action, comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, science fiction

October 16th, 2018 Movie – Ghostbusters (2016) (a.k.a. Ghostbusters: Answer The Call)

ghostbusters 2016

Oh, the shitstorm that was stirred up on the internet when this movie was announced. Ghostbusters is one of the greatest comedies to come out of the 80’s and while the sequel didn’t quite catch the same magic, it was still a good movie. A third movie had been talked about and rumored for years during the 90’s but nothing ever came of it. Then, over 20 years after the Ghostbuster were seen on the big screen, there was finally some serious talk about a third movie being made. However, when it was announced that it was going to be a reboot instead of a sequel and that it would star a female cast of Ghostbusters, the internet was lit up with people calling out in protest over the move, which led to many calling out the protests over their misogynistic tones. In any case, I wound up not seeing Ghostbusters (2016) in theaters but I did rent it off redbox as soon as it became available. I had considered buying it but that point became moot because it was one of the free gifts in my ultraviolet account so let’s see what I thought about this reboot.

The plot: As a tour group is going through the Aldridge Mansion in New York City, the tour guide is leading a group through the mansion when a candlestick suddenly falls by the basement door where Gertrude Aldridge had been locked away. That night, as the tour guide is closing up, he reveals that the candlestick was a prop used to scare the tourists. Suddenly, the basement door knob starts turning and the tour guide hears the sound of a woman screaming and banging on the door. The tour guide is then telekinetically attacked and as he tries to escape, he ends up running down into the basement, which is now unlocked. Realizing where he is, the tour guide tries to escape as green slime begins bubbling up from some cracks in the ground and a strange smoke heads towards him. The next day, Erin Gilbert is preparing to lecture at Columbia University when she is approached by Ed Mulgrave Jr, the owner of the Aldridge Mansion, who is holding a copy of the book she wrote years ago about the paranormal. Wrin tries to deny it but reluctantly admits it is her and asks what he wants. He tells her his belief that the mansion is haunted and asks that she check it out but she refuses, then asks how he got a copy of the book as she thought she had destroyed the only two copies. When Ed tells her that it was on Amazon, Erin goes to check for herself, keeping the results hidden from Dean Filmore when he enters her office to talk about her upcoming tenure hearing. Erin goes to see Abby Yates, her former partner that she had co-written to book with and Abby is unapologetic about putting the book for sale. Erin is introduced to Jillian Holtzmann, Abby’s new partner, and the two proceed to tease Erin about not believing in her old research. When Erin tells them why she is there, Abby and Holtzmann quickly grab some equipment and leave their lab, with Abby promising to take the book down until Erin gets tenure if she introduces them to Mulgrave. When they arrive at the mansion, they talk to Mulgrave and the tour guide across the street, then Abby and Holtzmann head inside, with Erin following after them. As they explore the mansion, Erin steps in some green goo and thinks that Abby and Holtzmann are pulling a prank on her by opening the basement door but Abby and Holtzmann swear they didn’t open the door. Suddenly, the ghost of Gertrude Aldridge exits the basement and Erin attempts to talk to it before the ghost spits ectoplasm on her, then flies off out of the mansion. Erin, Abby, and Holtzmann are excited about what happened but when Abby posts the video of the encounter online, Erin’s superiors see it and Filmore fires her. Erin goes to Abby and Holtzmann’s lab and complain to them about their video getting her fired. Abby says that they can now study ghosts full time, showing her people commenting about on their video of other hauntings, but when they go to ask for more money from the Dean of the college they teach at, he fires both Abby and Holtzmann. Meanwhile, subway ticket booth operator Patty Tolan is working her shift when a man approaches her and speaks with her briefly before wandering onto the tracks. As she goes to search for him, she sees a strange device on a electrical panel, which explodes, just before a ghost appears and frightens Patty away. The man, Rowan North, returns to his job at a hotel, discussing the sites where he has planted devices and says he has more to plant to break down the barrier. Erin, Abby, and Holtzmann go looking for a place to work out of and eventually find a place over a Chinese restaurant. As they get set up, Kevin Beckman shows up to apply for their receptionist job and Erin is attracted to him but Kevin seems to be somewhat of an idiot. As they discuss hiring him, Patty shows up at their office to tell them about the ghost she saw. The three head down to the subway station, which Patty explains was underneath the old prison where they electrocuted inmates. As they head down the tracks, they find the debris from the device that Rowan had planted just before the ghost appears again. Erin uses Holtzmann’s device to try and capture it and manages to snare it but when a train is approaching, they are forced to run while the ghost gets stuck on the incoming train. Elsewhere, Rowan has some guests complain about the ectoplasm that is dripping along the walls from the hotel, with one guest having a ghost possessing a rash on her back. Later, Rowan heads out to set the next bomb to destroy to barrier, going to a rock show where Ozzy Osbourne is performing.The girls return to their office to examine the pieces of the device they collected when they notice that Patty had followed them and wants to join them. When she tells them she can get them a car if they let her join, the girls agree but are not excited when she returns with a hearse. After Abby tests out Holtzmann’s portable version of her weapon, they see a news story talking about them, where famed