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Your Mom writes a review of Ghostbusters, defending it and even calling it funny
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  • Banned
    0

    By Manhola Dargis

    Manhola Dargis: alt text

    "Sliding into theaters on a river of slime and an endless supply of good vibes, the new, cheerfully silly “Ghostbusters” is that rarest of big-studio offerings — a movie that is a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun. And enjoy it while you can because this doesn’t happen often, even in summer, which is supposed to be our season of collective moviegoing happiness. The season when everyone jumps onboard (whee!) and agrees that, yes, this great goof is exactly what you were thinking when you wondered why they didn’t make summer movies like they used to."

    Oh, wait, because whatever else you can say about the new “Ghostbusters,” it’s a lot like the old “Ghostbusters,” except that it stars four funny women instead of, you know, four funny men. In other words, it doesn’t have a lot of XY chromosomes and basso profondo voices, though its token hottie, played by a game, nimbly funny Chris Hemsworth, pulls his weight on both those counts. Otherwise, the redo is pretty much what you might expect from Paul Feig, one of the best things to happen to American big-screen comedy since Harold Ramis."

    Paul Feig

    Director of hit films such as:

    Paul Feig:
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    Mr. Ramis helped write the old “Ghostbusters” and played one of its “professional paranormal eliminators” — as Larry King describes them in the movie — alongside Dan Aykroyd (the co-writer), Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray. A triumph of casting and timing, the first “Ghostbusters” remains memorable for Ray Parker Jr.’s inane, dementedly catchy theme song (“Who you gonna call?”) and for Mr. Murray, who dominates it even more than its Godzilla-sized Marshmallow Man monster does. It’s peak Bill Murray with a minimalism that exerts a powerful gravitational force and a deadpan that recast Mad Magazine’s what-me-worry grin with the sickness-unto-death laughter of National Lampoon.

    No one performance dominates the new “Ghostbusters,” which is for the most part democratically comic (a Paul Feig signature), although Kate McKinnon’s magnificent, eccentric turn comes close. She plays Holtzmann, the in-house mad-hatter who whips up the ghost-busting hardware (proton packs included) with a crazy leer and page after script page of playful-sounding gobbledyg**k. Ms. McKinnon makes for a sublime nerd goddess (she brings a dash of the young Jerry Lewis to the role with a glint of Amy Poehler) and, in an earlier age, would probably have been sidelined as a sexy, ditsy secretary. Here, she embodies the new “Ghostbusters” at its best: Girls rule, women are funny, get over it.

    Written by Mr. Feig and Katie Dippold, the redo follows much of the original’s shambling arc and even revs up with a haunted-house boo, except that this time the scares happen in a mansion, not a library. After the usual narrative table setting, Holtzmann and her partner in kook-science, Abby (Melissa McCarthy), join forces first with another scientist, Erin (Kristen Wiig), and then a transit worker, Patty (Leslie Jones). Voilà, the new Ghostbusters are in business, complete with a vintage Cadillac, some funky digs and a cute secretary, Kevin (Mr. Hemsworth). Ghosts and mayhem ensue along with turns from the likes of Cecily Strong, Andy Garcia and Matt Walsh.

    It’s at once satisfyingly familiar and satisfyingly different, kind of like a new production of “Macbeth” or a Christopher Nolan rethink of Batman. As it turns out, the original “Ghostbusters” is one of those durable pop entertainments that can support the weight of not only a lesser follow-up (the 1989 sequel “Ghostbusters II”), but also a gender redo. That the new movie stars four women is a kind of gimmick, of course, but it’s one that the filmmakers and the excellent cast deepen with real comedy chemistry and emotionally fleshed-out performances, particularly from Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Wiig, who are playing old-friends-turned-sort-of foes who need to work some stuff out.

    Part of what makes “Ghostbusters” enjoyable is that it allows women to be as simply and uncomplicatedly funny as men, though it would have been nice if Ms. Jones had been given more to do. (If this were a radical reboot, she would have played a scientist.) In the end, these are Ghostbusters, not Ghostbusting suffragists, even if there’s plenty of feminism onscreen and off. It’s hard to know if the movie started off being as meta as it now plays, but when these Ghostbusters are labeled frauds — or crack jokes about ugly online comments or take on a fan boy from hell — it sure feels as if Mr. Feig and his team are blowing gleeful raspberries at the project’s early sexist attackers.

    Big box-office hits are like ghosts: They haunt studio executives. It’s no surprise then that Sony Pictures wanted to resurrect the “Ghostbusters” franchise in some form, just as it’s no surprise that it took someone like Mr. Feig to figure out how to make it work, mostly, by not really messing with it. Even so, what he’s doing onscreen — by helping to redefine who gets to be funny in movies — is what makes him a thoughtful successor to Mr. Ramis, who made a series of memorable, soulful comedies about what it means to be a man (“Groundhog Day,” “Multiplicity”). Now, if we could just get women and men to be funny together, that would be revolutionary.


  • SwimSuperHero
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    I would wonder if she was either A. Lying, B. Making a joke, or C. drunk.
    Terrible review. Anyone who thinks that movie is good probably also likes
    Batman & Robin, Howard the Duck, and Catwoman.

    Edit: Maybe she was paid to say she likes the new movie or has family that works
    for Sony that wanted her to say those things. I have a hard time believing anyone
    would think that movie is actually good. Just comparing the new movie to the old one seems insulting to the first two.

    Usopp Fanatic since 2003.


  • Banned
    0

    No.

    I'm pretty sure she genuinely enjoyed it.


  • ShoeHands
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    Amy Poehler inspirations and Melissa McCarthy presence? Thanks for the warning.

    The era of the fancy signature has come to a final end.


  • SwimSuperHero
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    LoveJuice said:

    No.

    I'm pretty sure she genuinely enjoyed it.

    If she really enjoyed it, she must have been lying about liking the first two Ghostbusters.
    I don't believe anyone who liked the first two Ghostbusters would like the third.

    Usopp Fanatic since 2003.


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