Ghostbusters, now that I’ve seen it


It will probably comes as no surprise to most of you when I say liked it. I grinbed and laughed along with it until the climax.

Then it went all CGI actiony for about 10 minutes. Some reviewers hated this,  but I found it strangely satisfying to watch comic actors kicking ghost butt in HD CG glory…it was a bit like watching Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan fight, but without the martial arts (obviously).

After the brief actuon interlude, it got funny again, ending with the best and most fun end credits I think I’ve ever seen.  

Now, a couple of thoughts about the film.

This is the second movie I’ve seen recently that had a young,  entitled white man with a grievance as it’s primary villain (The Force Awakens being the other), and I have to say or makes a nice change. Kylo Ren and Rowan aren’t villains I’ve seen a million times in movies,  though apparently their personality types are common (and toxic) enough in the real world. 

The Mary Sue has a great article about the politics of Ghostbusters, comparing it to its predecessor. I pretty much agree with it,  so I will just direct you to it faster than rehash it. 

I remember grinning through almost the entire film,  absolutely loving the cast and characters (especially Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzman, whose cocky mad scientist would actually make an awesome 13th Doctor).

Apparently I’m not the only Holtzman fan. Style Thief actually published a how to dreas like Jillian Holtzman article, and it started with “give absolutely no f@#k$”.

So,  thumbs up,  and I’ll gladly watch it again.

Who Ya Gonna Call? Updating White Male “Franchises,” Part 1


A new Ghostbusters film opens today, and the reviews are pretty good over on Rotten Tomatoes, which only accepts reviews from people who have seen the movie.

As of yesterday, when it wasn’t available to see (aside from advance viewings for critics), it had thousands of 1 star reviews on IMDB from nerd-ragers who swore that it “ruined my childhood” … without ever seeing it …

How did it ruin their childhood? Well, the Ghostbusters are women this time around. They didn’t even re-gender the old characters. It’s just a reboot, with the same concept and general look/ideas/proton packs, with women as the ghostbusters.

I wish I could make money by bottling neckbeard bile and tears. I’d make a mint right about now.

I could bathe in it, but I’d end up dirtier than when I started. But seriously, I’m eating this up. The same whiners who tried to organize a boycott of The Force Awakens are pounding their keyboards about Ghostbusters for a few months, before they go back to slandering and death-threating Anita Sarkeesian.

But their man-child whining is all in vain. Their rage, though amplified by their keyboards, is impotent. The balance is already tipping. Ghostbusters is one more major property pushing it over the edge.

Why does this all matter? Representation.

People who aren’t white men need to see themselves in a wide variety of roles, roles with agency, roles that make things happen. Kids especially need to see people who look like them in a wide variety of non-stereotypical roles.

And they need to see them in major pop cultural properties, big ones like Star Wars, Ghostbusters, James Bond, and the various comic book movies, not just relegated to “chick flicks” or “the black sitcom.”

Oh, yeah, there’s one more reason I’d like to see more diversity in traditionally white franchises, and it’s totally selfish:

I’ve seen and read enough stories about able-bodied white male (usually violent) “heroes” to last me ten lifetimes. I’m bored. I need something fresh!

So if your Netflix list or DVR is haunted by the ghost of a monochromatic male franchise, who you gonna call?

(Yeah, I stuck with the original theme song. I tried, but I really can’t get behind the Fall Out Boy version).