paranormal debunker Martin Heiss calls the video of the ghost they encountered a fake. Erin says that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks because what they are doing matters, just as Kevin takes a call about a ghost at the theater. As they go to leave, Erin sees her boyfriend Phil outside and goes to speak with him but ends up leaving with the others when Holtzmann pulls up in the now customized hearse. When they get to the theater, the owner explains what happened and takes them to the lower level to try and find the ghost. The girls separate and Abby discovers the device Rowan left while Patty encounters the ghost, which has possessed a mannequin. Patty leads the possessed mannequin back to the others, where they use their proton packs to destory the mannequin but the ghost escapes and heads upstairs towards the concert. The girls chase after him and continue trying to catch the ghost, with the crowd thinking it is part of the show, but they eventually catch it. As they leave the theater to a crowd chanting Ghostbusters, Rowan is watching the news report on them and tells them to enjoy their victory while they can. Back at their lab, the girls are celebrating their successful capture of a ghost when Martin Heiss shows up and questions whether they really caught a ghost or not. Despite Abby trying to stop her, Erin gets fed up with his skepticism and releases the ghost, which grabs Martin and throws him out the window while it flies off. As the police question the Ghostbusters, Agents Hawkins and Rourke from Homeland Security show up to escort the Ghostbusters to the Mayor’s office. Once there, Mayor Bradley and his secretary explain that they know the Ghostbusters aren’t frauds and are aware of the ghosts in the city but want the Ghostbusters to stay out of it while Homeland does their job. As the news labels them frauds, Abby tells them they can’t let what others think stop them, listing other locations where ghosts have been spotted. Erin gets an idea and plots the locations on a map, discovering that the events are occurring on ley lines. As Abby goes to call Homeland about their theory, Erin discovers the lines intersect at the Mercado hotel and Patty tells them the history of that area, and the deaths that have occurred there. When she looks at the hotels website, she recognizes Rowan as the man that spoke to her at the subway and the Ghostbusters head out to investigate. When they get to the hotel, they head to the basement and find Rowan preparing to activate a giant device to destroy the barrier. Abby tries to talk Rowan out of his plan but he goes to activate the device, killing himself in the process. Holtzmann manages to shut off the device and discovers that Rowan had been reading Abby and Erin’s book but as Jennifer thanks them for saving the city, she tells them that Homeland will “fake arrest” them while she speaks with the press and says it was just a sad stunt by the Ghostbusters. Erin gets fed up with everyone calling them frauds and after attacking a man calling them fakes, she tells the others that she needs a break. Heading home, she starts looking through Rowan’s copy of their book when she sees the notes he wrote in it and his plan to kill himself in order to become a ghost and lead the army of ghost to purge the world of humanity. Erin tries to call the others and warn them about Rowan but when she sees a news report that Mayor Bradley is having a meeting with world leaders, she heads there to warn him but is thrown out of the restaurant. Meanwhile, Rowan possesses Abby, who begins destroying the Ghostbuster’s equipment. When Patty and Holtzmann try to stop her, they manage to free Abby from Rowan but he possesses Kevin, who heads back to the hotel and activates the portal. As ghosts swarm the city, Abby, Holtzmann, and Patty head out to the hotel to shut down the portal but the Ecto-1 ends up being stolen by Slimer. The three continue on foot but are attacked by a series of ghost balloons, ending up being trapped underneath a balloon of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man but Erin saves them. At the hotel, the possessed Kevin takes control of Agent Hawkins, Rourke, and police and national guard attempting to stop him, forcing them to dance for his amusement before freezing them in place. When the Ghostbusters show up, he summons some ghosts to fight them but they are able to defeat the ghosts and make their way into the hotel. Rowan taunts them for a bit, eventually leaving Kevin, and transforms into the ghost from their logo, then growing super-sized and begins attacking the city. Realizing he is too strong to attack, the Ghostbusters decide to try and fire into the portal and cross the streams in an attempt to close it but the proton packs aren’t powerful enough. Seeing Slimer driving the Ecto-1 towards them, Patty suggest using the equipment on top of the car, which is essentially a nuclear reactor, and they fire their proton packs at the car, steering it into the portal while shooting the equipment and causing it to explode. The explosion causes the portal’s energy to reverse and the ghosts are sucked back into it. Rowan is able to hold on but the Ghostbusters shoot him and he falls into the portal but grabs Abby and drags her in as he falls. With the portal closing, Erin ties herself off with the cable from a winch and jumps in to rescue Abby, while Patty and Holtzmann pull them both back before the portal closes. As people try to explain what happened and if the Ghostbusters had anything to save them, Jennifer approaches the Ghostbusters and says that while they will continue to disavow that what they do is real, Mayor Bradley wants to fully fund the Ghostbusters so they can be better prepared if something like this happens again. Erin has the Mayor help them buy an old firehouse to use for their new base and as they get themselves set up, Leslie tells them to come out to the roof, where they see various skyscrapers in the city lit up to say that they love the Ghostbusters. Later, as they are relaxing in Holtzmann’s lab, Patty is listening to an audio tape of what was recorded during the event and asks them who Zuul is.

