The New GHOSTBUSTERS isn’t going to please everybody, but it should. That’s not the takeaway here.

Never have 4 women playing fictional ghost hunters
caused so many losers with no lives to lose their minds.

So, usually, when I write about how I’d have made a film differently, it ends up being a fairly involved explanation.  However, there really isn’t that much to fix with the new GHOSTBUSTERS movie.  It works fine and, I’d say, it’s probably a tighter origin story than the original film.  Honestly, I laughed my ass off and the fact that women made me laugh my ass off makes it all the more interesting and fun to me.

Of course, I’m not threatened by women in the least, so maybe I’m unique among men.  But I’ll get to more of this in a bit.  For now, I’ll stick with the film, itself.  So…

WHAT WORKED IN GHOSTBUSTERS

Full disclosure: I am not a big fan of the original GHOSTBUSTERS.  That’s not to say I don’t like the film–I do.  I’m just not one of those people that praises it endlessly.  I’d rather watch CADDYSHACK or STRIPES.  The point is, this film didn’t have to live up to any any preconceived expectations for me.  All it had to do was tell a cohesive story and make me laugh.  Which it did!  The bonus is that the cast are all really funny people who made the film quite fun to watch.  Usually, in American cinema, women aren’t allowed to be funny.  So, this was a real treat.

Also, the warm reverence this film holds for the original GHOSTBUSTERS is wonderful.  If only every reboot had this kind of respect for its source material.  It was so great seeing all of this film’s nods to what came before.

Obviously, the FX were amazing, but there really is no excuse for them to not be in today’s world. 

 WHAT DID NOT WORK IN GHOSTBUSTERS

There was an over all sense of “meh” I got from the story.  It was fun enough, but I just didn’t get that the stakes were very high for anyone.  One of the reasons I prefer THE OMEN over THE EXORCIST is because THE EXORCIST just assumes you believe in God and Satan.  It doesn’t try much to  build a universe where God and Satan are real.  THE OMEN, however, takes you down a path of discovery with the protagonist that, quite thoroughly, establishes that Satan is real and his son needs to be stopped. Unfortunately, neither this GHOSTBUSTERS or the original does much to make me believe, aside from just showing a bunch of ghosts.  Like it’s predecessor, this new version doesn’t do much to describe a world where ghosts exist and how that world would be different from our own.  Think of any GHOSTBUSTERS film like you would a sequel to SHAUN OF THE DEAD.  That hypothetical sequel would take place in a world where zombies are an every day part of life and have changed culture and society.  Ghosts existing would do the same–even if the ghosts in the current story were just some sudden “flare up of ghost activity” as is the case in the new GHOSTBUSTERS.  This certainly can’t have been the first flare up.  Let’s hear about the previous ones.  Imagine if all of the cows that once lived on Manhattan (back when it had farms on it, maybe?) suddenly came back as ghosts and were stampeding down Broadway. If one tenth of the people who ever died in New York City came back as ghosts, that would be an insane amount of people.

But this isn’t my biggest problem with the film.

What’s worse is the utter lack of stakes.  GHOSTBUSTERS isn’t the first ghost film to fail on this level.  It’s a problem I have with most ghost stories.  OK, so, you’ve got a ghost. So?  What has a ghost ever done to anyone?  They are very rarely depicted doing anything to harm anyone.  They just key in on our base fear of death.  This is a pretty boring premise to base an entire movie around.  As a result, you need the “cats and dogs living together” chaos from the original film promised somehow.  Ghosts need to be claiming souls or otherwise causing havoc.  All we saw in GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) was Slimer running amok and ghosts infesting everything.  Mild chaos, I suppose, but it really wasn’t clear why this was worse than say, the aftermath of a Lakers game.  There is one cast member who maybe got killed by a ghost, but the film, does not clarify this. I’ll get into more on this in the Spoiler Zone below.

So, in the middle of the climax, I was pretty much just shrugging because the imagination of the writers had pretty much run out.  In fact, there wasn’t a lot of imagination put into the ghosts at all.  One character claims she knows all about New York City history, but that was barely exploited.  It would have been great if ghosts of historical NYC residents showed up that she could recognize and come up with ways to stop or capture them.

Nobody dies and the only threat to anyone comes in the form of a portal to the ghost dimension where people might get pulled. BIG HERO SIX much?

I’m not saying I don’t like the film!  Just being critical where I think it could have been better. I know making movies is hard. Go watch a short one I made: mrpuppet.thepal.us

INTO THE SPOILER ZONE: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: THERE BE PLOT POINTS AHEAD! ARRRR.

OK, so what happened to Bill Murray?  He plays a debunker, but is carried out a GB HQ window by a winged ghost and is never heard from again.  

