Review: Ghostbusters (2016) Another remake on the pile

  So after a disastrous marketing campaign, the remake of Ghostbusters has finally arrived in cinemas. A lot has changed since my blog on the subject. For one thing the cast went from being mostly silent to at least willing to talk to Graham Norton and Ellen DeGeneres, yet again word on the street (or Internet) is that after multiple on set arguments the cast were legally required to not bad mouth the film, due to Sony not wanting a repeat of Josh Trank’s meltdown during his time on Fantastic Four back in 2015. And given the stuff that went down….can’t say I blame them. Secondly the “all haters of this film are woman hating, basement dwelling, neck bearded, lifeless, Trump supporting (really) friendless misogynist” line of defence has gotten so out of control, to the point  where a female YouTuber like Comicbookgirl19 can bash the trailer and go unscathed, despite outright boycotting the film. Meanwhile James Rolfe can simply say he won’t review the film, and somehow make headlines in the process. Screenshot (2).pngHell Melissa McCarthy (and now recently Leslie Jones) went from regularly slagging the film’s director of to her friends and crew mates; to now labelling the trailer’s detractors as sexist so often you’d expect her to be preaching this stuff from her Tumblur account given her body shape. Come at me feminist! Oh and Fall Out Boy released a cover of the original Ghostbusters theme (because) with Missy Elliot (for some reason). So now the film is finally here; how does the birth / potential death of Sony’s Ghostbusters’ cinematic universe pan out?

Being a remake of an old film, the story is not much different in the new film. We follow three scientists: Abby, Erin, Jullian and Patty, the group’s token black Ghostbuster. As they set up their business hunting ghost. The main difference (outside of the cast) is the change of villains. Instead of Gozer, a demon crossing our dimension to enslave us all; we instead get Rowan, a guy suffering from the same condition as the kid from The Sixth Sense, as he builds a machine to summon ghost, as he uses them to take control of New York after becoming a ghost himself. Yep turns out the Reddit leak was more accurate than we thought, despite the dis jointed writing.

Now then the elephant in the room, the cast. They’re good. They’re competent actors that work with what they’re given, and they work well together. That said, if you’ve seen any of the leads act in anything, They are basically doing that again. If you’ve seen McCarthy and Wigg in Bridesmaids, Spy or the such; not a lot has changed as they are just playing themselves really, as per their other work. Wigg is the awkward straight woman, McCarthy is the rude wise crack (to the point that she’s just redoing her character from The Heat), and Jones is the sassy black chick. On that subject, SONY! If you’re going to preach about how progressive you are to your audience; why did you cast the black woman as the stereotypical, sassy, loud black lady? She’s only on the team due to her street smarts, and will loudly scream her lines every other chance she gets, in an attempt to be sassy. No wonder the Social Justice Warriors of the Internet ate the trailers up, it wears hypocrisy like a fancy hat, as they do. To the point where the people involved talk about how the all female cast shows their progressive side; in a story where every male character falls on the spectrum of jackass (e.g Rowan and the mayor) or dumb-ass like Chris Hemsworth’s character. You get the feeling that the film is punishing the guy for being the funniest character in the film by making him one chromosome away from a short bus and a drawl bucket.

On a more calmer note, while the three do well as their characters, Kate McKinnon is trying to pull of the tom-boy-ish tough girl, she does well at it. Her moments were the most fun to watch, particularly the end fight in Time Square. It’s her and Chris Hemsworth that are the comedic heights of the film; even if his jokes all ended being: “ha, isn’t he dumb?!” Their timing and their material were the comedic high lights, while the other jokes are just….meh. I will also say that Jones is probably best written as a character, because while the rest of team are pretty much fearless to the point where the only time they experience fear towards a ghost, is the opening at the mansion. Meanwhile Jones as Patty naturally is scared at the start; and then braves up throughout the story. In a cast of exaggerated performances, she’s the most realistic character.

But the problems are mostly due to the script than the actors who say them; at most, the rest of the jokes will make you chuckle. However i will give the script some pros when it comes to the more serious aspects; such the action and scenes with the ghost. Which just make the film a bit disjointed, as in between those moments, the film is mostly busy trying to crack jokes after one liners. Some better than others.