Despite the initial backlash before the movie came out, Ghostbusters (2016) met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy — even if it can’t help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.” The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $229.1 million off of a $144 million budget (but is considered a bomb due to the high marketing and production costs) and while there was some initial talk of a sequel, the disappointing box office has put the idea on hold. However, IDW Publishing announced a 6 part mini-series that would team up the original Ghostbusters with the 2016 crew, with a second series continuing the adventures of the 2016 Ghostbusters.

Ok, the original movie is one that will never be topped, but this wasn’t as bad as many people thought it was going to be. The acting was good, with the 4 main women doing great jobs in their roles but Leslie Jones (Patty) and Kate McKinnon (Holtzmann) really stole the show with their performances. The writing was ok but I feel like this movie focused too much on the comedy aspects and not enough on the story itself. I think a part of that is due to the writing, as Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the original movie with Dan Aykroyd, was a genius when it came to writing comedy movies and his writing style made his movies memorable, if not outright iconic. One thing I did like was all the nods to the original movies, with 5 of the original actors making cameos in the movie, as well as showing the firehouse and several references to lines or scenes from the original movie. The special effects in the movie were pretty good and I liked how they decided to get creative in the uses of the proton pack, with them using them almost like whips and flinging the ghosts into other ghosts was pretty neat. So it is not as good as the original movie, and I honestly don’t think they were trying to out do it, but it is a fun movie to watch and a pretty decent entry into the franchise.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

July 3rd, 2018 Movie – Zombieland

zombieland

You ever find yourself watching a TV show or movie and have a “what if” moment regarding it? That is kind of what happens every time I watch today’s movie. See, this movie had originally been written as a TV series so every time I watch it I wonder what it would have been like as a TV show. Would it be a group of people going from city to city, having crazy adventures, or would each episode focus on a different person and what they would do. Unfortunately, we will never know as the TV pilot never came about and was instead, rewritten into today’s movie. Still, I won’t complain because zombie movies will always be entertaining. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Zombieland.

