Friday, May 27, 2016

Thoughts on the new Ghostbusters



To begin, for what it’s worth, I don’t hate the new Ghostbusters movie.  I just suspect that I will get more enjoyment out of watching the few movie reviewers I follow rip it apart than I’ll get in a few years when I eventually watch the movie on TV.  And there are three basic reasons for this.

Number one.  It is a remake/reboot/reimagining whatever of a good movie.  I’m not saying that can’t be done well, but the track record isn’t good.  Remember Total Recall?  Not the 1990 version that everyone remembers, the 2012 version that I know I saw (I’m pretty sure on TV) but all I really remember is a sense of bland disappointment. 

Number two.  It’s all a gimmick.  If you’re in a pinch and you need a story idea, an easy way out is to take a classic and add a gimmick.  For example, you can have “A futuristic version of,” The Lord of the Flies, or The Great Gatsby, “but with lesbians.” Sometimes these gimmicks can hit a mark, such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  (I haven’t seen the movie version, but I did enjoy the book.)  But this new movie is just Ghostbusters, but with women.  Which, if you think about it, is a pretty weak gimmick.  Maybe if Tatiana Maslany played all the roles, that would be more interesting.  (I’m now somewhat curious for the Ghostbusters/Orphan Black crossover fanfic.  Sarah, Cosima, and Helena could hunt the ghosts and bury them in Alison’s garage.)  It just seems as if they didn’t do any work beyond that gimmick.  If instead they had done a movie where Ghostbuster was actually a movie that inspired a young girl to study ghosts and twenty some years later she started a “real-life” Ghostbusters with some of her friends, then that would be an idea I’d at least be curious about.

The third reason I’m not all that interested in this new Ghostbusters are the trailers.  I did a reaction video to me watching the first one – after hearing bad reviews of it – and I think the disgusted sigh in the final two seconds pretty much summed it all up.  Well, a second trailer came out not too long ago.  One of the reviews I saw of it basically said, “This one has jokes,” which is a great way to promote a comedy.  I eventually got around to watching the second trailer – I didn’t bother making a reaction video to it – but could somebody point out the jokes to me?  There were things I’m sure were meant to be funny, but they reminded me more of bad SNL skits that are forgotten by the next day than things I’d want to pay money to see.

Basically, everything I’ve seen or heard about this new Ghostbusters movie gives me the impression it’s of the class of, “We just have to put the name of a popular movie in the title – Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Terminator, etc. – and people will go see it, even if we don’t bother trying to make it a good movie.” That is behavior I don’t want to reward.  Now, I could be wrong.  This new Ghostbusters could be one of the funniest movies of the year.  But as of today, I don’t know how that could be possible.