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Recap / Bob Chipman Film Reviews F To G

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  • Falling Down: Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Big Picture episode "The Survivor", a tribute to its late director Joel Schumacher, noting how its already-edgy plot became even Harsher in Hindsight owing to the outbreak of mass shootings in the 2010s carried out by Angry White Men with chips on their shoulders.
  • The Fan: An unimpressive riff on Fatal Attraction (with celebrities!) that, while very well-shot, took itself too seriously and was often rather narm-y. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his Intermission editorial "Remembering Tony Scott, Part 2", a retrospective of the late Tony Scott's career.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Called it "a Doctor Who meets Pokémon mashup rewritten into a tangential Harry Potter prequel" that feels like a bad fanfiction and another sign of the dark side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's popularization of modular franchises. The movie's biggest problem is that its most interesting story, which featured Katherine Waterston as a great "Hermione meets Agent Carter" heroine and a bevy of highly watchable supporting players, is relegated to a B-plot until the end while Eddie Redmayne's bland protagonist, whom Bob likens to "a Frankenstein's monster of Tumblr bait" in how he comes across as a ripoff of The Doctor, takes up most of the running time. He gave it one and a half stars, calling it a bad movie that contained the seed of a good movie but never realized its potential until the ending.
    • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: It doubled down on the first movie's mistakes by introducing still more uninteresting characters, replacing narrative with exposition and panderinginvoked Continuity Porn, making the ostensible point Soap Opera-level crap, and barely being about magical creatures or the misdeeds of Gellert Grindelwald; he gave it the satiric alternative title "Eddie Redmayne and the Confusing Bullshit Nobody Cares About". He gave it half a star and called it the worst prequel he had ever seen, a disgrace to even the worst of the original Harry Potter films, and a symbol of everything wrong with the Shared Universe model of blockbuster filmmaking to be recognized alongside the previous year's remake of The Mummy, such that he wanted to apologize to every inferior prequel he'd ripped to shreds in the past. Later, in the Big Picture episode "Mischief Managed", he said that it was his least favorite film of 2018, comparing it to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in terms of attempted franchise-builders that audiences and critics alike rejected. He heavily criticized Warner Bros.' plans to try to recapture the lightning of the original films with a Modular Franchise, especially given his low opinion of most of the Harry Potter lore that wasn't connected to Hogwarts, making him wonder why they and J. K. Rowling didn't just go with a "next generation" story set there instead.
  • Fantastic Four (2015): When the trailer first premiered, he discussed it in the Intermission editorial "Fantastic?" He felt that the film was a disaster waiting to happen, between the bad buzz surrounding it, the lack of marketing until just six months before its release, and the fact that, going by the first trailer and the director's statements about the film, it bore almost no resemblance to the source material, looking like a Fantastic Four movie In Name Only. When it came time to review it, he hated it on almost every level he could think of (except the halfway-decent cinematography), saying that it was 20th Century Fox's worst superhero movie yet (dethroning X-Men Origins: Wolverine for that Medal of Dishonor) and even worse than the infamously bad films it was rebooting. Every performance is awful, the film's version of Doctor Doom is a disgrace, the story is plodding, stupid, and has no reason to be as brooding as it is, and the special effects and overall production values look cheap and flimsy. Even people who just wanted a dumb action movie wouldn't get what they were looking for — Michael Bay's Transformers films actually got an almost-positive comparison because they also had bad screenplays and weak stories but, in Bob's words, "invokedstill make money because explosions". However, as he was expecting it to suck from day one given its well-publicized Troubled Production, his tone from the start was resigned rather than than passionately infuriated by it, disappointed with everybody involved for making such a lazy film.

    The following week, he came back to it in the In Bob We Trust episode "Fantastic Four Sucks … Now What?" to discuss the aftermath of the film's bombing with critics and moviegoers, the sort of filmmaking disaster that gets tell-all exposés written about it. Along the way, he spoke at length about how the movie deals Marvel made with various Hollywood studios before they themselves took to making movies are now forcing those studios to make cheap, dirty films to hold onto the franchise rights lest the rights revert back to Marvel (which their corporate rival Disney now owns), and how he not only hopes Fox gives Marvel the Fantastic Four rights back, but sees a plausible way for it to happen (basically 'what if Marvel and Fox traded the X-Men television rights for the Fantastic Four movie rights?').
    • Fantastic Four (a potential reboot): Devoted a three- part episode of In Bob We Trust to exploring how he would reboot the franchise (for a second time) if the rights were to return to Marvel, with the characters now existing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The biggest problems it would face are the "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny factor, with most of the innovations that the Fantastic Four brought to comics having since become part and parcel of both superhero comics and superhero movies, and Values Dissonance, with the Four possibly being just too goofy for modern audiences to take seriously. As such, he recommends tackling both problems head-on and making them integral parts of the story. His pitch: in the post-credits scene for the next Marvel movie, an experimental Kennedy-era spacecraft splashes down in the Hudson River, with Ben Grimm, the Thing, punching his way out as a crew of Marvel superheroes, some of whom recognize the ship, looks on. The film itself opens in 1961 with a retelling of the Four's origin story (Reed Richards and his crew break into a launch facility to commandeer a spaceship for an experiment), albeit with their accident not only giving them superpowers, but sending them to The Present Day as well. This produces a Fish out of Temporal Water story as the Four, in their original, kitschy, early '60s Nuclear Family personas, struggle to adjust to life sixty years later with varying degrees of success, with Reed forced to adjust his old-fashioned Standard '50s Father outlook while the rest of the Four embrace the greater freedom and more permissive attitudes of the present day. Stylistically, the film would indulge in a retro-futurist aesthetic lifted from '60s sci-fi and pop culture that Bob compares to "Marvel meets Mad Men".

      As for the villain, he recommends not using Doctor Doom, the classic antagonist to the Fantastic Four in the comics, right out of the gate. To use him in the first movie would risk doing a disservice to both him and the Four, and he'd be better saved for the sequel much like how Nolan's Batman films didn't use The Joker until The Dark Knight. Instead, he'd use Philip Masters, the Puppetmaster, as the first villain that the Four take on, crafting a story about Philip and his daughter Alicia (once again serving as Ben Grimm's Love Interest who undergoes a Heel–Face Turn upon realizing the depths of her father's villainy) running a startup 'brand management' firm that ostensibly seeks to help the Four craft their image, establish themselves as superheroes, and get up to speed on the new world they're in. It turns out that Philip is secretly manipulating them, staging the Four's media-ready fights against various C-list members of Marvel's Rogues Gallery while estranging Reed from the rest of the team, with an endgame of killing Reed Richards and Sue Storm and elevating Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm as the most marketable — and most easily manipulated — members of the Four. The Four and Alicia figure out Philip's goal and defeat him (in a battle that sees Philip controlling robot versions of the Avengers in order to get some traditional Puppetmaster action in there), with the Four realizing the power of teamwork and how much stronger they are together, and Reed in particular culminating his arc of learning to not be too controlling by defeating a villain who represents the embodiment of such.

