Ghostbusters (2016) Review

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Ghostbusters (2016) Review
There Will Be Games

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Calm down, your childhood is not ruined.

Man, reviewing this movie without addressing the controversey surrounding it might be impossible.  I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

The Internet, always the gold standard for displaying the best that humanity has to offer, would have you believe that this new Ghostbusters movie is an abomination, that Harold Ramis is spinning in his grave, and that this movie will "RUIN YOUR CHILDHOOD."  Nevermind that Ramis might have been the first to suggest a movie featuring lady Ghostbusters, or that the reputation of the franchise was first sullied 27 years ago with the release of Ghostbusters 2.  But they're not sexist!  Oh no, how dare you suggest that.  They'll tell you it was the trailers that let them know that this film would certainly be a failure, but they would probably appreciate it if you ignored their instant hatred and outright mysoginist comments as soon as they heard the words "female Ghostbusters," a decision that was made before a single word was written for the script.

Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but the Internet was wrong.  

I kid, I kid, actually I LOVE IT.

This is a reboot.  Not sequel (which I admit, would have smoothed things over considerably), but not the remake many had feared.  The new Ghostbusters are not the original boys in beige made female, and while a few beats might mirror the 1984 classic, the plot is by and large something new.  There's a stumble here and there, but it works 75% of the time.

A major concern I had was casting four women known for comedy.  Where the original had Ernie Hudson to play straight man, Winston Zeddemore, I felt having four funny ladies could be too much of good thing.  Fortunately, it works.  Much like the original film, the cast is truly what drives it and is what you'll take away from it, not the plot.  All four have their moments, those moments are well balanced, and they really do have a great chemistry.  As it turns out, Chris Hemsworth is a secret treasure trove of comedy, and his role is on par with Rick Moranis's contributions to the original.  I can't quite label any one cast member as a scene stealer though, I think everyone will come out of the movie with their own favorite (mine is Holtzman...I think).

Just as the movie shares the same greatest strength with the original, it also shares the same biggest weakness:  The third act.  Like so many comedies throughout the history of cinema, it seems that the third act is where everyone says, "Oh crap, we're running out of time here, I guess we should tell some semblance of a story."  In the 1984 Ghostbusters, the third act is where the film becomes more about the special effects, iconic they may be, and less about its talented cast, and the same is true in 2016.  While I liked the villain's scheme and was surprised it was something nobody had ever thought to do with the franchise before (I count the cartoons, comics, and video games...I am a Ghostbusters fantatic after all), the villain himself was cartoony.  Like, almost too cartoony.  There is an equivalent to Stay Puft, which I knew about ahead of time but liked more than I thought I would, but the resolution is rather phoned in.  No less phoned in, however, than how Venkman and company dealt with the marshmallow man.

For all the stumbles the third act makes, I still came away really enjoying this new Ghostbusters.  For all the hate thrown its way, actually watching the movie will reveal that it was made with nothing but the best intentions and with pure fun in mind.  It's a different sense of humor for sure, but it has to be.  Nobody could duplicate what Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis brought to the table together.  Hell, they couldn't even do it again when they tried in 1989.  But I am happy to report that the spirit of Ghostbusters is alive and well and in good hands, and this lifelong fan hopes we get to see more.

There Will Be Games

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One night during the summer of 1997, Josh Look's cool uncle who owned a comic shop taught him how to play Magic the Gathering. The game set off his imagination in a way that he could not sleep that night, and he's been fascinated by games ever since. He spent many afternoons during his high school years skipping homework to play Dungeons & Dragons and paint Warhammer minatures, going on to discover hobby board games in his early 20s. He's been a writer for Fortress Ameritrash and is the creator and co-host of the geek culture podcast, The Wolfman's Lounge. He enjoys games that encourage a heavy amount of table talk and those that explore their themes beyond just their settings.

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Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #230301 16 Jul 2016 15:37
Certainly you are not trying to tell me that the 2.1 Metacritic user review average is wrong? Didn't you hear that this is an unwanted cash grab that no one wanted with a FEMINIST agenda? This movie hates you! To quote one of the more poetic critics, the director should be "hung drawn and quartered!"

Anyway, fuck:

1) the Internet
2) anonymous manchildren with an axe to grind about women
3) the dogpile, hate everything mentality made possible by 1) and 2).

