Friday, July 15, 2016

The "I Only Hate It Because It's A Reboot" Argument Gets BUSTED

I didn't want a reboot, you guys.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say I *hated* the fact that the new Ghostbusters was going to be a reboot. I wanted a continuation, a legacy, a sequel to the original's brilliance, not some modern replacement.

I held out hope, though, because an all-female 'bustin team made me happy to be alive. Good or bad, I told the perpetual naysayers, this movie will show little girls they, too, can be ghostbusters - so that's already a win.




But I was still scared. Please, I thought, Paul Feig, don't prove the patronizing fanboy jerkfaces right.

The first trailer did little to assuage my fears. I was still hopeful, and I put on a brave face, but inside I have to admit a small part of me was squeaking "ohhhh noooooooo."  Gross body humor? Literal gun licking? A possessed 'buster? "Nooooooooo!"

The second trailer was better, though, and I started to actually look forward to opening day. I kinda liked the new theme song, even when it seemed the entire internet haaaaaated it. At conventions I found proton-packing purists - women AND men - who were so excited they were already making the new props and costumes. They helped remind me how FUN this is - how it's supposed to be fun! - and that the haters did not speak for all hardcore fans.

So now... let's talk about the movie.





I just saw it a few hours ago, so this will be fresh and jumbled, but I promise to keep it spoiler-free.

Given that I sat down expecting the quality of that first trailer, I will tell you I was BLOWN AWAY by the first 30-40 minutes. As in, I spent that entire time with my jaw either hanging open or in the biggest, goofiest grin. It was just SO GOOD, you guys. The opening sequence is genuinely scary, beautifully shot, and could not be a more perfect prologue.

The character intros are equally pitch-perfect, as we get just the right amount of back story before being thrown back into the ghostly action.

But best of all, it feels completely new. This is not a re-hashing of the original, regurgitated scene-for-scene like I dreaded. This is not an attempt at a replacement. This is a new direction, with a different approach. Almost nothing feels familiar, and that's a good thing. It lets you get lost in the story, and when the rare homage pops up - like the original logo, or a snippet of piano - it's actually a bit startling!

I don't think it will surprise you that, of the four leads, Kate McKinnon is the standout. Quirky, brilliant, and with a "let-it-all-burn" gleam in her eye that keeps you guessing, her Holtzman is definitely going to be the fan favorite.

Prepare to love this woman.

What may surprise you is that Kristin Wiig and Leslie Jones absolutely kill it, too, with Leslie edging out Kate with some phenomenal one-liners I wish I could share, but won't, because spoilers.

I consider myself a Melissa McCarthy fan, so it pains me to say my namesake character, Abby Yates, was kinda "meh." I found myself wishing Holtzman had more screen time/lines, and Yates, less. McCarthy's lines just weren't as funny, and since she seems to be scolding or complaining much of the time, she comes off less likeable than the other three.

Which reminds me: all those things most of us didn't like in the first trailer? Leslie's histrionics, Kristin's slime jokes, Kate's gun-licking? Those things go by in the blink of an eye in the actual film, and in context, totally work. They're also one-offs, and are not at all what the whole movie is like. It's weird to me that those were the moments the studio chose to highlight, when there are so many better ones! (Oh, and the hated theme song? Plays for about 10 seconds during a "rah rah go get 'em" kind of scene. Which rocks.)

Getting back to the film's flow, I've heard a lot of raving about the Ghostbuster's "third act," but it does take a while after the draggy midsections to recapture the film's spirit - pun totally intended. That said, there's at least one dramatic slo-mo action sequence in there that had me this close to standing up and cheering, so it definitely comes back around.

The Big Bad at the end doesn't compare to Staypuft for me, but to be fair, I'm not sure anything could. I will say the effects are great; just the right mix of silly and scary, and again, they didn't even try to mirror the original's finale, which I appreciate. (We saw it in 3D, btw, which was cool for the finale especially, but overall I don't think it's necessary.)

More pluses:

- The explanation for WHY ghosts are suddenly popping up all over NYC is better than the original film. That's right, BETTER. (And if memory serves, even ties in a little from the video game.)

- The original cast cameos are mercifully brief and lovingly done. (Stay 'til the very, VERY end of the credits.) In fact, keep your eyes peeled during the first 10 minutes for a sweet Harold Ramis tribute.

