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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What's So Bad About Ghostbusters 2?


So what was so wrong about Ghostbusters 2? I don't get it. It's pretty surprising to have a fandom based on only two movies, but to have one of those movies actively disliked? That's an entire half of the canon you're leaving out.

If you can't already tell, I liked it. I was eight years old when it came out and the first thing I did when I got home was make a crayon/stapled book of the movie. Of course, I wasn't prone to deep critical analysis back then. And why should I be? No movie is without sin. And if you like something, no one should be able to tell you that you're dumb or stupid for liking it. No matter what it is. I like Disney Princesses more than my own daughters. I asked for Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel figures for Disney Infinity for Christmas, because I wanted to watch them kick some ass on the screen.

Of course, I don't know when they became the Three Stooges, but...


But I digress. Sure, Ghostbusters 2 may be a little samey, but what of it? It's a formula that worked, so why not try and follow it again. And honestly, it's not like they hit the same notes beat for beat. That's what Ghostbusters 2016 did wrong. They didn't need to re-establish everything. They didn't need to rebuy the firehouse or rehash the Venkman/Dana awkward flirting. It's a "getting the band back together" story.

The effects are still great. The characters are still great -- not one of them phones in a performance and they still sing to the audience. There are new characters and those lead to new relationships. There's a baby we need to look out for now AND Dana is a single mother (which was a big deal in 1989 [see Murphy Brown]). The "slime" has gotten a bigger spotlight. The bad guy has more of a backstory/role than being some macguffin. And he has a henchman, not a weirdo Rick Moranis. Who by the way IS back, and has gotten a makeover, along with Janine.

And got BIZZ-ZAY


And the most important thing: it stays true to the spirit of the material without repeating the same thing over again. That's the problem with Superman movies, 1980's CG cartoon nostalgia cash-ins like "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "The Smurfs". Even Goat-boy is retching by now. I can't wait until there's an Alf movie. And then there's Austin Powers, Scream, Saw, Grease, Jaws, Jurassic Park that saw their continuations met with diminishing returns. Why? Because they didn't change enough. But Ghostbusters 2 maintains the comedy + horror vibe that made the first one so great. Mixing genres is a surefire way to my heart, even if it is the same movie.


And do I think it's the same movie? Well, I might have nostalgia goggles on, but no. It follows the same rises and falls in action that the first one did (The Scoleri Brothers instead of Slimer, giant Statue of Liberty instead of Marshmallow Man), but the motivations and plot events are totally different. And that's all right in my book.

And this game was way way WAY too hard
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