Reviews: Ghostbusters 2016
I'm never been a big fan of Ghostbusters. I liked the original two films, but they don't mean as much to me as BTTF or Jurassic Park. When a reboot was announced, I was barely interested but cautiously optimistic. When an all-female cast was announced I called "gimmick", but I was fine with it... until the filmmaking team decided that if I wasn't interested in the film, I was a sexist pig. Despite this, I decided to give the film a chance, but in home video, way after the controversy had ended and I had forgotten the fact that the director had decided my decades of respecting women meant nothing unless I watched his movie. I watched the extended cut, since I figured it wouldn't deal with much studio interference and would get rid of plot holes, as they tend to do. After watching it, I can't for the life of me understand the positive reviews. Is the extended version somehow making the movie worse? Did it ADD plot holes and REMOVE character development? Did it remove jokes and replaced them with real estate ads? Despite not liking films like, say, Grown-ups or Pixels, I understand their appeal. But I can't understand this film's. Saying the characters are one-note is being generous. The character I thought I'd hate the most, Patty, turns out to be the closest this movie has to an actual human being. On the other side of the spectrum there's Kevin, easily the worst character not just from this film, but from the entire year. He's too stupid to be realistic. His cartoonish idiocy just doesn't fit the setting. He'd be out of place in a Goofy cartoon, let alone here. Then there's Holtzman, who I can't in good conscience call a "character". She's merely a collection of unrelated scenes that happen to star a person who always looks the same. She doesn't have anything I can honestly call a "personality". A shame, as she looked the most promising. The villain has one line of dialogue in the way of motivation, spoken to himself, and once he acquires powers through unexplained means, he never uses them in ways that would actually benefit him. He can possess people, but he doesn't try to use subtle ways to take advantage of this. He possesses Mc Carthy's character. Does he then jump off the window and changes bodies while she helplessly falls to her death? No, he starts to very visibly and noisily destroy random equipment while other two Ghostbusters are there to stop him. He can actually CONTROL people and uses this powers to make the army dance and then stay paralized. Does he uses this power with the Ghostbusters? NO! He doesn't even try and the film doesn't even try to handwave this by showing they had a way to counter this ability of his. He merely forgets he has it. The plot is derivative. There are a bunch of subplots that are introduced and never followed through. I only laughed once, and the joke only worked because of the surprise, it's not funny a second time. If there's a sequel coming, I'm not interested.
A Very Good Successor
This is the first case of a good film where I have been shocked about its quality. It is a shame that the people who would love it refuse to watch it. That is true. I literally cannot complain about this movie. Being a fan of the original, and with the god-awful marketing, I was shocked that the movie was this great. I mean, I expected a bad action-comedy like Film/Pixels, but holy crap. It is breathtaking in its goodness. It does not feel like a bad action-comedy, it feels like a Ghostbusters movie. The movie is freaking slow at first. We begin with a dull, Designated Hero cast, one of which gets another lead fired just because they want to publish a book they wrote. There has been a ghost in a mansion, cleverly named the Aldridge Mansion. They go to check it out, with fairly bad Toilet Humor along the way. And then the actual ghost shows up. Yeah. Basically, from this point on, the film goes in the genuine Ghostbusters direction, and turns into a worthy successor. It manages to be nearly on-par with the original. Its underwhelming-appearing special effects become Visual Effects of Awesome, the busters progressively become complete badasses, and, also, just Holtzmann. The acting is great, especially Hemsworth as the dumb hot receptionist, which he makes freaking hilarious. No, it's not the original, but nothing will ever be the original Ghostbusters. Let's face it, this is 2016. We have had tons of crappy reboots. But this stands out as being worthy of everything. It's really a shame that so many people hate it, because it is magnificent. I mean, we have to lock the YMMV page as of this writing, which is truly a shame because it has some good reason. I mean, the cast has had to endure a sexist barrage. And while not all critics of the film are sexist, it is a major issue. I urge Ghostbusters fans to watch this, because it is something you will all love. 9/10, because I am good at not hating things. Really, though, see this movie.
As a film, it\'s pretty good... as a reboot? Eh.
