Monday, July 18, 2016

F This Movie! - Ghostbusters (2016)

Patrick and Erich Asperschlager answer the call.



Download this episode here. (46.9 MB)

Subscribe to F This Movie! in iTunes.

Listen to F This Movie! on Stitcher.

Also discussed this episode: Green Room (2016), Applesauce (2015), Willow Creek (2014), The Master (2012), All Things Must Pass (2015), The Brothers Grimsby (2016), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

54 comments:

  1. Yessss. Monday casts! Or still Sunday night to me cast!

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  2. I don't advocate watching Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, but since it came up in this podcast, I do want to say that the characters in Mike and Dave are actually developed to a much greater extent than anyone in Ghostbusters (2016). Most of the development is done in exposition but the main characters all have defined motivations for why they act the way they do and they all get character arcs (again, not speaking to the quality of any of it).

    Also, I'm sure I've seen at least parts of Cast a Deadly Spell but I don't remember much about it. I guess this means I need to seek it out.

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    1. I shouldn't have used that movie as an example without having seen it. I was basing those comments on the trailer, which isn't fair. And if I am anything, I am fair to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

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    2. Yeah, I'm not trying to call you out as being wrong or unfair to the Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates or anything. Just figured you might find it interesting that they do actually spend a bit of time on character development in that movie. I think the overall point you were making is still valid.

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    3. No, I know! It didn't come off that way at all. I'm just trying to be better and more thoughtful all the time, and part of that process should include not throwing shade at a movie I haven't even seen. I'm a man at war with myself.

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    4. I've seen half of Mike and Dave. You're both right. And you're both wrong. You are like Denzel and Hackman in Crimson Tide.

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    5. I've been subjected to so much Zac Efron comedy this year that I might as well have taken it all in one sitting scored with Beethoven's 9th. Looks like smooth sailing from here on out though until Baywatch next year.

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    6. Movies are really bad right now.

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    7. "What's Zuul" not what's Gozer.

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  3. Erich - Here's a direct link of movies I reviewed this year so you know which ones to request from Verdict :-)

    http://www.fthismovie.net/search/label/adam%20riske%20reviews

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    1. Thanks Adam. I shall be sure to consult The List for all my life decisions.

      If I wasn't following in your footsteps enough, I appear to be the odd man out consensus-wise on the podcast. How do you deal with the mild discomfort?

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  4. Erich- regarding Applesauce. I'm totally in agreement about the Devin Faraci similarity. As I was listening I was hoping someone would mention it.

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    1. It was distracting and fascinating. I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  5. Agreed on everything Patrick and Erich said. Good podcast. I'm more in the Patrick camp tho. I was more disappointed considering the talent involved in this movie. Comedy curveballs hung over the plate and more ground outs and whiffs than solid joke hits. The characters were all underwritten. Remember in Ghostbusters how funny and well defined Rick Moranis as Louis Tully is? He's the 5th or 6th most important character and he's hysterical.
    The villain in this is so inconsequential. He barely registers as a threat. McCarthy is so funny in everything but this. Sadly I think the movie committed all the bad mistakes of Ghostbusters 2. Repeat of the same story but not as clever. Endless cameos. Bad rap versions of the theme song.

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    1. It's funny you mention Louis Tully - he feels like a 3 dimensional character. He has a career, he's a little deceptive in how he uses his clients to write off a party, he has a love interest (expanded on in the sequel), he has hobbies, and he never feels like someone who's a one-note joke. Rick Moranis does so much with this character that could have easily been written off that it's just amazing.

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  6. Glad to hear an unbiased review before FThisMovie was paid a buttload of money by Sony for a positive review (which I'd partially be okay with because FThisMovie fucking rocks and deserves all of the benjamins).

