Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Who You Gonna Call? Ballbusters!

I'm going to pause my aching need to exult in how the Ghostbusters gave me hope for feminism, because I don't consider that a primary factor for whether a movie is good or bad.  Being new to the sci-fi genre and having never watched the original Ghostbusters, I considered myself a fairly objective viewer who could either be impressed or disappointed with the new version on its own merits.  Friends, I was impressed.  With the comedy, the acting, the special effects, the characters, nearly everything!

(source: Wikipedia)

The story starts with Erin Gilbert, a professor that unexpectedly runs into a ghost from the past (I know, I'm awful) in the form of a book about the paranormal that she had co-authored years back.  She barges into the lab of Abby Yates to demand that she take their book down from Amazon and meets engineer/fellow paranormal fanatic Jullian Holtzman.  However, Erin gets wrapped up in their ghost hunt, and when she is recorded screaming that ghosts are real, she's fired.  Thus begins their quest to prove their scienctific research is legitimate.  After having her own paranormal experience, New Yorker Patty Tolan joins their team - with her uncle's funeral hearse as their admittedly sweet ride.

I have trouble pinning down exactly why I like these four characters so much.  I can say none of them are cardboard.  Each has a distinct presence with quirks and talents and perspectives that the team and the film need to make an interesting story.  The most attention goes to Erin and Abby, who had been friends until Erin gave up searching for the paranormal in order to become "normal."  Erin has to let go of her insecurity to accomplish their work, and her arc thankfully follows through on that.  She and the others make a solid team. They only become better with every confrontation, each of which builds with the appropriate amount of action and suspense.  My absolute favorite scene involved Holtzman attacking ghosts in slow-motion along with the Ghostbusters theme song.  I would recommend watching the movie for that part alone.

(source: www.themarysue.com)

Of course I have to mention Kevin.  Beautiful, stupid, beautiful Kevin.  Kevin who doesn't know how to answer a phone and wears glasses without glass lenses.  (As a person who wears glasses I should have felt so offended, but that discovery was too hilarious to do so.)  I have a theory that just having his name makes you dumber.  He acts as the Ghostbusters' secretary whose literal only purpose is to look pretty and to be the fodder for several of the movie's funniest jokes.  Nice gender role reversal.  Let me tell you, I did not think of The Majestic Thor even once while watching Hemsworth play him.  Fun fact: he ad libbed quite a bit for this role.

(source: ghostbusters.com)

While I can't remember that many specific jokes off the top of my head, I do remember frequently having a good laugh.  As you must know from my previous reviews, laughter is one of my greatest weaknesses.  Despite the comedy, the movie also had some pretty scary moments with the ghosts.  I probably only thought this because I'm a weenie and I close my eyes on roller-coasters.  You can take my comment as a vague appreciation for the movie's visuals - even if they did freak me out.  Regardless, I liked seeing the Ghostbusters face off against their adversaries with their proton packs and their supreme intelligence.  I can't put it more plainly: I had a fun time watching.  This means a lot to me because I didn't want this film - headlined by funny, brilliant, and competent women who are fighting the bad guys and NOT each other - to give the dudebros an excuse to hate on it.  So HA, dudebros!  This movie exists.  And it's pretty darn good.

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