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Homework: Ghostbusters

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I know I'm not usually the Homework guy, but everyone's slowly getting back in the swing of things, so I'll gladly hand this responsibility back as soon as the Canon returns; but until then...

 

I'm sure this is one of those films people can recite by memory, but in case you haven't seen it- it's on next week's Canon.

 

Although, Amy didn't specify- Maybe she meant Ghostbusters from last year? ;)

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I think she meant Ghostbusters II. You know. The one in which the ghost in the logo makes the dreamworks face and the victory sign.

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I'm definitely in the "Ghostbusters II missed the mark" camp, but there are plenty of die hard fans. It drags in a way that only phoned-in sequels can, and some of it was really painful like Tully and Janine's silly cartoon date.

 

It was the reason I was NEVER big on any kind of Ghostbusters sequel or reboot. They had all of the originals back for the sequel and couldn't even make that work.

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I'm looking forward to debating, arguing, and sometimes harmoniously agreeing with you guys again.

 

I'm hoping this episode can turn me around on Ghostbusters. I never got the appeal of that film. I never found the comedy to be that funny or the story to be that entertaining. idk, i guess bustin' doesn't make me feel good!

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I'm looking forward to debating, arguing, and sometimes harmoniously agreeing with you guys again.

 

I'm hoping this episode can turn me around on Ghostbusters. I never got the appeal of that film. I never found the comedy to be that funny or the story to be that entertaining. idk, i guess bustin' doesn't make me feel good!

 

Agreed, while certainly not a bad film Ghostbusters is a movie that feels overrated every time I watch it.

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WE GOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay glad we're all back. And I can already see the debate's going to be good on this one...

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Agreed, while certainly not a bad film Ghostbusters is a movie that feels overrated every time I watch it.

 

I loved this movie when I was a kid in the eighties, and I hate to say it felt like it was starting to show it's age when I saw it in the theater a couple of years ago. There is a little bit of franchise worship from people my age (mid-thirties) because there was a lot of merchandising and a popular cartoon. I still think it's a good movie, but I have to contextualize it more these days. If you can watch stuff like Animal House or Stripes and realize those were considered insanely funny movies for their time, then it might be easier to understand that Ghostbusters was this crazy special effects version of those movies that made a huge splash. (You may know all of this, but I'm just throwing it out there for anyone who doesn't remember.)

 

I'm honestly not sure if I think it's canon. I'm leaning towards yes just because it absolutely had an impact.

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Yeah I'm definitely in the "it's fine" camp.

A few good lines here and there- incredibly easy to watch- not sure it's a classic though..

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I'm honestly not sure if I think it's canon. I'm leaning towards yes just because it absolutely had an impact.

 

Yea, I agree with you. I couldn't have said it better. I watched it again and I found it surprisingly slow paced, and some plot points are super weak. Also, Sigourney Weaver's part doesn't do much for me... And I think it's way more influential on your side of the pond than in Europe.

 

Edit: Also, that "original score" is at best mediocre. You know, as soon as the soundtrack has to point out jokes and plot points with mickey mousing them, you are basically in Beethoven part 4 territory, and nobody is supposed to ever go this patronizing route. In the 70s, they at least had the decency to try to level up a considered weak film by giving it a memorable score. Case and point would be stuff like Jaws, the Omen and similar fair. But this is just weak. The more I think of it, the more the whole film feels more and more like Reagan-era star wars programme nonsense, i.e. the equivalence of: "Let's throw a shitload of money at the wall, because something in this mess HAS to work"-approach. This is not a film. It's a one and a half hour commercial for a couple of stand-ups, toy figures, a tv show and the c.v. of a second unit crew, including crowd-pleasing jingle. I'm sorry for these harsh words, and I can still see why somebody would be sentimentally attached to this film. I really try not to be this negative, usually.

