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List of "G" Movies

Gabriel Over the White House (1933) NR drama

More interesting as a historical artifact than entertainment in its own right. This was released a few weeks after the inauguration of FDR during the height of the Great Depression. This movie is either a direct message to FDR or just wishful thinking about the things he could do in office. This film begins with the inauguration of Judson Hammond (Walter Huston) whose first duties as president was to goof off. He plays games with his little nephew while a voice on the radio makes an impassioned plea for the president to alleviate widespread suffering and hunger. When the president crashes his car while out for a joyride, doctors don't expect him to recover. But then something supernatural happens, and he lives (it's implied that this is the Archangel Gabriel's doing). And that's when he decides to start working for the people -- declaring war on starvation, making sure everyone has, as he puts it, the basic necessities for keeping life in their bodies. He also fights against mobsters who are running roughshod over the country. They stage an assassination attempt -- which comes off quite shocking, actually. The movie then gets weird when he declares martial law because action on his initiatives are moving too slowly. I guess we should thank the lucky stars Gabriel anointed him to be a benevolent dictator. While more thought should've gone into how our political system actually works, the film nonetheless had noble enough ambitions. (Left-winged goals through right-winged means?) In addition, its narrative badly needed work, President Hammond having next to no character development, the supporting characters forgettable, the dialogue coming across clunky, the story is lazy. (Why did he need Gabriel? Why not use common sense?) But as I am a politics junkie, I do find this film fascinating. Starring: Walter Huston, Karen Morely, Franchot Tone, Arthur Byron, Dickie Moore, C. Henry Gordon, David Landau, Samuel S. Hinds, William Pawley. Directed by: Dean Parisot. C+

Galaxy Quest (1999) PG sci-fi/comedy

Tim Allen stars in this entertaining and well-written parody of the Star Trek hype. He plays a man who was the star of a popular television show, Galaxy Quest, from the early eighties. As time progressed, the show gained die-hard popularity, like Star Trek did. Allen, and the rest of the Galaxy Quest cast lives their post-television life signing autographs and making special appearances for a living, never doing anything important since their show was canceled. That is, until a quartet of off-the-wall aliens reach his house, who received television signals of the show and mistook it for "documented history" and calls for Allen and his crew to defeat Sarris, a bad alien-dude who threatens their very existence! Starring: Tim Allen, Sigorney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl M. Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Robin Sachs, Patrick Breen. Directed by: Dean Parisot. B+

The Game (1997) R thriller

Captivating and suspenseful, this film takes your senses and logic through a thrill-ride of plot twists and baffling fun! Michael Douglas stars as a business executive who receives a peculiarly strange gift from his brother: a chance to participate in a game. Not knowing exactly what this "game" is, Douglas reluctantly signs up for it and now he's in for a life-altering (and life-threatening) experience! Certainly worth watching; you won't want to get out of your seat once it begins! This is a great popcorn movie! Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, James Rebhorn, Deborah Unger, Peter Donat, Carroll Baker, Armin Mueller-Stahl. Directed by: David Fincher. A-

Gandhi (1982) PG drama

The one negative thing I'll say about this biopic is that it lacks an artful eye. This account of Mahatma Gandhi's life is straightforward to a fault, jumping conventionally from one episode to the next in chronological order. And it's quite a sprawling film -- clocking in at an impressive 191 minutes. The only event told out of sequence are the opening scenes, which depicts his 1948 assassination. Lest Gandhi's assassination become a movie spoiler. Right after that, we see him as a young man, a lawyer visiting South Africa in 1893. He's on a train ride and gets kicked out of his first class seat for being non-white -- the event that inspired him to remain in South Africa and embark on a lengthy, hard-fought battle of non-violent resistance for the better treatment of Indians. Encouraged by his success, he returns to India where he takes on a much greater adversary: The British Empire. He fights for his nation's independence while continuing a strict adherence to non-violence resistance. While this might not be the most exciting or engaging film, beyond the inherent interest of the icon that the film chronicles, it's done rather well. Especially Ben Kingsley, who inhabits Gandhi brilliantly -- particularly those warm, glowing eyes that only an inspiring purveyor of non-violence resistance could have owned. Starring: Ben Kingsley, Edward Fox, Candice Bergen, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills, Martin Sheen. Directed by: Richard Attenborough. A-

Garbo Talks (1984) PG-13 drama/comedy

I live for well-acted, bittersweet comedy-dramas with quirky premises. This one starts out with plenty of promise, but it unfortunately fizzles out so badly that by the conclusion I not only feel embarrassed for the characters but also the actors who had to play them. Anne Bancroft stars as Estelle Rolfe, an outspoken Left-Winged social activist who isn't afraid of a little jail time. Her soft-spoken grown son, Gilbert (Ron Silver), is tired of continually having to bail her out. However, tragedy strikes when Estelle is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, and she doesn't have very long to live. Just like that, everything she wanted to accomplish in life suddenly becomes impossible. Except she focuses on one thing. One thing that would be impossible or improbable for anyone, but she focuses on it regardless. She would like to meet her favorite film star, Greta Garbo. The problem of course is Garbo was notoriously reclusive. But Estelle's ever-devoted son is determined nonetheless to make this dream a reality. His search for Garbo becomes so obsessive that it starts to threaten his career and his marriage to Lisa (Carrie Fisher). On the whole, the movie has a great idea, and it makes for a pleasant, breezy watch. Bancroft in particular turns in a fantastic performance. But then as the film crawls to its conclusion, I get the sense that it is just getting drearier and sadder with no way out. That's despite the fact I get a sense that the script prescribed for Gilbert to gain a bit of sorely needed self-confidence out of this search. However, the movie never showed me how. Starring: Anne Bancroft, Ron Silver, Catherine Hicks, Carrie Fisher, Steven Hill, Howard Da Silva, Dorothy Loudon, Harvey Fierstein, Hermoine Gingold, Richard B. Shull. Directed by: Sidney Lument. C

Garden State (2004) R comedy/drama

When his mother dies, a conflicted young man (Zach Braff who also writes and directs) travels back to his home state after years being away. He catches up with his old friends, the tensions with his family are rekindled, but he also discovers a new love (Natalie Portman). The romance sequences are contrived, but the film in general is unique, interesting and touching. Starring: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaad, Ian Holm, Jean Smart, Ron Leibman, Ann Dowd, Method Man, Denis OíHare, Michael Weston, Jim Parsons, Jackie Hoffman. Directed by: Zach Braff. B+

Garfield: The Movie (2004) PG comedy

If you think the Garfield comic strip is lame, expect this film adaptation of it to be even lamer. Bill Murray provides the voice for that lasagna-eating feline who is abhorred that his owner Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) brings home a pet dog named Odie. Then, Garfield goes too far and locks Odie out of the house. Odie runs away and is kidnapped by a deranged television animal show host (Stephen Tobolowsky). Will Garfield help save Odie from this terrible doom? This might have been a good movie if he hadn't. Just like the cartoon strip, we see Garfield pushing off the chair a lot; we see Garfield eat a lot of food; and we see Garfield whine. It really isn't funny. Murray does the best he can with the awful dialogue and at least lends the film a tiny sliver of his goodness. Starring: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Debra Messing, Evan Arnold, Mark Christopher-Lawrence, Nick Cannon, Alan Cumming, Brad Garrett, Jimmy Kimmel. Directed by: Peter Hewitt. D

Gas, Food, Lodging (1992) R drama

This excellent character film follows the lives of a single mother (Brooke Adams) and her two teenage daughters (Ion Skye and Fairuza Balk) living in a small, New Mexico town. With great acting from the cast and engaging direction, this is an effective film. Starring: Brooke Adams, Ion Skye, Fairuza Balk, James Brolin, Robert Knepper, Chris Mulkey, David Landsbury, Donovan Leitch. Directed by: Allison Anders. A-

Gaslight (1944) NR thriller

It's not as tense as it would have been had it been in the hands of Alfred Hitchcock, but it still provides ample suspense and interest. Ingrid Bergman stars as a woman who is slowly going insane. She finds that she's becoming absent-minded, she's hiding valuable items in the most obscure places and she's starting to imagine things. Watch the movie as the story slowly unfolds. Ingrid Bergman's performance is absolutely astonishing; she earned her first Academy Award with this movie. Starring: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Dame May Whitty, Angela Lansbury, Barbara Everest. Directed by: George Cukor. B+

Gattaca (1997) PG-13 sci-fi

This is an intriguing look at a futuristic society where many people are genetically engineered to perfection. A man who wasn't genetically engineered always dreamed about going into outer space but can't because of his "imperfections.Ē If it wasn't for its overall tendency to be tremendously creative, Gattaca would have been nothing because it provides no surprise or suspense. Itís an awesome view, though! Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal, Alan Arkin, Loren Dean, Jayne Brook, Elias Koteas, Chad Christ, William Lee Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Ernest Borgnine. Directed by: Andrew Niccol. B+

The General (1927) NR comedy

An excellent silent that is done by none other than the master of silent comedies, Buster Keaton, in one of his most outstanding masterpieces. He plays a Confederate train engineer during the commencement of the Civil War who discovers that an army of Yanks just took off with one of his engines. And thus starts a great train race; one guy against dozens! Even though the aesthetic quality of the picture isn't great, the movie itself was wonderfully done! If you think you can overlook the commodity of modern filmmaking and look to an excellent silent film from the past, then you've got to see this! Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley, Joseph Keaton. Directed by: Buster Keaton. A+

