Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Don't Bothering Calling

It's been so long that I barely remember whether or not I liked the original "Ghostbusters."   I know I only saw it once.   I guess that means my feelings toward it were largely ambivalent.

But, I'm certainly not sitting on the fence about the 2016 reboot.   Yep, I hated it.   Because when you pay $15 for a night out at the cinema, you want to see something a little bit more than a SNL sketch with lots and lots and lots of computer graphics.   But, then again, this whole thing might be produced by Lorne Michaels.

Original Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd is listed as producer.  The cast includes such SNL stalwarts as Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Cecily Strong.   Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson are back with cameos.   So is the catchy hit title song.   I mean, what could go wrong?

Sharpen your pencil.   We're going to make a list.

First off, the comedy in the new "Ghostbusters" is pretty much third-grade level.   Plus the story attached to it all is unintelligible.   Once again, there are slime-spitting ghosts loose all over New York City.   And an all-girl team of busters are on the case.   They go here.  They zap some ghosts.   They go there.   They zap some ghosts.  That is pretty much all there is for a plot.

Meanwhile, there may or may not have been some time travel in this movie. For a minute, it appears we're back at a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade circa 1930.   Then, throughout the climax in Times Square, check out the movies playing at the local theater.

"Fists of Fury" with Bruce Lee.


Even the 60s Broadway stage hit "Beyond the Fringe."   

You'll certainly be scratching your head as much as I did.   I asked my theater companion what if my snores had disturbed her.  Surely, I must have missed about ten or twenty minutes of plot.  Or maybe a 60s and 70s Times Square matte painting was all the producers had for a green screen.

The performances are not much better.   Wiig is surprisingly subdued, but the reliably annoying Melissa McCarthy is pretty much her usual one-note self, although we are thankful that she was kept on a "F bomb" ration in this one.   Meanwhile, Kate McKinnon walks through the whole film, either intentionally or unintentionally doing her Hillary Clinton impersonation.   Surely, McKinnon can do something else.   Right?  Right??  Right???

As I said, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson show up to help us remember there were original Ghostbusters.  Oh, look, there's Sigourney Weaver for ten seconds.  Indeed, the lucky one might be Harold Ramis, who was spared the injustice of participation because...well...he died.

And then there's Leslie Jones from SNL.   You may know that she's gotten a lot of flack on Twitter for some of her outlandish and racist remarks.   Well, she doesn't deserve that kind of treatment.  But her performance here is nothing short of a Buckwheat or Farina turn from the old Little Rascals.  Next time she or anybody else complains about the lack of diversity in films, we need to remind them all of Miss Jones' acting choices in this movie.   Shame, shame, shame on you, Leslie.   And anybody else who essayed up a character that takes us back to the days of Stepin Fetchit.

So, you see, there is absolutely nothing worthwhile in this reboot of "Ghostbusters" except, of course, if the outside temperature is 100 and your air conditioner at home is broken.   But, even then, you might be better off sweating it out in your living room.

LEN'S RATING:  One-half star.

Dinner last night:  Grilled steak salad.

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