- A little side-tracky, but Holtzman's necklace -which I couldn't stop staring at the whole movie, but didn't "get" until an hour later in the car ride home - was a definite highlight for me. Let's see if you can tell what it is from this photo:

:D 

(OK, because John's insisting - probably because this made him laugh really, really hard - here's the actual dialogue the moment I "got" her necklace: 

"Yeah, I loved it, but I still don't understand the U. At first I thought it was a science thing, like for Uranium? 'Cuz her name doesn't have a U in it. Plus there was a screw behind it, which seems really...OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH SCREW YOU IT MEANS 'SCREW YOU' I'M AN IDIOT.")


As for negatives: Ghostbusters feels a little too long, some (though not as much as you'd expect) of the humor falls flat, and the finale, while good, doesn't have that epic, toe-tapping, feel-good vibe of the original. You could chalk that up to waiting through 10 minutes of credits for all the extra scenes, though. (Which you should still do.)

So, TL; DR?


It's less a reboot and more a completely new story with a few original GB homages thrown in. It won't ruin your childhood, I promise. 

GO SEE IT.

 

52 comments:

  1. I just got done seeing it too! It was the awesomest! We saw it not 3D, it doesn't need 3D.

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  2. Thank you so so much for this. I really don't understand the whole "ruining my childhood" type thought cause THAT MAKES NO SENSE. I haven't seen the movie yet but have plans to!

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  3. Thank you. This was the perfect, detailed-but-not-spoilery-detailed analysis I was hoping to read. Guess I'm off to the movies! :-D

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  4. If anyone is so inclined to share an opinion, is it ok for a 10-year old? I'd love to take my daughter but it is rated PG-13.

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    1. I'm no parent, so take this with huge grains of salt, but I don't remember anything too inappropriate for a pre-teen. In fact, I had to look up what it was rated for - looks like action and crude humor. So just depends how you feel about some language (though no F bombs that I remember) and a few scary sections.

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    2. Thank you! Sounds like we hear worse just walking down the street.

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    3. I'm trying to decide if I'm taking my 10 year old son. From the info here & on commonsensemedia, it sounds like it should be okay!

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    4. We took our three kids, 12, 10, and 4. They all loved it, ESPECIALLY the four-year old, who literally stood up and cheered every time the "booger guy" (Slimer) made an appearance. She also gleefully shouted "Ghostbusters!" every time the theme song made popped up. Go take them, it's super fun.

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    5. There are a handful of curse words (no F-word, thankfully) and one scene where someone repeatedly holds up his middle fingers to insult the team. The ghosts are spooky, but that'll just depend on each child and how they handle that sort of thing.

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  5. Ah, sweet! An awesome review that is worded so perfectly that I might use the whole thing to convince my dad to let me see it. ("See? Miss Jen gave it her stamp of approval!" "That's nice dear, but you still haven't seen the original.") Ugh, maybe later. :D

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  6. I don't care if it's a "reboot" or whatever. I refuse to patronize movies with Melissa McCarthy. So...sorry. Nope.

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    1. Wow, is she a serial puppy murderer or something? Or, on second thought, I don't think I want to know.

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    2. Me either. That's my problem with this film...I just dislike that woman so very much.

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    3. I'm so curious about the hatred for Melissa Mccarthy and what exactly caused the catalyst for it. Is there a specific movie that people really hated her in? Is it based off of the trailers for her movies (that often misrepresent the movie- such as the case with Ghostbusters)? I am just baffled at how much hate she gets. I've seen her in three movies and she is far from typecast in my opinion. But that being said, John Candy was typecast, as wasChevy Chase, as comical buffoons, and they didn't get the flack that Mccarthy does.

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    4. For my part, I've just disliked every role I've seen her in. She's just so crass and not funny at all. It's become a benchmark for me...her movies are not movies I will enjoy.

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    5. I'll admit, Melissa McCarthy's past movies haven't been my cup of tea -- overall, not because of her specifically (Sookie St. James <3 ). But if it's the crassness of her past characters that you don't like, then it won't be a factor here, as her "Abby Yates" character is not that at all. And I'd hate to see you missing out on this awesome movie because that's what you're picturing. :)

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    6. She was one of the reasons I was dreading this movie. I just haven't liked the way she's played characters in the past. (Yes, some of it is the way the characters have been writen, but some of it is her decisions with the characters.)

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  7. Jen - I wanted to see it before, now I have to. Dug out my passes, re-planned my night, I'm outta here!! (Helps that I was productive today so I feel "ok" about indulging in some R&R with scares and laughter!!)

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  8. I quite enjoyed it! But now I'm sad I didn't stay til the very end of the credits. D'Oh! Oh, well, there'll be a surprise on the Bluray.

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  9. thank you for your thoughtful review. i am going to see the movie. perhaps melissa mccarthy is playing the straight man so the other ladies can shine?

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  10. Think I will go see it now. I was putting it off because of the early trailers too. I saw the Secret Life of Pets today and really enjoyed it.

