Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I was going to do a 6 minute video to talk about how I intended to review this film and act like it makes me a martyr but I changed my mind.

Ghostbusters (2016) – 4 out of 5

Back in 1984, some comedy legends starred in a little ditty called Ghostbusters and it went on to become an absolutely iconic and classic comedy in every sense of the word.  I’ve heard of it, you’ve heard of it, babies are born knowing it because its existence is ingrained in our collective DNA.  It’s a fantastic and fun film; however, the internet went absolutely bananas when its director stated that, for many reasons, the 3rd film that they’ve fought to try to get made just can’t happen and that it is time to reboot the franchise and he sought out the immensely talented Paul Feig to do it.  The film quickly became a subject of your typical internet scrutiny and millions of comments declared it to be the “worst thing ever made” without seeing it.  I was actually quite excited for the film and did what few people want to do:  Actually watch the film and create my opinion based on experience.  So, what did I think about this new Ghostbusters?  Sort answer:  I loved it!

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They're here to rape your childhood memories...which apparently aren't that tough
since a reboot causes such insane amounts of butthurt.

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is just your average college professor trying to get tenure but after she finds out that a book she wrote about paranormal investigation with her friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) is making the rounds she fears it could end up costing her the job; so she reunites with her in an attempt to get her to remove the book from circulation.  However, when circumstances send her, Abby and the eccentric engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to a haunted location, her love of the paranormal is reawakened and the trio sent out to bust some ghosts.  Eventually they are joined by Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a subway worker who experiences her own haunting and a charming (but kinda dim) receptionist named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).  They’re all set to start up their business but they soon learn that there’s a terrorist named Rowan (Neil Casey) who is out to use ghosts to destroy humanity and they must slap on their proton packs and save New York and the entire world!

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Too bad you never see this type of stuff in those ghost hunting shows.

Like I mentioned, the internet flipped its lid when this film was announced.  People did the usual screaming about how Hollywood has run out of ideas by doing another reboot (never mind the horrible fact that reboots and remakes have existed since the silent film era—but who needs facts when you so desperately want to be outraged), people claimed their childhoods were being raped (because childhood memories are so weak that a single rebooted franchise can wipe them from existence) and the real winners of the internet started to whine about how Ghostbusters “can’t be women”(…because of reasons?).  Other things came out like the Angry Video Game Nerd acting like a martyr for a cause that only exists in his imagination and stated that he will rebel against the system and refused to review it, some people claimed Sony was engineering internet hate in order to make those that defy this film look like women haters and, once again the real winners, went to the creators and called them all kinds of names and stated they should die.  Seems like pretty crazy reactions for a movie.  If only that type of passion was put towards the real problems in the world…

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Visual representation of the internet cowboys who stated that "Ghostbusters can't
be women."  Actually, that's really mean to Slimer.

I’ve never been one to shy away from remakes or reboots.  Maybe it’s because I’m in a Shakespeare troupe or the fact that I was a standup comic for 15 years but I like to see established properties take on new meaning in different eras (or, in the case of standup, old stale jokes take on new life in different ways).  I think it’s cool seeing how a familiar story can be told a different way or from a different perspective.  Every month I’m in a different Shakespeare play and all the cast and myself are always trying to bring new ways of playing our parts, so when a franchise is rebooted my first instinct is never-ending curiosity to see what is changed, what stays the same and how this new take will honor what has come before them.  In the case of Ghostbusters, I was very excited because I’m a huge fan of Paul Feig (without a doubt, one of my favorite comedic directors), I love the original and the cast was made of players I really enjoy.

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Oh, Chris Hemsworth...I adore you!  Stop being so charming and likable.

To start out, this film was just hilarious.  I was cracking up constantly in the film.  The gags are relentless and a whole lot of fun.  The real show stealers for the jokes for me were, without a doubt, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.  The story does a great job of establishing a warm and sympathetic relationship between Wiig and McCarthy’s characters but it is Hemsworth, Jones and McKinnon that really brought the best jokes.  Hemsworth really mastered the “dumb” character but did it in a way where it wasn’t too over-the-top and in a way that made him delightful and charming.  Finally, it is quite obvious that McKinnon was having the time of her life as Holtzmann.

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McKinnon stole the show for me!

Paul Feig and Katie Dippold wrote a film that had a story that was constantly honoring what came before but, at the same time, brought in a modern twist and made it relevant for today’s time.  Just like the original was a product of its era (that still holds up, don’t get me wrong), this one brings in common place tropes out of reality and makes them essential to the plot.  The ladies post their activities to YouTube (and get the usual ugly comments) but, more importantly, the story has to do with a terrorist attempting to utilize paranormal technology to bring about destruction and death (terrorism, that's timely).  This also results in another thing this film did exceptionally well:  The action is very exciting.  The final conflict of the film is big and ridiculously fun!

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The cameos were so enjoyable, too.

The cast in this film is filled with a whole host of very funny people.  Whether it is the main cast or supporting players that featured Zach Woods, Ed Begley Jr., Karan Soni, Michael McDonald (I love how Feig always uses him in his movies), Matt Walsh and Cecily Strong or how members from the original cast make astoundingly fun cameos, this film really delivers an epic cast.  Finally, I really, really, really dug the special effects.  The motion capture ghosts and the effects used to make the glow were visually stunning.

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Sure, they may not be afraid of no ghosts but if I saw this, I'd crap my pants.

The only downside I had for the film was the fact that my favorites of Jones and McKinnon’s characters weren’t as developed as the characters of Gilbert and Yates and the film’s antagonist has promise and his plan is definitely cool but the actual character himself was a tad lacking.  He wasn’t a horrible bad guy but he clearly needed a few more scenes in order to better establish the threat level that he contains and not just establish the threat level his plan had.

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I just absolutely love the ghost effects.  Just gorgeous and creepy at the same time.
Gorpy, if you will.

With a few minor hiccups in the development department aside, Ghostbusters really delivered what I wanted from a film and a reboot.  It perfectly satisfied that nostalgia itch but, at the same time, was able to stand on its own in the franchise.  Paul Feig is clearly passionate about the property and this picture was a love letter to the 1984 classic.  The only difference is this time he brought it on a bigger level and even was able to make it a little creepier that the original during some moments.  Overall, I found the film to be absolutely fun, extremely hilarious and immensely satisfying.  I left the theater with a big grin on my face and I really hope to see the gals suit up and bust some more ghosts in a sequel.

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I know you'll never read this, Paul Feig and Ivan Reitman but I would love to see them
go another round in a sequel.  I'll pay for my ticket now, if you'd like.


  1. Of course Kate McKinnon stole the show. She steals everything she's in because she has the Comedic powers of Jesus.


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