(UPDATE: I’ve made a minor update to account for the fact that, yes, the Ghostbusters reboot trailer is now the most disliked movie trailer of all time on YouTube. And everything you read below is going to tell you why. BOMBSHELL: It has almost nothing to do with sexism or misogyny.)
That’s all I can stands by and I can’t stands by no more!
Welcome to Ghostbusters Reboot Hate Club. The first rule of Ghostbusters Reboot Hate Club; you are NOT a macho knuckle-dragging misogynist who believes anything a woman can do a man can do better unless it’s in the vicinity of a self-cleaning oven. The second rule of GRHC (sorry, my wrists were already seizing up from spelling it out); you’re against a remake of Ghostbusters primarily since it’s a classic film, not because you think an all-female Ghostbusters lead team is the final sign of end days. (For those wondering, Paris Hilton getting her own reality show was the first.) There are some other rules, but my pea-sized sexist male brain didn’t want to remember the rest in fear of forgetting all the places I enjoy scratching myself.
Before I tee off on Hollywood and all manner of others, I’m going to provide fair warning what you’re about to ingest is a first world rant. With all the chaos going on in the world, the subsequent diatribe is among the lowest of hanging fruit. Considering however I suffer a major meltdown every time my internet connection drops out for 30 seconds, you’ll understand why this subject matter vaulted to the top of my internal complaint department. That, and Ghostbusters is hands-down my favorite film of all-time.
First, a brief little trip down memory lane on how we’ve arrived at this so called “controversy” over the latest theatrical installment of the franchise. For the better part of the last 20 plus years, Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stanz) burned the midnight slime attempting to get a Ghostbusters 3 on the big screen. In the latest iteration of their script – which was to take place well after the events of Ghostbusters 2 – Aykroyd, director Ivan Reitman and the late Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) developed a premise revolving around the decaying foursome of paranormal exterminators handing over the reins to a much younger and more physically able cast of characters.
Rumored names for the un-greenlit sequel flew faster than insults at a Don Rickles family reunion, most of them coming from the Judd Apatow wing of Hollywood laugh magnets. Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader and many other notable names were bandied about, but Aykroyd was also persistent in his quest to see some leading ladies suit it up within the new crew as well. His Marvel-esque vision wasn’t just limited to a team of four new recruits either, but a larger world of several franchises with a healthy mix of ladies and gentlemen. The heart of the Ghostbusters was persistent in his desire to see the likes of Emma Stone and Eliza Dushku join the next generation of ghost catchers.
Reaction to the above wasn’t overwhelmingly positive or negative, and if anything most people didn’t seem to care anymore. After countless years of being teased of a second follow-up, many fans (I among them), were just exhausted from the on-again off-again nature of the project. All of that being said, many were still open to a passing of the torch proposition regardless of the new teams sexual make up. They could be all men, all women, or all talking horses, as long as it featured the original crew riding off into the sunset for one final hurrah, fans appeared to be generally open to a new Ghostbusters sequel.
So what happened?
In what may be considered one of the greatest unsolved mysteries known to humankind since the rise to fame of Kim Kardashian, Bill Murray proved to be the lone holdout on a return to the character of Peter Venkman for one more feature film. Yeah, I get it he wasn’t happy with the first sequel, but it wasn’t THAT bad, and for the love of everything, this is a man who did not one, but count them, two less-than-mediocre live action Garfield films. Alas, bless his heart, in 2009 Mr. Murray rewarmed to his iconic role and lent his voice to voice Dr. Venkman in Terminal Reality’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. With the addition of vocal returns by Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson, for all intents and purposes, the reunion proved to be the third chapter in the original Ghostbusters saga, and an interactive one at that!
Ghostbusters 3 (aka Ghostbusters The Video Game – Part 1)
Ghostbusters 3 (aka Ghostbusters The Video Game – Part 2)
Sadly, during the struggle to bring a theatrical Ghostbusters 3 to multiplexes, Harold Ramis, may he rest in peace, passed on to the big containment unit in the sky on February 24th, 2014. For better or for worse, it was then the chances for a follow-up to the 1989 sequel all but died with him. As depressing as it may have been, along with many other fans I spoke with, I was at peace with leaving the franchise as-is. No further films were necessary nor did they even seem appropriate going forward.
Not Sony however.
