Saturday, December 17, 2016

I Finally Saw the Estrogen-Fueled Ghostbusters...

...and yes I will be offering my analysis of the movie waaaaaaaaaaaaaay later than everyone else.  Ya ya ya, I know pretty much the entire world has forgotten about this movie and are all focussed on Star Wars VII Rogue One at the moment, but since I gave my analysis of the trailer when it came out I feel obligated to give my 2 cents about it as well.  Plus, I wanted to wait until I actually saw this movie before I said anything about it's quality because that's the fair thing to do.  I finally got the opportunity to view it while on the plane trip to the Philippines to marry my fiancee, so now my critique should have that much more integrity because of that (that is how blogging works, right?)

OK folks, here it is.  I'm about to give my overall opinion of this movie.  Will it be favourable or not?  Will my thumb be up or down?  Will I make an enthusiastic 'yay' or a very crestfallen 'nay'?  Will the egos of Paul Feig, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones (and anyone else who worked on this film in some way) be stroked like a kitten that's a symbol of an erection or OBLITERATEEEEEEEEEEED  like a kitten in a war zone (also a symbol for an erection).  It could go either way at this point.  I could shine my light of positivity or I could cast my shadow of negativity.  The very tone of my analysis of this movie (as well as the tone for the rest of this blog post) all rests on the very opinion I'm about to speak.  It's taken 5 months to make it to this moment and now here it is.

My official opinion of Ghostbusters 2016 with four female leading characters is...........................

a satisfactory 'meh'

It wasn't close to anything great, at many times it wasn't even good, but it was also not the pile of festering garbage that too many people made it out to be either.  In that airplane seat, I clicked that watch button expecting to cringe like it was 'A Rusty Old Rake Being Scraped Against a Chalkboard In a Room Well Below Freezing - The Movie'!  I anticipated my brain climbing out of my head, grabbing the flotation device from under my seat and then jumping out the window with it at some point after the first 5 or 10 or 15 minutes.  But thankfully none of that happened.  To my surprise and delight, I found this movie to be a relatively nice way to spend 2 hours.

Truly, the mind-numbingly stupidest aspect of this movie was all of the hype around it fuelled by the perpetually offended and egged on by the film's director.  I think the Nostalgia Critic satirized that the best in his review so I would like to embed that below right now.

I personally prefer to focus on the movie itself and all of its merits.  That's all I'm interested in anyway.  I don't give two tosses what the SJW or MRA crybabies think.

First I'll talk about all of the good that I saw in this movie.  In my assessment of the trailer, I anticipated that the four women starring in this movie would pull off enjoyable performances and in my opinion that was indeed the case.  The standout performance for me was Kate McKinnon.  She was fun to watch in every scene she was in, whether she was moving all over or just standing there in the background.  I could watch her all day.  My favourite performance of hers was when she was working on one of her ghost-catching contraptions while dancing to El Debarge's song Rhythm of the Night.  That was fun to watch.  Like many people, I was left rather puzzled by a few of the jokes in the trailer involving Kate such as that 'wig surprise' scene and her licking the guns before shooting them.  But, like my attitude was for the whole movie, I didn't want to officially label them as awful until I saw the full context for those jokes.  Now that I have I can see that those jokes do make more sense.  Kate character Holtzman is a rather socially awkward mechanical genius who does weird things and makes weird gestures on a spur of the moment without giving even one care about whose eyebrows were furrowed together.  Upon learning that aspect of her character, those jokes weren't so puzzling anymore and I was satisfied.
Both Kristen and Melissa did their usual brilliance.  I'm sure none of this material was in any way a challenge for them so wasn't blown away by them at all.  They simply showed up, took their roles seriously and held up their end of the movie.  A job well done.  I also enjoyed Leslie Jones performance.  She was essentially being herself, but she is such an overwhelming presence that she couldn't (and shouldn't) possibly hide it.  More than an actress, she is one that gives a definitive persona like John Wayne or Mr T.  She's one of the lucky few that can make a living just showing up and being herself.  For that I applaud her.
Since I'm talking about Leslie, I would like to take this time to address my take on the craziness that happened with her and Milo Yiannopolis on Twitter.  In my opinion, both of these people are total badasses who deserve all of the respect.  At the same time, I also feel that both behaved rather shabbily during that whole twitter debacle.  Also at the same time, neither of them deserved even a minute fraction of the hate and/or punishment they received because of it.  For Leslie, I can understand that being compared to a gorilla is not a pleasant experience whether it has racial connotations or not.  But at the same time she should know that the internet is full of roguish goblins who use anonymity as a cloak to carry out nasty deeds onto unsuspecting mortals.  No matter what words or images were presented, it's important not to give in by getting upset.  That's what they want and that's how they claim victory.
As for Milo, his mistake was starting his trolling at a less than ideal time.  He jumped in and tweeted at Leslie right at the peak of all of the shitposting and therefore Jones was at the peak of her emotions running high.  If he had realized this and maybe come back at a less hectic time, the situation would not have escalated as much as it did and maybe he would still have his twitter account.  Yes, @jack absolutely overstepped his bounds when he banned Milo from twitter over this.  And at the same time, Leslie did not and DOES NOT deserve any of the hate brought upon her for this situation.  When emotions run high and out of control, people say all sorts of crazy things they don't mean.

