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The Big Twinkie In The Room: Why Make A New Ghostbusters Movie?

By Joe Starr | Ghostbusters | March 7, 2016 | Comments ()

By Joe Starr | Ghostbusters | March 7, 2016 |


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The trailer for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters trailer landed last week, as did an infinite number of opinions about the beloved franchise starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.

It was a day of internet yelling about Ghostbusters that, oddly enough, looked identical to the internet yelling about the presidential race. Just replace ‘Hillary’ with ‘The cast of Ghostbusters,’ ‘Trump Supporter’ with ‘misogynist’ and ‘Elizabeth Warren’ with ‘Cecily Strong.’ Isn’t it fun that there is only one argument happening on the internet?

Anyway, I took the day to really think about my own thoughts on the trailer, because the sad truth about me is that I would do that even if it wasn’t my job, because I really wanted to boil down and figure out what bothered me about the trailer. Because I didn’t like it very much. It’s not a great trailer, but that isn’t what bothers me about the movie.

It certainly isn’t the cast. Melissa McCarthy is bringing the ‘McCarthy from Spy’ that this movie needs. Spy was one of the most underrated movies of 2015 and I’m excited to see her continue to challenge the idea of what a leading woman is and can be. Kate McKinnon is an unstoppable force of nature that an 80s cartoon terrorist organization would try to build a machine to control. Kristen Wiig is one of our generation’s best and she hasn’t even reached her final form. Leslie Jones is just fucking awesome. If you’ve complained about Jones being one note, you have never done anything in your life as well as she plays that note. She has a command of the ‘Leslie Jones’ toolkit the same way that Chris Farley was a black belt in falling through coffee tables and sweating.

I think my nagging concern lands with the writers and director. Will this movie have anything to say? Obviously, it’s hard to tell from two minutes of trailer and this entire article is an exercise in futility, but so is my life and this seems to be as good a place as any to discuss it.

The difference between fine, good, and great movies is intention. Great movies NEED to be made. Great films like Mad Max, Creed, and Birth of a Nation HAD to be made. Fine and good films are made because a studio wrote you a check to do it. Great films had to get out of the writer’s brain and onto paper or that writer’s head would explode and they would die. That’s what made the original Ghostbusters a classic. Dan Aykroyd has a lot of shit to say about the occult and the paranormal, and used comedy to say it. There’s a great director and a legendary ensemble, but the anchor is weird ass Dan Aykroyd’s passion for ghosts and leylines and mothmen.

That is why the original Ghostbusters stands the test of time: it was a story the creators were passionate about, and that they felt they needed to tell. I’m sure Feig, like the rest of the world, is a massive fan of the movie, but will that translate into the drive that brought the original Ghostbusters to the big screen? Will the studio nitpick a potential classic into something that’s just kind of good? Is this just about launching a franchise and throwing money and talent at a project? It doesn’t get more private sector than a studio, and as Ray says, “they expect results.”

This movie is loaded with talent, now let’s hope the passion is there to make a great movie.

Paul Feig, we’re ready to believe you.



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