Movie Defense Force: Death to Smoochy - A Delicious Dark Comedy

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Death to Smoochy - A Delicious Dark Comedy

One of my favorite Robin Williams performances ever. Why did critics hate this!?

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Yes! I absolutely agree. I had no idea at the time why it was so poorly received. Dark and weird but also funny. Sad how it was so easily dismissed.

Hmmm, never heard of it. Must not had reached over the Atlantic . Looks like I'm going treasure hunting this weekend for it then.

One of my favorite Robin William movie along with Hook.

I adore this movie, after seeing it I looked into critical reception, was shocked and slightly angry. Obviously I've been thinking about rewatching it lately and really glad to see it got on MDF.

I loved Death to Smoochie, I think as a comedy it might have been a little ahead of its time and critics were generally confused as to who its audience was. Because, you know, critics tend to be disconnected from the likes and sensibilities of audiences and put too much weight into aspects of media that have nothing to do with whether the media was entertaining...

I've seen it and I thought it was pretty damn funny, and I'm generally not a fan of so-called dark comedies except ones like The Great Dictator and Monsieur Verdoux.

This is the movie that caused me to hate the Hulk reboot. I can't see Norton as anything but Smoochy now.

Good timing, Jim. I re-watched this last weekend and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I saw it in theaters--which was very much. I think, for the most part, the typical movie critics don't seem to "get" dark comedies. I remember (and Rotten Tomatoes confirms) The Cable Guy was also panned by critics, but I quite enjoy it.

Makabriel:
This is the movie that caused me to hate the Hulk reboot. I can't see Norton as anything but Smoochy now.

Now i want to see smoochie overlayed into every scene in Hulk lol. Thanks a lot lol

I thought this was one of the funniest damn movies I ever seen, and Williams and Norton both make it work! The whole time it never occurred to me it was supposed to be a "black" comedy. And Bonus, Jon Stewart has more joke-on-himself fodder for The Daily Show.

I'm with you 100% on this one Jim. I love this movie.

I remember being genuinely shocked when I looked up the Tomatometer and saw how low it sits. This is one of my favorite movies, and one I regularly quote (Everything the Irish boxer says is pure gold).

I think if it was a UK flick it would have been better received, british black comedies are awesome (like Death at a Funeral).

Definetly a great movie if you are into that kind of thing.

Oh for fucks sake, this one actually needed defending? What the hell is wrong with critics, Death To Smoochy is brilliant! Honestly, it's probably the best movie Robin Williams ever did, and possibly his finest performance ever.

I've actually never seen this one. I am aware of it being critically panned, but I never bothered to watch it.

Funny enough, I just watched this movie a couple weeks ago. I was watching it with friends as we wanted to watch some Robin Williams movies to remember him.

And honestly, I think this is a great black comedy. Robin is just as funny and energetic as ever. Ed Norton is great as the naive dork who got thrown into the surprisingly seedy world of children's entertainment. And I love that the Irish Mob is among the "Good Guys" in this movie. Yes, you read that right, the Irish Mob are good guys. I'm half surprised Jim didn't mention that.

However, I might know part of the reason this movie was not well received. This was one of the first movies Robbin Williams did that were rather dark. Yes, it came out the same year as Insomnia and One Hour Photo, but this one was also a comedy. Robbin Williams was generally well known for family friendly comedy. That might have put people off of this movie just a little.

On an unrelated note, I just went over his IMDb page. He was prolific and had a much more varied career than I realized.

Growing up I never really payed much attention to critics, in large part I barely knew of them or where to even look, but it didn't matter cause if I wanted an opinion on a movie I talked among my friends.

That said I thought Death to Smoochy was hilarious and so did my friends at the time. I had no clue the was large negative review of it by critics. I did have some acquaintances at the time that didn't much care for it cause they thought the humor was a bit vulgar but those were up tight prude, part of the reason I wasn't friends with them was cause they couldn't take a joke.

I loved this movie, and if I already wasn't a fan of critics, this movie would have put my opinion of them in the lowest category. This movie was awesome, and Robin Williams absolutely killed it with his part. Norton is always a great actor but Williams really put the dark in dark comedy in this movie. Holy shit if I hadn't seen One Hour Photo before this movie I wouldn't have thought Robin Williams could pull off such an evil role. He was absolutely awesome in this movie... I can't understand why people didn't like it except that it was not a typical Williams flick (and it was rated "R"). Definitely not family fare but you can't down on Robin for breaking the mold people put him in.
I'm gonna go in a corner and cry a little bit now, still reeling from the loss of such a great actor and humanitarian.

For a weird thing, it was the last Movie I watched with Robin Williams in it before he went the the way all living things go.

It's far from a perfect movie, but it is defenatly fun to watch. Exspecially if someone likes to see corrupted sweet things. >:D
Seriously: Williams was scarier sometimes in this then in one hour photo.

The thing is, critics (in general) hate things that are strange, unusual or different just as much as the lowest common denominator morons do, it's just that their acceptable baseline is different than that of the broad audiences. There's a reason why designing "Oscar bait" and films geared towards critics in general is possible - there are patters in such movies that are just as formulaic as the ones found in whatever Michael Bay regurgitates next. And anything diverging from those patters gets a paddlin', so to speak.

