Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is about four women using science, smarts and quips to save New York from a ghost apocalypse.

I saw the original Ghostbusters as a child, and even watched the sequel when it came out. I hated the sequel, but loved the original until I started really thinking about it. Venkman was a stalker, and he was actually incredibly creepy if you think about his actions. Anyway, I'm not reviewing that movie, but it might be relevant to understand that I loved the original but have issues with it now that I'm an adult. When I heard there was going to be a remake, I just rolled my eyes. When I heard it was going to have an all female team, I wondered if it was just an awful gimmick. When the online backlash started before the movie was even done filming, I found myself wanting to see it more, just to spite the people who hated it for no reason. But I still was more than a bit reluctant, because I didn't see how the movie would work with genders reversed.

I saw the movie while it was still in theaters because a friend of mine saw it and realized it was perfect for me. They bought me tickets long-distance to basically make me see it. To say I enjoyed it would be a vast understatement.

It was literally the first time I have ever, in my life, sat in a theater and felt that someone had made a movie for ME. Not for the guy sitting next to me, not for some insecure girl who wants unrealistic romance, and not for children. But for me, a grown woman who happens to be a nerd who was tormented for being smart as a girl.

I expected a shot-by-shot remake, not a complete reimagining, and was delightfully surprised with the result. I felt like the movie was both its own thing and a tribute to the past. It doesn't reduce or insult the original movie - it just adds to the Ghostbusters mythos.

The good: I love the interaction between cast members and the relationships that formed as the movie progressed. The cast was the best thing about this movie, with Erin, Abby, Holtz and Patty working together so perfectly that I had no problem hanging out with them for the duration. I adored the callbacks to the original, as well as the cameos. The plot was a bit less problematic than the original, and even though the bad guy is a twit, I do manage to almost feel for Rowan when he talks about the abuse he's gotten all his life.

The bad: Patty's character should have been the one to figure out that the locations were in two lines. The thing about Patty is that she had more practical knowledge than all the others put together, and was clearly just as smart as the others. I almost felt like that chasm should have been addressed - the fact that she probably didn't get the same opportunities and that's why she wasn't building the devices and writing the theories like the others. I didn't see her portrayal as particularly racist, but I'm not the best judge of that. I do know that without her on the team, the other three would have been stuck... Patty figured out the device and identified the bad guy. Patty provided the team with transportation. Patty was the one who got jumpsuits for the team. In short, the team would not have functioned without her.

The movie didn't do as well as it ought to have done, which means there will be no sequel. Considering how crappy Ghostbusters II was, that might be a blessing - but I loved the call out to Zuul at the end of the credits. I think this crew might have turned in something great, if they'd been given a chance.

Conclusion: This movie brought me a lot of joy. After rewatching it I still found myself smiling. I don't know where it will go on my list, but so far I can't see myself being upset if any of the finalists win... all of them are just that good.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): I've seen Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, Rogue One, Arrival and Deadpool. I need to see Hidden Figures. I still need to rewatch and review Rogue One.