Ghostbuster thoughts 

Over-thinkers and vacuous shits abound. When I consider the average film critic I imagine a malodorous and disgruntled chap with dark rings around his eyes, a knitted jersey specifically chosen to clash with his tweed jacket and bright orange socks (I live in Wellington after all, it’s hipster-ville), and the superior air of one who cannot make anything useful with his hands, but has a talent for transposing dull thoughts into readable sentences. Critics are the sewer of the film industry, but unlike a good waste disposal system they dump as much fecal matter as they can find into the ocean where it can wash around us simple mortal creatures bathing in the tide.

Not content with prejudging the all-female Ghostbusters before its first teaser, they had to go and dump on it again after it came out. Now, I have not read a single review, because it is one less thing I have to do and am content with being both a foe to critics and a consumer of film who does not consume their scribbling. It is fun to deny them, makes me live longer and I think strengthens my own position in appraising films with a clear mind. I do know that anti-feminist rhetoric has pervaded and in some cases masqueraded in the reviews and opinions of many, and I want to oppose that. I am also rather aghast that actress Leslie Jones was abused on Twitter for her part in the film. She was, arguably, the most important part of the story. The one character from the real world who thus is the most effective stand-in for the audience. None of us understands the pseudo-science and neither does Jones, and she often says what we are thinking. To think that she has faced sustained abuse on social media because of her role is discouraging. I think there is a race element, and that well-meaning white people are taking offence (whether truly or just faking it) at the fact that the black person in the group is the only non-scientific one. I have explained why this is the case and believe that the offended whites have missed the point entirely.

Onto the next point. This is a comedy so the first test should always be whether it made you laugh. The next is how much. Ghostbusters made me laugh. Heartily. More than once. Therefore it has served its advertised purpose as a piece of comedic entertainment. Was it full of nostalgia? Yes, that’s why I bloody well went to it in the first place. I think these pricks who whine about remakes and sequels of old films as being too nostalgic utterly miss the point of the whole enterprise. The Force Awakens was saturated with nostalgia, which is why I lined up with everyone else and saw it again and again. Watching a film that recalls ideal moments of your childhood which have been gilded in memory to a point where your remembrance is greater than the actual moment was at the time, that is a great pleasure. How dare critics complain and try to advocate the deprivation of it! Get out of the castle of my memories! So I loved the intertextuality, the numerous cameos of the original cast and ghosts, and the riff of the old theme tune.

This isn’t the best movie, but who really would want to see the best movie? If I saw the best movie of all time I would be very sad because afterwards I would have to die, or change my whole life to never see another film,. There’s no such thing as the greatest film so the critics constantly looking for it are trapped in a pathetic game they can only lose. It is as if you pay someone to find a needle in a haystack in a world where needles don’t exist.

I haven’t discussed plot, or structure, or the characters other than Leslie Jones, but I don’t think I need to. You can draw your own conclusions about all of it without my involvement. Perhaps the really pernicious thing about film reviewers is the unconscious assumption that people cannot form opinions and conclusions and must be given ones by film majors. That’s bunk, and it conceals the fact that reviewers are unnecessary. Theatre relies on reviewers to get the word out about them and encourage people to see plays etc. Film marketing needs no such help, it is done via social media, cinema advertising, billboards and TV. So dear reviewer, should your opinion be negative (which it possibly is) and unnecessary (which it probably is) I implore you to keep it to yourself. And remember to silence your phone during the movie, honestly in the middle of a screening who you gonna call?

What’s not to like? 

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