Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters Blows Open the Doors of Perception and Makes Reality Its Bitch

Reviewed by Thomas Gage for DecimalPointless and ghostbusters_ver6

(Editor’s note: We now know for certain that film critic Thomas Gage was dosed with multiple tabs of a low-grade but highly hallucinogenic form of LSD prior to viewing this film.)

Okay, so … Ghostbusters … the movie with all the phantasms and the proton packs that sound like human souls patched into an electrical outlet, and that one bad guy that I just absolutely hate, man. You know the one. Anyway, this movie is awesome, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the coyote who sat right next to me. He’ll shoot ya’ straight, man, cuz he doesn’t know how to lie—like, he doesn’t believe in lying. So, in a way, he IS truth. But it isn’t just the movie that rocks, it’s the whole movie-going experience. For me, this crazy ride called Ghostbusters began with a large Coke that tasted funny and ended when I woke up in a wheelbarrow just outside my office, like, ten minutes ago.

Let’s get down to the review. As we all know, Ghostbusters is a reboot of the 1984 classic. This time around, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig star as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, while Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones totally embody Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. And, for the record, everyone is great, even Chris Hemsworth as … I don’t know … let’s say Sigourney Weaver. The story really kicks in when Wiig and McCarthy, who co-wrote a book about ghosts years before, decide to team up for some reason. I don’t really know why. To be honest, it was about this time in the movie when I found myself having a hard time concentrating. For starters, I could hear my hair growing, which was really distracting. Also, the coyote next to me was smoking clove cigarettes and incessantly quoting (loudly) from the poem “The River of Bees” by W. S. Merwin. “Men think they are better than grass,” my ass!

Anyway, just when everything was starting to return to normal, the screen began to melt into a soupy, goopy mess, which somehow defied the laws of gravity and dripped straight up, where it collected in a shimmering pool on the theater ceiling. Luckily, an attentive—and winged—employee fluttered up to the ceiling, soaked up the liquid-y screen with a sponge, and then gently reapplied it to its rightful place at the front of the house. It was at that point that I realized the employee was actually a manticore, and I was proud of the theater for instituting hiring practices that don’t preclude mythological Persian creatures from employment. Of course, if that particular manticore happened to also be transgender, he or she would not be allowed to use the public bathrooms in the theater. Come on, America! It’s time to wake up and treat manticores with the respect they deserve.

Okay, so … back to the movie. I have to admit that I had serious doubts concerning a Ghostbusters reboot. After all, the original film remains a cherished childhood memory. However, this new version of the film gave me the duel powers of invisibility and squirrel hypnotism. Let’s see Ivan Reitman compete with that! Of course, this new Ghostbusters isn’t perfect. Director Paul Feig relies a little too much on improvisation, and his decision to adorn every character with a set of strangely asymmetrical Manitoban elk antlers remains a mystery. And why was Verne Troyer hired as the director of photography? Does he have any experience with cinematography at all?

All in all, Ghostbusters is an enjoyable movie experience, particularly if you don’t constantly feel like you have to shave your tongue, as did I. In the spirit of total honesty, I will admit that I didn’t like having my life threatened by a bag of popcorn, nor did I find it amusing when I realized that my theater seat followed me home. And, yeah, sure, maybe it was terrifying to believe that the theater was a giant mouth and that I was being slowly ingested, but that’s the kind of thing every film critic must learn to endure if he or she plans to maintain an acceptable measure of professionalism. (Speaking of professionalism, I’m starting to believe that I may have been dosed by rival film critics Alfonso Duralde and Christy Lemire. I don’t mean to cast aspersions, but I saw them hovering near my Coke and giggling when I briefly stepped away to get a few napkins at the snack bar. Real professional, you guys!) Now, if you all will excuse me, I need to find a cold compress and a dark room without gremlins … for obvious reasons.

I give Ghostbusters 3.5 buckets of slime out of 4.

(Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 for horrific nightmare imagery, hallucinatory visions of a self-created hell, the dawning realization that humanity is, by its very nature, doomed, and adult language.)

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