Friday, July 29, 2016


The Ghostbusters are in the news these days, what with a rebooted version of the property garnering controversy from fans of the original 1984 motion picture. Looking at it from the outside, I can both understand the reactions and yet also find it all rather meaningless.

I didn't grow up with the Ghostbusters film, which is likely what sets me apart from my peers who are upset by the new film. I didn't see the film when it was new. I did grow up with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon program but the film - well, I recall seeing the beginning on television once (Calgary 2&7?), but I despite liking the contemporaneous cartoon, I didn't like what I saw, primarily because I couldn't stand Bill Murray - he was a jerk.

In college I came across the closing minutes of the film but nothing about them encouraged me to seek out the film in full. It was some 20 years after the film's first release that I finally saw it, and only then because my friends Alex & Craig made me watch it (the same Alex & Craig who made me watch The Phantom Menace). They also showed me Ghostbusters II around that time and there's probably no better way to elaborate on my disinterest in the Ghostbusters than to say I thought those two films were of comparable quality.

Some films have more difficult hurdles to cross than others simply because of their genre; there is no single horror film which every viewer possible would find scary; no adventure film which every audience would consider thrilling; and no comedy which is universally funny. Ghostbusters is fine. It's okay. Thus, it's odd for me when people whose opinions I often agree with call it "a perfect film" with no sarcasm intended. Really? That movie?

But as the film is currently available on Netflix I thought I should watch it again. This second full viewing did at least help me enjoy it more - I found funny dialogue I didn't recall from the first viewing. It's a better film than I remembered, but I still can't fathom the deep love I see professed for it. Is it simply other people's nostalgia is blinding them? Or is the film's comedy simply too subjective? I can at least say now that while Bill Murray is my least-favourite character in the film (a problem, as he's the lead) I can paradoxically confess he's also the funniest.

And where does the new film fit in? Absolutely nowhere; I find the promotional material deeply unfunny and while you can still appreciate things about horror films which aren't scary or adventure films which aren't thrilling, if you don't think you'll find a comedy film funny - why on Earth would you subject yourself to it?

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