A look at “Ghostbusters Answer the Call”

Ghostbusters Answer the CallIs the new Ghostbusters any good? Is it terrible?

Let me start with this:

I don’t read reviews of movies that I want to see. I don’t put any stock in RT scores or the like.

If I want to see this a movie, I see the movie. I make up my own mind rather than be influenced by the hive mind.

Critics get the luxury (depending) of being able to see a movie without the influence of reading reviews or seeing a score that colors their own perspective of the movie. Why shouldn’t I also have that experience?

Since I started doing this about 15 years ago, I have enjoyed movies more, and more often. Including movies that have terrible RT scores.

So is Ghostbusters 2016 good or bad? Only you can decide for yourself. It is art, and art is subjective to the viewer.

I saw the movie last night in IMAX 3D. I then pre-ordered the Blu-ray after seeing it (it’s going to contain an extended version of the movie, which should hopefully add some much needed padding to the middle of the movie so we can see them progress with their skills).

No. It’s not a better movie than the original. It’s probably somewhere closer to Ghostbusters 2. In some ways better than GB2, and in some ways worse. I’ve only seen it once, and it definitely has some very cheesy moments, but it’s also not terrible. My friend and I both had a good time watching it. It really feels like an extended episode of The Real Ghostbusters or Extreme Ghostbusters with an all new team starting things up. It’s not for everyone (that’s obvious), but if you go in expecting to hate it… you probably will. If you go into it expecting to have a good time for a couple of hours… you probably will. It is not a bad movie, though.

What characters stood out? Two characters basically steal almost every scene they’re a part of: Kevin and Jillian Holtzman. Chris Hemsworth and Kate McKinnon are both fantastic in this. If there’s a sequel, they should have Holtzman go on a mission by herself, because watching just her on a mission would be very entertaining. And Kevin… he had more funny lines than all of the ladies, probably combined. Leslie Jones was at her best when she was quieter, and not yelling. When the ghost was on her shoulders at the rock concert, she was hilariously deadpan.

Ghostbusters Answer the Call? In the past few weeks, the movie has had another title on the commercials. People started questioning if Sony Pictures had renamed the movie. Turns out, they have. It wasn’t the title at the start of the movie (though I would have appreciated it appearing there). It was the title they showed at the end of the movie, though. Ghostbusters Answer the Call is clearly a better title than Ghostbusters (2016). It helps to separate it and make it into its’ own thing. You don’t have to explain which film you’re talking about with the year, and it gets to truly be its’ own thing. It should have been called this from the start. It’s not like each Star Wars movie is confused with the others… they each have their own official title. I hope that the name Ghostbusters Answer the Call is what they use on the Blu-ray release.

Was it what you wanted? I would have preferred the new Ghostbusters film to follow the same thread as the new Star Wars, and be a continuation of the story. That’s not what we got, and the movie is suffering for that. Honestly, they could have done practically the same thing with some major and some minor adjustments to the story.

Was anything missing? A MONTAGE. One thing that was missing from the movie’s narrative that would have helped immensely is a montage. Each of the first two Ghostbusters films had them. In this film, they test out equipment, and take on a ghost, and then suddenly they’re on their way to taking out hundreds of ghosts before the big baddie arrives. Give us a montage to see how they progress in their abilities to use their equipment properly. The awkward dancing scene that happens at the time that this montage could occur would actually work well as a part of the montage. Instead, it’s a bit awkward to watch on its’ own.

What should have been removed? Some of the language was superfluous. Some of the humor was very adult (like the original film) and it definitely should have been cut to PG rather than PG-13. The awkward dancing sequence should also have been removed or changed into a montage, like I said above.

What should have been improved? Some of the pacing… again… a montage would have helped immensely with this. Also, the villain Rowan was rather weak. He could have been, or should have been, more of a Louis Tully or Janosz Poha. He’s actually kind of like Janosz, except that Janosz had someone to talk to, and this guy was an extremely disturbed loner that had a vendetta against all of humanity. We never learn where any of this started for him, and that’s a shame.

How was the music? It was good. There was one part of the score that was particularly awesome, too, and I would have liked to hear more music like that. I’m glad the new cover from Fall Out Boy wasn’t totally featured in the movie more than just a little bit.

