drwex (drwex) wrote,

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We saw Ghostbusters even though we didn't mean to

We had Thing 1 home for a couple days and though he doesn't like most movies he was eager to see Star Trek with us. So we got tickets for the three of us. But when we got to the theater they regretfully informed us that their projector was on the fritz. They refunded our card for the Trek tickets and offered us comps as well. We looked at the board and decided to exchange the comps for tix to the Ghostbusters showing in half an hour. It took some cajoling to get Thing 1 to go and, like all the kids in the theater, he'd not seen the original so missed the nods and homages. But he still enjoyed himself, as did we. I give this a 3.5/5 - fun entertainment but not nearly as memorable or quotable as the original. Definitely stay all the way through the credits, though.

***Important Safety Tip*** the couple in line behind us for not-getting-into-Trek bought their tickets through Fandango and there was some issue where the manager was expressing regrets about not being able to refund them. I didn't eavesdrop long enough to hear the details but if you're someone who uses these third-party ticket services you might want to check if there are limitations on your ability to get a refund.

I had a lot of trepidation at seeing this movie in part because I don't like what Hollywood has done with female comedy movies as a rule. I'm pleased there were no fat/weight jokes and they also seemed to steer pretty well clear of cringe-worthy racial moments.

The script (a) makes no sense, but you don't expect it to - it's ghost-hunting Boston New York so it's absurd and farce anyway. And (b) is somewhat hampered by being a remake in which certain tropes are fixed and you have to do certain things certain ways. You know there's going to be a firehouse, and a hearse, and slime, and a giant swirly green thing, and a huge stay-puft thing because those appeared in the original. The movie makes a valiant effort to update its environs - clearly they did some kind of deal with YouTube - but it still feels somewhat dated.

All of the main characters do a good job with their roles. I'm indebted to sovay for pointing out what should have been obvious to me - Kate McKinnon (Holtzmann) is significantly basing her humor off Harpo Marx. The lunatic nature, the clothing, the frenetic movement, the intrusion into other characters' physical space - all are classic Harpo moves. It helps that she's not entirely silent as Harpo was, because her speeches really outline the unique lunacy of this character. But that's the core of the character.

Then there's Chris Hemsworth, who gives a good impression of an actor having a great deal of fun mocking a bundle of sterotypes oh and incidentally playing a part the movie. I'd love to know how much of his stuff was scripted and how much was ad-libbed because SOMEONE deserves proper credit for the over-the-top parody.

Unfortunately, the fact that I'm most inclined to talk about those two is part of the movie's problem. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy both turn in decent performances (and bonus points for the MIT sweatshirt cameo) but they're just kind of ... there. Neither one has the screen presence of a Bill Murry or Dan Aykroyd and when they're not sharing screen time with McKinnon and/or Hemsworth they're being pushed from one action sequence to the next. It's never bad, but as I mentioned above it never rises to the level of really memorable.

The SFX were OK, the pacing was tolerable, the horror was kept entirely PG, and playing spot-the-cameo was fun.
Tags: movie, review
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