Review: Ghostbusters 2016
For a change I’m going to do a virtually spoiler free review. I’ll mention some minor things that could be considered spoilery, but they aren’t crucial to the story. What can I say about this movie? The trailers did not do it justice. I frankly was slightly irritated at the previews because it looked downright terrible. I thought they’d gone and just remade the original movie with a different cast of characters and some other minor subplots. I am happy I was wrong.
Now, was this a great movie? No. Was it a bad movie? No. In fact I’d say it was as good or slightly better than Ghostbusters 2. To some of you that isn’t saying much, but bear with me. I loved both the original movies. Here’s my main problem with the reboot. It should have been a sequel. A loose one perhaps, but a sequel nonetheless. Here’s why…
As a total reboot it felt disrespectful to disregard the original movie which had nothing wrong with it. We’ve got a totally different story and people here, so why not change some VERY minor things about it to make it a third entry? It could still be a reboot and distance itself, while honoring what made the first one work. This would have made the fans of the originals happy with the new one, and turn a new generation onto the old ones.
My kids (ages 6 and 8) even said, “Daddy, why aren’t they (the cameos) the original characters?” I had no good answer. How could they have made it part 3 and a reboot? Here’s my answer (slight spoiler warning)…
The plot involves the Mayor of New York basically telling the new team that they had to keep ghost existence quiet. This could have explained why the original ghostbusters were no where to be found. They could have referenced that someone tried to hoax people 30 years ago and where are they now? Sure, it’s a long shot, but THAT would have worked. The cameos tie into this line of thinking…
Bill Murray could have still been Peter Venkman, who now worked for the Mayor as a paid skeptic. He’d been bought to prove that it wasn’t real. As one of the original Ghostbusters, this would have been a smart move. He had a falling out with the other guys, and was broke from no more business after GB2. He was desperate. The best part about this would have been that they wouldn’t have had to change his role at all. He still could have acted EXACTLY the same with the same role, and it would have worked.
Harold Ramis’ bust is seen. The actor is dead, so this was a very nice tribute. It could have easily been Dr. Egon Spengler’s bust, and had mention of that on a plaque.
Dan Aykroyd was a cab driver. He had no name. Why couldn’t this have been Ray Stantz current job? Nothing needed to be changed, and he was afraid of dealing with the ghosts from him being threatened by the Mayor’s office to keep quiet.
Ernie Hudson could have just as easily been Uncle Winston instead of Uncle Bill, and they could have kept him in the same role.
Annie Potts did exactly what she did in the originals. Why couldn’t this have been Jeanine Melnitz’s current job?
Slimer was Slimer. He never really spoke, so his presence wouldn’t need to be explained at all, even Mrs. Slimer wouldn’t have needed to be explained.
The ONLY one of the original characters who’d have to have a few little rewrites to fit in would have been Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett. With a little ingenuity this could have been an easy tweak.
(End of spoilers)
Okay, so those are my thoughts on that. It all goes back to WHY. To me it is a slap in the face to fans. All of that aside, let’s look at the rest of the movie.
Acting wise it was decent. All of the ladies did a great job, and made some of the over the top campiness work. It was funny, and highly enjoyable.
The special effects were also on par with being amazing.
The slight remix of the original Ghostbusters theme song was great, though the Fall Out Boy Ghostbusters song was downright terrible.
One final thing about that final scene at the end of the credits. It was a nice nod, but if a sequel happens (and I hope it does), then I really hope they don’t go down that route. We need to see something entirely new for the girls in order for it to work right and last.
If this was a sequel to the originals not much would have to have been changed, and then I’d give the movie an extra point, but because it wasn’t, it won’t get 4 points… Instead I’ll award it a 3 sCrypt Coffins out of 5. It’s enough to say it wasn’t bad by any means, but was no way near as good as it could have been. It deserves a second shot, so I’m holding out for a follow up to this one.
What did you think of Ghostbusters 2016? Did you like it? Hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Day 12 – Haunted Inspiration
I could just put a whole bunch of other scary stories in here, but the ghost stories that stuck with me the most over the years were those from the Ghostbusters franchise. In my novel SOULS 4 SUPPER, and its spinoff GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, the first names of some of the characters pay tribute to the actors and cast of the original films.
The first ghost movie I ever watched was the original Ghostbusters. I was instantly a fan. The follow up, Ghostbusters 2, may not get the credit it deserves but it is still a great movie in my opinion. Again, I was a kid, so when The Real Ghostbusters cartoon came out I was all for it. I’m pretty sure I caught every episode and even liked the less detailed animation that followed (The Extreme Ghostbusters).