On October 4th, 2014, even with the flowers still fresh from the memorial, so desperate were the studio brass, they decided to double down on resurrecting the most treasured property in their stable. Up to this point in time, Ghostbusters 3 was progressing to the point of being green-lit. Etan Cohen (MIB 3 writer) had put together a script with Ramis and the directing team of Lord and Miller (The Lego Movie) were all set to try and build an “awesome” new Ghostbusters sequel. Enter Amy Pascal and the mindless execs of Sony who pretty much dragged Feig in almost kicking and screaming, and they hired him the second he said “clean reboot with an all-female cast.” The decisions makers jumped at the idea further proving the only thing they had their finger on, was the pulse of a dinosaur fossil. Despite their anti-reboot arguments otherwise, Aykroyd and Reitman were completely marginalized with no creative say in any of it. In fact, Feig requested they have no say! With Ramis gone, Murray out (before being pressured in), and Reitman and Aykroyd ignored, Sony decided if they couldn’t eat their cake, they would invent a new preservative-free all natural pastry made of different – albeit visually similar – ingredients. Once baked, the executives could then slap the world’s second most recognized logo on the box in order to sell it to the masses.
And THAT my dear misogynist accusers, is why the wheels fell off the Ecto-1.
Well before the cast was announced in early 2015, fans made their outrage known that rebooting a beloved and revered film such as Ghostbusters was tantamount to murder-in-the-first. Yes, I realize movies get rebooted more often than Justin Bieber gets caught with an illegal substance, but Ghostbusters is different. It’s considered one of the few cinematic untouchables. Even the original film’s director Ivan Reitman has been quoted as calling it “lightning in a bottle”. It was magical combination of incredible chemistry between all the actors, hilarious writing, subtle humor at perfection, and an underdog sci-fi story oddly grounded in reality considering the actual premise. For many, it’s the rarest of creations, impossible to duplicate. And of all people, Reitman should know best, he tried. Ghostbusters 2, despite being financially lucrative and far better than most give it credit for, was considered by many a poor-man’s attempt at replicating almost the exact formula of the first. If that wasn’t enough, he tried a third time – sans the Ghostbusters label – with the also entertaining but all too familiar feeling, Evolution.
What I’m getting at is there are certain films which a large percentage of our movie-enjoying culture would deem sacred cow, Ghostbusters being one of them. On the other hand, I also get Hollywood is a business. I’m an MBA and understand you’ve got to bring in the bills in order to pay the bills. If you’ve got a product that can help achieve that goal, by all means you figure out a way to deliver more of that product. Nevertheless, Hollywood is an industry whom purportedly prides itself on being artistic; nothing less than a ubiquitous assembly line of individual pieces of art distinctively sculpted by the most creative minds in the world. Along those lines, I agree sometimes that involves taking a piece of work that wasn’t quite fully baked (aka sucked major male genitalia), or at minimum could benefit from a more indulgent layer of icing. By the way, is it me or are you noticing a theme with my use of bakery metaphors too?
Getting back on point, Ghostbusters was NOT one of those films. Be it the acting, casting, music, effects and writing, the film is thought to be as a close to perfect masterpiece of sci-fi horror comedy – if not completely flawless – in every conceivable movie related category.
Apparently, the words perfect and untouchable have been removed from all Sony Pictures’ corporate nomenclature and documentation.
Around the time of Sony announced Paul Feig would be helming the reboot as director and executive producer, Feig himself not only confirmed the film would be completely unconnected to its predecessors, but also established the proton pack owners would be a female-only club. That little nugget is what seemed to set off the internet of things (again, at least that’s what Sony and Feig want you to believe still to this day.)
As I’ve expressed ad nausea, the remaking of a treasured movie is what has upset most Ghostbusters fans, not some overblown narrative that every male homo sapien who grew up with the original as a 5-year-old is now a chauvinist woman loather because there is no testosterone on the main team of the upcoming version. As I pointed out earlier, many fans of both sexes were ok with a full-on female dynamic. Needless to say, some of those same folks aren’t a fan of pandering, and Feig emphasizing early his gender swap take was the chief deviation from the 1984 classic, came across as, well, pandering.
To this day, most website comments I’ve read (and admittedly have devoted way too much time to it) and people I’ve talked with are fine watching an all-female led team, but – and here I go again with my outlandish conspiracies – wanted a connection to the original films. Adding even further fuel to the anti-reboot fire, is the reasoning the Bridesmaids director gave for his decision to restart the franchise. He felt a new story in the same world was too confining because he want to depict how the equipment was created and “didn’t know how to do it any other way”. Maybe it’s just my outdated way of thinking, but doesn’t it seem even lazier to remake a film using the same constructs of the original with only slight variations rather than try to creatively come up with a unique storyline in an existing universe? Nope, I’m going to stick with lazy is the appropriate adjective. The Venkman (Murray) quote stating “the franchise rights alone will makes us rich beyond our wildest dreams” was more than enough of a jumping off-point. Why not follow a new franchise that is forced to breakdown, then re-build new tech gadgets to fight a more challenging threat?
