movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Wed May 25 2016, 06:10pm | 50 comments
Yup. There was a recent NY Times article about how Sony is nervous because it “needs to keep male moviegoers interested” in this film, but I think they should do full-on Fuck Yeah Feminist Ghostbusters marketing. It should be clear by now that women-powered films can be big hits; if the success of Frozen, Hunger Games, Bridesmaids, etc isn’t enough evidence, there’s also Star Wars — another revived franchise that’s now female-led, and whose next spin-off is female-led as well. And they wouldn’t lose all that many male viewers either; you KNOW they’re going to see it, no matter how much some of them protest that they won’t.
This is basically what happened to Fury Road- MRA’s shouted so much about it that it got even more publicity than if they’d stayed quiet.
The #2 movie worldwide right now is a female-led Heroine’s Journey that defeated grimdark fanboy favourite BvS at home as well as abroad. But Lionsgate thought that Gods of Egypt was a good replacement for Hunger Games and Sony doesn’t seem to realize that treating women as the eye candy/prize for dudebros is no longer a winning strategy, either, given that their last big attempt to woo nostalgia viewers was Pixels…
I had no intention of seeing this movie from the moment I heard they were making a Ghostbusters reboot because I love the original and have no need for a reboot and trying to recast *anyone* to replace the originals is a fool’s errand.
I was actually slightly interested when I heard that it starred an all-female cast because that’s at least doing *something* with the property, though if that was it then probably still not worth doing.
I don’t think the MRAs are going to push me over into seeing it, but it hasn’t hurt I can tell you. After all, if they could have been so wrong about Fury Road… but even a stopped clock is 180 degrees wrong twice a day.
Great reviews by the likes of MAJ are what will do it, if anything does.
I will admit seeing the gnashing of teeth by those folks continues to be amusing.
Yes, because it’s impossible for people to just think the movie looks like garbage without being salty misogynist “MRA’s.”
Have you read the article? The writer sounds pretty lukewarm about the actual movie. He’s just irritated by the MRAs and ADBs and their nonsensical outrage.
No, you’re not automatically an MRA if you just think the movie looks like garbage. But a lot of MRA’s *are* whining openly about this film, for distinctly MRA reasons, and that’s what the article (and MaryAnn’s comment) is directed at. If that’s not you, then this isn’t about you. :-)
Yeah, just so. We were probably going to get a remake at some point anyway, because Hollywood; at least this remake is trying to do something interesting. The trailers certainly don’t make it look like a classic, but hey, not many films are, and as far as I know nobody’s stopping people watching the original.
I’m actually feeling optimistic about this film. I like the cast, and I like stuff the director and writer have done before (including many episodes of Parks and Rec). So, keeping my fingers crossed.
It’s telling that the negative response to the film HAS been so widespread and vehement. Mediocre remakes are nothing new; at this point, people could just shrug and say “meh” if they’re not into the idea. The new film doesn’t even seem all that radically different from the original: it’s a science fiction comedy, cast with SNL alums, even featuring the same racial composition. (Which is another issue on its own.) So it’s fine to have a mixed-to-negative response, but it seems to me that the level and intensity of the vitriol can only be attributed to the one factor that IS radically different: that it’s a cast of all women. So, yeah, the idea that the extremely harsh negativity towards an unreleased film is mainly driven by misogyny isn’t really a stretch.
Yes, I agree – if this had just been another generic remake nobody would care about it at all. As it is we have the usual male-supremacist idiots claiming that it will end the world, which at least gets it some attention.
Here’s a really good Feminism 101 sort of article (which some of the drive-by commenters seem to require). It doesn’t mention Ghostbusters, but it explains, in passing, why some of us think the objections to the movie might have to do with gender:
I remember watching the trailer and staring in slack jawed horror at how awful it looked. I’m pretty sure this is going to bomb because it looks like shit. A few Leftist Feminists might defend it but I doubt many of them will actually like it.
Also, most “Feminists” are probably too busy smearing fake blood on themselves or throwing temper tantrums when they hear something they don’t like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6pIhwBgvmU
Yeah, I’m pretty much where you are. I’ll end up seeing this remake because I’d be perfectly happy watching Ghostbusters again and I think this cast is good. I mean, I could watch the original again, but that means I have to have more Bill Murray in my life (who was always my least favorite cast member of anything he was in, although his has never prevented me from watching something). I’m willing to go for a Ghostbusters without Bill Murray.
Since you’re flinging around ad hominem video clips, this is my response.
There was a time when you could watch that every Saturday morning. (I’m sure the cartoon is available on DVD, but I’m afraid it won’t be as funny as it was when I was in elementary school.)
Well, he’s got a cameo in the new one, so this won’t be completely Murray-free.
What does “MRA” stand for, anyway? I honestly don’t know.
So-called Men’s Rights Activists.
Ah. I didn’t realize that. Well, I’ll still go. I saw Moonrise Kingdom AND really enjoyed it despite his presence.
Nah. The cartoon was dull.
My favorite scene on the cartoon took place next to a fountain. One of the Ghostbusters had a theory that if he stood in the same spot–like next to a public fountain–long enough, everyone he knew would eventually walk past. Another member of the team started explaining how ridiculous that theory was, but he got interrupted when his friend’s old high school teacher walked by. I still think about that scene all the time.
