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Ghostbusters - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
cinema_holic
cinema_holic
Ghostbusters
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Directing: B+
Acting: B+
Writing: B+
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B+
Special Effects: C+



It's too bad the hate leveled at this movie even has to be mentioned. I could ignore it here, but that would create an elephant in the room -- given the pop-culture significance of the misogyny hurled at the creators of this new Ghostbusters -- these are the people, after all, who made the trailer the most disliked in YouTube history, and among the 25 most disliked videos of any kind in history. Yep, that's how many people in this country seriously need to get a life.

And here's what the haters truly don't understand: a huge percentage of this movie's audience wasn't even born when the original Ghostbusters was released in 1984. So guess what? This audience doesn't give a shit about that movie! This new version is the one for them, one in which four truly funny women are the kinds of heroes girls have been deprived of in cinema for decades.

Don't get me wrong, though: this movie is no better than the original. But neither is it any worse. Both versions are very much products of their time. And director/co-writer Paul Feig pays homage to the original left and right in this one, without ever ripping it off outright. Plenty of critical complaints are frankly mystifying. Some say the cameos by virtually all of the original cast are shoehorned awkwardly into the script; I found them to be fun and well integrated. Some say this movie tries to hard to emulate the original; I found it to be significantly different, with plenty of direct references that were given fun, modern twists.

If I had any complaint about this Ghostbusters, it would be in reference to the special effects, which honestly come across a little cheap. What's up with that? The original made use of pretty state-of-the-art effects for 1984, which is always unusual for a comedy. The same could certainly not be said of this movie.

Counterpoint: maybe that doesn't matter so much? If a movie works, it works. I went into this movie not expecting a cinematic masterpiece (newsflash! the 1984 wasn't a masterpiece either), but expecting to be entertained, and to laugh a lot. By those metrics, the new Ghostbusters is a smashing success. And this element should not at all be discounted: the original film has a well-documented history of relegating the one black principal character to less significant importance to the plot after he was originally written as far more noteworthy. This time, it's a black woman (played by the fantastic Leslie Jones) who gets full integration and equal treatment in the plot. This might be the one way in which the remake actually is truly superior to the original film.

One could even argue that making the Ghostbusters all women this time around actually elevates the material all on its own. Girls continue to be deprived of heroes onscreen at the movies. Even most movies with a female lead are packed with male characters at the expense of other female characters, in so doing still giving exponentially more male actors work than female actors. Not so with this movie.

Of course, this infuriates the guys who don't even realize they have male entitlement complexes. It's almost amusing to realize how they feel about it doesn't even matter. This movie won't make the cultural impact that the original did, but that has less to do with the gender reversal of its principal characters than it does with the simple fact that it's still a remake rather than an original idea.

But as remakes go, Ghostbusters might be the best, or most important, remake ever made. This isn't just a money grab, as most remakes are; this is an update that brings these ideas into the modern era. It's tempting to say this Ghostbusters won't change any lives, but actually, maybe it will. This is a movie jam packed with heroes that millions of girls need and deserve, and don't get to see anywhere else. Oh, and by the way: it's really funny. I laughed and laughed.

And as always, that's the bottom line with a comedy, isn't it? The rampant wit in the script in this movie easily makes up for its relatively sub-par special effects. It's easy to overlook such inconsequential flaws when you're laughing through a film's entire run time. And although I would also admit the plot itself isn't quite as tightly polished as that of the original film, it still has a solid take of its own on the story, and never stops being entertaining. There are no lulls. This is pure, modern entertainment as it should be. It has a message to those stupid Internet haters: welcome to the 21st century, nerds.

Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melisa McCarthy and Leslie Jones kill it as the new GHOSTBUSTERS.


Overall: B+
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