From the Archives: Rebutting the criticisms of the new Ghostbusters trailer

From the Archives: Rebutting the criticisms of the new Ghostbusters trailer

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

image1(8)This week we were treated the the very first trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot (or is it a sequel? I don’t know). Naturally, the response has been divided. I, for one, remain optimistic. I’m not expecting anything earth-shaking, but it appears that Paul Feig has put together, at the very least, a respectable product. Regardless, many have taken this trailer as proof that the film will be a failure. This could very well end up being the case, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to rebut the trailer’s most common criticisms.

1. “It didn’t make me laugh.”

This is easily the most valid of all criticisms. As comedy trailers go, there aren’t too many gut-busting moments. I personally got a few chuckles out of it, but it’s more of a nostalgia-fest than a showcase for the film’s sense of humor. That being said, I invite you to look back at the original film. There are few, if any, actual jokes. Every ounce of humor comes from strong characters and the chemistry between them. As such, there’s very little to cut into quick, marketable gags. I am of the hopes that Feig’s team of Ghostbusters have a similar rapport, and their history of working together on SNL only bolsters my faith. This cast is phenomenal, and if they can capture even a fraction of the comedic energy of the original team, everything is going to be just fine. Here, take a look at the 1984 trailer:

It’s not very funny, is it?


2. “This is cinematic deja vu.”

Isn’t that kinda the point? I mean, of course the new film will have to blaze its own trail, but to expect it not to take some cues from the original is ludicrous. The Force Awakens did the exact same thing in regards to its predecessors and it turned out to be an excellent choice.


3. “The ghosts don’t look the same.”

Oh, so now you want it to be more like the original? Can’t win. Here’s the thing, though: these ghosts mostly do look the same. Yes, the new ghosts are regrettably slicker looking due to advances in CGI, but they most certainly have the same cartoonish sort of design COMPLETE WITH PRACTICAL ECTOPLASM! I’ve read more than a few criticisms stating that the new ghosts “look like they were lifted from the Scooby-Doo movies.” I’m not going to call this out as untrue, but I think it’s fair to note that the ghosts from Scooby-Doo look pretty Ghostbusters-inspired. I share the lament for needless use of CGI, but in the case of Feig’s film it doesn’t appear to have been employed out of laziness. You know what HAS been employed out of laziness? The whole Scooby-Doo/ghost argument. It’s a hack joke that got copied and pasted by professional contrarians, much like the “Hulk looks like Shrek” malarkey from back in the day. Just because something was half-funny once doesn’t mean it can be repeated into truth.


4. “The trailer shows the whole movie!”

You can’t possibly know that. It may turn out to be true, but it simply cannot be known at this time. Once again, I point you to the original Ghostbusters trailer:

Hey! Why’d they show the whole movie?!?!?

5. “Women aren’t funny.”

Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up.

Shut up.

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