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Rebuttal Review: Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Ain’t Afraid of No Critics


Once upon a time, feminists were concerned that if the syllable “man” was included in a job title, like chairman or mailman or newspaperman, people would believe that those jobs were not for women. So terms like chairperson, mail carrier and journalist came into much wider use, indicating that the jobs should be open to anyone who was capable of doing them.

With that in mind, it was quite odd to hear the chorus of grousing that greeted the announcement of a remake of the beloved 1980s-era comedy “Ghostbusters” with an all-female cast. Even though the job title ghostbuster has never been gender specific, in some people’s minds it definitely was, thanks to the delightfully enduring performances of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson.

Undeterred, producers pushed ahead with a team of comedy MVPs — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones — in the starring roles, tried and true Paul Feig in the director’s chair and cameo appearances by the original cast. A nod to all the social media pre-production naysaying was also worked into the $144 million movie, which is offered in high definition, 3D or IMAX versions.

So, would the result be an enjoyable diversion from the bleak news of the day?

Absolutely not, says Richard Roeper, the movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times whose reviews are carried in publications across the country. He wrote, “‘Ghostbusters’ is a horror from start to finish, and that’s not me saying it’s legitimately scary.” And that was just his first sentence.

I wondered, could “Ghostbusters” replace “Ishtar” in the annals of the worst movies ever made?

Not a chance.

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  • Elizabeth W July 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    “respectful to the original with a few grace notes,” exactly! Well said.
    I went to see Ghostbusters last week, as well, and I adored it.
    Still grinning, and planning a repeat watching.

    (And that’s as someone who grew up with the original movie… and currently works for a library, so I’m biased to love the original.)