Rarely have their been as many films as controversial as Ghostbusters 2016 proved to be - without anyone seeing any footage except that of the trailers. A lot has been written about that sorry saga and I won't be adding to it except to say in the end, this is a movie that really doesn't merit such heated discussion. Plot wise, it follows very similar grounds to the original - three scientists and a everyman busting ghosts, which are appearing at a record rate. And it does enough in this to distinguish itself from the original at least - these ghosts seem more actively malevolent than those not named Gozer, and have a human accomplice trying to set them free. Character wise, again they end up similar, yet distinct. Where Venkman never actually seemed to believe in ghosts at all until he met one, Erin was a true believer but disavowed said beliefs. Holtzmann openly embraces and enjoys her position of 'mad scientist' where Spengler wouldn't even realise how wacky his ideas could be. Tolan believes in their mission more than Zeddemore, who mostly believed in his cheque. Yates however is pretty much a female Stantz, though perhaps more efficient and focussed. Of course, there is the elephant in the room - all four of the New Ghostbusters are in fact women. And in all honesty? It makes very little difference in the end. You could swap any of the actresses/roles for male equivalents and it really wouldn't affect the movie in the least. Of the main quartet, Kate Mckinnon as Holtzmann is probably the funniest, though all four do get their moments to shine - and all four are overshadowed in pure laughs by Chris Hemsworth embracing a role as a brainless beauty - possibly a joke stretched just a little too far by the movie's end. The first Ghostbusters is widely held as a classic comedy, and this new version probably won't ever be quite as acclaimed, and perhaps doesn't try as hard as it might to step out of the shadow of the 80s film. But it's a solid movie in it's own right, and certainly not the terrible mess that the detractors (and let's face it, the first trailer) would have had everyone believe. In fact, the best bit of the film came as very pleasant surprises - Mckinnon as very much the MVP of the quartet, Melissa Mc Carthy doing an impressive job of playing it straight, Leslie Jones' character and performance being far more nuanced and amusing on second glance than first. Overall, a good film, well made and consistently funny, and recommended as a film to watch in a cinema. (With the caveat that the new theme song is just terrible.)
Ghostbusters (2016) - It\'s good, can we move on please?
It's fine. Guys, are we good? Can we please move on now? Can people *please* stop shouting each other down as either misogynists or Feminazis? In any case, the actual movie at the center of this whole internet debacle is a film that had everything stacked against it. The idea of  getting remade is a stupid idea to begin with and the trailers were shite (though to be fair, this is a Paul Feig film, and his films NEVER have good trailers), add on to that the whole debacle about the female cast and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, the film is actually pretty decent. Not a great movie, no where near as good as the original, and not Paul Feig's best movie, but it is a decent film. The film's good parts can mainly be attributed to the cast: Melissa Mc Carthy as Abigail Yates, Kristen Wiig as Erin Gilbert, Kate Mc Kinnon as Jillian Holtzmann (who is THE BEST CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE ) and Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan (who, despite what the trailers may tell you, is much more than just a walking stereotype) are all obviously having great fun as the Ghostbusters and are endlessly watchable as a result. Most of the jokes land, and Chris Hemsworth is endlessly funny as the receptionist, though the film does over use him at some points. Aside from the main cast, the practical effects and the Ghostbuster's gadgets are really cool to look at, all the Ghosts have great designs (even if the CGI isn't always 100%) the action is a lot of fun and if nothing else, I do want to see Yates, Gilbert, Holtzmann and Tolan in a sequel. However, this film does have some pretty major flaws: to start with, the villain, Rowan (Neil Casey) is entertaining but ultimately flatter than cardboard, the film is chock-a-block full of advertising, it's somewhat unevenly paced with a rushed third act, the CGI on the Ghosts is sub-par and whenever the film tries to tell a joke and it fails, it REALLY fails. The biggest problem I have with this movie however, is that it makes way too many references to the original movie. The film seems to be afraid to do its own thing (and when it does do its thing, that's when it becomes good) so there are many cameos by the original actors and props and story beats from the first movie that instead of coming across as cute nods to the original, instead feel like a movie afraid of straying too far from covered ground. All this familiarity can't help but leave the film tasting a bit exploitative. All in all, if the film had been a bit braver in forging its own identity, I think it could rival the original. As is, it's got enough in the cast, the comedy and the ghosts for me to give a casual recommendation. As far as nostalgic reboots of old properties go you can do much worse than this. Much, much, much, much worse.