Heck, let’s expand upon that thought even further. Set-it up as a plethora of franchises were formed following the events of the second film, but ended up going belly-up some 20 odd years later, leading us right into the third chapter. One angle might be they eliminated all the spooks and the few left were of the harmless variety humans enjoyed living among. To be expected, the above-mentioned new threat unlike anything anyone’s ever encountered surfaces, but the original founding team (Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson) is too geriatric to do use the restroom on their own, let alone strap a 50 pound nuclear accelerator to their back. Hesitating to do so, the old troupes’ daughters (and it doesn’t have to be limited to four) are forced onto the scene to save the world only to learn their fathers’ equipment and car are outdated to the point of uselessness. It forces them to come up with some new tools, maybe even a revamped vehicle or two. It can properly pay homage to the forefathers (pun-intended) of ghostbusting who get to drive a restored Ecto-1 into sunset and Sony would have a new core to build a Ghostbusters universe around. I came up with that in 30 seconds. For those counting, it’s probably a year’s less time than it took Feig to figure out how to copy and paste elements from existing cannon into his current concoction.
One more time for all of you fans, bloggers, and clueless writers out there, the new Ghostbusters film is NOT a sequel following the events of either of the past two films. If you require further proof, please click on this highlighted quote from the mouth of director Paul Feig himself stating, “I thought I’d rather do it as a reboot, so I wasn’t tied to the old movies. “The old movies are so good, I didn’t want to mess with them. I also want to see the beginnings of this group. I want to see people seeing ghosts for the first time, and how they are going to fight them for the first time, how they develop their technology.” Ironically, Feig doesn’t quite understand remaking a classic movie IS messing with the originals. An overwhelming majority (myself included), regard it as film-making blasphemy of the highest order.
I’m not evening going to get into the casting debate because I’m willing to argue that with proper story, writing, direction and respect to the tone of the originals, most seasoned actors or actresses could step into the role of a Ghostbuster. Let’s just say that two my favorite actresses, Jennifer Lawrence and Gillian Anderson were all-but begging to be in the all-female reboot when it was first announced. Even as inexcusably infatuated as I am with the The X-Files beauty, I wouldn’t have changed the way I felt about the remake, or my boycott of the film, had she been cast. Those that know me realize how truly painful that last sentence was for me to type.
Much like the media not fully understanding the anger-centric reasoning behind the rise of a billionaire presidential candidate who himself is living through one long permanent bad hair day, most entertainment outlets are either absolutely ignorant or genuinely unconcerned about those adamantly opposed to the movie solely due to it being a reboot. I haven’t done any scientific polling, but my best guess; it’s a little of column A and a lot of column B. For an industry that is supposedly open to all sexes, creeds, and opinions, they sure don’t hesitate to lump the enormous lot of us unhappy reboot folk into vat of misogyny built on a few internet idiots whom are still living in the cave of early man. Ghostbusters fans aren’t sexist, they’re pissed!
Mind you, Paul Feig and Sony studios definition of a misogynist is pretty much anyone that isn’t head over heels in love with the reboot concept to begin with. With the help of a significantly sized army of narrow-minded ultra-liberal media outlets that could find anti-female undertones at a Gloria Steinem birthday party, Sony is doing their darndest to try and spin the story in that direction; even partaking in censorship to re-shape the hate (more on that later.)
Have the words of the detractors all been constructive? Unfortunately, no. Be it that it may I’m not personally a proponent of censorship, I won’t pretend there aren’t some yahoos out there choosing to voice their displeasure to the likes of director Paul Feig and the female leads with more colorful language than necessary to get their point across. On the other hand, for Feig to retort with a series of tweets which included accurately spelled out F-bombs to all the “haters” opposing his artistic choices, probably wasn’t the wisest move of moves. Especially when in the midst of attempting to convince a fan base to plunk down hard earned money to see your nostalgia rooted redo. It was a not-so-tactful approach lead actress in the new reboot, Leslie Jones, decided to adopt as well. Had I been on the fence prior to seeing their foul responses, I would have definitely been knocked to the “No Thank You” category after their super classy tirades.
If Feig wasn’t expecting this kind of backlash for rebooting one of the most beloved films from the past half a century, then the man truly lives in a containment unit all his own. As mentioned, there are indeed a few loony bins out there slinging foul chauvinist comments to and fro because they feel safe behind the confines of their glowing monitors. Deplorably, it’s one of the unpleasant attributes of social media that many in showbiz are quickly coming up to speed on. Conversely, no one is holding a gun to Feig’s or Jones’ heads to leave their social media activated, let alone read it. If you can’t handle the heat, just disconnect. Don’t potentially insult the fans who will eventually determine how many extra zeros will appear after the comma on your next paycheck. There’s this thing called the higher road out there, and sometimes it’s worth taking.
Keeping on the subject of commenters, the pro-reboot crowd, though generally more subdued, is not without its fair share of vibrant venom, of which is directed squarely at the naysayers for knocking something that has been completely without official trailer until just a few days ago. Despite logic saying anyone against a reboot doesn’t require a trailer to validate their unhappiness about a reboot, I at least considered it a partially valid argument… until yesterday.
As 98% of the world’s living population (dogs and cats included) has probably heard, the first full Ghostbusters reboot trailer literally just crashed onto the interwebs. When I say crashed, I mean it made a multi-car freeway pile-up seem like a comfortable place to spend time. As a measuring stick, typical blockbuster films tend to start releasing trailers close to a year in advance of the release date. The fact the first footage of this remake was revealed only 4 months before its actual release date should be telling enough on its own. Where did the trailer go wrong? Let me count the ways (assuming I can count that high).
- Fuzzy Math: 30 years ago? Try 32. Apparently Sony fired all of their accountants.
- It’s Not Rocket Science: Four scientists? I love Winston like no other, but he was no scientist. Not only does Sony decide to ignore original canon, they can’t even correctly address the two references they make to it!
- Liar, Liar, Sony’s Pants on Fire: More important than the errors, the text mentioned above, along with a shot of the old firehouse, have many uninformed viewers thinking this is a sequel, which is the biggest bone of contention for most fans of the original (see rant above). The way this was edited is no accident, and it’s a desperate attempt by Sony to convince the unaware that the events of this film are connected to the prior two, even though they are not. I haven’t seen this much of a blatant deception to fill seats via a trailer, ever.
- Supernatural Indigestion: The first scene, on top of being almost a carbon copy of the library scene from part one, has a ghost puking slime on one of the protagonists. Feig keeping it classy as always.
- Scooby Doo Where Are You?: The ghosts featured throughout the clip look like they were pulled out of Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion or one of the Scooby Doo live-actions movies. (NOTE: All were critical and financial flops.) If this looked any more cartoonish they could have just slapped The Real Ghostbusters animated series branding on it.
- CGI, CGI & More CGI: Reboot or not, most expected there to be some sort of computer assisted special effects in a Ghostbusters film created in 2015, but the trailer seemed to have an overabundance of it in virtually every scene. The original Ghostbusters not only relied on practical effects (because they had to) but they were used sparingly. The original was great in part because the effects played second fiddle to the character interactions and weren’t used as a crutch. This reboot looks to be using about 32 crutches too many, and horrid looking ones at that. The effects literally look like they were pulled out of a video game.
- Where Did All the Writing Go?: Even though a small sampling, the dialogue was nothing short of cringe inducing. “That’s gonna leave a mark?” and “The power of Patty compels you?” I’m starting to understand why that ghost was puking in the opening scene. (UPDATE: I originally thought the last line said pain, not Patty. Knowing this now, the joke has somehow become even less funny. How is that even possible?)
- Slapstick’R Us: As it seems to happen in every Melissa McCarthy film, especially those involving Feig, physical humor and gags rule the day. That’s all fine and well except for the fact this trailer had more slapstick in two minute span than the original Ghostbusters had during its entire 90 minute runtime.
- Rave Busters: The effort to try and change the theme to a more modern arrangement wasn’t cataclysmic but it was far from good.
- Gags that Make You Gag: For a film that’s supposed to be based on a comedy, I expected some humor. I didn’t laugh at all and barely cracked a smile once. I’m willing to submit funny is in the eye of the beholder, however the original Ghostbusters succeeded because of its subtle humor and witty dialogue. So far, everything shown looks like a gag joke, most of which are taken directly from other films no less. I honestly felt like I was watching the trailer for a Zucker brother parody of Ghostbusters.
- Apples to Apples: For a reboot that Feig professes to be a fresh from-the-ground-up reboot of the franchise, there sure is a boat load of similarities. Brown jumpsuits, a slightly newer Ecto-1 Cadillac Hearse, an almost carbon copy of the library ghost scene, the black member seeing ghosts in a subway, it’s in New York, a portal/antenna pulling ghosts into our world, possession, and four team members color-coded to match the originals. The only thing missing is humor. It would have been one thing to drastically go in a whole new direction, but as of now this reboot is just begging to be compared to it’s predecessor, and it’s going to lose that battle every round.
- The Force is Strong With this One (Unfortunately): I’m trying to remember the parts in Ghostbusters where the characters had to flagrantly describe the personalities of the other characters (or in Jones case, her own role) as McCarthy’s character does in this trailer. Oh, maybe that’s because the original trusted it’s audience to figure out those details without holding their hands. To be fair, it could be the case that voice over was done for the trailer only (as is sometimes done), but if that’s a sign of things to come, it’ll be “a sign alright. Going out of business.”
INTERNATIONAL TRAILER UPDATE (3/9/2016)
The International trailer has just dropped and I don;t know how they did it, but the newer version actually manages to make the film look worse! Note too much has changed, but here are few notes:
- MORE THOR: Hoping off to bank off the international star power of Chris Hemmsworth, he is featured more prominent with this version, although primarily for the girls to go gaga over. (Way not to empower women and not stereotype them Mr. Feig.) I am willing to concede he does deliver the most humorous quip of the footage thus far, but even so it’s not hilarious. Also, as previously mentioned, it’s not the witty variety of humor which made Ghostbusters a classic. We’re talking 13 year-old fodder here.
- More Gaging: Really? A stage diving attempt where no one caught the person? THIS is what Ghostbusters fans have waited almost 30 years for? Calling this a disgrace would be an understatement. These kind of pratfalls are nothing short of disrespectful to the source material.
- Racism & Sexism for All: After above mentioned stage dive fail, Leslie Jones’ character spouts out a line that manages to be racist and sexist all at once. Well done Mr. Feig. You’ve managed to make your agenda of this whole project very clear. If this film was connected to it’s predecessors, I’d be even more sick to my stomach.
To be fair and balanced, I should point out a few positive aspects of the trailer, and trust me when I say I racked my brain for a good four days to come up with the following:
- It only ate up 2 minutes and 37 seconds of my life.
- Slimer looked kind of cool. Maybe they should have actually called this Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters?
- It eventually ended.
If you think I’m exaggerating, feel free to peruse the comments sections of pop culture sites across the web, including the official trailer page on YouTube. I of course did it for you so you didn’t have to, but the proof is in the pudding… until Sony deletes it of course. You read that right, per several different commenters online has not only been deleting valid criticisms of the trailer, but they have willingly left the minority of “sexist” comments to languish in order to give the impression most people are upset about this film because of the genitals connected to the lead actresses. I can also confirm first hand this is the case because all five of my completely rational G-rated comments describing my unhappiness with the trailer and reboot were deleted faster than emails on a Hilary Clinton server.
If that wasn’t deplorable enough, accusations were also made by many claiming Sony then tipped some feminist friendly sites to cherry pick the more visibly exposed gender-based comments to spread the narrative misogyny was still alive and well in America and the overwhelming fuel behind the hate for the movie. You know Sony Pictures is desperate when censorship has become their new marketing strategy. Can you say PR panic mode much? And since one biased post cherry picking comments deserves another, I’ve done my own “random sampling” of comments summarizing the actual overall consensus of the trailer and reboot.
UPDATE: Congrats are in order for Sony Pictures and Paul Feig for officially becoming the most disliked movie trailer on YouTube… ever! And at over a 3-1 ratio over likes no less! It wasn’t an easy feat either. After all, this achievement involved completely throwing all old Ghostbusters canon out the door, kicking Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd to the curb creatively, using cartoon like CGI effects and incorporating Feig’s over-the-top brand of slapstick humor into a film franchise it had no business being in.
Rightfully so, Sony Pictures has reached out to it’s minions in the main-scream media “reporting” that all of the hate is 100% without a doubt due to the fact society hates women. If you truly believe this nonfactual based nonsense, then I have some oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. At minimum, proof the revolt over this film is, at minimum, not 100% across the board unbound sexism, I’ve copied and pasted below some of feedback posted to the trailer on the official YouTube page.
Some of the gems are as follows…
- “awful. simply deplorable. this once beloved franchise neither wanted nor needed a reboot.”
- “Go ahead and delete this comment now Sony Pictures, since free speech is evidently dead to your social media branch: I went in with an open mind to see this, but because the premise looks like a mash-up of Ghostbusters 1 and 2, and the ghost special effects are on the caliber of the live-action Scooby Doo movie rather than the practical effects of the original two, this movie comes off as lazy. Now those that rush to this movie’s defense immediately clutch their hearts and point that we (who think this movie is f****** clown shoes) are a bunch of woman hating misogynists. While I can’t speak for everyone, I personally came into this movie with an open mind, just ready for somebody to do SOMETHING with the Ghostbusters However for the minimum two reasons I gave, as well as, the already hack fraud writing, AND how piss poorly Sony Pictures is handling the negative feedback (which is swept under the rug, and doesn’t exist) I will make my efforts to avoid this film, as well as any Sony Pictures feature film in the future. I can speak at the very least, since again this will most likely be deleted by immature safe-space YouTube channel fascists, with my wallet. You will not get my movie for this schlock.”
- “‘Four scientists saved New York’ Winston was an OG Ghostbusters for sure, but not a scientist. You should work on deleting that, Sony, instead of comments.”
- “Despite my numerous opinions being deleted by Sony, I can safely say I still think this movie looks awful.”
- “Such an unnecessary reboot/sequel.”
- “Call the Department of Homeland Defense. We got a bomb on our hands.”
- “This movie isn’t going to bomb because of the all female cast. This movie will bomb because it lacks the chemistry of the comedians who made the original still great”
- “My wife is a hardcore Melissa McCarthy fan. She watches every movie with her in it. She saw this trailer and said it looked really stupid and that for the first time ever, she has no interest in seeing a Melissa McCarthy movie. Stop trying to push a narrative because there is a tiny minority of trolls who hate the fact that the Ghostbusters is an all-female cast but the rest of the world realizes this movie is just trying to bank on the reputation of the original. Whether the cast is male or female makes no difference…a crap-fest is a crap-fest.”
- “Dear Sony, we should talk, it seems like you’ve lost touch with what we want and like. Sincerely, the consumers.
- “Oh look! its a Rodger Rabbit remake, I thought they were making a Ghostbusters?”
- “should have just left Ghostbusters alone smh”
- “If this movie was a turd It would be thirty-five feet long and weighing approximately six hundred pounds”
- “generic valid complaint comment to be deleted by Sony for damage control. You can stop the comments but you won’t stop that dislike bar without breaking YouTube and solidifying yourselves as a terrible company.”
- “what the fk is this crap?”
- We should send this crap to Syria as part of a campaign of psychological warfare.
- “I’m on anti depressants after watching this.”
- “‘I’m pretty excited for the new Ghostbusters movie’ said no one ever”
Luckily, if you prefer your honest reviews presented in a more visual format, the following YouTube fan reaction videos should provide a mostly accurate assessment of what I’ve been incessantly rambling on about thus far:
(WARNING: Videos contain foul language of the verbal and sign variety.)
Let’s start off with a female point of view, seeing as only men are pissed off about this film, right?
Another young lady voicing her displeasure and is spot on. (Admittedly, I was so enamored with her accent, I had to watch twice.)
This guy pretty much sums it up almost perfectly, and he still thinks it’s a sequel!
By far my favorite, including the comment from YouTube user Omglosser:
“I didn’t understand this video until I put my hand down and saw yours still there.”
And the most important reaction of all from a former star of the original. (Luckily, no real Marshmallow Men were harmed in the filming of this fan reaction.)
To use a slightly altered Peter Venkman quote from Ghostbusters 2, “Oh Sony did you back the wrong horse.” On an associated silver-lining, unanimity seems to be forming this first trailer of the reboot makes the much derided (arguably unfairly) sequel look like a Shakespearean masterpiece by contrast.
Speaking of the studio currently sweating bullets, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I was invited by one of my friendly neighborhood Ghostbusters charity groups to a special sneak peek event held on the Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Los Angeles, CA an entire day before the trailer went live to the general public. As an added bonus, Paul Feig, Ivan Reitman and other creatives were to be on-hand for a live Q&A session with all those in attendance. Among several entertainment media outlets, several other Ghostbusters charity groups across the country were extended invites as well. Normally, I would have jumped on an opportunity like this quicker than Tom Brady at a ball deflating gala, but I knew at its core, the whole gathering was a PR party to try and reverse the blood-letting of the project on a grass-roots level though the properties most dedicated fans. I debated long and hard (calm down, I only said DEBATED you lovable deviants) about attending the festivities as it did seem like a once-in-a-lifetime affair for the like of little ol’ me. Alas, when push came to shove, my contempt for Sony Pictures’ decision to needlessly reboot my favorite film of all-time, I graciously passed. Feig’s classless handling of unhappy fans on twitter also played a part in my eventual determination.
Looking back on it, maybe I should have attended seeing as all of the entertainment sites in attendance seemingly were given unlimited Sony expense accounts to gush over how “amazing”, “great” and “perfect” they thought the trailer is. I’m starting to wonder if those on the lot weren’t just shown the original trailer by mistake or maybe catering spiked the Ecto-Cooler-Aid everyone was given while checking in. I say that only because 90% of the feedback from readers responding to the above-mentioned sources, characterized the new trailer as somewhere in the ballpark of horse excrement. Although maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, as I couldn’t help but notice more than a few of the so-called online entertainment writers also compared Sony’s reboot of Ghostbusters to two hugely successful box office “reboots” of the last year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World. Ummm… I was debating whether it was even worth explaining why these films are actually sequels and it’s exactly because they were NOT reboots that they ended up becoming two of the top two grossing films ever.
