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A Robin Williams retrospective for your weekend DVD consideration

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Make it a Robin Williams weekend: DVD picks celebrating a life in film
'Garp,' 'Dead Poets,' 'Fisher King,' 'Happy Feet': A critic's picks for a DVD celebration of Robin Williams

This weekend consider staying in for a Robin Williams retrospective, spending some time savoring just a few of the delights the actor left behind. His death from an apparent suicide this week was tragic. His legacy of laughter is not.

I’d suggest starting with something upbeat and animated -- literally and figuratively. In “Aladdin,” Williams unleashed his comic beast, conjuring up all manner of fun via a big blue Genie. I defy you not to feel the beat as he jives though the infectious "(You Ain't Never Had A) Friend Like Me."

Then sample his more serious side with “The World According to Garp" and his sensitive portrayal of a conflicted writer. Next in the queue is “Dead Poets Society,” the actor's English teacher suffusing the film with a sort of literary joie de vivre. Seize the day indeed.

Consider the little seen "What Dreams May Come" next. His character's spiritual journey through the afterlife proves particularly poignant now. Then dive into another, and better, contemplative work with Williams' Oscar-winning turn as a psychologist and humanist reaching out to an overlooked genius in “Good Will Hunting.”

Go completely B-movie bonkers with the nonsense of some of the actor's, well, less notable efforts -- his island escape from reality in “Club Paradise” or his questionable med school techniques in “Patch Adams.” Not art, but they both have some quintessential Robin Williams comic moments.

There is so much more, "Moscow on the Hudson," "The Fisher King" -- but you don't have forever. So wrap it up with another animation bit, “Happy Feet,” because Williams particular brand of humor pretty much gave the world happy feet.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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