Josh Look 1, Internet 0.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #230302 16 Jul 2016 15:39
Sounds AWFUL
Wetworks's Avatar
Wetworks replied the topic: #230304 16 Jul 2016 18:11
This video review cracked me up,



I have no desire to see the current Ghostbusters at the theater, mainly because I usually don't like Paul Feig's slapstick style of humor
Grudunza's Avatar
Grudunza replied the topic: #230305 16 Jul 2016 20:59
Just came back from seeing it. I liked it, but it was uneven. The original one didn't hold up that well at all in terms of comedy when I saw it again a couple years ago, so this was actually more fresh in that sense, and comparable overall. There were some decent laughs throughout, especially earlier on, but not consistently enough to make it a real standout. I really didn't like Bill Murray's part in this, but yes, the ladies were a great group together, and Hemsworth was good, though as with the others, his comic appeal waned a bit.

Presumably, there will be a sequel, and I'm more encouraged about that being just good and funny. This one felt like there might have been a little too much oversight and pressure, and in some senses it felt a bit stilted. Fun enough, though.
Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #230311 17 Jul 2016 08:59
The movie was fine, and fun. I liked the leads a lot, though I wish Patty had been given more to do than just go "aw HAEL NO". The cameos were a lot of fun and a nice nod, though I wish Rick Moranis had also had one.

I enjoyed the movie but it didn't blow me away. I was 16 when the original one first came out and I loved it but I was also 16. I haven't spent a large portion of time thinking about it since then, just regarded it as a movie I like.

I'd definitely go see a sequel. I wouldn't necessarily be a midnight showing opening night thing, but nothing really is for me these days. It felt like a perfectly suitable summer movie, just like plenty of others that get allowed to come in and not change the world without having to deal with a bunch of dumb haters.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #230315 17 Jul 2016 09:39

Wetworks wrote: This video review cracked me up,



I have no desire to see the current Ghostbusters at the theater, mainly because I usually don't like Paul Feig's slapstick style of humor


Since he clearly is NOT funny, I fail to see the appeal of Angry Joe. This useless, gibbering, fat-faced sack of shit meatbag seems to encapsulate so much I detest about Internet culture.

I remember him having a hard-on for the last Batman v Superman trailer, so his opinion is DOA and validates what I said above.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #230316 17 Jul 2016 09:44

Legomancer wrote: I wish Patty had been given more to do than just go "aw HAEL NO".


I thought the same thing, but after doing some research, that's kind of who she is in real life, or at least anytime she's on camerea.
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Ancient_of_MuMu replied the topic: #230332 17 Jul 2016 19:34
I liked the characters more than the original (but then I really don't like Bill Murray) but the Lovecraftian style plot of the original is much better which is why the first is the best.
Wetworks's Avatar
Wetworks replied the topic: #230335 17 Jul 2016 21:03

Josh Look wrote: I remember him having a hard-on for the last Batman v Superman trailer, so his opinion is DOA and validates what I said above.


Angry Joe's review for Batman v Superman was pretty mixed,

Space Ghost's Avatar
Space Ghost replied the topic: #230338 18 Jul 2016 00:46

Josh Look wrote:

Wetworks wrote: This video review cracked me up,



I have no desire to see the current Ghostbusters at the theater, mainly because I usually don't like Paul Feig's slapstick style of humor


Since he clearly is NOT funny, I fail to see the appeal of Angry Joe. This useless, gibbering, fat-faced sack of shit meatbag seems to encapsulate so much I detest about Internet culture.

I remember him having a hard-on for the last Batman v Superman trailer, so his opinion is DOA and validates what I said above.


I can literally watch about 30 seconds of that dumbass.
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Ancient_of_MuMu replied the topic: #230340 18 Jul 2016 01:06
The one thing I will have to give this film a few extra stars for is that Holtzmann is probably my dream woman personified. If only Halloween in Australia was like in Northern America so I could look forward to a bevy of 'Sexy Holtzmann' costumes.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #230343 18 Jul 2016 07:36

Wetworks wrote:

Josh Look wrote: I remember him having a hard-on for the last Batman v Superman trailer, so his opinion is DOA and validates what I said above.


Angry Joe's review for Batman v Superman was pretty mixed,


I meant his reaction to one of the trailers. I'm not going to watch his final review of it, or anything he posts for that matter.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #230348 18 Jul 2016 08:23
I was a little underwhelmed. I didn't expect much and I really enjoyed the cast and how they gelled (although Kristen Wiig felt a little more flat than normal), but wasn't a fan of the story much. Thought the bad guy was lame. Thought the cameo's sucked (except for Annie Potts for some reason), and I'm not a Chris Hemsworth fan. Thought they leaned on him far too hard.