I'd also like to address all of the people who attacked Jones on twitter in the first place.  Yes, I know you were upset about this female Ghostbusters and you have every right to be.  You also do indeed have every right to express that anger.  However, simply harassing Leslie Jones is not a practical solution.  She was just one actress in that movie.  Concentrating all of your energies on her is like using all your knights, rooks, bishops, and queen to take out one little pawn in chess.

Really, following the advice of "don't like it - don't watch it" is the best thing you can do.  That's the sort of action that caused the movie to not make nearly as much money as it wanted to.  I don't even think they've covered their costs yet.  That gets more results that online harassment campaigns ever could.

Oh wait, that's all part of that stupid hype I said I wasn't going to talk about.  Enough about that.  Now I'll get back to the movie's merits or lack of merits from this point on.

The overall story does in no way come close to the fun and excitement of the original.  It's not horrible but it's mores just bland and forgettable.  For one I felt no urgency when the villain was revealed.  Maybe it's because the actor who played him was boring or his part wasn't written all that well.  I just felt nothing for him.  I felt no sympathy when he talked about his hard life nor was I ever fearful of his villainy.  He was just kind of there and then he was gone after he was defeated and I didn't care one bit which is not a positive aspect of an antagonist.
I'd also like to say something at this time about the movie's director Paul Feig.  He's good at what he does, but based on this and other movies he's made, he seems to have a fiery hot intense anger towards his own penis.  I think he might even want to murder it and I suspect he might attempt it someday.  Did he witness his penis torturing a puppy at some point?  I don't know.  Whatever is going on, I think Mr. Feig and his penis need to sit down on a soft padded couch and have a nice long talk to work out their differences before he makes any more movies.  That would do a great service to Hollywood, his friends, his relatives, his co-workers, the general public, and mostly his penis because it won't get murdered.

I am indeed aware that many feminists have elevated this movie to loftier heights than it deserves and that is inspires others to direct heaps of vitriol towards it.  In essence this movie is the Lisa Lionhearted doll.

 The feminists who wanted this movie to be made and actually paid money to see it, didn't even care if it was successful or even if it was crafted well in any way.  All they wanted was something to make them feel good about their ideology and give them the illusion that they're "inspiring little girls everywhere".  (Most of these people of course completely forgot about those strong women characters in that Mad Max movie from last year.) Because they believe that hard enough, that is essentially what they got.  I say let them have it.  The more time they spend watching this movie on Netflix or Blueray or wherever, the less time they'll spend online complaining about how everything we say or do or create is "sexist" or "problematic" or any other buzz words they'll mash together to trick themselves into thinking they've said something profound.  We should make more of these "feminist-niche" movies to distract them.  They could take the Y chromosome out of other masculine movie franchises like maybe have a female Rambo or an all female version of the Godfather (the Godmother possibly?).  How about a feminized version of Die Hard?  Could you imagine Lena Dunham shooting up a building full of terrorists shouting "YIPPEE KAI YAY, FATHERFUCKERS!!!"?

If you found that last paragraph an "insult to women" that's because it kind of was.  For real, making 'girl versions of supposedly guy things' is not an effective way to elevate women in the movie industry, quite the opposite in fact.  By making these, women are basically saying "we wish we could do what the guys are doing".  Instead, you need to make movies that guys wish they could make.  Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley in the movie Aliens is a good example.  More like that need to be made.  And of course, in the case of Aliens, both men and women worked on that movie in front of and behind the camera.  Therefore, it's not just a 'guy movie' or a 'girl movie' it is simply 'a movie' to be enjoyed by all.
I guess that right there is what you need, just have both men and women involved in quality products.  The best way to do that is to let both men and women succeed and/or fail based on their own merits without being at all judgemental.

I think that's all I need to say about this movie.  If you enjoyed it, good for you.  Keep enjoying it at your leisure.  If you didn't enjoy it or still refuse to see it, that's fine too.  Just simply continue to not see it and resist giving this movie more free publicity by complaining about it.  That way everybody is happy (except for the people who lost money on it, but I'm sure they'll recoup their losses eventually).  Plus the classic original Ghostbusters still exists for all to enjoy.  I suggest you revisit Venkman and Egon and Slimer and the rest of the gang to keep you feeling that all is right with the world.

Everybody happy? Alright!