Saturday, March 5, 2016

Trailer Time: Ghostbusters

So the Ghostbusters remake has a trailer:

I am trying to be open-minded, but here are a few thoughts I had:

1.  A Tough Act To Follow.
No matter what, this movie is going to suffer by comparison to the original.  That already puts them at an unfair disadvantage.  Having said that, if you are going to try and fill Babe Ruth's shoes, you better knock it out of the park.

2.  Paul Feig is no Ivan Reitman.
I have become less and less enthusiastic about Paul Feig sense of humor.  He lets awkward jokes play out way too long and doesn't seem to understand that brevity is the soul of wit.  Something tells me this movie is going to feel a bit bloated.

3.  Gross Does Not Equal Funny.
The slime in the original Ghostbusters was gross.  But if you remember, you never see Venkman get slimed.  In the new one, slime is essentially ghost-puke.  I am not sure how that is funnier.  But I think that this is the level of humor that we will deal with.

4.  Caricature is not Character.
The actors in both the original and the remake had a significant background in sketch comedy.  But the original Ghostbusters felt like tangible characters.  From what I saw in the trailer, these new Ghostbusters feel like some kind of Saturday Night Live parody of Ghostbusters.  I obviously could be wrong, but they seem to be playing personalities, not persons.  If that's all you have, then there can be no strong emotional connection.  Think about Winston and Ray's conversation about judgment day or Venkman saying, "See you on the other side, Ray."  Those moments have weight because though they were often silly, the Ghostbusters felt real.  I'm not getting that from these new ones.

5.  What is the Point of Ghostbusters without a Venkman?
Everyone in the original Ghostbusters was great.  But let's be honest: it was Bill Murray's show.  But beyond his comedic genius, Venkman served an important story function: he was they guy who knew that this story was silly.  He was the pressure release valve for the audience.  And he made Ghostbusting cool.  Look at the characters in this new one: 3 geeks and a tough chick.  Not one of them appears to be trying to ascend the Murray throne. Maybe that's intentional to avoid the unflattering comparison.  But again, if they wanted to avoid that, they shouldn't have made the movie in the first place.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts.



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  3. First, thoughts and prayers. Might even get out and light a candle.

    Saw the long trailer for the reboot abomination I daren't speak the name of.

    Time to dust off Augustine and take another run at The Problem of Evil.

    Sorry about the deletes. This spell checker is not cooperating.

  4. Your comments are thoughtful and insightful. However, as a girl I loved the movies (and the cartoon even more). Having four males as Ghostbusters never stopped me from imagining myself as one (half the fun, I think), but I must say that seeing four female Ghostbusters kicking ghost patootie, really excites me to see the movie, despite its' potential flaws.

  5. Gender issues aside, Ghostbusters was/is a creature of its time.

    Even Ghostsbusters 2 missed the mark.

    Yes, the animated incarnation is the pick of the litter. And it inspired an inanely fun RPG.

  6. There is no "unfair disadvantage". This is the fight all those involved chose. The onus is on them.