The plot: Two months ago, someone ate a burger infected with a mutated strain of mad cow’s disease, with the end result being that the person became a zombie. The virus quickly spread until there are very few people left alive in the country. A college student from Austin, TX is making his way towards Columbus, OH to see if his parents are still alive but as he stops at a gas station to use the restroom, he is attacked by some zombies. He manages to get away from them and back in his car but a zombie is in the back seat and tries to bite him and the student ends up crashing his car in an attempt to kill it. As he is walking along the highway, he sees a car speeding towards him and takes cover as it stops close to him. When the driver gets out and points his gun at the student, a brief stand off occurs before the student holds his thumb out and the driver motions him to get in the car. As the student gets in the car, he thanks the driver and asks his name but the driver chooses not to get too attached to other people. Deciding to refer to each other by their destinations, the student, Columbus, and the driver, Tallahassee, head out, with Tallahassee saying he will take him as far as Texarkana, stopping to look for Twinkies any chance he gets. While taking a break, Columbus thinks back to how he wound up in his current situation. A few days ago, he was at his apartment playing World of Warcraft when the girl from apartment 406 starts pounding on his door, asking for help. He lets her in and she starts telling him about how she was attacked by a homeless person but managed to get away. 406 ends up falling asleep on the couch next to him and he falls asleep as well but when he wakes up, he finds that she has turned and attempts to kill him but he is forced to kill her. Back in the present, Tallahassee stops at a grocery store to go looking for Twinkies and after killing the zombies inside, they encounter a young woman, who asks them to come with her. As Tallahassee follows her to the back, Columbus stops to make sure they have a way out, then follows after them. In the back, Tallahassee introduces him to the woman, Wichita, and her younger sister Little Rock. Wichita says that her sister was bitten and as they discuss what to do, Little Rock says that they should just shoot her. Columbus can’t do it so Tallahassee goes to do it but Wichita tells him to let her do it but when he hands her Columbus’s gun, she turns it on him, revealing that they were pulling a con on them. The girls take their weapons and Tallahassee’s Escalade and drive off, leaving Columbus and Tallahassee to fend for themselves. As the two walk through the town, they find an Hummer H2 with a bag full of weapons in the back and Tallahassee decides to go after the girls. They spot the Escalade seemingly abandoned and Tallahassee goes ahead to check it out but when he signals Columbus to join him, he discovers that Little Rock had surprised him. Wichita joins them in the H2 and they start driving when Tallahassee gets his gun back form Little Rock. A stand off occurs but Columbus breaks it up, saying that they have better things to do than try to kill each other with zombies all around them and Tallahassee and Wichita call a truce. As they continue driving along, Columbus finds himself attracted to Wichita and asks where they are going. Wichita tells him they are heading to Pacific Playland in Los Angeles. When he asks if she has heard anything about Columbus, Wichita tells him that Columbus is wiped out and Tallahassee motions to her and she realizes that his family was there and she apologizes. They keep driving and start bonding with each other and end up letting off some steam by destroying a gift shop at an Arizona rest stop. When they reach Los Angeles, Tallahassee decides that they should crash at Bill Murray’s mansion and they head there. As they split up to search the place, Tallahassee and Wichita encounter Bill Murray, who is disguised as a zombie so he can wander around town without being attacked. After hanging out with Bill Murray for a bit, they decide to have him play a joke on Columbus and Little Rock, who had found Bill’s theater room and were watching Ghostbusters. Bill walks in, pretending to be a zombie, and Columbus shoots him, then apologizes when he realizes that Bill wasn’t a zombie. After holding a funeral for Bill Murray, the 4 settle in for the night playing games. As they are playing, they are talking about everything and Columbus realizes that the puppy Tallahassee had said the zombies killed was actually his son. Later in the night, Tallahassee starts bonding with Little Rock while teaching her how to shoot and Columbus and Wichita end up drinking and talking together. When Wichita asks Columbus to dance with her and, starting to feel attracted to him, she is about to kiss him when Tallahassee interrupts them. Chastising herself for allowing herself to get close to him, Wichita decides to leave with Little Rock in the morning and head to Pacific Playland. When they get there, Wichita turns on all of the power for the lights and rides so they can enjoy themselves but they unknowingly attract all of the zombies in the area. Meanwhile, Columbus wants to go after Wichita and convinces Tallahassee, who wants to go to Mexico, to go with him. At the amusement park, Wichita and Little Rock see the horde of zombies approaching them and attempt to escape but when the zombies swarm the H2, they are forced to drive it off the pier and into the ocean, jumping out before it hits. The two make their way to the drop tower ride and take the lift up but as it starts to drop down, Little Rock shoots the control box so that they can stay out of the zombie’s reach. Tallahassee and Columbus arrive and when they see the girls’ predicament, Tallahassee causes a distraction to lure the zombies away, using the rides to help him as he kills zombies. He eventually heads into a shooting gallery and, after sealing it off, begins killing all of the zombies as they swarm the structure. Columbus is chased by some of the stragglers and heads into the haunted house, killing some of them inside while another ride takes out the rest. When he reaches the drop tower, he comes face to face with a clown zombie, forcing him to confront his fear of clowns in order to save them. After killing the clown zombie, Columbus uses the emergency brake to bring the lift down and he helps them out of the ride. Wichita hugs him and then whispers her real name, Krista, in his ear and the two kiss. The three then go looking for Tallahassee and Columbus finds him in a shop that sells deep fried Twinkies looking for the pastry. When Columbus hears a noise coming from the storage room, he fires into it only to discover it was some rats moving around and his shot had destroyed the box of Twinkies. Hearing their car starting up, the two run outside to see it starting to drive away and they think that the girls conned them again, but the car stops and Little Rock throws a Twinkie to Tallahassee, who happily eats it and the group leave the amusement park.