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I really like Murray and Moranis in the film but then I wouldn't put it in my top 5 Murray or Moranis movies. There's definitely a cultural impact to be explored, for me the big question is, can we point to this as the first big mainstream movie to be both a genre riff and a comedy? And also does it manage to succeed as both a genre riff and a comedy? Or in trying to service both of those DNA strands does it sacrifice one for the other or fumble both of them in the attempt at juggling both? I'm interested to hear what Amy and Paul have to say about it, depending on Amy's argument I could probably go either way.

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I wouldn't go so far as to say that anything about the movie doesn't work, and I don't necessarily think it has to be the absolute best at anything to justify being in the canon. I just think it's a movie that doesn't work as well for the modern mainstream audience. Pacing, editing, and comedy all evolve over time based purely on taste, but you can still enjoy and embrace those movies when you put them in context. Ghostbusters feels unique so it's difficult for me to dismiss it out of hand. It was definitely different and special back then.

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Hey there, after listening to the episode again, I don't think they announced any film to watch untill next week during the episode...

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It looks like Ghostbusters position is secured. I might've approached this as an alternate suggestion had it been given the chop, but even with it in the Canon, I hope that the one other movie that captures the same kind of character-based comedy/spectacle magic (in my opinion anyway) also gets a shot: Galaxy Quest. (Without the sexual aggression, I suspect that one would receive less complaints, although maybe its significance would still be just as debated.)

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It looks like Ghostbusters position is secured. I might've approached this as an alternate suggestion had it been given the chop, but even with it in the Canon, I hope that the one other movie that captures the same kind of character-based comedy/spectacle magic (in my opinion anyway) also gets a shot: Galaxy Quest. (Without the sexual aggression, I suspect that one would receive less complaints, although maybe its significance would still be just as debated.)

 

Has Galaxy Quest had any greater cultural impact than just being a movie a surprisingly large and broad group of people love? As an o....semi-old-school Trekkie, I wonder if it helped to pave the way for the mainstream success of the J.J. Abrams films by selling "Trek" to the normies.

 

c.2009:

 

Person A: Hey, wanna see the new Star Trek?

Person B: Sure! Galaxy Quest is one of my favorite movies.

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I realize you were responding the end of my post, but would you say cultural impact is necessary to nominate a movie for The Canon or something to consider after the fact? There are plenty of Canon-worthy movies that were flops upon release, only to gain a cult following later, and some of them still aren't really beloved by the mainstream. In the Ghostbusters thread proper, 1984 alts included Stranger Than Paradise and Repo Man. I love them, but I don't know how influential they are, and yet I doubt anyone would find it confusing to see them nominated.

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I realize you were responding the end of my post, but would you say cultural impact is necessary to nominate a movie for The Canon or something to consider after the fact?

I think, generally speaking, the "cult path" is the most parsimonious path to Canon induction. Mainstream success (immediate or otherwise) doesn't seem to move the needle. That's just from my observation.

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I realize you were responding the end of my post, but would you say cultural impact is necessary to nominate a movie for The Canon or something to consider after the fact? There are plenty of Canon-worthy movies that were flops upon release, only to gain a cult following later, and some of them still aren't really beloved by the mainstream. In the Ghostbusters thread proper, 1984 alts included Stranger Than Paradise and Repo Man. I love them, but I don't know how influential they are, and yet I doubt anyone would find it confusing to see them nominated.

 

I don't think it's a requirement that a film be "culturally important" to be nominated. But the typical Canon nominee (barring versus) is either:

 

1. A widely-known (if not always widely seen) film that feels like a shoe-in for a "classic", but let's take a closer look at it and see if it's really such a slam-dunk after all

2. A cult film that has flown under the radar for decades and/or isn't considered "classic" by the hoity-toity awards set, but should be re-considered as a classic by other means

 

Otherwise, I don't know what there is to debate (which is the central point of the show, not the induction or rejection). Of course Star Wars or Psycho or Casablanca get in. And of course Bio Dome or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 or....some regrettable film from the 1940s that I can't think of right now...should be kept out. Who's suggesting otherwise?

 

In considering whether a film should get in, everything matters. Quality, influence over the years, how it represents a specific time/genre, or even how it represents a single iconic person in pop culture.

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