Some of the humor was pretty good though. Hemsworth's interview scene was great, just got sick of him after they kept bringing him back.
jpat's Avatar
jpat replied the topic: #230353 18 Jul 2016 09:20
Good cast let down by a poor script.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #230364 18 Jul 2016 10:48
I'm not sure it's a poor script, but it is an uneven one. The pacing gets weird towards the end, and I have mixed feelings about the time spent on Rowan. I like his plot on paper, the idea of someone possibly using Ghostbusters tech for malicious purposes is a pretty cool concept, especially when you add in the idea of leylines to accomplish it, but Rowan himself is a cartoon character. So is everyone else in this movie, but he is just so over the top that you can't take the threat he makes seriously. I think if you were to just plop your villain down in the end of a movie today like they did with Gozer, mouthbreathing dweebs all over the internet would be crying foul over an underdeveloped bad guy, but unfortunately this doesn't really work either.

The reason I give it a pass despite this is because the cast is just so damned fun to watch, even after the battle at the end is over. And let's be fair, that's what made Ghostbusters so endearing to begin with, that Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston, Janine, Dana, and Louis were really great, funny characters that you wanted to watch, not for its take on Lovecraftian mumbo jumbo which is kind of hastily thrown together in the last 20 minutes or so.
jpat's Avatar
jpat replied the topic: #230397 18 Jul 2016 13:48
Structurally, the film seems OK to me, and I don't even really have a problem with the villain. I'm just more bothered by the dialogue that, overall, seems flat, waves at the idea of "funny" without often being funny, and is not worthy of the cast.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #230403 18 Jul 2016 14:22
Friend: Have you seen Ghostbusters yet?

Me: [playing dumb] Yeah, I saw it in 1984.

Friend: [gives lengthy explanation that this is a new Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast.]

Me: Is there any nudity?

Friend: No.

Me: Then what is the point?
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Ancient_of_MuMu replied the topic: #230431 18 Jul 2016 19:27

Shellhead wrote: Friend: Have you seen Ghostbusters yet?

Me: [playing dumb] Yeah, I saw it in 1984.

Friend: [gives lengthy explanation that this is a new Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast.]

Me: Is there any nudity?

Friend: No.

Me: Then what is the point?

This pisses me off. Either you are joining in with the gamergate style attack that decries any female intrusion into male space, or you are just mucking around not really being sexist but aware of the controversy and poking it a bit. The danger with the latter approach is it encourages the haters and allows them to make their irrational attacks.
Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #230463 19 Jul 2016 08:22

Shellhead wrote: Friend: Have you seen Ghostbusters yet?

Me: [playing dumb] Yeah, I saw it in 1984.

Friend: [gives lengthy explanation that this is a new Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast.]

Me: Is there any nudity?

Friend: No.

Me: Then what is the point?


hurr hurr boobs
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #230468 19 Jul 2016 09:30
Just poking a bit. I'm tired of Hollywood remaking everything in sight. Sometimes the results are good or even great, but usually they fail to rise above the original or even general mediocrity. I have nothing specific against this new Ghostbusters, but since it represents nothing new and the advance buzz is just okay, I won't get around to watching it for a couple of years. And then I will enjoy (or not enjoy) the movie for what it is, as opposed to taking it in the context of the current overheated debate in our society.
CranBerries's Avatar
CranBerries replied the topic: #230517 20 Jul 2016 11:31
It sounds like it will show up at our dollar theater soon.
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Ancient_of_MuMu replied the topic: #231143 30 Jul 2016 16:49
As we had free cinema tickets and had to get out of the house for a few hours while we had no power, my wife and I saw Ghostbusters for the second time (plus our girls for their first time). The surprising thing for both of us was how much more we enjoyed it the second time, going from a 7 to an 8.5 or 9. I suspect that it is because plot matters less on subsequent viewings and characters more, and as I said after the first time I saw it the characters are the strongest part.

Both my daughters gave the diplomatic answer when I asked them who their favourite Ghostbuster was of "Holtzmann is the coolest but I liked Patty the most".
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #231144 30 Jul 2016 18:02
"The fat one"