    That being said, I'm having a hard time pinpointing those individuals who were pissing and moaning about an all female cast. Were there really that many misogynistic assholes on reddit or were there just three incredibly vocal ignoramuses on twitter? To take my point one step further, Richard Roeper is being viciously attacked for not liking the film and being called an anti-feminist (which makes no god damn sense at all). Maybe it's just me but I really hate that the movie even acknowledges this so called controversy. And it doesn't just acknowledge it, it embodies it. By making the villain a cliched fat Caucasian nerd, you're essentially bullying the bully. And Paul Feig is better than that. After all, you know what they say about wrestling with a pig...

    Controversy aside, the four women are actually pretty good. It's the man behind the camera who is to blame for ruining our beloved childhood franchise. I found this movie to be borderline insufferable. The jokes are neither bad nor good. And that's because they're not jokes at all. Instead they're confusing and/or loud statements which other characters focus upon for several minutes (as Patrick already suggested). Combine that with the cameos, which the movie pisses away, and you have a terrible reboot.

    Also, why didn't this movie tie in with the GB universe? If you're going to ignore the events of the first two films, then why even call it Ghostbusters in the first place?

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    1. ^also, I didn't mean to sound as though I was surprised that the four leads were decent. I loved them all going into the movie. I was simply trying to convey how they're given very little to do in the movie. The source material just isn't there and they're not to blame for the movie's many failures.

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    2. Comic Girl 19 made a video about this just this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn_vAcFGTJU

      Also, I feel the film would have gotten a lot less flack if they had just placed this film in a different city years after the first two films. After all, Bill Murray in the original does say, "The franchise rights alone will make us rich". However, because Feig decided to just reboot the series, there were quite a few people who were tired of seeing the things they love be erased as non-canon and being told by the studio, "Now this is the real thing".

      Remember, Sony left up all the angry, sexist YT comments but deleted all other comments that rationally explained why he/she disliked the trailer. Sony used the gender argument to create must see buzz for this film they knew wasn't as good as they had hoped--and a lot of the movie websites used the controversy to make money off their commenters.

      Personally, I'm waiting for the director's cut Blu-ray that will have over 4 hours of special features including an hour + of deleted material.

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    3. Thanks for sharing that link. Her discussion was spot on and I've never encountered that channel until now. Subscribed.

      And you make a really interesting point. It's as though Sony is using this sexist controversy to mask and hide the film's shortcomings. It's kind of genius really (in a fucked up way that ultimately hurts women).

      And honestly, I'm looking forward to the sequel...so long as someone else writes/directs it.

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    4. It seems to me most people who were mad about this movie were mad that Sony was remaking a movie they love (as happens with every remake) and that they found the trailers unfunny. I think it's unfair and overly judgemental to label them all sexist. I saw very little outrage over the female cast. I'm also guessing most people who were outraged about it were just 12 year old trolls.

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    5. Edgar Wright would have been a better fit for this material.

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    6. Edgar Wright is a better fit for everything. Seriously, the dude fucking kills it every time. Plus, he employs visual gags instead of mediocre dialogue that's lazily edited (I'm looking at you Paul Fieg).

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    7. Many of the outraged people were upset that Ghostbusters was being remade, but just as many or more were specifically angry about the female cast. If you doubt how many horrible monsters are attacking this movie in hateful ways, just take a look at Leslie Jones' Twitter timeline today. #Trump2016

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    8. That stuff is the definition of disgusting. It really tests my faith in humanity. #Trump2016 is right.

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    9. Unfortunately Twitter and Youtube (comments) are just a horrible place for everyone to share their hatred behind an anonymous name.

      Yes, there are complete assholes writing stupid ass, sexist, terrible things online about the main actors in this film, as well as Paul Feig--but Sony (and others) did their best to lump anyone with criticism as part of them and that's not fair either.

      I'm surprised Leslie Jones is back on Twitter after the last round of angry, mean tweets sent her way a couple months ago. But from what I understand, one of the heads of the MRA went after her today so of course his idiot minions will be circling her for a few days.

      It's like Kevin Smith said in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, "The Internet is a place for people to share information but instead we use it to share porn and bitch about movies." It's terrible but sadly, it's only going to get worse.

