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Ghostbusters 2016: For or against?

By Alex Wiggan

Opinions, opinions, opinions; everybody’s got ‘em! From ‘who should be elected the next US President?’ to ‘who would win in a race between the Flash and Superman?’, everyone wants a say and everyone wants to be heard.

In the world of movies, one of the hottest topics right now revolves around the forthcoming Ghostbusters movie, which is due to hit cinema screens this July. While some are looking forward to seeing what director Paul Feig has to offer in his 2016 reboot, many (many) people are not happy. Not happy at all.

And these people (who are really not happy) are being very vocal about their feelings. But are they right to be so vocal, or should they wait until the film hits movie theatres before they run it into the ground?

Well, up until a couple of days ago, those who have ever had an opinion on the new Ghostbusters movie were only able to base their views (both for and against) on rumours, news snippets and occasional photos that have circulated since the film went into production. However, that all changed on Thursday, when the first official Ghostbusters trailer landed, giving anyone with a passing interest in the GBs a glimpse of what awaits them this summer.

Upon release, the two-and-a-half-minute trailer was met with good comments and it was met with bad comments. It was also met with a lot of really nasty comments, with many predicting its imminent failure. We’re talking about a disaster of biblical proportions here people. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria – the works!

OK, so maybe not quite that bad, but you get the gist.

Quite a number of the people who really, truly hate this movie (perhaps even more so now they’ve seen the trailer), have pointed out the amount of ‘dislikes’ the trailer has received on its official YouTube account. Surely an indication of how awful this film is going to be, right?

Ghostbusters

At the time of writing, the official YouTube trailer for Ghostbusters has clocked up 130, 886 ‘likes’ and 244,557 ‘dislikes’. Hmm, sounds like a lot of people dislike the trailer, huh?

Well, admittedly the ‘like’ to ‘dislike’ ratio is clearly stacked on one side, with more people disliking it than liking it; but is this number really reflective of everyone who has viewed the trailer? Or is it, perhaps, just a very strong and adamant percentage of the fan base who are determined to hate the film, regardless of the end product?

The trailer has been viewed 14,375,338 times (and counting). So, if we remove the number of ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ from this total, then this still leaves 13,999,895 opinions which are still unaccounted for. Sure, this could be another 13,999,895 people who dislike the trailer; but it could just as easily be 13,999,895 who actually support the film. 13,999,895 people who watched the trailer and thought to themselves, ‘hey, I’ll probably watch this when it comes out’. People who will pay to go and see the movie simply because they want to be entertained and who don’t really care about clicking a ‘like’ or a ‘dislike’ button.

Either way, until the film hits cinema screens, no one really knows whether Ghostbusters is going to be a big disaster or a big hit.

So where do you stand on this subject? Are you for or against? We ask because you, like us, will have an opinion. As we mentioned above, everyone has one and the fact that you’re reading this blog post suggests you at least have a passing interest. So, fess up – what is your opinion?

Well, before you decide, let’s look at this objectively.

Reboots and remakes are becoming an increasing occurrence and while some can be enjoyable, there are many that are simply needless. Fantastic Four we are looking at you.

There are also some reboots that are just downright rubbish. Fantastic Four we are still looking at you.

Needless and rubbish reboots are stifling creativity within the movie industry and they are also adding to the general consensus amongst the youth of today that ‘going to the movies is a waste of time.’ For the record, going to the movies isn’t a waste of time, but when you’re expected to shell out £10 on a ticket to see a badly produced, awfully directed movie that has no originality in it what so ever, then it’s easy to see why many have this opinion.

Over the past few years audiences have been served up a number of lacklustre reboots, which have done very little to improve upon the originals. The Amazing Spider-man (2012), Godzilla (2012), Robocop (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) are just a few that spring to mind, but of course there are many more. Some of these have gone on to make enough money to warrant a sequel, but a few, in the case of The Amazing Spider-man for example, have now created a situation whereby audiences are about to see yet another reboot all within a space of a decade because the first reboot was rubbish.

Marshmallow Man

With regards to rebooting Ghostbusters (1984), many are arguing that this is a classic movie from the 1980s that simply does not need to be rebooted. Not ever! And in many respects, they’re right.

Although the movie is now more than three decades old, it is still very popular. The film is readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray; still gets played at cinema screens on anniversaries and special events; still commands strong audiences when it is shown on TV; and is responsible for a wealth of merchandise.

