It was announced many months ago that instead of going the route of making a third Ghostbusters film, that Sony pictures would instead go the route of a reboot. With the tragic passing of Harold Ramis, and Bill Murray’s seemingly infinite reasons to refuse a third film, it made sense. I mean Hollywood doesn’t really have original ideas anymore, anyway. Most of what we see are reboots anyway.
Unfortunately eagerly-hopeful Ghostbusters fans had their hopes crushed when Paul Feig, most recently known for directing the romantic comedy Bridesmaids, was put at the helm of the project as its director and further went on to tout that the cast would be an all-female one. People groaned, people screamed, people bitched on Twitter, Facebook, and various message boards, and generally the reception was not a favorable one. The project sounded like “Bridesmaids with ghosts and laser guns.”
Unfortunately, Sony played a very smart card. “All-female” is the new insurance policy for preventing anyone from criticizing an idea as bad. You see, the core fan-base of Ghostbusters happens to be boys – boys who grew up into men, and those men are your hardcore comic nerd types. These are the guys that probably grew from children who watched Ghostbusters into young adults who enjoyed the comedy of television shows such as Married with Children. They were the nerds who got into Star Wars (or Star Trek, nobody is judging), played a lot of Nintendo, Super NES, Sony Playstation. These guys tend to be blunt, outspoken, unfiltered.
…so let’s use women as a shield to prevent negative criticism. Already anyone who has said they are not a fan of the casting, the concept, or the plot ideas throwing around is automatically branded a “misogynist.” There are already all sorts of social justice assholes clinging to the project like parasites, much like they’ve done with various topics over the past 2-3 years (in which social justice has become “in”), and are trying to discredit anyone’s apprehensions about the film simply by labeling them.
Is this the world we live in, where you can’t call something that involves women a “bad idea?” Because truthfully the reason it’s a bad idea has very little to do with “women.” Let’s look at some facts which have caused people to have apprehension about this film:
From The People Who Brought You Bridesmaids…
There are no two more polar opposite crowds than the fans of the Ghostbusters franchise and the fans of Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids is one of those films that chances are if you are a male and you saw it it’s because a girlfriend dragged you to see it. It’s not a film men look at at RedBox or on Netflix and go “hey I’m going to watch THAT” tonight. As stated, the key demographic in the Ghostbusters fandom happen to be men, so obviously and naturally they would be opposed to the idea of people most known for a project they had no interest in being put in charge. Add “all girl” to that and automatically men are opposed to it, NOT because they hate women but because they don’t want the franchise they enjoy to become “Bridesmaids with Ectoplasm.”
The Casting And Plot Are Iffy
I can give Kristen Wiig a pass because she’s actually amusing in quite a few films. I’m not sold on Leslie Jones, or Kate McKinnon, and the worst of the worst happens to be Melissa McCarthy whose humor just does not work for most men at all – or anyone for that matter, as her most recent box office outing, Tammy, was thought to be a terrible, terrible film. That’s 1 out of 4 that I look at and go “oh that works.” It’s not about women being cast, but it’s often about WHICH women are cast. Ghostbusters fans held out hope maybe an Emma Stone would be used or an Anna Faris. But it felt like those women were deliberately not going to be a part of this in the event the guys had any eye candy, which again we are told “is a big no-no.” Simply put it’s bad to be heterosexual in 2015, despite the fact “sexy Ghostbuster” is one hell of a costume for women around Halloween that dudes love.
The plot sounds bad as well, a plot which would have been bad REGARDLESS of the gender of the cast – Ghostbusters are going to be a federally-backed agency, not unlike Men in Black? That sounds similar to the concept behind a movie like R.I.P.D., a 2013 flop of a film starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. Feig has said there might be more than 4 Ghostbusters and as many as 50. I think part of the charm of the original Ghostbusters is that it was three guys (later four when Winston joins the team), who were dealing with skeptics and assholes all throughout most of the film. There are even moments the Ghostbusters had run-ins with cops and bureaucracy. Now they’re PART of that system? This sounds less and less like the iconic Ghostbusters and more and more like a new, mediocre project, a social experiment that just happens to bear the Ghostbusters name. And the fact it’s a social experiment leads me to my next gripe:
Social Justice Prevails… Fans Do Not.
The powers that be could have shaken things up and made one or even two of the Ghostbusters female – isn’t that equality? It would still be controversial, it would still get people talking, but it wouldn’t have made people dread this as much as “LOLBridesmaids” has been able to do. In fact turning all the Ghostbusters into females seems like (ironically) a dick move that tells men “you’re not welcome here.” Add to that the rampant feminism all over the place that is already beating people over the head with “if you don’t LOVE these ideas you’re a misogynist and hate women” – feminists, who by the way will see Ghostbusters solely to support the idea that it’s a “FUCK YOU” to the “patriarchy.”
Not because they are fans of this series, not because it’s a good film but solely motivated by spite. And that is a problem. It’s a political ploy, a giant commercial – a publicity stunt on a massive level. Because here I am writing about it. And people are complaining about it. And feminists are already selling it. And that means that somebody at Sony was more concerned with a political statement than a film the long-time fans would enjoy – and their idea to get people to support the movie is to make the likes of Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd make public media appearances and say “I’m really excited about this movie!” No, they’re not. It would just be career assassination to say publicly “it’s a bad idea.” Already everyone who questions the decisions along the way is being treated like a woman-abusing scumbag.
And therein lies the message. “How dare you disagree with the MATRIARCHY?”
I have nothing against re-casting roles as different genders, which has been done numerous times in the popular NBC television series Hannibal, as well as in CBS’s Elementary where Dr. Watson is a female, portrayed by the very talented Lucy Liu. When done organically and correctly, diversity is a great and wonderful thing.
It’s when diversity is forced upon society at a metaphorical gunpoint with a “support us or you’re an asshole,” that people begin to complain. It’s when things are done not because the actor or actress is qualified but just for “affirmative action” and “gender equality” or “stick it to the man” it comes out looking stupid. Case in point: Annie.
Even black people were wondering why the hell they went with “Black Annie.” In short just because you CAN make an all-girl Ghostbusters doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. The fans who are complaining and upset have every right to, because they are passionate about this franchise. Comedian Andrew Schulz remarked with a comment which sums up the passion of these fans.
“These are the same people who threw a fit over Ben Affleck as Batman. Was it sexist when they freaked the fuck out on George Lucas creating Jar Jar Binks? Or putting walkie-talkies in the FBI agents hands instead of guns in E.T. DVDS?”
And that sums it up. In the end, any deviation would have been criticized. The fact it happens to be women is less to do about the fact “they have vaginas” and more to do with the simple fact that the fans of Ghostbusters don’t want something they love get tarnished by what is shaping up to be a ridiculous publicity stunt by an out-of-touch company who has already done an excellent job of ruining the Spider-Man franchise. All I have left is this video below in which a man claiming to be Paul Dweeb called into the Asked with Riv, Landin and Edwood podcast to try to sell me on the idea of a film I quite frankly have no interest in seeing.
Keep social justice out of entertainment, please. It’s not entertaining. It’s just annoying.
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