Ghostbusters 2016

The new Ghostbusters movie is something of an obsession with the “social justice” crowd, which makes one of the big reveals from its trailer rather humorous. Director Paul Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold had a $150 million budget — along with the comedic chops of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon an Leslie Jones to work with — but yet the lone black star still ended up the one character who would probably mistake Isaac Newton for the slightly-disgusting (yet still irresistible) fig treats by Nabisco.

Sony Studios just told its small army of social justice recruits that its white stars will be engineers and quantum physicists, but its black star is a NYC subway-booth worker who gets to slap around McCarthy like Marvel Studio’s Hulk on Loki.

I for one do not particularly care what character Leslie Jones plays or what her occupation happens to be — but I’m smart enough to know that an ill-conceived movie that leans on politically correct moviegoers for support should have thought about the racial message its story sends. True, Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore was not a scientist (my buddy thinks he will be Jones’ uncle) but on almost every level this movie looks like it will miss the mark.

Ghostbusters trailer proton pack

The problem with this Ghostbusters is that it’s trying to re-capture a moment in time that does not exist. It would be like attempting to make out with an old girlfriend you amicably broke up with years ago. You’re going through the motions, but there is just no feeling there because all of your good times were in the past and you’ve moved on. She’s changed in ways that are just bizarre to you and it all feels awkward. You would just think, “What is this? Why is this even happening? This isn’t right.”

The new Ghostbusters is not a re-boot, but yet it seeks to capitalize on fans who would generally be exited for a proper re-boot. In reality it is a re-imagining, which is why older fans react to Feig’s hat-tips to the original with a wince. Everything that Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right in regards to recapturing what made the original trilogy great, the new Ghostbusters does wrong in relation to its counterpart.

Oddly enough, the tagline from the original movie — “Who you gonna call?” — fits with what seems to have happened when producers at Sony mandated the film into existence.

The cast does not particularly look inspired; it looks like they were merely hired to do a job and collect a paycheck. “Hey, you’re funny. We need to make this movie and nobody wants it done. But we need to do it because of girl-power and diversity. And stuff. Can you do it?”

Zeddemore says in the original: “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” Now it appears the cast replied to Sony’s proposal with, “If there’s a steady paycheck, I’ll social justice anything you want me to social justice.”

It’s just too bad they forgot about social-justicing Jones’ character, Patty Tolan. Maybe they can blame it on the ghosts.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

10 comments

  1. No way, I JUST watched this (and Jeremy Johns reaction).

    You know… this was kind of done before, it was called Extreme Ghostbusters (which always made me cringe a bit because they had a handicapped ghostbuster… yeah). I kind of wish they maybe did a “next generation” thing with the kids of the originals (which could be daughters, sure). But there’s a right and a wrong way to do passing on of a legacy.

    The problem is, as I often point out with my beloved Supernatural show, SJWs can’t go about their usual routine because these stories work on a grander scale. If one was to put it in their terms: “Who cares about your victimization or privilege fool? They’re going to blow up the world!” I could be wrong but I think that may be why these things keep failing. No matter what, we are ALL equal in death, and so we have a story where our brains are constantly reminded of the one thing by which all are equal, while the other side of the story is trying to shove into our brains all this stuff about equality things that need to change.

    Even if the audience isn’t conscious of it, they can’t help but reject the story as conflicting with itself.

    Or to put it another way: one side of the story wants to ask, “are you a minority?” while the other side is asking, “are you a god?”

  2. The thumbs down to thumbs up ratio may not be as epic as SyFy’s Suey Park docutripe, but 2:1 for the first proper trailer of a big budget flick like this is pretty impressive!

  3. It’s as if the networks who ran The Real Ghostbusters into the ground were promoting this, surprised the trailer didn’t say “30 years ago, three scientists…and their driver, saved New York”

  4. Man did this garbage rub me the wrong way. What a bunch of crap.

    For one thing, there are so few female scientists, and even fewer that invented anything of consequence, that having three of them is just plain stupid. But they have to be women, because we can’t have three middle-aged white males! On top of that, we all know one of the best parts of the original was how real and lived-in the characters were. Egon’s robotic tone and very dry humor, Ray’s enthusiasm, Venkman’s sarcasm — these felt like people who would devote their lives to the study of the paranormal. You can see the reaction each of them has had to how this life has gone, too. Egon just cares about knowledge, Ray always believes that a breakthrough is right around the corner, and Venkman has embraced charlatanry because he’s given up on accomplishing anything. You can almost imagine the vaguely-worded grant applications which implied they would use the money to study some reasonable topic, but which they used to continue their studies of ghosts and the supernatural. These are men who would be willing to strap unlicensed nuclear accelerators to their backs in the hopes that maybe all their efforts will amount to something.