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) NR musical

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are icons in this snappy and infectious musical. This is where Monroe performs "Diamonds are a Girls' Best Friend." One of those Golden-Age-of-Hollywood moments that managed to reverberate through the generations and for very good reason. The song is wonderful, the choreography dazzling, and Monroe is magnetic. Here, she and Russell play Lorelei and Dorothy -- showgirls and best friends with only one glaring issue that divides them: Their taste in men. Lorelei is determined to snag herself a millionaire, reasoning she should find someone who would ensure that she lives comfortably. But Dorothy is all about the men with good looks and athletic builds. They go on a cruise across the Atlantic, and when they get to their destination, Lorelei plans to marry her nebbish but filthy rich sweetheart, Gus (Tommy Noonan). Even though Gus' father forbids it, as he figures Lorelei to be nothing more than a treasure-hunter. The story is a familiar one, but it does reach a conclusion that seemed to sneak up behind me and actually come across thoughtful. This is certainly an entertaining film throughout. Most people will watch this film for the song and dance routines, which are amazing, but I actually found myself also getting drawn into the story and characters. Definitely a worthwhile classic. Starring: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Marcel Dalio, Taylor Holmes, Norma Varden, Howard Wendell. Directed by: Howard Hawks. A-

Gettysburg (1993) PG-13 war

This drawn-out Civil War epic gives a good depiction of the Civil War, but it is boringly tiresome until the edge-of-your-seat battle scenes starts to actually give you something to watch. The character development is terrible; it's difficult keeping track of them! In order to fully appreciate, this 4 hour long movie will have to be viewed again and few people are willing to take the time. On the bright side, the acting is great! And the film, I suppose, was meant only to give an accurate view of the battle on the historical standpoint. ONLY for history buffs. Star Jeff Daniels follows this performance up with another historical masterwork: Dumb and Dumber. Starring: Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Sam Elliott, Maxwell Caulfield, Kevin Conway, C. Thomas Howell, Richard Jordan, Royce D. Applegate, John Diehl. Directed by: Ronald Maxwell. B-

Ghost in the Shell (1995) NR (R-equivalent) animated

This anime cyber-punk film is hard to follow, but who would have expected anything less? This is only for those who didn't get enough of The Matrix, and they'll probably treasure this. In a future society, everything is connected via the Internet, even life. A female cyborg (who is naked a lot) goes after a hacker called "The Puppetmaster." Poor English-language voice acting undermines the effort. Directed by: Mamoru Oshii. B

The Ghost of Peter Sellers (2018) NR documentary

The production of the 1974 comedy Ghost in the Noonday Sun starring Peter Sellers was doomed from the get-go. Its most significant misstep being its ambition. This was a pirate movie that was filmed on an actual ship in the open sea. Not in a studio. AN ACTUAL SHIP. The vessel was beautiful, colorful, and custom-made. However, the producers decided to cut costs by refusing to upgrade its failing engine, which had a tendency of breaking down. Every day. Even worse was the acrimonious behavior from Sellers. Director of the project, Peter Medak, who also directed this documentary, was already aware that Sellers was difficult to work with. But nothing like he imagined on the set of this film. He was depressed over a recent break-up with his girlfriend Liza Minnelli. He also refused to film scenes with one of the co-stars Thomas Baptiste. He even at one point faked a heart attack so that he could get a few days off. It was a nightmarish production and although the film ended up being completed, it turned out a total mess. It didn't even get released until a decade later, and it's quite obscure. As a Peter Sellers fan, I found the stories about him told through this documentary quite fascinating. In particular I find it almost tragic that such a brilliant actor had to battle so many demons -- and that he did so completely without regard for the well-being of those around him. Directed by: Peter Medak. B

Ghost World (2001) R comedy

Okay, Steve Buscemi did play the guy with the wood chipper on Fargo, but Ghost World probably contains the guyís best screen performance. The film follows the exploits of a cynical high school graduate whoís not quite sure what to do with the rest of her life. In the meantime, she becomes entangled with the middle-aged, nebbish music collector Steve Buscemi. The film is both quirky, funny and engaging. Wonderful direction from Zwigoff. Starring: Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Illena Douglas, Bob Balaban, Teri Garr, Stacey Travis, Rini Bell, Tom McGowan. Directed by: Terry Zwigoff. A-

Ghost Writer (1989) PG comedy

Tepid comedy about writer Angela Reid (Audrey Landers) moving into the former home of a Marilyn Monroe type movie star (Judy Landers) who'd died 30 years previous under suspicious circumstances. To Angela's shock, the home is occupied by the actress's ghost. Together, Angela and the ghost try to piece together the events surrounding her death. The film is likable enough, even if it has nothing unique to offer--except I suppose the chance to see John Travolta's less talented brother Joey appear as a character named Beejay. Expect a ton of jokes where Angela is talking to the ghost in public and people nearby think she's talking to them. Starring: Audrey Landers, Judy Landers, John Matuszak, David Doyle, George 'Buck' Flower, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, Joey Travolta, Jeff Conaway. Directed by: Kenneth J. Hall. C-

Ghostbusters (1984) PG comedy

This hysterical comedy is about New York becoming infested with ghosts and a newly formed crew called "The Ghostbusters" capturing them with some sort of vacuum cleaner. The excellent casting of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd among others is what makes this film especially pleasing. It was a huge success at the box office when released. Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Ernie Hudson, David Margulies. Directed by: Ivan Reitman. B+

Ghostbusters II (1989) PG comedy

This sequel to the 1984 blockbuster is only an adequate follow up. The Ghostbusters' mission is to destroy the ghost of a mad alchemist who remains hidden within a giant painting. A rather stupid and uninspired plot drags this film along, but the wonderfully comic acting from these brand-name comedians makes the film a pleasure to watch. The special effects are great, though! Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Peter MacNicol, Annie Potts. Directed by: Ivan Reitman. C+

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) PG-13 comedy

Another reboot that pretends that the previous reboot never existed. (That all-female Ghostbusters movie from 2016? Have no idea what you're talking about . . . ) Phoebe (Carrie Coon) is the precarious granddaughter of Egon who had passed away recently. She's completely oblivious that her grandfather had been a Ghostbuster, or even what a Ghostbuster is. You see, the world had been devoid of ghosts since the 1980s, and thus society had no need to even contemplate their existence since then. Phoebe ends up stumbling upon the remnants of her grandfather's Ghostbusting past when her down-on-their-luck family relocates into his old farmhouse. Phoebe's summer school teacher (Paul Rudd), who remembers the Ghostbusters from the old days, helps her understand what big deal her grandfather really was. And they also accidentally set loose a few ghosts who'd been lingering around all this time into some old forgotten traps. Oops. While the premise might have had some promise, I found it far too half-baked. How could people just forget that time New York City was temporarily overrun by a giant marshmallow, or that one time the Statue of Liberty just got up and started walked around? Nonetheless, I did overall enjoy this film. The jokes are consistently breezy and likable. The atmosphere and pacing is overall faithful in recreating the spirit of the first film, even if the cast doesn't have the same lightening-in-a-bottle chemistry. Although a cast-member I hope to see in future installments is Logan Kim as Podcast -- consistently funny as a kid who walks around everywhere he goes with professional recording equipment. Starring: McKenna Grace, Finn Worlfhard, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver. Directed by: Jason Reitman. B-

Gidget (1956) NR comedy

Stands for girl midget. This once-happenin' teenage surfing-flick is a film recommended for those few people who want to travel back to those beach party days. Sandra Dee stars as a girl with boy problems. And then she pursues the normal route that most frustrated teenage girls do: she purchases a surfboard and become the only female member of a surfer gang. Romance abounds. Sometimes considered a classic, Gidget spawned many sequels and some television series. This film was very popular in the 50s. Starring: Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O'Connell, Joby Baker, Yvonne Craig, Doug McClure. Directed by: Paul Wendkos. C+

Gigi (1958) NR musical

I just wish somebody could answer me this question: why don't they make movies like this anymore? Gigi is a glorious, pleasant musical with many famous numbers including "Thank Heaven For Little Girls," "I Remember It Well," and "The Night They Invented Champagne." This is a recommended film that contains valuable lessons for both children and adults. And pretty much everyone can expect to vomit in the trashcan. Or they can enjoy the movie, maybe. Whichever they would prefer. Starring: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chavalier, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor, Isabel Jeans, Jacques Bergerac, John Abbott, Marilyn Sims, Lydia Stevens, Jack Trevan. Directed by: Vincente Minnelli. A-

The Girl From Paris (2001) R drama

Charming French film starring Michel Serrault as a single woman who moves to the countryside to run a farm ... however, the previous owner of the place (Mathilde Seigner) still lives there and is a bitter old man. Ö The plot might be predictable and the pace might be a bit too leisurely, but itís a genuine film all the same. Starring: Michel Serrault, Mathilde Seigner, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Frederic Pierrot, Marc Berman. Directed by: Christian Carion. B+

Girl in the Picture (2022) TV-MA documentary

Documentary about the death of a mysterious young woman found dead alongside a road in Oklahoma. It's also about a man named Franklin Floyd who abducted a boy from an elementary school. How these two horrific events are related and intertwine is a fascinating watch -- and the way this film tells it filled with all kinds of salacious details. A must for the true crime aficionado, this story is loaded with tremendous twists and turns, and it all resolves into a satisfying conclusion -- that focuses on the victims and who they were, and who they might have become had they lived. Directed by: Skye Borgman. B+

Girl Most Likely (2013) R comedy

This movie doesn't know if it wants to be poignant or if it wants to be madcap. I appreciate the effort, at least. Kristin Wiig turns in a pretty good performance as a woman at the end of her rope. Her boyfriend breaks up with her and subsequently ignores her. In a last-ditch effort to get his attention, she attempts suicide. Not only does this fail to achieve its intended results, but she gets released into the care of her mother (Annette Bening), who she despises. The film is highlighted by the occasional funny, sometimes outlandish, situation--an example being Wiig not so covertly shoplifting a library book. The film's message about spending time with people who care about you instead of those who don't is a fine one--it just needs to be a little less muddled getting there. Starring: Kristin Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Christopher Fitzgerald, Natasha Lyonne, June Diane Raphael, Michelle Hurd. Directed by: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. C+

Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003) PG-13 drama

It might not be a surprise that a film based on a 17th century painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer is a wonderful thing to look at. The interior designs and the Delft, Holland street scenes appear authentic and are feasts to the eyes. It also should be no surprise that a film with such finite inspiration as a painting in a museum would suffer from a lack of premise. The story was dreamed up by a novelist who undoubtedly gazed at that painting--the mysterious girl with a bewitching glance, her lips parted--and imagined a story about who she was and her relationship with Vermeer. This is merely a simple story about an unfulfilled romance. Nonetheless, I find the slow moving pace of this film to be quite absorbing. Scarlett Johansson embodies the the girl from the painting well--gentle but self-assured, serious but imaginative. Vermeer (Colin Firth) is less of an interesting figure, a bewildered man absorbed in his art, dodging attempts by his terminally unhappy wife he doesn't love (Essie Davis) to dominate him. It's a well done film all-around but leaves me with a feeling that it could have been more. Starring: Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt, Cillian Murphy, Essie Davis, Joanna Scanlan, Alakina Mann. Directed by: Peter Webber. B-

The Glass House (2001) PG-13 thriller

If you're looking for simply a bad movie, then I recommend this. It's about a teenager, Ruby Baker, played by a potentially emerging star, Leelee Sobieski, and her brother, Rhett, played by a non-potentially emerging star, Trevor Morgan, whose parents die in a tragic automobile accident. Former neighbors, Terry (Stellen Skarsgard) and Erin Glass (Diane Lane) who live in a glass house (so much for creativity!) take custody of the children. And these parents are evil. Whoopdeedoo. Starring: Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgard, Bruce Dern, Kathy Baker, Trevor Morgan, Chris Noth, Michael O'Keefe, Rita Wilson, Gavin O'Connor, Vyto Ruginis, Carley Pope, Chind Shavers, Agnes Bruckner, Rutanya Alda. Directed by: Daniel Sackheim. C-

The Glass Menagerie (1987) PG drama

Director Paul Newmanís wise direction doesnít do anything flashy; it just lets Tennessee Williamís powerful play speak for itself. This character study stars Joanne Woodward as an aging southern belle who continuously struggles in her relationship with her disenchanted son (John Malkovich) and her shy daughter (Karen Allen). The entire cast shines in their roles. Starring: Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen, James Naughton. Directed by: Paul Newman. A-

The Glass Slipper (1955) NR fantasy

I feel awful for having such a curmudgeonly reaction to a harmless little fairy tale film. But in my defense, this one's quite awful. It's plagued with a rudimentary, stagy production that looks so poor I'd call it amateurish. Perhaps the filmmakers wanted to make it look like the pages of a storybook illustrated in water color, but it just doesn't work for me. The sum of this film's value is that it gives Leslie Caron an excuse to ballet dance. She's a great dancer, but there isn't anything artful or poetic about the choreography. Just Caron twirling around, looking pretty amongst men who have bulges in their tights. And her Cinderella is insufferable--whiny, dull, horrible. For the first time it seems like I understand why her stepmother and stepsisters hate her so much. At one point, she walks around the house barefoot because she doesn't feel like wearing shoes, not because her stepmother doesn't buy her shoes. She has a secret place in the woods where she likes to hang out but one day finds the land's handsome Prince there incognito. First she chastises him for ruining her special spot. Then they spark a rapport. They'll meet again at a palace ball where they won't recognize one another. Starring: Leslie Caron, Michael Wilding, Elsa Lanchester, Amanda Blake, Lisa Daniels, Barry Jones, Estelle Winwood, Keenan Wynn, Lurene Tuttle, Liliane Montevecchi. Directed by: Charles Walters. D+

Glory (1989) R war

Matthew Broderick stars as Robert Gould Shaw, a man who is assigned to lead a Union Army of black soldiers in the Civil War who are ready and willing to fight but are prevented from doing so by higher officials. Will these men ever get to fight against their southern foes? This exceptional film has perfect character development and first-rate action sequences. It should be noted that it's even historically accurate, with the exception of some of the characters. It is paced well and it's perfect for Civil War buffs. A superior film that is recommended to everyone! Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher, John Finn, Donovan Leitch, John David Cullum, Cliff De Young. Directed by: Edward Zwick. A+

Go West (1925) NR comedy

Buster Keaton is irrepressible in this compilation of three short films, which contains plenty of slapstick fun. The first film, which is the best, is about Keaton's journey west and becomes an unlikely cowboy. But his cows get into trouble. Can Keaton use his brainpower to save the herd? Keaton's clever comedy has hardly lost any of its spunk with time. Starring: Buster Keaton, Howard Truesdell, Kathleen Myers, Ray Thompson, Joe Keaton. Directed by: Buster Keaton. A-

Go West (1940) NR comedy

This later Marx Brothers effort is a joy! It was done in 1940 after several Marx sinkers were released into theaters. As the title suggests, the Marx Brother trio goes to the Wild West to make their fortune in gold, but several obstacles and different propositions cross their paths. Funny slapstick highlights this comedy and it will definitely please fans. Starring: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, John Carroll, Diana Lewis, Walter Woolf King, Arthur Houseman. Directed by: Edward N. Buzzell. B+

Goal! The Dream Begins (2006) PG sports

This sports film is strictly by the book. It's about an impoverished illegal immigrant in Los Angeles (Kuno Becker) who is without a future but a phenomenally talented soccer player. He dares to pursue his dream to go professional much to the disapproval from his father. He is accidentally discovered by an ex-English soccer star (Stephen Dillane) who opens the door for him with the Newcastle team in the U.K. Unlike the film's subject, the script totally lacks ambition. It embodies every tired cliche typical of sports movies. Furthermore, the title character is one-dimensional, which makes it difficult for him to inspire anyone, and Becker isn't much of a commanding lead in the film, either. Nevertheless, this movie is so good-natured that it's difficult not to smile in spite of it all. Starring: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Stephen Dillane, Anna Friel, Marcel Iures, Sean Pertwee, Cassandra Bell, Kieron Dyer. Directed by: Danny Cannon. C

The Godfather (1972) R crime

This eloquently and brilliantly fleshed-out gangster drama spans over the course of a decade -- mid-1940s through the mid-1950s and is simultaneously fascinating and nightmarish. Nearly three hours of blood feuds, political intrigue, double crossings, and assassinations (attempted or otherwise). Perhaps the most famous scene of the film is when when a movie director wakes up one morning and notices he's covered in blood. He unfurls his sheets to find the decapitated head of his prized race horse between his sheets. That bit of gruesomeness didn't even have anything to do with the family's key business. It was only done to "convince" the director to put up Vito Corleone's nephew as lead actor in his latest picture. Vito, played to mumbly perfection by Marlon Brando, is known affectionately as The Godfather -- patriarch of the Corleone crime family as well as its business head. His children are also involved with the business to varying degrees. Sunny (James Caan), the hot-headed eldest seems most naturally equipped to follow in his father's footsteps; Fredo (John Cazale), the useless middle child; Michael (Al Pacino) who was never earmarked to play a major part in the family but has it rather thrusted upon him; Connie (Talia Shire), the daughter whose extravagant wedding is depicted in this film's opening scenes but leads to a tumultuous marriage; and finally Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), their lawyer who is so loyal that he's effectively an adopted member. This is a complex film, but it's fascinating film to watch and absorb -- rather like studying how pieces move on a chessboard. No question why this is considered a cinematic landmark. It's an brazen and daring epic with vividly realized characters and drama and intrigue that oozes out of every corner. It's something to be cherished, even for someone like me who don't always go for violent, grim crime films, as the likes of this film doesn't come around too often. Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Diane Keaton, Abe Vigoda, Talia Shire, Gianni Russo, John Cazale, Ruby Bond, Al Martino, Morgana King, Lenny Montana. Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola. A+

The Godfather Part II (1974) R crime

Lightning not only struck twice, but it left a deeper mark. This is one profoundly affecting film -- even more so than its predecessor. While I would also say it is far less focused, it also spans a far greater length of time (70 years as opposed to the previous' 10) all stuffed in a still foreboding three-and-a-half-hours. This film tells two different stories: 1) Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), now patriarch of the Corleone crime family, attempting to legitimize the business by taking them from the grimy streets of New York to the posh high rise casinos Las Vegas; 2) flashbacks to the early 20th Century when a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) gets tangled up (and takes over) the mafia to begin with. It's really amazing how engaging this film is despite it essentially being the two slices of bread of first film's cold cuts. While that film I'd say was more exciting -- it being a rather gruesome chapter in the family's history -- this sequel is more intriguing somehow. It's deeper and more existential. It's a real frightening look into the intense isolationism that Michael has to maintain to remain figurehead of a powerful crime family. Stick with it to the final scene, which is among the most utterly heartbreaking captured on film. The production standards throughout this are breathtaking, even exceeding the first film, which is saying something. There are so many scenes here that make me want to soak in them. Such an experience. Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Lee Strasberg, Guiseppe Sillato, James Gounaris, Tere Livrano, Bruno Kirby, Gastone Moschin, Leopoldo Trieste, Talia Shire. Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola. A+

The Godfather Part III (1990) R crime

While it's universally agreed that this third film of the Godfather Trilogy is far inferior to the ones that preceded it, this is nonetheless a fitting conclusion. It's paced exactly like the first two films, the production standards are just as high, and the performances from its high-profile cast are more seasoned than ever. (There's one exception -- Francis Ford Coppola's amateur actress daughter Sophia, who seems out of place.) Al Pacino reprises his role as Michael Corleone, the quickly aging crime family patriarch who -- despite promises decades ago -- still hadn't come around to legitimizing his business. He also hadn't come around to reconciling all the guilt he's accumulated over the years. His extravagant contributions to charity are ultimately empty gestures although they get plenty of fanfare. But that also includes a bid to give $600 million to the Vatican in exchange for their shares of a massive international real estate business, which causes immense controversy. Meanwhile, bad blood boils with his rival (Joe Mantegna) -- thanks partly to his hot-headed illegitimate nephew Vincent (Andy Garcia) biting his ear. But Vincent proves himself to be loyal and thus becomes an integral part of the business. One hitch, though: he also has to shake himself of a burgeoning romance with Michael's daughter Mary (Sofia Coppolla) -- on account of she being his first cousin. (Icky.) Overall, while this is rightfully considered an inferior sequel, cut it some slack: those films were nearly impossible films to follow, and this is quite an engaging experience in its own right. This film is also available in recut form as The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Starring: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy Garcia, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda, Sofia Coppola, Raf Vallone, Franc D'Ambrosio, Donal Donnelly, Richard Bright, Al Martino. Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola. A-

