The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Release: Friday, May 27, 2022 (limited)

👀 Hulu

Written by: Loren Bouchard; Nora Smith

Directed by: Loren Bouchard; Bernard Derriman

Starring: H. Jon Benjamin; John Roberts; Dan Mintz; Eugene Mirman; Kristen Schaal; Kevin Kline; Larry Murphy; Gary Cole; Nick Kroll

Distributor: 20th Century Studios

 

***/*****

The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a summer breeze of an adventure that may not be remembered for long but is nonetheless an entertaining extension of the Emmy-winning series that began in 2011. Whether this flirtation with murder and conspiracy deserved the big screen treatment is up for debate.

Whether it deserved to be dropped into theaters quite so unceremoniously is probably the better question. One of the defining qualities of the show is the underdog status of the Belcher family and how humble Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) just can’t get no respect. So it is apropos that whatever hope this little upstart had of doing business got crushed by the big boys of the box office — eaten alive by Jurassic World: Dominion and choked out by the lingering contrails of Top Gun: Maverick. Like the store front, did anyone passing through the cineplex actually see the sign?

You can just add this real-world scheduling snafu to the plate of general misfortune that Bob has been handed through 12 seasons and counting. Stoically he endures, empowered by his mustache and the enduring love of his eternally optimistic wife Linda (John Roberts). And there’s never a dull moment with three children — socially awkward Tina (Dan Mintz), musically inclined Gene (Eugene Mirman) and rabbit-ear-wearing Louise (Kristen Schaal) — constantly having misadventures.

After being denied an extension on a bank loan, Bob and Linda have one week to come up with the money or the lights go out permanently. But then a water line bursts and a sinkhole opens in front of the store, putting a damper on summer sales. With a (questionable) assist from their longtime friend and loyal customer Teddy (Larry Murphy), they go mobile in an attempt to keep operations going, taking to the nearby Wonder Wharf where they inadvertently cause further problems.

Meanwhile the kids are trying to get to the bottom of a mystery involving the murder of a former carnival worker named Cotton Candy Dan. Apparently the sinkhole isn’t just an inconvenience for business; it’s a crime scene, one that may even implicate their landlord, Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline). Louise in particular is keen to figure out what’s going on, motivated to prove her bravery following an incident with bullies at school. The ensuing investigation finds the trio hopping all over town, confronting strangers while overcoming their own worst fears and insecurities in the process.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie doesn’t present the greatest threat the Belchers have ever faced, it’s merely the next one. Granted, the danger element is slightly more elevated than the average episode and there are a couple of heartfelt moments that bring the family closer together. As a movie based on a niched show, it was never going to be a hot seller in theaters. As a movie about embracing individuality and not giving up hope, Bob and his never-quitting family might just find themselves with a new lease on life on streaming, where people can stop in for as long (or as short) as they like. 

Let’s ketchup on a steak out

Moral of the Story: Even though it doesn’t skimp on the ingredients that have earned the show a devoted following, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is more likely to play better in front of audiences who haven’t spent much time around this grill. There are some revelations along the way but overall there just isn’t enough going on from a character standpoint to call this a significant chapter in the Belcher family legacy. (That being said, I have been known to binge-watch the heck out of minor little movies like this.) 

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 95 mins.

Quoted: “Hello, is this the police? I want to report a . . . a thing happened!”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.imdb.com 

TBT: Office Space (1999)

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Hey guys. . . .what’s happening? Here’s another T.P.S. report for your reading pleasure. As a blogger, I have a fair amount of time to get what I have to say out to you, my loyal and lovely readers. I can slack off whenever I please, bust ass when I feel like really getting stuff done in a timely fashion. There are very few rules and regulations governing my blogging life. Most importantly of all, I have no bosses looking over my shoulder whenever I write something. (If I find a more substantial job soon, that won’t always be the case. But hopefully my future editor will be cool.) I, forever the idealist, want to petition the concept of working for a living, though. Anyone who’s ever had the “joy” of being stuffed into a cubicle for 8 straight hours Monday through Friday can’t deny the inevitable sense of feeling like a slave to their desk/computer after a certain amount of time. I’m not saying I have the boldness to do something like this week’s main character does but I can empathize with how he’s feeling. I honestly don’t know who can’t with this week’s edition of TBT

Today’s food for thought: Office Space

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Release: February 19, 1999

[DVD]

A comedy steeped in the doldrums of being a cog in the corporate engine, Mike Judge’s Office Space became a sensation in a hurry. It’s uncanny ability to dramatize the monotony of the work day is pretty much unmatched by any film since, and not only that, its sense of deadpan humor operates on such a high level it’s become one of the most quoted films of all time. It has its feet firmly planted in reality so most of us can relate, yet it also contains scenes that seem to come straight out of a dream we all have had about that time we quit in spectacular and dramatic fashion. All of this blends together to form one of the most satisfying and re-watchable comedies of the ’90s. And yeah, possibly of all time. 