Guess Who Everyone is going to be Cosplaying as Now
It's a sad realisation that a large part of 2016's Ghostbusters target audience will be sitting at home, arms folded, muttering to themselves that they will not under any circumstances watch this betrayal of a movie. Sad, because they are pointlessly denying themselves a perfectly good comedy and one of the few decent big screen releases in the last couple of months. Ghostbusters is not really a remake or a sequel, but a reboot to the franchise. It follows some of the same beats of the original movie and has plenty of unsubtle references to it, but it soon becomes its own thing. To get it out of the way right now; yes, like a lot of reboots, Ghostbusters is largely superfluous movie that can't hope to beat the original. Unlike a lot of reboots however, it is actually done well, made by people who seem to have got the gist of what made the original good in the first place. This isn't like new Robocop or new Total Recall, which sucked out all the fun and salt and put nothing back in. It isn't quite Mad Max: Fury Road either, but it is certainly closer to that than the former. And that's not just because it has more women in it. What makes it work is that director Paul Feig centres the movie around its characters, letting scenes largely work off of the chemistry between talented comedy actors, which is what the original did too. Unlike the original however, it doesn't go for the dry wit of Murray and Ackroyd but instead chooses to be very loud and silly. This is most obvious with Kate Mckinnon's turn as a platinum punk nerd who looks peculiarly like Egon from the cartoon. Her "wacky" antics can come off as either hilarious or intolerable, depending on how you are inclined. I liked her, but she was close to crossing the line. There isn't much more you can say about a comedy movie other than "it's funny, go watch it''. But well it is funny goddamnit and you should go watch it. If you are anything like me, you'll appreciate the reason to go sit in a dark, fully air-conditioned room away from an uncommon scorcher of a British summer.
A Truly Worthy Successor - Spoiler free
As a fan of the original and its sequel, I must say that this film actually does do respect for the original while at the same time it stands on its own very well. The characters were actually quite likable, though Kevin is going to get some mixed opinions. Still, he manages to be pretty funny at times, like when he fails to repeat the jargon that Erin speaks (something I'd be doing in the exact same situation). Abby isn't really loud or obnoxious, contrary to initial expectations; she's pretty awesome when it comes to the ghostbusting. Patti herself is not some racial stereotype but an average girl whose knowledge of the history of buildings come into play and she comes up with the plan that saves the city. Jill is delightfully nutty and Erin is a true heroine, willing to risk life and limb for her city and friends. And the villain is a cunning genius whose plan unfolds from the start, even things that seems like setbacks. If there's one thing I truly loved it's that Patti is established early on as opposed to later on. It gives her a stronger connection to the team, something the original would have benefited from. The jokes were actually quite good and at times the humor blends with the seriousness. The opening itself is pretty damn funny as the Tour Guide recounts the story of the haunted house. It bounces from utter seriousness to outright hilarity in an even manner. There's also Ozzy saying he's having flashbacks. The film even delivered on the heartwarming level. All the cameos from the original were excellent to see. And there's even some traditional animation towards the end. Like their predecessors, the ladies played well off of each other and truly bonded as a team, as friends. The city thanks the team at the end of the movie via very touching light signals. T. Shapiro's score is a worthy successor to E. Bernstein's and is nothing short of spectacular. It's appropriately creepy and uses the theme as a leitmotif for the ladies' heroics. Battle of Times Square is a perfect example. Not only is it the best track but the scene itself is damn awesome as the ladies fight their way to the Mercado, busting ghost after ghost. Jill herself gets the best moment from it. The special effects are nothing short of amazing. The ghosts were amazingly detailed (ex. the first ghost having a shadowy ribcage). If you go to see this movie then please see it in 3D. It adds both depth and substance to it. The proton lasers look like they're coming out of the screen and the electric ghost's sparks look like they'll come into the theatre. Heck, I swear it felt like there was a chill in the theatre every time a ghost appeared. This all being said, the films is not without its flaws. There's not enough backstory between Abby, Erin, Jill has next to none, and even the villain himself needed more. It also felt like there's a piece missing between the Ghostbusters meeting the mayor.