You Should Watch Films

A celebration, meditation, rumination, and examination of the movie-going experience.

Friday, September 26, 2008


On Aint-It-Cool-News, an article was posted on Bill Murray commenting on developments for Ghostbusters III. Murray had mentioned that "the wounds of Ghostbusters II are healed," and that he would be interested in doing another one. One talkbacker had this to say:

"What Wounds from GB2? was it a bad shoot or something?"

Now, I've loved Ghostbusters as long as I can remember, and as much as anybody else. I had this to say in return: [beware foul language]

"Compared to the original, Ghostbusters II is a train wreck, albeit a financially successful one. It undoes every triumph of the first, on screen and off screen, and completely focuses on set pieces, no matter how detrimental it was to the characters.

Every last one of them in the beginning of GB2 were LOSERS. Down on their luck, defeated, and marginalized. You could say they were even worse off than before the start of GB1. The fuckin' cartoon showed how viable a continuing fight against the paranormal could be. JMS (Bab 5) wrote episodes that rivaled the first film, let alone beat the shit out of part 2!

Ackroyd and Ramis reset the characters out of laziness, so they could virtually remake the team buildup of the first movie. Dana is apart from Venkman so they can fall in love all over again, when the script really works if that was Peter's son all along.

Reitman allowed this farce to happen so he could make lots of money easily - he's directed so many of those same beats before, he might as well have been on auto-pilot. Ramis already showed he's a better wielder of Murray's talents on Groundhog Day, which is much more of a spiritual sequel to Ghostbusters, or any other Murray-Ramis-Reitman teamup.

Columbia was going to make fistfuls of money no matter what kind of shit they flung on screen. Ditto for any other franchise in the 80s, 90s, and today. It's up to the fans to scream "you fucked up" and that didn't start happening until I dare say five years ago. Even Lethal 4 and Beverly Hills Cop III got a pass. Now, Live Free and Indy IV get the shit beat out of them. What chance does GB3 stand UNLESS they go back to the irreverential, gutsy, character-driven approach of the original, not the Bobby Brown-pink slime-everyone in New York forgot that ghosts exist-bullshit of part 2.

When I was a kid, I loved it but even then something didn't feel right. Not when my favorite film AND cartoon heroes are suddenly downtrodden, and untrusted. Not when the life lesson is that heroism and intelligence is all for nothing in the end. Not when the story structure is so similar to the first, that subliminally you're left unsatisfied with what is essentially a re-quel.

Bring on GB3, bring on the game. Even Extreme GB was a step up from part 2! So, in response to [xxxxx_xx], what wounds? All you gotta do in just pop in the tape and take a look for yourself. That, and Wikipedia. Signing off."

That Talkback and others can be found once again on Aint-It-Cool. More coming soon, I promise.