Was the movie fun? Yes. My friend Joe and I had a great time watching it. The 3D was impressive and even went outside of the frame, thanks to the IMAX having a taller screen.

Were the original actors in it? Yes. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver all appear. And there’s a blink and you’ll miss it homage to Harold Ramis, to whom the movie is also dedicated.

What are my thoughts on ‘Ghostbusters (2016)?’ Will I ‘Answer the Call?’

Ghostbusters 2016Lately I have had a lot of friends asking me about the new Ghostbusters film. This is because I love the franchise and have since I was a kid, and people wonder how I feel about the movie. The reasons they ask are as varied as their own responses to the film. They either have seen and enjoyed the trailers, seen and been unimpressed, or seen nothing and know nothing of the internet’s general hatred for the new movie that no one has even seen at the time of this writing. So I’m going to take you through my own thoughts at this point, starting with the title.

Lately, the new Ghostbusters movie has had a lot of commercials and posters with the phrase “Answer the Call” placed right under the title. I don’t think the movie has been renamed “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call” or “Ghostbusters Answer the Call” because the credits underneath still list it as “Ghostbusters,” but I actually prefer that as the title for this new movie. It makes sense, and it helps to differentiate between the 1984 and 2016 films without having to explain every time.

But what do you think of the Ghostbusters (2016) movie?

Once I see the actual movie in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to tell you completely. I’ve entirely stopped (and have for the last 10 years or so) reading reviews of movies that I want to see before I see the movies for myself, because I’ve never found a critic that agrees with me 100% of the time. That being said, I read the junior novelization of the new Ghostbusters film, and if the movie was that and nothing more, then it’s basically nothing different from a feature film version of an episode of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, that happens to have different characters and be an origin story. It seems like the actual movie has more crass humor than was in the version of the story that I read, as what I read was cleaned up for kids, and some jokes only work when seen visually. That is the part that worries me. (I don’t normally read novelizations of movies that I want to see, but I made an exception here, because I was worried about the content and wanted to see what I was getting myself into.)

On paper, the negative reaction the movie has gotten is entirely unwarranted. Frankly, the movie’s story is probably far more original than the Karate Kid remake from a few years ago. According to articles I read, that one was basically a “find and replace” of the names and locations and ages of the characters, with one extra scene added, but was otherwise the exact same movie as the original. This Ghostbusters film has a similar rhythm to the original Ghostbusters film, but can stand on it’s own. Basically, watching the two Karate Kid movies (original and remake) back to back would feel like you’re watching a fan film of the original. Watching this film back to back, or even after GB 2, you would wonder why they didn’t just team up with the original Ghostbusters, but you wouldn’t think it’s a repeat with different actors.

I’ll let you know how I really feel after I see it. I want to give it a shot to surprise me. It comes down to the acting, the jokes, the music, the directing and the visuals at this point. Will I want to own this movie? I hope so.

I want the movie to be awesome and for all the haters to have to eat their words. It would be amazing. But I don’t know if that is possible, because it’s not as good a story as the first film. It was, like I said, closer to The Real Ghostbusters and probably Ghostbusters 2 in story. Because it’s not as good as Ghostbusters (1984), people aren’t going to relent on the hate. I also wanted it to be good, because I’m okay with women being ghostbusters (Janine was for a little on the cartoon, and I read the comics and there were women in that before this was ever announced.) but I wanted a mixed team with Bill Hader, Emma Stone, etc.

Help Kickstart Documentary ‘Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters’

Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters I’ve been following this Ghostbusters documentary for eight years. Now it’s closer than ever to completion, but it needs your help. The filmmakers have spent the last eight years making several trips to the United States from their homes in England, interviewing over 70 members of the cast and crews of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, and have some conversations about the cartoons and video game as well that could become something more substantial than a small feature if enough funds are raised.

If you’re a fan of Ghostbusters at all, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign.

Anthony and Claire BuenoCleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters has the potential to be the essential behind the scenes documentary about both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. They have enough content for a director’s cut that would run for more than four hours, and that’s with just the interviews about the feature films. That doesn’t include the animated series or the video game.

