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.
Review: The Amazing Spiderman 2
If anyone has caught my previous review for The Amazing Spiderman 1, then you know I gave it high praises; except for the fact that it didn’t feel very fresh and original because it was another origin story. Now before I go ripping this apart or commending it for being a delightful movie, I have to state that I was a huge Spiderman fan growing up. He is one of the iconic memories of my childhood. Therefore, I am both very critical, AND acceptant of what is presented on screen. I realize things can’t be exactly from the pages of comics. This review will be loaded with Spoilers, so if you don’t want to see any, then scroll down to the last paragraph for my score.
The overall darker tone of this series is not something I enjoy. Spider-man is a lot like Superman in many aspects. I want to see a bright and colorful display. I don’t want to see a whole lot of night battles. If I wanted that, I’d watch Batman or Blade. The whole parents of Peter Parker storyline seemed to flesh out in this one, which made for an interesting reason why Peter being bitten by the spider would have altered his DNA that way. I enjoyed this very much, and am glad they sort of put an end to it. It served it’s purpose so let’s move on. My character breakdowns from previous reviews seem to be attracting attention, so I’ll review the movie like that.
Spider-man / Peter Parker: Andrew Garfield is a wonderful actor, but I still don’t like him as Spiderman. I hate to compare, but overall, the more I watch this series, the more I want Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi back. Don’t get me wrong, there was tons wrong with the original trilogy, but Garfield’s Peter doesn’t seem right. It’s almost like they don’t know what to do with him. Parker is supposed to be a nerdy kid who wise cracks cheesy lines with his enemies. It is his staple. Instead, in this series, we get a punk Brooklyn kid who seems more like a douchy bully than anything else. At times he conveys what Spiderman should be, but I am not sure where they are going with him. This parker is a punk, then loveable, then wise cracking, and then emo. PICK A FRIGGIN’ EMOTION ALREADY! Everyone has mood changes, but this is ridiculous. It’s like he is four different characters. I was however happy with the updated classic look of the suit, and WHY he had a new suit. Spidey’s outfit here is the BEST costume overall in ALL the existing Spiderman films. I still can’t fathom how he can fit so much web fluid in those little cartridges, but I can suspend disbelief because it’s a comic book film.
Gwen Stacy: Emma Stone is a major highlight of this film. Or should I say was? Her purpose was meaningful, and although her dialogue was often horrible (As was most of the dialogue in the film), she was believable. My issue would be that they decided to make this genius level student a complete idiot in the end. She thinks she can help Spiderman take on Electro, and that’s just moronic. Yeah okay she overall did, but it’s not a smart move. She was that annoying girlfriend that just doesn’t go away. This leads to her ultimate death at the hands of the Green Goblin. In the comics she was thrown from a bridge by the Goblin (Norman, not Harry), and Peter tried to stop her fall with a web, breaking her neck. Here, she was thrown from a clock tower by Harry’s Goblin, and Peter snapped her spine with a sudden jerking stop. The scene was VERY effective and one of the best recreations of comic book lore to date. You felt the impact before, during and after her death. Gwen really is the one who let’s Peter know posthumously that he is destined to be Spiderman (even if those exact words weren’t used).
Max Dillon / Electro: Jamie Foxx really played this role well. I feel that this WAS the electro from the comics, despite the fact that they made him a genius engineer with obvious social and mental disabilities. The lack of social and mental normalcy made him seem like the dimwit from the comics. The fight scenes and effects with him too were just visually stunning. Is he dead? No I doubt it. He’s probably reserved in that little battery that was strapped to his head, at least as some kind of spark. I wouldn’t mind them bringing him back at some point in a lesser capacity.
Green Goblin / Harry Osborn: Dane Dehaan played the role of Harry well. He even played Goblin well. Let me say this though. Aside from the design being utterly horrible, I’m sick of seeing Green Goblin. This one is more akin to the ultimate version, but its just overdone. If you use a goblin, then for the love of God, please use hobgoblin or even demogoblin, because this is just getting redundant, and that is probably one of the biggest flaw’s that director Marc Webb has in these films…. nothing is NEW. BTW, I’m not believing that Norman is dead. His hands and look in his “final” scenes made me believe he’d be back as the Ultimate “hulking like” version of the character. Only time will tell.