There’s no secret to its success. Judge’s film is so reliant on its criticism of the work place that it almost could be considered a snuff film. However there’s a universal appeal to the despair Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) and his coworkers Michael Bolton (David Herman) and Samir (Ajay Naidu) experience working as low-level programmers at the soul-sucking entity that is Initech. Filled with an assortment of memorable and quite frankly bizarre characters, the story is one many have always looked towards for comfort in their ironically similar routines as they split their time between work, watching films and making sure they have enough copies of the T.P.S. reports.

Peter is an increasingly dissatisfied and disenchanted employee at the Houston-based company, and finds his everyday life a chore with each and every passing minute. His girlfriend is a self-absorbed prig who makes him regularly visit an occupational hypnotherapist, his boss is none other than a droid named Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole’s most iconic role without question), his friends are far too settled into their dull career choices, and his willpower is equal to that of Milton’s I.Q. — exactly zero. There comes a point, however, when enough is enough for Peter, and following a bizarre incident during his latest visit with his shrink, he’s thrown into a state of complete relaxation and mental clarity.

He stops showing up to work after one too many requests for his presence on the weekend; he refuses to answer Lumbergh’s many, many ensuing house calls and voicemails; he finally gets up the nerve to ask the pretty waitress (Jennifer Aniston) working at a restaurant called Chotchkie’s, located very close to his place of work, to lunch one afternoon. Quite simply, one day he just stops giving a damn. He finds a kind of inner peace that gives the viewer a reason to cheer for this otherwise downtrodden protagonist.

The film seems a little cultish in its unabashed revelations of what’s said behind closed doors — it would seem only the most disillusioned general laborer would truly identify with the sudden change in fortune for Peter Gibbons, but that’s not necessarily true. Office Space is written in such a way that a more general audience who appreciates good comedy can latch on to the themes presented. It’s easy to picture software companies or any job that requires employees to stuff themselves into cubicles all day five days out of the week as being joyless, monotonous environments in which spirits are crushed and only feelings like depression and regret stagnate to unhealthily high degrees. Depending on how disenchanted the viewer is with his or her own work experience the lead characters here will seem more or less like heroes.

But no one can deny that the film is an intelligent and refreshingly simple one dedicated to proving that it’s more important to be satisfied with who you are and what you do than it is about conforming to standards and fitting in. That’s not to say everything that occurs is an example one should take from the film and try to apply in a real-world setting. Pulling a Peter Gibbons would most likely result in immediate termination. Approaching a cute waitress during the middle of lunch rush could lead to a slap in the face. . .or a cold shoulder. Not really. But, also. . .possibly yes. Money laundering is a definite no-no.

It’s less about what these people do than about what their actions represent that has made Judge’s pre-turn of the millennium film a cherished production in the eyes of many. So go on, smash a fax machine if you’re having a particularly shitty day. The greatest thing about Office Space is the usage of such simple objects to represent universal truths and experiences.

Some advice for the Bill Lumberghs of the world: if you ever find yourself contemplating taking shortcuts in your duties as it pertains to the well-being and employment status of your workers; if you snatch away our Swing Line staplers as though you were kidnapping our children; if you ever dare send us another copy of a goddamn T.P.S. report; if you so much as rearrange our desks one more time, consider yourself more than fairly warned. The next day you show up you could find your building burning to the ground.

Damn, it would feel good to be a gangster.

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4-0Recommendation: The film is one I’m pretty confident every one has seen at some point. If you haven’t, you have just lost some points with me. 🙂 In all seriousness, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’ll be glad you did.

Rated: R

Running Time: 90 mins.

Quoted: “What would you say. . . . . . you do here?”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited. 

Photo credits: http://www.imdb.com