      After that, he plans out a potential franchise, with four films focused on each of the Four. Doom comes in with the second film, the aging, absolute ruler of a secretive, North-Korea-in-Europe dictatorship with a long-standing grudge against Reed dating to the '60s. His efforts to ruin the Four's day cause Johnny to lash out and cause an international incident as he attacks Latveria himself over the objections of the US government and the rest of the Four, forcing Reed, Sue, and Ben to go over there and save him while Johnny learns a lesson about selflessness and his rash behavior. Doom is defeated but survives, to become a recurring villain for other Marvel heroes to face. The third film, focused on Sue, would introduce the Love Triangle between Reed, Sue, and Namor the Sub-Mariner and would see Marvel tackling a steamy romantic story with Reed and Sue, while Johnny and Ben get the bulk of the action scenes as they fight Namor. Finally, the fourth film, focused on Ben, would have the Mole Man as the villain as a foil for him (both being people who turn their backs on a world that thinks they're grotesque), and as a ready source of monster mooks for Ben to punch in the face. As for Galactus, he thinks that a world-destroying doomsday villain like that should be reserved for one of the Avengers movies and not a Fantastic Four standalone, though the Four would of course play a role in fighting him.
  • The Fast and the Furious: He used to dislike the series. He still feels that The Fast and the Furious (2001) was either So Okay, It's Average or outright bad depending on how he's feeling at the time, and only successful because of macho, gangsta-wannabe teenage boys who idolized Vin Diesel, who he regards as a non-entity in terms of screen presence and charisma. He called 2 Fast 2 Furious "a weaksauce cousin to the Bad Boys movies," The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift better than the first two only due to its lack of connection to those films, and Fast & Furious "dull as hell". However, he, like many critics, started coming around once the films began embracing their crazy action set-pieces rather than taking themselves too seriously. The addition of Dwayne Johnson, a genuine Action Hero, to the franchise was a much-needed antidote to Diesel, and the gaps in narrative logic are easily forgiven on account of the Rule of Cool. He also praises the series for being one of the strongest and most unlikely bastions of racial and gender equality in Hollywood. After all, what other blockbuster action franchise has the guy who, in any other such film, would be the White Male Lead as only one character in an ensemble of men and women of many ethnicities, each of whom is him- or herself a complete and compelling character?
    • Fast Five: Felt that it was a couple of cool (but not spectacular) car chases bookending an over-long, boring story that's too caught up in phony machismo, taking way too long to get genuinely good. He also expressed surprise at how the franchise was still going strong for a whole decade.
    • Fast & Furious 6: The first film in the series that Bob enjoyed unironically. It's a phenomenal action movie that, while silly and dopey, never overstays its welcome, and possesses more depth than the rest of the series put together. The stunts here are amazing, and unlike the last movie, the action here is nonstop rather than being loaded at the beginning and end with a dull second act in between. In the Big Picture episode "Summer's End", he declared it one of his top ten movies of summer 2013.
    • Furious 7: "Not as good as 6, but still about as much fun." The series, like many other long-running franchises, has fallen into self-parody at this point (a process that Bob felt took so long that few people noticed), but he argues the films work far better than they used to now that they're treating their stupidity like a feature rather than a bug, exploiting it for some awesome stunts.note  He does fear that the series may be running its course, with the characters starting to blend together and the action now so ridiculous that the only way they can top themselves is to go straight-up sci-fi with the eighth film. Still, as a fun action movie that doesn't actively insult the viewer's intelligence, it comes highly recommended.
    • The Fate of the Furious: invoked"Still a good time, just maybe not as great of a time this time." The story was pretty junky thanks to a large number of potentially intriguing story ideas that either went nowhere or simply made no sense, while the absence of the late Paul Walker blew a big hole in the cast's dynamic and chemistry, with the attempt to make Diesel into the new lead never working out. He gave it two and a half stars and said it was still worth watching for the stunts and the action scenes, but unlike the last two movies, it never transcended expectations to become something amazing.
    • Hobbs & Shaw: It was a good Fast & Furious movie in everything but name, albeit a slightly more comedic buddy cop-flavored version thereof reminiscent of Mission: Impossible minus the self-seriousness. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham had great chemistry as the leads playing riffs on their public personas and most famous roles, the rest of the cast acquitted themselves well, and it had some of the most proudly meatheated Testosterone Poisoning ever seen in a big-budget action movie. He gave it a 7 out of 10 and said that, while it wasn't exactly a smart movie, it wasn't trying to be anything more than just a fun, late-summer action flick, and it did that remarkably well.
  • Fences: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2016 he called it his seventh-favorite film of the year. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis give great performances, and it successfully combines the intimate feel of the stage play with the greater scope afforded by the medium of film.
  • Fever Pitch: Reviewed it in his early days as a blogger. Him being from Boston gave him something of a personal connection to this film, mainly by virtue of the fact that all of his Red Sox-loving male neighbors and their dogs seemed to have seen it despite it being the sort of Strictly Formula Romantic Comedy that they'd normally avoid like the plague. It has some fun jokes and a solid soundtrack, and Drew Barrymore makes for a likable female lead, so if you're in the mood for a run-of-the-mill rom-com, you can do worse. Beyond that, though, he gave it a 5 out of 10 and recommended it only as a rental for Sox fans (who'd be better off rewatching the documentary Faith Rewarded).
  • The Fifth Estate: The film stumbles in comparison to what stands as the great 21st-century-computer-geek movie, The Social Network, and the fact that the story of Wikileaks is still ongoing means that the film can't really come to a proper conclusion. However, it's still a nice diversion, and Benedict Cumberbatch is wonderfully hammy as Julian Assange. Bob describes the film as a cautionary tale about how overzealous idealism (in this case, that of many "hacktivists") can clash with how the world actually works. He also goes into detail on the divide between the summer and fall movie seasons, particularly how summer blockbusters often go out of their way to be apolitical while the subject matter of fall films tends to revolve around heavily political topics. Reviewed it in the Intermission editorial "Fifth Estate, Third Rail".
  • Fifty Shades of Black: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2016 he named it his ninth-least favorite movie of the year. It's a waste of the Wayans' talents that completely misses the opportunity to comment on how movies about sex and sexuality so rarely feature black casts, instead settling for being "a slapdash send-up" of …
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: The first film that Bob reviewed after leaving The Escapist.note  He found it to be an absolutely awful movie even by the very low standards of what's basically softcore porn, with a terrible, meandering script, uninspired direction, a leading man with no charisma or screen presence, characters who made no sense, and a portrayal of BDSM culture and relationships in general so misguided that it would have been offensive had the film had any substance. It's not even a particularly sexy film, with its sex and bondage scenes coming off as more laughable than hot, and its two leads having zero chemistry. The only thing that surprised him was that anybody expected it to be any good, or even to have anything worth talking about. In his opinion, it would have been better off if it had gone all-out and embraced the cheesiness of its lurid, sleazy subject matter and source material like any number of classic erotic films, rather than play it all so safe and 'respectable' like it was ashamed of what it was.
    • Fifty Shades Darker: Didn't see it in 2017, the year it came out, because he had the option to pass on it at the time and took it, which prevented him from putting it on his list of the worst films of 2017. By the time he reviewed its own sequel the next year, he had seen it
    • Fifty Shades Freed: "Ninety minutes of married fucking... oh boy!" He has a hard time really hating on this series given that it never aspires to deliver anything more than shameless Wish-Fulfillment fantasies for horny soccer moms, but he can't even get into it on that low level. It's a surreal display of Porn Without Plot that had him repeating his criticism of the first film: that it probably could have been good, or at least fun, if it embraced its campiness in a manner not unlike the Fast & the Furious films (only with actual sex scenes) instead of taking itself way too seriously, which winds up turning it into "the most boring, limp, and lifeless film ever to feature this much gratuitous nudity." He gave it one star and said that, while it's not the worst thing ever, he might have been more entertained if it was.
  • Fight Club: Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Intermission editorial "'Gone Girl' and When Good Movies Happen to Bad People", where he brought it up in comparison to another David Fincher film, Gone Girl, which had just come out at the time. He talked about how what was arguably the film's biggest fandom wound up being among the very people it was mocking, who embraced Tyler Durden's messages about reclaiming masculinity completely unironically, even though the film was a deconstruction of those ideas that painted Tyler and his followers as complete idiots. He briefly came back to it in his Really That Good episode on The Matrix, comparing it to that film as a fellow work of late '90s counterculture rebellion. He admits that, when he first saw the film, he bought right into Tyler's message and saw him as a Magneto-like Well-Intentioned Extremist who had good ends but awful means, but as time went on and his own views evolved, he increasingly came to recognize Tyler as utterly monstrous from start to finish, and the entire film a scathing, no-holds-barred takedown of his worldview.
  • The Fighter: The world didn't really need another inspirational boxing movie in the vein of Rocky, but when it's this good, one can forgive it. Christian Bale steals the show with the best performance of his career, and Bob (who is from the Boston area) was totally convinced by the film's portrayal of working-class Massachusetts. He also discusses why so many Oscar Bait movies get released during the holiday season when nobody's in the mood for those kinds of films.
  • Fighting with My Family: It was a fairly conventional sports flick that did a fair bit of sanitizing of its subject matter, but Florence Pugh's performance as Paige elevated it, as did the spectacle of the world of WWE that the film is set in, making it as much a showbiz movie as it is a sports movie. Overall, it earned three stars and a recommendation as a good time at the movies even for those who aren't wrestling fans.
  • Final Destination: Found the first movie to be an amazingly imaginative and original change of pace for the horror genre … so, of course, they had to run that idea into the ground with sequels.
  • Finding Dory: Calls it the inverse of the usual Pixar formula in that, while the studio is famous for making films with stories that are a lot darker than they look on the surface, this one is a film whose tone is a lot more lighthearted than its subject matter would suggest. The Marine Life Institute looks like it's the sort of place that will turn into a major source of Surprise Creepy in the third act of a usual Pixar film, but it never does. It's probably for the better that the film plays out like this, though, as had the film spent much longer dwelling on its actual themes it might have gotten way too dark for children in any case. He discusses how the film expands on Finding Nemo’s themes of living with disability, taking Dory's forgetfulness (which is Played for Laughs in both that film and this one) and giving a layer of Ascended Fridge Horror and poignancy to it by revealing that she's actually suffering from short-term memory loss. Overall, it's not as good as Finding Nemo, but it's still a very good movie that tries something quite different from the original and makes it work, in which regard Bob compares it to Monsters University.
  • First Man: Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling doing a film about Neil Armstrong's journey to the moon was about as perfect a pairing of director, star, and material as Bob could think of, and the result was one of Gosling's best performances and the first Chazelle film that really clicked for him. While the film's two initial narrative arcs, concerning Armstrong's grief over losing his daughter to cancer and his stoic commitment to the Apollo mission, never really seemed to mesh, its real narrative arc, concerning him rediscovering his faith in science and human ingenuity after doctors failed to save his daughter, absolutely worked. While he admitted that he was an easy mark for this subject matter, he still found it worthy of three-and-a-half stars and named it his fifth-favorite film of 2018.
  • First Reformed: Called it the "gritty reboot of Captain Planet" by way of Paul Schrader that he didn't know he wanted. Its story, about a priest who'd lost his faith only to discover a new fire-and-brimstone worldview in the form of radical environmentalism, may sound similar to Schrader's Taxi Driver and Hardcore at first glance, but while the Broad Strokes of the story do fall into that wheelhouse, the film otherwise proves to be something else entirely. At its core, it's an actor's showcase, with Ethan Hawke delivering a magnificent performance as the protagonist, Amanda Seyfried finally getting a meatier role that lets her do more than just let her eyes do the acting, and Cedric the Entertainer's crooked megachurch pastor making for a surprisingly nuanced figure. He gave it three stars and said that it fell short of greatness but was still firmly recommended (though, by the end of 2018, he had considered it his eighth-favorite movie of the year), as long as you make sure to do something uplifting after watching it in order to get out of the funk that it will likely put you in.
  • Flashpoint: Hasn't reviewed it yet, but he discussed it in the In Bob We Trust episodes "Flashpoint for Batfleck?" and "How to Fix the DCEU". He sees a lot of really fun and bizarre possibilities in this film, but most of all, he sees it as an admission on the part of Warner Bros. that they botched the opening act of the DC Extended Universe, backed themselves into a corner, and they intend to use a multiverse Crisis Crossover to set things right. With this film, it feels like they're testing the waters for a soft reboot, one that gets rid of things that people didn't like about prior films while introducing new concepts and seeing how audiences react to those. It could also be a backdoor way to recast Ben Affleck if the rumors are true about him leaving the franchise, introducing a new Bruce Wayne/Batman as an Alternate Universe version of the character who becomes the main Batman later. The concept he came up with for how he'd do this film largely hewed to these ideas, with The Flash using his powers to travel through time and the butterflies he leaves behind laying the groundwork for the 'new' DCEU, though such wouldn't be the focus of the story and would only come up at the end of what would otherwise be a mostly self-contained, straightforward film (albeit with plenty of Mythology Gags for longtime DC fans). While he fears that this film might set a horrible precedent for other studios making superhero movies, he's interested in seeing how this one, at least, turns out.
  • The Florida Project: Didn't review it, but in his 2018 Academy Awards preview, he said that he loved it and that of the Best Supporting Actor nominees, he'd have given the award to Willem Dafoe for this film, though he predicted (ultimately correctly) that the Oscar would go to Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
  • The Fog (the 2005 remake): Didn't review it, but in the In Bob We Trust episode "Top 10 Worst Remakes Ever", he ranked it number six. It's a disgrace to the original 1980 film by John Carpenter, which Bob has long thought underrated; the only reason he thinks the remake isn't more widely reviled is because it's so bland that most people forget about it before it has even ended.
  • For Love of the Game: Sam Raimi's most "out there" movie in terms of it being the last thing you'd expect him to direct (a light, modest, coming-of-middle-age drama?). It's still a good movie, though, and a great Father's Day gift. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Intermission editorial "Sam the Man - Part II", a retrospective of Raimi's career.
  • Force: Five: Didn't review it, but he discussed it in a Big Picture episode on invoked So Bad, It's Good action movies to watch during quarantine. The plot was "team of commandos sent to a martial artist's island to take him out" action movie boilerplate, save for the fact that all of the heroes were "the martial arts guy".
  • Ford V Ferrari: Before he reviewed it, he named it one of his fifteen most anticipated films of 2019, calling it "The Godfather for gearheads" and saying that the only thing puzzling about it for him was why 20th Century Fox didn't release a film seemingly so hyper-targeted at the tastes of middle-aged dads on Father's Day weekend. In his review, he called it a thoughtful historical drama that explored the intersection of business, masculinity, struggle, emotional growth, creativity, and competition in the American psyche... and also a friggin' awesome "man's man" film about cool cars, the making and racing thereof, and all-American grit, such that he spent the review alternating between his normal "critic voice" analyzing the nuances of the film's story and characters and that of a Bawstin bro in a leather jacket gushing over all the cool stuff and macho swagger that the movie was packed with. It was an extraordinarily well-made film with a deep, insightful, and funny story, lots of great racing action, and a nuanced exploration of masculinity that avoided falling into toxicity. He gave it a 9 out of 10 and called it one of the year's best films, and at the end of 2019 he named it his fourth-favorite film of the year.
  • Fortress (1992): Didn't review it, but he discussed it in a Big Picture episode paying tribute to the recently-deceased filmmaker Stuart Gordon. It may not be a particularly smart or insightful film, but it had lots of entertaining sci-fi action on a bigger budget than one would normally expect from a film such as this, so it's hard to go wrong.
  • Four Lions: An audacious and hilarious satire in the vein of Mel Brooks that works best in the contrast between its bumbling main characters and the horror of what they are planning to do, while giving viewers a surprisingly deep look into the mindset of a terrorist. However, some of the British pop culture jokes might be lost on American viewers, and director Chris Morris' background in TV comedy is obvious.
  • Foxcatcher: An intriguing exploration of masculinity and privilege gone wrong, as well as a great actor's showcase for Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and an unrecognizable Mark Ruffalo. He gave it three and a half stars, recommending it for anyone looking for a dark, low-key drama.
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World: Didn't review it, but in the In Bob We Trust episode "Keep Circulating the Tapes" (a list of ten movies he'd most like to see riffed on a twelfth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000), he named it at number six. He cited its generally bizarre plotting and incongruously human-looking kaiju monster as his reason, though he noted that it or its sequel War of the Gargantuas would be, by default, the best movie in that subgenre MST3K had ever featured.
  • Frankenweenie: All of Tim Burton's usual strengths and weaknesses — his solid eye for style and mood, his unsure hand with narrative and plot — are on full display here. This film does far too little to capitalize on the big ideas it raises, instead becoming a more conventional riff on classic monster movies, and the main story is fairly unfocused. However, it’s still one of Burton’s better films, with Bob arguing that Burton is at his best when he has a personal connection to the material (e.g. in this case). The basic concept of remaking Frankenstein (1931) with a boy and his dog is still golden, even with all the fluff added to pad the film to feature-length. He also discusses the irony of how Disney rejected Burton’s original Frankenweenie short in the ’80s for being too dark and creepy, only to fund a big-budget remake of it (with the creepiness cranked Up to Eleven, mind) decades later once Burton became a superstar. Reviewed it in his Intermission editorial "Old Dog".
  • Freaky: The film's invoked Working Title, Freaky Friday the 13th, perfectly summed up what the film was about, a mashup of a "Freaky Friday" Flip plot and a Slasher Movie that earned an 8 out of 10 and delivered exactly what one might expect from that premise to a high degree of quality. It was self-aware without getting smug about it, and it delivered on both its teen comedy humor and all the brutal kills one might expect from a good slasher, while giving its stock characters enough depth and texture to get invested in them. Kathryn Newton was great as both the Final Girl before the body switch and the killer afterwards, as was Vince Vaughn on the other side of the switch, playing both a hulking Implacable Man and the awkward teenage girl trapped in his body.
  • Free Fire: Before he reviewed it, he named it his sixth most anticipated film of 2017. The premise of an entire movie that was basically one long gunfight was enough to get him interested ("now that's economical storytelling!"), as was the 1970s Boston setting and the writing team behind it (Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump, makers of Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England, and High-Rise). When he reviewed it, he gave it three stars; he wouldn't have complained had it just been an Excuse Plot for director Wheatley to show that he'd learned a few gun choreography tricks from John Woo or had "a similarly elaborate mastery of spatial geography," but it went in a pleasantly offbeat direction. He praised it for its painstaking detail, both in its recreation of its setting and its hyper-realistic depiction of the messiness of gunfights among Stupid Crooks (save the lone woman involved). It wasn't as thematically weighty as past Wheatley-Jump collaborations, which seemed to have been a deliberate choice, but great performances from Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, and surprisingly enough, Armie Hammer made it very fun for its modest aims and running time.
  • Free Guy: Effusively praised it, calling it "a thousand times better than it needed to be" and a film that was desperately needed at the time. It mined a lot out of invoked inverting Ryan Reynolds' screen persona and making him the least self-aware person in the film, Taika Waititi was perfectly cast as the Tech Bro villain, Jodie Comer was at once both a hilarious parody of the Ice Queen Action Girl archetype and a legitimately great example thereof, the gaming in-jokes and cameos by real-life streamers felt affectionate rather than pandering to younger audiences, its positivity and lack of cynicism was refreshing amidst a wave of Darker and Edgier blockbusters, and without spoiling anything, its "Truman Show meets Wreck-it Ralph" premise explored some genuinely heady science fiction ideas (particularly the implications of Guy being a legitimate artificial intelligence and how people would react to that) without feeling overstuffed or Too Clever by Half. He gave it a 9 out of 10 and called it the best movie of director Shawn Levy's career.
  • Fright Night (1985): A really good film that deserves its status as a Cult Classic, with Bob lamenting the fact that it seems to be falling into obscurity. He particularly liked its combination of old-school vampire rules and mythology with contemporary 1980s sensibilities. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his review of its remake …
    • Fright Night (2011): "One vampire, no sparkling, great summer movie." Even though it's just cashing in on Twilight and the nostalgia appeal of the original film, it's still a pretty good movie that holds up well compared to the original, with great performances, lots of humor, and everything that one could want from a vampire horror flick. In particular, he praised it for being smarter than the usual splatter film and for being the first "modernized" horror remake he'd seen that actually feels modern beyond just moving the setting into the present day. The only thing that didn't really click with him was the new version of Peter Vincent; while David Tennant gives a great performance in the role, the character (updated to a Criss Angel-esque magician) feels like he wandered in from a different movie.
  • From Beyond: Didn't review it, but he discussed it in a Big Picture episode paying tribute to the recently-deceased filmmaker Stuart Gordon. He called it "gooey and weird and a little scattershot" and not quite as good as Gordon's other H. P. Lovecraft adaptation Re-Animator, but he still recommended it for fans of that movie as a great, gory reunion of its cast and director.
  • From Hell It Came: invokedThe Values Dissonance in its portrayals of South Pacific islanders and women is laughable from a modern standpoint, as is the film's monster, which might have been interesting on paper but just looks silly on screen. The result is a film that practically defines the '50s B-grade monster movie. He also discusses America's fascination with "Polynesian" culture in the '50s and early '60s, the result of American servicemen coming back from the South Pacific after World War II. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his Big Picture Schlocktober special for 2013, and in the In Bob We Trust episode "Keep Circulating the Tapes" (a list of ten movies he'd most like to see riffed on a twelfth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000), he named it at number one.
  • Frozen: invoked It was a damn shame that the ads for this film were so misleading as to what it was actually about, because it was far better than the lightweight DreamWorks ripoff that it was marketed as. It was the best movie Disney had made since Mulan, a modern update and critique of their Renaissance Age princess/musical formula that breathed new life into it without falling into the trap of turning into something like Shrek. The story and character dynamics, particularly the relationship between the sisters Elsa and Anna, were amazing, and the film never lost sight of this, with its musical numbers, comedy, etc. all serving the story rather than the other way around. Idina Menzel was also amazing as Elsa, and while Kristen Bell's performance as Anna was often stereotypically "Disney Princess" almost to the point of parody, in the context of the film it worked brilliantly. At the end of 2013, he named it one of his ten favorite films of the year.