Felicia Hardy: She has a minor role in the movie, but you can see that she would practically do anything for Harry. This is a perfect setup for her to become BlackCat in the next movie. I really think that is the way they need to go. Make her a villain who will eventually pick a side and team with Spiderman.
Rhino: SMH. I love Paul Giamatti, but his Russian accent is overplayed and not believeable here. AND I’m sick of seeing mechanical exosuit villains. WHY did we get a giant robot rhino with guns? All I have to say is that for the next movie or sinister six, he better have an updated form of the suit that is more akin to the comics, because this is just the WORST design EVER! Instead of the headfirst charging Rhino, we got a walking tank with machine guns, and a tease of a fight.
Aunt May, The Ravencroft Institute, Richard and Mary Parker, The head of Oscorp: all of these were delightful to see on screen and had a clear purpose. Nothing much can be said because they were practically flawless.
Alistair Smythe: An awesome cameo that I didn’t expect. In the comics, he creates the Spider Slayers. this is all a setup for future I believe, and since he was placed in a cryo type freeze tank, I believe he will be back (maybe with some cyber enhancements).
The man in the shadows: okay, so we still have no idea who this is, or do we? He showed up in the post credits from the first film. Now he shows up at the end to assist Harry in putting together a “team”. Who can he be? They called him Gustav Fiers. He must be none other than Chameleon, who was a key player in the comics in forming the Sinister Six. If this is the case, then perhaps we will actually have more than six villains. Here is my speculation as to where this will all go….
There are more films coming. It is confirmed that we are getting: The Amazing Spiderman 3, Venom, and Sinister Six movies, followed by The Amazing Spiderman 4. It is also confirmed that Andrew Garfield is playing the character through the year 2020. Now, with that being said, here is where I see it going.
TASM3: Felicia becomes Black Cat. She breaks Harry out of prison, and he and her team up to take on Spiderman. He is still coping with the death of Gwen, but this is where Felicia and Mary Jane being introduced into his life will cause conflict. He won’t know who to trust. In the end, I believe that Black Cat will turn against a super charged (more ultimate form of the goblin) and Harry will probably die. This movie is all about conflict… Felicia choosing a side, Peter moving on, Harry realizing his best friend is his worst enemy. There will also be setups here to the spinoff films.
I know I said that I don’t want to see Green Goblin anymore, but this is the only logical way to go at this point. To make him different, his DNA could be altered further to really fit that Ultimate Goblin look. Black Cat will be the first female villain for spiderman, and everything will feel a little fresh.
Venom: there were some easter eggs in the film. We had the mention of the Spidervenom which is the arachnid’s blood. In the ultimate comics, Venom isn’t an alien symbiote… it is instead a derivative symbiote from Spiderman’s blood. There is also a Morbius easter egg, but that probably wouldn’t apply. In the venom movie, we could see a classic Eddie Brock taking on the mantle of the villain, and going up against his own offspring, Carnage. This HAS to be a venom vs carnage movie. it has been something the fans have wanted for years. It could be a one and done movie, where in the end, Eddie Brock either becomes anti-venom for a future film where Flash Thompson takes over as venom, or something else.
Sinister Six: Chameleon will take on the reigns of moving forward with Harry’s original plans. Who should be in this movie? TASM 2 set up: Doctor Octopus, Vulture, and Rhino. Smythe would be a good add on, while bringing in Scorpion or Kraven the Hunter. actually, there are lots of things that they could do…. I could speculate for hours on what the GOOD thing to do would be. If only they’d hire me to correct the issues, I’d be able to set them straight.
TASM 4: could be a whole fresh start. The spiderman verse is fully established at this point and we can go back to one villain only…. bring in Mysterio. He’s a big enough threat on his own.
Sorry if I strayed with my speculations, but this is something I’ve been mulling over, and I’d like to hear your comments. All in all, with TASM 2, we had okay plot, GREAT character setup and building, HORRIBLE dialogue, and AMAZING action scenes. It wasn’t by any means a bad movie, but it certainly wasn’t a great movie. I have to rate it with a 6 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. What did you think? Good? Bad? Did I miss something? Where do you think the series will go? One final thought. I felt gypped by the post credits scene. It was a scene from X-Men Days of Future Past, and while I’m excited to see the movie, an advertisement serves no purpose to the fans unless there is a potential crossover at some point… I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Spiderman and The X-Men on screen together?