Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Movie Night - Ghostbusters: Calling all Ghost Girls!

OMG y'all! All the feels about this movie. I went into it dangerously hopeful, only barely girded against heartbreaking disappointment. I've been hurt by reboots and remakes before, but I just couldn't help myself. I needed this movie to be awesome.

And I gotta say is... bustin' makes me feel good!

Ghostbusters is everything I had hoped it would be, and more. I saw it last night and had to call my mama this morning and share my immense joy with her. You see, the 1984 Ghostbusters is one of those movies our family relies on. We've all watched it so many times we can pretty much turn the sound off and act out the lines ourselves. We saw it in the theater back in the day, taking my Granny with us, and laughed like we'd never laughed before. So, you know, I understand the hesitance from my fellow older geeks. There's a pretty high bar for this new version to clear.

You know what? These ladies did it. With some seriously badass style. Sitting in the theater when the theme music starter I turned into the standard issue squeeing fangirl. I'm not even sure it was a silent squee. And, to be honest, that feeling hasn't worn off yet.

There are so many things about this film I absolutely love. Way too many to share in a spoiler-free blog post. But here are a couple to help sell you on seeing this at the theater if you can.

So much awesome, silly fun!
Here's where I admit that while I was squeeing like an eight year old, I was aware that there was going to be some humor aimed at eight year olds that might be a bit juvenile for my tastes -- fart jokes just aren't my thing. But laughing at someone else being annoyed by a fart joke? Yeah... that's funny. And a DeBarge pun? Yeah. That's definitely for me.

But the best? When I felt myself identifying a bit too much with the stick-in-the-mud straight-laced no-fun nerd, and then she gets her comeuppance -- complete with a full-body sliming. Yeah. I actually laughed so much and so hard at that my husband had to check that I was OK.

And, refreshingly, there are no laughs at the expense of someone else. It's all good-natured fun.

Seriously kickass women!
I came into the theater already in love with Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. I haven't seen much by Leslie Jones that I loved, but I was willing to give her a chance. And, honestly, I didn't know who the fourth woman was. Kate McKinnon? Never heard of her.

Kristin Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, a tenure-track particle physicist trying to hide from her past paranormal obsession. She's smart. She's grounded. She's... boring. She's basically the anti-Ghostbuster. She's the foil to Melissa McCarthy's Abby Yates, the goofy and a bit reckless partner in paranormal studies she left behind.

Abby's new partner is Jillian Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon. Holtzmann is a nuclear engineer turn munitions expert, and a serious oddball. I want to see the movie again just to watch her and try to absorb her epic-level eccentricity. Seriously, she pretty much steals every scene she's in.

And finally, we meet Patty Tolan, MTA operator and hobby historian played by Leslie Jones, when she sees a ghost in the subway and, like a true kickass smartie pants, she pretty much announces she's joining the team because she knows they clearly need her. So badass.

Together, they're a force to be reckoned with. Just kidding. The main premise of the film is that they have to prove themselves over and over again. Which they do, with ease. Because they're just that awesome.

All the fan service!
All your faves from the original movie are back in one way or another. And, frankly, I don't care if some critics claim the cameos feel stiff or forced. That's what cameos always feel like. You can't tell me that the endless scenes of Stan Lee pretending to be a shop owner or a hot dog vendor or whatever don't feel staged. They do and we don't care, because it's still fun to see what kind of clever get-up they made for him this time. And it'll always be fun, right?

We cheered for every single cameo and, to be honest, when we heard Annie Potts' voice before we saw her, my bestie and I turned to each other and squeed out loud. And we weren't the only ones in the theater squeeing.

And, in the truest form of gratuitous titillation fan service, we get Chris Hemsworth as no-last-name Kevin, the eye-candy receptionist, giving the lie to the whole concept of reverse sexism.

There's even a scene where they see a video of one of their early ghostbusting escapades and Abby has to remind Erin not to read the comments on YouTube, poking fun at all the dude-bros spewing their own version of slime all over the Internet. It was wonderfully cathartic to laugh at that along with everyone else in the theater.

A wonderful tribute to supportive, female friendship.
I didn't really expect a great story in addition to the fun action, so when the lights finally came up, I was surprised that I was kinda teary. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but let's just say it's important that we continue to show films that celebrate awesome women who work together and cherish their female relationships, support each other and, in the process, go out and bust some serious ghost ass.

If you have any doubts, set them aside and go see Ghostbusters in the theater if you can. It's the best of both worlds: a wonderful tribute to the original and an awesome new take that stands on its own.

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