Get your Politics Out of My Movies!

When I’d originally started this post, it was titled ‘Ghostbusters 3 is NOT a Feminist Issue!’ I was simply going to discuss why forcing politics of any kind onto a movie (when the movie itself isn’t political) doesn’t do anyone any favours: fanbase and creators included. However, I rather unfortunately found that one my favourite movie franchises has been invaded by the same political self-righteousness. So, I’ve been forced to tackle the entire reason that politics and movies shouldn’t be forced together. I’m going to start with Ghostbusters 3 and then go on to discuss Captain Marvel and the future of the MCU.

Back to Sequels and Reboots

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Science Fiction

I’m sick to death of having to discuss sequels and reboots. However, with Ghostbuster 3 being announced, I have to revisit the topic. I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again: Ghostbusters should never have become political. Out of all the movies that have ever been made, why would anyone pick Ghostbusters as the target of anti-male propaganda? I’ve written on this topic rather extensively (unfortunately). So, if you want to know my opinions on the Ghostbusters reboot both before and after its release, then by all means click on the corresponding links. I wouldn’t encourage it though. This topic is already saturated beyond belief.

So, what has sparked me to write, once again, about the political issues surrounding the Ghostbusters franchise? Well, with the release of Ghostbusters 3 being announced, certain individuals feel that the movie carries anti-women sentiments, which is hilarious given how blatantly anti-male publicity was for the reboot. I’m going to summarise the issue before sharing my own view on the matter.

To cut a long story short: Ghostbusters is NOT a feminist issue. It never should have been in the first place, but it certainly isn’t now that we’ve moved away from the disgraceful 2016 reboot.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Forbes

For any of you confused by the Ghostbusters franchise, here is a brief history: In 1984, the first Ghostbusters movie was released. In 1989, a sequel (imaginatively titled “Ghostbusters II) was released. In 2016, some genius decided to reboot the franchise. This reboot takes place in a separate universe from the originals i.e. the events of the original movies didn’t take place within the 2016 movie universe (that will be important in a moment). In 2020, a sequel to the second Ghostbusters movie (1989) will be released, likely starring most of the original cast and following on from the original stories. It’s likely to be a “passing of the torch” movie and will apparently star 2 males and 2 females as the new, young leads.

So, this brings us to Leslie Jones who starred in the 2016 reboot as Patty Tolan. Mrs Jones is apparently outraged and recently tweeted the following:

Ghostbuster-Reboot-Leslie-Jones-Reaction.jpg

For starters, why bring Trump into this? Suddenly, making a sequel (which as I’ve mentioned will have a 50/50 gender split anyway) to a movie about 4 men a “Trump move”? I understand that she’s trying to label the move sexist, but that brings us to our next issue. Why is it a “dick move” to make a sequel but it’s not a dick move to reboot the franchise, switch the gender of every character, and turn the movie into nothing more than a punch in the balls (quite literally, if you’ve seen the reboot)? Surely if anyone made a “dick move” it’s the people behind the all-female reboot, right?

Another aspect of Jones’ Tweet relates to the reboot not counting. She says, “We dint count”. Well, did the original cast not count when you made the 2016 movie? Secondly, the reboot was an absolute flop. You can attribute that to sexist white male misogynists if you like, but the truth of the matter is that the movie lost something like $70 million. Why the fuck would any sane person drag that shit show back for round 2? If you remove yourself from the original franchise, you can’t then be angry when the original franchise continues without you.

Ultimately…

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via YouTube

What this all boils down to is nonsensical political outrage. These days, people will grasp hold of anything that allows them to feel and share outrage, at anyone, anything, or anywhere. It is a trend that is spreading like wildfire.

When researching aspects of this post, I ended up on the most weighted ScreenRant article ever, which opened with: “Ghostbusters: “Leslie Jones Is (Understandably) Mad There’s a New Reboot”, before going on to state “However, the 2016 reboot was plagued all through its production and marketing by certain folks who weren’t happy with a Ghostbusters movie starring all women.”