I think it’d be cool if we got an adaptation of Extreme Ghostbusters somewhere down the line. I didn’t catch a lot of episodes, but the cast seemed interesting and was a big step up in diversity.
This sounds familiar:
Fil Barlow, the designer, was given rough outlines and originally designed all the characters bar Eduardo as girls (Garrett as Lucy and Roland as Julia)….This aspect would be dropped.
Ugh, yeah. Still, having a woman and a paraplegic on the team is more diverse than not having them on the team, even if the designer didn’t get all the diversity he pushed for.
This conversation kinda makes me think of this: https://twitter.com/mollybrooks/status/735597879285387264
Yeah, we know, #notallmen. But *this* article is *specifically* directed at those men.
Ugh, no. Stop trying to trivialize and dilute the vast complexities of humanity into a freaking Tumblr meme.
Really? The ONLY logical reason you can think of is because “hurr durr they’re women?” Not because the jokes in the trailers are awful? Out of both of the trailers, did any of you actually find any of jokes to be genuinely funny? Because a lot of people don’t, and when people see something that looks shitty, expect them to call it out for that. Who cares if it isn’t released yet? People critique movies before they’re released all the time. That’s why you see so many trailer reviews on YouTube. This isn’t an unusual thing. And what looks so “interesting” about this film compared to the original? It seems like the plot beats are all the same to me. A third Ghostbusters film was in development hell for years, so no, it’s not hard to believe it eventually happened. But the final product was not the continuation most fans wanted. I see a lot of people outraged by this supposed misogyny, more so than anybody who’s actually, GENUINELY upset because they’re women now.
The ONLY logical reason you can think of is because “hurr durr they’re women?”
You really need to work on your reading comprehension.
Here’s a start: This article is not about all the reasons someone might object to the trailers for this movie. It is *only* about those *very specific* objections that are about hating the fact that it stars women. That’s it! Got it? If these are not your objections, then this is not about you. Stop trying to make it about you.
Look towards the completely unnecessary controversy over James Rolfe’s video detailing his thoughts of the film to see why the accusations of misogyny are so out of control. It’s all just a bunch of childish projection.
That was for Daniel, not you. And how was I making this about myself? I had intended to respond initially to the James Rolfe forum, but had the wrong tab open. The issue bleeds over though.
Using an imaginary group of dissenters to back up a narrative is indeed a very fullproof way of making an issue out of nothing, I won’t disagree with you there.
did any of you actually find any of jokes to be genuinely funny?
If I say yes, will you STFU, or at least stop pretending you get to speak for anyone other than yourself? This was pointed out to me on io9, but it remains true: watch Kate McKinnon’s face, even (especially) when she’s not the focus of the scene. It is never not hilarious.
I stated in that comment that a lot of people didn’t find the humor funny. I was curious as to whether the community here has a more refined sense of humor that I’m just oblivious to.
It was always not hilarious.
And of course you visit io9.
No, no, it’s always hilarious.
And I’m well aware that io9 is a Gawker site, which sends certain internet denizens into a bit of a tizzy, but io9 has always been basically apolitical. But hey, you know, fuck you, too.
Calm down Neil.
That was for Daniel, not you.
But you responded to comment by me, not by Daniel.
imaginary group of dissenters
NOT imaginary. WTF?
Well I’m sorry that simple mistake caused such confusion.
It might as well be when it’s all anecdotal claims parading as a coherent group mentality.
There are so many documented misogynistic responses to this film. No, they didn’t all hold a club meeting in the basement and formulate an official group statement. That doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, or that there aren’t a lot of them, or that they don’t constitute a significant trend worth talking about.
i thought they could do a great reboot by having the original male ghostbusters realize a new apocolypse was on the horizon and decide they were “too old for this shit” and sell the business to the women, who then find out what they’re getting into. just making the ghostbusters women isn’t nearly as interesting as finding a good reason for the original guys to sell to them and have *new* ghosts and moldy babylonian (sumarian) gods to fight.
For you: http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/photoshop/8/1/6/543816_v1.jpg
For me? ☺️
Only one of those comments is sexist and I get the point of the red circle around the dislikes, but that’s just a false equivalence. Unless the two comments are from said two accounts from the same user. But I’m hesitant to believe you have any proof or context for a Cracked photo unless you took it from an article, in which case, I don’t know why you wouldn’t have just shared said article.
I’ve seen people miss the point before, but you really went out of your way, didn’t you?
I don’t know, did I?
That’s pretty good, but I think the gender-swapping should be complete and Black Widow should be male — and in keeping with his namesake, small and harmless.
I’d prefer to see a Latina character named Brown Recluse who is not so small and harmless — and who was preferably played by Michelle Rodriguez.
But on the plus side, you’ll also get cameos from Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver!
Plus Andy Garcia gets to play the Mayor. Way to represent! About time, too, people.
Then again, Fury Road appealed to a lot of people who weren’t exactly feminists so I suspect that had more to do with its success than anything else. Indeed, most of the people I know who have seen it have never even heard of any such controversy surrounding it.
Haha now a Brown Recluse/Bruce Banner romance I could buy.
“I want to hide away from everyone.”
Funny we feel the same way, except I see Bill Murray as an indispensable aspect of virtually every movie he’s in.
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