Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Ghostbusters 2016 Trailer Reaction

Ever since the idea took shape, I have been on board with the all female "Ghostbusters" movie. I really never had a problem with the idea, and think it could work wonders with the right cast. When Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were cast, that was like an answer to prayers. I don't know anything about Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones, but knowing they came from the SNL stable is good enough for me. When the trailer for the trailer came out a few weeks ago, nostalgia reeled me in, for better or for worst, and I was hooked on just a few images.

Now, on the other side of the trailer, I don't know how to feel about this upcoming movie. There is an "R" word that keeps pushing from the back of my mind. That "R" word is "Remake."

Can somebody please tell me why "Ghostbusters" needs to be remade? Simply because we haven't had a new movie in years? There is nothing I hate more in Hollywood right now than with its ridiculous remake culture and its obnoxious need to hold onto nostalgia for as long as possible. Nostalgia is slowly and surely turning us all into man-babies, and that's not a good thing.

When I think about it, it always seemed "Ghostbusters" was ripe for the shared universe trope that Hollywood is going to start kicking into gear in the upcoming years. There was always that line in "Ghostbusters" when Egon, Venkman and Ray sell Ray's mortgage to pay for the fire station that would become their headquarters. Venkman says "the franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams." The foreshadowing of possible future storytelling was never more prominent. The key to this franchise to me seemed to let the main cast open more offices. Imagine an office in New Orleans, Salem, Los Angeles, Chicago...even China or Europe. Each of the fifty states of this country has its own identity, and that could play into the storyline. Aykroyd, Murray and Hudson could come in as supporting roles or cameos with ease. This could have really given the Marvel Cinematic Universe a run for its money.

That is what I was hoping would happen when this idea came about, a new team within the same storyline. But the more Paul Feig discusses this movie, the clearer it is that this is just a remake. The trailer solidifies that this movie is merely a remake. 

Except its not funny. "Ghostbusters" has always been billed as a comedy. The sad part of this whole thing is that I didn't laugh at a single moment in this trailer. How can I? Its all telegraphed, shot for shot from the original, furthering the evidence that this is just a remake. I don't get the modern comedy, and having the characters yell at each other while fighting. That's not funny to me. "Ghostbusters" worked because they created rich characters who were merely reacting to what they were experiencing. That made for some funny material, which Feig has ignored completely.

Another astonishing thing about this trailer is just CGI-heavy it is. Everything about it looks incredibly fake, like this is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek joke instead of an actual movie. I have read people calling this Scooby Doo, and I absolutely get where they are coming from. Another thing that made the original movie so special is that it was about real people in the real New York City, experiencing something clearly out of this world. That is what made the concept so unique, it was a perfect blending of realism and paranormal. This just looks fake for the sake of it.

Don't get me wrong, folks. I am biased. Because "Ghostbusters" has been apart of my life for as long as my memory stretches. Its my second favorite movie of all time. There was a period of my life when it was number one, a long period. Without "Ghostbusters," I wouldn't be the film nerd I am today, and I definitely wouldn't be writing anything about movies today. It helped shape my cinematic vocabulary, my cinematic diet. Not only that, but the movie has sentimental value to me. Its the movie I had to watch with my grandmother every time I visited her. It would be me, my brother, grandma, and any cousins who would also visit. She knew how much I loved the movie that one day she let me take home her VHS tape. My grandma passed away about four years ago, but I can't watch or even think about "Ghostbusters" without thinking of her. I had toy versions of the characters, of the ECTO-1 and the Fire station, which became the base of operations for the action figure army I collected in my formative years. So make no mistake, the original "Ghostbusters" is a sacred text to me. If you take a shot at God, you better not miss. So far, I am not impressed by what I saw from this trailer.

That's not an anti-feminist stance, that's not a slight against progressiveness or the PC crowd. That's simply me having a reaction to something. Go back and read all my pieces I wrote about this idea, I supported it, I gave it a shot. But that trailer did absolutely nothing for me, and it hurts. I have had a lifelong history with "Ghostbusters," so anything involving this story or these characters has to be pretty damn close to perfection. This trailer looks nowhere near it.

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