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1981) PG comedy

Cultures clash when Xi (N!xau), member of an isolated tribe in the Kalahari Desert, sees a glass Coca-Cola bottle fall from the sky. (Really, it was thrown out the window of a small airplane.) He thinks it's a gift from the gods, and he takes it back to the tribe. Being completely isolated from civilization, they've never seen such a thing. However, they manage to find many practical uses for it. The one glaring problem with it: the gods only sent one. And it isn't long before the tribespeople start fighting over it. This was the first time members of the tribe ever fought about anything. Xi then comes to the conclusion that this "gift" is in fact evil, and he must get rid of it by throwing it off the end of the earth. Thus, he journeys on foot, Coca-Cola bottle in hand, on a long cross-country journey where he encounters many types of people, their peculiar customs, and their cryptic contraptions. He meets Andrew (Marius Weyers), a bumbling biologist, escorting a teacher (Sandra Prinsloo) to a remote schoolhouse. He also helps rescue school children who are being held hostage by a roving band of guerrillas. This quirky, unique comedy plays much of the time like a documentary. Other times, like a slapstick comedy. And while it doesn't have any big laughs, it has plenty of small ones -- mainly stemming from Xi's earnest, outsider observations of Western society. Starring: Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, N!xau, Louw Verwey, Michael Thys. Directed by: Jamie Uys. B+

The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) PG comedy

The sequel to that hilarious irrelevant pseudo-documentary offers much of the same. Even though it's not as clever as its predecessor, the plot is a bit more followable. Two small children Bushmen venture into the back of a truck. Having never seen a truck before, they become trapped inside once it begins moving thus sending them far, far away. N!xau, the Bushman hero of the original adventure, sets off to look for them. There, he meets a lost businesswoman, pilot and a pair of enemy soldiers. It's an enjoyable flick; if you liked the original then you will like this, too! Starring: N!xau, Lena Farugia, Hans Stydom, Eiros, Nadies, Erick Bowen, Treasure Tshabalala, Pierre Van Pletzen, Lourens Swanepoel. Directed by: Jamie Uys. B+

Godzilla (2014) PG-13 sci-fi

The film gets right what it needs to get right. The monsters look like behemoths, and people look terrified. It's one thing watching gigantic monsters battle at the Golden Gate Bridge, it's another when you're watching from the point of view of screaming kids on a bus. This is the second Hollywood reboot of the celebrated Toho franchise, Hollywood absolves itself over that 1998 catastrophe. But it's still far from perfect. The storyline, involving a species of giant monster that feeds on nuclear energy known as the MUTO, also enemies of Godzilla, could have been more complex and riveting. The humans are uninteresting -- just there to make poor decisions and react to disasters the monsters cause. The special effects are state-of-the-art, but nothing more than what's considered a minimum requirement these days. Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston, T.J. Storm. Directed by: Gareth Edwards. B-

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) PG-13 sci-fi

This creature feature isn't exciting at all, mainly because it's acted out by wooden characters in war rooms. Even worse, so many of the action sequences -- when we do get those -- are obscured in a dark, hazy blue fog. What's the point of an action film when you can hardly see the action? Perhaps this novel idea could have been used to some advantage, but this film was clearly not up to the task. Albeit I'll give it some just credit at least for not looking like the previous films. But dreariness without any kind of poetic or ethereal beauty to it quickly becomes unbearable. The premise behind this film is actually kind of decent. It centers around a group of eco-terrorists who decide to awaken every dormant titan monster there is out there due to a belief that the creatures will rid the earth of the one disease that plagues it most: humanity. A film with that kind of story behind it with the potential of sheer worldwide devastation ought to have been utter eye candy. But as I said before, you can hardly see anything. Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Wantanbe, Zhang Ziyi. Directed by: Michael Dougherty. C-

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack (2001) NR sci-fi

As expected, this Godzilla movie is stupid and features actors walking around in silly rubber suits. In this world, Japan hadn't seen a Godzilla attack in 50 years (apparently the other 100,000 Godzilla movies were all fakes) and nobody wants to believe the warning signs that the evil lizard about to have another go at Tokyo. Well, he does, and the humans recruit Mothra and King Ghidorah to fend it off. But is that enough? Fans of this franchise hail this entry to be among the best; I don't know what they see in it. Itís a tedious view. In Japanese with English subtitles. Starring: Ryudo Uzaki, Chiharu Niiyama. Directed by: Shusuke Kaneko. C-

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) PG-13 horror

After two "MonsterVerse" features that lacked sprawling city-leveling climaxes, we finally get to see two behemoths (King Kong and Godzilla) pound each other into skyscrapers. These buildings are outlined with neon lights, a nice touch. If you're going to make synthetic, computer generated worlds anyway, by all means, make them vivid. I also approve of the wide variety of locations used in this film. Globetrotting monsters. Underwater battles. Spooky caves. Snowy mountains. The CGI is beautiful. A moment that gets me excited is the unveiling of Mechagodzilla. I know I'm watching a good monster film when I get excited just by one sheer reveal of one. There's a lot going on in this film, but its pacing and storyline are simple enough for me to follow it all clearly. They also correct a critical error from Skull Island and brought the franchise back to its roots in a way by making Kong a relatable hero figure. I also find that tiny girl in this film adorable, the way she interacts with that beast. Her name is Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the last native of Skull Island. She had spent several years secretly teaching Kong sign language. How a creature as gigantic as him is able to keep anything secret from anyone is admittedly a bit of a brainteaser, but I'll gladly buy it because I enjoyed watching their relationship so much. The film's glaring weak spot is storyline. Nice that I can follow it, but it's a shallow one and it doesn't offer much in terms of surprises. It has to do with Godzilla suddenly going on a rampage, and the shadow government agency that oversees these monsters bringing in King Kong to stop him. Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza Gonzalez, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle. Directed by: Adam Wingard. B

Goin' To Town (1935) NR comedy

Mae West is Cleo, a singer in a saloon who becomes engaged to a wealthy cattle rancher. But he tragically dies before the wedding day. Cleo inherits his oil-rich land, making her one of the wealthiest people in the state. Eager to get into high society, she enters a horse into an Argentinian race, but she gets on the wrong side of a distinguished society lady. Plot-wise, this is involved for a Mae West film, but the best of her films are those light on plot and full of good jabs and flirty one-liners. There are unfortunately few chuckles here. The film concludes with West insufferably performing in an opera. Starring: Mae West, Paul Cavanagh, Gilbert Emery, Marjorie Gateson, Tito Coral, Ivan Lebedeff, Fred Kohler, Monroe Owsley. Directed by: Alexander Hall. C

Going Greek (2001) R comedy

Instead of spending money on making this movie, they should have bought that poor girl better breast implants. Starring: Dylan Bruno, Laura Harris, Simon Rex, Dublin James, Chris Owens, Steve Monroe, Oliver Hudson, Harvey Silver, Todd Giebenhain, Corey Pearson. Directed by: Justin Zackham. F

Going in Style (1979) PG comedy

This pedestrian comedy is about three elderly men who rob a bank only to discover they have no idea what to do with the money. It starts out entertaining, but it ends drab, depressing and boring. At least itís a thoughtful film even though the message is hazy. Starring: George Burns, Art Carney, Lee Strasberg, Charles Hallahan, Joseph Sullivan, Margot Stevenson, Jean Shevlin, Pamela Payton-Wright, Betty Bunch. Directed by: Martin Brest. C

Golden Eighties (1986) NR musical

A starkly unique Belgian musical. The era-appropriate new wave music is delightful and catchy, if somewhat trifling, and there's an adorable gimmick in the choreography in which the cast sings and dances while looking directly at the camera. Its storyline, at least on the surface, involves several love triangles bubbling amongst its colorfully dressed characters. The setting is several stores within a shopping mall -- a salon, a clothing store, and a cafe. However, if you look more deeply beneath its cute veneer, you quickly notice there's much more going on. One love triangle with grim tenets involves a former US WWII serviceman (John Berry) who reunites with an old flame from the war -- the salon's Polish-Jewish owner (Delphine Seyrig). The film also has satirical elements that are quite stinging -- barbs thrown at capitalism and consumer culture. When I first started watching this film, I was tempted to immediately compare it to Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Indeed, the movies look similar and, of course, they're both in French. It might be fair to say that fans of the former (which indeed I am) might also appreciate this film for similar reasons. The important difference: Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a straightforward (and deeply involving) romance film; Golden Eighties while it looks and behaves similarly, is ultimately a different beast. Starring: Delphine Seyrig, Nicolas Tronc, Fanny Cottencon, Lio, Pascale Salkin, John Berry, Jean-Francois Balmer, Myriam Boyer, Charles Denner. Directed by: Chantal Akerman. A-

Goldfinger (1964) NR spy

Riveting James Bond flick about multimillionaire, Goldfinger, whoís fixiní to rob Fort Knox. The film is full of exciting action sequences and a suspenseful plot. Sean Connery is, once again, great in his role and the supporting cast is excellent. Being third in the extensive James Bond series, this is certainly one of the best. This might be a good movie to start with if your looking to get into the James Bond mode. Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Harold Sakata, Tania Mallet. Directed by: Guy Hamilton. A-