    That same week, he also wrote an Intermission editorial dissecting the film's plot and further outlining the reasons why he loved it. Without spoiling anything, he felt that the film's big twist and the direction that the third act took were not only among the best "gotcha" moments in the history of children's movies (he said that future versions of The Nostalgia Critic will remember it as a touchstone for kids of this generation), but that it was modern Disney explicitly repudiating a lot of the more questionable messages of their Renaissance Age canon, calling Anna and Elsa the first "feminist" Disney Princesses and Elsa especially a potential gay icon in the making. On a similar note, in "To Spoil or Not to Spoil?", he used Frozen as an example of how film critics treat spoilers in films, pointing out that the fact that Hans was the villain was a closely guarded secret, while Elsa's story and how it fitted as a gay metaphor was the subject of articles and headlines from day one.
    • Frozen II: Before he reviewed it, he named it one of his fifteen most anticipated films of 2019. He was interested in seeing how Disney was going to follow up a smash hit that surprised even them with just how much of a turning point it became for the studio's animation division, especially given how much of the story had been a closely-guarded secret. When he reviewed it, he said that there was no way it was gonna live up to the original given how much of a lightning-in-a-bottle thing it was, but it still wound up "shockingly good" and earned an 8 out of 10. The plot and mythology felt like a winter-season Disneyfication of any number of Final Fantasy games, and he more or less welcomed the resulting Genre Shift into a fantasy epic that wasn't afraid to take the series and the characters in new, sometimes dark directions, even if he felt that Kristoff and the new characters got short shrift. And while there weren't any musical numbers as instantly memorable as "Let It Go", the music too was very good. He also made fun of Disney for attaching itself to LGBTQ+ rights causes only when it's convenient, in this case continuing to play Hide Your Lesbians with Elsa even though the queer subtext is more unmistakable than ever.
  • Fruitvale Station: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2013 he named it one of his ten favorite films of the year. He briefly details the real-life incident that the story is based on, and between that subtext constantly hanging in the background and an amazing lead actor in Michael B. Jordan, what emerges is a film that is "rough, gripping, and tough to watch" and especially potent given how the sorts of Police Brutality incidents that the film is based on are still happening all too frequently.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2017): He criticized nearly everything about it, from how it called every bit of Applied Phlebotinum in the story "Alchemy" to its lifeless acting, negligible plot progression, nonsensical storytelling, dearth of personality, the fact that it was a Compressed Adaptation of the prior manga and anime versions of the same story, to a tremendously silly and over-the-top yet boring ending sequence. All he had to say in its favor were that it had some Visual Effects of Awesome and nice costumes, and even the latter was a backhanded compliment, being accurate to the source material but terribly impractical. He felt it to be a rare case where Continuity Lockout might actually make the experience of watching the adaptation more tolerable. He said it couldn't hold a candle to the Live-Action Adaptations of anime and manga coming out of Japan and gave it a star and a half.
  • Fury: "A good, brutal war movie that breaks the mold." It takes a basic World War II movie story and stands out by subverting it and taking it in some very dark directions, going against the style of many 'old-fashioned' war movies by portraying its heroes as average Joes doing dirty work rather than idealized images of patriotism. Not only does it have some standout action scenes and a great leading performance by Brad Pitt, it's also a great exploration of the dark side of war and how it changes and dehumanizes soldiers. He gave it four stars, saying that, while it wasn't a masterpiece, it was still the best action film in theaters at the time.

