July 23, 2016

Ghost Busters

A good but not great comedy. Solidly entertaining and fun, just not brilliant. 
The four women are all terrific. Kate McKinnon has chosen a very particular brand of weirdo as the eggheaded engineer, and she steals every scene. Chris Hemsworth is a very particular brand of dum dum and he pulls it off perfectly: It's true, an aquarium is only a fish submarine!
The style and execution of the ghosts is good. I especially liked the demented Thanksgiving Day parade floats.
There's a couple of creepy parts, but only one truly scary moment: when the door opens. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about.
It would have been nice to excise all the seemingly mandatory tributes and references to the original 1984 movie. None of them fit seamlessly into the movie. All of the cameos could be cut out and the movie would be shorter and better. A discerning 12 year old who had never seen the 1984 film would wonder "why does this fringe character get so many lines?" The one tribute to the original that I liked was the scene where they consider renting the firehouse for their headquarters. Unlike 1984, the real estate in Hell's Kitchen is in high demand!
I also would have been happy to lose the subplot where the goverment tries to quash the Ghostbusters. It doesn't really go anywhere. Cecily Strong is a comic genius, but there's nothing new in her character, which is especially glaring in a movie where McKinnon and Hemsworth's eccentric weirdos are so fresh.
The audience was fun and totally engaged. I missed a lot of post-punchline dialog due to widespread laughter!

My wife saw it a few days before me, and her takeaways are worth sharing here too:
  • Who is this movie for? It's barely PG-13, so why can't they make it a less scary family-friendly PG so Generation X could take their kids, OR go hard-R! Let Kristen Wiig say "oh, shit" instead of "oh, shoot".
  • Compared to the 1984 film, this Ghost Busters is completely devoid of sex. Wiig has a bubbling-under crush on Hemsworth, but that's the totality of the sexual content. In the 1984 film:
    • Venkman puts the moves on a coed;
    • Venkman flirts with/sexually harasses Dana Barrett continually until she is raped/possessed by the Gatekeeper;
    • Barrett turns into a ravenous sex demon who eventually has sex with Rick Moranis' keymaster;
    • Stantz gets a ghost blowjob
We rewatched some of the 1984 movie this week and we couldn't believe how much smoking there is!
Arlington Capitol Theater