How the new Ghostbusters movie managed to cause an internet sh*tstorm

by jessequickrincon on June 13, 2016


                   So if you are aware of the new Ghostbusters movie and have a working internet connection then statistically speaking you both hate it and have written angry comments on Youtube or your forum of choice. As of right now the video has over 850 thousand dislikes and produced more vitriol than any likely middling comedy really deserves.  The director, Paul Feig hasn’t really helped to abate this anger by saying, “Geek culture is home to some of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met in my life.” Now normally I wouldn’t have anything to say about this movie but I think this kind of comment really needs to be picked apart. My problem is he implies that geek culture is a kind of homogenous group and thus makes the attackers of this movie sound like a single terrible entity. This simply isn’t true. I believe there are three kinds of people, joining together in abject hatred of the new Ghostbusters movie.
Group #1- Douchebag Misogynists.
                  The first group is the most vocal and is probably the group Feig was really referring to. Douchebag Misogynists are people who rail against “pc culture” because women and minorities are taking their supposed cultural icons. They see themselves as soldiers on the frontlines of a cultural war in which they stand against a world slowly devolving into…giving women a voice? I’ll admit that I’ve never really understood what the issue these guys have is. I think to them, stories are these things that come inspired and wholesale to a writer and then are given unto the world. But these “pc police” will just sully that up by forcing creators to shoehorn in ethnicities and genders where they don’t belong. But the fact is no art goes without some amount of compromise between the artist’s initial idea and how the story ends up. Take for example the character of Ernie Hudson who, while it might be a little bit misleading to say was added for race as a token black characters, has a well-documented addition to the cast that was troubled to say the least. Lots of decisions go into the process of producing a film and if some aspects of a characters are changed in order to tell a better story, then that’s a better thing than rigidly sticking to an original idea for a story that is no longer obtainable.
                I’m also going to address an argument I saw over and over again that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The argument claims that the decision for an all-female cast was to make the film exempt from criticism, as anyone who criticized the movie would be labeled a sexist. First, going with an all-female cast has done the exact opposite of making the movie exempt from criticism; it has opened it up to criticism that it really didn’t have to open itself up to. And I just want to point out how much this reveals about the mind of these hateful little shits. To them this movie wasn’t made to make money, for artistic merit, or because someone wanted to simply make people laugh. No, everyone involved will be satisfied as long as they can win an internet argument.
                  I’m done with these people but luckily they don’t make up the majority of the commenters on that youtube trailer. Honestly I would only put them at about 10 percent. This brings us to the second group.
2 “Fans” of the original.
                   The second group is “fans” of the original. Now I use quotations because these aren’t really just fans but absolute fanatics. These are the kind of people who would flip out if they announced the new Ghostbusters costume was going to be teal instead of beige or whatever it is. And if they were to witness the characters doing something drastic like say *gasp* crossing their streams even though it’s a clear violation of rules established in the first move, they just might suicide bomb the director at Comicon. That’s not actually true; they tend to be quite nice actually and would likely just write an internet blog or something. And while I poke fun, I do believe we need fanatics in some ways. While it might seem like they are stagnating new art in order to keep appearances as close to their childhood memories as possible, they offer certain services. After all, while there are certain things that the average person might not feel are essential to the character, such as the color of their jumpsuits or design of their logo or even the gender of the characters. There are things that seem essential to these characters. Imagine if the Ghostbusters were now fighting demons instead of ghosts.  This small change opens up a whole mess of questions. What does that say about hell? Is there a devil? God? Why the hell are they still called the Ghostbusters anymore anyway? I mean we need to have a line or else any reboot might just be an entirely new movie, with an old title slapped on for branding purposes.

               So they’re pissed because fanatics are always initially upset when changes happen to their beloved characters. Only time will tell if they will get over it and embrace these new changes or forever shun this adaptation.  I remember when initial pictures of Heath Ledgers Joker came out “fans” ridiculed them but now those same fans have very likely dressed up as that joker for Halloween. Time will tell how these people will sway in regards to Ghostbusters reboot but for now they are going to be upset at any and all changes. Which brings us to the third group.
3 Regular people who just think the movie looks bad.
               And I’ll admit, I’m one of them. I’m sorry but this movie simply doesn’t look good. I’m not saying that it won’t be good, I’m just saying that I’ve seen every single trailer for the movie and not a single moment in them has made me so much as crack a smile. I think a lot of that has to do with expectations. You see the original movie was, well just that, original. It was a novel concept and a lot of the humor came from an off the wall premise that had never been done before. But we’ve seen the Ghostbusters and more the point we’ve seen a number of movies like the Ghostbusters now so a lot of these jokes in these trailers just fall flat. For example when Melissa McCarthy was possessed and Leslie Jones slapped the ghost out of her, was anyone really surprised when she slapped her again? I think humor has to come from a place of novelty and I really don’t see where the humor is going to come from if the biggest innovation to the movie (i.e. changing the gender of the characters) is supposedly not going to matter in terms of jokes written for the characters.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really hope I’m wrong about this. Paul Feig helped create Freaks and Geeks, one of the my favorite television shows out there. He also finished smashing up the screen with Melissa McCarthy in the absolutely hilarious, Spy. Leslie Jones is probably the funniest person on SNL and Kristen Wig has a long career of comedic greatness. I also hear Kate McKinnon is funny even though I’ve yet to see such a thing. The fact is that I imagine the reason Feig went with these women is because most of the up and coming comedians right now happen to be women and he wanted to work with up and coming comedians. These are funny people and on paper I’d be super excited for this movie if it weren’t for everything I’ve seen thus leading me to conclude that simply won’t be the case.
And so yeah, that’s how the new Ghostbusters movie managed to cause an internet shitstorm. By creating a movie trailer whereby hateful trolls, rabid fanatics and just people with eyeballs all came together and sound like one homogenous geek group, but really come from a diverse backgrounds and ideologies. And maybe that’s one thing the movie has done right. Brought people together, in their hatred of it.
Jesse Quick-Rincon



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