#12: Ghostbusters — dir. Ivan Reitman
Everyone loves the Ghostbusters. But if you really sit down and think about how this film is structured, you’ll recognize the deft genius. They weren’t trying to sell Slimer dolls. They weren’t trying to market proton packs and Marshmallow Man dolls. It was a story about three failed scientists saving the world because they were the only ones who could. That moment on top of the tower, when they decide to cross the streams? They were all pretty sure they were committing suicide. And they were cool with it. That’s fucking deep for a goddamn sci-fi comedy. And I laugh when people talk about showing this to their little children. Much like the close-up of the dick in Goonies, I guess people forget about the scene where Ray basically gets blown by a ghost.
There’s been a great uproar lately that they want to make a lady Ghostbusters. I don’t like that sentiment, the same way I rolled my eyes when they decided to make a Lady Thor. Here’s why. It’s basically saying, “You need your own version. We made something cool, and now there has to be a girl version. And then a black version.” It’s not equality. It’s not finally getting a voice. It’s saying, “Your voice is so different, it can never be the ‘normal’ voice.” And that’s bullshit. Sure, I guess I’m talking from a place of privilege. And make sure to list those adjectives before the privilege that further differentiate us. But the fact is, I just want a good story. I wouldn’t care if the entire cast was female, Asian, or made up of one of each major creed, if it was a good story.
But they don’t make them like this no more. They need to sell toys. They’re worried about demographics. They need to make smirking secret winks to the hyperobsessed fanboys. Ghostbusters II was them scrambling to ring the bell of the first film’s success to make some more money. Which is why we have a dancing Statue of Liberty fighting a painting.
This got way more polemic than I intended. Fact of the matter is, this is not holy Gospel. They changed Ghostbusters a thousand times before it hit the big screen. The cast flipped and flopped. The story went from action to comedy. So this doesn’t need to be treated like sacred text. This was modified to fit the times. So hopefully, whatever incarnation comes about from Ghostbusters III, it’s entertaining.