One other element of the trailer that got torn apart upon the release was the effects that range from weak to “oh good god there are games on the original Xbox that look better than this”! That being said upon seeing the final film, they are well animated and are detailed nicely. But it’s the rending that’s holding it back, making each ghost look like the love child of a neon glow stick, and the rejects of The Haunted Mansion ride. When compared to the live action actors, it’s just embarrassing to see the two contrasting against each other makes it more obvious. However the practical elements, such as the props, the costumes and the like were done well and look good; same with the editing and cinematography

Now given how this is a remake, of course call backs to the original were inevitable; and compared to the rest of the film, they stick out like saw thumbs. I already talked about how the original cast are legal obligated to show up….i mean appear in cameos. With Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson having the best ones, as they are relevant to the events around the cast. While Sigourney Weaver is just there, and Dan Akyrod’s cameo just wants to make bang my head against a wall given how forced it was. And the forced nostalgia keeps on going. As not only do the original cast return, not only do they re harsh elements of the first film’s plot, not only do they force characters like Slimer and The Stay Puff Marsh Mellow Man into it; but they repeat the ending of the first film. Note for note, and the characters don’t take any notice until Rowan starts to attack them; it’s that shameless.

And speaking of Rowan, he was the low point for me. As a villain he isn’t interesting; as he falls under revenge motive #446, the picked on, bullied loner. Now that’s a lame motivation, but he spends his time monologing his motives to himself/ the audience; because having that be explained through the narrative was too difficult without pulling a Frank Underwood…i guess. Also can i just say how the guy has he fastest decent to omnipotence i think I’ve seen in a film. As he starts making stuff himself, to entering god mode by the time the third act arrives. Do you want to know why, so would i. Oh can i just that Rowan’s final fight has the worst effects in the film, with his ghost form looking as fake as it did in the trailers.

In conclusion as much as we may or may not have bashed the trailer, discovered the behind the scenes mess, and called out Sony for actively shaming and bullying the demographic they need to see the film. Yeah Sony, turns out if you get criticism from the fan base of an existing franchise you’re working on, and then label said criticism as bigotry; well then you shouldn’t be shocked that you drove away the people who were going to give you the money you wanted. So is it bad? No. Is it good?  Meh….While it has its good moments and the cast being one of the highlights of the film. It is just OK; but I fear that the back lash will probably be the most significant thing to come out the film.

Five out of ten.

Thank you for your time.

Top Four Star War Anthology films i want to see

With ‘Star Wars: Rouge One’….oh I’m sorry, “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story” reaching theatres with a few months, seriously can I just say how that title makes the film sound like something from a Channel Five documentary? Well in any case this kicks of the first of the Star Wars Anthology films; or rather the films Disney will release while we wait for episodes eight and nine. Either way this unlocks huge potential for the world of the franchise, given the endless possibilities that can be taken….when Josh Trank isn’t involve as he was mean to be; until his career ended like a fart in church. But this is just some of the many ideas that could come from this sub section of the franchise. Whether they’d be many takes on existing ideas (confirmed by Disney or other wise) or some I haven’t seen suggested. Here are the top four ideas of the next Star Wars anthology film.

1) Boba Fett: Fett is known as one of the most popular Star Wars characters…ever. Which is surprising as the guy didn’t do much in the two films he appeared in. He looks great, and sounds cool; but does very little. Then comes the expanded universe, giving him more stories and further development. And when the anthology idea was announced; a lot of fans looked at each other and went “they need to do A Boba Fett film”. And it’s going through, and given the opportunity and the money they can make of Boba’s popularity, why would they not? After all the Disney executive that turns that idea down will be forever tared throughout the offices…

” Get on with it”!  OK quotation person, good god!

Anyway, my take on the film, is that it could do well as a potential thriller of Boba tracking down a bounty, obviously. A film in the style of ‘The 39 Steps’ or ‘Mad Max Fury Road’; where the bounty is chased from planet to planet, as Boba is tracking the guy and investigating the location. Have him as a ‘Dirty Harry’ sort of character. Hey if Rouge One can pull of gritty in its first trailer surely that idea isn’t that far of a stretch. Or maybe have the potential target be the protagonist of the story, with Boba as the villain paid to track him down. Have them go to different worlds in the franchise as he meets new people as they help him escape Boba. With the main story could be something like a falsely accused person running from the law, while trying to investigate who set him up.  Or any other crime that could set the guy of on this wild goose chase. And with Boba, he has the Slave One ship, so we’ll get great action scenes on land and IN SPACE! As a fan of The Muppets, I had to.