  • Gamer: Nice to see a movie about video games that doesn't demonise games and gamers, but still a waste of your time and money. Don't bother.
  • Gamera: Devoted a two-part Big Picture episode, "Turtles All the Way Down", to the series.
    • Giant Monster Gamera: It was a pretty blatant but still enjoyable Godzilla clone that stood out mainly for its child protagonist, seemingly in recognition of the target audience of many '60s kaiju films, and the various unusual tricks that Gamera had up his sleeve beyond just stomping around Tokyo and breathing fire. He noted that the former quickly became Gamera's main gimmick, as he was portrayed as a Friend to All Children in the sequels.
    • Gamera: Super Monster: The final Showa-era film, he found this to be dreadful, a mess of Stock Footage of prior films so bad that he understood why Noriaka Yuasa, the creator of the Gamera franchise, decided to kill the character off just so that he would be spared the indignity of another sequel.
    • Gamera: Guardian of the Universe: It took a series in a moribund genre that had come to be seen as kitsch, to the point where its main Western fanbase came through Mystery Science Theater 3000, and turned in an awesome Genre Throwback with a Disaster Movie-inspired tone and excellent action scenes and special effects that emphasized the inhuman nature of the monsters fighting and destroying Japan's cities. He called it and its two Heisei-era sequels "a brilliantly deconstructionist take on kaiju" in how it portrayed its monsters as morally ambiguous nature spirits rather than products of Atomic Age science run amok in a manner akin to Neon Genesis Evangelion, drawing a direct line between it and Hideaki Anno's take on Godzilla in Shin Godzilla.
    • Gamera the Brave: A Lighter and Softer, Amblin-style family adventure film with a plot reminiscent of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial WITH GAMERA!" probably wasn't what anybody was expecting after the Darker and Edgier reboot trilogy, so it didn't surprise Bob that it met a mixed reception. He finds that a shame, since he thinks it's one of the best films in the series.
  • Gangster Squad: Bob had been looking forward to this movie thanks to director Ruben Fleischer (maker of Zombieland; he hoped this would make up for 30 Minutes or Less) and its great cast, but instead he got a mess of bad decisions, shallow characters, some questionable performances, and a story that feels rushed and meandering. He attributes some of this to the film's hasty editing in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting, but many of its problems run much deeper than that. It tries to combine old-school gangster movie tropes with the feel of a modern action movie, ultimately failing at both and coming off as derivative of countless other, better gangster flicks.
  • Gemini Man: Didn't review it, but he named it one of his fifteen most anticipated films of 2019. He detailed how it had long been one of the most famous unfilmed scripts in Hollywood and how, over the course of its twenty-year production history, countless action stars had been attached to it, only for it to always be hamstrung by the fact that the special effects needed to de-age the protagonist were never quite there... until now. With Ang Lee and Will Smith involved, he was excited to see how it finally turns out.
  • The Gentlemen: A quality invoked Win Back the Crowd effort from Guy Ritchie after a number of disappointments, one in which he went back to his roots with a comedic British crime caper to great effect. The plot at times felt a bit too on-the-nose and cute about itself, and some of its edgier humor felt less organic and more like Ritchie had something to prove, but Matthew McConaughey's Smug Snake villain performance was a highlight, Charlie Hunnam gave a career-best performance (even taking into account Sons of Anarchy), and Ritchie was still one of the best in the business at this kind of movie. He gave it a 7 out of 10 and said that Ritchie still had it.
  • Geostorm: Didn't review it, but he named it #8 on his list of ten 2017 films that he most expected to suck. The behind-the-scenes stories of its heavily Troubled Production, which saw two years and $15 million worth of reshoots to make it not suck while original director Dean Devlin (Roland Emmerich’s longtime collaborator making his directorial debut) was replaced with Jerry Bruckheimer and the director of 1995’s Judge Dredd, were enough to sink his hopes for the film’s quality. The ridiculous plot (terrorists hijack a Weather-Control Machine to assassinate the President) and the fact that it starred Gerard Butler were only cherries on top.
  • Getaway: A decent idea on paper that could have been a great car chase flick in the vein of Vanishing Point, but terrible execution drags it down. The casting of Selena Gomez as a tough, streetwise hacker chick is as laughable as it sounds, while the bland, repetitive action does nothing to liven up the proceedings. He also opened the review with a discussion about teen pop stars suddenly becoming more ‘adult’ as they get older, saying that this has been going on since Elvis Presley's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in The '50s and that we should stop being shocked by it.
  • Get Out (2017): Before he reviewed it, he named it his fifth most anticipated film of 2017. The plot, which is basically The Stepford Wivesnote  with racism instead of patriarchy, was one of those things that Bob was surprised hadn’t been done yet, and the fact that it was made by Jordan Peele only had him more interested. When he reviewed it, he gave it four stars and called it the best film he had seen by that point in 2017,note  beginning the review by gushing over its uniqueness as a great film that was also a directorial debut, and as a distinctly African American horror movie. What made it great was that, unlike most Hollywood movies about racism, which he sees as at least partly intended to make modern liberal white audiences feel superior for being on the ‘correct’ side of Values Dissonance, this movie says much more by having its stable of antagonists be seemingly consciously non-racist Bourgeois Bohemians rather than obvious bigots. As a narrative benefit, making the racism subtler also meant giving the slow build of tension more room to get under viewers’ skin. Furthermore, whereas he thought The Stepford Wives lost a step in its third act once the protagonist and audience learned the full truth, Get Out is just as effective as a “straightforward survive-the-bad-guys” horror film as it is as a topical thriller. At the end of 2017, he named it his second-favorite movie of the year, calling it "the movie of 2017" and Peele an heir apparent to George A. Romero and Rod Serling, and in his 2018 Academy Awards preview he named Peele first among equals out of his three favorites (the others being Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird) to win Best Director.note  At the start of 2020, he named it one of the ten defining films of The New '10s for how it managed to fuse old-school B-Movie horror, Black Comedy, and biting social commentary.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): After leaving The Escapist, he devoted the first episode of his show Really That Good to discussing this film and why he loved it. What he feels makes it truly great is that the film's humor and plot both work, independently of each other. On one hand, the central story and mythology were good enough to stand on their own even without the jokes surrounding them, while on the other, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd also brought their comic A-game and made what would have still been a hilarious movie with compelling characters even if the plot was forgettable. As it stood, the two sides reinforced each other, and the film pulled off a high-wire act of being very funny without letting the humor detract from the real stakes in the story. Despite some Values Dissonance (which he felt was ameliorated by context) and some underdeveloped supporting characters like Zeddemore and Janine, he found it to be very close to perfect. He later came back to it, in a Really That Good short subject released after the announcement of a second reboot helmed by Ivan Reitman's son Jason Reitman, to discuss where it succeeded and its 2016 reboot failed, particularly in terms of how modern blockbuster filmmaking disincentivizes plot structure.

    He also examined the film's themes and subtext. He described the story as one where science and ingenuity (represented by the Ghostbusters) take on religion and superstition (represented by the ancient god Gozer) and defeat it comprehensively, making it feel like something of a reaction to the rise of the Christian Right and the wave of Religious Horror at the time. He also looked at its populism and rejection of a ‘chosen one’ narrative in favor of the Ghostbusters being self-made, working class heroes who vanquish the things that go bump in the night through their own tools and talent, which he felt was the real reason why the film has resonated so much with kids since its release (more than just the monsters, ghosts, and laser blasts).

