Editorials,  Movies/Entertainment

Some Personal Thoughts on the Legacy and Future of Ghostbusters

Among the many dreadful remakes and reboots (those already released and those in some form of production) there has been one property that, thanks in large part to production snags, has seemingly retained its dignity and integrity. Well, it looks like those hurdles have been removed, or rather disregarded because as of right now, we are going to get *shudders* a third Ghostbuters. But that’s if this ins’t just another rumor/failed promise…ugg, getting so very tired of that. So whether or not this actually pans out I thought, after a long week, I’d use this post as the perfect way to clear my head of the ongoing Ghostbusters concerns and mental threads that have just had the dust knocked off.

Now, a brief history lesson of my love of the fearsome foursome. Being a product of the 80’s I have come to know and love The Ghostbusters…let me clarify, the cinematic paranormal investigations of these guys and their cartoon incarnations (plus a crappy NES video game or two) but definitely not these guys (or their cartoon incarnations).

I remember being a kid and although never having the official ‘proton pack’ from the cartoon, I made my own (yes it was crap) and I would run the Ghostbusters I & II VHS tapes until they wore out (yes it is possible). They were cooler than G.I. Joe and Thundercats and left a lasting impression on me…and you can see after all these years who is still popular. When I got to college (and DVD’s were nearly as new as Blu-Rays were a few years ago), Ghostbusters was the first DVD I ever bought (btw I upgraded to the Blu-Ray copy and funny enough it was my first Blu-Ray too).

A few years ago, being a life long Ghostbusters fan and all, I, without hesitation, bought the Ghostbusters game for the PS3 played it for hours on end and loved every minute of it. In the months prior to the game’s release I had seen development clips and shoddy “camera phone” video from E3 and the like and was intrigued because it looked awesome annnnd it was written by Aykroyd and Ramis and had the original cast back to do the voices – double bonus!! I couldn’t wait for the day it hit the shelves. Then I got it and it was a dream; slick looking and most importantly, very fun. Playing it with the same characters, music and the sound effects (the distinctive proton pack ‘hum’ in the game’s title screen) made me feel like I was 6 again and running around with my heroes. If you haven’t played it on the PS3 (or even the Wii) go pick it up…it definitely warrants a purchase and is an absolute fun fest.

Anyway, aside from me being a die-hard fan, there is no question that Ghostbusters is still in the hearts and minds of the general public. To prove my point check out this link to an AMAZING gallery of painstakingly crafted and absolutely gorgeous cartoon interpretations of all the main characters in both films and the cartoon show. In the link you’ll find the picture shown below as well as many others…

If you ask most people to tell you their favorite scene from the movie(s) their face would probably light up as they’d ramble on and on about a particular portion of the movie and quote the lines perfectly. Aside from countless tribute websites and domestic and international fan groups, it’s not just underground. If you watch any cartoon or movie these days and it’s almost commonplace to see a nod to Ghostbusters in either a quote, an homage or something else…you’ll know it when you see/hear it, that’s for sure.

After all these years, Ghostbusters is still one of my favorite films…holding a solid #6 on my Flickchart (and #24 on the global chart) even as I write this. So, like anything in cinema that its beloved, successful (and profitable) talk has been ongoing about a third Ghostbusters film. As much as we all would want to see another film featuring the fearsome foursome, I have to draw a line in the sand and promise myself that I won’t entertain the idea of a third film based solely on nostalgia. After years of rumors and speculation it looks like the film may actually becoming reality with shooting expected to start next year. I’ve written before about why I think this is a bad idea, but I won’t go into it here.

Regarding this recent production news, be it true or untrue, I have read that the video game (mentioned above) was a litmus test to see if there is a demand for another Ghostbusters film. I’ve also heard that if the game did well it could turn into the script for the next movie. Well the internet has so much unchecked and unofficial content that it is tough not to believe rumors and whispers or to know that is real and what is fake. No matter what the case, I’m going to say that as good as the game is I don’t believe another Ghostbusters film is going to do well…if the guys come back in a film that centers on just them that is.

Reason being? We just don’t want to see our heroes getting old. Case in point, and my go to “it’s gonna fail” example, one Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now I’ve said before that that film had problems of its own but a big knock in the movie is that Indy (around 65 years of age) isn’t the Indy we grew up with and can’t expect to do the Indy things we grew up with.  So how can we expect 65 year old Ghostbusters to do the things we grew up watching the Ghostbusters do?

On a slightly optimistic part of this post, I want to believe the  rumors of Ghostbusters “passing the torch” or coaching the young cadets (I imagine some mish mash between the Jedi Academy and Hogwart’s) as this could be the only pathway that I would buy as far as a story. Names like Seth Rogen have been thrown around for years and as of late it sounds like Anna Farris and Bill Hader look closest to suiting up.

So many people want to see another one (just look at all the “fake” Ghostbusters III trailers on youtube) and in theory, yes, I would love to see another one too, but I am just afraid it will become the Crystal Skull and so I would rather the series stop at 2.  Do you all remember how long it took for people to widely like and accept the second film? Again I don’t wish for another film (nor do I wish for its failure to prove my point) but I hope the studio, Aykroyd, Ramis and everyone else asks themselves: “do we really need another one?”

Yeah, they look about as glad to “be back” as we are to have them

As far as “wants” go, we as a general viewing audience (by virtue of being a established, bankable and familiar brand) sometimes force the studios into making the films we think we “want/need” and then get upset when the results are sub-par. However in the fictitious world we call the Internet, anything can be possible and it’s where these little fantasies or dream films may find the light of day. Case in point, check out extremely well edited, but “fake”, trailer for Ghostbusters III…

To be completely fair, yes I like it, it is fun and clever. I also congratulate the person (or people) who made it and, in part, do wish this were real. But alas, it is not real, and the real outcome (should it come to pass) may end up being a big disappointment (I still have trouble cleansing our palette of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). To those of you who are on board with another film, I have to ask one serious question and I want a serious answer and I want you to answer honestly: As fun as that trailer was, is that the kind of Ghostbusters movie you want to see?? Because if you said yes, well that’s pretty much the type of movie you’re going to get.

They ain’t getting any younger and that was almost 4 years ago. Sure while people want to believe in the rumors of the “passing the torch” script idea or the Ghostbusters Academy there’s till the fact that, our heroes are still over the hill and I think we can admit that even Clint Eastwood would look goofy Ghostbusting as a geriatric. Also, there’s that huge elephant in the room, in the form of no Bill Murray. That’s been a deal breaker that goes back from the first day that there was talk of this threequel. So this entire production, even with Ivan Reitman at the helm, is like a 3 legged table; sure it might stand up right but the real stability in the product is gone.

For years Ghostbusters has been favorite of mine and will continue to be probably forever…but somethings just don’t need to continue. Who knows, I may be completely wrong and Ghostbusters III could be the best of the series (or at least be on par with the original) but I am not going to hold my breath. Right now, it seems like this is coming whether we want it or not. So should it truly come to pass, we can hope against hope that it’s halfway decent and doesn’t dilute the franchise and the memory of our heroes. Anyway that’s my thoughts on the matter. What say you loyal fans and proton pals???