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  11. I agree. I think my new sexuality is Kate McKinnon and her side guns.
    Also chis hemsworth is a GIFT

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    1. And the line about safely lights literally produced applause in my theater. So. Good.

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  12. I totally think there should be a Ghostbusters app like the new Pokemon Go... let us capture ghosts!!!

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    1. I would play that in a heartbeat!

      -Just Andrea

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  13. I thought the final boss monster was inspired. Great idea and clever. I am a fan of Kate McKinnon and I'm a bigger fan now. I hope she becomes a fan favorite, too.

    I am taking my 12yo to see it tomorrow. It might be a bit scary for a 10yo. It depends on the kid.

    I agree that it was too long. It needed better snappier dialog.

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  14. I loved it! I agree about Kate McKinnon. She's so dreamy.... in a swaggering-nutty way.

    I walked out of the theater beside a mom and her 2 daughters - ages 7 and 9 maybe? And one of them said "I like the girl version better!" We all had a little girl-power moment. That made my day!

    Only regret is not staying til the end of the credits!

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    1. It's just as good the second time. :-) Yes, stay until the absolute end of the credits, it's worth it.

      YAS! Another Kate McKinnon fan!

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  15. Harold Ramis' daughter wrote a beautiful and very personal piece about her father and the new movie, if you're interested.

    http://splitsider.com/2016/07/on-my-dad-harold-ramis-and-passing-the-ghostbusters-torch-to-a-new-generation-of-fans/

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  16. Basically my reaction exactly, although I quite liked Yates. I just appreciated how serious she was about her science as opposed to Venkman. Also, I saw it in a theater packed with women and little girls and every single one of them came out of the theater with the most enormous grin.

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  17. Just got back from seeing it and were I able to cast a patronus it would take the form of Holtzman.

    It wasn't quite perfect, but I don't care, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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  18. Ah dang it! Now I want to see it! Unfortunately my husband is still in the No Way category. (We are NOT McCarthy fans here.) Does anyone want to go with me?

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  19. In love with shinyJuly 17, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    Man, someone go with me!

    I already wanted to see it just for special effects, so it's nice to know it has some meat on those bones!

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  20. I agree the first act of the film was great.

    I have not seem much of McCarthy before but I would say she is the weakest thing in the film her delivery was strained.

    I think both Patty and Holtzman stole the show.

    While I like the tech of the villain was really weak and the fight at the end was a bit of a mess.

    I didn't love the film but I didn't hate it either.

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  21. I'm glad you enjoyed it! My husband is super excited (I never really "got" ghostbusters).

    I just hope you have a mod working your comments or that the trolls don't find you because they are out IN FORCE and are AWFUL.

    Love you guys!!

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  22. Thank you for the review.
    I was debating back and forth whether or not to see the movie. I still may wait until it comes out on DVD. I'm not a theatre fan (too loud, too many people).
    That said, I won't hesitate to watch it as soon as it comes out though!

    I'm hoping there is at least one reference to the twinkie. :)

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  23. The movie was so awesome! It was funny and entertaining! My spouse and I both saw it opening night, although in a sadly mostly empty theater!
    Kate McKinnon was super cool, but we also like Melissa McCarthy's work! We go out of our way to watch her movies! In Ghostbusters, we thought she was important to holding the group together.

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  25. Since the first stills started appearing I've been collecting items to make a Holtzman cosplay. I'm a brunette who's been pink haired for a year, so a tiny smidge of blonde hair time for a con will be easy, plus that's totally my hair on the regular. ^_~ I just need to get it all together and build my pack. I'm really really really glad that this moving is good. I may not be a big fan of McCarthy, but it's not going to stop me from wearing my KH "Say Yes" shirt and enjoying watching my kids grin/scream at ghostly fun.

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  26. Jen thanks for the review, because of it we went and saw it last night. That first trailer made me never want to see it, and sorry I'm in the 'Not a Melissa McCarthy' Club so I really wasn't planning on seeing it at all. But I knew if a die hard fan of the original like you could enjoy the all girl version than it was worth seeing.

    And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Kristin Wiig's reactions to Hemsworth were perfect. I loved this movie and honestly would go see it again with a friend.

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  27. I'm really not surprised to hear that Kate McKinnon stole the show - that gal is comedy gold. I hope we see so much more of her in the future!

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  28. My first thought on the necklace (because I didn't embiggen it) was that it is a time turner. Whoops!

    Thanks for the review. After seeing the first trailer, I was very scared, but not in the good way. If you can brave the theater (woot!) and still come away with a positive experience, I have to give it a shot. I love the idea of it, if nothing else.

