Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ghostbusters Reboot

As I'm sure you're aware by now, the Ghostbusters reboot was announced recently.  The details are sparse, but here is what we know:
1. It will be a reboot, not a sequel.
2. It will be directed by Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids, The Heat).
3. The Ghostbusters will be female (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones).

That's about it.  Sure, there are little rumors circulating (I heard something about them not wearing proton packs, but now I can't find out where that bit of news came from), but those are the major details.

By now, I assume all of you have seen the blowback.  I won't provide any links, because I'd prefer not to give them any more page views than they already have.
So I thought I'd provide my thoughts on the matter.

Let's start with my thoughts on remakes/reboots.
I have no issue with the idea of remakes and reboots.  Some are good.  Some are bad.  Some are totally unnecessary.  Evil Dead. Dawn of the Dead. Night of the Living Dead. The Thing. The Amityville Horror. The Crazies. The Town That Dreaded Sundown.  Maniac. All remakes, all terrific.  Sure, you're bound to run into a Black Christmas or Psycho or April Fool's Day, but it's a bit of a reach to immediately hate a remake just because it's a remake.  It's an unjustified hatred, and I'll never fully understand it.
Here is what I like out of a remake: for it to be different, or to improve upon the original in some way. The Crazies took Romero's story and looked at it from the angle of the townspeople instead of the military.  Night of the Living Dead took a timid Barbra and turned her into a leader.  Maniac took the grime of the original, threw a Drive-esque sheen on it and showed us the film through the eyes of the killer.
The best remakes make you look at the film as a separate entity from the original, not hold it up against the original and judge it.  Remakes are more than capable of standing on their own merit, and that's what the best ones do.

Ghostbusters has a chance to do that.  I firmly believe the original Ghostbusters is perfect.  It's every bit as funny now as it was when it was released.  I'm not looking for this movie to improve on the original: I'm looking for it to be different.  I don't want a recreation: I want a reimagination.  Feig has said that he wants it to be "really scary".  Even if you love the first one, scary is not the first word that comes to mind (except for that cab driver), so that's a start (even though the cast suggests it will absolutely focus more on the comedy than the horror).

I'm looking forward to seeing what these four very funny people will do with these roles.  I hope they take these and make them their own.  I don't want to see someone trying their best to be Bill Murray's Peter Venkman.  Take the idea of Ghostbusters and run with it.  Make it your own.

As for the people declaring things like, "This is ruining my childhood," I'll say this: don't go see it.  If you've already written it off as crap before you've seen it, nothing on the screen is going to change your mind.  Don't support it if you don't want to.  That's your decision.
Even if you feel that way, you can't even use the argument of, "The fact that this movie exists means that a better movie won't see the light of day," anymore.  With the rise of the VOD market, great movies are popping up all the time.  The Babadook was my favorite movie of the year (I know I'm not alone in that), and that did not get a wide theatrical release.  If you don't like the popular choice, there are more alternatives than ever to choose from.  You may have to dig a bit, but there are opinions everywhere.  You can find someone you trust and look to them for suggestions.  And these movies are at your fingertips.  You could go from never having heard of The Town That Dreaded Sundown remake to sitting down to watch it in less than 30 seconds.  Theatrical releases don't have to rule the day anymore.  Find something you love, support it and tell others.
Here's something I can guarantee you, though: this movie will not ruin anyone's childhood.  Even if this version is terrible, the original Ghostbusters will not be forever tainted.  It will still be there, every bit as amazing as it has always been.

For me?  I'm excited about this.  I want to see what direction they go with it.  I think this could be really good.

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