      The way the world just constantly argues with each other on social media, the way people disrespect one another online--all because of a silly reboot is pathetically bringing us one day closer to an eventual Donald Trump presidency.

      Social media certainly has its benefits. I mean, it's how we all found one another and participate in the yearly Twitter festival, help with fundraisers and talk, chat online--but sometimes I long to go back to '80s technology where you could live within your bubble of friends and not to be updated on the decline of our country on a tweet by tweet, Facebook post basis.

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    10. Oh I'm not saying they're not out there. I'm simply suggesting that there are way less than we were led to believe and those select few assholes are incredibly vocal. This is the internet after all.

      And the Leslie Jones thing is repulsive and total bullshit. Also, the whole incident happened after my post or else I would have acknowledged it.

      Patrick, I would strongly suggest you check out that link which Cameron posted above. It makes some really convincing points and throws Sony under the bus (and deservedly so). If anything else, it's interesting to consider how these major movie studios might be encouraging and highlighting controversy in order to save their own asses. It's incredibly manipulative but not surprising.

      And just because people comment, doesn't mean that the movie has to address it. And that's another gripe I have with Ghostbusters. It not only acknowledges the commenters on youtube, but it embodies it as well. From the villain to the youtube scene, GB feels the need to retaliate (and it doesn't retaliate in a clever or funny manner). To make matters worse, addressing the controversy immediately dates the film.

      Lastly, part of me honestly thinks that most Trump supporters are too inept to work a computer. Or so I hope.

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    11. Faraci can be hit or miss for me but I agree with a good amount of this piece. Maybe it's time to all walk away from geek culture and begin again elsewhere. (Kinda like letting the world die at the end of Cabin in the Woods.)
      http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/07/19/the-ghostbros-ruined-my-childhood

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  7. Great podcast, though I'm firmly on Patrick's side on this one. Much like Adam's ET experience, I get why people could find this funny, and it's frustrating that I don't, because this seems to be what comedies are these days. Erich even makes mention of this: this is what he expected out of a summer comedy, and he got exactly what he expected so he was satisfied, but shouldn't we expect more, especially from something with the Ghostbuster name slapped on it? Can we have some wit in our comedies these days?

    You're right, it's unfair to compare it to the original (though the movie often goes out of its own way to do that), but a different cast with a different plot in a different universe would be ok if the tone was at least similar. GB '84 felt lived in, like a horror movie that had these goofy guys living in it. The humor was born from character, with a dry sense of humor that wasn't overly smarmy or self-aware. This movie "felt" like a comedy, like people mugging for the camera and trying to come up with the next "outrageous" thing to say. It felt slap-sticky to me, almost cartoonish, but I'll concede that maybe this style of humor isn't for me.

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    1. I hear you, though I hope I got across that I wasn't grading the movie on a curve. I genuinely found it funny and had a good time. I can just understand why other people wouldn't. Jokes are like that.

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    2. Oh, for sure - I totally take ownership for not feeling it. I just feel like there's this whole new type of comedy that gets made these days that I've just missed the boat on. Sour grapes for feeling excluded.

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    3. I think about this sometimes and feel like I've missed the boat somehow, too. I LIKE Tina Fey but usually don't get her humor. I LIKE Amy Schumer but find myself missing her jokes. I like Melissa McCarthy and think she's funny half the time (in The Heat and the last half of Spy. I think that means I like when she's cursing and acting violent???). Actually I think Amy Poehler is funny almost all the time. Kristen Wiig - I like her but I think I'm one of the only people on the planet who didn't care for Bridesmaids.

      Maybe I like when their humor is not so self deprecating?

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    4. Right. I get that humor is subjective, but when so many people are fans and the actors are global phenomenons, it's hard not to scratch your head and wonder what you're missing that other people are picking up.

      And I can't even entirely say that some of this style of humor is completely lost on me - I love Chris Farley (to be more specific, I love him in Tommy Boy), but I also think he turns in a performance that's really endearing and sweet in that movie that you become invested in him and his character.