    I've promised to go see the new Tarzan with a friend because he looooved the original books (I've only read Tarzan of the Apes), but I'm really skeptical on that one. I don't know that there was ever a Tarzan movie that was any good. Has anyone seen it? Thoughts?

    -Just Andrea

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    1. I haven't seen the new Tarzan movie, but this review says everything you need to know about the movie.

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    2. Thanks!
      -Just Andrea

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    3. Heehee. Going to a movie just for glorious abs is not really my thing. I won't look away, but I'd like there to be a little more to it than that. : ) (That was not meant to be innuendo!)

      -Just Andrea

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    4. I really enjoyed Legend of Tarzan. Ive read some of the original stories and Robin Maxwell's "Jane, The Woman Who Loved Tarzan" (which was very well done!) and I loved Disney's take on the classic as well. I thought they did a very good job combining action and romance in this new storyline. Samuel L Jacksons character added comedy sarcasm in his typical way, and although his character wasn't necessary for the plot, I liked the idea of an everyday joe being in Tarzans environment and being able to help his new friend. The family drama and loss present in all of the previous adaptations was represented and just as heart wrenching as its meant to be. Sure, Tarsan is muscular (as he should be for a part that requires believable athleticism) and nice to look at (as is Jane)... I thought both were a fair rendering of the image I'd already had created in my mind from the books. My husband was interested in what kind of training plan makes a body like that even possible. I enjoyed it more than Jungle Book but then again always have. I could watch the current versions of the classics I enjoy, Legend of Tarzan (or John Carter) any day and want to re-read the books again!

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  29. I really, really needed to feel good about something so I took myself to see this movie. Knowing you had written this, but not reading it first. I. LOVED. IT.
    I agree with everything you said, and I don't know that I could add anything. They did a terrific job of paying homage to the first movie (and characters in it) without redoing it. I thought it ROCKED.
    And you. What about you, Jen? You just kinda slid it in there all casual like that oh yeah hey I'm going to see a movie. In a theater. Yeah, opening night. With a bunch of other people. Wow -- I was so happy for you. Doin' the Snoopy dance and high fivein' ya from California. Good job, Jen!
    Maureen S

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  30. Yes! Good movie! The cameos had just enough 'squee'. I agree, a continuation would have been good, if only so we could have had Ramis' cameo being glowing green and playing chess with Slimer.

    I think they missed a chance for a Chekhov's Gun, though. They could have had the Mean Old Lady come back to help at a crucial moment...

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  31. My 8yo niece has already seen it twice, so it really depends on the kid. ( She saw it before I got to, and felt she had to warn me about the few jump-out-of-your-skin moments. :D ) I'm not really a McCarthy fan, either, but that's not anything about her, so much as I don't care for the kind of movie she's usually in. For the real haters out there, consider that she was originally going to be Patty, but felt that that role was just more of the same old thing she's always done. Her part was designed to be something completely new and different for her. (Also, Leslie Jones just *rocked* Patty!)

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  32. I saw this last night and I absolutely LOVED it! It was the most fun I've had at the movies in a looooooong time, I couldn't stop smiling and laughing. I'm not really a fan of the original Ghostbusters...I like it but I don't love it...but this, this I loved. You're right, Holzmann was the standout for us too, loved her! I want to see it again (and I usually won't go to the movies for ANYTHING).

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  33. We saw it Friday night and I really enjoyed it. Realize the rare movie where you can have badass women saving the day (or night, as it may be) without showing them wearing skin-tight outfits, showing cleavage or needing a kiss from the guy at the end. Amazing!!

    I wandered around imdb and discovered that a movie Masterminds is opening in Sept with three of the four women. Kristen, Leslie and Kate are all in it. May be worth checking out at the time.

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  34. If it makes you feel better, I didn't get it until reading this. And I've seen in twice now. :P

    And yes! I loved it so much. I think all your points are spot on. The big finale doesn't feel as much like a BIG FINALE as the OG but over all, the movie kicks epic butt.

    I left the theater the first time and couldn't stop thinking about it. I went back, and when I got home I was just so damn happy. Happy to see 4 women kicking butt without slutastic makeup and leather "clothes". Happy to see intelligent women win the day. Happy to see 4 varied body types on the screen. Just... so happy.

    And disappointed at its apparent "floppiness". Last I heard it needs to make a ton of money to break even... and that's just sad. I can't understand how that's true until I think back to how much I hated the first trailer, too. And how I *wasn't even going to see it* until a friend suggested we do and I said, "Eh, okay." How many more women out there are doing that?! Go see it! Everyone! Please!

    /ramble.

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