    That said, as discussed in the In Bob We Trust episode "Is Ghostbusters Really a Franchise?", when he revisited the film in 2016 (just before the reboot came out) he was surprised as to how its stature in the modern pop culture seemed far smaller than he remembered it. While Gen-Xers like himself who were kids when it first came out cherished it as a classic on the level of Star Wars (something that he feels was one of the driving forces behind the backlash against the reboot), many other people that he spoke to about it, both older and younger than him, seemed to regard it as just one great comedy from an era that produced many great comedies, ranking it alongside films like Caddyshack, Animal House, National Lampoon's Vacation, and The Blues Brothers instead. He attributes at least some of this to the fact that its first sequel was the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, a show that, while a hit with kids that was better than it had any right to be and still beloved by those who watched it, didn't register at all with adults. He feels that much of the nostalgia his generation has for Ghostbusters is actually for The Real Ghostbusters, and that this may well be hamstringing attempts to make a good Ghostbusters sequel, as the dream sequel of many fans, one that combines the original movie with the cartoon despite their radically different tones, would be all but impossible to make.
    • Ghostbusters II: Called it "shit-awful" and "the Independence Day: Resurgence of its time", and held it up as an example of why remaking or otherwise revisiting Ghostbusters on the big screen was a bad idea in the first place. After all, if the original cast (two of whom were also the screenwriters) and director of the original film couldn't make a sequel that lived up to the original, then anybody else would have an even harder uphill battle doing the same. He also cited it in "Is Ghostbusters Really a Franchise?" as an example of how, while the fans of the original who then grew up with The Real Ghostbusters came to see Ghostbusters as a franchise, the films' creators didn't see it that way, made evident by how this film was basically a soft reboot of the first in all but name. Overall, given how this film turned out, he considered it a relief that they never made a 'proper' Ghostbusters III, given that, in all likelihood, it would have been either a bunch of over-the-hill actors doing yet another retread of the original or a 'next generation' film starring a group of 'hip' teen stars.
    • Ghostbusters (2016): Before he reviewed it, he discussed his thoughts on the trailer in an editorial for Screen Rant, in an article written after James Rolfe's declaration that he wouldn't be seeing the film, and in the In Bob We Trust episode "Ghostbusters: Why Get So Angry?" He thought it looked terrible, both because remakes of classic films rarely work well (especially when the original was as much a lightning-in-a-bottle thing as the original Ghostbusters) and because the trailer was one of the worst he'd seen in a very long time, wasting a talented cast on what looks like Adam Sandler-grade pratfalls. That said, he considered the idea of doing the remake with an all-female lead cast to be among the few inspired decisions in the production, calling it "the best possible version of a really fuckin' stupid idea", partly because it prevents the obvious comparisons to the cast of the original, partly because the women they cast were essentially a 'who's who' of some of the best comedians (male or female) working then, and partly because it could have been used to add some interesting subtext to the story. He laments how the film (going by the trailers) seems to be squandering all of this and fears that it will likely set back the representation of women in Hollywood blockbusters by several years, even invoking Catwoman (2004) and Elektra as likely precedents from the last decade. Overall, he feels that singling out the all-female lead cast for criticism not only holds some very uncomfortable undercurrents (especially given that many past remakes of classics looked just as bad before they came out yet weren't targeted with nearly the same vitriol), but makes it harder to criticize the film on its own merits without being viewed as sympathizing with ragingly sexist assholes and getting dragged into the broader internet culture wars. It's a film where, regardless of its ultimate quality, he feels it will be impossible to review honestly and objectively for at least five years, when all the controversy has faded.

      However, when he came around to review it (in his first review for, he was pleasantly surprised, even if he still felt that it paled in comparison to the original and that remaking such a film was still a bad idea. The first two acts were very fun, combining a talented cast with strong comedy that rarely failed, and the characters, particularly Patty and Holtzmann, were much more likable than the trailers had indicated. The final act was where most of the movie's issues came from, as he found the main villain to be too one-dimensional to be threatening (even if he liked the basic idea for him), and the editing caused most of the plot around this point to feel rushed.note  The action sequences were serviceable, but didn't have enough character to add weight to the film's story. Overall, Bob gave it three stars, said that the hate directed towards the film was way overblown, and expressed his hopes for a sequel that had a stronger story that the characters deserved, calling it remarkable that the film turned out decent at all. He later returned to the film in another In Bob We Trust episode wherein he said that, while his opinion on the film hadn't changed, he did feel that making the film a sequel rather than a reboot, with the surviving original cast members returning in their original roles, would have softened much of the fan backlash and strengthened the central plot considerably. That said, if they do make another film, he feels that it ought to be a sequel to this film that (A) fixes its main story weaknesses (he tossed around a number of potential plot ideas), (B) doesn't rehash its character dynamic (which was Ghostbusters II's worst shortcoming), and (C) doesn't try to connect it to the originals, arguing that that ship has sailed and that trying either to recreate the original films' villains or connect the two universes through comic book-style "IP management as storytelling" temporal mumbo-jumbo would be a disaster.
    • Ghostbusters: Afterlife: invoked Before he reviewed it, he discussed it in the Big Picture episodes "Ghosted" and "Backward, to Go Forward". He noted that all the planning and hype around this film felt like the polar opposite of that around the 2016 reboot, explicitly playing to nostalgia to the point of hiring Jason Reitman, son of the first two films' director Ivan Reitman, to direct. He thought that the "Ghostbusters meets Stranger Things" premise sounded fun, even saying that the 2016 movie likely wouldn't have faced the backlash it did had it used this premise. On the other hand, the first trailer left him wondering where the sense of humor was (to the point where it lacked even the iconic theme song), arguing that its seeming reverence for the original missed the fact that said original was also a famously irreverent comedy. It was for this reason that he declined to put it on his list of his most anticipated films of 2020, feeling that the trailer went overboard with nostalgia to the point where it felt like invoked pandering. He also lamented how a misstatement by Jason Reitman wound up merely enflaming and polarizing the fanbase, illustrating that the controversy surrounding the 2016 reboot could still repeat itself — and that he'd once again have to discuss Ghostbusters due to controversy swirling around it, which he called a "monkey's paw" wish and compared to Stantz accidentally conjuring up the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