      To wit: I enjoyed Ted, but hated Ted 2. One of those has some semblance of an emotional core. The other one is Ted 2.

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    5. Feel ya. I'm hopeful there's new/better/different comedy talent out there coming our way. There should be more to choose from.

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  8. Patrick is right about editing in modern comedies. The constant improv makes scenes go on far too long, and because the actors/filmmakers love everything, films like This is 40 are 2.5 hours long. Must all comedies be the length of The Blues Brothers and Apocalypse Now?

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  9. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which I haven't yet seen, is 86 minutes. (To be brutally honest, however, I will absolutely rent but probably not pay full ticket price for a movie that short, even with its excellent reviews.) MacGruber, 109. Hot Rod, 98. Obvious Child, 90. In short: I agree.

    I also agree that why must this reboot be set in NYC, along with 80% of everything else? If any modern city is to be ghost-filled, how about Detroit, a city that's actually lost overall population over the years? I'd be much more interested in a Detroit-set reboot.

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  10. The first cut of this film, according to Paul Feig, was 4 hours and 15 minutes. Was just it just dialogue or did major plot details get taken out?

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  11. The ghost logo walking down the street is straight out of the opening credits of The Real Ghostbusters. I would think it would be a great tribute if it didn't appear to copy the Staypuft beat.
    Ghostbusters 2, despite its flaws, is still in many of our blu-ray collections. LOL. Still, there are some wonderful lines in that film.

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    1. So glad I'm not alone. Bustin' on Ghostbusters does NOT make me feel good.

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  13. Is it weird that this movie mean's nothing to me? Sure I like GB84, it's one of the movies which I would argue is a fact that it is good, but I have no attachment to it personally. So this to me is just another middling blockbuster/comedy that I may watch on cable. I sort of want to see it in the cinemas to make it a success and prove the micro-penised assholes wrong though....

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    1. Sometimes I wish there was a way to vote what your money at the box office goes to. There are some movies where I want to ask for my ticket and add "Be sure to put that in the 'I'm here for a hot mess' fund." Studios just see my 10 bucks as support, when I really want to buy one adult irony ticket to Scooby-Doo.

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    2. I know you (and Patrick, who made the same remark) are attacking misogynists, and not the actual men with the very real condition of having a micropenis, and I therefore feel kind of prissy for even bringing this up, but this sort of talk is beneath us, no? I imagine men with micropenises have enough troubles without being lumped in with hateful trolls because of their physical characteristic. Sexists come in all dick sizes, and implying a size-to-sexism ratio, even jokingly and for good intentions, is the same spiteful jock logic that attacks Melissa McCarthy for her weight. Surely the label "misogynist" should sting enough on its own.

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    3. Heck, there I go making stereotypes also. Make that "bully logic" rather than "jock logic".

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  14. One of the things that's been bothering me about this movie (mild spoilers ahead):


    When they first meet the villain, I felt like there was an opportunity for them to try to empathize with him and talk him down and they went the opposite direction and essentially said "we get picked on too, suck it up". What little we know of him mirrors Erin's background in a lot of ways in that he's intelligent but picked on for being creepy. Obviously he has an interest in ghosts and the supernatural, and they say that the technology he builds is very similar in design to the tech Holtzmann makes. Erin at least had one friend in Abby but we don't know if this guy had anybody. That scene just felt like a very insensitive way to handle a character who at the very least seems to have been bullied, and could quite possibly suffer from any number of mental health issues. I guess that could be interesting if the script went anywhere with it, but he pretty much just get played as a generic bad guy.

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  15. Well I went to see it last night. I'm in Patrick's camp, although perhaps a bit more negative. I actually enjoyed the movie enough for the first half. Then the horrible Bill Murray scene happens, which is one of the worst movie scenes I've seen in awhile. I was annoyed by all of the cameos, but Murray's was particularly disrespectful and depressing. After that I pretty much disliked everything. The cat in the bag scene? Also one of the worst scenes I've seen in a long time. In the second half it became everything I dislike about blockbusters today. Right down to mass amounts of cgi buildings crumbling. Good show though, guys!

