The rumored cast for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot was released last week. The three of us, Andy, Jon and myself, are fans of the original franchise and wanted post our two cents about the announcement.
We decided to wait before posting as some folks were pissed the cast was all women. We really didn’t want be in with that crowd. We don’t give a shit if it’s an all-female cast. Our opinions are based on who the women are, their body of work and how that ties into the Ghostbusters franchise.
First, let me lay out my GB street cred.
I burned through three VHS copies of the original Ghostbusters. I watched them so much, the tapes wore out and broke beyond repair.
I had a subscription to the Ghostbusters comic, watched the cartoon, and was an official fan club member.
To hell with G.I. Joe, my bedroom was littered with action figures, the firehouse, Ecto-1, and the wearable proton pack.
In 1989, my parents took me to see Ghostbusters 2…multiple times.
There was a short lived Ghostbusters cereal. I ate it. I still dream of HI-C Ecto Cooler.
All that said, I’m okay with this.
I’m okay with Sony rebooting the franchise. I’m okay they’ve made the leading characters all ladies. I’m okay with the actresses (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones & Kate McKinnon) they’ve chosen.
People will piss and moan how Paul Feig’s reboot won’t be as good as the original. They’re right. It won’t be. But neither was Ghostbusters 2. Everyone returned and it was nowhere near as good as the first movie.
If you’re in dire need of a third Ghostbusters story with the original cast, then get the video game for the 360 or PS3. It’s better than GB2 and is, in essence, Ghostbusters 3. That game is as close as any fan will ever get to a true Ghostbusters 3.
Of the original cast, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson are the only two who wanted another movie. Bill Murray refuses to reprise his role as Venkman. Harold Ramis passed away and co-writer/producer Ivan Reitman stepped away from the project.
I don’t know what kind of Ghostbusters movie we would get with that formula. I imagine it wouldn’t be good. That’s why I wrote an earlier post on why GB3 shouldn’t be made.
At this point, I have to wonder if this is where nostalgia comes back and bites us in the ass.
We form these emotional bonds to movies and TV shows and we hold them sacred. They’re infallible. The bond is so strong that if there’s a sequel, then the studios should do whatever it takes to get the crew back together.
But it never works out. Blues Brothers 2000 was a waste of time. The fourth Indiana Jones flick was worse than Temple of Doom. Star Wars 1, 2, 3 can’t hold a lightsaber to the original trilogy. Anchorman 2 was a sad parody of itself and was intolerable within the first 10 minutes.
For this reboot to be successful, it needs to be better than Ghostbusters 2. That’s the standard. This reboot will NEVER compare to the original movie. Ghostbusters was and is a special movie, but that doesn’t mean a reboot can’t be entertaining. It doesn’t mean we can’t be entertained by this cast.
This Ghostbusters flick starts fresh with a new cast and new story. No history other than the franchises’ name. But there are three things I’d like to see with this flick:
Jon: I’m not totally against an all-female cast. I’m not a feminist, but I’m not anti-female either. Hell, I love and respect women. No, I’m just against this female cast. More specifically, I’m against some of the cast, the director, and the idea.
Melissa McCarthy is a one note comedian. I don’t think it’s even fair to call her a “comedian.” Calling her a comedian would imply she’s funny. Melissa McCarthy is not funny. McCarthy, much like Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, only has one bullet in her arsenal. The first time we saw McCarthy do something stupid it was funny, but like Farley and Sandler it gets played out. The female Chris Farley act she parlayed into an “acting” career is not funny anymore and it won’t be funny in a Ghostbusters’ jumpsuit.
I think Wiig can act (She was great in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, mildly entertaining in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and one of the best things about Adventureland), but for the most part she’s not laugh-out-loud funny. However, Wiig, does have more in her comedy arsenal than McCarthy. More importantly, she may balance out the McCarthy antics that are sure to be played up in the movie.
It’s been years since I have seen a full episode of Saturday Night Live. There’s no reason to get through the bad stuff to watch the one skit I want to see. So, I can’t comment on Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon. It wouldn’t be fair. However, I may hit up YouTube and check their skits out.
It’s no secret I detest the word “reboot.” It gets thrown around more than a deflated football during a Patriot’s game. When Ivan Reitman was still attached Ghostbusters was going to be Ghostbusters 3; a continuation of the series. Dan Aykroyd had said Ghostbusters 3 was going to see the old gang pass the mantle to a new generation. Which would have been a great idea (even with the passing of Harold Ramis).