      When he reviewed it, he gave it a 7 out of 10 and called it "the Joe Biden of Ghostbusters revivals" in terms of being a nostalgic throwback that got the job done but didn't really excel beyond that. He thought it was a slightly better film than the 2016 version, though he still found both films to be invoked just decent; whereas the 2016 film understood the basic formula with its great cast and sense of humor but was let down by weak writing and direction, this film was much more tightly written and directed but only really felt like a Ghostbusters film in its surface-level nostalgia beats, taking itself and its lore too seriously despite being a sequel to a film that was defined by the utterly irreverent tone it took towards such things. He compared its sentimental, even maudlin tone to Field of Dreams trying to be a sequel to Major League. Putting aside comparisons to the original, however, it was actually a good kids' adventure movie, with Mckenna Grace solidly anchoring the film and elevating her character while he found the various twists and turns in the story to be charming.
  • Ghost in the Shell: It's both a classic cyberpunk story and one of the few anime works that he feels manages to break out of the otaku ghetto in the West, but it's also one that suffers badly from "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny syndrome, its influence having caused over two decades' worth of sci-fi stories, from The Matrix to Ex Machina all the way to even Zootopia, to copy so much of its story and style that it can now feel derivative in the genre it blazed a trail in. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his review of its Hollywood Live-Action Adaptation...
    • Ghost in the Shell (2017) (the American adaptation): The aforementioned "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny problem turns out to be this film's Achilles' Heel, especially given that it does nothing to expand on the source material, instead offering a lifeless retread of things that both the original anime and quite a few of its imitators have done better. Scarlett Johansson was fine as the Major, even if the role felt like a gift-wrapped opportunity to be a Japanese actress' Hollywood breakout, but the character was so thinly-written in this version that he's actually kind of grateful that it wound up getting whitewashed and allowing that unknown actress to dodge a bullet. (Likewise, without spoiling anything, he felt that the film missed a golden opportunity to comment on and satirize the sort of whitewashing it was being criticized for, instead merely giving ammunition to its critics in that regard.) He gave it two stars and called it a film that might have been more enjoyable had it been an out-and-out fiasco rather than painfully mediocre.
  • Ghosts Can't Do It: Didn't review it, but in the In Bob We Trust episode "Keep Circulating the Tapes" (a list of ten movies he'd most like to see riffed on a twelfth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000), he named it at number seven. While he didn't want to see MST3K do partisan political comedy for its own sake, he couldn't help but wonder how the show would make fun of Donald Trump, who had then-recently become the President of the United States, and his Golden Raspberry Award-winning cameo As Himself in this movie. He also observed that even then, the movie still had a plot so dumb he had to append a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer to his description.
  • The Gift (2000): Finds it to be overrated and one of Sam Raimi's lesser efforts, especially compared to his other later-career films. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Intermission editorial "Sam the Man - Part II", a retrospective of Raimi's career.
  • G.I. Joe: invoked Discussed rebooting the film franchise in a "How to Fix" episode of In Bob We Trust. The big problem with adapting G.I. Joe to the big screen is that the canon is pretty difficult to pin down, with the G.I. Joe force's capabilities varying greatly between the comics and the animated series — and that's before you get into the Early Installment Weirdness with COBRA having originated as an anti-government militia group. His idea: have the Joes as a small, clandestine force that exists across the branches of the military and intelligence services and answers only to the President and a select few others, composed of the rogues and loose cannons of the armed forces in order to explain the colorful personalities and Mildly Military nature of the organization.
    • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: This movie was enjoyable, surprising even Bob himself. He lays the praise singularly on the fact that the movie acknowledges its roots (unlike Transformers: ROTF or Star Trek) and does its best to keep things mostly within that territory. It's a very goofy film with a lot of Adaptation Decay and a mess of a plot, but it gets the tone of the '80s cartoon right, and that produced a very fun time at the movies for him.
    • G.I. Joe: Retaliation: In the Intermission editorial "The Uncertain Future", he said that the film's sudden delay from June 2012 to March 2013, whatever the reason may be, was a bad omen for the prospect of it being a good movie. When it came time to review it, he called it a letdown due to its smaller scale and lower budget. Its toning down and dropping of the first film's more fantastic elements doesn't make sense given that it still tries to maintain continuity with that film, and it also reduces the fun factor. They also missed a golden opportunity to have Dwayne Johnson playing his pro wrestling persona as a Shout-Out to the cartoon featuring Sgt. Slaughter As Himself, rather than a different character.
    • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins: "Well, hey, how about that? This is actually pretty good!" While it suffered from a lot of mediocre action scenes (though fortunately not outright incompetent ones), it wisely focused its spectacle on its outlandish plot and universe rather than its explosions, which was its greatest strength. While he suspected fans would balk at the invoked rewritten origin for Snake Eyes, the meat of the film was a surprisingly well-written and well-told Genre Throwback to '80s ninja movies, with the G.I. Joe and COBRA elements serving mainly on the sidelines rather than taking over the story. Henry Golding proved to be a charismatic, natural-born Action Hero, with Bob finding it especially amusing that an Asian actor was playing a role that felt like it was written for a dopey, bro-ish white guy, and he also liked the supporting cast, especially Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, even if the Canon Foreigner Akiko felt like she was there just to deflect the Ho Yay between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. He gave it a 7 out of 10 and said that it was just about the best version of itself that he was hoping for given how difficult it seemed to be to get a G.I. Joe movie to work.
  • Ginger Snaps: "Have you ever looked at a bad movie [Jennifer's Body] and thought, 'Man, I wish I could see a good movie version of this'? Well, in this particular case, you can!" Didn't review it, but he mentioned it at the end of his Surrogates review.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011): The directing and filmmaking quality were as great as one would expect from a David Fincher film, and he felt that Rooney Mara's version of the title character was more fleshed out than Noomi Rapace's "Terminator who shops at Hot Topic" from the original Swedish adaptations (though he also enjoyed that version of Lisbeth). Ultimately, though, its story had several major weaknesses, all of which traced back to the source material, which Bob (admittedly removed from the book's Swedish context) regarded as overrated and comparable to "a late '90s Ashley Judd vehicle written by Dan Brown." It was still good, and he recommended it as long as one didn't go in expecting it to be great.
    • The Girl in the Spider's Web: It lacked the "pitch-black, socially conscious sleaze" of Stieg Larsson's original trilogy and the movies based on them, instead being a fairly middle-brow Action Girl spy thriller with only the veneer of such laid on, though Bob wondered if this really hurt the film all that much, given that he felt that Larsson's books always had an undercurrent of him apologizing for their more misogynistic tropes by reworking them into a feminist revenge fantasy. Unfortunately, while Claire Foy's take on Lisbeth Salander was as good as Rapace and Mara's before her, here it felt like the filmmakers weren't trying with the other elements of the story, with the plot being far more boring than it should've been (especially given its gonzo plot description) and Fede Álvarez's work behind the camera being surprisingly flat. A few good action scenes, especially a knockout opening that was far better than he felt the rest of the film deserved, weren't enough to save a mediocre, boilerplate film that earned only a 3 out of 10.
  • The Giver: "[I] almost missed seeing this movie, but it's easy to see why." He only reviewed it, three weeks after it came out, because it was the middle of the Dump Months and literally nothing new came out that weekend, and he spent a good chunk of the review analyzing why it failed at the box office. It suffers badly from "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny syndrome, as many of the young-adult dystopia tropes that the original book popularized have since been done countless times by other books and their film adaptations, while its attempts to take the book's mostly symbolic story and play it totally straight backfire and produce a great deal of Fridge Logic. He'd recommend skipping it, but looking at the box office returns, he figures that most people already did just that.
  • Glass (2019): invoked It suffered from many of the same faults as his lesser films: an overly-long runtime, a stilted story structure, Fridge Logic, pretentious writing that veers into So Bad, It's Good territory, and (from Lady in the Water) M. Night Shyamalan's egotistical attacks on his critics, in the process falling victim to the same Randian overtones that bedeviled other recent attempts at deconstructionist superhero movies. All that was before he got to the utterly bonkers finale, which dropped a pair of plot twists that were staggering even by Shyamalan standards. That said, while it utterly failed to deliver, it felt as though "failing to deliver" was what Shyamalan set out to do, deliberately confounding audiences and critics before pulling the rug out from under them. He gave it two-and-a-half stars and had no idea what to make of it, but said that it was a film that was worth paying attention to anyway.
  • God Bless America: It's a bit of a mess, coming off as overly preachy, awkwardly plotted and having more ideas than its tiny budget can provide for, though Bob still liked it due to its passion and how brutally honest it was. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his Intermission editorial "Bless This Mess", where he interviewed the film's writer and director, Bobcat Goldthwait.
  • God's Not Dead: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2014 he named it one of his ten least favorite movies of the year. The very premise of the film was enough to get him to hate it, but what pushed it over the top for him was just how inept it was as a film, failing even to hammer home its anti-atheism message in favor of meandering all over the place with a tangle of meaningless subplots and cameos. "Not to belabor a gag, but this movie was holy s***."
    • God's Not Dead 2: Didn't review it, but he brought it up in his Silence review as a film that displayed the polar opposite of that movie's very cynical attitude towards organized religion.
    • God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness: Didn't review it, but he named it his fourth least anticipated film of 2018. He finds the series, and the output of Pure Flix Entertainment in general, to be ridiculous, heavy-handed, and downright mean-spirited moralizing designed to pander to the persecution complexes of conservative Christians, and nothing he saw in the trailer for this got him to change his opinion.
  • The Godzilla films: He's a lifelong fan of the series, stating that it's the very first geek property he remembers truly loving. The week that the 2014 reboot came out, he began a two-part Intermission editorial going over every film in the series. He found Godzilla Raids Again to be underwhelming, but his opinion on the '60s films ranged from unequivocally loving them at best (with King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla being his two favorites) to liking them at worst (he even found Son of Godzilla tolerable), overall calling the '60s the Golden Age of the series. (He would later recommend the whole Showa era for a binge-watching session in the Big Picture episode "Binge-a-Thon 2020", his recommendations of films to watch during the coronavirus lockdown.) He felt All Monsters Attack to be the beginning of a Dork Age for the series with its overuse of Stock Footage, with the '70s films being So Bad, It's Good at best.

    The 1985 reboot was a return to form, with subsequent films in the late '80s/early '90s "Heisei Era" also being pretty good, if a bit strange and often a bit too informed by American blockbusters. The late '90s/early '00s "Millennium Era" was a definite step down, with several films that were either mediocre or flat-out weird, but just as it seemed that the series was becoming a Franchise Zombie, Toho capped it off with Godzilla: Final Wars, an excellent Grand Finale for the franchise.

    He discussed the franchise further in the Big Picture episode "Know Know Godzilla" the week that Godzilla: King of the Monsters came out, talking about how the metaphors that Godzilla stood for evolved over the course of the series, from the atomic bomb in the original movie to American military power in the following Showa-era films to punishment for Japan's sins in the Heisei and Millennium eras to Global Warming, the 2011 tsunami, and the failures of the bureaucracy in Shin Godzilla.
    • Gojira (the original 1954 film): While he does like it for its "dirge-like march-to-Armageddon pacing" and acknowledges its impact, he views it as an example of Early Installment Weirdness for the franchise in the long run, and he doesn't rank it among his favorite Godzilla films. He prefers Godzilla movies when they're being silly and over-the-top as opposed to dark and serious.
    • King Kong vs. Godzilla: invoked Discussed it in the Big Picture episode "Lizerd vs. Munky". He noted how the film revived the Godzilla franchise and the kaiju genre as a whole, setting the stage for both its '60s Golden Age and the Lighter and Softer "kaiju battle" formula that the series would follow, while pulling King Kong out of Mainstream Obscurity and leading to new entries in the franchise in the '60s and '70s. He also detailed its Troubled Production and how it was born from a "King Kong vs. Frankenstein" pitch by Willis H. O'Brien, the special effects designer on the original King Kong, only for him to get screwed over by an unscrupulous producer who took his pitch to Toho and swapped out a giant Frankenstein's Monster for Godzilla.
    • Godzilla (1998): Dignified in his series retrospective with just three words: "This movie sucks." A couple of years later, in the In Bob We Trust episode "Top 10 Worst Remakes Ever", he ranked it at number three, saying that the design for Godzilla was terrible, the script was just as bad, and for a Roland Emmerich movie coming right off the heels of Independence Day, it was oddly boring.
    • Godzilla (2014): In the Big Picture episode "The King of Meh-Sters?", he spoke of his skepticism about the film due to its advertising and pedigree. He hated Gareth Edwards' previous film Monsters, he was put off by the Darker and Edgier tone, and while the trailers looked good, they lacked any "hell yeah" moments to get him pumped to see it. When it came time to review it, he said that it was "almost good" and "if it weren't for all the other human characters, [this] would be a perfect monster movie." The film's actual portrayal of Godzilla exceeded his wildest expectations, and the final battle almost made the whole movie worth it, but to get there, the film spent the first two acts meandering with a protagonist who was both incredibly generic and very poorly acted, wasting a whole bunch of more interesting side characters and stories in the process. It really wanted to be like Jaws with its slow buildup to the monster, but whereas that film made the buildup and characters interesting in their own right, this film utterly failed at doing so. At the end of 2014, he named it one of his twenty least favorite movies of the year, arguing that its kick-ass finale failed to make up for the boring, drab movie that came before it.

