Ghostbusters 2016 – Spoilers Ahead

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

I’ve been saying that since the 80’s. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of the original crew: Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zedemore. Plus Melnitz, Tully and Barrett.

I’ve also been waiting about 30 years for the third installment. When they announced in 2014 that they’d finally settled on a script, that a new movie was actually being produced, I almost wet myself. Then LEGO (who finally figured out that adult fans were LEGO kids and would pay a shit ton for GB sets) released two sets, all but confirming a movie on the horizon.

Frankly, I didn’t care that it was an all-female cast.  Or made by Paul Feig (who made Bridesmaids – not a movie I found that funny).  I cared that they were messing with my childhood.

And in the resulting two years of the mixture of hype and anti-hype, my concern remained.  First, it was that they hadn’t yet confirmed the presence of the entire original cast.  Then Ramis died and meant they couldn’t.  Rumors eventually started swirling that it wasn’t GB3, it was a reboot.


A reboot!?!


Name a reboot that’s actually been better than the original.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Most are superhero films that, interestingly enough, have already been rebooted several times within the pages of their own comic books.  Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Fantastic Four… And there are about 107 more coming in the next few years.

Ghostbusters was an original of sorts.  No, it wasn’t the first ghost “busting” movie – but it took the idea of hunting ghosts farther.  It has some of the most quotable one-liners ever.  It’s a 30-year old movie and there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t hear or personally (mis)quote a line:

“One somebody asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!”
“This man has no dick.”
“Don’t cross the streams.”
“Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown”
“You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*. “
“If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”
“Back off, man. I’m a scientist.”
“I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! LET’S DO IT!”
“Sorry, Venkman, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”
“Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.”

They’re not the funniest lines of any movie ever made – sometimes you just have to watch it to put it in context.  But it is awesome.

So why remake it?  Well… easy.  Money.  When you’ve got the bulk of an idea and don’t need to spend a lot of time retooling things to cash in, that’s an easy choice.  And we’re easy marks ($47M in the first weekend bears it out).

I had to see it for myself.  I was mildly hopeful.  They announced cameos by everyone who was alive (except for Rick Moranis, who retired to take care of his kids).  Previews showed a few funny lines and tech that aligned with the original.  I could envision a way that this would work.  And I hoped that Bill Murray got his chance to be a ghost.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.  It is a complete reboot and doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the prior films in any way.  Which is probably the most disappointing part… because the entire movie could’ve been what it was yet still work with the original two.  Here’s how (mild spoilers ahead):

1. Imagine that GB/GB2 happened as they did.  We leave off in 1989, 27 years ago.  New York City just experienced a massive ectoplasmic event.  What could happen?  There’s a lot of explaining to do – about the Statue of Liberty, the Museum, all the slime, etc.
2.  So they retire, as NYC is now all happy and the slime helps things return to normal (I still don’t understand the need for the Nintendo joystick to control Lady Liberty).
3.  And the GBs are “helped” by the Mayor’s office (again) into that retirement.  And maybe the government is interested in the proton packs [which aligns with the 2016 GB storyline].
4.  Time passes.  Tolan hears stories about the GB’s from her mortician uncle, Winston.  Holtzman is taught practical engineering and physics from an odd musician-turned-professor Barrett.  Or, perhaps,  Erin Gilbert is friends with Stantz through visiting his bookstore.
5.  Instead of independently developing the proton packs [which seem to be more actively damaging to ghosts this time around], the women could’ve stumbled upon the OLD tech… sitting dormant locked in the Firehouse.  Sure, they could advance the tech, too… but at least that would explain how the doofus Rowan is able to develop similar tech in the same time-window as the Ghostbusters.

See?  It wouldn’t have been too hard.  Hell, Venkman could’ve STILL played the skeptic… having completely turned a leaf after his two run-ins with the Mayor.  In fact, he could’ve been trying to find out whether the women stumbled upon the proton packs, which maybe were supposed to be destroyed, but were instead hidden from the government.

All in all, it could’ve honored the originals without having to start from scratch.  It would’ve been fun to see how the story would’ve progressed to tie it all together (which, admittedly, is harder to do than what was done).  Instead, they basically reshot the movie, scene by scene:

Opening ghost
GB individual background exposition
Ghostbusters formation
Finding the secretary
Meeting the villain
Show off the tech
Battle a disbelieving public and a skeptical government
Villain gets more powerful
GB’s to the rescue
Large white end creature, easily killed.
Everything wrapped up neatly

And don’t get me started on the after-the-credits scene.

The movie was a C/C+ at best.  After typing this all out, I’m struggling with the +.


