It’s official, the new Ghostbusters film is the worst thing ever in the history of everything… according to the internet. As of this writing, no one has actually SEEN the film, no advanced screening for critics has lead to the circulation of poor reviews, and no star has walked off the set in protest bringing us tales of incompetence and studio meddling. Vocal, millennial nerds have not let those minor details stop them from asserting the film’s worthlessness. So what’s going on?
The latest Ghostbusters film has a long, sordid production history that I won’t get into. The TL;DR version: The new Ghostbusters film is when every nostalgia-pandering, childhood-obsessed, millennial adult decided that RIGHT NOW is the moment when they no longer support remakes/reboots/sequels. Never mind a decade of horror remakes ( Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Fog, Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, etc.), blatant nostalgia-pandering reboots (TMNT, Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars, Mad Max) and rebooted comic book franchises ( Incredible Hulk, SpiderMan, X-Men). Forget ALL of those. GHOSTBUSTERS is where we drew the line.
You’re ALL so full of shit that it’s coming out of your ears.
Let’s unpack this latest episode of collectivist meta-contrarianism, shall we? Buckle up… there’s a lot of ground to cover…
1. It’s a fucking TRAILER
There is a universal truth: Trailers are shitty. A good trailer is the exception to the rule, not the rule. It’s rare. The reason is simple: Trailers are outsourced to smaller production houses who work directly with the marketing team, NOT the filmmakers (which probably explains the confusing “30 Years Ago” nonsense). What you see, how it’s paced, and the music used are based on ridiculous marketing metrics intended to net the broadest audience. In doing so, trailers tend to alienate the core audience.
Movie trailers present a familiar, yet homogenous experience. It’s meant to remind you of that other summer blockbuster/fall genre picture/winter Oscar contender that you liked from LAST year. It’s bad, but it’s so overwhelmingly-common that YOU look stupid for just noticing it after 15 years of the SAME marketing tactics.
Also, since when is a trailer an indicator of quality? The Force Awakens had a great trailer. The movie was… just okay. Tron: Legacy had a great trailer, again, mediocre result.
2. Most HATED? Really?!
As you may be well aware, the first Ghostbusters trailer has the dubious honor of being the most disliked video on YouTube. Again, it’s a lackluster trailer worthy of mockery, but the MOST disliked? I’m sorry, but PIXELS anyone?!? There’s NO fucking way this movie is worse than Pixels . Kate McKinnon could improvise the entire film with sock puppets and a cell phone camera, while sitting on a toilet, BY HERSELF, and it would be better than Pixels . Be honest, you only clicked dislike because you can’t think for yourself which brings me to…
3. Collectivist HateMongering
I’ll carve out exceptions for people who are truly tired of this nostalgia-pandering and for people who just don’t care for the genre but I’d wager that those people aren’t the most vocal. If something isn’t your thing, it isn’t your thing. You don’t go out of the way to express your disappointment. I don’t care for the Fast And Furious movies. Nothing in the trailers appeals to me. Even the positive critical reception the latter films received hasn’t swayed me to watch. That being said, I don’t thumbs-down the YouTube trailers, bitch about “SJW pandering” over the diversity of the cast, and engage in half-assed “protests” by threatening to boycott. I just move on. In fact, most people do that.
Ghostbusters should be the same. Not your bag? No big deal. Watch something else.
But the internet is a place where people who were never exceptional or particularly popular (or even likeable) cling to whatever is trending to validate their miserable lives. Right now, it’s hip to hate on the Ghostbusters trailer and speculate about how shitty the film is… so everyone is doing it.
Your “outrage” is a product of group-think. If it weren’t you’d move on but stoking the vitriol of the group results in more social media traction so you hand-wring about it endlessly.
James Rolfe, the “Angry Video Game Nerd,” has decided to make some sort of asinine statement by vowing NOT to watch the film. This hurts to say because I’m a fan. I’ve been a fan since 2007, but I smell hypocrisy.
First of all, James, it’s YOUR JOB to review shitty things. Not just games, but movies. If there’s an appeal to your childhood nostalgia, even better. If it’s SHIT, even better. YOU built an entire brand on being “angry” over shitty things from your childhood. Ghostbusters has given us enough reason to believe that it is ALL of those things. But no…this year you’re the Sanctimonious Video Game Nerd?
I speak for everyone else (including people who probably agree with your position) that we’d all LOVE the chance to do YOUR JOB for a living, watch movies, play video games, and upload our thoughts to YouTube — even if those thoughts are no more complex than “puke-covered shit, vomited from a dinosaur’s ass”… or whatever.
Most hypocritical, I watched the latest AVGN episode (Megaman, Episode # 139) where your character arc revealed that no matter how bad the gaming experience, having an audience is a privilege, and being the nerd is a blessing, not a curse.
