Ultimate 90’s Blogathon Kickoff: Robin Williams Triple Feature

Welcome to Ultimate 90’s Blogathon! 

Ultimate 90's blogathon

We’re officially kicking off the blogathon.  It will run for the next few weeks from Monday to Saturday both here and on my awesome co-host, Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews. Today, we kick off together with our own reviews. We will be alternating reviews here and over there from all of our fantastic participants. A huge thanks is in order for all the reviews we’ve seen. There are some great selections to look forward to. Over the next few days, I will be creating a page on the menu for Ultimate 90s Blogathon and will update the posts as they go so if you miss any, just head over there to find it.

Let’s get this started!

I was born in the mid 80s, meaning I did most of my growing up in the 90’s. Its where I can relate the most and also why this blogathon means so much more to myself. The 90’s was filled with iconic actors and roles/characters and some great movies. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same with this actor though. Life wouldn’t have as many laughs and happiness going on in our house. Robin Williams was a great comedic actor taking on fun and inspiring roles and there are so many that it is hard to choose from. It is why I decided to choose three that meant the most to me, be it memories of spending time with my family or just movies that I can’t get enough of today. These are iconic roles that he took on. I’m sure it will differ for each of you. I know Drew and I both had different choices as well. So will you. If you are a fan, share which of his movies you loved and which would be in your Robin Williams triple feature. Now, for my choices and they are in no particular order!

Aladdin (1992)


Director: Ron Clements & John Musker
Voice cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Weller, Gilbert Gottfried

When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. – IMDB

Aladdin is a true Disney classics. It left us with not only a princess movie which it does have a male protagonist as a focus, many renowned songs including the wildly catchy Prince Ali or the uber romantic A Whole New World but also a fast talking somewhat silly genie voiced by Robin Williams. Aladdin is fun and fast-paced. It has a villain, Jafar with his goofy sidekick. The Sultan is kind of a clueless father with a pretty pure heart that really has the best intentions for his daughter, Princess Jasmine. While Jasmine is not one of my favorite princesses but she is strong-willed and I love tigers so her pet tiger Raj stole my heart. However, the showstopper is the dynamic and enthusiastic and incredibly funny Genie. Robin Williams uses his many voices to give this character life and makes him interesting to watch with a lot of fun moments.

Aladdin doesn’t only have a love story. Its more than that. It looks at greed and power. It has sneaky creatures and misguided authority. There is ignorance among some characters and only seeing and judging the physical appearance than the true nature. The dialogue itself is sharp and comedic and fun thrown in with hints of emotions as we learn out characters and how they change. The vibrant characters are not limited to their main players but even Raj and Abu, Aladdin’s pet monkey shows companionship and teamwork. Wrapped up in a fun package but still full of excitement and tells an adventurous story, Aladdin is excelled by Robin Williams but also is one of the great Disney offerings in the 90’s.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

mrs. doubtfire

Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Jakub, Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson

After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife. – IMDB

The lengths that a desperate father would go to be with his children brings a lot of great moments, both comedic and heartwarming as he transforms himself into a housekeeper. Mrs. Doubtfire is an iconic role in itself. She was a feisty housekeeper that tried to classy but also stood her own because she was actually a he. Whether is Mrs. Doubtfire dancing around cleaning the house or burning up her breasts or even throwing a fruit at the back of Pierce Brosnan’s head, it all adds to how fantastic this character is. At times, we even forget about the man under the transformation.

Stepping out of Robin Williams iconic role, a cornerstone of 90’s child actors was Mara Wilson who plays the youngest child. Mara Wilson did a few roles in the 90’s, like Mathilda and Miracle on 34th Street. She is one of those unforgettable child actors that was so cute and smart. Of course, we also had our James Bond of the 90’s, Pierce Brosnan as their mother’s new love. And mom is played by Sally Field. Lots of big well known names here. The kids are incredibly fun to watch and everyone delivers a great performance paired up with some amusing and entertaining dialogue that really touches us and tugs some heartstrings at the end. Its really hard to not love. Mrs. Doubtfire is a film that I watch over and over again and still remains as entertaining every single time.