This sort of writing annoys me because the hate towards the reboot was NOT because it was an all-female cast. That was an aspect, a very minor aspect, but it wasn’t the fact that the cast was female, it was the fact that A) The movie was anti-male, B) The movie claimed to be some sort of feminist breakthrough and marketed itself as such, and C) Even from the trailers, it was clear that the movie was not going to do the originals justice. I can’t say this enough but Annihilation is one of my favourite movies to have come out in the last few years and it has an all-female cast. Yet people like Leslie Jones and others never raise that example when holding white men responsible for their piece of shit movies flopping!

Ghostbusters 3

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Geek Tyrant

When it comes to Ghostbusters 3, what are my thoughts? Well, I think it’s a mistake. But I think it’s a better idea that a reboot. Why? When it comes to reboots, particularly when handled like Ghostbusters, you essentially scrap the original story and replace it with a modern take. People don’t like to watch their favourite movies being recycled to suit a modern audience. Having recently re-watched the original Ghostbusters, Bill Murray portrays an incredibly sexist and inappropriate Dr Venkman. Men don’t watch that nowadays and think to themselves “ahhhh, so THAT’S how you get the woman!” Regardless, if you released a movie that glorified and laughed at such behaviour nowadays, it would be slated by certain groups.

Sequels can encounter a similar problem, but this usually relates to continuity. If you look at Star Wars or Jurassic World, the biggest issues they faced involved remaining true to the original movies. Another example would be Jumanji. Welcome to the Jungle is sort of a sequel and a reboot, but it manages to make the movie different enough that you don’t really compare it to the original, but it isn’t so different that you don’t feel a connection between the two.

I’d love to see the original Ghostbusters cast back on the big-screen, but unless the can find the right balance between the original and modern-day movies, then it’s going to fail.

Captain Marvel and Brie Larson

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Adventures in Poor Taste

Sadly, this bring me to Marvel. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll find that I’ve written about Marvel more than anything else. I love discussing my hopes and concerns, my theories, and many other topics.

Prior to the release of the Captain Marvel trailer, I wasn’t that excited for the movie. Not because it’s a female character, not because I’m a sexist, misogynistic, pro-Trump, anti-LGBT demon, but simply because I don’t know the character. I wasn’t excited for many other MCU movies and ended up loving them e.g. Winter Soldier and Black Panther. Similarly, I was excited for other MCU movies and ended up having my expectations crushed e.g. Doctor Strange and Age of Ultron.

However, when the trailer was released, I found myself feeling more excited. The Skrull concept and being able to see a young Nick Fury in action seemed compelling. Not to mention that I’ve enjoyed Brie Larson in other movies, so I’ve always looked forward to seeing her performance within the MCU, even if I wasn’t all that excited about the movie itself.

Fuck the Fans!

Ghostbusters and Captain Marvel

image via YouTube

Fuck…I can’t even bring myself to write about this nonsense. So, Brie Larson made a speech at the Crystal + Lucy Awards. To sum it up: “if you’re a white male and like Marvel movies but don’t enjoy Captain Marvel, then fuck you!” Larson displayed a complete lack of understanding for how the world works. Apparently, the fact that 60% of movie reviewers are white males is evidence of the patriarchy controlling and manipulating female-led films to fail. Larson’s solution? Equality of outcome: she wants to force non-white movie reviewers into the review role, along with more white females, in order to balance things out.

This, of course, ignores the fact that ANYONE can review movies. Want to write a blog about movies? WordPress is free and easy to use. I happen to write reviews for my own blog and MovieBabble, a movie review site that takes on anyone who loves to write about movies. ANYONE can start a YouTube account and review movies, it’s free and easy to do. ANYONE can review on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, both of which are frequently referenced by people such as Mindy Kailing, Brie Larson, and others.