Zombieland met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.” As of 2017, all 4 lead actors have been nominated for Academy Awards in other movies, with Emma Stone being the only one to win an Oscar for her performance in La La Land. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $102.4 million off of a $23.6 million budget and was the top grossing zombie movie in the U.S. until World War Z came out. Due to the movie’s success, a sequel had been considered for years and the writers confirmed in 2017 that the script is finished and they are shooting for a tentative release date of October 2019, with all 4 main cast members returning for the sequel.

This is a fantastic movie and a lot of fun to watch. The acting was great, with Woody Harrelson stealing the show as Tallahassee. Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), Emma Stone (Wichita), and Abigail Breslin (Little Rock) were also good in their roles and the chemistry between all 4 of them really helped get you invested in their characters. I loved the Bill Murray cameo and thought that it was a great interlude from the rest of the movie. The story was pretty good and one thing I did like as they didn’t focus on how the zombies came about, just dove right into the fact that zombies were around and took it from there (yes, they did say what caused the zombies but it wasn’t a major plot issue). I did like how Columbus’s rules would pop up every now and then throughout the movie, as well as the “Zombie Kill of the Week”, which was something from the original TV show script but carried over into the movie. The special effects with the zombies were pretty good while the humor was spaced out really well, not being continuous like in Shaun Of The Dead, but keeping things light-hearted enough so that it wasn’t a total horror movie. Definitely a great movie and one well worth seeing.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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dark comedy, movie, movie review

May 25th, 2018 Movie – What About Bob?

what about bob

Well, this movie brings back some fun memories, and unfortunately, I have to somewhat date myself reliving them. So when this movie came out, I was finishing up the 8th grade, which was actually a pretty fun time in my life. However, unless your friends lived close by, or within bike distance, you had to rely on your parents, or your friend’s parents, or older siblings that are able to drive you places if you wanted to do any sort of hanging out. Luckily for me, my best friend back then (and still one of my closest friends) lived in biking distance and I was almost always over at his place. But I’m going off subject here so let’s get back to the movie. Myself and several of my friends went to go see this at the theaters, getting dropped off by various parents, and I thought it was incredibly funny. I bought it on VHS a couple of years later and eventually upgraded it to DVD shortly after it became available. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, What About Bob?

