“We’re The Ghostbusters!”
Perhaps gathering the craziest amount of sexist-hate since the birth of mankind itself, it is fair to say that Paul Feig’s revival of the Ghostbusters is that strange case of a film being seemingly given up on before one reel of the final footage has even been released. Of course, being of sound and sane mind like many die-hard cinephiles, the hatred towards the idea of a female-led, 21st century take on Ivan Reitman’s cult classic is one that seemed exciting, interesting and inherently different in a day and age when many remakes or reboots simply repeat the formula of their predecessor in order to simply make a quick buck, destroying the legacy of the original in its’ wake. Point Break most recently pointed out how, when done wrong, remakes can be viewed as just plain stupid and nonsensical, and whilst Ghostbusters is most definitely not as good as the 1984 original, it is nowhere near the disaster many believed it was set to become. That’s right haters, we have a new team in town.
Perhaps relying too much on the uneven plot of CGI set piece after CGI set piece, Ghostbusters indeed is the summer blockbuster you would expect, led by a confident quartet of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, whose barmy Jillian Holtzmann is arguably the standout of the four, a confident introduction when up against the famous faces of both McCarthy and Wiig. Comedic elements throughout also help the film in times when it verges on the edge of weariness, whilst one scene in particular effectively managed to make me jump out of my seat in horror, perhaps due to the rather obvious 3-D, which, I say with a slice of humble pie, was actually rather effective with scenes in which we witness spectres upon spectres break the frame and reach out into the audience being a rather inventive surprise. Ghostbusters is indeed not the flop many regarded it as before it hit the big screen, but it is nowhere near as good as it perhaps should have been. Light entertainment which will pass the time nicely, Ghostbusters is solid, but not spectacular.
Overall Score: 6/10
Looking Forward to 2016
Another year always brings with it a heightened sense of hype for the new array of movies that are set to be distributed across out screens over the course of the next twelve months, 52 weeks, so many days, etc. and it is no surprise to say that 2016 is set to be another significant time for the self-proclaimed cinema lovers throughout the country with distinct directorial returns, sequels upon sequels within respective universes and of course, the treasured independent low-key masterpieces that tend to spring up out of nowhere and make stars out of certain hidden newcomers. With this in mind, it’s time to examine those films that are set to grace our cinemas over the course of the year and highlight some of my personal favourites that are set to be released throughout 2016.
The opening few months of the year always brings with it the head-scratching, elongated and highly overrated ceremonies that attempt to tell anyone and everyone what indeed have been the finest works of cinema over the course of the past six months or so. Of course, coming from that of a film critic, I can hardly snot my nose at someone’s attempt to proclaim whether films are indeed any good or not, but sometimes it does get rather harrowing when facing the prospect of a whole bunch of Oscar contenders within the space of 8 weeks or so. So to begin our year of film, we are treated to a wide range of films inherently laced with Oscar-based catnip, particularly films such as Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl and David O. Russell’s Joy, both of which have already had substantial attention drawn in its’ general direction. Elsewhere in the Oscar calendar, we have The Revenant, the new film by Oscar winner Alejandro G. Inarritu and a film that has a substantial amount of buzz regarding the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. Could it finally be the year he wins an Oscar?
Also upon the grapevine is the new Tarantino film, The Hateful Eight, a film so ambiguous in its’ nature that Tarantino himself has decided upon himself to release different versions of the film depending on the time and place you see it. Okay Quentin, we get it, you love the old fashioned way of cinema. Please stop becoming an embarrassment in the eyes of a massive fan. Cheers. Not only do the big hitters get the floor but we also have the indie-sensation, Room, which like its’ predecessors has also gained substantial awards buzz, as well as Creed, the latest installment in the Rocky series, a series in which many thought it had truly run its’ course with Rocky Balboa in 2006 yet continues to flourish under the guise of Fruitvale Station director, Ryan Coogler. Ending the first month of the year is the biographical drama Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s take on the investigation into the widespread reports of child sex abuse cases in the area of Boston featuring a cast of A-Listers including Micheal Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. Check it out.
Heading into February and March we have a wide range of distinct and different title heading our way including the new Coen Brothers picture Hail!Caesar! which, from the trailers, looks like a wacky, zany and completely ridiculous comedic venture similar to that of previous Coen pictures such as The Big Lebowski and Burn After Reading. Moving swiftly on we have the return of the mega-buck comic-based movies such as Deadpool and everyone’s favourite of the year already (NOT) Batman v Superman, directed by the self-proclaimed auteur of modern amazingness, Zak Snyder, the “genius” who brought us Sucker Punch and Man of Steel. Oh boy, how I am eagerly waiting. March also brings with it two of my own most anticipated pictures in the form of The Witch, a dark and delicious Gothic horror, and Anomalisa, a remarkable piece of animation which looks like something completely radical and is set to continue the rafter of success in the animation category over the past few years or so.
Into the halfway point of the year we have anticipated sequels in the form of X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day 2, and of course, Captain America: Civil War, the continuation of the Marvel universe in which our beloved Captain seemingly has a tiff with Tony Stark and half the Avengers team excluding, of course, Thor, Hulk, and erm anyone else with their own standalone films out soon. How we love the MCU. More importantly, we also have the release of Oliver Stone’s Snowden, a biographical drama based on, you guessed it, Edward Snowden, as well as Zowie Bowie’s (I mean Duncan Jones of course) Warcraft, maybe the first attempt at making a proper decent movie based on a popular video game. Heading into July, we have the return of Spock and Captain Kirk in Star Trek Beyond whilst we have Paul Feig’s “re-imagining” of Ghostbusters featuring (EEK) Melissa McCarthy who somehow has managed to become the hottest thing in comedy since evs, much to my own bemusement. Adding to the shock factor is the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur around the same time. I mean come on guys, why?
Finishing off the year, where there are so little confirmed movies at this moment in time, is a rafter of movies such as David Ayer’s much anticipated Suicide Squad in August, Patient Zero in September featuring the Eleventh Doctor himself, Matt Smith, whilst October and November bring with it Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the newest incarnation of the Harry Potter universe. Finishing off the year in style is the spin-off Star Wars pic, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Godzilla’s own, Gareth Edwards, whilst Macbeth’s trio of Fassbender, Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel reunite for the hugely anticipated live-action take on Assassins Creed. Surely not two good video game adaptations in the space of a year? 2016, you are spoiling us already. So all in all, a pretty fab year in film is upon us and we should all be rather excited. I am for sure, but the real question is, are you?