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) PG-13 action

Nicolas Cage stars in this engaging film as a former car thief who is forced by an evildoer to steal fifty cars or his brother will be killed. Incredible eye candy makes this enjoyable popcorn fare, and it helps that Cage, who is usually enjoyable, leads the cast. The script seems too illogical at times even by action movie standards. Starring: Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie, T.J. Cross, William Lee Scott, Scott Caan, James Duvall, Will Patton, Delroy Lindo, Timpthy Olyphant, Chi McBride, Robert Duvall. Directed by: Dominic Sena. B

Gone With the Wind (1939) NR drama

Despite the movie being nearly four hours long, it comes across fragmentary. There might be gaps of days, months, years from one melodramatic scene to the next, and there isn't a terribly engaging, broad story arc to connect these events. We spend all this time with Scarlett O'Hara, not a particularly well-written character, who begins the movie highly strung and ends the movie highly strung. Even post Civil War desolation when she undergoes real hardship, such as getting calloused hands from working the fields herself, her psyche remains constant. All she wants throughout this is to marry one man that she cannot have. The men she does marry, it is out of convenience or spite, or in the case of the tempestuous Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), it's for fun. One could hardly deny however that Scarlett is played brilliantly by Vivien Leigh, her notorious "resting bitch face" often switching--on the turn of a dime--to an enchanting, doughy grin. Scarlett needed an actor who could do that. Technically speaking, this movie is marvelous. It's filmed in crisp Technicolor, something to behold for 1939, and the expansive sets are wildly impressive. It's also phenomenal hearing highly poetic lines being spoken from hill-topping silhouettes behind a gorgeous sunset as a lush orchestra crescendos. The movie of course has been popular through the years, perhaps because of Scarlett's fierce independence. Perhaps her romantic tragedies. Perhaps her insistence the Civil War wasn't about slavery. One cannot deny however that this is an important touchstone in cinematic history, even if I prefer it be treated as a museum piece and less as a way of life. Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Haviland, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Victor Jory, Laura Hope Crews, Hattie McDaniel, Ona Munson. Directed by: Victor Fleming. B+

Good Advice (2001) R comedy

Charlie Sheen stars as a cocky investment broker who loses everything. He ends up pretending that heís his ex-girlfriend so that he can take over her crappy advice column at a third-rate newspaper. At first, his advice is rude, but after he discovers his heart, he becomes the most popular advice columnist in the world. Itís cheesy and manipulative, but kind of fun. Starring: Charlie Sheen, Angie Harmon, Denise Richards, Jon Lovitz, Rosanna Arquette, Estelle Harris, Barry Newman, Lisa Rinna, John de Lancie, Francoise Surel, Pete Gardner. Directed by: Steve Rash. C+

The Good Girl (2002) R dramatic comedy

Jennifer Aniston stars in this low-key dramedy as a store clerk who is bored with her life and she engages in an extramarital affair with a college-aged coworker (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is obsessed with Catcher in the Rye. This provides much needed excitement, but times change when another co-worker suddenly dies. This is a thought provoking indie film, but itís not for all audiences. Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson, Zooey Deschanel, Mike White, Deborah Rush, John Carroll Lynch. Directed by: Miguel Arteta. B+

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) R comedy

A problematic film. However, it features a fantastic, tour de force performance from Robin Williams. He stars as Adrian Conauer, a U.S. military radio deejay at the onset of the Vietnam War. His irreverent on-air comments about the military frequently has him at odds with his immediate supervisors. But he is nonetheless a big hit with the troops. Not only is he funny, but he plays that new-fangled rock 'n' roll music that's all the rage these days. And it would seem the power of public demand holds sway above everything else -- even in the military. Williams' hyperkinetic ad-libbing as he plays an outspoken, anti-establishment character is frequently funny and alone makes this film worth watching for most audiences. Further, Williams has an uncanny ability to make his character flip from glib to poignant on the turn of a dime. I should also mention that Bruno Kirby turns in a sleeper performance as a stodgy lieutenant who thinks he knows what "real comedy" is. That's a character so unfunny that I end up finding him almost as hilarious as Williams in this. The film's darker sides: It has quite a lot of unchecked racism in it. Further, Williams' character also engages in a romantic pursuit of a local that comes off inappropriate, and I felt uncomfortable watching it. Also while this film has some anti-war messaging, it comes off far too half-baked for it to be meaningful. But even with all these reservations, I still enjoy breaking out this film every once in awhile. Starring: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran, Chintara Sukapatana, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl, J.T. Walsh, Noble Willingham, Richard Edson, Juney Smith. Directed by: Barry Levinson. B-

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) PG drama

Perhaps slightly tame (not to mention about 40 years too late), this historical drama about the on-air battle between television anchorman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (shown exclusively in file footage) is a much-appreciated and educational film. Strathairn is perfect in his role. Clooney, in his second feature as director, is proving to be a mainstay! Starring: David Straithairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels, Ray Wise, Tate Donovan, Tom McCarthy, Matt Ross, Reed Diamond. Directed by: George Clooney. A-

The Good Son (1993) R thriller

This is certainly a decent enough of a film to pass an evening by. Macaulay Culkin stars as a crazed kid who likes to do really naughty things simply because he has the power to. The only person who realizes this dark fact about the kid is child houseguest Elijah Wood. It can be over-pretentious at times (especially at the end) but it is a marginally exciting film worth catching on cable. This one sort of shocked the world, because all of Culkinís other roles were cutesy kidís stuff, and this oneís really very dark. Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Wendy Crewson, David Morse, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Jacqueline Brookes, Quinn Culkin, Ashley Crow. Directed by:Joseph Ruben. B

Good Will Hunting (1998) R drama

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a janitor at MIT who sees a complex mathematics problem written on a chalkboard and solves it. Turns out that was a problem that Professor Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) had taken two years to solve and didn't expect his students to be able to solve -- much less a janitor. He puts a second problem on the board, one that had never been solved, and he catches Will in the act. Will is a native Bostonian with a destitute background and high school dropout. He eschews academic endeavors, and academics themselves, in favor of spending the evenings hanging and drinking with his three friends. At the same time, though, he has an entire library's worth of knowledge stored in his head -- light reading through the years. At a bar, he has a run-in with a particularly snobby academic, and beats him at his own game. This captures the attention of Skylar (Minnie Driver) who is about to attend medical school at Stanford. His life takes a turn for the worst the next day when he gets in a fight with a gang and, in the kerfuffle, takes a swing at a cop. This lands him in jail, and Professor Lambeau bails him out but with strings attached: He must spend time doing math with him, and he also must get professional counseling. The mathematics is just entertainment hour for him, but the counseling is a sticky point. He just messes with the counselors until they quit, until he is matched with an unconventional one: Dr. Maguire (Robin Williams). Some films I leave feeling like I'd learned no more from them than I do with a commercial for car insurance. Other films are so dense and engaging that I feel like I just read a novel. This film belongs in the latter category. The dialogue is lively, colorful and vastly entertaining to follow, and the acting is usually spot-on. In particular Williams who brings enormous warmth and heart to his role as the psychiatrist who finally breaks Will Hunting. Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser, John Might, Scott Williams Winters, Jimmy Flynn. Directed by: Gus Van Sant. A-

The Goodbye Girl (1977) PG romance

Marsha Mason stars as a recently dumped woman whose would-be husband rented the apartment to Richard Dreyfuss. Mason, who won't move out of the apartment for anything in the world, has to work to live with Dreyfuss' eccentric ways (including playing the guitar at night, sleeping au natural and making funny noises while meditating). It's predictable but a fun romantic comedy by Neil Simon. Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict, Barbara Rhoades, Theresa Merriee, Michael Shawn, Patricia Pearcy, Gene Castle, Daniel Levans, Nicol Williamson, Marilyn Sokol. Directed by: Herbert Ross. B+

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) NR drama

This entirely absorbing tale of an elderly schoolmaster (Robert Donat in an Oscar-winning performance) reminisces of his life and the nearly 60 years he spent at his boarding school. It has many imitations, but nothing can touch it. Starring: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, Paul Henreid, Judith Furse, Lyn Harding, Milton Rosmer, Frederick Leister. Directed by: Sam Wood. A+

GoodFellas (1990) R drama

Martin Scorsese directs this utterly fascinating and engaging drama about a man (Ray Liotta) who has spent his entire life from adolescence in the Mafia. Watch this film and let Scorsese drench you with the scriptís rich plot. This is generally considered one of the greatest movies ever made, and it's for good reason. The actors are all perfect in their roles, and this is an unforgettable motion picture. Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, Mike Starr, Frank Vincent, Frank di Leo. Directed by: Martin Scorsese. A+

Gosford Park (2001) R mystery

Robert Altman directs this good -- if somewhat bungled -- mystery/comedy. The film is a bit hard to follow, but it's not impossible. Those who enjoy being challenged by a good mystery -- this movie was made for you! The ensemble cast, which for the most park contain little famous faces are all really quite notable. Especially Kelly Mcdonald, Emily Watson, Ryan Phillipe among others. Some people whom you should recognize include Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Kirsten Scott Thomas, and Alan Bates. This, I'd imagine, is a very difficult film to successfully execute and the credit for this film's success goes entirely to director Robert Altman. The mystery is a bit difficult to grasp (it isn't spelled out for you like the popular Agatha Christie movies have been) and Altman does his best with it. I can't help feeling that Gosford Park is a bit overrated, however, but overrated or not, this is an excellent murder mystery with a comic edge -- a rarity. Starring: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kirstin Scott Thomas, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Geraldine Somerville, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, Jeremy Northam, Bob Balaban, James Wilby, Claudie Blakley, Stephen Fry. Directed by: Robert Altman. A-