And what was with the “U” pin that both the blonde Ghostbuster (Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon) and Sigourney Weaver wore?  I get that it’s a “U” with a screw through it (GET IT, meh, it’s cute but, really, movie?).  It could have been a nice bit of universe building to establish something big behind it.  Instead, it’s just a pin Holtzmann probably got from Weaver, who is clearly her mentor. I thought the “U” might represent some sort of crazy science university for insanely advanced brainiacs. 

And why did Times Square turn into a time warp?  Was it because every time the film would cut to fictional New York City it looked like a studio set?  I liked the idea of ghosts from long past showing up, but why did Times Square from long past show up?  Was it just a set from a previous movie laying around?  If you’re going to use pirates and colonial-era ghosts, make stronger choices with them!  If not ghosts of actual people from NYC history, how about ghosts of fictional people from fictional NYC history?  Something beyond just the two ghosts at the beginning which have vague backstories that are never actually explored.

I get that making a GHOSTBUSTERS movie at all took a lot of effort and there was probably a lot of  pushback along the way, so I’m fine with forgiving these problems and just enjoying the film.  There is one thing that I am not willing to forgive… but we are done with the spoilers.

END OF SPOILER ZONE: YOU ARE NOW SAFE TO READ ON WITHOUT HAVING THE MOVIE RUINED FOR YOU

There has been a lot of hubbub about this film regarding something that should absolutely not be an issue.  It’s been caused by the thing that is absolutely unforgivable to me.

Yep! In the end, it’s men.  There are no women tweeting horrible things at Leslie Jones.

THE UNFORGIVABLE THING ABOUT THE NEW GHOSTBUSTERS

Sexist jerks who think an all female GHOSTBUSTERS cast is somehow disrespecting the original GHOSTBUSTERS.  It is really hard for me to accept that there are people this backwards in the 21st century.  We’ve got gay marriage in most states in America, we’re working on trans-gender-safe rest rooms.  We have a black president, as I type this, and we’ll probably have a female president next year.  Yet, somehow, there are people who say we can’t have female Ghostbusters.  

What’s worse is that there has been a sexism-inspired concerted effort to slam the film, its stars and it’s viewer ratings on IMDB.  What’s even worse is that there was an organized effort to drive at least one cast member from Twitter.  Leslie Jones had to deal with an absurd amount of harassment from some serious losers who need to get lives.  She had sexually offensive photos tweeted at her and, yes, in 2016, people sent her photos of gorillas.  

Absolutely.

Despicable.

So, not only do men of color have to worry about cops murdering them, but now women of color have to worry about centuries-old racist “jokes” being hurled at them all day long.  These scumbags need to understand that being racist is being the bad guy, the oppressor, the person who usually dies at the end of an action movie because he’s, well, a huge douche bag. 

Now, not everyone who has been hating on the new GHOSTBUSTERS is racist.  Some of them aren’t even sexist.  These people still don’t want a new GHOSTBUSTERS.  This next paragraph is for them.

One of my favorite movies is the original 1987 TRANSFORMERS film.  It is so much fun!  And it has robots, heroism, death, destruction and heavy metal music!!  It’s awesome and exciting and wonderful.  When Michael Bay decided to make his own TRANSFORMERS movie, I was annoyed.  I knew he’d do a rotten job and felt that he was disrespecting something dear to my heart for many years.  However, after confirming my fears by seeing the first of five fricken TRANSFORMERS films, I elected to just not care.  The less I cared, the more healthy my stress level was.  And you know what? I can pop my DVD of the 1987 TRANSFORMERS into my aging DVD player any time I want.  

So, why the heck can’t these jerks with too much time on their hands just slide their well-worn VHS copy of the original GHOSTBUSTERS into their video cassette recorders and enjoy the past the same way I do?  Why do some of these people have to do such horrible things to anyone who dares make a movie they don’t like (or worse, don’t want to like)?  Are the rest of their lives so depressingly out of whack that they need to hate on something that can be somewhat easily ignored?

These are rhetorical questions, of course, but these people bug me anyway.  I would have just ignored them, but to see the kind of harassment that Leslie Jones had to put up with is just spirit-breaking–and I’m not even the one being harassed.

If you happen to be one of these people who don’t understand why anyone would want a lady GHOSTBUSTERS movie, you should really rethink your attitude toward women.  You may think you’re not being sexist but you are.  The more you dig in and think “some things only men should do” the more stuck in time you’ll become.  Men have been doing all the cool stuff in movies, TV shows, and in life forEVER.  Stop this archaic thinking and join the future.  The future is a place where everyone can do, within reason, anything they want–including busting fictional ghosts in a movie nobody is forcing you to see.

Please come back to Twitter, @Lesdogg! Twitter is kind of caring about things like this now by banning masterminds of hate campaigns! Hopefully, Twitter will continue to give a crap!

Was the new GHOSTBUSTERS a perfectly entertaining film? Sure was! But you have to admit, the world would be better without so much sexism and racism.