Since Paul Feig's name was first attached to Ghostbusters back in August 2014 everything related to his reboot has descended slowly but surely into a downward spiral of negativity. Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind Columbia Pictures who are producing and distributing the movie seem to be doing very little to maintain marketing control of a product that was unduly sanctioned by a former high profile employee (Amy Pascal) and which has likely, thus far cost the studio in excess of $200 million ($154 million Budget and 50% of the average $100 million marketing budget for a high-profile summer movie). Director Feig and his primary star Melissa McCarthy continue to insist that the only reason for all of the hate against the movie is misogynistic. Following are fifteen things wrong with the Ghostbusters reboot, fifteen things fans and general audiences hate about Paul Feig's latest movie...
#15 Target Audience
The 1984 original movie co-written by stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and directed by Ivan Reitman was a family comedy, in which the comedy was intended for adults and older children (AKA Teenagers) following in the success of National Lampoons Vacation and Caddyshack. Following the success of the spin-off cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters and the associated toys and comics Ghostbusters appeal spread across the entire family. The forthcoming remake is director Paul Feig's fourth girl comedy movie starring and aimed at modern young women, thus ignoring the established fan base of the franchise which is mostly male. And let's not forget the merchandising, with the reboot already having its own toy line, last time I checked young adult women don't normally play with action figures unless they are of course aimed at children, but the vulgar bland comedy showcased so far in the trailers is far from child-friendly, and how many children really want a Melissa McCarthy action figure?
Typically the first trailer for a movie falls no later than six months before the movie's theatrical release. With a release date of July 15th, 2016 one would have expected Ghostbusters first trailer to have been released in January, but it wasn't until May that the first trailer hit, and when it did it bombed and it bombed big, soon becoming the video with the most dislikes in the history of Youtube, which was only worsened with allegations that Sony was deleting negative comments on the trailers official youtube page. The second trailer did fair better, but not enough to undo the damage. Add to this Feig and his casts attacks on the fanbase and anyone who stands against the movie, and you have the worst marketing campaign since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which showed 90% of the movie or the RoboCop remake were Sony disallowed Den Of Geek from using images from the movie, giving rise to RoboParsnip (pictured above).
#13 Lack of Respect
Rumors that the cast, both original and new have been threatened with legal action if they fail to promote the movie shows very little respect to the cast and crew that brought us the original movie over 30 years ago. To add insult to injury is the fact that this movie was greenlit by former Sony executive Amy Pascal based upon a hastily conceived email from Paul Feig over the already developed, scripted and planned Ghostbusters 3 which was developed by the creators of the original movie Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis. Additionally, it has been well publicized that co-star Bill Murray repeatedly refused to commit to Ghostbusters 3, even after Ramis death. Ramis of whom wrote and directed and cameoed in arguably Murrays biggest film Groundhog Day. The studio, Amy Pascal, Paul Feig and Bill Murrays lack of respect for this franchise should be an alarm siren to anyone thinking about watching this movie.
When Paul Feig was approached to direct Ghostbusters 3 he instead proposed to reboot the franchise with an all-female leading cast. On this principal alone the then Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal, prior to her sacking, greenlit the reboot over the already developed Ghostbusters 3 of which she had been involved in developing. Feig had not even developed a script, a treatment or even a synopsis, yet courtesy of Pascal was given free reign to reboot a multi-million dollar franchise. In terms of the final product as teased in the recent trailers, the movie seems haunted by familiar yet inferior modern adaptations of elements from the original movie which isn't limited to just the characters but also the ghosts as well, including a countess that draws similarities to the originals Gray Lady, the uber-villain (a disgruntled ghost of a lonely man) who takes on the form of a giant version of the ghost used in the Ghostbusters logo, albeit with added sharp teeth and a red bow tie, and of course the return of Slimer.
#11 Unimaginative Casting
The original movie featured three discredited caucasian scientists who started a business exterminating ghosts before taking on a working class African-American colleague, with a receptionist of the opposite sex. Alternatively, the reboot features... exactly the same lineup, just genderswapped - Kate McKinnon's character Jillian Holtzman (the engineer) is the female variant of Dan Aykroyd's character Ray Stanz, Kirsten Wiig's character Erin Gilbert (the physicist) is a female Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Melissa McCarthy's Abby Yates (parapsychologist) is a female Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Leslie Jone's Patty Tolan is a female Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), and Chris Hemsworth's Kevin is male Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts). Erin's attraction to Kevin is even a role reversal of Janine's infatuation with Egon, and Kevin's desire to become a fellow Ghostbuster mirrors how Janine became a Ghostbuster in The Real Ghostbusters comics.
