Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters Zuul

There’s a chance that Paul Feig might reboot the Ghostbusters franchise with a team of comedic actresses set for the jumpsuits and apparition-battling backpacks. The news is incredibly premature — so premature, in fact, that it feels a lot like Sony testing a potentially dangerous idea with the public to see whether it floats like a bowling ball or not. So far the response has been divisive, but it’s not like everyone is reaching for the smelling salts. On the crank end of the spectrum, this angsty ball-grabbing screed seems to have violently burst forth from of the throbbing vein in Mike Fleming’s forehead, which means the idea must have at least some merit to it. To be clear, an all-woman Ghosbusters bothers me exactly 0% because that’s also my interest level in any return to that universe (be it reboot or sequel). The Venn diagram is a single circle. So, even though the concept conjures images of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Sandra Bullock walking in slow motion on a beat-up NYC street, ghost trap smokingly in tow, the far more interesting question surrounding the hook is whether firmly supplanting male iconography with women would be a step forward in terms of gender equality or only look like one from afar.

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Max Landis

As is the case with most Ghostbusters 3 rumors (the kind that we’ve kinda, sorta, mostly refused to cover for years now, except when it seems somewhat appropriate), the latest chatter to come flying out of Hollywood right into the Internet’s face has already proven to be false. Last night, Nikki Finke posted a story to her brand new site that reported that Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis was doing a polish on the latest iteration of whatever the hell this movie is now, which Landis immediately debunked via his Twitter. Finke, in fine form, went ahead and deleted the entire post sometime after Landis shot down both her reportage and her two apparent sources. Of course, this is still the Internet, and you can’t really delete anything from the Internet, so here is a cached version of Finke’s story, if you’re into that sort of thing. You know what’s still culturally relevant? Ghostbusters. You know what’s not? Ghostbusters 3 rumors, especially the kind that can be shot down in mere hours. But this is not about Ghostbusters 3 rumors! (Well, not really.) This is about actual, factual projects that people — in this case, Max Landis — are actually, factually working on right now. You know, movies we might actually get to see. 

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Ghostbusters

Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now. Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters – now celebrating its 30th anniversary — might seem an unlikely candidate to include in this column. After all, there’s not a (sane) person on earth who would watch this movie and say “Maaannnn, is this thing dated.” The filmmaking nor the humor has aged a day, and even the special effects make you appreciatively nostalgic more than critical. Still, there are several elements of the story, characters and location that surprisingly evoke the specifics of our present more than one might think. Here are five ways Ghostbusters crosses the time stream from 1984 to 2014.

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Peter MacNicol in Ghostbusters 2

A lot of people went to see Ghostbusters II on its opening weekend 25 years ago, enough to break a box office record (that would be surpassed a week later with the release of Batman). Of course it was hugely anticipated. Ghostbusters was already a classic after only five years, and thanks in part to a Saturday morning cartoon spin-off and toys and other merchandising, kids especially couldn’t wait to see Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston and, of course, Slimer back on the big screen. But it was a huge disappointment for most fans. The plot was too much of a repeat of the original, the cast didn’t give it their all and worst of all it wasn’t very funny, so said — and still say — its biggest critics. Well, I was only 12 at the time and sufficiently satisfied. Already obsessed then by how New York City is represented in cinema, I especially enjoyed the pink slime causing the Big Apple’s notorious reputation for being a mean-spirited metropolis. I even appreciated the corny use of the Statue of Liberty as the antithesis of that negative distinction. But it was enough to see the gang reunited with their proton packs, as well as the return of Rick Moranis, who would have stolen the whole movie if he weren’t beaten at his own game by Peter MacNicol. Some might think of Dr. Janosz Poha as the Jar Jar Binks of the Ghostbusters franchise. For me, he’s still the sequel’s greatest component.

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Jason Reitman in Ghostbusters II

It doesn’t come as a surprise that in the wake of Harold Ramis‘s death that Ivan Reitman has dropped out of directing Ghostbusters 3. The silver lining is that he will still be involved as a producer, but that is one more original player that won’t be back in his regular spot. Reitman told Deadline of his decision as well as details about the road the sequel has taken up to this point, including how the current draft from Etan Cohen with Dan Aykroyd has the main characters of the first two movies taking a back seat, as long rumored. “Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better,” Reitman says of the latest plan. “I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about.” Along with the news that Reitman is vacating the director’s chair is a further update that Sony is still moving the production forward and aims to start filming no later than early 2015. That’s plenty of time for Reitman and the studio to find a replacement to helm the movie, but they don’t really need very long at all because I’ve got a shortlist right here of the five best men (and woman) for the job. 

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Ghostbusters

Remembering Harold Ramis, we take some time this week to recognize his legacy of sophisticated humor and geek prowess. Plus, we’ll chat with House of Cards‘ Rachel Brosnahan and indie writer/director Ari Aster about their new short film Basically, and then Brian Salisbury and C. Robert Cargill join us to cheerlead for underappreciated genre movies and announce an exciting, fattening new podcasting venture. You should follow Brian (@briguysalisbury), Cargill (@massawyrm), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #50 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Harold Ramis

Of course it happened in February. Yesterday, Harold Ramis passed away from complications resulting from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare blood disease. He is survived by his spouse, Erica Mann, as well as his three children and two grandchildren. He is also survived, for those of us who knew the man’s work but never met him personally, by some of the most influential and game-changing comedies of the past forty years. It’s difficult to know what the careers of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and John Belushi would look like without him. If there had been no Harold Ramis, there would be no Caddyshack, no Vacation, no Groundhog Day. If Ghostbusters could ever have existed sans Ramis in some other form, it’s impossible to imagine quite what that would be. He was, by all measures, a consequential figure in American comedy.

