Ill show you a big Twinkie.
"I'll show you a big Twinkie."

This guy right here is doing the lord's work. He says he knows for certain that the Paul Feig Ghostbusters reboot starring Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, and Leslie Jones will never live up to the brilliance of the original, and that he is taking the bold stance of refusing in advance to EVER pay to EVER see it. A sick burn if ever oh ever a wiz there was. EXCEPT...

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Leaving aside the likelihood that he has found a way to scam his way into critics screenings, making money beside the point... leaving aside the likelihood that he will surely bittorrent the living shit out of that movie the second it shows up on the Pirate Bay (which does, technically, still exist)... and leaving aside the likelihood that he actually won't be able to resist seeing it once it opens anyway, even if he has to drive to a different town and wear a disguise, and never admit it to his friends or audience...

Leaving aside all of those things, it is still some serious bullshit to take a principled stand against the Ghostbusters reboot on the grounds of "quality." The whole point about the original—despite being one of this guy's "favorite franchises of all time"—is what a massive piece of shit it was, is, and ever shall be.

Before we go too far down this road, I'm prepared to provide a few provisos:

1) I'm confident that I have seen the original Ghostbusters way more times than you, or than this guy, maybe even combined.

2) I memorized it, and though it has been a while, I probably still have the phantom limb pain of most of that memory. The who in the which precinct were whating? Yeah.

3-7) I waited in line to see it on opening day. I saw it another 23 times in the theater. (I saw Purple Rain 17 times that same summer.) I drew my own stupid Ghostbusters logo FREEHAND and taped it to my Izod shirt when 6th grade started up after that summer. ! even memorized the soundtrack album. Don't try to out-dork me, you fucking dork.

8) Also, relevant: I was 11 years old.

When I got a little older and saw Ghostbusters again, I blushed for having been duped into thinking I loved what was, at the time anyway, the single most corporate entertainment ever conceived and executed. Which, given the American cinema of the 1980s, is truly saying something. This knowledge was disjunctive, like discovering your best friend is really a robot sent from the future to spy on you and make sure you never achieve your full intellectual potential.

Still later, I saw the film AGAIN (120th time? 220th?) and found myself re-loving it. Balance restored. Except that now, all the things I loved about it were contained in the zen mastery of Bill Murray's performance, which consisted entirely of Murray, as Venkman, making fun of how stupid every element of the film was, making fun of the ludicrous special effects, making fun of co-star Dan Aykroyd for writing it, making fun of Ivan Reitman for directing it, making fun of YOU for watching it. But charmingly. He's Bill Murray. There was only one precedent for this kind of performance that I can think of (if you're not counting Rod Steiger, which you really shouldn't): Gene Hackman in the original Superman movie.

Except Murray was funnier, because he was more casual, more improvisatory, less engaged. You really get the sense that he's about to wander out of frame, hail a taxi, and disappear. Which he sort of did a few years later, after making The Razor's Edge, but that's another story.

Back to the goofball above: Dude, it's fine to object to reboots. They're dumb and bad, for sure, and I can't think of a time when the practice has yielded an improvement on the past, except Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which was more an ayahuasca ceremony than a reboot per se. But just because the future isn't better doesn't mean the past wasn't poor to begin with. When your c.v. looks like this:

Those effects look so shoddy compared to the Plan 9 spaceship...
Those effects look so shoddy compared to the Plan 9 spaceship...

You don't get to object on the grounds of your commitment to excellence. ESPECIALLY NOT if you're talking about the Ghostbusters FRANCHISE. since part two was an even more noxious concoction, in which Murray's detachment read merely as cynicism. It's not advisable (though it would be preferable) to admit that you're scared of the reboot because you're not ready to face how much of your life is affixed, via ectoplasmic residue, to garbage. I'll happily concede that the reboot is unlikely to rise to the talents of its brilliant creators. Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon, Jones, and Feig are five of the greatest comedic talents alive, but they're applying themselves to something that was stupid as hell to begin with—they're not covering Revolver.

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(Especially when you're really doing it because you're scared of women.)

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