‘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.

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‘Wonder Woman’ trailer reaction exposes intellectual bankruptcy of Paul Feig on ‘Ghostbusters’ critics

The new Wonder Woman trailer came out on Saturday and the reaction has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Facebook feeds, Twitter streams, and YouTube videos exploded with excitement at the product. What has missing over the last 24 hours is someone who points out the obvious: Paul Feig’s “slime Ghostbusters critics as sexist” strategy only demonstrated his intellectually bankruptcy.

There are not armies of men (at least in western nations) who have a problem with seeing strong women on film. That was a lie meant to divide people for Sony’s benefit.

The Wonder Woman trailer wraps a giant “lasso of truth” around Mr. Feig’s desperate attempt to save his shoddy product. You cannot get any more “girl power” than Wonder Woman, and every time a shameless Hollywood producer tries play the sexist card in the future they should be punched in the face with the collective fist of fan-approval for Wonder Woman.

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.

Paul Feig should have listened to his own advice on all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ and walked away

GhostbustersThe world is getting an all-female Ghostbusters film that apparently doesn’t even take place in the same universe as the original movies. Why is it still called Ghostbusters then? Good question. Paul Feig of Bridesmaids and The Heat fame is taking on the project, but at the end of the day he would have been wise to take his own advice…

Entertainment Weekly reported Oct. 8:

PAUL FEIG: I had been contacted by Sony and Ivan a number of months ago when I was in Budapest shooting my new movie Spy. But I was like, I don’t know if I want to take that on because the first two are such classics and just because of how do you do it? Who do you bring in now that Harold’s gone? I know that Bill didn’t want to do it and I love Dan, but it was just like I don’t know how to do it. Then I had lunch with [Sony Pictures co-chairman] Amy Pascal when I got back to town. She was just saying, gosh, nobody wants to do this. I said, yeah, it’s really hard to take that on, especially since it’s 25 years later. how do you come back into a world that’s had these ghosts and all this? It just felt too difficult. How do you do it and not screw it up?

Amy Pascal should have taken the fact that no one wanted to touch Ghostbusters as a clue that maybe it shouldn’t be done. Paul Feig’s gut told him that he shouldn’t take the project either, but then he came up with a not-so-bright idea: Let’s make a movie that isn’t anything like the original Ghostbusters, but then call it Ghostbusters so we can say that we did Ghostbusters. Genius! And if people don’t like my idea of having an all-female cast in this non-Ghostbusters movie, then we’ll just sit back and watch our friends in the media call them sexists.

As it turns out, Ernie Hudson — Winston himself — also thinks this is an odd idea.

The Telegraph reported Oct. 9:

“I heard it was going to be a total reboot, and that it would have nothing to do with the other two movies. If it has nothing to do with the other two movies, and it’s all female, then why are you calling it Ghostbusters? I love females. I hope that if they go that way at least they’ll be funny, and if they’re not funny at least hopefully it’ll be sexy. I love the idea of including women, I think that’s great. But all-female I think would be a bad idea. I don’t think the fans want to see that.”

Mr. Hudson is going to get himself in trouble with that “sexy” remark, but it’s hard to argue with his underlying point: Hollywood is forcing a bastardized version of Ghostbusters into existence, and Amy Pascal somehow thinks that fans of the original will be happy with that.

Should Hollywood remake Indiana Jones with Kristen Wiig as the lead just to prove that a female Indiana Jones can be successful? Should Animal House be rebooted as Animal Sorority with Melissa McCarthy leading an all-female cast, just to prove that women can be just as funny as John Belushi?

Paul Feig is obviously a talented man, but calling a film Ghostbusters that is almost completely divorced from the original is not a good way to win over its fans. If he can propel this movie to box office success, then he will deserve every penny that Sony pays him.