Wow! Such a good movie.
There are better movies of two hours length. I loved the actress'performance.
First off let me say that when I first put this on I didn't realize it was a musical. However I enjoyed it. The singing was odd, especially Shelley Duvall's songs, but the oddness of her voice added such an intriguing aspect to the music that you can't help but get caught up in it. You'd think Robin Williams would forever be a character actor after playing Mork and now Popeye, but he sure proved everyone wrong. This is just a fun watch for the whole family and I myself had fun watching.
Did that not because the movie is not well made, which it is indeed (although i expected it to be better!) but because i never liked the original Popeye cartoons as a kid ...i loved Felix The Cat, or Betty Boope and the mandatory Mickey Mouse and even the creepy old Koco The Clown, which did keep me watching despite being so boring as well as nightmarish ... and in spite of the fact that they were all at least two generations 'behind' me when i was a small child in the mid 1960s ... (my most fave was Heckle and Jeckle though, which decades later i found out it was mostly a banned cartoon in some US states ... and the Flintstones ... and well ... some others as well ...)but i never got to terms with Popeye, not even later when i grew up and developed a taste for some items i didn't quite like earlier ...
Robin Williams: His death was shocking even for non-fans, and led to an outpouring of mourning for a man praised as a comic genius. Indeed, he had plenty of talent (see Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire), but let's face facts- he made many awful movies. Among the worst you could find from Hollywood. Long before his career hit rock-bottom with trash like A Merry Friggin' Christmas (2014) and before he was begging pathetically for the Joker in Dark Knight, he was starring in embarrassments like Jack (1996), Flubber (1997) and Father's Day (1997). As a kid, I grew a strong dislike for him that only improved after I saw Good Will Hunting. Popeye came well before any of the films I mention above, and might appear promising. Its director won the Cannes Grand Prix (so did Coppola, but that didn't stop Jack from being awful), Shelley Duvall, who worked with Altman before in the great 3 Women, seems like an ideal Olive Oyl as a black-haired walking pole; and you would think Williams could play Popeye himself (it turns out he can't- his voice impersonation is decidedly one-note). Alas, the film Popeye falls flat quite badly, due to lack of plot, banal TV commercial-style direction, stupid jokes rarely scoring a laugh and more (or less?).The musical numbers are particularly embarrassing, barely musical numbers at all. They're often short and overly simple, Duvall can't sing, and the worst is mindnumbingly stupid and especially grating- it consists of Duvall simply repeating "He needs me, he needs me" endlessly, occasionally mixing it up with "Dah dah dah dah." That's not even a freaking song. This is a film worth immortalizing- not as a monument to Williams' (or Altman's) genius, but as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I have always loved cartoons from the depression era when many of the studios were still located in New York. The "stretch and squeeze," morphing (and other physical impossibilities) were hallmarks of these animated films. They also reflected the times. "Snow White, Any Rags, Pots'n Pans, the Old Man of the Mountain" are works I never tire of watching. They reflect gritty street life, wishful thinking, hunger (I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today), poverty, joie de vivre and hope.This era also gave rise to many cartoon strips which served as inspiration for animated films. Max Fleisher was one of the pioneers. He created Betty Boop, Popeye, Gullivers Travels and many more. I think the movie pulled off a miracle in keeping that surreal quality. Robert Altman was the perfect director with his busy visuals and overlapping dialogue. The set design reminded me of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas with its crazy, cartoony settings. And Shelley Duvall was brilliant as Olive Oyl!This film reflects an imagined reality far different than that of Spongebob, and unless one seeks it out, it's not that easy to find. Check out YouTube if you're curious.