Jumanji (1995)


Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, Patricia Clarkson

When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. – IMDB

Jumanji is irreplaceable. It is adventurous and dangerous. There are scary things that can be summoned from the board game. Jumanji itself is a pretty eerie concept of having a board game that is alive on its own and has created a whole world of its own to thrive for its players. However, Jumanji is a Robin Williams favorite because he plays Alan Parish who comes back after twenty odd years of being trapped in Jumanji’s jungles and need to pick up the courage to get back into the game to finish it and hopefully reverse all the damage already done. Movies that feature someone in the past going to the present or the present going to the past will embrace changes from the sudden decade shift and usually, hilarity ensues. That is the winning formula of this movie.

Jumanji does also boast some great performances from Bonnie Hunt who plays as the girl who ran off in fear when Allan was sucked into Jumanji and has to finish the game also. Her fear and denial are the things that make her funny but we do see her character development as she finds the courage to be more. Kirsten Dunst plays the little girl, Judy who just moved into the old Parrish house with her aunt and starts the game without knowing that she is only continuing a previous game. Her brother, Peter, played by Bradley Pierce is a rather quiet character. Everyone in this movie learns to face their fears and find a deeper courage to keep going on and persevere towards your goal. There is a family theme as well. This action adventure keeps us on our toes as we watch each of them roll the dice and wonder what else can come out of this game. Even if I’ve seen it before, I still sit at the edge of my seat anxiously waiting for what happens as if I didn’t know before.

What 90’s Robin Williams movie do you like?

Remember to head over to Drew’s Movie Review to look at this Ultimate 90’s Blogathon Kickoff review HERE!

Bring It On Marathon (2000-2009)

I don’t know how to justify the reasons behind watching this because there wasn’t any and thats probably why its taken me so long to put this post together.

Before the short reviews, bear with me for a second when I explain when and how I came to do this, because it was completely spontaneous. Picture this, its New Year’s Eve morning.  I have my best friend and her boyfriend coming over for dinner and I have to whip up a chicken (which is marinating in the fridge) and a beef stew. That means about 3 hours in advance of preparation. Maybe you cook more efficiently than I do, but I’m a baker, NOT a cook. I opened up my Chromecast in the kitchen/dining room area and started flipping through the movies.  Bring it On was on My List and I thought: cheerleading movie doesn’t need a lot of focus.  So I sat down and turned it on.  When it ended, I saw recommendations for 3 other Bring it On flicks. Thats when I was like: Wait? 3 more? I thought there was only like 2 sequels..MAX! But when I did the search, Netflix had all FIVE! Granted, I don’t follow this franchise, but it was fit for a whole late morning to evening marathon and I could do chores, food preparation and cook with tons of background noise/music.

Here we go!

BRING IT ON (2000)

bring it on

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, Jesse Bradford

A champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year’s championships.-IMDB

bring it on

The first one to start this entire franchise off definitely has to have some magic.  Mind you, you need to treat these movies exactly how you would treat the Step Up franchise, except I personally think that one is a lot more enjoyable.  Bring it On starts with a much stronger cast (before they got popular) and the story and chemistry are much better.  Lead by Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku, the language is possibly a little dated and the cheerleading aspect is the strongest here: the pride of it all and the actual competition is on a national level. Its generally a fun and relatively entertaining watch. I wouldn’t mind watching it once in a while.

 BRING IT ON AGAIN (Video 2004)

bring it on again

Director: Damon Santostefano

Cast: Anne Judson-Yager, Bree Turner, Kevin Cooney, Faune A. Chambers, Bryce Johnson, Richard Lee Jackson, Bethany Joy Lenz

When new students can’t get onto their college cheerleading team, they form their own squad and prepare for a cheer off. – IMDB

Poster slogan is wrong because its not higher stakes.  Bring it On never really goes on a national level competition like the first one. This is an inter-college affair where they are fighting with the all-star team here to see who the dean deems better to go to the nationals.  So yes, lesser stakes. Plus, this had one of the most unappealing main characters.  I didn’t want to watch her at all.  The squad they do put together is kind of funny so it made it a little more entertaining.  Still, this one is probably the most meh one in the Bring It On movies.

With that said, it makes me wonder why I continued but you know, the next one has someone who has been in magazines (when I ordered them a lot) so I guess I wondered how her acting was.