MY STEPDAD'S NOT MEAN, HE'S JUST ADJUSTING.

OOooh Did Jim review this because I recommended it in one of his other MDF threads!? Super exciting if he did for me but I suppose its possible he didn't since Smoochy is a fantastic movie and deserves the MDF soothing treatment if anything does. I am sad that the video was so short though. =(

Wait. There are people out there who don't like this film? Really?

Death to Smoochy is a great, pitch-black comedy featuring a talented cast with so little wrong with it, I never imagined it would require defending. I love almost everything about it. It was one of the movies that immediately found its way on the, "I have to re-watch this right now," list when Robin Williams died. I can't recommend it enough for people to watch.

Wait Death to Smoochy was considered bad!?

I thought this was pretty good when I saw it. I think its a bit to mean spirited for critics.

The fan base for this movie is small, but fierce.

My friends in college all loved this film, as did I. I like to think is garnered cult popularity, if nothing else. Still, it's sad that much of Robin Williams' film work flew under the radar. For example, I loved Man of the Year as well!

I think I'm getting a tattoo that says "Rainbow Fucking Randolph"

Cyberstrike:
I've seen it and I thought it was pretty damn funny, and I'm generally not a fan of so-called dark comedies except ones like The Great Dictator and Monsieur Verdoux.

The Great Dictator is one of the best comedies of all time. Man, it is one thing to make fun of Hitler now, but in 1940, he still had a massive army and a wold-wide network of spies. Making him look foolish is one of the most courageous things anyone in Hollywood has ever done.

As for Smoochy, I loved it too, and I honestly have no idea why it was lambasted so much in the press. One thing I think may have been the fact that Robin Williams was, once he had won the Oscar, being taken somewhat for granted by the press and critics. Which we realize now is all too tragic.

I remember one critic at the time saying that the film was so bad, it actually drove John Stewart out of acting altogether. . . Which on its face is plain nonsense. I think that while the film has some editing and transitional issues, it is one of the better comedies of the era, even more so in its casting.

I didn't like it at first, but I think I was just disappointed that Smoochy was a good guy. I always thought it would be a more interesting movie if both Smoochie and Randolph were crooks, and there was no love-interest tie-in, which was the weakest part of the film.

Shoot, I didn't realize this was so poorly received by critics. I though it was just that nobody saw it. Love this movie.

Henry Rollins was almost in it!

Now... defend Pootie Tang! It's a masterpiece of modern cinema!

I was completely unaware that this movie needed defending. It's a great dark comedy, and Norton and Williams play off of each other perfectly.

Seracen:
My friends in college all loved this film, as did I. I like to think is garnered cult popularity, if nothing else. Still, it's sad that much of Robin Williams' film work flew under the radar. For example, I loved Man of the Year as well!

You know, after he died, I sited both this movie and Man of the Year as great examples of Robin's ability to make any movie shine. I loved both movies, and I think he had a lot to do with it.

I had never heard of this movie before... time to try and find it then.
Another reason this show is great is because quite often Jim will defend some pretty obscure movies which is great as I don't follow this industry very closely at all any more.

tangoprime:
I was completely unaware that this movie needed defending. It's a great dark comedy, and Norton and Williams play off of each other perfectly.

Well it was a financial flop plus Roger Ebert panned it. *rolls eyes*
Every movie ever made can be "defended" on here for the simple fact that for every movie that someone finds great, another will find it terrible. Because of this Jim could make a Citizen Kane (for eg.) episode and it be would just as valid as any other title he has decided to pick.

Ryan Hughes:

Cyberstrike:
I've seen it and I thought it was pretty damn funny, and I'm generally not a fan of so-called dark comedies except ones like The Great Dictator and Monsieur Verdoux.

The Great Dictator is one of the best comedies of all time. Man, it is one thing to make fun of Hitler now, but in 1940, he still had a massive army and a wold-wide network of spies. Making him look foolish is one of the most courageous things anyone in Hollywood has ever done.

Chaplin later said he would never made the film after the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed. Monsieur Verdoux is in someways Chaplin's darkest film and his most complex character is really worth look. The Criterion Collection re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray and it is worth the price.

MonkeyPunch:
I had never heard of this movie before... time to try and find it then.
Another reason this show is great is because quite often Jim will defend some pretty obscure movies which is great as I don't follow this industry very closely at all any more.

tangoprime:
I was completely unaware that this movie needed defending. It's a great dark comedy, and Norton and Williams play off of each other perfectly.

Well it was a financial flop plus Roger Ebert panned it. *rolls eyes*
Every movie ever made can be "defended" on here for the simple fact that for every movie that someone finds great, another will find it terrible. Because of this Jim could make a Citizen Kane (for eg.) episode and it be would just as valid as any other title he has decided to pick.

Citizen Kane was, is, and probably will always be for the most part a critical darling (and rightly so IMHO) but was a huge flop back in the day. I mean the late Roger Ebert even did a commentary track for the film on the DVD and I think it's also used on the blu-ray version as well.

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