| Flicks

FLICKS: The Discoverers & The Last of Robin Hood

Posted on 04 September 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal. com

With the exception of the juggernaut box office of Guardians of the Galaxy, August 2014 will be remembered as a very disappointing month for The Expendables and Sin City fans. So it is a sense of relief that we begin the new season with more gentle fare with new movies opening this weekend, The Discoverers and The Last of Robin Hood.

Written and directed by Justin Schwarz, The Discoverers is a family drama about loss and redemption with humorous moments spread throughout the film. Griffin Dunne portrays Lewis Burch, a history professor who works for a paper mill university by day and moonlights as a security guard by night. He has written a 500+ page book about the Lewis & Clark expedition and he hopes to present his book at a swanky writer’s conference in Oregon.

Professor Burch uses this opportunity to create a family trip for his son and daughter. The son is a pot smoking womanizer and the daughter, Zoe (Madeleine Martin), is having the worst birthday ever. Along the way, Burch is forced to take a detour to his parent’s house, which leads to more personal trauma.

The family trauma is real, but how the family deals with the drama is unreal. The deluded grandfather (Stuart Margolin) finds solace by recreating the 19th Century world of the American discoverers Lewis & Clark. The Burch family join Grandpa in this world minus cell phones, vegan meals and other modern conveniences. The results are painfully, but tastefully, amusing.

The Last of Robin Hood also deals with history; it is a film about Errol Flynn’s final years as a fading Hollywood icon. It has been said that when Flynn passed away at age 50, he had the organs of an 80-year-old man from his hard living, drinking and womanizing. It seems appropriate that the elder swashbuckler is portrayed by 67-year-old Kevin Kline, who eerily seems possessed by the ghost of Errol Flynn.

While the ghost of former glory is significant, The Last of Robin Hood is about the actor’s last love, Beverly Aaland (Dakota Fanning), and her embittered stage mom Florence (Susan Sarandon). The winter-spring romance appears genuine, but unfortunately a mother’s ambition becomes fodder for the sleazy paparazzi.

This film feels like a time capsule of the same world presented in Oscar-winning movie L.A. Confidential. Like that film, The Last of Robin Hood features authentic performances from Kline, Sarandon and Fanning. If you like movie history that is timely, go see this film.

Comments are closed.

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

front page

COVER