Lets move along…


Bring It On All Or Nothing

Director: Steve Rash

Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Solange Knowles, Gus Carr, Emme Rylan, Cindy Chiu, Giovonnie Samuels

A transfer student to a rough high school tries joining the cheer-leading squad and she not only faces off against the head cheerleader, but against her former school in preparation for a cheer-off competition. – IMDB

That person I’m talking about is Hayden Panettiere who is the main lead in this one.  Pretty much, her dad loses her job so she goes to the booneyville for school and ends up joining that squad which goes against her old squad. But a confession, I was looking at her IMDB and realized, I had seen her in I Love You, Beth Cooper but then, I don’t remember much of that movie.  Either way, back to this one.  Its probably the least memorable.  It had Rihanna guest starring as the final judge. This time, the stakes are winning a dance competition judged by Rihanna at the final stage to win computers for their school. The final battle scene was pretty good but other than that, I had to flip through this one again to remember its existence and where it belonged in this franchise.  Nope, not very good. I guess the good part is that they pay tribute to the original quite a few times and those were laugh out loud moments

The franchise is going down in a rapid pace, my friends.

But still, I continue…



Director: Steve Rash

Cast: Ashley Benson, Cassie Scerbo, Noel Areizaga, Jennifer Tisdale, Michael Copon, Lisa Glaze, Adam Vernier

Set in Southern California cheer camp, the captain of West High Sharks Carson is ready to win the cheer camp championships against East Coast Jets, their ultimate rivals.  Thats before Carson realizes that the guy she met before camp and started liking Penn was actually a cheerleader in the Jets.  While the opposing team Jets captain, Brooke tries to use that in her advantage, they decide to go on a one on one cheer-off and gets caught and part of the team is injured.  Now, the only way to go to the championships is to join forces into a stronger and better team if they can find a way to work together.

bring it on in it to win it

Right off, this is a little Romeo and Juliet type of story set in a cheerleading scenario. Except its a lot more silly and light-hearted.  Ever since I’ve started watching obsessing over Pretty Little Liars, my favorite character is Hannah played by Ashley Benson so I was pretty happy to see her in this.  This isn’t a masterpiece of cinema but she made it a lot more fun to watch.  Plus, there was a lot cheer stuff going on and the story was predictable as always BUT every Bring It On movie has a breakthrough move that lifts them into their winning number, this one does THE BEST ONE! Maybe its because I’m a cable-less and satellite-free Canadian so this cheerleading competition thing is really foreign to me but I loved this cheer number a lot.  This one was just a lot of fun to watch.  Nothing serious or trying to be, it knew exactly what it was and delivered on it. That makes me happy 🙂

With a way better mood, I move on to the last movie…



Director: Billie Woodruff

Cast: Christina Milian, Vanessa Born, Cody Longo, Gabrielle Dennis, Rachele Smith

When her widowed mother remarries her rich man, East LA cheerleading captain must relocate to a new high school in West Los Angeles high school.  There she comes against the all star cheerleading team Avery. At first reluctant, she joins and becomes captain of the unpopular school cheerleading squad, Sea Lions and with the help of her stepsister, Skylar and shipping in her best friends from East LA, they go against Avery’s squad.

bring it on fight to the finish

This final Bring It On adds a Latin flair to it.  Although sometimes it does go a little over the top, this does switch it up a little.  Its nothing special but there is some extremely silly funny moments to be had.  Its a little eye-rolling at times but still, at this point, I’m just waiting for this to finish because thats about all the cheerleading I can manage to watch.  Am I saying this is bad? Not really, the final routine and getting it all together was actually pretty fun.  Plus, they switched it up at the end and instead of dance, they put in a little singing number.  I guess thats how everyone started out? I don’t really know and I’m not sure I actually care enough to search it up.


Bring It On marathon done and marked off! I’m pretty happy that I got this over with.  Its not really my type of movie.  I like dance movies and what not but something about cheerleading doesn’t really have the originality that dance has.  To make it fair, while I was doing chores and cooking while I was playing this in the background the first time on New Year’s Eve, I did come back and took a few days to rewatch them.  Who knows, maybe I missed something in the not so good ones.  If you do like this sort of thing, the original definitely is the best one to go for with a decent cast and a good chemistry.  Both Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku  has moved on to better things like Upside Down and Dollhouse respectively. Aside from that one, I’d watch the 4th one again and maybe the 5th but the second and the third was pretty bad.

