Flubber

Flubber: Directed by Les Mayfield. With Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine. An absent-minded professor discovers “flubber,” a rubber-like super-bouncy substance.

The first 15 minutes of the movie is spent setting up the idea that this professor is eccentric. He’s so goofy! He’s out of his mind with how smart but forgetful he is! There’s only a few actors that could have pulled this off without it going completely goofball stupid, and luckily we have Robin Williams to fill the role, so it’s only goofball silly. This movie is, of course, a remake of 1961’s “Absent Minded Professor”, previously with Fred MacMurray as the lead role. The original film was a staple of my youth, as it was on frequent replay on whatever broadcast or cabled channels we had access to, and concept itself is a novel one for younger kids: the professor creates a substance that lets him (or whatever he sprays) jump higher than he could jump before. There’s an unspoken truth about titular substance in that it also protects you from the ramifications of jumping to a height of 100 feet, then falling back to the ground. In fact, in this 1997 remake, a couple of goons are hit in the head repeatedly by bowling balls, which I can only imagine would have normally resulted in their heads caving in, but in this universe they just get slight lumps on their foreheads.

This version of the film also introduces a romantic interest for the professor, and no, it’s not the teacher. Instead, it’s a hovercraft robot that’s somehow evolved itself an AI and has fallen in love with Williams. In theory the professor is trying to invent flubber to help save the school he works for, but I can only imagine how much money a floating AI with a built in polaroid camera and advanced holographic system would go for. Instead of trying market his already invented inventions, he goes for broke and creates a somewhat sentient goopy mess that ends up bouncing all over town and even through one guy’s digestive system, ultimately rocketing out of his rear end in a humorous but ultimately juvenile moment of zen.

Also, Wil Weaton is in the film, but which kinda blew my mind.

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