The Graduate (1967) PG comedy

Dustin Hoffman, in his first starring role, plays a young graduate who spends much of his post-graduate life wondering what he is going to do with the rest of his life. Feeling lowdown and worrying about it, he engages in an affair with middle-aged Anne Bancroft. As months pass, Hoffman realizes that the person he's really in love with is her daughter and does whatever he can to get her, despite her parents' feelings about it. The Graduate was influential on many accounts and is considered a classic. Itís very funny as well in its own subtle way. Starring: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katherine Ross, Murray Hamilton, William Daniels, Elizabeth Wilson, Brian Avery, Norman Fell, Richard Dreyfuss. Directed by: Mike Nichols. A+

Grandma's Boy (2006) R comedy

A 35-year-old video game tester and man-child (Allen Covert) moves in with his grandmother (Doris Roberts) while he attempts to win the affections of his beautiful new manager (Linda Cardellini). The script was written by Adam Sandler's cronies (meaning that it's not funny at all), and itís an utter bore. Try not to feel sorry for Shirley Jones, who plays a menopausal nymphomaniac. Starring: Allen Covert, Linda Cardinelli, Doris Roberts, Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight, Peter Dante, Kevin Nealon, Joel David Moore. Directed by: Nicholaus Goossen. D-

Grease (1978) PG musical

Enjoyable musical/comedy about two high school students in the 1950's, hoodlum Danny and prep Sandy, their relationship and their interesting times during the year. The unaccomplished plot and too-old cast undermines the effort, but the songs are catchy and the dialogue is funny making the effort rather delightful. See it if you love rock musicals. Followed by a sequel I havenít seen. Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conway, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, John Blondell, Edd Byrnes, Alice Ghostly, Dody Goodman, Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Tucci. Directed by: Randal Kleiser. B

Great Balls of Fire! (1989) R drama

Dennis Quaid gives an energetic performance in this biography of the legendary rocker, Jerry Lee Lewis. This film is an entertaining account of how he initially rose to fame and the major turbulence along the way involving his 13-year-old wife, played by Winona Ryder. The great rock music in this film is a highlight. Starring: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, John Doe, Stephen Toblowsky, Trey Wilson, Steve Allen. Directed by: Jim McBride. B+

The Great Dictator (1940) NR comedy

Charlie Chaplin doesnít fail to amaze in his first full-dialogued film. It was highly controversial at the time and is a rather powerful political comedy. Chaplin gives a very entertaining impersonation of Adolf Hitler who is caught up in taking over the world and everybody in it. Meanwhile, his Jewish look-a-like had a case of amnesia and soon realizes that he is under the dictator's rule whose policy includes discriminating against him. Designed to satirize Mussolini, Goebbels and Goering as well. This is a fine film that holds up to this day. Despite this officially being a talkie, Charlie Chaplin comes full equipped with his classic slapstick and tramp suit. Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Maurice Moscovich, Billy Gilbert, Henry Danielle. Directed by: Charles Chaplin. A

The Great Gatsby (1974) PG drama

An adequate film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel starring Robert Redford, as Jay Gatsby; a man who basically spends most of his life chasing his true love, Daisy (Mia Farrow). Gatsby must sneak her away from the aggressive Tom Buchanan (played by Bruce Dern), her husband, and impress her by flaunting his money around by throwing extravagant parties. Will Gatsby succeed? This is a very faithful adaptation of Fitzgerald's novel, but lacks spunk. Interesting camera angles and movements make the film worse and so does the less-than-enthusiastic cast. Only really for those who adore the novel. Starring: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Scott Wilson, Sam Waterston, Lois Chiles, Howard Da Silva, Edward Herrmann, Patsy Kensit. Directed by: Jack Clayton. C+

The Great Muppet Caper (1981) G comedy

The Muppet gang returns for their second adventure in this bright, clever and well-done film. Kermit the Frog travels to London to interview Lady Holiday, a famous fashionable clothes designer, only to mistake her for Miss Piggy, the receptionist. Miss Piggy, who thinks Kermit is freaking awesomely hot, decides to go along with the act. While in London, Lady Holiday's suspicious brother, Nicky, played excellently by Charles Grodin, plans the theft of the "baseball diamond" from his sister. Unbeknownst to him, his evil plans were overheard by the incredibly sneaky, Gonzo the Great! A hilarious film done by the late puppet-master, Jim Henson. Starring: Charles Grodin, Diana Rigg, John Cleese, Robert Morely, Peter Ustinov, Jack Warden. Voices of: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt. Directed by: Jim Henson. A-

The Great Outdoors (1988) PG comedy

It has the right idea. John Candy is a goodhearted, blue-collar father and husband who takes his family for a pleasant vacation getaway at a resort cabin. Unannounced, his irritating brother-in-law (Dan Aykroyd) and highly strung sister-in-law and their kids show up. Expected tensions arise, but the value of their familial bonds shines through in the end. The cast and themes are on-point. The movie however fails utterly in its primary mission, which is to deliver a series of gags. Most of them just aren't funny. Despite expectedly good comedic performances from the cast, sitting though the film ultimately becomes laborious. Starring: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy, Annette Bening, Robert Prosky, Chris Young. Directed by: Howard Deutch. C-

The Great Race (1965) NR comedy

A fun slapstick film that sends up old vaudeville melodramas. (My adoration for this antiquated style of entertainment plays a big part in my enjoyment of the film.) It's a bit of a time investment, though -- 160 minutes long, and a silly, trifling film like this probably didn't really need to be that long. But it nonetheless keeps its joyous energy quite consistent throughout, and I barely notice the time go by. More than anything else, this is a fantastic vehicle for its four principal cast members. Cinematic treasures. Tony Curtis is The Great Leslie -- a daredevil who wears all white. His tooth twinkles when he smiles, and he almost always succeeds at everything he tries. Jack Lemmon is Professor Fate, also a daredevil. He wears all black, twirls a handlebar mustache, and almost always fails. Fate's partner-in-crime is the hilariously doltish Max (Peter Falk). They all become embroiled in a car race that spans from New York City to Paris. (Indeed, transversing the Bearing Strait.) Along for the ride is extremely outspoken suffragette reporter Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood) who insists on getting up-close and personal in her event coverage. This trans-continental adventure draws comparisons to Around the World in 80 Days. But here it's played for laughs, and it's not so much about theme-park tourism. (As much as I enjoyed that film.) As fantastic that Curtis and Wood are in their roles, it's Jack Lemmon who really steals the show with his utterly over-the-top zaniness -- and Falk's character being such great foil for him to react to when the hero isn't on screen. As if that wasn't enough, Lemmon also appears in a dual role as a goofy and perpetually intoxicated prince of a small East European nation. The movie's climax is a massive pie fight. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Arthur O'Connell, Vivan Vance, Dorothy Provine, Larry Storch, Ross Martin. Directed by: Blake Edwards. B+

The Great Santini (1979) PG drama

Robert Duvall stars in this emotional film as an arrogant Air Force captain who is a great fighter pilot and superior officer, but he's crap with the family. The film is forced at times, but the undercurrent of it is genuine. This is one of Duvall's finest screen performances. Starring: Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe, Lisa Jane Persky, Julie Anne Haddock, Theresa Merritt, Stan Shaw, Brian Andrews, David Keith, Paul Mantee, Lisa Collins. Directed by: Lewis John Carlino. B

The Great Train Robbery (1979) PG crime

Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland star in this Michael Crichton-directed picture as partners in the 19th century who team up to attempt one of the most daring train thefts in history. The gold's so difficult to steal because four keys (that are hidden by trusted employees) are needed to open it with. The money must be stolen while the train is moving, and there is no easy way in or out because the doors are locked. How can they do it? This is an enjoyable heist romp made fun by the two leads. Starring: Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Wayne Sleep, Michael Elphick, Malcom Terris, Robert Lang, Alan Webb, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd, James Cossins, Peter Benson. Directed by: Michael Crichton. B+

Greedy (1994) PG-13 comedy

This is a demented comedy about a dysfunctional family battling to gain affection of their aging rich relative, played by Kirk Douglas, for his large estate. When Kirk Douglas reveals to the entire family that he's really in debt, most of them abruptly take off. It may be worth watching if you're particular fans of Michael J. Fox or Phil Hartman. Otherwise, you'll find that the script needs vast improvement. Starring: Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas, Nancy Travis, Olivia d'Abo, Phil Hertman, Ed Begley Jr., Jere Burns, Colleen Camp, Bob Balaban, Joyce Hyser, Mary Ellen Trainor. Directed by: Jonathan Lynn. C

Green Card (1990) PG-13 romantic comedy

A woman (Andie MacDowell) agrees to temporarily marry a French composer (Gerard Depardieu) so that he would be able to obtain a green card and she would be able to hold a rent-controlled apartment is the premise of this above average romantic comedy. When the immigration office wants to check to see if the marriage is legitimate, however, complications arise. Itís a bit slow at times, but this is an intelligent movie for a date. The ending is effectively emotional, which is saying something for a romantic comedy! Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth, Greg Edelman, Robert Prosky, Jessie Keosian, Ethan Phillips, Mary Louise Wilson, Lois Smith, Conrad McLaren. Directed by: Peter Weir. B+

Green Ice (1981) PG adventure

Ryan O'Neal delivers a soggy performance as a globetrotting electrical engineer who seeks personal riches by smuggling emeralds (AKA green ice) out of Colombia. He finds romance along the way (Anne Archer). Omar Sharif also appears as the villain. Perhaps this could be considered worthwhile to genre fans--those who can't get enough of any James Bond film, but I find this to be woefully uninteresting. Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Anne Archer, Omar Sharif, Domingo Ambritz, John Larroquette, Philip Stone, Michael Sheard, Enrique Lucero. Directed by: Ernest Day. C-

