“Ghostbusters” became socially relevant again in the most contrived marketing ploy propelled by the two worst online factions. For most of the last year, the average Internet user has had to hear of ruined childhoods and moral outrage. Back and forth in a near constant hand-wringing of awful people, while mediocre trailer after trailer hit online. Finally, the time came to see the film. First off, the film has one of the best 3D presentations of the year. Whomever oversaw the 3D shoot is a genius and deserves Award recognition. The FX crew worked amazingly well with the cinematographer’s setups to just nail this ultraviolet ghostly flourish that provides for quite a visual treat.
Unfortunately, there are moments without the ghosts. While the world has almost universally decided that Kate McKinnon was the only member of the cast that upped their game, there’s something to be said for the talent involved. They made the most out of a bad situation. A ton of the detractors will whine about their childhoods or the need to give girls something to idolize, but people keep missing a point. There’s a reason why audiences were cold on “Ghostbusters 2” and why the films never came back for 27 years. The first movie is a one and done.
The hypocrisy of the movie-going public will never sit right in my brain. I’ll listen to dozens of readers and other folks complain about the lack of original ideas in Hollywood. They’ll bemoan the production of licensed properties, adaptations and constant remakes/revamps. But, what do they keep going to go see? The same things they claim to hate and which they’ll return to hating after the never-ending cycle of home video and premium cable.
Ghostbusters (2016) is just another cog in that never-ending widget of recycled content. Some sites have brought up the potential for a Ghost Corps series showing each new iteration of the Ghostbusters team existing on a Parallel Earth. While that appeals to the nerd in me, the cold logical bastard keeps shifting back to my original point. Everything in this franchise since 1984 has felt like a heartless retread of what has come before. I don’t care if the main team is all women, the Burger King Kids’ Club or a mop with Googly Eyes voiced by Emo Philips. Show me something new that connect to an audience without having to constantly remind us that a better film already exists.
Female powered films face an uphill battle as it is, but they shouldn’t have to compromise creative integrity to create another summer cash-in. What makes this film so off-the-mark is its desire to say that it’s better than the source material, while constantly trying to borrow from the original to move the film’s plot forward. Throw in cameos that don’t really help the film finds its voice and we’ve got the film equivalent of Chinese Democracy. You might feel good about getting to see a Ghostbusters film in theaters again, but it’s not the same thing. You might try to get your kids to try it out, but they don’t care. The most amazing thing happened in our 3D screening of the film. This elementary school aged kid had a complete meltdown over being made to see it. She got in her dad’s face and screamed “I DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT GHOSTSBUSTERS! I DON’T CARE THAT THEY ARE GIRLS! I WANT TO WATCH SECRET LIFE OF PETS AGAIN!”. That had me chuckling for awhile. I love it when people who have others speaking for them, just rage out.
The cast deserved better, Neil Casey deserved better and the audiences should’ve known better. But, this lackluster summer of 2016 gets another visual treat that will be gone by August. Suck it up, loudmouth groups of all sides and check this one out. In a year, we’ll be swimming retrospectives wondering why anyone cared this much about a simple studio retread. Until next week, when we get to discuss gay Star Trek characters rather than a directionless third Star Trek reboot universe film.
GHOSTBUSTERS MEETS FANDANGO