#10 Lack of Comedy
One thing director Paul Feig has repeatedly mentioned is that his cast is the collection of Hollywoods funniest women; a statement that in itself is open to criticism with none of Feig's cast having hit the comedy highs once achieved by actresses such as Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Meg Ryan, Daryl Hannah, Rosie O'Donnell or even Roseanne Barr. Granted Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon may be regulars on the popular US comedy show Saturday Night Live, but a cast of comedy actors does not guarantee a funny movie - Matthew Broderick was once the young comedy star of the eighties and Jim Carrey was the rising comedy star of the nineties, yet bringing the two together for 1996's Cable Guy fell on deaf ears. The trailers for the Ghostbusters reboot have again proved this to be true with many of the jokes failing to raise even the smallest of titters from audiences.
#9 Reboot, Sequel or Other
Paul Feig's Ghostbusters has been marketed since its inception to be a reboot of the original movie with a genderswapped leading cast, all new storyline and featuring the original stars in cameo roles which will not be related to their roles from the original movie. Yet a rumored plot leak, which has yet to be discredited suggests that during the movie the new Ghostbusters purchase the No. 8 Hook and Ladder firehouse, finding within a tape recording from Dana Barrett's examination by Dr.'s Stantz, Spengler and Venkman. If this scene is in the new movie, which the recent trailer seems to suggest (pictured above), it would make this new movie in actuality Ghostbusters 3, but a Ghostbusters 3 in which the original cast now exist as other characters and in which the new team of Ghostbusters recreates the exact same logo as the original logo unintentionally and without prior knowledge of the original team, without ever seeing the original logo, even though graffiti of the original logo is shown to pre-exist in this new movies universe.
The car that would become Ecto-1 or the Ectomobile, in the original movie was formerly a 1959 Cadillac Meteor-Miller, which was chosen for two reasons - in 1984 these cars were cheap having formerly been used as hearses and ambulances, and the design of the car was that of the classic 1950's fin and tail extravagance. In contrast, the Ecto-1 from the forthcoming reboot is a 1984 Cadillac Deville, which while in fitting with the "old hearse" idea for the Ghostbusters vehicle of choice, it lacks the cosmetic appeal of the original - possibly being one of the least attractive Cadillac's ever manufactured.
#7 Proton Packs
Some will probably be expecting me to criticize the smaller, more lightweight Proton Packs with the adorable love heart radiation stickers and how they are easier for the leading cast to carry. On the contrary, I think a smaller Proton Pack makes sense as technology gets smaller all the time. My criticism with the Proton Pack is the actual technology, or more correctly its power source. As mentioned in the original movie the packs were powered by nuclear particle accelerators, and the likelihood that post-9-11 America would allow four independent business people conduct their business in New York of all places with such technology is high unlikely. For a modern adaptation of Ghostbusters, be it a reboot or a sequel, the Proton Pack needs to be powered by an alternative power source, one capable of generating high amounts of energy, can be stored compactly and is environmentally friendly. But where to find such a fuel?
Everyone's favorite ghost has been spotted in the trailers for the new movie, adding weight to the rumors that this movie is in actuality a sequel and not a reboot. Yet it seems as though the character has once again been sidelined to little more than a cameo (was Slimer threatened with legal action too). Yet fans of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon and comic books will know that the characters true destiny is to live in the firehouse with the Ghostbusters. In the Real Ghostbusters Slimer was the outsider looking in and the comic relief, drawing parallels to how the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are frequently used in the Star Wars movies. Not using Slimer in a supporting role is a missed opportunity both in terms of his comedic potential and the dynamic he would add by being around the Ghostbusters. How many Ghostbuster fans would love to have seen a Ghostbusters 3 in which Slimer re-enacts the scene from the Real Ghostbusters by sliding down the firepole and planting a wet, slimy kiss on Annie Potts bewildered face?
#5 The Antagonist
Some news outlets have mistakenly identified the reboots final foe as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Unfortunately, the truth is perplexingly much worse. The chief antagonist for the reboot is a human character called Rowan (Neil Casey), a lonely man who develops a machine capable of attracting ghosts. During the course of the movie Rowan dies and manifests as a ghost with the ability to possess humans. It is Rowan that possesses Abby Yates before being forcefully expelled by the "power of Patty" and then possessing the body of Kevin, the Ghostbusters receptionist. Now with a suitable body Rowan activates his machine flooding the center of New York with thousands of ghosts. After using said ghosts to possess the US Army and the NYPD Rowan is forcefully expelled from Kevins body before requesting the Ghostbusters to choose the form of their destructor (despite just being a ghost and not an actual Sumerian god of destruction). Rowan then takes the form of the Ghost from the Ghostbusters logo after Patty thinks about the graffiti see remembers seeing in the Subway Tunnels. Rowan then takes this form adding sharp teeth and red bow tie for menacing effect.