      The week after he reviewed it, he discussed it further in the Big Picture episode "Go Go Godzilla — Hoping for Better Blockbusters." While he didn't care for large sections of the film, he was glad that it was doing well at the box office, more for what it represented than for its actual quality. Part of this was borne out of the hope that it might inspire more studios to take chances on big-budget 'auteur' projects from indie directors, even if Bob personally has little faith in Gareth Edwards in particular as a filmmaker. The other reason was that, even though it failed to pull it off due to its poor story and characters, the basic idea of making a 'slow burn' blockbuster action film in 2014 was a huge risk that, financially at least, seems to have paid off, with Bob hoping that it inspires Hollywood to take similar creative and narrative risks with such films.
    • Shin Godzilla: Didn't review it, but at the start of 2020 he named it one of the ten defining films of The New '10s. Hideaki Anno's revisionist take on the Godzilla mythos played it as a nail-biter of a Disaster Movie, one that shined a warts-and-all mirror on modern Japan reflective of both its best and worst qualities.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): invoked Before he reviewed it, he named it one of his fifteen most anticipated films of 2019, saying that it looked like a welcome return to the kaiju battle style of Godzilla movie that he prefers as opposed to the 2014 film's Darker and Edgier take, which left him fairly cold even if he could appreciate what Edwards was going for. When it came time to review it, he absolutely loved it, to the point of spending thirty seconds of the review just freaking out and gushing over how awesome it was and spending another thirty seconds playing with kaiju action figures on camera in order to demonstrate what he felt was the only acceptable review he could give. It learned from the mistakes of its predecessor and wasted no time getting straight to the giant monster action, its Excuse Plot in the first act serving only to bring the movie to that point; he called it "the big-budget Godzilla movie I used to dream about getting as a kid". Michael Dougherty's direction was a standout in how it captured the truly epic feel of the monster battles, with Bob comparing it to the breakout films of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson in how it would hopefully propel him to the A-list of blockbuster filmmakers, and the production values were top-notch all around. All of that was small potatoes, however, compared to what really compelled him to give it a 10 out of 10 and the honor of being his favorite film of 2019: the fact that it knocked him flat on his ass and kept him there with its distillation of everything he loved about these sorts of movies. "Long live the king."

      A couple of weeks later, he did a Big Picture episode, "There Goes Tokyo", on its box-office disappointment (in the US, at least) and the Critical Dissonance it received. He feels that the big problem Godzilla faces is that it's never been an A-list franchise outside Japan; in the West, the older films were mostly screened at drive-ins and on late-night creature features, consigning them to the status of Cult Classic B-movies without the kind of mainstream respectability given to other "genre" franchises that did their business in American theaters. For this reason, he believes that doing Godzilla films as $200 million tentpole mega-blockbusters merely sets them up for failure, as grateful as he was that he at least got to see such a film. He also felt that most critics who dismissed the film as empty spectacle completely missed its story, in no small part because they focused on the human characters even though it was the monsters, who all had their own defined personalities yet didn't communicate the way humans do, who were its real heroes and villains.
    • Godzilla vs. Kong: At the start of 2020, he named it his second most anticipated film of the year.note  He loved its predecessor, and was thankful that this was already in production when that film failed at the box office, especially since the only thing that could've made that film better was a gorilla. He found himself hoping that audiences didn't sleep on this one too. He later did a Big Picture episode, "Lizerd vs. Munky", gushing over the trailer, going into the history of King Kong's crossovers with Godzilla, and slamming Warner Bros.' decision to release the film (and its entire slate of 2021 films) on streaming day-and-date with its theatrical release rather than delaying it — a decision that he felt to be exceptionally short-sighted and risked doing lasting damage to Hollywood, movie theaters, associated industries, and the lives of millions of service workers, all so they could prop up their HBO Max streaming service.

      When he reviewed it, he admitted that, realistically, there was no way that it was going to deliver the same level of sheer joy that he had with its predecessor, but it was still a very fun, big-time action flick and a great movie to mark his first trip to a theater after getting vaccinated for COVID-19. While he still preferred King of the Monsters, he said that this film had its own unique energy to it that some viewers would probably prefer, and that the action scenes were still top-notch even if the plot felt like it had been heavily cut for time. More than anything else, it felt like a lengthy, CGI-enhanced pro wrestling match between two kaiju, complete with it taking King Kong's penchant for climbing tall buildings and using that to portray him as a high-flying wrestler jumping off the top rope, with a tongue-in-cheek tone that seemed to acknowledge that invoked that was the reason why most people were watching. He gave it a strong 7 out of 10 and said that, while he wished it was more substantial on the human end of the plot, it still delivered what he wanted.
  • Gone Girl: Called it a "fantastically suspenseful thriller" and one of the best movies of the year, giving it four and a half stars. It's an excellent deconstruction of marriage and family, the sensationalist tabloid media, and the legal system, and it's one of David Fincher's best films in a very long time. The entire cast is incredible, with Ben Affleck a standout as the lead and Rosamund Pike in particular enjoying what ought to be a Star-Making Role for her, and even Tyler Perry was great. Unfortunately, he couldn't say much else without dropping some pretty big spoilers — all of the above is taken from the first ninety seconds of the review. At the end of 2014, he named it one of his top ten movies of the year.

    That same week, he did an Intermission editorial, “Gone Girl and When Good Movies Happen to Bad People,” that discussed both Gone Girl and Fincher's earlier film Fight Club. Without spoiling anything, he fears that, much like Fight Club did, Gone Girl will attract a Misaimed Fandom from some truly obnoxious misogynists who see in the film's plot twists everything they hate about women, while missing the film's bigger message about how people act in front of society versus what they are really like.
  • GoodFellas: Didn't review it, but he discussed it in his review of The Master as an example of a film that critics and mainstream moviegoers love for two very different reasons. Critics love the direction, the acting, and the tone of the film, but your average moviegoer loves it for its swaggering gangster machismo and for the brutal Pistol-Whipping scene.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam: "Probably still the all-time champ of 'find a story-excuse for him to just do his stand-up act for most of the movie' comedian-vehicles." It was the first hint of Robin Williams' wide acting range, and also exemplified why he was regarded as the chief transitory comedy star between the Darker and Edgier 1970s and exuberant 1980s. Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Intermission editorial "Remembering Robin Williams Through Movies", a retrospective on the late Williams' career.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: Didn't review it, but discussed it in an Intermission, and at the end of 2014 he named it one of his top ten movies of the year. It mixes Wes Anderson's usual whimsical, handmade style with a melancholy tone that gives it genuine depth.
  • Grandma: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2015 he named it an honorable mention for the best films of the year.
  • Gravity: The premise (which he calls "Open Water in space") had him interested, as did Alfonso Cuarón's presence as director. When it came time to review it, he said that it was as amazing as everybody had been saying it was. The plot is thin, with Bob referring to it as "eighty minutes of falling out of the sky", but it is amazingly well-done and gripping, with Cuaron showing off his less-recognized skill at shooting thrilling action scenes, and both George Clooney and, surprisingly, Sandra Bullock making for great leads. The only things that really threw him off were what he felt to be some unnecessary backstory and a sudden bit of Magic Realism towards the end that came out of nowhere. At the end of 2013, he named it one of his ten favorite films of the year. He wonders, however, if critics would have been as open to praising such a film had a director less acclaimed than Cuarón made it, noting that the film is pretty much all action.
  • The Greatest Showman: He thinks that the real P. T. Barnum was a scumbag, comparing him not-so-subtly to Jordan Belfort and Donald Trump during the review, and that wound up coloring the rest of the film for him, feeling that it missed a chance to explore who he was (a warts-and-all biopic of the man likely would have been much better, as, for all his faults, Barnum lived a very interesting life) instead of valorizing him with a lightweight family musical. Worse, the rest of the film is as Strictly Formula as they come, with straw men expressing valid critiques of Barnum, the title song being the only one that was all that memorable, and not even Hugh Jackman's great performance as Barnum being enough to elevate the proceedings. He gave it one star and called it "complete trash", his sixth-least favorite film of 2017, and something that not even P. T. Barnum would have tried to sell with a straight face.
  • The Great Gatsby: Suffers from many of the same problems that plague Baz Luhrmann's films in general, namely "artifice for the sake of artifice" that strips the characters of the depth that they had in the original novel. That said, the film does an excellent job of making Jazz Age decadence look intensely glamorous on screen, Leonardo DiCaprio makes for an excellent Gatsby, and it succeeds where other adaptations failed by throwing viewers directly into the mindset of its characters. Overall, it's a fun time, as long as you don't think about how much better it could have been. In the Big Picture episode "Summer's End", he listed it as one of his top ten movies of summer 2013, and the end of 2013 he named it a runner-up for his list of the best films of the year.
  • The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!: Discussed it in the Big Picture episode "Do the Mario! (Again)". It's a So Okay, It's Average kids' anime film of The '80s among many; it owes its Cult Classic status among Super Mario Bros. fans mostly to its "lost" status and the sheer awfulness of the later live-action British/American film. It is fairly faithful to the game, albeit using its characters very differently from how Nintendo would take them in future games. Bob observed how it was the first work ever to try to give this mass-media juggernaut-in-the-making a backstory, having sprung from a game that didn't exactly have one, calling special attention to its depiction of Nintendo's mascot as a gamer himself. He disliked the character of Kibidango/Prince Haru, though, on the grounds that he was betrothed to Peach, the Mario brothers' role in the story being only to bring him to her and beat the Big Bad for them. It's easy to see why it was lost: its only distinguishing feature is that its main characters would become world-famous.
  • The Great Outdoors: Devoted an episode of Good Enough Movies to it, saying that he finds that it's often unfairly compared, sight unseen, to John Candy's previous family-vacation-gone-wrong comedy hit Summer Rental. This film is essentially "a feature-length sitcom" with no real theme beyond the class conflict between Candy's Chet and Dan Aykroyd's Roman, but in its meticulous assembly of minor details, it always feels authentic, especially in the more mature-themed dialogue that he sees as upstaging the slapstick for pure comedic value (though the latter is pretty good unto itself). He also recalls having loved the Fun with Subtitles scene with the raccoons raiding the Ripleys' garbage as a kid. If this movie has any major flaws, it is that Annette Bening (in her Hollywood debut) is underused, especially vis-à-vis what people remember and the stature of her very similar (albeit less comedic) "rich yuppie wife" performance in American Beauty.
  • The Great Wall: Before he reviewed it, he discussed it in the In Bob We Trust episode "The Great Wail". He said that its premise sounds like something "you make up in order to make fun of stupid movie premises", which caused him to spend a year looking forward to it even before the trailer came out in the hopes that it would be So Bad, It's Good. The bulk of the episode, however, is about the controversy over the casting of Matt Damon in the film and the resulting allegations of "whitewashing" in order to pander to a Western audience. While he normally agrees with criticizing this when Hollywood productions do it (citing the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the American Ghost in the Shell (2017) adaptation as an example), he finds this instance to be more complicated because this film comes not from Hollywood, but from the Chinese film industry with mostly Chinese audiences in mind as its target audience. He uses this as a jumping-off point for a discussion of how most of the debate over race and pop culture in the US ignores non-Western perspectives almost entirely, and how Hollywood's century-long dominance of the global pop culture has made having white actors into a stamp of prestige for films made in non-white countries like China, a phenomenon that he felt was at work in this instance. Overall, he finds it ironic that the Chinese film industry's big "coming out party" in terms of making a blockbuster that can compete with Hollywood's best has to rely on Hollywood talent at the expense of its own native actors to get anybody else to pay attention to it.

