May 20, 2016

WHY THE ALL-NEW-ALL-DIFFERENT 2016 GHOSTBUSTERS DOESN'T WORK, AND WHY IT'S NOT VAGINA HATE TO SAY SO



Oh boy.

Oh, sorry.

I shouldn't have said that. Boy, I mean.

I really, really wish it was looking like a winner, just so I could feel good about myself for cheering it on. It's like I feel guilty for looking at this and thinking, sorry, but you still don't understand what made the original Ghostbusters work.

It was – and I am being quite serious – a work comedy, the kind that Damage Control etc in the Marvel and DC universes are work comedies, the way that Keith Giffen and DeMattheis's Justice League was a work comedy.

It was about a couple of (yes, sorry) guys who were losers and – in Venkman's case – even frauds, they were those guys who'd get booted out of their “acceptable” jobs and try to land on their feet.

One of the major moments in the movie is actually … them waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Until Janine hits that buzzer and shouts with that wonderful gleeful smile “WE GOT ONE!” as they get their first job.




Add to that the whole riff on them being the supernatural fire dept, that they are the working stiffs that people don't care about, until people figure out, these guys (again, sorry, see? I am being Pavlov'ed) are the ones who are the true heroes, even if they are looney.

But look at this trailer.

Kirsten Wiig does a hysterical woman cliche moment with“GET OUTTA THE CITY, GET OUTTA THE CITY”, she does a cliche “Oh my my my hottie meat hunk” with Thor, there is fatty jokes and racial jokes in the other trailers that people would get the knickers in a twist about if they had been done by male comedians.

If you had really good actresses and a great comedic director, the whole "hottie meat hunk" could have been very funny and not stereotypical at all.

Just imagine this, after looking at Thor, this very casual, subdued exchange, do it almost Aaron Sorkin style. Do it like The West Wing (another work comedy, by the way, with the best female role I have ever seen on television, with CJ)

"You okay?"

"I'm okay."

"You don't look okay."

"He's fine."

"What?"

"I'm fine. Okay. I mean, I'm okay."

"Fine."


"Yeah."

"Okay."

Always. Underplay. Comedy.

Always. 

Trust your timing. Trust your instinct. Don't scream it out.

Now, let us compare that to the original casting. 

Did they hire 1986 Aliens' Sigourney Weaver? 

No. The Sigourney Weaver, as clouded as your memory may have been, was not hired for being the hottie.

This was a Sigourney Weaver known previously to Ghostbusters as

(1) the unlikely survivor of Alien

(2) being in the drama Year of Living Dangerously

(She had two more credits, but nothing that would have stuck with audiences in 1984)

She was not a sex symbol (geek or otherwise) back then. And neither was the character she played. Dana Barrett was a single, working woman. With a nice apartment. In a really shitty big building. Or as Ray says, “Remember that nice lady? You know, before she turned into a dog?”

And even Janine, she wasn't cast, because HOT HOT HOT… she was another, dare I say it, working stiff. A temp. She wasn't played dumb. She wasn't played smart. She was just another one of “the guys”





"I've quit better jobs than this", indeed.

We  could make – and people have made – quite an argument over Ernie Hudson, racism and whatever, although honestly, I always felt that Hudson's role was essentially “us” as the audience. 

We could be part of the Ghostbusters, even without being a scientist. 

That's what they're kinda doing with the black role here, but by always making it black, you set yourself up for some bad shit. Hudson's role was essentially Robin in the original Batman comics. An anchor for the audience to identify with, because none of the three leads were somebody you could easily identify with. 

The Brain (Egon).
The Goofball (Ray). 
The Hustler (Venkman).

Craziest. Bosses. You. Ever. Worked. For

This movie here, you don't need to see it. 

Just as with RoboCloneCop and TotalForgotHowToRecall (both entirely male-centric), you have seen that movie already, and it was better the first time.