2) Knights of Ren: Back when ‘The Force Awakens’ had it’s first trailer released, one discussion point was the hilt on the lightsaber of Kylo Ren. Why does it need on other than to look cool. One, to stop the user’s hand being cut; watching the Obi-Wan V Grievous fight if you don’t believe me. And secondly, according to a book called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary” his design resembles a design as used by accident Jedi knights.

“Ding” goes the light bulb.

Have a film where we see Kylo’s discovery of Sith history, seeing how his Knights of Ren operate, while also seeing the Solo family fall apart as Ren rise to power. Naturally this could greatly further explore Supreme Leader Snoke as a character, as well as show his capabilities as a Sith. The guy pretty much worships Darth Vader as his own personal Jesus, so why not further explore the other elements of Sith past that inspires him; hell maybe even learns from. And at that point, the film can even bring some Expanded Universe stuff (or Legends as Disney now whats to call it) be worked back into cannon. The Sith Wars, Sith Holocrons, Darth Bane, Darth Plagueis or the villains from The Knights of the Old Republic games for example. There are some many great stories no longer consider canon by Disney, I swear if you make any of those elements fit the continuity again fans will be throwing the cash. Come on Disney, do you like money?

3) Poe Dameron: One of the breakout characters from The Force Awakens was Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron. A tough, smart ass that excellently fits the Han Solo role now that this position is now…. available. And given how X-Men Apocalypse showed that Isaac is capable of leading a story; this could lead to a Top Gun style film with the X-Wing  and Tie Fighters, where he leads some pilots on a mission without the homosexual undertones Top Gun is mocked for. Have the story be about how the Poe needs to lead some pilots to save a planet under the control of The First Order; the film ending with a battle of Tie Fighters and X-Wings above the planet of story setting. For inspiration, take any story from books like the Rouge Squadron series and games like Jedi Starfighter; Just to name some endless examples. Basically, do Rogue One with X-Wings! Poe is a likable enough character to lead to carry the story depending on the film’s co-stars. Plus given the amazing action episode seven had; this will be a film well worth singing Highway to the Danger Zone to.

4) Darth Plagueis: Look, say what you will of the prequel films, one good thing to one out of them, was Palpatine; his performance, and In particularly, the brief glimpse at his back story, alongside his Sith master Darth Plagueis. The short story fable Palpatine told Anakin during Revenge of the Sith; a short scene that further developed Palapatine’s character and the idea of bringing people from the dead, was a good way to tempt Anakin; even if his turn to the dark side is rather out of left field. Regardless the scene did this without feeling like a typical prequel scene of two characters randomly talking about every detail of the subject matter. “So why make a movie about Plagueis then?”

Good question. You see with the mystery of Kylo Ren’s master from ‘The Force Awakens’, Supreme Leader Snoke, there’s popular fan theory of Snoke from is going to be revelled as Plagueis, despite the character dying at the end of Palatine’s story, with Palpatine being the one who killed with force lighting; according to the Darth Plagueis novel. So given the guy’s goal in that story was to become powerful enough to the point where he could kill someone only to bring them back to life by his sheer will; why not explain and further develop the character for the main stream audiences? Which further shows how powerful Snoke is, if this is the case. Because if Rey can get called a Mary Sue for getting shit done rather easily, then can you imagine the reviews for episode eight when they pretty much bring a demigod into the mix. Unless they mange to get the characters up to speed with Plagueis’ past, how he’s still alive, how Kylo fits into the plan, along with Snoke’s/ Plagueis’ new plan; all without bogging down the story of Rey and Luke Skywalker. So yeah an adaptation of the Plagueis novel, or a similar story that shows him meeting Palatine, training him in a way that shows how powerful and dangerous this guy is. Even the most basic Star Wars fan knows that The Emperor is powerful, so think about how you can hook the audience on the idea of a villain more powerful than that.

So that’s my list, did I forget about, or flat-out miss out any possible suggestions? Do you agree or disagree with me? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you for your time.