Robin Williams has been gone for a few months now, and I’m still having trouble accepting the harsh reality that arguably the most gifted comedian of Williams’ generation died of an apparent suicide on Aug. 11.
One way to return the spotlight to the happier side of the quick-witted, prolific creative genius who won his only Academy Award as a dramatic actor in Good Will Hunting in 1998 is to embrace one of his final performances.
When it comes to movies I’m looking forward to this holiday movie season, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is high on my list just because we’ll get to enjoy Williams as blustery Teddy Roosevelt one last time.
I don’t even care that this is the second sequel in a cash-cow movie franchise that began with Night at the Museum in 2006. It revolves around the simple premise that museum exhibit characters spring to life after hours when no one is around except for the night security guard portrayed by Ben Stiller.
The franchise itself fired its best shot with the original, if you ask me. I’ll be in line on opening weekend (Dec. 19-21), though. I want to remember Williams with a snicker, not the haunting thought of inner demons perhaps driving a comic hero over the edge.
There are other movies to look forward to this holiday season for escapism entertainment. They include a potentially fascinating journey through a deep space wormhole, a new Biblical epic and some spookiness and silliness to help us lighten up a little.
Interstellar (Nov. 5) – Are you ready for Oscar-winning Texas actor Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) in a spacesuit? In a deep-space adventure that could dazzle and amaze on the level of Gravity, which featured Sandra Bullock, McConaughey joins fellow space invaders on a mission to – what else? – save Mother Earth. Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) directs.
Exodus: Gods and Kings (Dec. 12) – The Biblical epic is back. Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) focuses on the fierce battle between Moses (Christian Bale) and Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and, of course, the monumental journey of 600,000 slaves out of Egypt. Look for the parting of the Red Sea to be a little more spectacular than what Cecil B. DeMille pulled off in The Ten Commandments in 1956.
Into the Woods (Dec. 25) – Some might not think of a revamp of Grimm fairy tales as Christmas Day cinematic entertainment. What if it’s a musical that blends the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and more? And what if it tugs at the heartstrings and goes for laughs? The cast list is enough to lure me in: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp and Tracey Ullman, just to name a few.
Dumb and Dumber To (Nov. 14)/Horrible Bosses 2 (Nov. 26) – Looking to laugh at cinematic silliness during the holidays? Don’t expect anything even close to subtle comedy. These screwball sequels are sure to light up screens with raw humor that kicks the gut, rather than tickles the funny bone. Twenty years after the original, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reunite to reprise their stupid-is-as-stupid-does roles as strangely lovable Lloyd and Harry. And just in time for Thanksgiving, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and the gang deal with some nasty investors in Horrible Bosses 2.