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There are few words and phrases which can truly describe the new Robin Williams film, What Dreams May Come.

Mind-numbingly dull is one of them.

So is lame. And boring. And oh-my-God-if-this-doesn't-end-soon-I'm gonna-maul-somebody.

It wasn't very good.

Here's the story. Robin Williams has a wife and 2 kids. The kids die. He dies. His wife, a self-absorbed head case, kills herself.

Sadly, that is not the end.

Once they're all dead, Robin wants to have a family hoe-down in Heaven, except that the wife, since she killed herself, is in Hell. So he has to go get her.

Almost sounds interesting, doesn't it? It's not.

The problem with this film, well one of the many problems, is that none of the characters are all that likeable. The wife, who is supposed to be Robin's "soul-mate" is about as appealing a human being as the scab on my knee. She's a flighty flower child who can't deal with reality. She doesn't think about anything but how miserable she is. You know, after a few years of this, one wonders if Robin didn't have himself killed to get away from it.

But before I start running of at the mouth about how annoying these characters were, let me tear other bits of the movie apart.

Okay. It looks pretty cool. The art direction is rather interesting, but if you really just want to look at pretty pictures, go to a museum or something and save yourself two hours of your life.

The movie is told through a series of flashbacks, and that gets pretty darned annoying. Just when a scene shows any sign of life at all, as if it might inch over towards the interesting, they flashback to a "moment" in life which is supposed to make us feel connected with the characters. As if they didn't want to give us any back story until we absolutely need it.

Cuba Gooding Jr. plays the dead mentor of Robin, although we never actually get to see Cuba in real life. Just in death. I mean come on, people, you flashed back to everything else, how about a scene of Robin and Cuba bonding in life so we see why Robin follows Cuba around in the afterlife like a lost puppy?

Oh, and while I'm here, why is everyone in the afterlife hooked up to a flying harness like they use at the circus? I'm sure they wanted us to see this world where people just float around at their own whim, but every single one of the people looked like they were hanging from the ceiling. Christopher Reeve flying around Manhattan in Superman was more believable than this stuff.

Other points of annoyance.

Robin has two dead kids. A boy and a girl. But the girl is dressed like a boy and has a boy's haircut and is at the age that a young boy would have a high voice. So I thought it was a boy. Which got me really confused when he talked about losing his daughter. I was afraid he'd had ANOTHER kid die while I wasn't looking.

We can tell when the wife (played by Annabella Sciorra) is happy and when she is sad. When she is happy, she has normal hair. When she's sad, she goes Goth, dying it black and cutting it to look like something out of a Dilbert cartoon.

The movie really wants you to cry. It wants you to become emotional. It begs you to weep. It pushes. It should lay off and worry about making a good movie.

Eventually, I just wanted it to end. And it wouldn't. It JUST WOULDN'T


Not to say it isn't kinda neat to watch Robin play with the cgi landscapes. Is it cool when he walks around in a field of trees and flowers made of paint? Yes. Is it cool when he crushes a paint flower and it oozes over his hand? Yes. It is worth going to the movie for these things? No.

So I'm giving What Dreams May Come 3/4 Babylons. Think of this movie as


Editor's Note:

The Self-Made Critic did not come up with the WatercolorWorld line on his own. He stole it from his girlfriend, who is actually much funnier than the Critic. Much prettier too.

What Dreams May Come
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Vincent Ward
Starring: Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra, Cuba Gooding Jr., Max von Sydow and paint. Lots and lots of paint. You'd think the movie starred

Sherwin-Williams, not Robin Williams.

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