Who You Gonna Call? Go See Ghostbusters

maxresdefaultoriginalghostbustersWe have seen, heard and read quite a bit the past couple of years about movement on the development of not one but two Ghostbusters films. We never did get Ghostbusters 3. Who knows why we didn’t. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson may have exhausted the premise or material, or they just wanted to move on with their lives/careers. Unfortunately, Ramis passed away not that long ago.

I watch Ghostbusters whenever it comes on TV (Ghostbusters 2 for that matter). For some reason, I enjoy this movie. I like the second one as well. I was 14 when the original premiered. So, childhood sentimentality doesn’t have all that much to do with it. It was well-written and well-acted, even by the bit players – Rick Moranis and Annie Potts were great in their roles, along with David Margulies and the mayor and William Atherton as the guy from the Environmental Protection Agency. Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett was the perfect counter to Murray’s Peter Venkman. The music was a nice touch, with Ray Parker, Jr.’s Academy Award-nominated theme becoming an icon of the 1980s. I even enjoyed the animated series.

We remember things we like more fondly rather than take them at face value. I always try to watch older movies with historical context in mind. My favorite movie of all time, the 1933 King Kong, is looked upon by many as cheesy. The dialog is stilted, almost comical, by the standards of the better film noir and high quality pictures that came later. The original Ghostbusters was a screwball comedy featuring a bit of an all-star cast, and a $30 million budget. I would take umbrage with the special effects, but it was nominated for an Oscar for best visual effects. The film has grossed over $220 million worldwide throughout its 32-year lifespan. AMC just ran the original films back-to-back marathon style in anticipation of the opening of the new film in theaters.

Ghostbusters_logo.svgThe new one features an all-female crew of Ghostbusters played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. McKinnon steals every scene she is in. I am not going to give any spoilers away since the whole idea of this piece is to encourage you to go see the movie. There are plenty of cameos and homages to the first two films. Chris Hemsworth of Thor fame is refreshing in a comedic role.

What I don’t get is all the shade that has been thrown at this production, mainly due to the primarily female cast. It’s unnecessary and unwarranted. The four comic actresses who play the Ghostbusters do the original quartet of Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson justice.I don’t understand where the hate is coming from. In this day and age when our education system is having trouble getting young people interested in science and technology, and there is a grassroots efforts to get girls into computer programming, you’d think female characters who are into particle physics and nuclear technology would be welcomed.

Yes, it is done in with comedy. Yes, it is done in away that suggests being on the fringe. No, these four women are not Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson. They have their own personalities and timing. No, this film doesn’t have the charm of the first one in 1984. Maybe someday it’ll be remembered as fondly as I remember the 1984 movie.

It’s a funny, fun ride of a movie. It’s not going to win the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s not Ghostbusters 3, which is probably a good thing. What it’s not is something to be despised just because of who is starring in it. Because we remember the 1984 movie the way we do, we put unrealistic expectations on the re-boot. Take it for what it is – a funny, screwball comedy about a quartet of women chasing ghosts around New York City.

After getting him into Indiana Jones and Star Wars, I think it’s neat that I can share a movie franchise like Ghostbusters with my nine-year-old that now features an up-to-date reboot. He gave it an A+ and said it’s the best movie he’s seen all year. That’s should tell you something. Quit thinking you’re going to see Citizen Kane, and go watch the damn movie. And for the haters – keep your shade to yourself, you’re missing out on a fun flick.

Because, when there’s something strange in the neighborhood…

Who you gonna call?

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