2016-07-15 - It Works On My Computer

It Works On My Computer

Stalk The Comic:

July 15, 2016 - News Post

I saw Louis CK perform live last night. Pretty damn good stuff. That guy should seriously consider a career in comedy.

I've only seen his specials in the past, it was fascinating to watch something ever so slightly less polished presented to the audience here in Nashville.

If you have a chance, DEFINITELY rent a time machine, come to Nashville, and go to the live performance last night. You won't be disappointed.

Speaking of non-disappointments, I also saw Ghostbusters. It's not awful.

I can't decide if I'm so in love with the concept of Ghostbusters that it's blinded my opinion on this movie. My inner nerd has been burned before with the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings prequels. I did my best to shut my brain down and watch the movie with a fresh perspective. Here are a few spoiler-free thoughts on the new movie:

Was this new movie as good as the first? No. Nothing is. Seriously, the 1984 film is perfect in nearly every way, and my favorite movie of all time. Was it better than Ghostbusters 2? I've stepped in dog poop and had a better experience than watching Ghostbusters 2.

This new movie has a very different style of humor. The original was a horror/action movie that happened to be dry, sarcastic, smart, and funny. This one was a comedy that was silly, absurd, dumb, and funny.

I loved the casting of the busters themselves, I laughed often enough, the ghosts looked cool in 3D-- I have a few minor complaints, but I may still be comparing this movie to the greatness of the original (a greatness that was unrepeatable even by the original cast).

Was this movie necessary? Nope. Was it distracting to recognize EVERY SINGLE speaking actor in the entire film? A little bit. But it's still an enjoyable couple hours.

Watch it at some point. If Ghostbusters 2 didn't kill your love of the original, this won't either.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go replay the 2009 Ghostbuster video game.

2016-07-18 Edit:

I wrote the above late at night after watching Ghostbusters, but I've had a little more time to let my brain stew on this. Upon further reflection, but I don't think I had fully considered the film's many comedic failures.

I didn't despise it, but I'm liking it less and less the more I think about it.

First, the good stuff: I laughed a few times, it was fun to revisit that universe, and I liked the slow buildup of the development of Ghostbusters equipment. From the trailer, I was deeply concerned that Leslie Jones would just be a borderline racist portrayal of a "sassy ethnic character", but she was the best part of the whole film. She stole the show, had the greatest delivery, and somehow managed to be the only one who behaved like an actual human being. I wish the whole film was about her.

With that being said, the film felt a little bland and overbearing with the silliness. I tried very hard to not compare it to the original, but the constant, “hey, remember this?” moments made me feel like I was watching an episode of Family Guy. I miss the intelligence of the original, and I think a lot of the jokes fell flat.

At its worst moments, Ghostbusters reminded me of a fan-made movie, written by someone who had never heard the phrase "show, don't tell". I appreciate the fact that everyone was improvising and having a hilarious time making the film, but they needed to keep the context of the characters and the movie as a whole in mind. It was 20 minutes worth of plot padded into 2 hours, and the ghosts were less "Poltergeist" and more "Scooby Doo 2".

I could go on, but you get the point. I didn't have a bad time and it's easy to criticize, but after decades of waiting for a worthy follow-up to the Ghostbusters franchise, we were given a largely forgettable generic comedy. I had hoped for more. If you're going to see it, don't set those hopes too high.

-Jeff