Ghostbusters Was Roundly Despised Despite Its Hilarity

Ghostbusters Was Roundly Despised Despite Its Hilarity

I like to talk about complicated, hard to understand movies, and debate the possibilities. Take for example the discussion happening here on Memento. Or for example The Prestige. Or what about some independent sci-fi movie brilliance – maybe Time lapse? The Revenant! Yes. Definitely, that’s the one you’d like to delve deeper into. No, I know, Synchronicity is more your style, I’m sure of it. Anyway hundreds of thousands of words exchanged. A bazillion different ideas and possibilities. Did Valentine commit suicide in Sils Maria? Or better yet, did Loomis kill Caleb in Z for Zachariah?

You get the idea.

But today I’m talking about Ghostbusters. But there isn’t anything INSIDE the movie worth deconstructing or figuring out. You get it. Ghosts take over New York. Ghostbusters, bust ghosts and along the way a ton of hilarity and chaos happens. Not a ton to say there.

But there was one thing that I just didn’t understand as I walked out into the light of day. Why the heck did everyone go so far out of their way to pan this flick? In a very insightful interview with Variety, Paul Feig talks about the enormous wave of vitriol claiming that he had single handedly ruined millions of people’s childhoods…

“It’s so dramatic. Honestly, the only way I could ruin your childhood is if I got into a time machine and went back and made you an orphan.”

Which begs the question. Why do so many people care so much, and so passionately about Feig’s apparent ruining of their childhoods? Oh, that’s right, we are talking about Geek Culture. Nerds like myself have been genuflecting at the throne of Dan Akroid and Bill Murray for so long that we’ve almost forgotten what the original movies are even really like anymore. In an interview with the Daily News last year, Feig commented the rancidness of our society’s dweeb culture fairly succinctly:

“Geek culture is home to some of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met in my life.”

But was the movie any good? I’ll yield the floor to a few fairly well pedigreed outlets and the reviews that they gave to the film.

The New York Times praised the film as “that rarest of big-studio offerings — a movie that is a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun.”

The Guardian gave the film four out of five stars and wrote that: “The new Ghostbusters is good. Very good, in fact. The mean-spirited reception to the film before anyone had seen it does not seem to have put a dampener on the movie itself. Fun oozes from almost every frame; likewise the energy of a team excited to be revolutionising the blockbuster landscape.”

Rotten Tomatoes anyone? It is currently sitting at a very respectable 73% – “Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy – even if it can’t help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.”

So yeah, it wasn’t the Spanish Inquisition (sorry, Monty Python reference – 98% of you readers are 12, I forgot. Here, because I care about you younger folks, here’s a snapshot on real comedic genius. Watch this, and get back to us with a 10 page report discussing why your life is a horror, now that you know Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a thing, and wasn’t in your life til now) but it was apparently widely enjoyed by most everyone that saw it.

Personally? I howled. I laughed. I cried. The comedic timing was well played. And the underrated humor was perfect. It was so funny in fact that I felt more than a little conspicuous laughing so much at so many things that the general audience didn’t even get. But I’ve always preferred an underrated, understated British style of delivery. But whatever.

Alright, let’s take the gloves off for a moment. The bigger thing that confuses me here is this, “Why are men so threatened by women?” Yeah, I just went there. ‘Women can’t drive.’ ‘Women aren’t funny.’ etc etc etc. I don’t personally get it. What is happening here? I’m being serious here – could it possibly be a more subversive response to the Women’s Rights movement? Well, ok, they can vote … but I’m not going to encourage them in their careers…? Sure, they can have a career, and be successful, but I won’t marry a woman that is more successful than me? Ok, fine… let women get educations, but if they get an ounce of an education beyond my high school diploma, I swear to you, I’m not even looking at her for my potential spouse list. Just isn’t happening.

Personally, I thought that The Heat was the funniest movie I have seen in the past five years. Melissa McCarthy juxtaposed with Sandra Bullock was comedic gold. I mean, really? Bullocks’ character giving a tracheotomy in error? Brilliance. And a lot of that same comedic timing was here in Ghostbusters as well. Was it the funniest movie I’ve seen in five years? Absolutely not. But dangit I laughed a lot. Which begs the question… yet again… Why are so many men so thoroughly threatened by a female recasting of an 80’s classic?

Maybe we could stir the pot a bit and come up with a better (read, more threatening) all female movie to reenvision from the 80’s.

The Lost Boys – I mean, The Lost Girls?

Die Hard?


No, what about Back to the Future?!?

Nope, no no no… I’ve got it. I want an all female remake of TOP GUN!


Seriously – I don’t understand what happened here, or why all the vitriol. I mean, seriously, check out some of these extraordinarily obtuse tweets fired out at Feig and company:

Right? This level of vitriol is just unjustifiable. Over a movie? And a tongue in cheek 80’s remake at that? And what are these same people saying about the Political Chaos here in America? Do they even care? Actually, I looked… they don’t care. One iota.

All that to say, Ghostbusters was a real laugh. I really did enjoy it. And if you spoke out against it even before you saw it, maybe you should really reconsider your own hangups and issues? It really says more about you than it does about a lame 80’s movie. Just saying.