I’m not sure what percentage of MCU fans are white males, but I’d imagine that it’s a majority or at least close to it. According to one website, a survey carried out in 2018 found that males make up the majority of MCU viewers within the US. Now, it’s one thing to call out to fans of different demographics. If Larson has said “we need more women in these roles” or “we need more women to watch these movies” then there wouldn’t be an issue but saying that white male critics can essentially go fuck themselves, just alienates a large percentage of MCU fans who have enjoyed the franchise for A FUCKING DECADE prior to Larson’s appearance.

Is it really any surprise that the projected box office figures for Captain Marvel have already by dropped below 50% since the initial projections? People don’t want their favourite franchises (i.e. the MCU) being combined with the individual political ideological ramblings of one ill-informed individual (i.e. Brie Larson).

There is always a backlash to stuff like this, and we’re seeing it with Captain Marvel. According to Complex, “Misogynists Swarming ‘Captain Marvel’ on Rotten Tomatoes Weeks Before Release”. Of course, as is usually the case with instances such as this, they are ignoring the real issue. This has NOTHING to do with the fact that Captain Marvel is a female. It has EVERYTHING to do with Brie Larson launching an attack against fans.

Black Panther

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Marvel

There is a right way to bring politics into a movie, and it isn’t by alienating other demographics. Let’s consider Black Panther. This is a movie that had an almost entirely black cast, and as such it was hailed as being a step in the right direction for the representation of minorities within Hollywood movies.

On the run up to its release, I didn’t once see Chadwick Boseman or Michael B. Jordan stepping up to a mic to say “listen, if this film doesn’t do well, then it’s white people who are to blame”. The movie itself even tackled race issues within the world, but it did so in a manner that wasn’t just sticking a middle finger up at other groups and actually made sense within the movie’s storyline.

I’m not petty enough to not see a movie based on the actions of one member of the cast, but I’d imagine that there are people out there who are. Larson is a classic example of a social justice hypocrite. Does Larson really believe that decade-long fans of the MCU are going to hate a movie purely because the lead is a strong female character? The only reason I will hate Captain Marvel, is if it’s a shit movie. If it IS a shit movie, I’m still going to watch Endgame and Far From Home and other MCU movies!

My MCU Prediction

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via YouTube

I’m almost done ranting, but I just want to touch on one issue that I can see happening over the next few years. Endgame, which will be the movie to follow Captain Marvel, marks the end of the road for many character arcs. Tony Stark, Iron-Man, Thor, and others may not die, but they won’t be returning in the same capacity after this movie. Here lies my worry: Fans have spent 10 years following these characters: we’ve watched them evolve, face increasingly-difficult challenges, and we’ll see them leave. For many, Endgame will mark the end of a story rather than the end of a chapter.

How will the MCU group the remaining heroes together? Will there be an Avengers 5? In my opinion, Endgame should be the last Avengers movie. Let’s face it, the Guardians won’t be returning for a 5th Avengers movie. So, the next group movie should be different, and it should be new, otherwise, people will get very bored very fast! We can’t just see all available MCU heroes regroup every 3 years, particularly when the MVPs will be gone. Why is this a problem?

Well, as we’ve seen with Ghostbusters, Ocean’s 8, the wage gap, and other such movies/ideas, people have a tendency to focus on a connection while ignoring all other factors. You didn’t like Ghostbusters? Well, you must be a female-hating Trump supporter because there’s NO way you just didn’t like the shitty reboot and its horrifically matched cast and slanted political agenda!

When we say goodbye to Tony Stark, Thor, Loki, Steve Rodgers, Bucky, and maybe more (or maybe less, I’m not sure how many actors will step down after Endgame), the viewings of MCU movies is undoubtedly going to take a knock. My worry is that people will blame this on women-hating racists, rather than exploring the real reasons. Then, the MCU will become more politicized and ultimately destroyed.

In Summary

Ghostbusters 3 and Captain Marvel

image via Stream Play TV

In my opinion, there shouldn’t have been a Ghostbusters reboot in the first place! I’m all for a sequel, provided it isn’t just a reboot disguised as a sequel, but rebooting any classic typically fails to do it justice. Look at Jumanji: the reboot/sequel was entertaining, but it just wasn’t the same as the original. Too many things change over the course of several decades and so its impossible to capture the original movies. For example, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Blade Runner, and of course Ghostbusters.