My hopes for a third feature film in the franchise died out, but then we got Ghostbusters the Video Game. This brought together the original writers and actors in a storyline that basically was the third movie.
Now before you get all bent out of shape about me not including the new Ghostbusters movie in there, I’ll explain. First off, I haven’t seen it yet. I know. I know. I plan on it, but am not a fan of remakes that disregard the originals. In my opinion the new one should have been a loose sequel. It would have made more sense and made fans happy. I will see it eventually though.
The other reason for not including it is because I’m talking about the inspiration I had with ghosts. There are countless movies I’ve seen that freaked me out and they all made their mark, but they were all a one and done watch. I can still watch GB over and over again and not get sick of it. I wrote Souls and Ghostly before the new movie came out, so it can’t count as inspiration.
Regardless, if you like a good spooky book, check mine out. Souls got me a place in the top 25 and 100 lists of authors, and I even freaked myself out at times writing it. What are your favorite ghost stories? Make sure to use the hashtag #scrypthalloween if you post, and you’ll have a chance to win one of my books!
Day 29: Top 5 for Halloween
For today’s installment of my 31 days of Halloween I made a top 5 list of my personal choices for film, book, etc. These are stories that not only have entertained me, but inspired me to continuously try exceeding what I did and topping each previous book I write. I tried to keep them as Halloween related as possible, and even though some aren’t horror, they fall into the thriller category and have spooky elements. What are your personal choices? Feel free to comment below.
TOP 5 NOVELS: The “Area 51” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Robert Doherty), Dan Brown’s “Robert Langdon” series, Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal Lecter” series, The “Atlantis” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Greg Donegan), Dean Koontz’ “Frankenstein” series (please don’t watch the movie because it’s terrible the books are great though. *Bonus All novels in the FLESH AND LEFTOVERS SAGA by Rick Pipito (had to add them, sorry.) 😛
TOP 5 TV SHOWS: Once Upon a Time, Arrow & The Flash (I put these as one because they crossover and exist in the same universe), 24, Law And Order SVU, Hannibal
TOP 5 GAMES: The “Tomb Raider” series, The “Resident Evil” Series, “Silent Hill”, “HeroQuest” (This is a board game I had growing up, and I just remember how awesome it was. I recently found it in my parents’ attic), The “Doom” series.
TOP 5 SONGS: Dragula by Rob Zombie, Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett, Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr, Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (because everyone needs more cowbell), Mz. Hyde by Halestorm
TOP 5 MOVIES: Ghostbusters 1 & 2, The Goonies, Monster Squad, Van Helsing (Kate Beckinsale, Huge Jack Man, and monsters? I don’t care if its cheesy. It’s awesome), The Brendan Frasier Mummy Movies.
BONUS—-TOP 10 COMIC BOOK Movie List (in numbered order):
1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2) X-Men Days Of Future Past
5) Captain America: The First Avenger
6) Guardians Of The Galaxy
7) Man Of Steel
8) Spiderman 2
9) Thor The Dark World
10) Batman 1989
*This list is current as of 10/29/14 of course. It will most likely change, but it is the order I believe works. I wanted to put both Punisher movies in there as well just for pure fun, but they didn’t make the cut.
Halloween Spotlight: Ghosts
My fourth novel, “Souls 4 Supper,” and its comic book spinoff, “Ghostly Hauntings” center around the topic of death and the afterlife. The stakes are upped for all of the protagonists as the deal with ghostly entities. What kind of ghosts are we talking? All kinds. As with my other novels, i attempted to incorporate all variations of lore and bring about something new, where it can all coexist.
My ghost and spirit world breakdown is as follows in my books…
1) Seeing the dead: Some people with near death experiences survive only to be able to communicate with the lost souls of the dead. They are forever tormented unless they find a way to release each lost soul into the afterlife.
2) Ghost Towns: More than just myths and urban legends, if an entire city’s residents were to die from some tragic event, and their souls are unable to find their way to the afterlife, then their ghostly remnants are left behind to wander. Unfortunately over millennium, they begin to lose their minds, so while some ghosts have purpose, most wander aimlessly, unaware of their former existence or the need to find final rest.
3) Djinns (Genies): These are people who have done something so wrong, that their spirits are forced inside a magical object. The longer their spirits remain, the more powerful they become. However, their powers come at a cost, as it is unpredictable to how their final usage will appear.
4) Children: Up until the age of 5, most human children are able to see ghostly apparitions. They often giggle, and interact with what us adults perceive as them having imaginary friends. In reality, the children aren’t imagining anything.
5) Hoaxes: Many ghostly reports are false. Some people thrive on scaring others by creating spectres, photographs, and tall tales to create the urban haunting legends.