Anthony and Claire Bueno have been working on this as a labor of love, self financing until now. Check out the Kickstarter trailer and consider helping make this a reality.

My Most Anticipated Films of 2016


Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryHere is my list of most anticipated films for the year. I think I missed doing this list last year, but I wanted to make sure to put this list together for 2016. We now live in a world where there are new Star Wars films coming out regularly. I’m very excited about that, and have ranked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as my most anticipated movie of the year. I have a feeling that’s going to be a running theme from now on. Anyway, here are my most anticipated movies of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

My Top Films of 2015

Star Wars: The Force AwakensHere’s my annual list of favorite films for the year. This year had a few surprises for me. I’m really pleased with 2015, and really excited about the films that I managed to see throughout the year. Let’s get started.

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – I’ve been waiting a decade for this. After Revenge of the Sith, I wondered if we’d get any more Star Wars films, and when it was announced that there’d be more, I couldn’t believe it… and then it was here. I almost still don’t believe it. It was everything I wanted it to be, save for one thing… I would have liked more of the old cast to have scenes together. But, as that’s a personal preference thing, and doesn’t actually reflect on the movie that we were given, it bears no weight against it. The characters, the planets, the settings, the acting, the directing, the effects… this one has it all. Including both practical and CGI elements that are seemlessly branched together. It’s also the best Star Wars film since Revenge of the Sith. The last one, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, was more of a prelude to the animated series, and not a very good example of how great that series became as it went on. The Force Awakens has a story that introduces new mysteries, adds to the mythology in important ways, and it has a female in a leading role in a way that is closer in attitude to Princess Leia whenever she carried a gun. I could write volumes about The Force Awakens. Also, to those that felt Star Wars had died with the prequels, welcome back. I’ve been here the whole time… a lot of us have… just please, leave the prequels and George Lucas alone from now on. We’ve got Star Wars films that most of us can agree on being made again… just let it go.
  2. CinderellaCinderella – At Disney’s 2013 D23 Expo they didn’t have much information about this, other than a teaser with the glass slipper. I had never seen the actress playing Cinderella before, but Cate Blanchett (Galadriel in The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) was in it as the step-mother and Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) plays her mother. Plus, with Kenneth Branagh (Thor) directing, I knew it’d be at the very least visually stunning. And it was. Plus, the script brought Cinderella to life in a way that was both entertaining and memorable. The prince, this time, isn’t a soulless character without a personality. Instead, there’s a focus on his relationship with his father, the king, which lends itself well to the growth of both the prince and Cinderella. We learn much about both of them through the lens of the king. All of this leads to one of the most powerful themes being played out in just the right place: when Cinderella says her final words to her step-mother before leaving. It’s a home-run and well worth your time.
  3. Inside Out – Pixar has done it again. A film that is as wonderful as I wanted it to be. It captures your imagination and teaches the value of every emotion, including the one that we might think is a bad one: sadness. It brings me back to the lines that Gandalf speaks at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: “I will not say, ‘do not weep,’ for not all tears are an evil.” That rings true here as well. This is a very well planned out film with an excellent story. It was a very big topic to cover, taking you into the minds of the characters. It’s funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking, and exhilarating.
  4. Jurassic World – Ever since the opening credits of the first Jurassic Park, I’ve wanted this movie. I thought, during the course of Jurassic Park, that eventually we’d get to see the park open with guests experiencing the dinosaurs. Now, three movies later, it’s here, and it’s awesome. I loved seeing the park. It felt like you could actually go there, and I wanted to. Now I can, any time, by playing this movie. I’m looking forward to the sequels, even though the director has moved on to Star Wars: Episode IX.
  5. The Avengers: Age of Ultron – This took things up another notch for Marvel, catapulting every character into new directions and introducing us to a bunch of new Avengers at the same time. It also introduced characters that will become more important as the films continue. It also put the characters into peril that it looked like they would never make it out of, and they’ve actually done some things that will have serious repercussions in the films to come… especially in Captain America: Civil War.
  6. Ant-Man – I didn’t know what to expect from this, but I really liked it. It wasn’t about saving the world, but rather a family. And that’s what made it good. Ant-Man is likely going to be a favorite character for a lot of people now, and that’s not a bad thing.
  7. The Peanuts Movie – I totally expected to be ho-hum about this movie, but the end of the movie was very sweet. I also loved how they managed to capture the right look of each of the characters while making them all very warm. The move to 3D didn’t hurt the feel of the characters at all, and when I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special again, I wondered what it would be like if it were re-animated with the look of this movie. Probably even more magical (not that it’ll ever be done).
  8. The Good Dinosaur – Pixar’s second original film of 2015. I expected greater things from this. It had a scene that was very simple and very emotional. The movie went through a very tumultuous time of re-development, and it shows. However, near every shot of the film could be framed and put up on your wall. It’s beautiful. Not the best, but absolutely beautiful.
  9. The Hunger Games – Mockingjay: Part 2 – It’s over.. I was curious about where it was all going, and how it was all going to end, and here it is. It was kind of a doozy. After all the build-up, the wrap up, I felt, could have been a little longer, but it was fairly sufficient. I don’t think it quite had the effect I was hoping for, of elevating the first part of Mockingjay to a new level. Catching Fire is definitely the best part of the story. But it was still very high quality and well acted.