The plot: Dr. Leo Marvin is a rather egotistical psychologist in New York who has just written a new book, “Baby Steps” and calls his wife to tell her that Good Morning America will be coming to do an interview with him while they are on vacation. When a colleague calls and says he is quitting his practice and wants to refer one of his patients, Bob Wiley, to him and Leo agrees and when he asks his secretary to schedule an appointment for Bob, he learns that he has already called twice. When Bob arrives for his appointment, he basically reveals that he suffers from multiple phobias which almost cripple him when he has to leave his apartment. Leo gives Bob a copy of his book, explaining that it is a guide to setting small goals to help overcome larger problems, and says it should help him while he is on vacation for the next month. Bob becomes upset on hearing this and asks what will happen if he needs to talk to him while he is out of town but Leo assures him that if he has a problem, his colleague can help him or he can go to the emergency room and tells him that he will see him next month. The next day, Bob repeatedly tries calling Leo at his vacation home, even having a hooker pretend to be his sister, and Leo gets angry and tells him not to call him anymore. Bob then pretends to be a police officer and goes to speak to the telephone switchboard operator, telling them that Bob Wiley died, and learns where Leo is staying while on vacation. Boarding a bus to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, Bob eventually reaches the small community and begins yelling out for Leo. Leo and his family are buying groceries and hear Bob yelling out and he quickly tries to get them into the car and away from there but Bob spots him and heads their way. Leo maneuvers Bob away from the car and asks what he is doing there and Bob explains that apologizes for faking his death but had to see him. Leo convinces Bob to wait for him at the local diner and he will call and talk to him later but the diner’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Guttman, happily agree to take Bob to Leo’s house, as he had bought it out from under them while they were trying to purchase it. When Bob arrives at the house, he introduces himself to Leo’s family (his wife Fay, daughter Anna, and son Sigmund “Siggy”) and Leo takes him outside and tells him that he should take a vacation from his problems and Bob happily walks away back to town. The next day, Leo is shocked to find that Bob is still there and Bob explains that he has decided to take a vacation and stay with the Guttmans and he just wanted to stop by and say hi, not as a patient but as fellow vacationer. When Bob leaves, Leo tells his family that he doesn’t want them to have any contact with Bob but when Anna leaves to go hang out with friends, she gives Bob a ride back into town and invites him to go sailing with her friends. Back at their home, Leo is trying to teach Siggy how to dive when he hears Bob calling out to him and sees Bob on the sailboat with Anna, causing Leo to accidentally drop Siggy into the lake. When the sailboat returns to the dock, Leo is there waiting and quickly pulls Anna away from everyone and tries talking to her, using hand puppets, but Anna rebuffs his criticism and walks away. Bob returns to the Marvin’s house and speaks with Siggy, who is moping on the dock, and when Siggy suggests Bob learn how to dive next, Bob asks him to show him how. Siggy goes to explain to Bob how it works, then moves in front to show Bob how to do it. Anna is watching them from nearby and Fay sees them from the house and motions Leo to come look but when he sees Bob helping Siggy, he immediately gets upset when he isn’t there as Siggy makes his first dive. As Siggy celebrates and goes to do it again, Leo rushes onto the dock, shoving Bob out of the way and into the water in his rush to get to Siggy. Fay, Anna, and Siggy rush to help Bob, while Leo shouts at the Guttmans, who were staring at him disapprovingly from their boat. Later, Leo apologizes to his family for his actions, and mimes an apology to Bob, and tells them he wants Bob to leave but Fay invites Bob for dinner as a form of apolgy. During the course of the dinner, Leo starts choking on something and Bob performs the Heimlich maneuver on him to dislodge the object and Fay, Anna, and Siggy all praise Bob for his actions, ignoring the recovering Leo. As Bob further integrates himself with the Marvin’s, Leo is feeling more left out and comments that it should be time for Bob to leave but it starts to storm and Fay invites Bob to stay the night. Bob ends up sharing a room with Siggy and they end up talking about