Doctor Dolittle

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:25 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Doctor Dolittle
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, Kristen Wilson, and animal voices by Norm MacDonald, Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, and more.
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 1998
Kiddie Movie: Too much bathroom humor for the really little one’s.
Date Movie: I took one.
Gratuitous Sex: No. But a lot of jokes around the topic.
Gratuitous Violence: No.
Action: No.
Laughs: I thought so.
Memorable Scene: Norm MacDonald as a dog loosing a thermometer up his butt.
Memorable Quote: Anything that Chris Rock said while playing the part of a Guinea Pig, but “Why do they call me a Guinea Pig? I ain’t Italian, and I ain’t pork” comes to mind.
Directed By: Betty Thomas

If you have fond memories of the classic musical, “Dr. Dolittle,” then you may not like 20th Century Fox’s updated version, in fact I dare say you’ll hate it. In his latest incarnation, Doctor Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) is an uptight, overworked, big city physician about to sell out his practice to an HMO for big bucks. On a particularly hectic day Dr. D. whacks a stray dog and bumps his head on the steering wheel. This awakens a long lost gift of his by which he is able to communicate with animals, a talent which had been dormant in him since childhood. So here is the good Doctor thinking he’s crazy, and pretty soon everyone else does too. But, not to worry, Dr. D. isn’t destined to spend his life in the loony bin. Nope, in the end Dr. D. comes to terms with his gift and people respect him for it. Aww… How nice. How predictable. How funny.

OK… So the movie lacks substance (it does make a poor point about selling out) but it did make me laugh. Granted I saw all the jokes coming a mile away, but they were funny none the less. I think that had to do with the writing and casting. You know how the movie “Clerks” was terribly acted but you didn’t care because the writing was so good? Well, this movie is no “Clerks” and it’s not as smartly written, but the point is that the dialogue in “Doctor Dolittle,” along with the situations and acting, all lead to funny outcomes. Am I making any sense? Anyway, I thought that Albert Brooks was a perfect suicidal tiger, Norm MacDonald was a great street mutt with an attitude, I’ll never be able to look at a Guinea Pig again and not think of Chris Rock, and oh so many more actors lent their voices to make this a very funny movie.

A lot of the reviews that I read had the critics pretty much trashing Eddie Murphy’s new comedy, “Doctor Dolittle.” Most of the big-town C’s bitched that the movie was predictable, used too much toilet humor, and went for the easy jokes. Well… That’s all true. But none the less I laughed my ass off through the whole movie. Hey, isn’t the point of a comedy to make you laugh? So I say to all the big paper critics that not all movies are art and sometimes a predictable joke delivered at the right time by the right person is just what a movie audience needs. I didn’t mind laying out eight bucks to see this movie, but this movie is definitely better at matinee prices. All that being said I give “Doctor Dolittle” 3 of 5 stars. I’m Stu Gotz and “Doctor Dolittle” is a good film. ‘Nuff Said!

Bicentennial Man

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 2:11 Long
A DVD Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Bicentennial Man
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Touchstone Pictures & Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Cute, but not too young.
Date Movie: She might get bored instead of snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Talking about it.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Chris Columbus

Call me a sadist, call me boring, call me lazy, just don’t call me late for dinner. Anyway, as I’m watching “Bicentennial Man” on DVD, the movie came back to me in bits and pieces from the time I saw it in the theater. Unfortunately those bits and pieces didn’t get any better.

Anywho, if “Bicentennial Man” is any indication of “the very near future,” as it says at the beginning of the movie, I want no part of it. Why? Sure you’ve got some pretty cool cars, but no one seemed to watch TV anymore. What’s up with that? Oh well, at least I’ll have some cool android to clean the dude pad, I just hope it isn’t Andrew, the android in this movie. Just clean my kitchen, I don’t want conversation. For that I’ve got fake people in chat rooms on the internet.

In “Bicentennial Man” we get the story of Andrew (Robin Williams) the android. He’s bought by Sam Martin (Sam Neill), seemingly to help out around the house, but from the hint of one of the daughters it seemed more like Sam was just “keeping up with the Jones'” because all of her friend’s families already had an android. But Andrew is different, he has human qualities, like creativity and feelings, that his fellow androids lack, and for Sam it seems Andrew becomes kind of like the son he never had as Sam explains to Andrew how to save money, teaches Andrew about the birds and the bees, and is more like a dad to Andrew than an owner. But Andrew is a robot and he doesn’t like it, or maybe more importantly doesn’t like being alone. He wants to love, so he searches for another robot like him, doesn’t find one but does find Rupert (Oliver Platt), an inventor dude, who helps Andrew look human.

It’s a bunch of years later, Andrew now looks like Robin Williams, and he falls in love with Portia (like the car, complete with nice curves, only spelled differently), the granddaughter of one of Sam’s daughter who Andrew had a thing for years ago. Portia (Embeth Davidtz) has a problem though – how can you fall in love with a robot? Well, she does but can’t accept it, and it’s up to Andrew to prove to her that robots need people too. Thanks to Rupert figuring out a way for Andrew to have a, well, penis, well, Andrew and Portia live happily ever after. Enough about the story.

“Bicentennial Man” looks like it would be a cute movie for the kids, kinda like “Mrs. Doubtfire” if she were a robot in the future, but that is not this movie. This movie has the story of a robot searching for his true identity, searching to make his mark in life, and even searching for sex. Kinda adult fare for the kids, don’t ya think? And the movie’s over two hours long, and it feels it. At least on video you can hit the “pause” button.

Robin holds back a lot of humor in this role, and I think that’s too bad because “Bicentennial Man” had the potential to be a gut-buster of a film if it wanted to be. Instead it kept to the serious side most of the time, with an occasional joke of a robot not understanding human phrasing of sentences, and other more adult humor. I wanted it to be a fun movie for kids to see, but I can’t recommend you rent it unless one, you want to have to explain a little more about sex than you already have, and two, are ready for the kids to learn when to say “piece of shit.” If you see the video you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect “Bicentennial Man” on video to be any better than “Bicentennial Man” in the theaters, and I stick to my rating. The premise was good, and the robot being Robin Williams gave the role potential, but it took Andrew nearly 200 years in his life and about two hours of movie time to figure out that because he was a robot, well, he would see everyone he ever loves die, forever. Kinda like “The Highlander” dude. Andrew finally realizes this isn’t how he wants to live his life and has Rupert make one more upgrade so he can grow old. He finally becomes human.

I give “Bicentennial Man” 2 stars out of 5. Watch how young the kids are if you rent it or else you’ll have some explaining to do, and the movie could have been so much more. Oh well.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!