Not completely new

  1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition – Absolutely stunning. Better than it was in theaters, The Hobbit is now, actually complete. This was truly awesome and belongs on my list of top movies of the year. It was already my number 1 movie of 2014, and this just solidifies that ranking. It’s definitely the best movie to come out of 2014.


  1. Tomorrowland – I thought this, based on the trailer, would have a lot more set in Tomorrowland. Instead, it was about a journey to find our way into Tomorrowland… which had inexplicably fallen apart. I love the look of Tomorrowland… and really wanted the entirety of the movie to be set in Tomorrowland. It’s a shame that we couldn’t spend more time there. My own expectations aside, the movie was just okay. I wish that it was better.
  2. The Fantastic Four – The first two acts of this were fantastic. Better than the other two Fantastic Four movies. The third act was where it fell apart. The end battle with Dr. Doom was not what it should have been. It was fast and very weak. Plus, it seems that Fox has cancelled the sequel to this film. That’s a bit of a shame because the cast was great.


  1. Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom – My wife doesn’t really like monkeys so we wound up skipping this one. We’ll definitely be checking out Disneynature’s Born in China this year, though.
  2. Terminator Genisys – I meant to see this one, and I still want to. I hear a variety of things about this, both positive and negative, but until I see it for myself, I won’t know the truth.
  3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – This was the first Mission: Impossible that I missed on the big screen. I hope to see it soon. So far, only 3 and 4 are any good, so I’m hoping that this fifth one continues that.
  4. The Visit – I don’t like when M. Night Shyamalan does straight up horror, so I intentionally skipped this one in theaters. I’ll watch it at home, but I don’t have very high hopes. I’m really looking forward to another great thriller from him.
  5. Everest – This looked interesting, but I’m not sure if I’ll be seeing this anytime soon.

Not on my radar / simply haven’t seen / couldn’t be bothered

  1. Furious 7 (Haven’t seen any of the others, why start now?)
  2. Minions (…)
  3. The Martian (Hear it was better than Interstellar, which isn’t saying much. Maybe will see it. Maybe not.)
  4. Spectre (I’ve not really seen much Bond. At all.)
  5. San Andreas (I like this kind of movie, so I’ll be watching this soon. Picked up the Blu-ray on sale.)
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road (Not a fan.)
  7. Creed (Curious about this. Maybe someday.)
  8. Taken 3 (haven’t seen any of them)
  9. Maze Runner 2 (haven’t seen Maze Runner 1)
  10. Paddington (Hear it was great. I’ll be watching this soon.)
  11. Bridge of Spies (Spielberg. I’ll be watching this soon-ish.)
  12. Ex Machina (Been hearing people talk highly of this. Has two cast members from the best movie of the year.)
  13. Shaun the Sheep Movie (Love Wallace and Gromit… this is a spin off.)
  14. Divergent: Insurgent (Series feels like a Hunger Games light.. probably will see this one someday.)