Charge the lines, create the vortex, break the barriers.

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Break the barriers, indeed! I saw Ghostbusters last night and was thrilled with what Paul Feig and his talented cast have created. The kerfuffle over the new flick can finally be put to rest: women are funny, (as is Chris Hemsworth), they certainly can be badass, and no childhoods were harmed in the viewing of this film. It was not mass hysteria! It was fantastic, phantasmic fun! If anything, my love of the ghostbusting universe just grew tenfold and to top it off, I spent a Saturday night laughing heartily and making memories with my family (which includes two young female Ghostbusters fans).

I was only six when the original boys in gray hit the streets of NYC to bust ghosts in 1984, but I recall renting the movie on VHS and watching it on many weekends and at sleepovers as a kid. I laughed at the antics, I squealed in excitement and fear over taxi cab corpses and at a class five free roaming vapor with hotdogs falling from his mouth. I wanted to be a paranormal investigator. I wanted to bust ghosts, too. The only movie I wanted to rent as often was Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or Fright Night (or sometimes Witchboard, if my older brother was around to convince my parents).

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I remember trading my cousin Allen all of the Little Debbie snack cakes from my lunch box for a week straight for his Ghostbusters soundtrack on cassette (my favorite tune not being “Ghostbusters” by  Ray Parker, Jr. – which you could see on MTV or hear on the radio pretty often – but rather the instrumental “Main Title Theme (Ghostbusters)” that I could only hear in the movie or on the cassette. When I listened to it on my little red boombox, I was instantly whisked back into the movie, envisioning Venkman and the boys climbing twenty flights of stairs to Dana’s apartment and trying not to barf!)

So yeah, you could say I’ve been a Ghostbusters fan for awhile. I introduced the movie to my pixies when they were about five and three years old, and we took them to see it on the big screen for the 30th anniversary two years ago. At this stage of their young lives, (ten and twelve), they can quote the movie, name the characters and give you insights and opinions on things like only kids can. (“Why is Dana always in her bra or towel in the second movie?” “I don’t like Jennine as much in the second one…I liked her better with Egon.”) Yes, they were somewhat nitpicky about the 1989 Ghostbusters II, and while they enjoyed it, they didn’t like it as much as the original. (But who does, honestly?) So I was curious what they would think about this new flick with a new cast and adventure.

And let me be honest… when it was first announced that there would be a remake of Ghostbusters, my first thought was WHY?! How could you recast and remake a movie that is lightning-in-a-bottle perfect? How could you recreate the chemistry and comedy and the eerie eighties effects? Simply put, you can’t. But that was also my concern when Anton Yelchin became Charlie Brewster and Colin Farrell took on the role of Jerry Dandridge in 2011’s Fright Night. I was skeptical going into the theatre to see it opening weekend but walked out impressed and enthralled by the performances, the music, the effects and the essence they captured from the original film that spiced the new version. (Too bad the same couldn’t be said about 2015’s Poltergeist!) The new Ghostbusters movie has made it’s own magic with it’s strong and talented cast. They captured a bit of that charming quality from 1984 and coupled it with a new and exciting story. I can’t wait to watch it again.

As for my pixies, well, they couldn’t stop talking about it… favorite characters (Patty, Kevin and Holtzmann) funny lines, (“You know an aquarium is a submarine for fish”), and awesome effects (Autumn now wants to cosplay as the first apparition we meet in the movie.) Ghostbusters is Pixie Approved! They are thrilled that they get to have their own ghostbusting team for their generation and that they, as little women, are represented in a genre comedy on the big screen. It’s magic. It gave me goosebumps. What more could you want?

Specifics?

Okay. A bit spoilery, but I won’t go crazy with details…

 

 

 

 

Jillian Holtzmann. She was my favorite character! She’s zany and hilarious, but also the brains and brawn, too. I loved how we got to see her in action, not only toasting ghosts while licking her blaster, but creating the tools they needed for their job. She was kick-ass and I so want to be her! (Maybe for Halloween?) She’s the embodiment of the paranormal investigator that I wanted to be as a child in the ’80s!

Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth showed off his comedic skills as Kevin and had some fun one-liners that have kept us laughing all weekend. He did a great job in the gender-reversed the role of the ditzy blonde secretary quite nicely. (“Why do they call him ‘beefcake?’ Beef is not attractive.”)

Leslie Jones. Jones is one of my favorites on SNL right now. She was my big buy-in on this flick and helped me get more and more excited about this new universe Feig was creating. Jones did not disappoint in the role of Patty. THE POWER OF PATTY COMPELS YOU! 

The ghosts! The glorious, creepy, eerily beautiful ghosts! The effects were well done and I’m guessing would be even more gorgeous in 3D or IMAX, which I’m really looking forward to. (NOTE: I bought our tickets online for a 3D viewing but upon our arrival at the theatre, we were told there was a mistake and the viewing wasn’t actually in 3D. We were given passes to see the glorious, creepy, eerily beautiful ghosts in 3D next time, though, so there’s that.)

The details. I love that we saw more of the equipment being created and explanations for all sorts of little things that maybe just happen in the original. We see our group coming together, yes, but other things were interesting to see happen, too. How’d they come up with the name? The logo? Why is NYC suddenly overrun with ghouls? Also, the little allusions to other movies I love (Jaws anyone?) It was a fully developed story and I enjoyed that (even if it meant they didn’t actually get the awesome firehouse building…or did they?)

I like cameos. Cameos are my favorite. So much awesome. Just watch and enjoy as they roll out the wonderful cameos! I only wish we could’ve seen the late, great Harold Ramis pop up somewhere. It was nice that they dedicated the film to him in the credits, though. And speaking of credits…

For the love of Gozer, STAY AFTER THE CREDITS! Why I have to tell people in this day and age is beyond me, but please stay for the upbeat, dancey credits and for the after-credits scene. You’ll be glad you did.

 

That’s it. That’s all I’m going to say. Go see it and have fun and laugh and giggle, then come back and we can discuss in more detail.

BOO-YA! Emphasis on BOO!

One thought on “Charge the lines, create the vortex, break the barriers.

  1. I’ll wait to see it on TV. I get that “pixie approval” is a virtue IF you have pixies, but I don’t. Your review confirmed my personal theory about remakes and sequels. There’s no artistic justification (though they can certainly make money) for remaking a classic, because the best you can achieve is “almost as good as” status, compared to the original. Conversely, if an original has a good idea not fully realized, for budgetary, technological or casting limitations, it justifies trying again. The 1940 Maltese Falcon we all love was the third attempt, and the ’80s version of The Fly surpasses the ’50s original. Adaptations of classic literature can be re-made over and over though, because the source material is sufficiently robust. They will be be able to make new versions of Romeo and Juliet, Tarzan and fairy tales forever. Each new version will more closely reflect the values and concerns of the times in which they are produced.

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