Saturday, 16 July 2016

Review: Ghostbusters ROCKS!

So I promised to tell everyone what I thought after I had seen Ghostbusters, and rather than going at the weekend I had a chance to see it yesterday. There were only four of us in the cinema (first showing on a Friday afternoon), but we all really enjoyed it if the loud laughing was anything to go by :). Now I just have to find a time I can see it again and drag my darling husband along too.

Ghostbusters ROCKS!

Kristen Wiig...Erin Gilbert
Melissa McCarthy...Abby Yates
Kate McKinnon...Jillian Holtzmann
Leslie Jones...Patty Tolan
Neil Casey...Rowan North
Chris Hemsworth...Kevin
Rating: 12A
Summary (from IMDB):
Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

There are no two ways about it, this film is hilarious. Soph and I were laughing for almost the entire film.

That being said there was one problem with it: the beginning. The pacing at the start is just all wrong. When it first began I was rather worried it was going to be terrible. The whole bit with the Dean of Abby's college is just juvenile, stupid and unnecessary. However, once we moved past the hiccup of the first ten to fifteen minutes, this is a work or pure brilliance.

Let's start with the special effects. Soph and I saw it in 3D because that was the only option for afternoon showings. The 3D is good and is actually awesome during the closing credits (more about those later), but is really unnecessary. It's 3D for the sake of 3D, not because it enhances anything in the film.

The ghosts, on the other hand, are awesome. They echo the spirit of the original films while being one hundred percent up to date and visually spectacular. This is a film where CGI can shine and it so does.

Next we have the cameos, so many cameos. They're all brilliant. It's a shame Rick Moranis didn't do one too, because all the others were great - especially Sigourney Weaver's.

Then there is the plot, which I loved. There is a similar premise for the beginning of the Ghostbusters, but this film is not simply a remake of the original. It has its own spin, its own advanced plot and its own way of playing out. It also put the Ghostbusters in a much more modern context, Homeland Security and all. This is a well thought out, well plotted film.

There are nods to the original, lots of them, and nods to loads of other films too (watch for the Scooby Doo one, it's hilarious). This is a movie that recognises its heritage and its niche. It celebrates its genre with open enjoyment. It's not trying to be anything but a highly entertaining comedy and it goes for it, all guns blazing.

To do this, it has to have excellent characters. The Ghostbusters are superb. Each had their own back story, their own character and their own depth. These ladies and gent (because Kevin is a Ghostbuster) are not simply stereotypes, they are people who are there, at least originally, for the science. And yes, Patty is in on the science too.

Each of the Ghostbusters is based off a stereotype comic books kind of character, but what is done brilliantly, is that is not all they are.

In order of appearance:

Erin (Kristen Wiig) is the "serious scientist" with the bad suits and the high academic goals, but when it comes to actually seeing real ghosts, she totally loses it. Her eyes light up and propriety can go hang itself.

Abby (Melissa McCarthy) is the "wacky scientist" chasing the supernatural, but she's a physicist at heart and she wants not to simply prove it exists, but understand how it works. She's passionate, she's intelligent and she understands the real world.

Jillian (Kate McKinnon) is totally the "crazy engineer" who can build anything from spare parts given a few hours; the A-team has nothing on her. Yet she likes to sing and dance when she's working. She has more than one screw loose and loves her work.

Patty (Leslie Jones) is the "streetwise New Yorker", but she doesn't just know the streets, she a walking encyclopedia of the history of the place too. She's tough, but she tries to be nice to everyone in the subway too. She has brains, they've just never been applied to science before.

Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) is the "dumb secretary", but I was so wrong yesterday when I speculated he was just a trope. Kevin is the dumb blond taken to the nth degree. He's so stupid he's almost innocent, except he isn't at all. I love him.

Rowan North (Neil Casey) is the "loser with a grudge" and I totally believed he was a complete psycho. I can't say too much without giving away spoilers, but he is a great villain - totally deadpan and perfectly off his rocker.

This is a film full of wonderful characters played by fantastic actors. Everyone in this film brings something to the table and makes it incredibly enjoyable.

Were there plot holes? - I've no idea, I was enjoying it so much I didn't analyse it. Once it got going after the initial pacing issue at the beginning, I just laughed and giggled and had a wonderful time.

Then, last but not least, are the closing credits. Everyone else making films, this is the way to do it. The closing credits are worth watching all the way through (and yes, there is a post credits scene, but, unlike the Marvel movies, it's not boring to sit and wait for it). The screen does not have great credits at the start and then go to black with hundreds of names listed, it actually keeps being visually interesting right to the end. Stay to the moment the screen goes off - you won't be disappointed.

Don't listen to the fanboys who have voted this film down just because it is a female led cast. Watching this I laughed more than I have laughed in a film for a very long time. This is how to do comedy. As I said at the top: Ghostbusters ROCKS!


  1. You're the first person I've heard who said the beginning was bad. Most reviews I've read/seen enjoyed the beginning.

    I watched Ghostbusters too last night, but it was the original because after the shitstorm on the internet and the way they used all the negative to generate press about the new one I decided they don't deserve my money.

    1. The very first scene is awesome, but then it loses it for a bit IMHO. I think they tried to get too much back story in and it felt as if it wasn't written by the same person as the rest - it was most odd. Everything scene with ghosts is awesome, however, it was just up until the scene with the Dean from Abby's college that I thought the other parts were lacking.

      Of course they used the publicity from the shitstorm, considering the fact that there has been an organised campaign to destroy the film from the moment it was announced. The fanboys have systematically voted down everything that they can about the film deliberately - just look at Youtube and IMDB compared to the score on Rotten Tomatoes - the first two are driven by users, the second by critics. The only way to combat that was to use the publicity against the people doing it. This is a well made, very funny film that has been vilified in certain quarters just because it is a female led cast.

      The fact that the entire main, surviving cast, bar one, is in it and have given it their support has to say something good about it, surely?

    2. I saw Ernie Hudson at a Paracon and he wasn't going to do it because they wanted him to cameo for free. Maybe they changed it or he changed his mind. I didn't hear any news about that, but not really my business if he was paid or not.

      My feelings on the new one are mixed despite my decision not to give them money. I love the original and I really didn't see why they had to remake it, but I can see the appeal to redoing older movies because of all the spiffy new effects that can be done now. In all honesty, I was hoping for either a hand off of the torch from the original cast or a completely new origin story. Neither of those happened so I don't think I could have gone into the theater and not compare. In the end, it all boils down to I'm going to spend my time doing something I enjoy. I don't get any of the haters who are going to see it just to bitch about it.

    3. I have no idea what happened as to paying actors for cameos, all I know is Ernie is def in it along with Bill, Dan, Sigourney and Annie. I kind of cheered to myself every time one of the original showed up.

      I love the original movie too and I think they've done a really good job of rebooting the franchise. It's its own story, but with the feel of the original IMHO.

      I think you're missing out on a really good movie - I'm still smiling about it now, but we can't all like the same things :)

    4. Oh no, we must like the same things. The interwebz demands it!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  2. I've heard mixed reviews. Our local paper was not too kind. I'll probably catch it on DVD and hope you are right about it. I loved the original.

  3. Thanks for this great review! Now I know I want to see this new Ghostbusters pronto. I guess it's true...Haters gonna hate.

    1. Yep - in this case, very much so. Can't believe how much some people got their tail in a twist over it - the mind boggles :)


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