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Ghostbusters (2016)

Josh Reviews the Extended Version of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters

October 21st, 2016
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One of the many great things that started to happen with the success of DVDs in the aughts was the proliferation of extended cuts of movies.  I always enjoy checking out an extended cut of a film.  I always find it to be an interesting exploration of an alternate version of a film.  Sometimes, an extended version results in a hugely different film.  Sometimes the changes are significant, and sometimes they are very insignificant.  Sometimes a good film can be made great, or a great film can be made even better.  And sometimes the extended version is dramatically inferior to the original version.  I recently wrote about the extended version of Batman v. Superman, which made a watchable movie (albeit still not a great one) out of the disastrous theatrical version.  I also recently wrote about the extended edition of Ridley Scott’s The Martian.  I adored the theatrical version, and I didn’t think that the minor additions inserted into the slightly-longer extended version made much difference to the film.

Melissa McCarthy;Kristen Wiig;Kate McKinnon;Leslie Jones;Chris Hemsworth

I was intrigued to learn that an extended edition of Paul Feig’s recent reboot of Ghostbusters was being released to DVD & blu-ray.  I enjoyed Mr. Feig’s Ghostbusters, though in my review I commented that often the editing of the film seemed choppy, as if the film had been pared down from a much-longer version.  Would the extended edition address those concerns?  Would it improve the film?  Or would the result be an overly-long, bogged-down version?

Well, somewhere in between.  Ultimately I feel about this extended version of Ghostbusters pretty much the same way I did about the extended version of The Martian.  The additions are good but not essential.  The longer cut is not significantly better than the theatrical cut, but it works and certainly doesn’t do any harm to the film.

There’s no question that the best thing about this new extended edition is that the editing feels smoother and less choppy than the theatrical cut.  There’s a more natural cutting back-and-forth between the characters and story-lines in this longer version.  We get to see more of Rowan, in his human form, before he comes face-to-face with the Ghostbusters, which helps establish his character as the villain.  One of my complaints about the film, originally, is that because the villain exists in three different forms — as the nebbishy Rowan, as the mind-controlled Kevin, and finally as the giant Ghostbusters logo come-to-life — and because none of these forms are on-screen for all that long, the villain didn’t make much of an impact for me.  These additional scenes of Rowan (played by Neil Casey) helped that for me.

I was surprised that Charles Dance’s character, … [continued]

 

Josh Reviews Paul Feig’s Rebooted Ghostbusters!

Let’s cut right to the chase: the original Ghostbusters is one of the all time great movies, definitely in my top ten.  Paul Feig’s rebooted Ghostbusters can’t hold a candle to the original.  But this new film is still a ton of fun, very funny and very enjoyable from start to finish.  Mr. Feig is one of the great comedy directors working today, and mixed with this tremendous cast he ‘s created a great movie that is funny and exciting.  Ignore the haters who were all bent out of shape at the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters: this is a solid movie that is definitely worth seeing.

Ghostbusters.cropped

The idea of rebooting/remaking one of the all-time great movies is a foolhardy one.  I have been saying that for years, ever since rumors of a new Ghostbusters began floating around.  Remake BAD movies that you can improve upon!  Why hobble yourself by forcing audiences to compare your new movie, at every turn, to one of the greatest movies of all time?  It just seems insane to me.

Equally insane?  The crazy, misogynistic anger that has been out there, across the internet, at the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters.  What year is this??  Who cares whether the new Ghostbusters are male or female or whatever??  The questions should be: are they funny?  Does this new cast have a great dynamic together?  Do they create interesting new characters who you care about and root for?  Those are the questions that you should be asking.  And by the way, the answer to all three of those questions is YES, which is why this new Ghostbusters works as well as it does.

But getting back to my original point, I have been saying all along, and I still feel this way now after having seen the new Ghostbusters, that rather than remaking one of the all-time-great films, I’d have preferred had Paul Feig and this cast come together to make an original film.  That would have been more interesting to me, and in my opinion it would have given this project a better chance for greatness (rather than my constantly thinking about, while watching it, the ways in which it falls short of the original Ghostbusters).

However, that being said, this is probably as good a version of a rebooted Ghostbusters as I can imagine seeing.  I have a few quibbles, of course, but overall the movie works very, very well.  The cast is great.  The jokes work.  The visual effects are terrific.  The film successfully walks a fine line between telling the familiar type of story we expect from a rebooted Ghostbusters film while also finding some new twists and new spins to put on … [continued]