Go into your local Forbidden Planet store (other comic shops are available) and just count up the amount of merchandise on sale which is based on the original Ghostbusters movie – it’s a lot. It is a lot, simply because the first Ghostbusters movie was so popular there is still a huge fan base happy to invest and re-invest in just this one movie! Not every film can boast a following such as Ghostbusters you know. For instance, when was the last time you saw shelves lined with merchandise for Suburban Commando (1991)?

Speaking of which, can anyone hook us up with a Shep Ramsey action figure? No? Oh…

Anyway, for many who grew up with Ghostbusters, the film is pretty sacred stuff. A film which has transcended the confines of ordinary movies and has become an untouchable entity, which should never be messed with. Ghostbusters II (1989) gets a sort of pass, because it contains the core cast from the original film (as well as a bitchin song by Bobby Brown), but beyond that, Ghostbusters should remain as it is, without any need for a remake, reboot or reworking.

But then…

The Real Ghostbusters

If you go back to a time when the Ghostbusters first arrived on the scene, long before it was joined by the inevitable sequel, it was actually followed by an extremely popular cartoon series. A cartoon series that has arguably helped sustain the Ghostbusters’ legacy.

Running from 1986 until 1991, The Real Ghostbusters was designed as a loose, animated sequel to the hit movie. The show ran for seven seasons and produced a heap of tie-in merchandise, including comics, toys and apparel.

Not only was the show good (and quite creepy at times), it also built up its own little fan base, which was completely independent from the movie. Not everyone who watched the cartoon when it aired had seen the movie, yet that didn’t stop them tuning into the show each week or harassing their parents for a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man action figure, whenever they entered a toy shop.

That animated series also spawned a sequel, Extreme Ghostbusters, which hit screens in 1997 and once again brought with it another collection of merchandise. Love or hate Extreme Ghostbusters, its very existence extended the animated adventures of the GBs and established that the property is more than just one movie. For some, the Ghostbusters is actually a multi-media franchise that comprises a whole heap of offshoots, which is much bigger than that initial film.

Fans of the Ghostbusters franchise have been supporting this ever expanding world since 1984 and continue to do so through the purchase of comics, cartoons, computer games and everything else with the GB name on it. They understand that there is more than just one team of Ghostbusters and they enjoy seeing Ray Stantz and Peter Venkman in action just as much as they enjoy seeing Kylie Griffin and Eduardo Rivera slap on a Proton Pack.

Many of these long-time fans will be just as happy to see Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert and the rest of the new Ghostbusters bustin’ spooks when the new movie finally arrives. Should they not be allowed to see their favourite franchise expand simply because some people really don’t want to see the concept redeveloped for a new generation? Surely, as long as the material is handled respectfully that is all that matters?

Let’s not forget that a third Ghostbusters movie, starring the original actors was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Ghostbusters III was in and out of development hell for decades, but never quite got off the ground because not everyone wanted to do it. Bill Murray turned down the opportunity to appear in Ghostbusters III numerous times because he didn’t like the script. Yet, Murray, along with Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts have all agreed to cameo in this new movie. If the film was really that bad, wouldn’t they have steered clear from this project at the first opportunity?

The aforementioned actors, along with the now sadly missed Harold Ramis, all lent their voices to the 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game and that turned out pretty good. Maybe it’s time to give this new movie a little slack too.

So come on, let’s hear (or read) what you have to say. Are you for or against? And why?

If you’re against, is it because you feel this film will truly taint the legacy of the original film, or is it simply that you don’t believe this movie has anything new to offer?

If you’re for, what is it about this movie that has got you interested? Do you think the original needs an update or is it just the fact that the trailer has grabbed your attention?

We want to know, so feel free to share your thoughts.

Oh and going back to the opening of this blog post about who should be the next President or the US and who would win in a race between Superman and the Flash, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? The person that goes the distance should be victorious in both instances. Unless that person is an idiot. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

 

And for those who still haven’t formed an opinion, here’s that trailer in full.

 

About the author: Alex Wiggan has written blog posts for Honcho-SFX blog since October 2014. He likes writing, eating pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes in that order.

 

Love movies? Then check out the great range of movie memorabilia available from Honcho-SFX, including this reversible Batman logo T-shirt, this Ghostbusters shirt and this Deadpool lanyard.

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