The Wheel and Axle

Get Ghost, Part 1

by on Jul.24, 2016, under Film & TV

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Ghostbusters pays great respect to its predecessor while making its own distinct mark.

All naysayers who booed the movie without even seeing it just because the leads are all women can just kiss some ectoplasmic ass. We pay them no heed.

Was it perfect? No. There were occasional pacing issues and a few jokes fell flat. However, it was still generally hilarious, with fairly smart humor peppered with a little slapstick.

The beats of the original were given due nods while creating their own tune. In many ways, the plot structure was similar to the 1984 movie: an intro haunting, scientists whose credibility is shot down by their work on the paranormal, they investigate the intro haunting, they get together, they hire a pretty but brainless receptionist, they add a fourth “everyman” member, they have a very public major case when they capture their first ghost, the city government paints them as frauds, strange old building at the epicenter of increasing ghost activity, possession, New York overrun by ghosts, one heck of a gigantic enemy plucked from the mind of one of the protagonists…

… and of course, Slimer.

Perhaps the primary difference, other than gender, is that the over-all antagonist is actually human this time around. Well, to begin with, anyway.

That said, there was still a lot of inventiveness and new things in the movie. I had come into the movie, for example, with the expectation that it would be a one-to-one counterpart kind of situation: Venkman/Yates, Stantz/Holtzmann, Spengler/Gilbert, Zeddmore/Tolan, and yes, even Melnitz/Beckman.

However, it wasn’t quite so straightforward, with the women being given their own personalities and arcs fairly different from their predecessors. Yates, for example, is more into the work than the initially-skeptical but always goofy Venkman was, and Holtzmann is way quirkier than Stantz was (and strongly hinted to be a lesbian, to boot). Holtzmann also kind of has Spengler’s cartoon hair. Gilbert is a lot more energetic than the mostly stoic Spengler, while Tolan gets involved much earlier (and with better motivations and qualifications to join) than Zeddmore did. And while Melnitz was a bit ditzy but not really stupid, Beckman is a complete idiot who is also adorable. I will also drink that cup of coffee, Gilbert.

So yes, it is a remake and a reboot at the same time – quite akin in spirit, actually, to The Force Awakens, except that this is not a continuation of the original movies. Incidentally, both these movies feature strong female protagonists and, along with Mad Max: Fury Road, got all the misogynists riled up in their time for the “invasion” of the “male nerd space.” Well, the strength of these movies certainly kicked them in the groin, and even though Ghostbusters is in no way Oscar-worthy, it has gotten more positive reviews than expected.

So here we have a movie full of women who are *gasp* scientists and who *gasp* do not spend the entire movie talking about men (barring the occasional lust directed at Chris Hemsworth, but if you have Chris Hemsworth in your movie, you lust) and who *gasp* actually have more pressing matters to attend to than finding men who will fulfill their lives.

In short, unlike some other great movies, Ghostbusters actually passes the Bechdel test, the women kick major ass, and it is proven that penises are not the center of the universe.

Continued In:

Get Ghost, Part 2

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