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Ghostbuster Men Vs. Ghostbuster Women

Updated on December 7, 2018
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Original Ghostbusters theatrical release poster.The original Ghostbuster's headquarters building.  The Ghostbusters in the 2016 movie acquired this building as their new headquarters.Theatrical release poster for the Ghostbusters reboot.Stay Puft Marshmallow Man statue at London's Waterloo Station.  Used for publicity for the 2016 reboot.
Original Ghostbusters theatrical release poster.
Original Ghostbusters theatrical release poster. | Source
The original Ghostbuster's headquarters building.  The Ghostbusters in the 2016 movie acquired this building as their new headquarters.
The original Ghostbuster's headquarters building. The Ghostbusters in the 2016 movie acquired this building as their new headquarters. | Source
Theatrical release poster for the Ghostbusters reboot.
Theatrical release poster for the Ghostbusters reboot. | Source
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man statue at London's Waterloo Station.  Used for publicity for the 2016 reboot.
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man statue at London's Waterloo Station. Used for publicity for the 2016 reboot. | Source

Same Name Different Reception

In 1984 Columbia Pictures released Ghostbusters. This movie made over $291 million worldwide. It spawned an animated series and a sequel. It has become a classic. It has numerous memorable lines such as, “he slimed me.” Columbia Pictures decided to make a reboot with women as the ghostbusters. In July 2016 the reboot opened in American theaters. There were claims that those who didn’t like the movie were sexist. If it was thought such accusations would quiet any negative criticism of the movie there are no signs it worked. There was much harsh criticism of the movie. The movie was a financial success. It earned almost $230 million worldwide. Its budget was $144 million.

Ghostbusters 2016

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), a college professor, finds out she is being plagiarized. She confronts the plagiarist, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). Abby is working with Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to track down ghosts. After some back and forth about whether Abby’s plagiarism was wrong Erin goes with the other women to find a ghost. They find a ghost in the form of a woman. Erin tries to talk to the ghost, which turns into a monster and gives Erin a good sliming. A video with Erin proclaiming they have seen a ghost goes on social media and goes viral. This gets Erin fired from the university.

Since Erin now knows ghosts do exist she joins the other women in their hunt for finding ghosts. Meanwhile Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) employee Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) sees a ghost in a subway tunnel. She reports it to the women and decides she wants to be one of them. The team needs a receptionist. They hire Australian native Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) because of his good looks and he was the only person who applied for the job. It is difficult to say if Kevin was stupid or lazy and stupid.

The first major fight with a ghost takes place at a rock concert where the patrons think it’s all part of the act. Paranormal debunker, Martin Heiss (Bill Murray), declares the incident at the concert a hoax but provides no evidence. The media gives the women the nickname “ghostbusters”. They initially resent the term but eventually embrace it. Federal Agents (Michael Kenneth Williams and Matt Walsh) arrive and bring the ghostbusters to the Mayor (Andy Garcia). The Mayor tells the ghostbusters the government has things under control and their activities are only getting in the way. When paranormal activity returns in full force the Ghostbusters go into action again. There is a long hard fight against all manners of ghosts. Some of the popular ghosts from the original ghostbusters are included in this ghost army.

Many of the cast members of the original “Ghostbusters” made appearances in the movie. This includes Annie Potts who reprised her “What do you want?[i]” in the curt tone of the original movie. None of the original “Ghostbusters” actors played characters from the original movie. In the reboot’s universe there is no indication the events in the original movie happened. The meeting with the mayor did leave an opening for the reboot’s universe to include the events in the original.

There is a lot of banter in the first part of the movie that seems to drag the plot and adds little comedy to the movie. Once the movie gets to actual ghostbusting the tempo seems good and there is a good amount of comedy in the movie. As a stand-alone movie it’s a respectable comedy. As a reboot suffering by comparison is almost inevitable. With a movie like “Ghostbusters” originality is a big advantage, which a reboot wouldn’t have.


[i] This is an English translation of the New York accent she used in the movie.

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Ghostbusters 1984

Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are professors of the Paranormal Department at a university. Venkman is conducting an ESP experiment ostensibly to test positive and negative reinforcement effects on ESP. A subject gets an electric shock for each wrong answer. The subjects are a male (Steven Tash) and a female student (Jennifer Runyon). Both subjects are making wrong guesses. Venkman gives the man a shock with every wrong answer. He tells the woman she got the right answer. Even when the man finally guessed right Venkman said it was wrong and administered the shock. Venkman’s praise at the woman’s psychic “ability” was an obvious attempt to seduce her, and she was falling for it.

Stantz and Spengler interrupt Venkman so they could investigate a ghost sighting at the New York Public Library. They find a ghost and have no idea what to do. The best Stantz could come up with is to try to rush it. The trio end up rushing out of the building. The effort wasn’t a complete loss since Spengler figured out a way to catch ghosts.

Just as they were about to become famous the university cancelled their grant and closed their department. Venkman decides they should begin a ghostbusting business. Venkman gets Stantz to take out a second and third mortgage on his family house to finance the business venture. They hire a receptionist, Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), and make local television advertisements.