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Bill Murray‘s never doing another Ghostbusters film. We can all hem and haw and hold out hope that the prodigal son of ghostbusting might return, but Murray has staunchly refused to bust even a single ghost for years now. When Ray Parker Jr. famously exclaimed, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost,” maybe he didn’t have Murray in mind. But it seems Bill Murray’s disdain for the supernatural only counts when Ghostbusters is involved. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor has just attached himself to the upcoming Dreamworks animated film B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations. Murray joins the project alongside two other new additions in Octavia Spencer and Jennifer Coolidge. That titular organization is “the ghost world’s elite counter-haunting unit,” and Murray will be filling the role of Addison Drake, who is both a ghost himself and the film’s primary villain.

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Ninja 2

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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IntroOneRole

Imagine if Edward Norton had made Primal Fear and decided to just bounce after that, or if Johnny Depp called it quits after Edward Scissorhands. Even though he was in a few films before that (including Nightmare on Elm Street), had that happened, no one would have thought twice about the guy – not unlike how zero people really think twice about the following actors and actresses…

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IntroMadGenius

Crazy science is so embedded in movie-making that it’s been with us since the very conception of film with such classics as Frankenstein and Dr. Caligari. While the best stuff was almost exclusively from the time of black and white – the 1980s and beyond have seen their formidable share of folks with PhDs in crazy. See for yourself…a lot of mad doctorates have been handed out recently.

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Ghostbusters

In Ghostbusters, just after Winston explains that you answer “yes” whenever anything asks if you’re a God, Ray chooses the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as the form of The Destroyer, and the pillowy sailor begins menacing midtown New York. They were supposed to clear their minds, but he says, “It just popped in there. . . I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!” We all know that, and we all know the trivia that the mascot who looks like the Michelin Man’s cousin appears sprinkled throughout the movie (on Dana’s counter top, on the side of a building), and that’s where there’s a far better reason for why Ray just happened to think of Stay Puft. It’s not just his childhood. It’s that he saw him every single day while working as a Ghostbuster.

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ghostbusters

An open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers.

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movies_pain_and_gain_on_set_2

Welcome to another edition of the Reject Recap, where we highlight the past week’s best news and original features from this very movie site and others around the web. You might notice the format is slightly different this time around. You also might notice that we’ve only selected stuff posted to FSR. Part of this is because I’m at a film festival this weekend and didn’t have as much time to browse our friends’ sites. Part is because our writers banged out a lot of great stuff the past few days. Surely you’ll agree while playing catch up. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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IntroPrisons

Prison sounds like hell. You’re locked in one room, barely going outside while you are forced to sit around all day and like… read and watch TV and shit. I hear there are movie nights and exercise equipment as well. You’d probably get really fit, and hell – you’d be socializing for once in your life. Okay, when I describe it like that, prison sounds all right. In movies it varies, especially when the film doesn’t exactly take place in our own reality. They cane be comedic, nightmarish and, in some cases, musical. They can also be like hell. Here are the ones that look like the biggest pains to reside in – places where, in a world where you have to either get busy living or get busy dying, the latter would probably be best.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; bustin’ makes me feel like a shower. At this point, you’re just asking for it. We’ve made our intentions clear: to rip on bad movies. As much as we abuse these movies, we do adore them. Our poisoned love may take the form of mockery, but when push comes to restraining order, we do right by it. As a paltry token of our “remorse,” we will offer a delightfully decadent snack food item themed to the film. Much has been made of the on-again/off-again/why-the-hell-is-this-a-thing proposed third installment of the Ghostbusters franchise. Evidently the deep emotional trauma of Ghostbusters II has dissipated and the first real steps toward healing can begin. For the funnyatric stars of the original film, and inexplicably the sequel,the logical recourse, of course of course, is to take to the interwebspheres and relentlessly tease the possibility of ripping the wounds open again. Since they’re apparently letting anyone write pitches for Ghostbusters 3, judging by those we’ve seen, we thought we’d throw our hat in the ring; double shot beer helmet though it may be. But being particularly averse to original thought, as anyone who’s read this column with any frequency can attest, we opted to craft a Ghostbusters 3 screenplay by co-opting and reworking 1982’s The Entity so that GB3 fits inside.

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t have time to explain it to you, yo. We just gotta get out of here, Mr. White! We begin this evening with the first image from the upcoming fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, courtesy of AMC. And guess what? It’s a shot of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) standing in a field looking less than pleased with their surroundings. Even though it’s a shot we’ve seen a million times in four seasons, it never ceases to be interesting. 

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? This short film from Elise The might be the perfect companion piece to yesterday’s short, “They Come To Get Us.” They’re both pop culture explosions of strikingly different kinds. The latter is a pure overload by numbers, but Synchronize is electric in its ability to use iconic images and twist them in new ways. Using negative imagery, a cut and paste mentality, and a crazed imagination, this short film is stellar work that celebrates the allure and impact of movies. *Note: Some viewers may have to click through to Vimeo and wait a few minutes for it to load as the video is behind some sort of semi-paywall. However, it’s absolutely worth the wait (especially when you can let it load and come back to it later).* What will it cost? Only 3 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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You heard me – I’m dumping practically everything I can think of at you, and no doubt I’ll still miss a few. In fact, there’s one I am intentionally leaving out just so I can watch the angry comments and laugh like a Disney villain. Honestly, though – after having my memory jarred by all the comments on my first installment of 14 of the Most Impressive Monologues in Movie History, I couldn’t not make another one of these. So here are, once more, some movie monologues out there that really stick out from the rest.

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