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  16. Remember when Ghostbusters was supposed to be fun? How did the world f this up so badly?

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    1. I hear your Adam. I am praying for the women in the movie to get through what is happening. It makes me sick to my stomach to see what people are saying

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  17. It sucked....

    Tell me it isn't so Sony got ahold of F this Erich too? Dammit....
    J/K to each their own, but I thought it sucked to much non-special effects.

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  18. I liked it! Unfortunately less than a week into its release I had nearly an entire IMAX 3D theatre to myself (there were literally 6 other people, granted it was a 10:15p Wednesday showing but still) so I didn't get much crowd energy to bounce off of but I laughed quite a bit in the first half especially and just generally enjoyed the movies's vibe and the main cast's chemistry even when I wasn't finding it super funny.

    I liked Kate McKinnon but I did find her distracting, mostly because I kept trying to figure out what she was trying to do exactly - I feel like if a bunch of this movie ended up on the cutting room floor, a bunch of that was her dialogue because she always looks like she either just said something or is about to say something but never had/did. Again, I liked her, but she pulled me out a bit because she forced me to analyze her performance.

    I have to agree with Patrick on Leslie Jones - as it was happening I was like, cool, they've come up with a genuinely good and story/character-driven reason why this new person is joining the group but then, Patrick's right, it gets used for like one more scene and then dropped completely. It's Wiig and McKinnon who figure out the sites/map stuff - they actually robbed Jones of a moment that should have been hers (I typed this before hearing Patrick literally say that exact thing).

    So overall my experience with the movie's is closer to Erich's, but I certainly see where Patrick is coming from with all of his criticism - nobody's wrong - the movie is far from terrible - check it out, you probably won't hate it!

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  19. I really enjoyed the discussion on the podcast. More than anything, I empathized with Patrick's frustration that the movie wasn't so good that it empirically proved the hateful misogynist nerd set wrong. Huge stretches of the movie left me bored, or frustrated that the editing or writing wasn't tighter and more polished. But then other stretches made me laugh really hard, and honest to god, when the women start kicking ass in the final stretch, I got goosebumps. I think it's so important that movies like this exist, and while this is not as well made as The Force Awakens, I think there's something undeniably awesome about a movie that puts women in powerful roles. I wish the overall movie was better, but it's still a virtue that I don't think should automatically be discounted. It matters, and it made the movie more enjoyable for me.

    I do feel like I have a minority opinion though, which I invite folks to challenge. I've seen the original Ghostbusters maybe ten times since I was a kid, and rewatched it last week before seeing the new movie. It's a movie that puzzles me, because I have affection for it, but I don't know how well it works for me. I think there are a lot of movies that hold up way better for me, be they eighties comedies like Tootsie or Back to the Future, Bill Murray comedies like Groundhog Day, and special effects movies like Men in Black and Galaxy Quest. I think it's not very well directed, structured bizarrely, and mostly skirts by because of the performances. While this new movie is a mess, I think those three statements are also true of it. Is it just nostalgia that makes the difference?

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    1. Not going to challenge your opinion - you're totally entitled to it. Do you find the original Ghostbusters funny?

      I've been giving this some thought (I noted it above). I think because the original movie was such a huge part of pop culture while I was growing up, it definitely informed my comedic sensibilities, but I can definitely see how, if this wasn't a staple for someone, it wouldn't have that same impact. That might explain a little about why I didn't find the new movie very good or funny while others found it hugely entertaining.

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  20. I am playing catch up, so just getting to this. Great podcast guys. My favorites are always when there are different opinions discussed and the talking heads stick to their guns. Very engaging conversation.

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  21. Wasn't the Ernie Hudson ending a meta joke related to his negative relationship with the original?

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