    He reviewed the movie six months later, when it was released in America. He gave it two and a half starts, calling it a silly and disposable but fun movie, more important as a cultural artifact than as a narrative. Despite being superficially an easy setup for the nth similar Mighty Whitey story, it depicts the Chinese characters as more communitarian and thus more heroic than the European Audience Surrogate characters played by Damon and Pedro Pascal. Otherwise, it's well-shot and Bob hopes Jing Tian's performance as the film's true hero proves to be her Star-Making Role, but the story about the Great Wall of China's "real" purpose as a barrier against lizardlike aliens is as ridiculous as he expected, and the villainous aliens are rendered in CG.
  • The Green Berets: Didn't review it, but he mentioned it in the Big Picture episode "Pop! Goes the 'Ganda, Part II" as a rare piece of anviliciousinvoked post-World War II American popular culture meant to stir up Patriotic Fervor — in this film's case, as support for The Vietnam War. He still thinks it sucks on its own merits despite liking plenty of other John Wayne movies.
  • Green Book: He didn't dislike it as much as he thought he would, largely due to the performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, but it was still "softball award-season pablum" whose entire purpose was to be the sort of "issue movie" that existed less to challenge audiences and more to pat them on the back for having overcome the problems of the past, all while pretending that those problems no longer exist today and that we should all just move on. That said, as treacly and insufferable as he felt that its message could get, he thought that its basic premise of "My Cousin Vinny teaches Carlton Banks to get his blackness back" mostly hummed along fairly well, and its big finale felt earned. Overall, as already-dated as it felt, he felt that viewers could do worse when it came to this sort of movie. Years later, in the Big Picture episode "Oscars So Transparent", he attributed the Academy Awards' announcement of new rules on behind-the-scenes diversity and inclusion for awards eligibility to this film's Best Picture win (especially invoked over Black Panther) provoking considerable backlash, seen as it was as a White Man's Burden story that was out of step with public opinion. He felt that the announcement was a We Care decision that ironically ran into the same problems as the film, using tokenism to deflect from accusations of racism without really changing anything.
  • The Green Hornet: Its laid-back tone and sense of humor keep it from being a bad movie, but overall it's forgettable, with bad 3-D and none of its elements coming together into a cohesive whole.
  • The Green Knight: It combined writer/director David Lowery's love of formalism and rough-hewn man's men making hard decisions with an Arthurian setting and plot that seemed almost tailor-made for such, with the result feeling like a invoked particularly psychedelic take on Dark Fantasy in the manner of John Boorman that he called "swords & sorcery [paired] with a blacklight and a bong hit". Lowery made the most out of a modest budget to make a film that was visually arresting and captivating even in its slower moments, while Dev Patel did a great job anchoring the film's more outlandish moments as the protagonist in a performance that Bob found worthy of Oscar buzz. It was a bit too long and drawn-out, but overall, he enjoyed the trip and gave it an 8 out of 10.
  • Green Lantern (2011): He despised it, ranking it alongside Batman & Robin, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four movies, Steel, and the first Transformers movie amongst the most badly "mishandled geeky sci-fi properties". It angered Bob so much, he forwent his usual opening so he could skip straight to ripping it apart. The story is a Cliché Storm of superhero story elements (and a poorly assembled one at that), the special effects look unforgivably cheap given the film's huge budget (Hal Jordan's CGI costume being one of the worst examples), Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively both give awful performances, the failed attempts at drama consist mainly of crappy ripoffs of Top Gun, the Green Lantern Corps is completely wasted, the relationship between the villains and the main characters is given no setup until an hour into the film … and that's just what Bob could fit into five minutes.

    Months later, he revisited it to discuss the extended Blu-ray version (and, by extension, the trend of "extended cuts" of films on home video). He felt that, while it corrected one of the film's problems (namely, it explains Hal's connection to Hector Hammond), in so doing it only highlighted the film's Unfortunate Implications regarding its portrayal of alpha-male culture versus intellectualism.
  • Green Room: Didn't review it, but at the end of 2016 he named it his sixth-favorite film of the year. He praises it as a nasty, hardcore, badass, edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller with a great leading performance from the late Anton Yelchin, while noting that the story of the film (about a hipster Punk Rock band not taking a bunch of neo-Nazis seriously as a threat until it was too late) wound up feeling way too topical that year.
  • Green Zone: It got points for being audacious enough to try and make a left-wing version of Rambo, but lost those points for being boring while delivering a very simplistic version of the events leading up to the Iraq War. He also went off on a tangent about America's sense of importance in the world, and how, whether it's as the hero or the villain, it's always portrayed as a direct cause of whatever is happening in the world (and never a minor player).
  • Gretel and Hansel (2020): He was pleasantly surprised and gave it an 8 out of 10, even if it did mean he couldn't use all the jokes he had prepared about dark fairy tale movies sucking. A retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story done as a horror movie, it fused its grounded setting with a "waking nightmare" vibe and a lot of retro horror style to great effect (Bob compared it to a mashup of The Witch and Mandy by way of Roger Corman), even if it didn't really put any interesting twists on the story beyond diving into the witch's backstory. Alice Krige was also a highlight as the Wicked Witch, managing to make that seemingly hackneyed villain archetype legitimately scary again.
  • The Grey: Bob called it "the first great movie of 2012", a hard-nosed "man movie" that provided crowd-pleasing thrills without giving viewers an easy ride or insulting their intelligence. He argued that director Joe Carnahan had the potential to be the next great action director à la Ridley Scott or Michael Mann, and that one scene in particular involving heights was the first time in years where he had to close his eyes in fear during a movie.
  • Greyhound: Called it a pure "dad and granddad movie", and one that he expected to be a invoked Killer App for Apple TV+ on the strength of it being the kind of "they don't make 'em like that anymore!" war movie that a lot of older men love. The story was "all boat, no bloat", laser-focused on the Navy ship and crew at the center of it without any fat, such that he imagined the production having had an elderly veteran on set at all times to berate them into sticking squarely to that focus. This was not a criticism, as it was a very good version of that kind of movie, with great direction, a great cast led by Tom Hanks (who also wrote it), and the aforementioned streamlining also applying to the film's editing and pacing and ensuring that it was constantly moving and holding viewers' attention. He gave it an 8 out of 10 and said that, even as somebody who knew little about naval warfare, he had no problem getting invested in it.
  • Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever: Didn't review it, but he mentioned it at the end of his After Earth review, having just realized why the cat was known as "Grumpy," and asked why the meme needed its own movie.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Said that this film, an action-comedy that he compared to Firefly featuring an anthropomorphic raccoon and a tree-person as two of the main characters, was the riskiest thing that Marvel Studios has done since it started the MCU in the first place. After the teaser trailer came out, he devoted a Big Picture episode to examining it while explaining the backstory of the characters and their universe.

    When it came time to review it, he loved it, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, himself included. It felt like a throwback to the fun blockbusters of the '80s and '90s, with a rich world, great characters, lots of heart, and a sense of humor that felt like, of all things, classic Robert Altman (particularly M*A*S*H). It was also, paradoxically, both packed with more in-jokes and continuity nods than any of the other Marvel films and the most accessible film in the MCU to newcomers, with the film and its characters wisely never letting Continuity Porn take over the story. While the film's jokey feel occasionally threatens to derail it, especially towards the end when the stakes go up, the quality of its characters and world holds it together admirably. At the end of 2014, he named it his favorite movie of the year.

    The following week, he did a Big Picture episode discussing the unusual stinger at the end of the film and the character who appeared in it. The fact that the film used the scene for one last big joke was perfectly in keeping with its sense of humor, especially given that character's roots in the edgy, irreverent Underground Comics of the '70s, essentially pranking millions of moviegoers who had been trained to sit through the credits of superhero movies expecting some game-changing new character or plot revelations that will come into play in the sequels. Furthermore, the fact that Marvel decided to include him, of all characters, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, given his checkered past in movies, is pretty much an end zone dance on their part, an example of them telling the world that they can make a movie out of anything and still print money with it.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: He named it his fourth most anticipated film of 2017, with him interested in seeing if the novelty of the amazing first film manages to hold up in the sequel. When it came time to review it, he said that it did, in fact, pull it off. Marvel successfully overcame one of its biggest Achilles' heels (direct sequels to their films inevitably wind up feeling like Sophomore Slumps in comparison to the originals), mainly because, instead of spinning its wheels with world-building like Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World did, it instead took the opportunity to tell a smaller and more personal story with its characters. Returning writer-director James Gunn's excellence at character-driven storytelling paid off handsomely here, giving the story real stakes and some surprisingly heavy themes without sacrificing its sense of humor, producing a film that's about as good as the original even if it lacks the "new-franchise smell" and relies a bit too much on call-backs to it. He gave it three stars and said that, since people were probably going to see it anyway, they might as well do so. At the end of 2017, he named it his seventh-best movie of the year, though he admitted that the death of his own father that year probably played a role in why the film (which pursues its predecessor's themes of True Companions as surrogate families) made as great an impact on him as it did.
  • The Guyver: Prefers the first live-action film over the second one, which he finds to be boring. The first film had a great sense of humor about itself, and features a memorable scene of Mark Hamill turning into a giant bug, so what's not to love? Didn't review it, but he discussed it in the Big Picture episode "Moviebob's Forgotten Monsters".