Is there something strange in your neighborhood? It’s probably the all-female remake of Ghostbusters. If you are a pathetic fanboy terrified that your penis might be on the small side, this has probably upset you a great deal. You feel like you’re getting slimed, right? So you have lashed out at it, just as you did at women playing online games, and the growing number of non-white, non-males in science fiction books and movies. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do for you. The good news is that it’s not as bad as I feared it might be; in fact it is not bad at all. The bad news is really just slightly sad news, which is that it’s not as good as it might have been.
I liked all four of the actresses, and all four of the characters they portrayed. Since I only see YouTube clips of SNL these days, I was not familiar with Leslie Jones, but she held her own with the other girls, and towered at least a head over all of them. Kristin Wiig I knew from Welcome to Me and Bridesmaids, both of which I liked. Melissa McCarthy curbed her instinct to play it gross, and though that shtick can be really good, I liked her better here. My favorite, though, was Kate McKinnon. I only knew her work from short SNL clips where she impersonates a really nasty, self-centered Hillary Clinton, but it seems she is one of the best female impressionists ever. She does a really amazing job of imitating Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber!
So that aspect of the film was good. And as expected, the special effects are way, way more intricate than what they could do in 1984, but don’t forget, those original effects were totally stunning back then, we had never really seen stuff like that before. Whereas no matter how elaborate and colorful and everything else the SFX could be in this remake, we are all much, much harder to impress these days, as we’ve pretty much seen it all before.
Example: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A stroke of real genius, and one of the hardest, longest laughs I’ve ever had at the movies. There were an infinite variety of final-scene monsters they could have gone with, and they threw them all away for the awesome shots of that chubby, smiling white giant in a sailor hat lumbering down Broadway. So how do you out-do that in 2016? How do you even match that? Answer: You don’t. I wonder if anyone in Hollywood these days has the comic chops to come up with something that original? What they do is have a thousand different comical giants stomping on stuff all over town. But I’m sorry, bigger is not better. It only shows you don’t have any new ideas. So, bottom line, I had a good time, and at the same time was nostalgic for the what it might have been.
I have to say it was fun seeing the cameos of the stars from the original. Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts were all there. Harold Ramis was absent, but he had a good excuse, having been dead for two years. Rick Moranis turned down a part. I couldn’t find Dan Ackroyd, but his name turned up in the credits as a cabbie who was totally unimpressed by all the ghostly mayhem happening all around him, and refused to go to Chinatown. I didn’t recognize him, and I’m usually pretty good at faces. Now I’ll have to watch it when it comes on TV, to see why I missed him.