Four Letter Nerd

4LN Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

Look, I could attempt to be all professional and s**t and write this review with class and proper articulation, but, at the time I’m writing this, the truth is… I’ve had a few (several) beers and I’m listening to the new album from Death Metal veterans Blood Red Throne, “Union of Flesh and Machine”, and I just don’t have the energy to feign appropriate journalism conduct. (Real talk, It’s entirely possible that I’m probably also doing the exact same thing as you read this.) So let’s just get into it, shall we? (I used the word “shall” and that’s kind of classy so suck it.)

Ghost-f**king-Busters. You guys, this movie is so great. I know that when it was announced (and while they were filming, and during the post-production press tour, and the current release weekend) all the neckbeards and Ghostbuster purists and neckbearded Ghostbuster purists were pissing and moaning about their childhoods being betrayed because women (gasp!) were taking over the franchise, but f**k those whiny b***hes. I could be more poetic about it I guess, but why bother. It’s not like they’d be able to read any of the big words I would use to ridicule them anyway.

Ok, so… where were we? Oh yeah, Ghostbusters. This film is not a continuation of the original series, rather it’s a reboot, if you will. I was sort of hoping that it would just pick up 30 years or so after number 2 but that isn’t the case. It makes sense though because a big part of the plot is that no one really takes them seriously (not because they’re women, but) because nobody believes in ghosts. I mean, if they made this flick in a cinematic universe where people had already experienced and accepted that as a norm, it wouldn’t make any sense for this plot. “But… but… they could’ve tried harder and wrote the story more unique!” Well, they didn’t and it’s still good so… deal with it?

This film starts the concept of busting ghosts right at the very beginning, and even opens with a pretty intense, and very funny, scene of a haunting in a historical mansion. I mean, ghosts and mansions pretty much go hand-in-hand, but what’s most clever about this one is that the core plot of the film actually kicks off right here and it’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

The cast is fantastic. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have brilliant chemistry. They play former colleagues/BFF’s who drifted their separate ways after Wiig’s Dr. Erin Gilbert prioritizes her academic career over their shared interest in the science of apparitions, and McCarthy’s Dr. Abby Yates chooses to continue with the research. Leslie Jones is just as outrageous as she is on SNL playing Patty Tolan, a NY MTA empolyee, who has a first hand encounter with a ghost and ends up joining the team due to her deep knowledge of the city. Truth be told, Kate McKinnon is the real stand-out of the four. There’s just something about her character, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, that gets you every time. She damn near steals the show with her eccentricities and outright kookiness. Except… and I know that it’s ironic considering all the sexist-bashing I did previously, but… when Chris Hemsworth is on screen. I knew the guy could be funny, I just had no idea that he could be SO godd**n funny. He’s practically the only cast member who isn’t a comedian of some kind and he is without question the funniest part of the whole movie. His character is essentially a bimbo secretary, named Kevin, and I don’t believe that there’s another actor alive who could’ve played it as perfectly. (Maybe Ryan Reynolds…?)

The CGI and SpecialFX are solid. There were some complaints about that early on as well I think, but, you know, still f**k those whiny b***hes. Ok, so it’s not the Jim Henson style puppet ghosts and ghouls anymore. You wanna know why we don’t have to do that in movies anymore? Because we have computers now that do it for us. “But… but… those look fake.” You look fake. Shut up and eat your Doritos, crybaby.

Director Paul Feig is the man behind The Heat, Spy, and Bridesmaids (which garnered an Oscar nomination), so he has a great handle on comedy/action and proves himself here with a perfect blending of both.

The film overall is shot very well, and each ghost-y scene throughout looks great, but the finale of the film, the ultimate climax, looks absolutely fantastic. The SFX are clean and clear. Nothing blurs together or gets too fuzzy to make out what’s going on. There’s a lot of great definition to the battles the ladies have against the ghosts, and considering how easy it could be for something like that to get away from you, the production team did a wonderful job of keeping all the chaos in order.

All the original Ghostbusters cast, with the sad exception of Rick Moranis, make cameos. Yes, even Harold Ramis. It’s abstract but it’s there, trust me. Ernie Hudson’s is almost right in front of you for half the film but doesn’t really manifest until the end. Bill Murry’s is probably the most substantial, but Dan Aykroyd’s is by far the funniest.

There’s also a ton of other small roles and cameos, from Ozzy Osbourne as himself to Andy García as the NYC Mayor, but the one that made me laugh the most was Steve Higgins (Announcer for The Tonight Show) as the Dean of the poorly reputable college that Melissa McCarthy’s Yates and Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann do their research studies at. He’s rude and crass, and it is side-splittingly hilarious.

Apparently the soundtrack has been another point of contention for some people as well. I mean, you have to respect the blind commitment to hatred I guess. If you’re gonna slam something you might as well complete the set and just slam it all. Boo Hoo, Fall Out Boy did a sort-of-cover of the Ghostbusters theme. If you’re the type of person who holds the original song in such high esteem that a band you don’t even listen to doing a cover of it ruins your life then you don’t just have your priorities out of whack, you just don’t have priorities. Like, at all. After some brief research on the soundtracks for the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, I could only find a handful of performers who were nominated for any music awards between them. On the new soundtrack alone I found just as many. If you haven’t listened to WALK THE MOON’s version of the Ghostbuster song, you should.

So, in closing: the new Ghostbusters movie is funny, exciting, and very enjoyable to watch on the big screen, and if you refuse to watch it just because “the gostbusturs is gurls now!” then you are neanderthal and should probably just… I’m not gonna say it. The thing I was gonna say is very mean, and, frankly, an overused way to insult someone these days so I’ll just stop while I’m ahead. (Am I ahead?) Also, I promise to try and make this the last time I drink and jam death metal while writing an article. It more than likely won’t be, but the lip service is good enough right? I figured. Now, get the hell out there and catch some Pokemon! S**t. I mean, get out to your local theater and see the hilarious new Ghostbusters!

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Stephen Andrew

Stephen has spent most of his life reading comics, watching horror movies, listening to death metal music, and speaking in the third person. His favorite comic book character is The Punisher, and he believes that the Punisher: War Zone movie is criminally underrated. His favorite film of all-time is National Lampoon's Vacation, and his favorite album is Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill".

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