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Thursday, March 3, 2016

How About That Trailer? - Ghostbusters


Consider this something new, as I see lots of trailers and tend to have an opinion on them. Future trailer-related posts will not be this long, but just to get some early thoughts out of the way; while I am smart enough to know a trailer does not speak for an entire film, it is an interesting art that I am always intrigued by. Lately I've been doing a lot to avoid certain trailers for films I will no doubt see, but that's not an absolute for every movie. With that in mind, it's time to take a look at the debut footage for Ghostbusters.

We have so far seen all the trailers for every big budget blockbuster arriving this summer and Ghosbusters is seemingly the last one to debut footage. Personally, I've been fairly ambivalent about the whole idea. I often say I have nothing against remakes, but I have everything against bad films. The idea of remaking Ghostbusters is a decent one, however my concern has often been for examining what purpose it serves.

I am not at all against the casting of females in the lead roles, but it seems like so much of the focus has been on proving that these actors (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) are just as funny, if not funnier, than any of the men considered for these new roles, that little time has been spent exciting me about anything else. Namely the decision to reboot rather than craft a sequel. 


From what I've read, the decision to reboot was made in an effort to modernize the idea, rather than deal with the thought of making a film that exists in a society where ghosts have been around for 30 years already, but that sounds far more intriguing than simply seeing the same story told differently. Coming from Paul Feig, whose comedies I have been hot and cold on (I really like Bridesmaids, I quite enjoyed Spy, and didn't care for The Heat), it would be nice to see him really test himself, rather than deliver a film that may or may not rely to heavily on call backs.

Of course, speaking optimistically, this trailer delivers a lot of promise. The jokes are not hysterical and the indoor scenes feel a little to basic in craft, but certain scenes deliver a level of scope and visual chaos that could make great use out of what I assume is a large budget. Casting-wise, McKinnon looks like she could become a breakout star and I am firmly in the camp of people amused by Jones. 

With that in mind, casting Jones as 'street smart black person' as opposed to one of the scientists is a bit questionable (and a reminder, despite what the trailer says, 30 years ago we saw 3 scientists, not 4, save New York city; Winston was the 4th Ghostbuster, but also a 'street smart black person'). On the otherside of things, I am at least happy that each of the characters do not totally represent what we saw with the original cast.

Hopefully these minor quibbles do not matter and the film delivers in both the laughs and ghost-related action. It is not the most impressively cut trailer and I'm not sure having a piano version of the Ghostbusters theme, akin to Jurassic World's teaser last year, will automatically get the nostalgic love flowing in the right direction, but I'd much rather be pleased than slimed by the final results.

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