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Critics reviews
Ghostbusters
Paul Feig United States, 2016
[Ghostbusters grows] less amusing in its second hour… Mostly, however, the remake chugs along pleasantly, albeit with a few barbed digs at occasional sexism (“Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts!” scoffs an all-too-plausible online comment when the girls post a video). And of course there’s Kate McKinnon.
August 02, 2016
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It’s an unfortunate movie for an extraordinary group of actors—which is why it’s important to distinguish the experience of watching the new “Ghostbusters,” which is difficult to celebrate, from the essential fact of its existence, which is a cause for celebration. That’s why, as a critic, I’m in conflict with myself—I want there to be more movies that resemble “Ghostbusters” in its casting and in its revision of exhausted and unchallenged tropes, but not in its bland and constrained artistry.
July 18, 2016
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The result is a handcrafted Etsy satchel bomb, lobbed at the same white-guy pandering popular culture that produced the original 32 years ago. Paul Feig’s woman-driven remake of the 1984 film is one of the more sneakily political movies released by a major studio this year, all the more so because it carries itself with such a poker-faced, “I’m only a movie—relax, bros!” vibe (which is exactly the kind of comment that critics get whenever they criticize the insubstantiality of superhero movies).
July 16, 2016
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[Feig isn’t] wrong to trust the instincts and screen presences of Wiig, McCarthy, Mckinnon, Jones and writer Katie Dippold, he’s just not doing them any favors by assuming they’ll direct the movie for him. In a way, it’s perfect that he took over a franchise from producer/director Ivan Reitman. Both men treat their cameras like a box that captures funny stuff. No more, no less.
July 15, 2016
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Give Feig credit for putting his key assets forward—the four stars, plus Chris Hemsworth as the male equivalent of a dumb-blonde receptionist. Feig knows that what makes them special is not simply that they’re upending stereotypes, but that they do it with their own sharp and sometimes warped humor
July 14, 2016
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Feig is quite good at collecting some very talented performers and getting them to improv a bunch of one-liners while they stand around on sets, but he is just as evidently awful at stringing those scenes into an actual film. He indifferently plops the camera down and lets them riff, and the generally very funny women he’s gathered here are brutally underserved by his seemingly active disinterest in narrative, making most of the jokes feel mailed in from some other modern random-gag comedy.
July 14, 2016
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This gender-flipped reboot of the 1984 comedy hit aces the “Bechdel test” (are there women in the story with their own concerns?) but fails in almost every other respect. The spunky, likable heroines (Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon) work some funny riffs into an unimaginative script by Katie Dippold and director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), who have opted for a beat-by-beat retread over an actual sequel.
July 14, 2016
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It’s an entertaining capper to the film, but it feels too much like a carbon copy of the original’s climax. Yet the sharpest point of diversion between both films is in that focus on friendship and positivity. When it’s good, this new Ghostbusters is funny, driven, sometimes even a bit scary. But most surprising of all is how touching it can be when its characters realize their lifelong dreams, even if it comes in the form of being coated in the vomit of a long-dead murderer.
July 12, 2016
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The problems with “Ghostbusters” have nothing to do with its cast. Its undoing stems from the same issues that plague so many overproduced, market-tested products that masquerade as movies: For all the value that may be contained in an intellectual property, it’s worthless if it can’t make old ideas feel new.
July 10, 2016
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What makes this new film work is that it never draws attention to its own ingrained progressiveness. Women starring in a summer action movie should not be something that requires self congratulation, and Feig allows the material to speak for itself. Its politics are for the viewers to laud, not the makers. This film feels like it’s about something valuable and represents something real.
July 10, 2016
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Sliding into theaters on a river of slime and an endless supply of good vibes, the new, cheerfully silly “Ghostbusters” is that rarest of big-studio offerings — a movie that is a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun. And enjoy it while you can because this doesn’t happen often, even in summer, which is supposed to be our season of collective moviegoing happiness.
July 10, 2016
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Ghostbusters 2.0 suffers from the anxiety of influence — or, more specifically, from the fear of not wanting to alienate the fans (Gen X’ers and others) of 1.0. It never strays far from the anodyne, generic humor that pervades the Ivan Reitman–directed 1984 original, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, who starred with Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson.
July 10, 2016
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No one has to love Paul Feig’s new Ghostbusters, or even like it. But anyone who continues to stand against it on principle—“My childhood has been defiled! I don’t like its stars! The trailer was bad!”—is an unimaginative schmuck. Because Feig’s Ghostbusters is its own definitive creature, an affable, inventive riff on Ivan Reitman’s proton-packing caper that exists not to score points, but only to make us laugh. For a summer comedy, there’s no nobler purpose.
July 10, 2016
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