Friday, July 15, 2016


Whenever it was announced that a third Ghostbusters movie was never going to happen I was crushed. Shortly thereafter a friend of mine assured me just how horrible of a movie with three old fat guys catching ghosts would be. It took awhile but I eventually agreed. The only other option was the characters passing the torch to a new team. Then Harold Ramis died, and at that point I felt the franchise should be over.

The idea of an all female Ghostbusters team sounded interesting to me from day one. I was really on board once the cast and crew was announced for the film. I have loved all of Paul Feig's films, especially SPY. So no preconceived hate/judgment from me about GHOSTBUSTERS (2016). Then I saw the trailer.

That first trailer for GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) has to be one of the worst teasers for a franchise I've seen in a long long time. None of the jokes worked, none of them! When a slap gag with a character saying “That's gonna leave a mark” is your best joke, people in the audience have no reason but to panic. With Feig's background in R-rated comedy I was hopping Sony was just showing restraint, and that the film was actually a hard PG-13.

In my opinion the marketing got worse, but I thought the final trailer was better. What I did like from the get go was the look of the film. You could tell they were going for something different and that scored points for me.

One thing I have never really understood is the fandom of the Ghostbuster franchise. Yes, the original is a comedy classic! Heck, I've probably watched it 50 if not 100 times! But to some fans this is their Star Wars. And I just don't get it?

The week of GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) I became pumped! I watched the 1984 original twice, yes twice. And I must say the 4k mastered Blu-Ray is stunning. Way better than the 2010 release.

As I was saying, I was getting real pumped for the new movie. The early reviews have been mostly mixed and I've decided to go in with a open mind and positive outlook. If Sony is really wanting a Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe, then come on, show me what you got!

Despite call backs from the original film, GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) starts out strong as it's own thing. Then the cameos show up and that's when the film starts to become blah. I understand why the cameos are in the movie, I was even looking forward to them but I thought they all sucked. Except for one, the Harold Ramis one. Blink and you'll miss it!

Here is director Paul Feig trying to do something different (which he does) but every 30 minutes or so we the audience are reminded of the original film. Thanks Sony, we get it! Because of this the movie starts to drag and begins to suffer from sloppy editing.

Okay, story wise it's basically the first film so I don't need to go into explaining the plot. Except for the villain is not Zuul but some guy who is tired of being a social outcast so he plans on opening some portal to another dimension. In other words, mass hysteria!

So let's get down to it! What did I like about GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)! Many things, I liked the characters. They need some more fleshing out but I'd watched the continuing adventures of Erin, Abby, Holtzman, and Patty. Speaking of Patty, she stole the show for me. So funny! Kids, this goes to show you that you can't trust a trailer. I hated the character just going by the trailers! But in the movie I got a kick out of her.

The look of the film I found interesting. The original film was photographed like a horror movie. For the reboot Paul Feig chose a different approach, his film looks more like a cartoon, but in a good way. The use of color in the opening scene was just amazing.

Speaking of cartoons! The ghost catching tech in the new film is awesome! I dug all the new weapons, especially the proton-whip. I know it strays from the original but the new gear works in Feig's film.

And lastly, I really liked how all the ghosts looked. Even the Ghostbuster logo ghost who looked dumb on television, but seeing it in IMAX 3D made a world of difference. Creepy for sure!

The good news is that I think there were more things I liked about GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) than disliked.

For me the biggest problem with the film is pacing and editing issues. Probably a common problem with comedies. As much as I hate to say it, the cameos drag the film down. I think the movie would be much stronger if they we're left out.

I give GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) a matinee recommendation. And I normally don't do this but I highly recommend seeing the film in IMAX 3D.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Weird. Weird, but in a creative way. That's the best way to describe SWISS ARMY MAN, the directorial debut of Daniels' (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). The film got some buzz at Sundance because one of the films stars, Daniel Radcliffe plays a dead guy who farts a lot. Why wasn't Adam Sandler approached for this movie/role?

SWISS ARMY MAN is going to be one of those movies that has no middle ground. People will either love it or hate it. There will be no “it was alright” and if there is, then that person is lying. I can see why there were walk outs when the film screened at Sundance. All I can say to those people is that they missed out. Yes, there is a lot of farting and poop in the beginning but the film itself addresses that everybody poops.

A man named Hank is stranded on a deserted island. Having given up of ever being rescued, he decides to hang himself. Feet on a cooler and noose around his neck Hank is ready to die, but all of a sudden in the distance he sees a body lying on the beach. Surprised by his new neighbor Hank's feet slip off the cooler and he starts to choke. Luckily the rope breaks (or does it) and Hank goes to investigate the body.

Much to Hank's disappointment, the body is dead. Decomposing had begun to set in and the washed up body has a comedic amount of high pressure gas. So much that Hank uses the body as a jet ski (It's at this moment where you have to decide if this is the movie for you or not). The body has enough fuel that the pair end up on a beach. To be honest I had to take a phone call during this part. When I returned to my seat I wasn't sure if it was the same island or what? Quickly I realized they were close to civilization.

Hank starts to realize hauling around a dead body is a hindrance. He decides to part ways, that is until the body supplies him with a fountain of water. And to top it off the body starts to speak. So begins the friendship of Hank and the body whose name is now Manny.

As the title of the film suggests, Manny can do many things. He can chop wood, light fires with his butt, shoot rocks, and many many more things. The other thing about Maney is that he becomes someone Hank can talk to. In a nutshell they talk about life. Hank has some issues that need sorting out and Manny becomes therapy in a manner of speaking.

A good chunk of their conversation is about a girl on a bus that Hank was afraid to talk to. It's strange and heartfelt how this dilemma is dealt with.

I can't spoil the ending but once Hank and Manny arrive at civilization, the film takes a turn. Yes, the whole “is Manny real” is kept ambiguous. But it's wonderful how the Daniels' handle the films final scenes. I laughed hysterically at the ending of the film but also found it touching.

I highly recommend SWISS ARMY MAN simply for the fact that it is a very creative film.

So far this summer movie season has been a drag. Besides CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and THE NICE GUYS, my other favorite summer movies have been two art house films. Kinda cool!