The Green Years (1946) NR drama

Heartwarming and engaging tale about Robert Shannon (Dean Stockwell), a small, orphaned boy from Ireland who comes to Scotland to live with his grandparents. His grandfather (Hume Cronyn) is a humorless penny-pincher who resents that Robert didn't come with financial provision. He treats him poorly as a result, not even allotting him his own room, instead having him share a bed with his bearded, scraggly great-grandfather (Charles Coburn) who is prone to drinking and spinning tall tales. But this turns out fine for Robert, because they were destined to bond. Alexander helps his great-grandchild though thick and thin, shielding him from his cruel grandfather, teaching him how to fistfight, even fostering his natural interest in science. Eight years later, Robert (now Tom Drake) is poised to graduate high school and would be a shoo-in for medical school. But he doesn't have the money for it, and his grandfather adamantly refuses to help. Charles Coburn turns in a fantastic performance -- he is warm and funny but with a fair amount of struggles, which gives him complexity, and he is every bit an elderly father figure as anyone could hope for. Consider this a minor, often overlooked, gem. Starring: Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, Hume Cronyn, Gladys Cooper, Dean Stockwell, Selena Royle, Jessica Tandy, Richard Haydn, Andy Clyde. Directed by: Victor Saville. B+

Greenfingers (2000) R comedy

This is an extremely good natured import from Great Britain about a group of convicts who are participating in an experimental "open" prison system (that's more like a summer camp). There, some of the prisoners unexpectedly find peace and refuge with gardening. They eventually try to enter their garden into a national competition. Parts of the plot points had me scratching my head, but this comedy is just too delightful to snub even if it's British propoganda. Starring: Clive Owen, David Kelly, Helen Mirren, Natasha Little, Warren Clarke, Danny Dyer, Adam Fogerty, Paterson Joseph, Peter Guiness. Directed by: Joel Hershman. B+

Gremlins (1984) PG comedy

A goofy inventor brings home a "mogwai," a strange, furry critter that is scared of bright light, should never have contact with water, and should never ever eat after midnight. Inevitably all these don'ts happen and we end up with thousands of these "mogwais" in their post-evolutionary state; "gremlins." These gremlins terrorize the town and are quite humorous in doing so. This is a cute horror/comedy that most everyone should enjoy. Starring: Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain, Pheobe Cates, Polly Holliday, Scott Brady, Glyn E. Turman, Corey Feldman, Keye Luke, Judge Reinhold, Jonathan Banks. Directed by: Joe Dante. B+

The Grinch (2018) PG animated

Still can't hold a candle to the 1966 television special, but there's a lot to like about this updated, full-length computer animated version. The jokes are perhaps too exclusive to the tastes of the Kindergarten crowd, but the hyperkinetic energy and colorful design should be infectious to anybody. The core story remains unchanged from the classic children's book but details fleshed out so as to make this feature length. The Grinch is a fuzzy green humanoid outcast who lives on the outskirts of Whoville with his dog Max. He loathes Christmas, particularly the superficial manner in which Whoville residents celebrate it. He takes it upon himself to show Whovillians how meaningless their holiday is by sneaking around on Christmas Eve and stealing all their presents and decorations. Voices of: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Tristan O'Hare, Kenan Thompson, Sam Lavagnino, Ramone Hamilton, Angela Lansbury. Directed by: Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. B-

Grizzly Man (2005) R documentary

Director Warner Herzog helms this fascinating look into the life long mission Timothy Treadwell, a man obsessed with nature and grizzly bears and spent every summer with them for 13 years, until his obsession finally gets the better of him. Treadwell's colorful, anti-establishment, and unstable personality captured on (very good) video is trumped by his even greater footage of grizzly bears that anyone doubtfully can ever top. It's no wonder that Herzog, who himself has undergone insane but glorious movie projects in his past, was so fascinated by Treadwell. Starring: Timothy Treadwell. Directed by: Werner Herzog. A

Groundhog Day (1993) PG comedy

A jerk weatherman (Bill Murray) reluctantly goes to Puxatawney, Pennsylvania to cover the annual Groundhog Day festival. When he thinks heís about to go home the next morning, he realizes that itís Groundhog Day again. The next day, the same thing. Eventually it becomes clear that heís stuck in a never-ending loop where everyday is Feb. 2, and thereís nothing he can do about it! This is definitely one of the most creative comedies (especially for the time), sporting a first-rate script and performance by Murray. Itís a lot of fun, and the end is heartfelt. Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliot, Stephen Toblowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray, Marita Geraghty, Angela Paton. Directed by: Harold Ramis. A

Grown Ups (2010) PG-13 comedy

The premise is fine -- just the script should have been scrapped in favor of having the actors ad-lib the thing. There are some legitimately funny comedians in this film, after all, and this movie seems to consist mainly of them hanging around and shooting the breeze. Unfortunately, most of what they talk about is dull and largely focused on body-shaming. I'm suspicious, albeit not positive, that what these guy talked about in between takes was more interesting than what they talk about in the actual film. These actors play more or less their typical Happy Madison characters. Adam Sander is the fairly normal nice guy, David Spade is the guy who makes cynical remarks, Kevin James is the fat guy, Chris Rock is the guy you wish had more to do, Rob Schneider is the butt of the jokes. Some of the running gags such as one of the spouses (Maria Bello) breastfeeding a four-year-old isn't funny the first time around. Rob Schneider having two attractive, supermodel-type daughters and another short and with questionable hairstyle choices (because that's genetic) being another unfunny gag. Although one moment that did make me chuckle was Rob Schneider singing "Ave Maria" badly at a funeral. But there's nothing else here that rises above mild amusingness. Events in the second half of the film include a visit to a water park where the men go on the slides, while the women hang around on lounge chairs and flirt with a body builder. The film is capstoned with a rematch of their famous basketball game with the opposing team -- one of whom (Colin Quinn) continues to insist that the game-winning shot was illegitimate. This is a movie that I watch and wonder how something so breezy and casual could possibly have come out as such a tired dud. Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Joyce Van Patten, Ebony Jo-Ann, Di Quon, Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows. Directed by: Dennis Dugan. D

Grown Ups 2 (2013) PG-13 comedy

This movie begins with a bad CGI deer trapped in a house and, in a frightened state, getting on its hind legs and peeing all over everything and everyone. It goes downhill from there. Just when I thought I'd already seen the low bar with the last one, they come up with this one to blow out my expectations. This film requires a special kind of laziness. Call on any person on the street to come up with a comedy script, I guarantee the vast majority of them would come up with something better than this. The first film was mainly about a bunch of friends hanging around being unfunny. This sequel is about these same friends doing more things and still being unfunny. For example, Adam Sandler commandeers a bus from a mentally unstable driver. Is that supposed to be funny? David Spade is deathly afraid of his resentful teenage son. Chris Rock's wife forgot their 20th anniversary, and he doesn't know what to do about it. Kevin James worries that his wife babying his kids so much that they are becoming spoiled monsters. My favorite actor by far in this sequel is Rob Schneider, because he is conspicuously absent from the film. Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Nick Swardson, Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Shaquille O'Neal, Alexander Ludwig, Georgia Engel. Directed by: Dennis Dugan. F

Grumpy Old Men (1993) PG-13 comedy

You'd think after six decades of ruthless feuding, next door neighbors John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau) would've found cleverer insults for one another than "moron" and "putz." That's the biggest disappointment about this film -- I love great banter, especially among two "grumpy old men" who won't admit they love one other. And that's the best they've got? Especially considering these two veteran actors had been at each other's throats already in several classic films released prior to this where they've had much more devilish things to say to one another. Anyway, I nonetheless enjoy this movie. There's still plenty of mileage left in this onscreen "odd couple," and they do share a few moments at the end that come across genuinely heartwarming. But I will say, perhaps unexpectedly, the character who steals the show from the both of them is Gustafson's 90-something father (Burgess Meredith). He's prone to popping in unexpectedly with some hilariously off-color remarks. He also breaks up the feuding between these two "kids" exactly as he would have done when they were all 60 years younger. The storyline of this film is another letdown -- the antagonism between them becomes intensified when a minx ready to mingle (Anne-Margaret) moves across the street from them. I like seeing the charismatic Ann-Margaret on screen, but she's gotta have more ambition in life than only to think about dating old fogies next door. There's also an uninteresting subplot regarding Gustafson's ills with the IRS and his daughter (Daryl Hannah) who's considering separating from her uncaring husband (Christopher McDonald). Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Ossie Davis, Buck Henry, Chris McDonald. Directed by: Donald Petrie. B-

Grumpier Old Men (1995) PG-13 comedy

This begins slightly better than the previous film started -- the barbed rapport between Max (Walter Matthau) and John (Jack Lemmon) are more friendly than combative. Naturally, through the course of the film, they'll find occasion to rekindle their mean-spirited feuding, but it's never for long. They even find a mutual enemy at one point when their beloved bait shop is bought out by a woman Maria (Sophia Lauren) and her mother (Ann Morgan Guilbert). They intend to convert it into an Italian restaurant. John and Max try to sabotage its opening by releasing a guinea pig during the health inspection. Dim-witted inspectors apparently believe the presence of any kind of rodent must mean a rat infestation can't be too far away. It isn't long before Max and John abandon the sabotage when they slowly come to realize that Maria is a stone cold fox and single and ready to mingle. (How lucky they are that so many unattached minxes arrive in their sleepy little Minnesota town where someone who looks like Walter Matthau is the most eligible bachelor.) John's 90-something father (Burgess Meredith) isn't even shy to try to make sparks fly with Maria's mother. Meredith's horn-dog character still provides the highest concentration of laughs than anything else in this film. This sequel follows the same formula as its predecessor in that distress strikes during the final third. But whereas the distress was revolved in a heartwarming event that brought the two leads closer together, here it's just a tearjerking event that happens and then they move on. While I always appreciate more opportunities to watch these beloved veteran actors appear onscreen, it's a shame they couldn't have been given a funnier and smarter script. This is mostly tired sitcom territory. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Sophia Loren, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Katie Sagona, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Max Wright. Directed by: Howard Deutch. C