    No woman would ever do such a thing, no matter the reason. More than 95% of all workplace deaths are of men, and in some years it’s 100%. Women can be brave, but it doesn’t take the form of building and wielding dangerous experimental tools. To suggest that these women would do so is far beyond the point of “suspension of disbelief.” The scientist angle is extremely forced in this awful trailer. I like the “you’re a…[pause]…brilliant……[long, awkward pause]……engineer” line. When you have to say that in dialogue, you’re not exactly nailing it with your characterization. Plus, Ghostbusters actually understood that scientists aren’t all nerdy looking guys in white coats, they’re actually humans who have various traits like — oh, no, that’s okay. Just have them all wear nerdy glasses and white coats. That really sells it. I’m sure nobody remembers how it was done in the first movie. Who even watches movies that old anymore?

    And of course, the ” brilliant… engineer” has to outdo the original with gadgets. Sure. I’m sure all of us know women who just can’t stop tinkering with gadgets! Such a common trait in women. I sure hope they’re acknowledging that the real Ghostbusters existed, because otherwise this is even dumber, but of course it’s awfully dumb no matter what you do. I’m strongly reminded of Jurassic World, a movie that couldn’t stop reminding me of a previous, superior movie, but at least that movie was okay.

    And finally, the elephant in the room. It seems like they’re really embracing “exactly the same, except worse” as their motto in all areas. Three white scientists and a black working class person is not exactly an important formula for Ghostbusters. (Rumor has it that they were going to have a black comedian, I forget if it was Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor or someone for the role, and that’s why it got shrunk down when that fell through.) I guess they don’t want you to forget that there was a black person in the main cast, since they shove her loud unpleasantness in our faces almost the whole way.

    What a train wreck. I disagree, I think it’s exactly like Force Awakens — similar in superficial ways, while being dumber and worse in every little detail.

  5. I just read that the new movie doesn’t include the old movies in its continuity. In this movie’s universe, these awful characters invented ghostbusting and all the equipment. Screw this crap even harder.

    A major issue with pop cultural things like this is the desire of feminists to coopt all the achievements of men. We can’t talk about the “brave men of our armed forces” anymore, we have to talk about the “brave men and women etc.” as though the women had made any meaningful contributions to the art of soldiering.

    Similarly, the “hot hacker girl” and “genius woman scientist” tropes are trying to take credit for the achievements of men. This awful trailer rings false because women such as these do not exist. All the greatest inventions, greater than 99%, were the work of men. All the dangerous work is done by men. Women do not meaningfully contribute in these areas (except by supporting men). It would be nice if there could be some appreciation of all the great things we have due to the hard work of men, rather than pretending women made large contributions when they didn’t.

    1. “A major issue with pop cultural things like this is the desire of feminists to coopt all the achievements of men. We can’t talk about the “brave men of our armed forces” anymore, we have to talk about the “brave men and women etc.” as though the women had made any meaningful contributions to the art of soldiering.”

      I was talking with an old Army buddy of mine recently and he said during a big snow storm the plows didn’t come through, snow all the men just sort of went out and started shoveling. It was a completely natural thing. No one said, “The men will shovel” or whatever and the women will make hot chocolate, etc. … It just happened. Anyway, he said none of the women came out to shovel and help and he thought it was interesting how feminists talk a big game about hypothetical scenarios, but at the end of the day men and women do naturally fit into certain roles better than others. When back-breaking work had to be done, it was the men who put on their coats and went off into the snow.

  6. Oh, God, that trailer was even worse than I could ever imagine. What a garbage bag. You can’t judge an entire movie on a trailer, but trailers are typically supposed to have the best possible material to show off. If that’s their best, this movie is in serious trouble.

    I do feel somewhat validated, though. Like so many people, I always knew this reboot would be a bad idea. C’mon, the original players couldn’t work up any enthusiasm to do a third movie themselves. There was even a point where Columbia/Sony rejected Aykroyd’s script back in ’97 because the budget would’ve been over $100 million. ‘Course, back then, Disney didn’t own Marvel and Star Wars, 20th Century FOX didn’t have X-Men, and so on and so forth. This whole project reeks of desperation to prop up the studio’s standing (especially after the Spider-Man debacle) and various personnel’s careers. I look forward to reviews saying “The cartoon was better, the other cartoon was better, the second movie was better, the video game was better, even that cheap-o Filmation cartoon was better.” I also look forward to SJWs continuing to act like no one ever had a problem with remakes/reboots before this movie.

    And for the record, I swear they only gave that blonde poofed up hair just to remind fans of Egon’s design from the cartoon.

  7. And they have Kristen Wiig make a thinly-veiled orifice joke. This is pro-woman? I thought feminism is supposed to celebrate women. Instead we get movies in which Melissa McCarthy defecates into a sink.

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