Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Movie Mania - Ghostbusters (2016)

I actually saw the new Ghostbusters about a month ago. Frankly, I put off writing a review about it, partly from disappointment, partly because Tarzan and Suicide Squad were much more fun movies.

Unfortunately, Ghostbusters highlighted all the problems with a remake, along with a ton of the sexism in our society, long before cameras started rolling on the project.

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1) The writers didn't try to force-fit the personalities of the original characters into the new ones. Kristen Wiig playing the straight-woman physicist seeking tenure against Melissa McCarthy's too-passionate, non-conventional scientist in a realistic way. These two ladies worked just as well together here as they did in Bridesmaids.

2) Leslie Jones as the non-scientist, common-sensical member of the group was a delight. Her character jumped into a new world with both feet, taking command of her life instead of being dragged into it out of desperation for a pay check.

3) The writers poked fun at the token-opposite-gender, dumb-blond secretary memes, and Chris Hemsworth ran with it.

4) Kate McKinnon was my personal favorite as Dr. Holtzmann, the team's insane engineer. I was never quite sure what she'd do next.

5) The cameos of the surviving cast members of the original Ghostbusters totally rocked, especially Sigourney Weaver's turn as Holtzmann's mentor.

1) The writing was uneven. The humor was dead-on when it came to the satire of the university system or gender roles. But there was a tone-deaf attitude toward the paranormal aspects. Also, the pacing of the first half was incredibly slo-o-o-ow.

2) The editing left something to be desired as well. There were scenes essentially left hanging in the first half of the movie. With no context, they made no sense. On the other hand, the last half of the movie was tightly woven, both in writing and editing. It's almost like the two writers and two editors literally divided the movie instead of collaborating.

3) The killing of Bill Murray's character, Martin Heiss, a debunker of psychic/paranormal phenomenon a la James Randi, was unnecessary. While I understand the writers' aim to convery the seriousness of the threat to the protagonists, the incident wasn't funny and totally not in keeping with the light-hearted tone of the movie.

4) I missed Rick Moranis, the only original cast member to decline a cameo. I totally understand his reasoning (he semi-retired from acting after the death of his wife in order to raise their children), but it wasn't quite the same without him.

To me, the sad part is this could have been a kick-ass movie. It was decent for a remake. What's worse is a few male friends saw the same flaws in the movie that I did, but they feel they cannot say anything without being labeled as misogynist. Ironically, they wanted the reboot to work far more than I did. It's a damn shame that we've come to this in American society.

For the movie itself, I'd give it a 5 out of 10 stars.


  1. I liked it on the whole, but I didn't really like the "dumb blond secretary" thing. Yes, Hemsworth did a great job with the material he was given. And I saw what they were trying to do, subverting a sexist trope. Okay, yay, half a point for good intentions. But when the audience STILL ends up laughing at the woman, I don't think of that as a feminist subversion, ya know? [sigh]

    I definitely agree that Dr. Holtzman was the funnest character. :D


    1. I understand how bad Dan Ackroyd wanted to continue the series, but yeah, this was disappointing.