‘Ghostbusters’ endorses Hillary Clinton; Sony opts for Orwellian Memory Hole after backlash

Ghostbusters is the gift that keeps on giving. This week Sony decided to get so weirdly political that it allowed the official Ghostbusters account to give Hillary Clinton’s campaign an endorsement with the #ImWithHer hashtag on Twitter. The company then went full-1984 and flushed the tweet down the Memory Hole when the Internet called the company out on its actions.

Imagine a world where every company acts like Sony’s Paul Feig. You would have Frosted Flakes commercials along the lines of, “They’re grrrrrrrrreat! (for Republicans).”

Perhaps you would have Schick razor commercials “for him” that are really “with her,” (i.e., Hillary Clinton). The possibilities are endless.

Check out the video below to see how this decision totally undercuts the claim that Ghostbusters was not made for politically correct reasons, and why Sony’s Orwellian actions afterward are important to remember.

Ghostbusters: Why Sony’s ‘Slime the Critics’ strategy is important

Slimer

Ghostbusters as a film is mostly forgettable, but the politics that have surrounded Sony’s project for months are something that should stay at the forefront of fans’ minds for a long time. Paul Feig and those connected with the project determined that a “Slime the Critics” strategy would pay off when it was clear that a $150 million investment was in big trouble — and it paid off. Reviewers were clearly afraid of being labeled sexists, and evidence of that is available on Rotten Tomatoes, YouTube, and across the internet.

Although I reviewed the movie opening weekend, my newest YouTube video discusses Sony’s small victory in terms of securing good reviews from political allies and moving the need in its direction with nice guys who have no desire to wade into gender politics.

Ghostbusters: Kate McKinnon and crew can’t save Paul Feig’s shoddy screenplay

Erin Gilbert

The new Ghostbusters is finally in theaters, and the good news is that its first trailer (the most hated YouTube video of all time) was not an accurate predictor of the movie’s overall quality. The bad news is that Ghostbusters, like Batman v Superman, is a film that is done in by a shoddy screenplay. The cast does the best it can with writer-director Paul Fieg’s story (co-written by Katie Dippold), but no amount of improvisation can lift the product above “mildly amusing” status.

Ghostbusters Holtzmann

First off, anyone who has seen the original Ghostbusters will know how the story goes:

  • Female versions of Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz,
    Dr. Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddmore form a band of misfit do-gooders who believe the city faces a spiritual threat of gargantuan proportions.
  • City officials treat them like second-class citizens.
  • The Ghostbusters piece together a mystery and stop a paranormal apocalypse by closing a portal to the netherworld.

Bill Murray Ghostbusters

With that being said, I think it is important to review Mr. Fieg’s movie by pretending the original film never existed. If the world were never introduced to Bill Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman, then how would critics rate this movie?

They would say the following:

  • Kate McKinnon is a firecracker. Whether one likes or dislikes her weird tics throughout the movie, there is an energy and “it” factor to “Holtzmann” that a franchise can be built on.
  • The villain, Rowan (played by Neil Casey), is hardly defined — and that is putting it nicely. His motivations are not shown — viewers are told he was “bullied” when he was younger — and his actions during the movie’s climax make no sense. He literally controls a sea of cops and military personnel, but then chooses not to do the same to the four people who clearly pose a threat to his plans.
  • Chris Hemsworth’s character, Kevin, is so stupid that he is borderline retarded. Even if he is a parody of the “bimbo secretary,” I cannot remember a single female in similar roles who came across as Dumb and Dumber-stupid. Even desperate employers would not hire the man, no matter how handsome he may be.
  • There was obviously a Michael Jackson-inspired “Thriller” scene planned for the film that was cut from the finished product and wedged into the end credits. The problem is that aspects of the scene do show up in the film, which makes the audience go, “Huh? Why are the cops and the soldiers frozen in ‘Thriller’ poses? What the heck?”
  • Tension does not exist in this film because at no point does anyone feel as though the Ghostbusters might be in real danger. They become masters of new and experimental technology fairly quickly, and the one time they appear to be in trouble the camera angle shows them with the kind of smashed faces one might see in a Ghostbusters cartoon.

Ghostbusters Abby Patty

Ghostbusters is a movie that is worth checking out on Netflix if there is nothing else to do on a Friday night, but it is not worth full price at the movie theater. It is a movie that fails not because its cast is filled with women, but because its screenplay is sloppy.

Finally, it must be mentioned that Bill Murray’s cameo will be painful to watch for anyone who enjoyed the original films. It is hard to believe the man agreed to the part unless he has serious issues with Ivan Reitman. If Mr. Fieg or anyone else associated with this re-imagining thinks they were giving the 1984 Ghostbusters a respectful tip of the hat with Mr. Murray’s cameo, then the property is in worse hands than previously thought.

If you have a little kid who really wants to see ghosts busted, then you probably should buy a cheap ticket on an early Sunday. If you don’t have kids, then my suggestion is to wait until you can check it out for little to no cost. That isn’t an “I have a thing against women” thing, it’s an “I have a thing against paying full price for muddled writing” thing.

Did you see Ghostbusters this weekend? Did you refuse to see it? Either way, let me know what you think of Sony’s tentpole film in the comments section below.

Update: Here is my latest YouTube video on Ghostbusters and why the “Slime the Critics” strategy is important.

Hillary Clinton pairing up with all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ cast … because pandering

Ghostbusters 2016

Imagine a scenario in 2012 where Mitt Romney decided to appear on Jimmy Kimmel with the cast of The Expendables 2. Jimmy then tweeted, “The entire cast of The Expendables is here next week and now @MittRomney is coming, too! Get your Man Cards ready.”

You would probably lose a ton of respect for Mr. Romney for a.) blatantly pandering to a certain demographic of men, and b.) doing so when nothing about him says “cigar chomping, beer-chugging dude.”

Now consider the following tweet from Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday:

“The entire cast of Ghostbusters is here next week and now @HillaryClinton is coming, too! Get your Woman Cards ready.”

Sad, isn’t it? It screams, “Vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. Seriously. I mean it.”

Ellen DeGeneres Hillary Clinton Ghostbusters

The weird thing about Mrs. Clinton’s May 25 appearance with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones is that no one has apparently warned her: Ghostbusters is literally the most reviled movie trailer in YouTube’s history.

The Hollywood Reporter covered the infamous milestone April 30:

Not only does it have the most dislikes for a trailer on the social platform, but it also makes the top 25 most disliked videos overall.

Things are not boding well for director Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters based on the film’s first official trailer on YouTube.

Released March 3, the trailer, viewed 29.2 million times and counting, is the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history, according to “MyTop100Videos” channel’s “Most Disliked Videos” list that was last updated April 16.

Mrs. Clinton, a pale political imitation of her husband, will link herself with a cast that will likely be a pale imitation of the original Ghostbusters. It’s the kind of pandering that only a desperate candidate would resort to because someone who was confident would want the stage all to herself.

If Hillary Clinton were confident that she represented the majority of women, then there would be no need for “Get your Woman Card ready” tweets by Ellen DeGeneres.

If Hillary Clinton were running a smooth campaign, then the cast of Ghostbusters would appear the next day and talk about her for most of the interview.

If Hillary Clinton had decent political instincts, then she would not appear with any cast that would allow critics a segue into discussions about “ghosts” that haunt the former secretary of state at night.

Again, I would be highly insulted if a male candidate showed up on a talk show with a bunch of “manly men” as guests because … “bros before hoes in the voting booth, bro!” I can only hope that millions of intelligent women feel the same way about the Clinton campaign’s shameless efforts with female voters.