Have you seen Bring it On? 

Bachelorette (2012)

I don’t know what possessed me to buy Bachelorette.  Maybe its because I was going to be part of my friend’s wedding in March or that I really wanted some inspiration for the bachelorette party.  Even though, I didn’t really end up watching it until afterwards.  Either way, I needed a comedy and this became available.  It has been a week or two since I’ve seen this so I’m not exactly sure how to approach this anymore.

BridesmaidsDirector: Leslye Headland

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Kyle Bornheimer, Hayes MacArthur, Adam Scott

Three high school friends, Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizza Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) are asked by Becky (Rebel Wilson), a girl that they used to hang out with as the ugly duckling of the group, to be her bridesmaids.  Regan is a control freak with a long distance relationship that doesn’t seem to work anymore but she holds onto it.  Gena lives a life of sleeping with a lot of different guys but with nothing really stable in life while having a hard time getting over her ex-boyfriend and Katie is a sales rep who doesn’t really grows up but spends her days smoking and using her beauty to get by.  As reluctant as they are to be the bridesmaids of Becky’s wedding, they all show up and end up causing more trouble than they should when they accidentally break Becky’s dress and scramble to find a way to fix it before the next morning, the wedding day, while facing up to some of their own problems.


After letting this movie sit too long in my system before I write it, I know that you can’t think too much about this one.  Bachlelorette came very close and soon after Bridesmaids mega success.  If you are thinking of getting the same level of enjoyment (assuming you liked Bridesmaids), this one doesn’t come close at all.  I’m not really a fan of Kirsten Dunst but I don’t hate her either.  I like Isla Fisher for the most part and if anything, I’ve been a long time fan of Lizzy Caplan.  But, Bachelorette doesn’t focus much on our bachelorette, Becky played by Rebel Wilson but rather her bridesmaids.  I guess you can’t call the movie that name since it was already used, right? Either way, point is, this movie is full of obnoxious characters.  All of the girls don’t have any truly likeable traits from the get go.  Even Becky isn’t quite that nice as well.  On a side note, it kind of reminds me why I don’t have all that many girl friends in my life and that I’m frankly very thankful for that.



Still, these girls pull of some decent funny moments.  It doesn’t come in elegance or anything because movies these days don’t do that anymore but as over the top of some of these characters get, they still get in their moments where they are stuck in pretty ridiculous situations where you either will roll your eyes or laugh a little.  I’m more of the latter so I guess thats a good sign.  The only thing that does hinder it is that these girls end up turning for the better a lot more than imaginable.  I’m not exactly sure a bachelorette night turned wrong and wedding dress fiasco is the place to grow since I’ve never experienced it but I guess the key here is that friendship does get you through some things and then its about eventually growing up and facing your problems and reality. Because as one of the characters pointed out, its not cute to be acting like when you were in high school.

Lizzy Kaplan Bachelorette

However, the best one in all of this has to be the parts with Lizzy Caplan.  I’m not sure when I started liking her.  It could be in Mean Girls.  In this one, I feel like she does shine because her story is cute and funny especially with her ex played by Adam Scott, that shows up shortly after.  It makes her character believable that she was drowning her pains and regrets from her high school days and finally growing up.



Now that we’ve gotten Adam Scott in mix.  Its probably time to look at the guys.  Although, the guys don’t really have huge significant part in this.  They are paired with each of the girls.  Its somewhat of a high school reunion and it never feels like it isn’t.  One of them is a geek who is smart and successful and tries to get the beauty in his gentlemanly ways, another is the groom (who doesn’t have much place in this), and then we have James Marsden who plays Trevor who isn’t such an admirable guy either but just wants to get hot girls like Kirsten Dunst’s Regan in this case.  He’s all about the challenge.  Then we have Adam Scott and his character Clyde who actually gets a whole lot of screen time because of his high school relationship issues with Gena that was never settled before.  As awkward as his ending speech was, it was actually pretty funny.