Was that all bullshit? Of course it was. The nerd character is pushing 10 years and the millennial nostalgia boom is reaching its apex. YouTube has been flooded with millennial nostalgia channels and now you feel you need to give the nerd a dramatic arc to stand out against your imitators. I get it, but when “James” opens his mouth and contradicts the “Nerd,” you just seem inconsistent at best, petulant at worst.
Ghostbusters is tailor-fucking-made for your insight and (if necessary) ANGER. Do your job.
5. Max Landis is (mostly) Right
Max Landis recently appeared on Kinda Funny’s YouTube channel to discuss his reaction to the (first) Ghostbusters trailer and offered some informed criticism. To paraphrase, great genre-bending films pay respect to the genre. His most relevant example, Bridesmaids, presented itself as the prototypical “Rom-Com” mimicking not just the format but the filmmaking techniques associated with the genre. Of course Bridesmaids was anything BUT a typical rom-com yet it managed to net both the rom-com crowd AND the R-rated “late night” audiences.
When the filmmakers don’t care for the genre, it shows. The cinematography, lighting, editing, and direction all play like Hollywood’s elite just showing up to set, turning on all the lights, and having a 16hour improv session while pretending to give a shit about sci-fi.
Your average audience member may not be intimately familiar with these filmmaking techniques but they can absolutely FEEL when something is amiss.
The Ghostbusters trailer has enough moments that seem to follow that flatly-lit, static by-the-numbers, Adam McKay sort of topical comedy.
However, as of yet, Landis is the ONLY person I’ve seen dissecting the filmmaking techniques. A portion of the audience seems fixated on…
This one is unavoidable but the man-babies who threatened to boycott Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars The Force Awakens still hate the idea of women doing anything other than looking pretty and being menaced.
First of all, I’ve already listed a number of exceptions so if those exceptions apply to you, you are NOT sexist. Chill out. This part is NOT about you.
A LOT of the people swelling with rage, CAPS lock forever broken, lambasting the comments sections of YouTube with words like “PANDER” and “SJW” are absolutely sexist shit-stains. It’s a clear sign of a guilty conscience if I’ve ever seen one. If you think that the ONLY reason to tell the story of a woman (or women) is to “pander” to a demographic, you’re sexist.
Get used to hearing that.
Here’s a futile attempt to get you to consider WHY some women MIGHT be excited to see this cast: Women are underrepresented in Hollywood, STEM fields, and in government.
So here’s a movie from Hollywood , about women scientists , and if it’s anything like the original, they’ll clash with a government agency. It’s a trifecta of women’s issues. Is that not worth supporting? Your support doesn’t have to come in the form of blindly saying that the film MUST be great but in just giving the damn thing the SAME benefit of the doubt that ANY OTHER FILM would receive: You haven’t seen it. No one has. Form your opinion based on the film’s content not its shitty marketing, not on the idea that there’s a magic combination of men-to-women that would make it okay.
7. Grow the fuck up
The millennial influence in popular culture is in full effect right now. The boomers are aging-out and most of the Xer’s have better shit to do than watching big screen retreads of their little brothers’ and sisters’ favorite movies. It’s all on us now. Yeah sure, Nintendo, VHS tapes, vinyl records, Saturday morning cartoons, and Surge are all great, but this is how young people transform into old curmudgeons. One day it’s “Hey, remember Salute Your Shorts?” Then it’s “I miss MTV” and then, before you know it, you’re complaining about how all music, TV, and movies suck. “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
Then you’re dead (the thing you are on the inside already).
Ghostbusters exists because YOU wanted it. Protest that reality all you want. Complain that Ghostbusters is sacred ( Ghostbusters 2 proves it is NOT) and say that you NEVER wanted another Ghostbusters film let alone a reboot, but here’s the thing: If you’ve participated in this nostalgia pandering for the past decade then YOU caused this. Millennials are the ones bitching, but millennials are the ones watching. You think the baby boomers are going out en masse to support the Marvel universe? Who’s buying reissued Kenner toys? Who’s restoring old cartridge-based video games? Who’s going to see Transformers in SPITE of the poor quality?
Ghostbusters is the line you draw in the sand?! You sound like a big, fat hypocrite. When that first tire-fire of a Transformers movie came out maybe you should’ve drawn the line then instead of justifying why it “Wasn’t as bad as I thought.”
The fucking car has crashed, burned, and your family is dead. Too late to put on the seat belt now.
Look, Ghostbusters MIGHT suck. There’s certainly enough to give even the most diehard fan pause but ALLOW it to suck… or succeed. Who knows? Joining the anti-Ghostbusters bandwagon after a DECADE + of virtually ensuring its creation with your obsessiveness, is, as James Rolfe would say, “A shit-load of fuck.”
Disagree? Prove my point in the comments below.
by Samuel David Farmer