#4 Visual Effects
The original movie used a wide range of visual effects techniques to realize the movies many paranormal antagonists. Popular ghost Slimer was realized using optical effects which made the class 5 full roaming vapor appear transparent. Another popular specter, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was realized using the same technique used in Eastern cinema for the Godzilla and other Kaiju movies in which a man in a suit is filmed among a scale miniature representation of their surroundings. Other ghouls such as the Terror Dogs were realized using traditional rubber latex suits. For Paul Feig's reboot, the director has adopted using a combination of CGI and filming actors with ultraviolet lighting. Unfortunately, the resulting look of the ghost effects in the reboot are overwhelmingly saturated, looking like the ghouls from a Scooby Doo movie, and seemingly only coming in two hues - green and blue.
#3 Sexism, Racism, and Favoritism
One would have thought that a movie that has stood firm in its support of feminism and repeatedly attacked anyone with an opinion against the movie as sexist would want to avoid triggering any more social commentary outcries. The criticism against the movies unimaginative and potentially racist casting of Leslie Jones in the only non-scientist of the group was made worse with the revelation from Feig that originally Jones was cast as Abby Yates, but the role was instead given to Feig's favorite Melissa McCarthy purely because McCarthy had already portrayed roles similar to that of Patty, relegating Jones to the role instead, despite the fact that Jones has also portrayed this archetype of character many, many times before. Worse still the movie seems to relish in this sea of racism around Jones with the character demanding to know whether it's a race thing or a woman thing when she isn't carried by the crowd at the rock concert.
Then came the revelation that Chris Hemsworth's character of receptionist Kevin is a character laden with sexist overtones both against women and against men, with the character contracted in the Ghostbusters employ purely because Kristen Wiig's character of Erin Gilbert finds him sexually attractive. The character then later suggests adding boobs to the ghost for the teams logo. Speaking of Kevin has anyone even noticed how he seems to be modeled after the look of director Feig (see comparison picture above).
#2 Fan Service
Let's face it, from director Paul Feig's first barrage of Tweets, this has almost been the reboots lowest point. Turning against the fans and derogatorily labeling them when you are rebooting a movie of which they are the fan base is commercial suicide. While general audiences may give a movie an initial boost on the opening few days at the box office it is the fan base of a franchise that will return for repeat viewings of a movie. But the majority of fans will not do this if the director and his leading cast repeatedly and offensively label the fans and blame them for negative opinion against the movie. No matter the franchise, fans will always have a strong opinion on their beloved franchise, and once attached to a franchise the fans love and adore it is a director's duty to at the very least listen to those fans and share their love of the franchise - this is why Deadpool was a success and why Ghostbusters will not be, because as a Ghostbusters fan I feel as though Paul Feig does not appreciate me, or my fellow Ghostbusters fans.
#1 Faux Feminism
The worst thing Paul Feig's reboot of Ghostbusters has done is to needlessly use the franchise as a platform for "Girl Power". Being neither true feminism nor female rights activism director Feig has used his cast and his crew to rally support for more women in the movie industry both behind and in front of the camera. Feig has used this faux feminism to market all of his previous movies (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy) to an audience of young women, moving away from the traditional romantic comedies and developing a form of lewd female orientated comedy, or the Hangover for women. None of this is a bad thing, but when the director became attached to Ghostbusters the target audience of his movies eliminates the majority of the target audience of the original movie and the majority of the established fan base, which has repeatedly proven by Feig and his cast with their derogatory calls against anyone who isn't female. While there are female fans of the Ghostbusters, the majority of fans are male, and in terms of general audiences most women prefer comedies, musicals' and horror, with science fiction being surprisingly liked by only a minority of women.
Ghostbusters (2016) July 15th, 2016
More about Ghostbusters (2016) (movie)
Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates are a pair of unheralded authors who write a book positing that ghosts are real. A few years later, Gilbert lands a prestigious teaching position at Columbia Uinversity, but her book resurfaces and she is laughed out of academia. Gilbert reunites with Yates and others when ghosts invade Manhattan and she and her team have to save the world.
Directed by Paul Feig, Ghostbusters (2016)'s release date is July 15th, 2016.
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