Global politics have changed, societal attitudes and perceptions have changed, actors have died, and a million other variables can be considered as to why making a reboot/sequel to classic movies a couple of decades after the originals will never work. Do you think a Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Fight Club would succeed if rebooted within the next couple of decades? These aren’t even good examples and they still don’t work!

When it comes to movies that are changing within our modern society, we have to remember that people aren’t watching these movies to support a political agenda. I watch Marvel movies because I love the characters and losing myself in a universe where people with superpowers exist is entertaining. I don’t watch the movies because I want to support Brie Larson’s incoherent babblings!


Thanks for reading! What are you thoughts? Is Brie Larson forcing her political views into the MCU? Is it unreasonable to do a Ghostbusters 3? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date with my posts!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!

 

Advertisements

Ghostbusters (2016): The Other Side

So after the complete hate and negativity the female led Ghostbusters trailer received a little while back, I wrote and shared my opinions regarding my expectations for the film and ultimately why I thought it was going to fail. This isn’t in any way a unique train of thought, neither was it some of one-in-a-million prophecy that just happened to come true. I think most of us knew that for whatever reason the Ghostbusters film of 2016 was doomed to fail. Now that the film has become available online I decided to give it a watch, putting aside my presumptuous hate, my knowledge that it had 5.5 on IMDB and lost $70 million in the box office. Here’s what I thought:

While I did go in with an open mind, I have to say that it didn’t take long for the film to annoy me enough that I started taking notes on my phone of exactly why it wasn’t an enjoyable film. What I found interesting was that on the run-up to this film being released when it initially received its first batch of hate; it suddenly became sexist to say that the film was going to suck. If you thought it looked shit you were automatically branded a women hating pig who thinks that they shouldn’t have the right to vote and only belong in the kitchen. Yet here we have a film that spends its entire two hours going out its way to try and make females seem superior to males. This is where I began taking notes. You see the film opens up with a male tour guide showing guests around some hotel. He gets chased by a ghost, screams and cries and as we learn later, he soils himself. Of course the ghost that does all this to him is a female. We then basically get introduced to three of the four “Ghostbusters” and are told how brilliant they are: Two of them have already published a book on ghosts and both now work at different universities (one is a particle physics professor while the other is some sort of supernatural scientist but still shown as being very intelligent). We then meet the third member who, and I quote, “she’s a brilliant engineer and very loyal, she would not abandon you. She also happens to specialise in experimental particle physics.”  We then meet our 3rd male character of the film. This character we encounter admits that he screams in a disturbing way and basically refuses to go back into the hotel. It isn’t long before we are introduced to the soon to be receptionist for the team: Chris Hemsworth’s character: Kevin. Kevin is literally the most moronic character in this entire film. He covers his eyes when he hears a loud noise, he took his glasses lenses out because they kept getting dirty, he doesn’t know how to use a phone, he doesn’t know how to be a receptionist, he called his dog Mike Hat (which sounds like my cat)…he’s an idiot and the whole team know it.

We are then subjected to a wide array of disturbing vagina, boob and dick jokes for all the 13 year olds who were watching this film. Not to mention that Melissa McCarthy as per usual talks about food for far too long in this film. I can’t help but think about a recent episode of South Park where Cartman gives a talk in front of his school about how women are funny and it’s time we accept it. He tries to had the microphone to various female characters, telling them to say something funny. When they don’t seem to have anything funny to say, he begins telling them “go on, talk about your vagina. Be funny!” When you have female comedians such as Amy “joke-stealer” Schumer who basically only talk about sex and their vaginas, you can’t help but see Cartman as having a point, especially in relation to this recent Ghostbusters film. Just to clarify: I’m completely for female comedians and find plenty of them funny. It’s just that these women in particular were not at all funny and actually just made me cringe for the length of the film. What does it say that during a female-led comedy film, the only times I laughed was because if male characters? Ozzy Osbourne’s random appearance where he thinks he’s having flashbacks was one of the few moments I actually enjoyed because it wasn’t a dick/vagina joke or a reference to Mellissa McCarthy eating. I mean sure, there is the famous moment from the original Ghostbusters where the sentence “Yes it’s true, this man has no dick” but I think we can all agree that it’s a step above someone talking about getting slime “in every crack”.

