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Ghostbusters (Film Review)

I’ve been slacking a bit with this blog, which is a bit stupid really, especially considering the last post made it look like I was committed to film reviews and stuff. So, here’s a new film review, two months on. I nearly saw Now You See Me 2 instead, but I’m glad I didn’t.

A Sony Pictures Film, Directed by Paul Feig

Released: 15th July 2016

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey

Review: People have hated the reboot of Ghostbusters since it was announced. They’ve claimed that Paul Feig has ruined their childhoods and are horrified by the fact that they would make the new Ghostbusters… women?!

In fact, these people are so aghast at this, that if you looked at the rating for Ghostbusters on IMDb on Thursday, before the film had even come out in the USA, it was ranking about 4/10. At the time of writing this, it’s at a 5.1.

Ghostbusters3But that rating, like the opinion of all those internet trolls who are having a hissy fit because they can’t stand the thought of women starring in a remake of a classic film, is ridiculous.

Because this film is pretty damn good.

Ghostbusters see’s Professor Erin Gilbert (Wiig) forced to reunite with her estranged friend Abby Yates (McCarthy) when someone confronts her about a book they once wrote on the paranormal. Enlisted as a pair of ‘ghost experts’, they, along with Jillian Holtzman (McKinnon) and subway-worker Patty Tolan (Jones) begin confronting paranormal break-outs across New York City as the Ghostbusters.

Basically, it is another Ghostbusters origin story, but with enough changed to warrant it being it’s own film. The characters are all new creations brought to life by a fantastic cast. Because that is the true gem of this movie; it’s cast.

Ghostbuster2The beautifully varied Wiig brings a more straight-laced performance than usual as she comes head-to-head with McCarthy’s hopeful Yates. Kate McKinnon meanwhile, is basically playing herself, but that’s not a problem, because she’s pretty darn funny. So much so, that her Holtzman and Jones’ Patty Tolan are perhaps the most enjoyable Ghostbusters to watch, something I think Feig realised when he was deciding which Ghostbuster he’d give a ‘badass takes on loads of villains at once’ sequence. You know the sorts of thing I’m talking about. They’re in like, every ensemble action movie.

Which, I suppose brings us onto a fault of the movie. Although it is an original cast of characters and it does it’s own thing, the basic premise isn’t wholly new; there’s conflict between our heroes, they’re united against a common threat, they save the day and are celebrated by the City. We’ve seen it before.

Ghostbusters1Another issue is with the villain. From the moment he was on screen, I enjoyed actor Neil Casey, but it gets to a point where he gets sidetracked in favour of Chris Hemsworth, who is doing his best to try out his comedy chops in this film.

But it does eventually come round full-circle, culminating in a final-confrontation that I wasn’t expecting and thought was quite a clever riff on the finale of the original film.

Furthermore, the reason those issues aren’t really that big’a deal are because the humour and spirit enthused in the film throughout by it’s cast and crew mean that you don’t really care that the story isn’t all that original, because it’s the characters that are giving you that much craved originality.

(The film also ranks highly in my estimations for having enjoyable credits; not like ‘I have to stay because there’s a little extra at the end; the actual credits are enjoyable)

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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Film & TV

 

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The Goyer Scandal: It’s Not Easy Being Green

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What Happened…

On the latest scriptnotes podcast, the presenters were joined by several screenwriters, including David S. Goyer (writer of Man of Steel), Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (writers of Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Andrea Berloff (writer of the upcoming Legend of Conan). In said podcast, the team chose to play a game wherein each writer would take a card on which the name of a fictional character was written. From here, they would each have to describe how they would reboot the character in their own upcoming film franchise.

In the back-and-forth that ensued, such ideas came up as a mentally deficient Hulk and a Seth Roger spider-hybrid.

However, what most seem to have taken away from it were Goyer’s comments about She-Hulk being the equivalent of a porn-star and the Martian Manhunter being a ‘goofy’ character.

The Problem…

Admittedly, Goyer was out of line in what he said; insulting two long-standing characters; accusing one of being obscure and suggesting anyone who know about him is a loser, and just being downright sexist about the other. But such a large reaction such a small little thing is getting seems a tad unnecessary. The whole podcast is the group joking around with one another, and none of it is meant to be taken so seriously, and the way I got from it, Goyer was being more demeaning to himself than anything, revealing his true misplaced thoughts on the matter.

But I don’t really want to get into the whole debate, seeing as you can find people’s opinion of it covering Google, if you just type either characters name (for instance, there’s a rather interesting article written by Alyssa Rosenberg on the Washington Post). Instead, what this really made me think about just how careful people have to be in the modern age, where someone in charge of a property like Superman can say something that to him, seems highly insignificant, but gets a highly emotionally charged outcry from fans.

As someone who wouldn’t mind becoming some sort of screenwriter myself (although I realise a lot more practice would have to come before I ever reach that goal) I find it daunting that everything you say in public can (obviously) be held against you. Of course, a lot of reporting now is done to get a bad story on whoever their article features, but it also feels disheartening to know that the career paths I want to follow could put me in a position where the public is calling for my head.

I like to think that won’t be the case however, as Goyer doesn’t seem to have the best streak in being popular with the fans, and I could never see myself throwing out unnecessary sexist comments, or purposefully belittling a fan-base.

What Does it Mean..?

(Apart from People Continuing to Think Goyer’s a Douche)

First of all, if the casting of Cyborg didn’t make it clear enough, I think this highlights that the Manhunter isn’t going to pop up in the 2017 Justice League. Kind of a shame; when I used to watch the JL cartoon (as did pretty much everyone), the Martian was probably one of my favourite characters. Apart from Batman. Because Batman.

And on the topic of Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. What’s with that title? Bit of a mouthful. Another strike to an already wavering film franchise.

All-in-all, it looks like DCs quest for a cinematic universe is going to continue to go downhill in public opinion until they can prove it’s worth watching. The struggles of comic book fans, eh?

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Comic Books, Film & TV

 

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