Ghostbusters 1984/2016 Combo Review

Before I get into my thoughts on both of these films, let’s go over the other classics I had the luck of getting to see for the first time in theaters. The first was a few years ago when Jurassic Park was rereleased in IMAX 3D for its 20th anniversary. My dad and I went to see it the first day it was put back in theaters and I loved it. The effects still hold up for the most part, it had god acting and a great sense of scale. And it had uh… the uh… charm uh… of uh… Jeff uh… Goldblum.
The second was this past October 21st when my local AMC was showing all 3 Back to the Future movies back to back. I only got to watch the first 2 but I was able to watch the 3rd film the next day at home. Anyway, it was the same result. I loved them. Even if the sequels weren’t quite as good as the first, all 3 were fun and entertaining films with great performances and comedy. The first film is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
While I love both for different reasons, both share a common factor. Before I went into them, I constantly heard people praising the movies as great movies and beloved classics. And when I left the theater after watching them, they lived up to the hype and I completely understood why people loved them. So I expected the same thing when I went into the original Ghostbusters and… (Groans) My word I’m gonna get so much hate for this.
Look, I’m just gonna say it. The new Ghostbusters film which I just saw is superior to the original. I’m sorry but I walked out of the original movie saying to myself “Really? This is considered a comedy classic? This is considered a classic in general?” While I didn’t hate the original movie, for most of the movie, I was just bored and leaning my head against my fist.
I’ll go more into story comparisons and why I consider the new film better later on, but first I need to acknowledge something that makes absolutely no sense. One of the praises I’ve constantly seen people give about the original is “The effects in the original still hold up.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhckuhUxcgA . The effects in the original are laughably bad. In fact, the effects were the part of the movie that made me laugh the hardest. I know you’re probably thinking that statement means my next point will be about the comedy, but I want to save that for the end of the review. You’ll see why when I get to it. Anyway, I think it goes without saying that the effects in the new film are far superior. And before anyone starts complaining about the massive use of CGI, I’ll spare you my rant about why using CG doesn’t and shouldn’t count as a legitimate criticism, but I would like to inform you that director Paul Fieg has said that during filming, some of the actors that played ghosts wore light suits and then additional effects were added in post-production. But I digress.
I also have to talk about the action. In the original, all the characters did was point their particle beam things at ghost and shake a little. (Snores) With the new movie, there is actual action. The final battle sequence of the new film is freakin’ Awesome. It’s partially do to the fact that in this one, the characters have more than just the particle beam weapons. They have a variety of weapons during the final battle that they use along with the particle beams and in really creative ways, especially one in particular moment with Kate McKinnon’s character, who by the way, was probably the best part of the movie. Also, if you can, see it in 3D. It is so worth it.
That leads into my next point/comparison which is the cast. One of my big complaints with the original film is the cast. Apart from Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver, no one in that movie looked like they were trying and they just looked bored. The main characters have no chemistry whatsoever. I didn’t buy that these guys were friends at all and they never looked like they were having fun. Not to mention, I seriously mix up their names sometimes. Also, I know I said I thought Ernie Hudson was the only one trying, but what was the point of his character? He’s just kind of there. In fact, I think his character is the definition of a token black guy. To me, that’s the main thing that makes me hold the new film above the original is the new cast. They actually look like they’re trying and they’re having fun. They’re characters are just more interesting and I buy the friendship that forms and/or is established between them. I got way more invested in their stories than I did in the stories of the characters in the original. I really enjoyed the rekindling of Abby (Melissa Mccarthy) and Erin’s (Kristen Wiig) friendship. I enjoyed
Look, is the new movie perfect? No. It’s far from perfect. It gets kind of slow at times, there are some pacing issues and some of the comedy feels a little awkward, particularly with Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). But most of all, the villain is useless. I didn’t find him threatening or interesting and I can think of several different ways they could have done to make a better villain. But that’s it. Everything else I enjoyed for the most part. There were some times where I was really creeped out. The opening scene of the new movie is fantastic in terms of scares. Nothing in the original scared me or even slightly startled me. None of the comedy was making laugh to the point where I needed a second to catch my breath if you know what I mean, but I did genuinely laugh at a lot of things.
Okay, I’m gonna give my scores now because there are a couple things I wanna talk about that I don’t know how to transition from them to the scores. Also, I tried watching Ghostbusters II but I couldn’t get into it. Though given what I’ve heard about it, I don’t think people will care. Ghostbusters (1984) gets 2 out of 5 Proton Packs (I’ll get to a summary in a second). Ghostbusters (2016) gets 4 out of 5 Proton Packs. It has its flaws but I really enjoyed it and I’d love to see a sequel just to see another movie with these characters.
Now here’s the point I wanted to make about the comedy. As I said, the only thing in the original movie that made me laugh hard was dated special effects. But here’s the thing. When I went to see the original last month, the theater was maybe a third or half full. Throughout the film, like with me, only a few jokes made people laugh. As I said, I personally don’t understand why it’s considered a comedy classic. But if so many people consider it a great comedy, why didn’t I hear constant loud laughter? And just to be clear, I could tell that the majority of people at that screening were fans.
And speaking of which, something else happened that concerned me. At the screening there was this little girl, she was maybe 11 or 12 years old, with her dad sitting a few seats to my right. I can’t remember at what point in the movie it was, but there was a point where most of the audience laughed at a joke. But it took a second or two for her to laugh. Now, it’s perfectly possible that it just took her an extra second to get whatever the joke was, but out of some weird instinct, I turned to see her reaction and she appeared to be looking at her dad when she laughed and her laugh didn’t sound genuine. The look on her face looked like she was saying “No, it’s okay dad. I’m enjoying it. Don’t worry. I like it.” but she was actually thinking “Well I didn’t think it was that funny but this is one of Dad’s favorite movies and I don’t want him to think I don’t like it.” I realize how sad that sounds but it’s what came to mind and it was hard not to be reminded about all the online hate toward this movie and anyone who has a positive reaction toward this new movie and/or a negative opinion toward the original or even vice versa. Yeah, people are getting mad about positive reactions to the new movie. It’s ridiculous what has spawned from all this controversy. And the worst of it happened recently. Leslie Jones, who played Tammy in the new movie, has been harassed so much with racist and sexist comments that she decided to disable her Twitter account. If you love the original, that’s fine. If you have seen the new film and have legitimate criticisms toward it, that’s fine. But nothing warrants what Leslie has been dealt from these internet trolls. Anyway, I know a lot of people have already talked about that and I realize this is probably my longest review ever, but I felt I needed to talk about it in order to show my support. #LoveforLeslieJ

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