Hello fellow movie goers from across the globe, today’s Flashback Review involves the late Robin Williams in a film about a boy who ages four times faster than a human trying to fit in as a ten-year-old boy in the body of a forty-year-old man directed by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, also Sofia Coppola’s father) with the latter who damaged his reputation as a respected filmmaker. What I’m referring to is the premise from “Jack.”
Jack was released in 1996. It received negative reviews from critics and fans alike most notably, Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert & Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic did a review it. Despite being critically panned, the film was a modest box office success.
An upcoming DC Comics film related to a boy who transforms as a grown man named “Shazam,” is scheduled to come out on April 4, 2019, I want to share my thoughts if Jack is a good movie since childhood, or just a stinker.
The following review contains crucial SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen this movie, read at your own risk. I’ll do my best not to steal Nostalgia Critic’s jokes from his review.
Right & Wrong Elements
Right: I hate to break it to you cinephiles, Francis Ford Coppola did a horrendous job for directing and producing this clunker. I think his daughter Sofia felt embarrassed to see her father’s stinker.
Robin Williams did a good job for his performance as the title character. It’s not his fault he had to star in this movie critical bomb due to the fact he wanted to work with Francis Ford Coppola.
Other Cast Members such as Jennifer “J-Lo” Lopez, Diane Lane, Michael McKean & Bill Cosby (before he went to the slammer) all did a solid job for their performances.
A fart scene made me laugh hysterically.
If you pause your TV at the 0:36:41 mark, Robin is checking out J-Lo’s rear. I thought was funny, maybe Ford Coppola allowed it as a sign to throw it in as a joke. Robin was unpredictable on set when it comes to improvising.
Butterflies are used as symbolism reflecting Jack’s fast aging.
At one point, Jack wears a Superman costume minus the S symbol due to copyright reasons.
Fun Fact: Robin Williams was close friends with Christopher Reeve. He was also Kevin Conroy’s (the voice of Bruce Timm’s Batman) former roommate.
Cinematography felt normal lacking technical flaws.
Jack’s valedictorian speech is somewhat bittersweet and inspiring at the same time. I think his speech deserved an Extra Point now that Robin left us his unforgettable legacy.
My favorite part is when a treehouse collapses without body doubles, a blue screen, no visual effects whatsoever.
If you’re a fan of Bryan Adams, he wrote a song titled, “Star” as the theme song. It’s played during the opening credits as well as the end credits.
Wrong: The film never addressed Jack’s aging condition as much in favor of Robin acting like a kid played for laughs. To put salt in the wound, doctors never mentioned the name of Jack’s condition.
I looked up a trailer for the film that this was supposed to be a lighthearted comedy, which actually turned out to be a comedy-drama suffering from an identity crisis. I pity every fan of Robin Williams for wasting their hard earned cash.
Fran Drescher (The Nanny) did an embarrassing job for her performance. When she first appeared on screen, she looks like a floozy Barbie doll coming to life. Whenever I hear hear voice I expect Janice’s (from Friends) obnoxious laugh.
Nostalgia Critic pointed out that Michael Kamen (X-Men, Lethal Weapon series, Die Hard and its two sequels) wrote annoying musical pieces used in inappropriate moments.
A whimsical track titled, “Can Jack Come Out In Play” is used in a distasteful manner when Jack’s friends tried to persuade his mom to let him hang out with them but Jack doesn’t feel so good. I’ll try not to still Nostalgia Critic’s material, here’s my own jab. “Can you imagine if the film’s score was played at Heath Ledger’s funeral?” I have to Double Down this flaw for insulting my intelligence as viewer/critic.
When Jack tries to give the basketball back group of kids before they walk away, dramatic music is played in the background. I understand he’s having trouble fitting in, but is it the right time to play rejected musical score from James Cameron’s Titanic?
Jack loudly shouts “YES” in front of an old principal? What if the old fella suffered a severe heart attack like Dick Cheney?
A bar scene felt outta place, it doesn’t connect to the story. Did the writers suffered from writer’s block? The bar scene lasts for about ten minutes. I thought The Last Jedi’s casino scene was one of the most pointless scenes in cinematic history.
Jack said he was born on September 12. This contradicts that he was born on Halloween during the opening scene. Screenwriting 101, make sure you create a timeline before you establish a character’s birth scene. You don’t wanna confuse people believing Christmas takes place in July.
After Jack returns home from school, he calls his dad and questions him about “dirty magazines.” His mom who happens to be cooking, overhears him talking by smiling. What kind of twisted parent would smile over their kid talking about dirty magazines? I know, Kris Jenner!
Jack said, “What do I want to be when I grow up, alive.” Eighteen Years Later, it’s hard to hear him say those words after Robin left us. Painfully gut wrenching.
Pay attention to Jack’s green plaid shirt. As he tries to offer his teacher to go to a school dance with him, she declines. As Jack sadly runs away, his shirt turns blue. Did he somehow acquired Mystique’s (from X-Men) shapeshifting abilities?
After Jack suffered an angina attack, he asks a nurse to bring him a sucker. I don’t think this scene doesn’t work while dramatic music plays in the background. Imagine if Batman asks Alfred to bring him some ice cream after Bane broke his back?
Before the movie ends, an aged Jack doesn’t look anything like a fragile old man. Orson Welles’s prosthetic make-up in Citizen Kane is more authentic!
The Final Verdict: D-
Jack is a critical misfire starring a beloved Oscar winning funny man capable of blending in comedic and dramatic territory and an Oscar winning director who’s known for making one of the greatest movies of all time, damaged his credibility by directing a movie. If you want to watch a proper film about a boy in an adult body, go watch Tom Hanks’ Big or if you want to see a film related to aging, go watch The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
I hope Shazam won’t end up like Jack or Rob Schneider’s god awful faker The Hot Chick. All we can do is cross our fingers.