Excerpt: I was channel surfing the other day and caught a bit of “Patch Adams”, a movie which I’d never seen. I didn’t watch the whole thing but I was familiar with the plot. The 80′s saw the rise of a young comic by the name of Robin Willaims and he made his mark (or “Mork”, rather) in television on the show “Mork and Mindy” in which he played an alien trying to learn how the humans “worked.
Conclusion: I no longer feel that Dead Poets Society is overrated. It has been endlessly praised and remains one of the defining films of the inspirational teacher subgenre. If you can enter without those elevating your expectations, you are likely to enjoy this substantive, soulful drama. The film's Blu-ray is pretty much a drag and drop of its solid Special Edition DVD extras alongside a fine if unspectacular 1080p presentation of the film.
Conclusion: 'Dead Poets Society' is a very well made film with a cast of young up-and-coming stars. It looks back, with nostalgia and honesty combined, on a simple time where individualism wasn't expected of these bright young men. Robin Williams is less of a main character than I remembered, but this is one of his best and most memorable performances.
Excerpt: Cocaine, Rick James tells us, is a helluva drug. Robin Williams would know, as much of his early success occurred in part because of the manic persona he presented while using cocaine recreationally in the late '70s and early '80s. He was still a comedic genius after he gave up the white powder, but he seemed to grow dissatisfied with his role as just a standup comic. So he branched out, playing increasingly dramatic roles.
Summary: Ah, literature. The Ambien of the masses and the bane of high school students everywhere, literature has become a four-letter word in 21st Century America; shoved into the No Student Left Behind corner to make more room for mathematics and science, the stuff of college applications and standardized testing dreams. "Noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life," no doubt. "But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.
Conclusion: Beautifully directed and with an Oscar-winning story, Dead Poets is an often overlooked screen gem. Itís notable also for a baby-faced Ethan Hawke and a premium performance from Robin Williams.