I’m going to conclude this post (yes it is drastically shorter than usual) simply by highlighting the overall issue with this film: This film isn’t a loveable throwback to the original Ghostbusters nor is it a original film. It is instead a man-hating abomination of nostalgia and special effects trying to convince us that female led films can be just as funny as their male counterparts. I think for me, I can sum up how I felt watching the film by explaining how it ended. After some ridiculous fight and blah blah blah, the Ghostbusters eventually defeat villain by hitting him in the balls. Yup, the female-led team literally saves the day by hitting someone in the balls. If that doesn’t drive the point home for you then I don’t know what will.

 

Ghostbusters (2016): “See You On The Other Side, Ray”

After watching the recently released trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters (2016) film, I found myself shaking my head at yet another half-assed attempt to make money from nostalgic fans. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the idea of having a female-led cast replacing the previous Ghostbusters and personally I don’t see that as an issue at all…especially when you take into consideration everything else that is wrong with this film. Here is why I think Ghostbusters is going to be a complete and utter disappointment and disaster.

It’s difficult to look at this film objectively since I’ve been wholly against the idea ever since rumours of its planned creation spread across the internet like wildfire. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it until the trailer appeared on IMD. Upon watching it, my heart sank at how much worse this film looked than I had previously anticipated. The gender of the cast is not an issue but the casting itself is: Melissa McCarthy does not seem suited to a role in this film at all. I’m yet to find one of her films entertaining or even remotely funny and I could only guess at how many references to her weight we’re going to see throughout Ghostbusters. Her version of comedy typically resembles that of a spoof film such as Scary Movie or Hotshots. She’ll get hurt a lot and we’ll be expected to laugh at her pain. More than anything her voice is absolutely horrendous and seems to cause my soul to shrivel up in discomfort. I say voice but it isn’t really a voice, so much as a screech. It’s like she is constantly getting her toes crushed by a mousetrap every time she speaks; Leading me onto her co-star Kristen Wiig who I do find very entertaining…in minor roles such as her character Ruth Buggs in Paul (2011) or Paulette in Adventureland (2009). I even found her somewhat bearable in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) but only just. I just find most of her performances cause my head to sink into my shoulders in an attempt to escape how uncomfortable and cringy I find her acting. There are of course rumours that some of the original cast will be making cameo appearances in Ghostbusters which in most cases would be a positive thing. However, I feel that in this instance it will be similar to rubbing salt in an already very deep and painful wound.

Even just in the trailer you can see the thought process behind the movie: ‘We have better technology for special effects…so let’s go crazy and make as many ghosts as possible’…well look how that worked out for the prequel trilogy of Star Wars when they didn’t have the storyline to back it up. My concern is that they’ll go completely overboard with it, which is very much how it looked in the trailer. It reminded me more of Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed (2004) than a Ghostbusters film. It’s very possible that their plan is to just melt our brains with the over-use of CGI so that we leave the cinema not entirely sure how we felt about the film. The ghosts appeared to have this odd neon glow as if they had been covered in glow in the dark paint. In case I didn’t already feel like I was watching some sort of weird ghost rave, the issue of the music used during the trailer suddenly appears to add to that. Just in case there were still people out there who didn’t think that this film was being butchered alive, they unleashed this weird techno-style version of the original theme that we would all recognise anywhere. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall during that discussion. “Should we use the original song?” “NO! We need everyone to know how modern and different this version of the film is in comparison to the original. So we’ll use the same tune but we’ll make it sound all sci-fi-ish with a techno spin to it”. In a way I’m actually glad they made this decision because if I’d had to listen to the original theme while watching this new trailer, I think my inner child would have killed itself.