One of my favorite toys as a child (and yes, even as an adult), is Lego. The bricks are great fun for stress relief and they require at least some amount of imagination. I have sets back from the early 70s all the way to a pristine, in-the-box collection of all of the Harry Potter-related sets (I don’t know why I’m keeping them in the box, other than to say I have them… maybe I’d let my kids play with them?).

But the toy villain from my youth has got to be the Rubik’s Cube. They musta’ released a billion versions of that thing in the 80s. And if 9 squares/side wasn’t bad enough in about 10 different sizes (from microscopically small to desk-size large), the 12 square/side version (Rubik’s Revenge, I believe it was called) was awful. Then they released them in ball-shaped versions, triangle-shaped versions… even a thing called the snake.

So I’m quite happy to see that someone took the time to build a Lego Mindstorms (computer-controlled Legos) set that is designed to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It works by color-reading each side, generating a solution set and executing it. Check it out:

Pandering to my generation

I was walking with one of my MBA class teams through an open-air mall the other day (don’t ask why… not relevant to the story). These types of malls always pipe-in music, and today’s selection was “Maneater” by Hall & Oates. I mentioned that if getting older wasn’t enough, I’d noticed that advertisers realized that I’m in my mid-thirty’s too. I suppose they believe I have money to burn, because there are just WAY too many ads that use 80s music.

The lone female in the group says “So……. you must have all been born in the 70s, right?”

“Yes,” we collectively reply. “When were you born?”



Anyways, here’s the list of songs that I’ve heard that are featured in various ads on TV and radio.

  • “All Out of Love” – Air Supply – Denny’s Breakfast
  • “Blister in the Sun” – Violent Femmes – Wendy’s
  • “Cruel Summer” – Bananarama – Kellog’s Special K
  • “Da Da Da” – Trio – Volkswagen
  • “Don’t You Want Me” – Human League – Chips Ahoy
  • “Final Countdown” – Europe – Nintendo Wii
  • “Hungry Like The Wolf” – Duran Duran – Old Spice (my personal favorite because it also has Bruce Campbell singing it at a piano)
  • “I Melt with You” – Modern English – Taco Bell Cheesy Melt
  • “I Melt with You” – Modern English – GMC Acadia
  • “I Want Candy” – Bow Wow Bow – Pringles
  • “Love My Way” – Psychedelic Furs – CBS Cold Case teaser
  • “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” – Air Supply – Wendy’s
  • “Maniac” – Michael Sambello – Kia
  • “Money for Nothing” – Dire Straits – Toyota
  • “One Thing Leads to Another” – The Fixx – LendingTree
  • “Our House” – Madness – Maxwell House
  • “Over the Rainbow” – Israel Kamakawiwo Ole –
  • “Rockit” – Herbie Hancock – Visa Checkcard
  • “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell – Levi’s (ok, this one is from a few years ago, where they bring a pair of jeans back to live… but still)
  • “Talk” – Talk Talk – Cingular
  • “Tarzan Boy” – Baltimora – Listerine (also from a few years ago)
  • “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – Twisted Sister – Bee Movie
  • “Whip It” – Devo – Pringle’s Pack-It

What other songs have you heard that bring a smile to your face, but don’t really cause you to go buy any of their products?

Running for President

Do you remember being young? Ok, forget the fact that you still want to believe that 30-50 is young. I mean, REALLY young… the first 10 years of your life. Everything was based on age and it seemed that there were SO many things to do just 1 year away.

Here’s the list I can think of.

“When you’re ____, you look forward to ____.”

9 … 10 (double digits)
10 … 13 (being a teenager)
13 … 16 (learning to drive)
17 … 18 (being able to vote – and registering for the draft if you’re male, because it’s ok for you to die for your country, but don’t have the maturity to drink quite yet)
19 … 20 (no longer being a teenager – which by then is WAY ripe)
20 … 21 (being able to buy alcohol)
21 … 22 (actually being OLDER than 21)
22 … 25 (quarter century, can now be a US Representative)
25 … 29 (don’t quite want to be 30 yet)
29 … 30 (ok, now it’s time to be an “adult”, can now be a US Senator)
30 … 35 (halfway to the current estimated average human lifespan, can now be President)
35 … 40 (now it’s just a fight against time)
40 … 50 (the big “5-0”)
50 … 55 (something to be said about being as old as the speed limit – 70s/80s version)
55 … 60 (getting ready to retire?)
60 … 65 (1990s+ speedlimit issue again)
65 … 70 (if you’re still healthy, you’re pretty happy, I would hope)
70 … 80 (trying to outlast your children? Naah… just want to see another generation of your progeny)
80 … 100 (ok, at this point, you’re just trying to stay alive to meet Willard Scott)

So, in 3 days, guess which one is me. Yep… and I think I want to run for President!

Oh, and don’t think I haven’t thought about staying alive forever.