6) Ghosts trying to communicate: Some spirits are trapped here with a purpose. They will not rest until their murderer is discovered. Often these ghosts move objects in our world to try to leave clues for us to find. These spirits often become angered, and frustrated at our lack of perception.
7) Catching Ghosts: Ghosts can be captured by linking the four planes of existence. There is Heaven, Hell, Earth, and the spirit realm. By disrupting these planes with extreme emotion, it is possible to summon a spirit here or make it visible. Then it can be contained through certain uses of EMF (Electromagnetic Frequencies).
8) Dreaming: When we dream, our souls have the ability to leave our bodies. In this state, our spirits travel to different places, times, possible futures, and alternate realities. The reason that we cannot often recall these dreams is because the human brain can’t fully process this type of travel. Our souls are fully aware of what happens even though we may not.
9) Reincarnation: If you were to die, would you come back as someone else? Depending on whether you repent for your misdeeds or are honored for your heroism, tells how those can return. Not everyone is reincarnated. Only a few are given this chance.
10) Famous Encounters: Traveling spirits take a look closely at events throughout history. Veronica Beranice wiping Jesus’ face, Joan of Arc, JFK’s assassination, The Tower of Babel, The Rosetta Stone, Hua Mulan, Bonnie and Clyde, and Atlantis are some of these seen closer in Souls 4 Supper.
11) Pandora’s Box: This fabled box is in fact shaped like a pyramid. Its contents, if opened will spew forth chaotic realms. It acts as a gateway for souls to enter to the afterlife, or something more powerful to exit into our world. Chaos comes in many spiritual forms. It all depends on who opens it.
12) Book of Knowledge: This haunted book will be different for every reader. Its spiritual essence, born of the tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden, will gaze into one’s soul and biography their life.
13) Possession: Some spirits are friendly, while others are quite the opposite. When two souls inhabit the same body, an internal struggle begins. Only the most powerful and willing soul will become the dominant entity.
14) Ectoplasm: Ghosts powerful enough to exist in this world will leave behind a gooey residue. This residue will evaporate however in direct sunlight or bright light, which makes analyzing it a difficult task.
15) Wraiths: Wraiths are vampires that die and are unable to pass on to the afterlife. These immortal beings are strengthened and able to return to the real world if they consume enough powerful souls to empower them.
Without going too far into detail, those are some of the ghostly entities in my books. For this round, we enjoyed the bottle of wine shown above. You’ll notice that the comic book cover is in a picture frame. That is because at this moment of posting this, I am still awaiting my final proof copy of the issue. It’s all the same. Here are some of our favorite ghostly things not related to our own creations…
Rick’s favorite video game involving ghosts is Silent Hill. His favorite ghost movie is the Sixth Sense. His favorite ghostly character is DC comics’ Deadman. One of his favorite ghostly books is Philadelphia Ghost Stories by Charles J Adams III.
Dan’s favorite video game involving ghosts is Soul Reaver. His favorite movie about ghosts is Ghostbusters. Lloyd the bartender from The Shining is Dan’s best ghost of the year. Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Dan’s favorite ghostly book.
What are your favorites? Are you a ghost story fan? Grab yourself a copy of “Souls 4 Supper” the novel. It is available at www.lulu.com in softback book and on www.amazon.com for the Kindle. Also, the spinoff comic book “Souls 4 Supper: Ghostly Hauntings” is available for purchase at www.indyplanet.com. Help support our soul sucking.
“Souls 4 Supper” and its spinoff are (C) 2012 by Rick Pipito. Stay tuned for our demon spotlight…
It’s time for another comic book crossover battle, and for this installment, we will travel (once again) to the very bowels of hell and back. In a prior match up, we saw the devil himself fighting for each comic book company, but today we will take demon spawns and pit them in the arena. By demons spawns of course, I mean that they are part demon and part human, or at least residing in the human world alongside us. DC comics presents Etrigan, Marvel comics sends Ghost Rider, sCrypt Comics has Satan, Image is well known for Spawn, Dante springs to action for Capcom, Hellboy is presented by Darkhorse Comics, Scorpion teleports in for Midway, and IDW’s Ghostbusters series shows us Zuul. Check out the contestants’ brief bios and vote in our poll below. If you feel there is another good choice, then please add them to the list in the comments section and vote “other”.
Etrigan is a demon bound to the knight, Jason Blood. Once the incantation is recited, then gone is the form of man, replaced by the demon Etrigan’s form. The demon is forced to speak in rhyme and is under the will of Jason Blood, therefore working as a force for good. Blood is a trained combatant, with an extraordinary sword wielding skill. The Demon has enhanced strength and healing, is an expert in sorcery and mystic bolts, and has some telepathy in his arsenal of abilities. Etrigan first appeared in DC Comics’ The Demon #1 in 1972.