Another aspect of this film that annoys me already is the general lack of originality. I’m not entirely sure if the purpose of this film is to be a remake or a sequel or a reboot. Apparently it takes place in a different universe to the originals (i.e. one where this is the first Ghostbusters group formed) but the trailer talks about how 30 years ago a group of scientists saved New York…clearly they just want us to take another moment to remember the cast of the much-loved original films before they crucify that memory with this abomination of a trailer. So since this isn’t meant to be in the same universe, did they have to make it so similar to the original? We have Slimer (the big, fat, round, green ghost) making a reappearance in this film (which again is weird due to the fact that it isn’t meant to be the same universe as the originals). Once again playing to the nostalgia of the potential-audience to make us feel connected to this film. It looks like we’re going to have the same general outbreak of ghosts “on a scale never seen before”. There will undoubtly be a love interest between one of the lead characters (I’m going to assume Kristen Wiig) and Chris Hemsworth’s character who I wouldn’t be surprised to discover is a client of the team. I wonder how long into the film we’ll have to wait before a twinky reference appears…probably as Melissa McCarthy eats one or comments on how she wants to eat one. I mean we even have the same library scene from the first film.Where the ghost appears calm and peaceful until approached by the team where it decides to turn ugly and angry. Do we really need so many nods to the original film? Why bother even writing a new script? Just give the new cast the old script and get it over with. I mean when making these new films, can we not just go with a completely original storyline that still plays a part in the same universe? We need only look at the other examples of this exact same thing that we’ve been exposed to recently: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Terminator Genysis, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, even Independence Day. Most of these original films existed years before I was even born which meant I grew up watching them and now 20-30 years later (in most cases) we see the same heroes returning in order to make us feel connected to the new films, to make us feel like we are entering the same world we visited many times before. I mean I get it, I do, that’s how to sell films. I mean if Star Wars: The Force Awakens hadn’t had Han, Leia, Chewy, Luke (maybe Luke isn’t a good example) then the film wouldn’t have been hyped up nearly as much. Yet what we were given was pretty much the same film as A New Hope. I mentioned a similar issue in a previous post so I won’t go on about this too much but how many more Death Stars will we see by the time Star Wars films stop being made? Death Stars that are surprisingly easy to blow up, might I add. Jurassic World seemed like a new storyline: A genetically modified dinosaur, that’s pretty crazy stuff. Yet what we are ultimately given is the same storyline as the original. We even see the same T-Rex, the same buildings and cars from the original (all be it these were meant as nods to the original) but how many times can we watch as people try to interfere with dinosaurs only for it to go wrong and ultimately controlled? I’m sure that question will be answered over the course of the next two films. No doubt we’ll see a city being rampaged by dinosaurs like small version of Godzilla. I’d like to see one of these films just end with dinosaurs winning and eating the main characters. All of them! I won’t even get into Terminator or Indiana Jones…not to mention the Karate Kid film with Jaden Smith…Jesus!

Films (including their cast) are being recycled in such a way that originality no longer seems to play a role in these hugely popular franchise films. It seems that better special effects and a half-assed version of the original storyline are enough to warrant a new film. Throw in a few cameo roles from previous cast members as well as some vague and stretched storyline connection and Abra Kadabra you have a film setting new box office records. Having the idea to change the gender of the cast and make the film less entertaining is NOT a good enough reason to make a new film. I’m all for female-led films but destroying childhood memories is not going to help the idea of a female-led cast. Just saying. I can’t help but wonder if someone, somewhere, had the recent misfortune of being confronted by a powerful entity from another dimension before being told “Choose…choose the form of the Destructor”. Rather than thinking of Mr. Stay Puft the thought of a Ghostbuster remake slipped into their mind and before they could think of something else, the ball had begun to roll…

You can read my post-film follow-up here: https://rantingravingblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/ghostbusters-2016-the-other-side/