Guarding Tess (1994) PG-13 comedy

Shirley MacLaine and Nicolas Cage are dynamite actors, and this film gives them ample opportunity to argue with one another. Anything else that happens in this movie is merely uninteresting plot devices. MacLaine is Tess Carlisle, a widowed First Lady of the United States. She gets Secret Service protection for life and requests the services of Doug Chesnic (Cage), a seasoned, professional agent. However, she treats him like a butler, which he resents bitterly. He's a stickler for doing things by the book--if that conflicts with her wishes, then so be it. Of course, this movie is going to find means to get them to respect one another, if not find outright fondness. Unfortunately, the high-concept manner it goes about achieving that is pedestrian, ruining the film--no matter how satisfying the pairing of the two leads are. Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Nicolas Cage, Austin Pendleton, Edward Albert, James Rebhorn, Richard Griffiths, John Roselius, David Graf, Dale Dye, James Handy, Susan Blommaert. Directed by: Hugh Wilson. C+

Guess Who (2005) PG-13 comedy

Itís too routine to be recommendable, but the charisma of the leading performers makes up for what the script lacks. When a young African American woman (Zoe Saldana) brings her Caucasian boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher) to meet the parents, the father (Bernie Mac) greets the match with sharp criticism. However Ö you probably already know the ending. This movie is good if youíre a Bernie Mac fan. Starring: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Hal Williams, Kellee Stewart, Robert Curtis-Brown, RonReaco Lee, Paula Newsome, Phil Reeves. Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan. C

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) NR drama

Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton) has the most wonderful news for her parents Matt (Spencer Tracy) and Christina (Katherine Hepburn). While she was away on vacation in Hawaii, she met the man she's going to marry. He's Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). Not only that, she's bringing him home with her. This being 1967, however, there is one serious complication: Joanna is white, and John is black. Dewy-eyed Joanna, though, is ever-confident that her liberal parents, who've preached tolerance since she was a little girl, will immediately embrace this engagement. John, however, is not so sure. Her confidence extends so far as to believe it unnecessary to even mention his race during phone conversations with her parents. Christina is the first to see them together and is shocked, nervously darting her watering eyes between them, not saying much. Matt is even more distressed, taking Christina aside to his study, picture of FDR sitting stoically at his desk, asking if she thought such a thing would ever happen to them. Not that he thinks John is a horrible person -- he's polite and, moreover, a doctor. He says he's just worried that their union would invite unwanted scorn. Or perhaps Matt really isn't as unprejudiced as he thinks he is. This is a thought-provoking film that's also entertaining on a surface level thanks to a smart script and powerful performances. Some scenes are even quite funny. This is also an important movie, because it isn't about outward bigots (who the majority of people are easy to label "racist,") but rather about people who espouse progressive beliefs but when push comes to shove, they crumbles like a house of cards. I will add, however, this movie lets Matt and Christine off easy. John is a doctor, speaks in collegiate English, and is politically moderate. Just imagine if he were a Black Panther. Or further yet, imagine if Joanna brought home a woman. But one thing at a time. Back when this film was made, interracial marriages were illegal in some States. Starring: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, Cecil Kellaway, Beah Richards, Roy E. Glenn Sr., Isabel Sanford, Virginia Christine. Directed by: Stanley Kramer. A-

The Gumball Rally (1976) PG comedy

Car chase movies aren't exactly known for their rich plot development and twists. Nonetheless, this film is quite fun. It begins when a visibly bored company head opens a mini-safe filled with gumballs. This is his own personal ritual before he makes a phone call and says one word: "Gumball." This declaration means for anyone "in the know" a cross-country car race from New York to Los Angeles is about to begin. A dozen or so participants show up and are briefed on the rules, which are simple: There are no rules. (Yep, they literally say that.) Except they are asked nicely to not please not commit vehicular manslaughter -- mainly so as to not give this very illegal race any extra unwanted attention. The current record for the race is 34 hours and 11 minutes. Participants typically come in pairs and there's a lottery to decide who gets to race which car. (Not to criticize an eccentric millionaire's pet project but aren't people who participate in such things sports car enthusiasts who want to play with their souped-up toys?) At any rate, expect this movie to be filled with a lot of car stunts, explosions, frustrated law enforcement officers, a soundtrack loaded with ragtime music in order to constantly remind us we are watching a comedy. One car doesn't even get out of New York -- it runs into a construction site and gets airborne before it breaks in half. One poor car doesn't even make it out of the garage. I guess they forgot to give that one a tune-up. A wired-up guy on a motorcycle keeps crashing into things. An outspoken Italian guy (Raul Julia) tries to add womanizing to the race. Gary Busey's in this. It gets overbearingly monotonous at times, but I had overall a good time with this. Starring: Michael Sarrazin, Nicholas Pryor, Tim McIntire, Raul Julia, Norman Burton, John Durren, Gary Busey, Joanne Nail, Susan Flannery, J. Pat O'Malley, Vaughn Taylor. Directed by: Charles Bail. C+

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992) PG-13 comedy

An odd premise involving a bored and neglected wife (Penelope Ann Miller) claiming responsibility for a murder just for a change of pace. Millerís solid performance keeps the film moving without being too groan inducing. Otherwise this is slight entertainment at best. Starring: Penelope Ann Miller, Eric Thal, Alfre Woodard, Julianne Moore, Cathy Moriarty, Andy Romano, William Forsythe, Ray McKinnon, Xander R. Berkeley, Meat Loaf, Catherine Keener, Stanley Tucci. Directed by: Allan Moyle. C

Guns (1990) R action

A crime boss wants to rid Hawaii of all federal agents for whatever nefarious reason. There are only two of them, though--babes with guns, usually clothed. Two goofy henchmen are sent to bump them off, but they end up killing the wrong people. Miffed by the assassination attempt, the babes join forces with a Las Vegas showgirl, a weird magician, and a handful of typical action hero types to fend off the bad guys. Lest there be no mistake, this is a bad bad bad action movie, with the highlight being a bizarre infomercial for Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Starring: Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez, Bruce Penhall, Cynthia Brimhall, William Bumiller, Devin DeVasquez. Directed by: Andy Sidaris. D-

Gunga Din (1939) NR adventure

A terrifically fun adventure comedy that stars Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr as three troublemaking British soldiers in India. They are tasked with traveling to the British outpost of Tantrapur to investigate the cause of a lost telegraph connection. They lead a small army of Indian soldiers and some supporting personnel, including the title character (Sam Jaffe). He is a lowly water boy who longs to join the British Army. They all become entangled in a skirmish with natives and not many of the soldiers make it. But they recover a weapon that belongs to a death cult, members of which were long thought to have gone extinct. They now reside in a temple of gold. In as much as it must be acknowledged that this film reflects colonial attitudes of the time and the title character is played by a Jewish actor in brown-face, it nonetheless is an incredible adventure. Really among the finest of pre-Raiders of the Lost Ark films. It also incorporates screwball elements to make the experience extra fun. Chalk this up as a definite must for classic Hollywood cinephiles. Starring: Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Sam Jaffe, Eduardo Ciannelli, Joan Fontaine, Montagu Love, Robert Coote, Abner Biberman. Directed by: George Stevens. A-

The Guru (2002) R comedy

This vibrant and racy comedy is about a young man (Jimi Minstry) who escapes India to pursue his lifelong dream to be a Hollywood star. He finds himself unwittingly cast in a pornographic film, but he seems open to the idea. That's where he meets the charming star Sharona (Heather Graham). He enlists her help to get some pointers in the business, but her advice is so good that he uses it in his other gig as a "sex guru" who is becoming a rising star in daytime talk shows. Most notably, this film incorporates several well-used Bollywood style song and dance sequences. Starring: Jimi Minstry, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Michael McKean, Christine Baranski. Directed by: Daisy von Sherler Mayer. A-

Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) R horror

Something to satisfy my craving for cheap macabre films. The Medieval title character (Neil Flanagan) takes it upon himself to punish sinners by torturing and/or executing them. A young man who oversees the burying of bodies finds himself smitten with a young woman jailed for killing her newborn baby. (She claims she was burying her stillborn.) He works out a scheme with a local potions maker to concoct a drug that would slow down her heart rate to make it look like she died in prison. But this help comes at a price. A pick only for fans of exploitation films, the picture and sets are rough looking. The special effects are also what you'd expect and maybe more so -- I admit I have so much fun watching people getting dismembered with their fallen limbs suddenly looking like they came off a store mannequin. I enjoy the first half of the film with the dark torture scenes that are so brutal and yet so fake that I laugh out loud. The amateurish actors even occasionally flub their lines, but I also see that as part of the fun. Unfortunately the dark novelty of this film wears out by its second half, when they should have upped the dial on the outrageousness instead of toning it down. Count this one as an OK cult pick. The soundtrack consists of almost entirely of ridiculously noisy Gregorian chants and organ music. Starring: Neil Flanagan, Jacqueline Webb, Judith Israel, Jack Spencer, Frank Echols, Gerald Jacuzzo. Directed by: Andy Milligan. C+

Guys and Dolls (1955) NR musical

Notoriously, this is the musical where Marlon Brando was cast in the role that Frank Sinatra wanted. Perhaps with a bit of bile in the back of his throat, Sinatra would adopt the film's signature song "Luck Be a Lady" into his concert repertoire (that in the film was sung by Brando). Sinatra instead was cast as Nathan Detroit, a seedy and nearly bankrupt underground casino operator. Brando is Sky Masterson, a high-stakes gambler who made his fortune on having good horse sense and his willingness to bet on virtually anything. But his horse sense lets him down after he accepts a bet from Detroit that he wouldn't be able to convince a beautiful but fundamentalist missionary (Jean Simmons) to go with him on a dinner date to Havana, Cuba. While I'm not a huge fan of that premise, this is an all-together entertaining musical that most notably features a lavish and eye-popping set. Certainly a worthwhile, if not necessary, watch for fans of movie musicals. Starring: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Robert Keith, Stubby Kaye. Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. B-

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