teenage Wendy, represented the feelings and changes that many of us go through in our early teens. The icing on the cake was Driver as the adult Wendy, giving the audience both a nice ending for her adventures with Peter, while opening the door for her daughter’s adventures with Peter.

There was some changes from the stage production, most notably that the Captain Hook and Mr. Darling are usually played by the same actor.  But I was fine with the choice of Smee and Mr. Darling played by Borle instead.  The only thing that was missing was the authentic Broadway audience reaction. I’ve seen Peter Pan on Broadway. The reaction of the audience, which is mostly young kids is immediate and powerful. The scene where Tinkerbell has drunk the poison and Peter breaks the fourth wall to bring her back to life is not the same as it is front of a live audience.

But overall, I have to say that it was enjoyable and I cannot get those songs out of my head.

And I could not stop thinking about Robin Williams. I think he would love this Peter Pan.

 

 

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Filed under Broadway Musical Review, Television

Throwback Thursday- Hook

Peter Pan is the immortal child, full of optimism and life. His arch enemy is the adult and cynical Captain Hook.

What is Peter Pan grew up, got married, had kids, took a corporate job and forgot who he was?

This is the premise of the 1991 movie Hook.

Peter Pan is now Peter Banning (Robin Williams), married to Wendy’s (Dame Maggie Smith) granddaughter, Moira (Caroline Goodall). When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps Peter’s kids, Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) has to find Peter and bring back the boy she knew. But the Peter she finds is not the Peter she remembers. He has more in common with his arch enemy than the boy she knew.

I love this movie, it’s such an integral part of my childhood. What I still love about this  movie more than twenty years later is that it’s about being an adult, but still remembering the child you were.

I recommend this movie.

 

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday