Movie Review: "Ghostbusters," Ghouls, Ghosts, and Giggles

October 30, 2016





Do you have any regrets? I do. Tons. Most recently, I regret that I didn’t see the new Ghostbusters in 3-D. Why? Because the movie was AWESOME! I just watched it on DVD and I can only imagine that it was EXPONENTIALLY better in 3-D!


Ce la vie. There’s no use living in the past. The only thing I can do now is convince Ryan to let me buy a 3-D TV on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday. Someone’s GOTTA have a deal, amiright?


Ok, so let’s get to the bulk of this review. As you can probably already tell, I LOVED this movie. Not gonna lie…the marketing for the film wasn’t that great…which is probably why I didn’t see the movie in the theater! The commercials made the film look cheesy, and given that I’m a huge fan of the original 1984 version of the film, I couldn’t bring myself to betray Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray for something that looked like a kindergarten knock-off.


You’re probably wondering what made me finally decide to watch the new version starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones? Out of the blue, Ryan gave me the green light to choose our next Netflix DVD delivery. He already had his own list queued up (of course) but everything he had chosen just didn’t look good to me. When I switched over to the New Releases category, my eyes lit up.


There. It. Was.


I had completely forgotten about the all-female version of Ghostbusters! Much to Ryan’s chagrin, I selected the movie and moved it to the top of our (his) queue.


Yes, I was excited to watch the movie at home, but I wasn’t expecting anything really good, I was just hoping for something mildly engaging. BOY WAS I SURPRISED! The film was really, REALLY entertaining!


First of all, the storyline is great. It’s only mildly similar to the original which I think is perfect. If the films were too similar, I think the new version would have been slaughtered by the pre-existing fan base. No one messes with Zuul! On the other hand, because of that pre-existing fan base, if the movie had been completely different, I think the film's creator would have gotten heat for that too.


Original cast cameos are another reason why this remake didn’t piss off fans of the original. Similar to the thrill I experienced when I saw Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher regenerate their roles as Han Solo and Princess Leia in Episode VII: The Force Awakens, seeing former Ghostbuster’s legends in the remake made my heart swoon! It was delightful watching Sigourney Weaver fist pump her mentee, McKinnon, during the end credits. And she was only one of many.


The only two major players that didn’t appear in the remake were Harold Ramis, who played Dr. Egon Spangler, one of the Ghostbusters, and Rick Moranis, who played Louis Tully, the Key Master. Ramis passed away in 2014 and Moranis declined to participate, telling reporters that the role “didn’t make sense to him.”


The story follows three scientists (Wiig, McCarthy, and McKinnon) and one former MTA (NYC subway) employee. Like in the original, ghosts start slowly appearing throughout Manhattan. When Wiig, a former believer, is ousted from her teaching role at Columbia University because her previously published book on ghosts makes its way to the Dean’s desk, she seeks out her former friend and the book’s co-author, McCarthy. McCarthy, who never stopped believing in ghosts, is resentful toward Wiig for disbelieving. The two are mid-argument when they are approached by someone who not only has read their book, but claims to have spotted a ghost.


McKinnon, a brilliant engineer, has been working with McCarthy to develop and build ghost hunting equipment. Together with McCarthy, they drag Wiig to a haunted mansion to search for the ghost supposedly haunting it. Once there, it isn’t long before all three women see an apparition and Wiig is finally convinced (again).


In the meantime, while deep in the subway tunnels of NYC, Jones sees a ghost of her own. Terrified, she seeks the guidance of the Ghostbusters and then convinces them to add her to the squad. Shortly afterward, Chris Hemsworth joins the gang as their devilishly handsome (yet incredibly stupid) receptionist. (PS – IMO, this is also a comment on sexism in the workplace…and I love it.) They proceed to fight ghosts, despite the local government’s denial of the ghouls’ existence.


But I don’t want to give too much away…so I’ll stop there. Let’s just say that the plot in the remake is similar enough to the original to make sense to us, the audience, but unique enough to still surprise and wow us. The film felt just right in length, but there were a couple of moments where the pacing felt slightly rushed. This confused the plot a little bit and I’m not gonna lie, I did rewind it a few times.


Visually, the movie is stunning. It’s bright, colorful, and engaging. The cinematography is stylistically exquisite. It not only captures the hustle and bustle of NYC, but it does so in a way that softens the cities hard edges, giving it that family-friendly, PG-13 feel.


Last, but certainly not least, I gotta talk about the film’s humor. Don’t get me wrong. Nobody died laughing while watching this thing. But I giggled consistently throughout the whole thing! Seriously, it was funny! Even Ryan chuckled a few times, which considering his overall reluctance to watch the Ghostbusters’ remake, is really quite remarkable.


So yeah, I liked Ghostbusters! It was fun and playful. I had a great time watching it. So much in fact, that after the end credits, I turned to Ryan and said, “Man, I wish I could watch another one.”


Here’s praying for a sequel, folks.




Sources: IMDB, The Hollywood Reporter


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writer | author | sci-fi storyteller

Lisa Caskey

writer | author | sci-fi storyteller
© 2016 by Lisa Caskey
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