Now, that Paul Feig is the director it’s going to be a complete reboot. A reboot? Why? Feig’s reasoning, “I love the first one so much, I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that.” But, Paul, the simple fact Ghostbusters is being rebooted is going to ruin the memory of the original for the vast majority of fans.
And this is my last problem with Ghostbusters: Paul Feig. Feig has some great credits on his resume. He’s directed episodes of Arrested Development, The Office, Nurse Jackie, and an episode of the underrated Freaks and Geeks (Feig even wrote a few episodes). However, his last outings have been far from spectacular.
Yes, Bridesmaids was good. It had some funny moments, good acting (Wiig again and Chris O’Dowd) and a decent story, but it also had a lot of dull moments. Since Bridesmaids, Feig has gone to the McCarthy well one too many times. The Heat (So far from funny and entertaining I’m still bored) and Spy (Who wouldn’t want to see Jason Statham in a comedy?) are basically the same thing: Get Melissa Farley, surround her by a lot of talented actors, and then have her do her Farley schtick. This is what I’m afraid will happen to Ghostbusters.
I won’t be calling these Ghostbusters or seeing the reboot.
Andy: I make no qualms that I may be the least biggest fan of Ghostbusters of the three. I like it, but I was also born 3 years after its debut. However, I grew up with it like everyone else and loved it for what it was.
The thing that made Ghostbusters so great to me was the chemistry of the quartet for that movie. Nobody from that movie was going to be winning any Academy Awards but this may have been the first manifestation of the buddy pics.
Murray and Ramis had already worked together on several projects and put together two of my favorite movies from the 80s in Caddyshack and Stripes. Murray and Aykroyd had worked together for years on Saturday Night Live. Ernie Hudson may have been the one wild card, but he still worked out brilliantly for this.
The thing that this movie does have going for it is all these women have worked together in the past. However, I am not sure that they have that same ability to bounce off each other like the originals.
I found Bridesmaids just meh and I am not making a new assertion to say Saturday Night Live just isn’t as good as the original cast where Aykroyd and Murray got their start.
Wiig is most definitely the best of the group with both Paul and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty under her belt. Kate McKinnon is less of a known entity to me, but she is kinda funny. The same can be said for Leslie Jones.
However, Melissa McCarthy is just not funny. Her show can best be described as the world’s most watched train wreck. (I am mad at Jon for stealing my female Chris Farley line.) Her comedy is completely one dimensional and just lacks that whole being funny thing. The principal’s office scene in This is 40 may be the most awkward part of any movie ever. The only thing I have ever liked her in was St. Vincent and that was mainly because she was a tertiary character not trying to be funny.
I have no problem with the concept of the reboot for this. I was excited when they talked about the passing of the torch concept before Ramis passed away, but I agree with not doing that without the entire original cast. However, this quartet of people just scares me.
I am not to the point of making the assertion that I am not gonna see it, but I am going to need to see some quality from the trailer.
While this reboot touches a lot of nerves, it still deserves a fair shake. Literally, the only thing we know is the busters are all women and restarts the series.
If Mad Max: Fury Road is a dud, Jon would still enjoy the original. Terminator: Genisys won’t remove T1 or Judgement Day from anyone’s best movies list. The Star Wars prequels didn’t tarnish the original trilogy, it tarnished Lucas’ reputation.
Criticism of McCarthy being a one-trick actress is fair. But Bill Murray wasn’t a widely respected comedian/actor until AFTER Groundhogs Day. Look at the characters he played before hand. If they weren’t weird (Caddyshack, Where The Buffalo Roam), they were smooth talking car salesmen (Ghostbusters, Stripes). Even then, he’s had some stinkers (Space Jam).
I’ve watched McCarthy in three things: Bridesmaids, Heat, and Gilmore Girls (box set for my wife). Her characters in the two movies were very similar, but in Gilmore Girls, she was more subdued, a sweet character with funny lines here and there. She has some comedic range, enough for me to think she could do just fine in this franchise.
Regardless of what we think, say, or feel about this reboot or the cast, it’s not fair to deem the movie a failure or a pox on the franchise. I’m not advocating to blindly slap your money down at the box office when this is released in 2016. But there’s no reason fans of the franchise can’t have some cautious optimism about this version.