• Robin’s departure overshadows ‘The Storm’

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    Karen Kunawicz

    Karen Kunawicz

    I was half expecting to see trailers and posters for Into the Storm with those ominous, leading re–marks, “as timely as today’s headlines . . .” Because really, our life in the Philippines for the past eight years, since Milenyo has been all about storms. Certainly, if there was a disaster movie we might be able to relate to—it would be one on weird weather.

    But beyond the special effects which show us what a horribly strong tornadoes can do (destroy houses, lift vehicles into the air, uproot trees), Into the Storm is just like any other disaster film—with a some family drama, a teen romance and arguing “experts.”

    The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) battles twisters instead of walkers (with more authority and success) and The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage (Thorin) faces the fury of Mother Nature in a three-piece suit.

    That’s about it. Maybe they needed Dwayne Johnson in it. Or sharks.

    Overshadowing this film review, is the rather unwelcome news on the loss of a man who made so many of us smile and laugh. Robin Williams shuffled off this mortal coil on August 11 in his home in Marin County, California at age 63.

    After the news broke out, there was nothing else on my Facebook feed but reactions to his death. So many of us grew up watching him on Mork and Mindy. And so many of us both laughed and cried watching him in films like Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, Patch Adams, Good Morning Vietnam, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire and many more.

    Stories about him, even a friend, Albert Ochosa who lived in San Fran–cisco has a story to tell while driving through the city one day: “I just happen to look at the car to my left and there he was, Robin Williams . . . out of excitement, I rolled down my window and waved to him. Thinking I would get ignored, he actually rolled down his passenger side window, gave me a warm smile, and waved back at me. We didn’t even say a word to each other. When the lights turned green, I waved goodbye. And Robin, being the nice guy he was, motioned his hand for me to drive before him.” Comedian Rex Na–varette also recalled the support and encouragement his group got from Robin.

    Possibly among the most heartwarming stories was Chris–topher Reeve’s—who figured in a horse riding accident in 1995 that seriously damaged his spine. Reeve recalls a very low point in his hospitalization: “I lay on my back, frozen, unable to avoid thinking the darkest thoughts . . . then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist and that he had to examine me immediately. My first reaction was that either I was on way too many drugs or I was in fact brain damaged.”

    That “doctor” turned out to be Robin Williams.

    “For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that some–how I was going to be okay.”

    Oh Robin, the whole world misses you. Goodbye.

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