Are you getting mixed signals about this one from me? Bachelorette is probably not a movie I hate but its not one I’ll look forward to revisit anytime soon because I’d prefer to sit through Bridesmaids any day if I had the choice.  However, its not all bad.  As unlikeable as the characters are, they still bring in some laughs here and there is one couple, Clyde and Gena’s relationship that shines through over everything and makes it a little more fun. Still, its not very memorable and just a few weeks after, as I’m writing this up, I had to strive really hard to try and remember it a little.

 Have you seen Bachelorette? What do you think of it?

Upside Down (2012)

I’m not totally sure if it considers as a recommendations BUT to me, Terrence at The Focused Filmographer totally sold this movie, Upside Down, to me.  I ended up going to the store to pick it up that following weekend and never got around to watching it so decided to watch it this weekend 🙂 Lets check it out!

upside down posterDirector: Juan Solanas

Cast: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall, Blu Mankuma, Kate Trotter, Larry Day

In a world where there is double gravity pulling in opposite directions, Up Top is ruled by the rich whereas Down Below is filled with the poor and less fortunate.  The two sides of the world is connected through a tower between that riches both sides, however, due to the gravity, there are serious consequences to attempting to cross to the other gravity force.  As young teens, Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst) fall in love despite their gravity differences however, in the attempt to see each other, they are found and Eden crash lands back onto her world. Assuming that Eden had died, the authorities took away his family as a consequence.  Ten years later, as he slaves away to find the anti-aging serum, he sees on television that Eden is still alive.  Fully convinced that he needed to reconnect with her, he gets a job at Level 0 research labs and launches his own plan to penetrate to the other side to see her and regain the love that he had lost for so long.

upside down scene

Upside Down is a fantasy romance drama. With that said (and the picture above), this movie is full of computer graphics or VFX, whatever the term is.  I’m not a ever technical person so I’m not well-versed in those terms, but you get that idea.  But guys, c’mon, just look at that picture and tell me you don’t think this movie is visually stunning! Upside Down has a beautiful concept behind it all and the love story is quite good, granted I figured out the ending 15 minutes before it actually happened.  Still, I buy it! Its cute and sweet and just so romantic.

upside down jim sturgess

Adam is played by Jim Sturgess.  I don’t know about you but I first saw Jim Sturgess in Across the Universe and I can’t seem to remember if I’ve seen him in anything else.  My impression of him is that he’s great at playing a hopeless romantic and if you take the vibe and stick it into his role, he was totally awesome! The model star-crossed lovesick romantic whose determination to see the one he loves is just unstoppable.  You can give me some more of his sweet charisma any day! He was fun and adorable for the most part and very convincing, I think I almost fell in love with him.

upside down kirsten dunst

Quite opposite of Jim Sturgess, I’ve only seen adult Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman trilogy or at least in a role that I remember off the top of my head.  I’ve never been really impressed with her, not that she’s not pretty or something but she has something that doesn’t really connect with the characters she plays.  In Upside Down, living Up Top, Kirsten Dunst plays a very charming and beautiful Eden.  The character she had to act was beautiful and deep as she had to deal with the aftermath of the accident and she did a decent job portraying all that.

upside down office level 0

The character that really impressed me a lot was Timothy Spall though.  He plays Bob, a coworker from Up Top of Adam’s.  I think his character was the best in the movie with inspiring dialogue and the whole nine yards.  As much as this movie was filled with a wonderful and talented cast, it did have a bit of flaws.  You know what I felt was that this movie never really had a climax, nothing really hit a peak and intense part.  We just landed there BOOM really quickly and then 5 minutes later, it was the end of that scene and it tried to do a little twist effect that actually made me realize they were going to do that ending.  Thinking about it, the ending didn’t completely make that much sense but then the characters didn’t really know that much about the boundaries of the double gravity atmosphere to start with.

Overall, like any other movie (especially fantasy), you just have to buy the premise of it and for the most part, I did and this really worked for me.  Sure it had its flaws but what movie doesn’t? Upside Down has a lot of positives: captivating visuals, talented cast for its great characters, a beautiful love story and an original premise.  The whole interaction upside down was hard to adapt to at first but you get to used to it.  Its really a charming little movie.  I would definitely recommend it!

A huge thanks to Terrence at The Focused Filmographer.  Please go check out his blog! He features lots of fun stuff like news, polls, trailers and of course reviews.  He’s covering the White Sands International Film Festival so maybe that will interest you as well.

Are you a fan of fantasy films?