There have been many Ghost Rider’s throughout history, and all have exhibited mostly the same abilities. The demon Zarathos bonds himself to the soul of the next chosen rider. The fallen angel is then willed by the soul of the new rider. Once the chosen soul becomes ghost rider, their appearance changes into that of a flaming skeleton. Using chains embued with hellfire, and the ability to manipulate hellfire, these are only his first line of defense. The Penance stare is his deadliest ability which makes the victim of the stare feel the pain and sin that they’ve caused others. The rider tends to ride a flaming motorcycle, but has elected other vehicles as well. A Hellfire shotgun has been used as well, especially in the Johnny Blaze version. In Dan Ketch’s role as the rider, he has the will to change whenever needed, but initially only came when innocent blood was spilled. Ghost Rider first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Marvel Spotlight #5 in 1972.
Satan is thought by many to be THE devil, but he is only a general in his army. He represents the demon of anger and hatred. In his true form, he is very much the way people have perceived, but his secondary form is that of a human guise. As this false human, he owns a tattoo parlor where his many piercings, filed teeth, and tattoos are intimidating to any normal passerby. When Taylor Bryant, an ex-con with a violent past, gives in to his anger, he and Satan merge. Now in the form of a large, African American man, Satan joins his brother and sister demons in order to pave way for the arrival of the true face of darkness. Satan first appears in the 2013 novel, “Devil’s Dessert” by Rick Pipito.
Because of his life as an assassin for the U.S. government, Al Simmons was sent to hell upon his death. He made a deal with Malebogia (the devil) to come back and see his wife one last time. The deal was not exactly what he expected. Now a hell spawn, Simmons vows to destroy the legions of hell with all his might. His body is made of necroplasm, which enables him enhanced abilities, strength and healing. His cape, spikes and chains act as extensions of his body, and must replenish his dark energies by feeding on the dark energy of evil. He frequently uses military grade weaponry so that he doesn’t drain his necroplasm too quickly. There have been many Spawns through history, but none as prominent as Simmons. Spawn first appeared in Image comics’ Malibu Sun #13 in 1992.
Dante was raised by his human mother after his demon father’s death. Once his mother was killed, Dante vowed to hunt demons for the rest of his life. His physical abilities far exceed that of a normal man’s, including flight, and he uses these enhanced traits alongside his “Ebony and Ivory” dual pistols that never need to be reloaded, as well other blades and firearms forged by his father. Dante first appeared in Capcom’s Devil May Cry in 2001.
The offspring of a demon and a witch, Hellboy was raised by the United States Army and has lived as a force of good amongst humans since the second World War. He works as an agent for a special group within the Bureau, and investigates paranormal activities. Aside from superhuman strength, healing and endurance, he carries a utility belt of sorts with military weaponry, as well as his deformed, right hand of doom. Hellboy first appeared in Dark Horse’s San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 in 1993.
Ninja, Hanzo Hasashi, was murdered at the hands of his bitter rival, and brought back from the Netherrealm as one of the dead’s demons. This revenant covers his skull face in his yellow ninja garb, and has not only kept his highly trained combat technique, but has also gained the ability to conjure fire. From the palm of his hand he can also project a sentient spear to pierce an enemy and drawn them to him. Even death cannot keep Scorpion at bay. He first appeared in Midway’s Mortal Kombat in 1992.
Zuul is a demon demigod known as the Gatekeeper to Gozer. The demon takes control of Dana Barrett in an attempt to bring about the Destructor. She has the ability to hover in midair, and once transformed into the Hell Hound form, she has horns, claws and fangs, as well as other unknown abilities. Zuul represents IDW comics, but first appeared in Ghostbusters the movie in 1984.
Cast your vote below (click on the link) for your favorite “demon among us”, and feel free to add your own. Results coming in a few weeks.
Comic Con miscellaneous displays
One of the cool things about a convention like Wizard World, is the variety of displays. Here are a few from this past weekend. The Batmobile from the 60s was one of my first favorite cars, while watching reruns in the 80s. Back To The Future and Ghostbusters were two of my childhood favorite movie franchises. The Delorean and Hoverboard from the first are featured as well as most props from the latter. Legos and Batman outfits always interested me from a ripe early age up until today. The other picture is of the new cologne/perfumes based on Avengers characters. They are a lot better smelling than I thought, though I’m partial to the Loki one. Must have to do with the mischief. Check out the photos and click to enlarge them. More on comic con coverage coming.