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Jul 18, 2016
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For some strange reason, the new Ghostbusters movie has the odd distinction of being the most disliked movie trailer ever on YouTube. But as anyone who has seen the comments section on the video-sharing website can attest to, the internet can be irrationally hateful sometimes.

Yet, you have to wonder where all this came from. Why did people hate something they hadn't even seen yet? It might have something to do with the fact that a lot of us grew up watching the Ghostbusters; from the live-action movie that came out in 1984 to the cartoon series that followed a few years after—the Ghostbusters were a big part of our childhood. Meron pa ngang Pinoy version, Goosebusters, starring Joey de Leon and featuring a goose that can possess people. (Ayos sa plot 'di ba? Ang galing talaga ng Pinoy!)

When news of another Ghostbusters sequel first came out in 2011, a lot were excited to see a modern version of a childhood classic. But the project never went anywhere because, as Bill Murray himself said, "No one wants to pay money to see fat old men chase ghosts!" So the project was in limbo for four years until it was finally announced that instead of a sequel, the next Ghostbusters will be a reboot with an all-female cast. That's when the haters really started coming out of the woodwork. "Why mess with a beloved classic?" "Why bother with an all-female cast?" "Bakit hindi na lang sequel sa Goosebusters ni Joey de Leon tsaka Ungga?!"

The new Ghostbusters compared to the old one.
Parang may binago sila e.
Yung uniform ba?

Now that the new Ghostbusters movie is showing in cinemas, we can finally find out if all the hate for the movie was justified. Having already seen the movie, I can say that it's not. If you have already decided to despise the movie before even seeing it, then there's probably no way to change your mind about it. But casual fans and those who are new to the franchise will probably have a good time watching the 2016 version. It brings back everything its fans enjoyed from the original. And when I say "everything," I mean that in the literal sense.

Even the old car with the logo is back. Just in case you were worried that they'd
change their logo like what SMART did to theirs. Just kidding, we like it, Boss MVP!

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The new Ghostbusters is a re-imagining of the 1984 cult classic. It's like the story taking place in a parallel universe where all the elements of the original are there except that they gender swapped the main characters. Reports of apparitions suddenly haunting different places in Manhattan start spreading and scientists Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (Kirsten Wiig) set out to prove once and for all that ghosts do exists. They are helped by an eccentric inventor Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and street-smart New Yorker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). The four ladies, together with their dumb-as-a-rock receptionist Kevin (played by Thor, err, Chris Hemsworth), form the Ghostbusters.

Oddly enough, Thor looks more like Clark Kent in this movie

If you've seen the first one that came out 32 years ago, you might remember that this is more or less how the story went as well. All the members of the new Ghostbusters have their counterparts from the original. Erin is Peter Venkman, the initially skeptical member of the group. Abby is Ray Stantz, the brains behind the operation. Jilian is Egon Spengler, the brilliant but weird inventor. And Patty is Winston Zedemore, the street-smart blue collar worker who just wants to be part of the team. Most of the characterizations are the same and while that helps to bring back the spirit of the original, it's kind of limiting as well. Instead of fleshing out a whole new set of characters with different personalities, director Paul Feig decided to play it safe and pay homage to the original. (Even Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man are back.)

Slimer is back; although he now looks like the bastard son of Jabba the Hutt

Doing comedy is hard. When Leonardo DiCaprio froze to death in Titanic kasi hindi naisip ni Kate Winslet na kasya naman silang dalawa du'n sa ibabaw ng pinto, it was tragic. The effect it has on people might be varied; your girlfriend might have cried in that scene while you probably just cursed at the screen asking, "Bakit hindi na lang kasi kayo nagsiksikan? Hindi ba puwede mag-take turns?!" But I don't think anyone can argue that it was a tragic scene. Comedy is different. Something that's funny to one person might not be funny to the next person. Ghostbusters boasts a cast of the funniest women in Hollywood right now and a joke or two every minute in all of its two-hour running time. Some of the bits are quite funny while others might just make you give a soft chuckle. But at that rate, even those who are difficult to amuse will leave the movie house with something to smile about.

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Just imagine if instead of the Warrens that family from The Conjuring 2 asked
the Ghostbusters' help instead. Natapos siguro ng mas maaga yung movie

"Fun" is the best way to describe what it is, which is exactly what the original Ghostbusters set out to be. It's a group of comedians trying to save the world. And that blueprint has worked for a lot of movies that followed it—Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy being the most recent one. But just like the original, attempting to be lighthearted and fun can somehow affect some storytelling aspects. In the new version's case, the villain (whose identity we will not spoil for you) is a much-maligned outcast who just decided one day to unleash the spirit world on all of New York City. We don't know much about him aside from the fact that he's an asshole.

For fans of the original, this latest version is definitely a must-see if only for the nostalgia. I grew up watching the Ghostbusters and the first time I heard them play the theme song this time around, I felt a bit giddy. It just brings back a lot of memories. The fact that it features an all-female cast shouldn't even matter in this day and age. If they can turn a long-haired Norse god from being someone that looks like Chris Hemsworth into a woman, why should it matter if the Ghostbusters suddenly become female? Change everything about it if you must, just don't ever change that theme song kung hindi mag-o-organize ako ng maliit na rally sa EDSA! Walang siraan ng childhood!


7/10. More of a re-imagining than an actual reboot, Ghostbusters 2016 delivers on laughs at a rate good enough to silence most of its doubters.


Rey de la Cruz Jr. likes talking about films as much as he likes watching them. He runs www.reyview.org, a site that provides Filipino moviegoers with reviews written in a voice that is uniquely Pinoy.

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