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) opens her refrigerator to find the inside looks like an ancient temple and a gargoyle inside. She runs out of her apartment. Afraid to go back to her apartment she makes her way to the Ghostbusters. Venkman and Dana go back to the apartment. There wasn’t any evidence of paranormal activity. Venkman was far more interested in seducing Dana then finding paranormal activity.

Peter Venkman wasn’t the only annoying man in her life. Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) was also trying to get her attention. Peter’s persistence gets Dana interested in him. Paranormal intervention causes an unusual “love triangle”.

With Dana as their only customer the Ghostbusters were out of money. They get a call from a hotel that is having problems with a ghost. Janine promises the Ghostbusters will be very discrete. They arrive at the hotel and have it out with a ghost. They are anything but discrete. Soon they have more work than they can handle. They put an add in the newspaper. Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) answers the add. Janine is interviewing Zeddmore for the position. She gives a laundry list of alleged paranormal events after she asks him if he believed in any of them. Zeddmore tells her he’ll believe in anything if there is a steady paycheck involved. Janine introduces Zeddmore to Stantz as a job applicant. Stantz hires him on the spot and puts him to work.

With their fame and fortune came government attention. Walter Peck (William Atherton) from the Environmental Protection Agency comes by for an inspection. Venkman is uncooperative. Peck comes back armed with a court order. This visit ends with a catastrophe and the Ghostbusters in jail. With strange occurrences happening all over the city the Mayor (David Margulies) calls on the Ghostbusters to save the day. The Ghostbusters face an ancient Samarian god. Stantz unwittingly chooses the form of their nemesis. It is not a form Stantz, or the audience, would ever expect.

The behaviors of Dr. Peter Venkman & Dr. Raymond Stantz are classic Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. This movie was original and zany. It got an Oscar nomination for Best Effects, Visual Effects. It’s theme song “Ghostbusters” also got an Oscar nomination and reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Quotes from the original Ghostbusters

Winston - Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "Yes"!

Peter - Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Ray - Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! 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.

Egon - Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive.

© 2018 Robert Sacchi

Comments

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    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      9 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. It's more likely a first viewed or originality bias. When movie makers make the gender bias charge because people don't like their remakes or reboots it seems sour grapes to me. Instead of accusing the audience they should make better movies.

      There were comedies in the horror genre long before Ghostbusters and there have been many comedies in the genre since the original Ghostbusters. Often even horror movies that aren't comedies have a comedic slant to them.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 

      9 months ago from Chennai, India

      At the risk of being branded gender biased, I liked the original very much. I liked the original more as this was my first comedy film in horror genre. Possibly, there is less scope to make many movies in this genre.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      Probably, a pitch worth $144M has to have someone with a forceful personality. The question is what motivated that person? There is a trend to have reboots or remakes with a male character or characters being replaced with female characters. The results have been mixed.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      That's a good question. Maybe someone with a forceful personality pushed it through at the decision phase of which film project to back.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Revisions and reboots are longshots from a critical standpoint. The question is what motivated Columbia to do it? It seems there were other projects they could have invested the $144M on.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      This is an interesting comparison. The second film didn't get great reviews in the UK. It is always challenging revisiting a successful film.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. You made really good points. Annie Potts had a much better part as a receptionist then Helmsworth. Potts had the part of a receptionist in a crazy business. Her characters, like the other characters in the original, seemed real in an unreal universe.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      12 months ago from Northeast United States

      Thank you for sharing :) My opinion was the original was still the best. The reboot could have been phenominal and it did not deter me when I found out it would be all women in fact I thought it would add a refreshing spin on the plot and such. However, the movie was too over the top comically and some elements of the movie felt forced. The storyline felt weak and I only enjoyed the first few minutes of the movie. The actresses did fine but I feel they had no solid substance to work with. Although I am a fan of Helmsworth, his character was written as a ditzy man instead of a zany and mysteriously odd receptionist . Just my opinion of course. I hope they give it another attempt in a second movie and get it right. :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      Yes, there is a problem with spoiling the memory.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Like others who have already commented, I saw the original but not the reboot. I think from what you wrote that it is just as well to stick with the original movie. It was a bit zany but fun.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      That is the case with many comedic actors. It seems some of them, for reasons I don't understand, don't know what's funny.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      I haven’t seen the reboot because I usually don’t like them. I do recall being absolutely sick of that song from the original because of overexposure but I enjoyed the original. Sometimes actors just don’t have good chemistry together. Melissa McCarthy is a favorite of mine but she doesn’t always make good choices for films and can’t be expected to carry the whole thing.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      Yes, the original Ghostbusters is a fun film to watch. The interaction between the characters is great. Since I figured many readers haven't seen the reboot I kept the spoilers out of both movies. There was also a lot of risqué dialogue in the original I figured best to leave out of the article.

      Thank you all for reading and commenting.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      12 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I've not seen the remake, but have seen the original many times though. It's a great film.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      12 months ago

      I know how you feel about reboots. With classics it's like trying to redraw the Mona Lisa. Your version might sell but somehow it doesn't seem right.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have seen the original one but have not seen the reboot. Most times, I avoid watching reboots as I don't want to be disappointed but I will try to see this one. I am sure the women are great actors and that is enough to encourage me.

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