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.

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Ghostbusters (2016), destined to be a…bust and here’s why.

If Batman v Superman will go down as the film that got burned at the stake during the first week of release this year. Then Ghostbusters will go down as the film that collapsed before the reaching the starting line; let alone the first hurdle. “But why, wasn’t Ghostbusters three one of the most anticipated sequels to finally come out development hell?” You would be right random sentence of text that I clearly didn’t type, but this isn’t what we got. This new film is basically a remake of the original film…but with women. That is basically been the marketing so far.

You see while Ghostbusters three was talked about and planned, with multiple drafts and actors (with the exception of Bill Murray) keen to return….until Sony Pictures were fed up with the constant delays, and decided to do this without Murray. And they’ve doing this with the characters , while leaving the franchise legacy of Ghostbusters behind with him; in exchange for the four women we have now.

Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, I already like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wigg, and at this point in the franchise new team mates were kinda the first thing needing to be sorted. Films like The Force Awakens have shown an old franchise with new characters can work. However it’s not them or the other actors who are to blame. But rather it was the fact that from the first two trailers, viewers and life long fans could tell it was a film made because Sony had the license to use the Ghostbusters brand. The fact that the film was a repeat of the original, but having flat jokes and characters, lack luster effects and a seemingly bland story (at least from what is seen in the two trailers). And the fact that Sony is clearly using the all female cast as a way to show the company as progressive is the least of the films problems. Hell i even tried to review the domestic trailer when i came out, but gave up as i had nothing new to say, even if i could phrase it properly.

All this and more has led the film’s first trailer to become the most disliked trailer on YouTube. Ghostbusters trailer.jpgKeep that in mind, trailers to some of the worst films ever made, were more well received than this one. However like most terrible things, where there’s decorators there’s also supporters. Mainly from feminist groups and online feminist. OK either you’ve been keeping up to date with these events, or this was inevitable; either way the lack of surprise in your face is showing.

“Well OK, but given how many failed adaptations there have been in the past, what’s making this one show infamous?” Good question someone who isn’t me, the news of this being a reboot was the ignition to the fuse of the bomb which will be this film. In between the time of filming, and the release of the first trailer; it was clear that the cast and decision to scrap the franchise’s past was the least of Sony’s problems. By the way I didn’t find this myself, and there’s a lot to talk about, if you want full details, go and watch this video by Midnight’s Edge; he explains probably better than I could, but I’ll try my best.

In 2015 Sony announced the cast of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the new team for the film; with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig directing this film. Despite the Sony hacks of 2014 revealing emails from Fieg stating that would only do the film, unless he got final say on everything; along with arguing and flat out refusing to work series creator Ivan Reitman, the film was set to be made. Which was promising to the leads, as they were fans of the original, McCarthy stated that she was a fun of ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ cartoon series. So this must have been the time of their lives, right? Wrong! angry Ghostbusters cast.jpgAccording to a 4Chan user (who apparently worked on the set) McCarthy and other members of the cast would regularly argue with Feig over the “lame duck of a script”. It had gotten so bad that Sony took legal action, making the leads to keep quite about anything negative from the film. And given the performances  from the trailer it shows that the cast was miserable on set. What’s worse is the fact that, when Sony couldn’t get the original cast back; they legal pressured them into making cameo appearances; yeah.Ghostbuster poster.jpg

Feig isn’t of the hook here. Anyone who followed the man on Twitter will know he rants like a sailor with Tourette’s syndrome. The back lash of replacing the original cast and characters,  with four people who just so happened to be women, being one of his rambling topics. Yep joining the social justice feminist who were champing the film for its female cast, before the first trailer had any footage. Then some time later, a Redit user named “Stanz1984” (again works at Sony) wrote a post outlining the story of the film, and called it “a train wreck”. Again, it’s a bit long, so watch this video if you’re interested then come back here. Despite the majority of the comments agreeing with Stanz, many others debated whether this was serious or not. Then comes the first trailer, and many scenes are reflective of this leak. From the spray painted logo, the vomiting ghost, the Chinese restaurant used as a base and a possessed McCarthy. Those same people saw that this post is some what reflective of the finished project. So fan back lash met the trailer, and then two more trailers didn’t help….like at all.

 Finally I’ve mentioned how the film’s trailer has gotten major backing from SJW feminist, who’ve been leading the charge of: “if you hate this film, then you’re sexist!” However guess who else is playing that card; Sony. I recently found a video from  Youtuber Alachia Queen, she made a review of the first trailer of the film, to which multiple people in the comments had informed her, of how their comments and criticisms in the trailer’s comments had been removed by Sony….except for the ones with sexist or racist statements of course. Oh and remember that Stanz guy from Redit, yeah he mentioned how Sony is now in complete damage control after the disastrous response of the released trailers; claiming the sexist responses are the ones hurting the film. Nice try Sony,if there’s anything to be learned from Feminist Frequency, is that you can only play the misogyny card before people realize you’re trying to use newspaper to save a sinking ship.

This is quite possibly the most tiring blogs I’ve had to write yet; so let’s get this done. If some how you avoided the trailers for the film, and don’t know what the fuss is about. Well pick one of the many things I’ve talked about here, either way you’ll be right. Like with Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four back in 2015; this film will have serious effects on everyone involved. Sony the most, as they were planning to have this as their big flag-ship franchise, since they gave Spider man back to Marvel last year. I’m writing this in May, with the film coming out in July here in the UK; and unless Sony some how makes a movie better than the original Ghostbusters, this film will tank at the box office. Because believe or not Fantastic Four had its buzz killed due to director melt downs on Twitter, arguments on set, and the plot being mocked via leaks on the internet; and even those who haven’t seen the film know how badly that turned out.

Alright everyone, I’ll see you again with a less serious blog.

Thank you for your time.