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The Ghostbusters Are Back in Town, and They're Still the Ones You're Gonna Call!

Robert J. Sodaro is an American born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist, who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Everything old is new again

Everything old is new again


Ghostbusters: Rated PG-13” (1 hour, 56 minutes)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance

Directed by: Paul Feig

Who Have You Called Before?

It was just over 30 years ago, after New York City had been inundated by swarms of ghosts that a clarion call went out to the denizens of the Big Apple that asked the musical question, “Who Ya gonna call?” As inhabitants of the City That Never Sleeps gasped out en masse that question, they were rewarded with the appearance of a quartet of saviors. Well, as we all know that call brought forth Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson); collectively known as the Ghostbusters, who effectively not only dealt with the problem but came back in ’89 to once again lend a hand. Well, now it that call has once again gone out only it isn’t those four but a new team that has risen to the challenge of a ghost attack.

GHOSTBUSTERS - Official Trailer #2 (2016)

A New Team for A New Generation

Yes, kids, the original film did take the world by storm, but forget all that, there is a new Ghostbusting team that is on display for the modern era, and yes, you all heard it right, it is a team of all females Ghostbusters. For reasons that pass understanding, this seems to have elicited all sorts of ire amongst fans of the original film(s). People are less concerned that the film is back and fully rebooted for a new generation, but rather upset that there are a) different people in the major roles, and b) that they are all “girls” (although not necessarily in that order). Well, as someone who has been reviewing films for most of those 30 years, we chose not to pass judgment on the film until after we had seen it, which we recently did. As far as we are concerned, director Paul Feig (who co-wrote the new script with Katie Dippold) managed to take the original story and successfully managed to combine all the paranormal set pieces, and merge them with a number of new elements to make a new, entertaining, and enjoyable film that harkened back to the original film without merely mimicking it.

Meet the New Team

The ladies take the lead

The ladies take the lead

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The Set-Up Remains the Same

Here the setup was essentially similar, a couple of parapsychologists get all excited when they discover the presence of actual ghosts, and then go on to hunt them down as they begin to haunt the city. What is different here is not only the actual setup, but the delivery of the story itself. The interpersonal relationships of the Ghostbusters — as well as the also reverse-gender casting of the role of their secretary (Chris Hemsworth vs Annie Potts in the original), who here is more of a man-boob than Potts’ character was in the original. Also the dialogue and gags themselves also tended to reflect the gender changes, but again, that is only to be expected. So, while we know that there are some that will decry the reboot — not so much for being a reboot, but because of the decision to re-cast it as an all-female main cast — to those folks we say, seriously, get a grip, you are not the target audience for this film, your wives, girlfriends, and daughters are, so you know, get over it.

Don't Cross the Streams!

Fighting back against ghosts!

Fighting back against ghosts!

The Film Does Not Remain the Same

Yes, that’s right, all of the silly, goofy antics that made the original franchise so amusing were not only present in this film, but very successfully melded with the strengths of a new (yes, female) team of comedic actresses to deliver an updated take on the classic film. To be sure, we will admit that our favorite line from the original (which we consider to be one of the best bits of dialogue ever penned for the screen that was ever written*) didn’t appear, but we got over it; some things simply can’t be replicated. Still, that’s the past, and we are here now. Which brings us to our next point.

Ghostbusters (1984; Widescreen Edition)

The Ultimate Evil!

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Too Many Reboots

While we do object to the preponderance of sequels and reboots Given the success of the new leases on life that Star Trek, Terminator Genesis, Rocky/Creed films have given to those franchises, we do have our breaking point. (We’ll allow for Highlander and Alien, but Back to the Future? Seriously give us a break!) Given the level of vitriolic backlash from certain segments of society lately over women doing anything other than cooking and rearing children, we suppose that it is no doubt that there are folks who will choose to hate this film (sight unseen) just because it is staffed with (very talented) women. We are not one of them. Our daughters (and nieces) need heroes just as much as do our sons (and nephews), so yes, while we admittedly do have some (small) issues with this film — based solely on the fact that it is a reboot (what, have we run out of original ideas?), and nothing at all to do with the cast’s gender — our impression is that it is a fun and entertaining film that deserves its place in the sun.

Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to be Ghostbusters

A body is a terrible thing to waste.

A body is a terrible thing to waste.

Cameos, Cameos, everywhere!

Oh, before we go, we do want to say that most of the major stars from the original film make cameo appearances in this version, which should (but probably won’t) mollify fans of the Ivan Reitman outing. Well, they certainly made us happy.

The Original Team

Everything is Meta!

Everything is Meta!

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro

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