Siggy’s obsession with death then start joking around and yelling, causing Leo to enter the room and chastising them. Early the next morning, Leo goes to wake Bob, as he wants him out of the house before Good Morning America gets there but the camera crew arrive early and when they find out Bob is one of Leo’s patients, invite him to be on the show with Leo. During the show, Leo tenses up while Bob tells everyone about how the book helped him and can help others, essentially stealing the spotlight away from Leo. After the interview, Leo yells at Bob and his family, then apologizes and invites Bob to go for a drive so they can have some alone time to talk. Leo takes Bob to a hospital to be committed, but when he returns home, Fay says the hospital is on the phone, and Leo heads back to learn that the hospital staff are releasing Bob, as they don’t see any reason to have him admitted, but Leo’s colleague is worried about Leo. On the drive back home, Leo kicks Bob out of the car and leaves him on the side of the road but when Leo gets pulled over, he sees Bob has hitched a ride in a truck and as he passes them, Bob yells to the officer to have Leo home by 7. Leo ends up getting a flat tire and covered in mud from a passing car before he gets home, only to find that Fay has thrown him a surprise party for his birthday. When he sees Bob is there and puts arms around his sister Lily, Leo snaps and attacks Bob. After Leo is taken to bed and another doctor prescribes some medicine for him, Fay talks with Bob and convinces him that it would be best if he not be there when Leo wakes up. Meanwhile, Leo sneaks out of the house and breaks into the general store, stealing a shotgun and 20 lbs of black powder. Leo then finds Bob as he is walking back to the Guttmans and forces him into the woods, avoiding his family who is out looking for him. Leo then ties Bob up and straps the satchels of black powder to him, calling it “Death Therapy”, then happily heads back home, believing he will finally be rid of Bob. Meanwhile, Bob uses the situation to overcome his fears and is able to free himself, then goes to the Marvin’s house to thank Leo. Leo is sitting on the dock when his family returns and when they tell him Bob is gone, he acts surprised, saying he didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, Bob appears carrying a cake and when Leo asks Bob about the satchels, Bob says he left them inside and Leo turns to look at the house, just as it explodes and catches fire, causing the Guttmans to cheer from their boat. Leo goes into a catatonic state for several months, coming out of it just as Bob marries Lily. In a scroll at the end of the movie, it is learned that Bob went back to school to become a psychologist and wrote a best selling book called “Death Therapy”, which Leo is suing him over the rights.

What About Bob? met with mostly praise from the critics, holding an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss’ chemistry helps make the most of a familiar yet durable premise, elevating What About Bob? into the upper ranks of ’90’s comedies.” According to interviews with both stars, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss did not get along during filming of this movie. The tension actually helped contribute to the dynamic between their characters on screen. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $63.7 million off of a $35 million budget.

This is still a really funny movie to watch, though I can see where some might criticize some of it’s portrayals of mental health. I thought the acting was great, with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss doing great jobs in their roles of Bob and Leo respectively. The fact that they didn’t get along in real life actually makes the confrontational dynamic between them feel more authentic and helped make the comedy a lot better. I do feel a little bad for Julie Hagerty (Fay), Kathryn Erbe (Anna), and Charlie Korsmo (Siggy), as they were essentially just living props that helped build up the confrontation between Bob and Leo, giving it a much more personal feel. I thought the story was great, as Bob’s phobia’s and obsession with Leo ended up almost transferring to Leo; as he became obsessed with both getting rid of Bob and proving that Bob is crazy, though everyone else felt he was fine. The comedy was great, with some great timing among the dialogue and banter mixed with a few physical comedy aspects thrown in to make things a little more interesting. A really funny movie and definitely one worth watching when you need a laugh.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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