HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
HTS Overall Score:73
There was a time when Robin Williams' name alone would bring a box office hit. The man won awards for his roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Patch Adams” and “The Dead Poets Society”. He was the king of comedy both on-screen and live on stage. Now we see him relegated to a role that can only be described as a “paycheck role”. You know, the kind of role where no one cares about the script, but just is in it for a quick payday - kind of like Bruce Willis in his last dozen films. I really like Robin Williams the man has a lot of talent and is incredibly funny. I remember laughing myself silly at his antics in “Hook” and wearing out the old cassette tapes of his standup routines in the 90's (even though my parents would have burnt them had they found their young son listening to a foul-mouthed comedian at the tender age of 10). I hoped for at least a decent movie with “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn”, but ended up with one of the more bland and “bleh” films of the year. It’s by no means an awful film, but one that just coasts into the distance without any emotion whatsoever, one forgotten by the time you press the eject button on your Blu-ray player.
Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is a man consumed with rage and anger. Everything in the world ticks him off, whether it be the cabby driving him or the little kid on the side of the road. He didn’t always act this way. Two years before, he was a loving husband with a wife and 2 beautiful kids, but along came a hunting accident that took the life of his oldest son, Peter. Now he’s become a shell of his former self and feels that he’s lost everything in his life, having only his rage and anger to hold on to, keeping him alive so to speak. The irony of that is that this anger also is killing him. After getting in an auto accident, he goes to the doctor and finds out that he has a brain aneurysm next to his brain stem, giving him a death that could start any second. Screaming and raging at Dr. Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) for this last straw in his otherwise perfectly horrible day, Henry stomps off into the abyss after being told that he has only 90 minutes to live.
On the other side of the coin, we have Dr. Sharon Gill. Overwhelmed in a healthcare system that treats patients like an assembly line, and being dumped on by her lover Dr. Gill creates a nightmare that only pills seem to satiate. Going through the motions, she yearns for that time when she actually enjoyed being a doctor and had the empathy her patients so desperately need. With Henry Altmann screaming at her for a prognosis, the only thing that comes to mind is to give him a random time frame and have him LEAVE HER ALONE. Now with Henry stumbling around Brooklyn in a stupor, she has to try and find him and repair the damage that she’s done to this already fragile man’s psyche.
As she searches for Henry, Henry is doing his best to make reconciliations in the hour and a half that he thinks he has left. Calling every old friend he can think of, Henry tries to make peace with them, only find that his anger has driven away ever friend he’s ever had, even his wife doesn’t want anything to do with him. His last hope is trying to reconcile with his estranged son. After that fails, he turns to the only thing that he thinks he has left. The last choice of men faced with eminent doom. Will Henry find some sort of peace? Or will he be doomed to living a life of anger up to the moment of his death?
“The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” carries a lot of star power, the only problem being that the star power is mainly wasted by a poor script and direction. Robin Williams is the only one who seems to give a care and even he is wasted on screen. Most of the time, we have him screaming incoherently into the camera in what is SUPPOSED to be emotional and touching scenes, but ends up just being flat and boring. Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo, and even Mila Kunis are all fantastic actors but are HORRIBLY wasted in the film, as the writing leaves them very little to work with. You could have replaced them with any number of passable actors and the movie wouldn’t have been any worse for wear. We even have a cameo by James Earl Jones that is mildly amusing, but ultimately forgettable.
The script is disjointed and meandering, not sure where it wants to go or what it wants to be; it strives to be a drama at some points and then comedy at others. That in of itself isn’t bad - a good dark comedy or dramedy works well - but the film tries to be overly dramatic and then shoehorns in slapstick that really is jarring to the viewer at times. That being said, there are a couple of really touching scenes in the movie, the main one being the bridge scene. For all of the poor writing and aimless directing, when Henry goes to the Brooklyn bridge to jump off and is confronted by Dr. Gill, we see the heart and souls of the two characters laid bare in a tender and heart wrenching scene.
The movie itself isn’t a terrible film. It’s decent enough for a Netflix rental when you’re bored, and it doesn’t offend the senses by any means. It just happens to commit the sin of being forgettable and lackluster in all departments. I doubt I’ll remember much about the movie by tomorrow, as it just had me checking the running time every 10-15 in hopes that the 84 minutes was ending soon since I would rather be watching something more entertaining.
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=22794[/img]The highlight of the whole film is easily the video transfer. “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” is given a stunning 1.85:1 AVC encode and is most assuredly a beautiful looking film. The image is crystal clear with lots of New York scenery to showcase, from the luscious green parks to the rough and gritty downtown streets. Colors are bright and cheerful, with nice saturation and pop to them. Greens, blues and mahogany colors dominate the color palette and surprisingly there is no wild teal or orange color grading to the movie, as seems to be the usual for Hollywood recently. Detail is extremely good throughout as you can see every hair and every fiber of Henry’s suit and the graying stubble on his face. Blacks are exceptional and I could find no evidence of black crush or lack of shadow detail. Definitely a good looking movie for a mediocre viewing experience.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=22802[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is almost as good as the video with a sparkling clarity that is very pleasing in all aspects. The movie is greatly dialogue based and the weight of the track is carried in the front channel, but there is a surprising amount of surround activity happening in the bustling city of Brooklyn. Cars screeching and honking in the background, the rush of the river as Henry is about to jump, and the melancholy score pulses in all channels, for a very satisfying sense of immersion. LFE is very solid, with some nice added weight to the traffic as well as one scene with a pounding car stereo where your pants start vibrating from the pressure. It’s not overly aggressive, but still very pleasant. Dialogue is clean and clear, as expected and blended seamlessly with the rest of the track, and very rightly so takes the brunt of the sonic separation here, giving it a slightly front loaded sound. It’s a good track, and while it doesn’t go out of its way to wow you with explosions and over aggressive surrounds, it does its job very nicely and goes well with the genre.
• Gag Reel
• "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" Behind the Rage Featurette
“The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” is a sad affair, not because it is a bad film, but because it really doesn’t go out of its way to make itself GOOD. It’s a decent rental, or Netflix watch, but I wouldn’t put much effort into tracking it down unless you’re bored on a weekend or something. It has great video and impressive audio, but that’s about the only impressive thing about the film as it and the extras don’t really scream “MUST OWN!”. I’d probably skip it unless you’re bored.
Starring: Robin Williams, Peter Dinklage, Mila Kunis
Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson
Written by: Daniel Taplitz
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Blu-ray Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Buy The Angriest Man In Brooklyn Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike