October 27, 2015 by timbuckler
The Ghostbusters remake is nearly upon us and despite the fact that there is not even teaser trailer yet everyone seems to hate it already.
Take glance at the comment sections of various movie websites and its quite shocking the amount of bile that is being spewed at this production.
People are readying their pitchforks and flaming torches and they are just about prepared to go full on Frankenstein over Sony pictures. What’s even more shocking is if you look closely at the forming monster mob you will probably see MY face and here MY voice screaming “KILL THE BEAST!”
It’s shocking because I’m normally all for remakes. If the original series is unable to continue or has already been ruined by god-awful sequels then why not press the reset button? Sometimes it is the only way to continue stories that we love and if it sucks it doesn’t matter as the original will always still be there.
For example when the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween was released people seem to forget that the series had already been plagued by four shitty sequels (I have a soft spot for II, IV and H20) and that every copy of the original John Carpenter masterpiece wasn’t going to be buried in the desert.
I’ve written various blogs and articles on the subject. Once I wrote about the Evil Dead remake and look what happened: It came, it went and now finally we are getting an TV show with what the people ACTUALLY wanted to see, Bruce Campbell kicking ass and taking names.
But it’s different for Ghostbusters. Every time I hear some new info or see a leaked image it fills my rage power bar more and more to the point that it is about to explode into a special combo breaker.
So what is it about the Ghostbusters remake that I feel is bringing people down? Well, lots of different factors and no, its got nothing to do with them being women!
Ok well maybe a little bit.
Gender Swap For No Reason Whatsoever.
Ok, lets get this started with caps locks so I can make myself absolutely clear, I AM NOT AGAINST THE IDEA OF A FEMALE GHOSTBUSTER. Or two female Ghostbusters. Or three. But all? That just seems like change for the sake of change and that’s because IT IS.
I’m not a sexist pig man, I promise! My favorite character from the 1997 “Extreme Ghostbusters” cartoon was Kylie. I thought the premise of having a witch who was into the occult on the team was a brilliant idea and made total sense. Kylie proves a female touch can work in this mythology but exclusively? That is a different thing all together.
So who is the target demographic exactly? Little boys ain’t gonna want to go bustin’ any more. That’s not me being sexist, that’s just a fact that most young lads don’t like playing as female characters. I can’t remember any chap from my school being forced to be the Pink Power Ranger (Christ, it was hard enough being the blue one. Triceratops fucking sucks) and I doubt it is going to attract any new female fans because girls don’t seem to be as picky with gender swapping on the playground.
The old school fans feel alienated so that just leaves them with the option of trying to attract an entire new generation of fans and if that’s the case why not make an entire NEW franchise for these four very funny women?
You might as well remake Charlie Angels with three dudes, or remake Thelma and Louise and call it Tom and Lou because that makes about as much sense as this does.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this were part of established continuity but its not. Instead…
It’s a Remake, Not A Reboot Or A Sequel
This film is a complete and utter do over. The adventures of Venkman, Stanz, Spengler and Zeddemore never happened. I honestly don’t understand the reasoning for this.
You could have had a new branch opening or new recruits joining the team, that way you have a new cast of characters to introduce to a new audience and fans of the original would be happy with cameos from the old cast. A passing of the torch rather than a burning of the bridge.
Say if Ghostbusters became a major international corporation in the story that would mean many opportunities for spin off movies, TV shows, cartoons, comics and more! Doesn’t Sony want a mega franchise to make money from?
Imagine if the original Ghostbusters headed their own factions of the franchise for different cities and this all female group was Janine’s!
Then I remember it is the same company who gave us The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and that for some reason they seem to take great pleasure in ruining opportunities for everyone.
Cameos From The Original Cast
As soon as the public backlash started photos of the surviving stars of the original movies (minus Rick Moranis) visiting the set started leaking online.
Was this to put peoples minds at ease? To show them that there is a nod of respect to the classics? If so, it certainly backfired.
We know the original characters will not show up in this movie so having the likes of Aykroyd and Murray turning up and NOT playing the roles of Stanz and Venkman just shows us that they could have given us the film we all wanted but chose not to.
That is quite possibly the most infuriating move they could have made. That is like showing a meatball sandwich to a starving person, burning it and then handing them a rice cake. I fucking hate rice cakes.
The Gadgets Look Horrible
The original Ecto-1 is a thing of beauty. The 1959 Cadillac Chassis combined with the bits and bobs the Ghostbusters wacked on top of it gave it a smooth, classic car feel enhanced with messy DIY sci-fi machinery. It makes Ecto-1 a character in its own right.
Dan Akryod loves cars and you can tell with this design that it was created as a labor of love.
The new Ecto-1 looks like a bunch of teenagers painted their mums people carrier for a Halloween party.
It looks amateur and cheap. I’ll be honest, its one of the things that angers me the most. It shows that director Paul Feig has no idea how to capture that Ghostbusters “feel”.
It’s hard to describe what that “feel” is in words. It is a mixture of both science and magic that the new props seem to be lacking.
The old proton packs (right) were a complex mish mash of gadgetry yet simple enough for a young me to doodle in the back of my school textbook. The blinking lights and iconic power up sound were quite possible the biggest element for the overall “look” of our heroes and is probably the thing that represents the tone of the movie the most: Funny science.
The new proton pack (right) looks like a shed heater. Granted, I have yet to see it in motion but from what I have seen so far Paul Feig seriously doesn’t get it and I think I know why…
Paul Feig Is The Wrong Man For The Job
I’m sure by this point you have all seen how awesome the new Star Wars film looks. A lot of that is to do with the fact that director J.J Abrams was 11 when the first Star Wars film was released. He fell in love with it as child and that love stayed with him, inspired him to become a film maker and now he can channel that love with a group of other film makers who share the same passion to make the Star Wars movie us fans have been yearning to see for years.
Feig was 22 when the first Ghostbusters came out. I’m not saying he didn’t go to the cinema and enjoy the film, what I’m saying his he didn’t run into his mothers arms screaming the first time he saw the library ghost. He didn’t wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series. He didn’t experience the joy of running downstairs one Christmas morning to a toy Ecto-1 complete with Ghostbusters HQ and he certainly didn’t dance up and down his hall way with his mums vacuum cleaner in hand and the Ray Parker Jr. theme song blasting through his cassette player.
Someone like Colin Trevorrow or Gareth Edwards may have been a better pick. Someone younger who grew up with the source material and has the creative eye to combine both nostalgia and new concepts. Even Ivan Reitman was 15 years Feig’s junior when he made the first GB movie.
The fact that this film was slopped together so quickly after the death of Harold Ramis it makes me sick and Sony’s recent attempts at remakes (Robocop, Total Recall, Amazing Spider-Man) have shown us they have no idea what made the originals so popular in the first place. I have very little hope for this new Ghostbusters. I’m gutted. It is such a wasted opportunity.
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Tim Buckler will return…