I was even going to reference how The X-Files managed to make a successful revival after a 15 year hiatus without resorting to a reboot overhaul, but figured it might be a concept too complex for some of today’s pop culture journalistic professionals. Not to mention the I’ll take a pass on getting into the weeds on this subject matter any further as I can only face palm myself so many times before I develop a case of debilitating tennis elbow. Not to mention there seems to be very little recollection of recent horrid reboots of the much loved films Robocop and Total Recall. Of course I shouldn’t even have to tell you both were distributed by Columbia Pictures, aka Sony Pictures. Sony is the ultimate example of continuing to bang your bloody head against a spike-filled concrete wall and expecting a different result.
Before I wrap up my long-winded defense of us armpit-fart generating misogynist reboot haters, I have one final bone of contention with those who continually repeat the ironically childish talking point, “a reboot won’t erase the original and it won’t ruin the memories of your childhood.” Those inisghtful arguments have come from those in the entertainment industry like Chris Hardwick (who apparently is now also a psychology Ph.D.) only to constantly be repeated word for word by a plethora of others across the digital commenting block. For starters, don’t let me over-the-top sarcasm fool you; I actually agree with the statement. Is this Ghostbusters reboot going to erase my childhood? Of course not, two decades of drinking more alcohol than an elephant’s liver could process has already accomplished that feat for me.
On the same token, a negative association directly related to something with positive memories can leave a tarnish on the entirety of the subject matter. Lost yet? You’ll have to excuse my own lack of psychology degree, but I’m merely pointing out that while a horrid Ghostbusters reboot won’t technically overwrite my fond recollections of the original, it can leave a nasty blemish on how I view the franchise as a whole. Case in point, over the years Rolls Royce has made some classy high ends cars and continues to do so to this day. Imagine for a moment though if the company decided to started making mobile porta potties and plastered the Rolls Royce logo all over them. I mean it’s great they want to expand their business and I’d love the chance to relieve myself in one, nevertheless, don’t you think the Rolls Royce brand might take a bit of a hit overall? Even though the timeless cars themselves would still maintain the highest level of quality, it doesn’t change the fact the same iconic logo on your $500,000 vehicle is now plastered on human waste receptacles across constructions sites the world over. Even if you don’t care what others think, what would you personally think? Seriously, just mull it over for a few seconds, that’s all I ask.
On the flip side of the reboot argument, around the summer of last year during Back to the Future’s 30th anniversary celebration, director Robert Zemeicks revealed he and producer Bob Gale signed a contract with Universal stating Back to the Future would never be rebooted unless it was “over their dead bodies.” Zemeckis went on to express hopefulness that his estate would block any remakes of the time traveling saga long after their passing as well. Spielberg also recently made similar comments about the Indiana Jones franchise not getting rebooted from scratch anytime soon either. THAT my friends, is how it’s done. Or in the case of Ghostbusters, how it should’ve been done. Why Reitman, Aykroyd and even Murray for that matter didn’t take a hard line stance during the contract phase at any point over the past 32 years is beyond me. Honestly, they each had a piece of the rights, at least put up a little bit of a fight for your beloved masterpiece before letting someone else step in to essentially say, “I think it can be done differently from the beginning, and better.”
Instead of taking the “over our dead bodies” approach, Reitman and Aykroyd, may have alternatively sealed the fate of “this dead franchise.”
Regarding many of the original cast members coming back to make an appearance in this updated film, there still seems to be a ton of confusion on the matter. Let me try to clear it up for you in two succinct bullet points.
- YES: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Pots will all be making short cameos.
- NO: They will NOT be reprising their iconic roles, but instead be playing totally different characters because, and listen carefully now, this is a reboot, not a sequel.
- WHY THEN?: The PR on this film was so bad based on the announcement alone, Sony hit the panic button during production. Outside of Aykroyd (who was going to participate anyway because this is his baby), all of the other names were brought on very late in filming in order to drudge up some sort of positive internet news at the time.
Suffice it to say, the last ditch inclusion has since done little to stem the tide of negativity. Granted, it’s still far too early to judge the cameo gimmick, it’s comforting to know most informed fans aren’t taking the bait. I’m sorry, a Ghostbusters movie that features Murray, Aykroyd and Hudon in roles that aren’t Venkman, Stanz, and Zeddemore, is just plain sacrilegious. Interestingly enough, the only throwback who said no to the offer of making a cameo was none other than Louis Tully himself, Rick Moranis. Seemingly the only voice of sanity connected to the original, Moranis said he turned down the offer because, and I quote, “It makes no sense to me.” To say my respect for him surpassed that of everyone else who caved in, would be the understatement of the past 32 years.
UPDATE: Per the infamous Sony email hack, this little doozy of communication explains how Bill Murray may have been basically been strong-armed into participating in a Ghostbusters reboot. Sony was so desperate to have Bill Murray’s name associated with the needless project, they were aggressively looking to take aggressive legal action against the actor if he continued to say no.
Even not taking this reboot into consideration, lord knows Sony Pictures is on life support based on its recent track record of theatrical dreck, not to mention the less than stellar lineup on deck. Ironically enough, superhero movie company Marvel productions may be Sony’s savior should they be given enough creative control over their second reboot of Spiderman.
Should this new Ghostbusters truly turn out to be a disaster, maybe Marvel could come in and help Sony right the ship. Hell, they’ve already got Thor on board.
Another argument I find as phony as an ice cube salesman in Alaska, is the notion this reboot is bringing a “fresh” and “new” take to the franchise. I’m sorry, but plugging different characters into the same concept with the identical logo is about as inspired as adding more ketchup to 2 day-old meatloaf . If Sony and Feig really wanted to create something truly unique, why not develop a brand new horror comedy without the built-in crutch of a Ghostbusters logo.
As Ramis’ Egon Spengler first pointed out in the first film, crossing the streams would be a “bad idea”. To me and millions of other Ghostbusters fans, rebooting a perfect film like Ghostbusters is a “bad idea of biblical proportions.” If Mr. Ramis knew what was transpiring right now, he’d be spinning in his grave with no way to cross the streams. Regrettably, not even total protonic reversal could stop this train wreck from hitting the public realm.
For all the reasons detailed in my diatribe above, my wallet and I won’t be touching this reboot or any of its accompanying merchandise with a 1000 foot pole. Staying home and avoiding this impending catastrophe will be the only way Hollywood learns to stop pillaging the classics. Don’t get me wrong either, I’m not some sort of anti-reboot fascist either. There are indeed theatrical candidates worthy of getting rebuilt from the ground-up, Ghostbusters was simply not one of them.
The only hope for preventing this type of unnecessary reboot is to hit the studio where it hurts them most, in their bottom-line. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been part of the problem on several occasions, and it saddens me to think some of my past questionable ticket purchases may have led played some small role. Alas, my own hindsight is 20/20, however for those truly upset with how an iconic film like Ghostbusters is being handled, voting no with your wallets is the only way to truly send a message. If making a stand here protects a few other cherished flicks out there for even just a bit longer, it’s well worth the sacrifice. Judging current reaction, this rehash will be available on free movie streaming services faster than you can say, “This reboot is toast!”
I know what my detractors are going to say, stop complaining about it. No one is going to force you to pay to watch this with your eye-lids ratcheted open ala Clockwork Orange, so just stay at home and partake in the originals from the comfort of your home. The latter is as much a given as is the fact I will be dreaming about Gillian Anderson handling a neutrona wand.
Regardless of my half-naked plans within the privacy of my own humble abode on the weekend of July 15th, I felt it important to have a voice of common sense be heard over the sexist static. Not just my own voice, but the voice of the majority. The majority being those against a Ghostbusters reboot for the sake of a reboot, yet are all being vilified, silenced, censored and unrightfully lumped into an imaginary horde of misogynists by people who couldn’t define the word feminism even if it was burned into their retinas. I’d like to see Sony try to delete my post so they can then feel the wrath of all three Geek Outlaw subscribers.
Am I being a drama queen? Come visit it me on my velvet lined throne and find out for yourself. Reboot supporter or not, I realize this trailer represents a chopped up two and a half minutes of said film, but if the garbage Feig has just unleashed upon us all is even a slight indication of what’s to come, it truly is a sad era for cinema. In my mind, the only saving grace for this film is if Feig has been throwing us a curve ball all along and somehow ties his reboot to the originals via some sort of ingenious J.J. Abrams Star Trek (his first one) alternate universe time-rip crossover kind of way. Although that may prove to much of a stretch for many fans to accept.
UPDATE: Based on this Reddit story synopsis leak from someone who worked on Post-Production of the reboot, this film just went from looking awful to sounding abysmal! If true (and based on all the leaks, toys, and shooting locations, etc) Sony will have managed to kill a franchise in roughly 2 hours of film runtime.
Irrespective of what untold (and unintentional) horror Sony Pictures has waiting for the masses on July 15th, 2016, the real Ghostbusters of 1984 will always live on in my heart and mind as my favorite film of all time. Sadly, there’s no denying that we’re in a world where unnecessary reboots and their perfect originals are “living together, mass hysteria.”