I (Think) I Finally Understand The Ghostbusters Brouhaha

When I heard all the brouhaha over Paul Feig’s reboot of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 Ghostbusters I didn’t quite understand what it was all about; beyond the obvious, such as recasting the leads as women.

You see, because while I enjoyed the original movie, it didn’t make much of an impression on me.

And Brendan Mertans Ghostheads didn’t change that, what it did was help me understand why it is that some people feel so passionately about the movie in the first place.

Ghostheads, a Kickstarter-financed movie is currently on Netflix is about people who’s lives have been changed by the original movie (it also features an interview with Feig.  It was good to hear him respond positively to the idea of Ghostbusters fandom, which is welcome, especially considering his reaction to people on Twitter who have not responded well to his reboot).

It’s a fascinating look into these people’s lives, and appears to be nothing about positive.

That being said, there’s something a bit odd about people who devote so much of their lives to a movie; though to be fair it’s no more strange than the average Trekkie.

Though more importantly, what it says is that some people use Ghostbusters as a way to meet other people, to be part of something bigger than themselves, like a massive, worldwide social club.

And if you look at it that way, it’s pretty cool.

My Two Cents – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Let me cut to the chase.  I am not particularly enamored of Gareth Edwards as a director.

The problems start with his filmography. First you have Monsters, a movie where the aforementioned monsters felt like an afterthought which shouldn’t be the case with a movie named Monsters. His followup, Legendary’s Godzilla suffered a similar fate, with  Godzilla not showing up till the latter third of the movie.

Is Edwards a good fit for a Star Wars movie? Based on what I have seen so far, I don’t think so. There are rumors that a large section of the movie had to be reshot due to the overly pessimistic tone the director struck.

That being said, reshoots aren’t unusual for a movie of this nature, so the truth probably lies somewhere between the two extremes.

What I can say is that what I have so far heard about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes me more interested in seeing it since the three movies that made up the original trilogy.

And for me, that means a lot.

Besides, I really, really, REALLY like the poster.

Ghostbusters Reviews Are Filtering In And…

Ghostbusters reviews are filtering in, and they’re…decidedly mixed.

Which is problematic, especially when you take into account that there are apparently a lot of people that take issue with the whole gender swap at the heart of the movie.

Another is that its budget is somewhere in the ballpark of  $150 million.  That’s not a lot of money, relatively speaking if compared to movies like Captain America: Civil War.

As I said, it may not seem like a lot, though being cheaper than other tentpoles doesn’t guarantee profitability, just that it’s easier to reach that point.. After all, Dredd cost about $50 million to produce, and earned just over $35 million worldwide.

I get the feeling that Paul Feig’s female-centered reboot will open relatively strong–like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and falloff just as quickly (also like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

Sony is promising that Ghostbusters will be the start of a new cinematic universe, and while that’s possible, I get the feeling that some stars are just too distant without a FTL drive.

Why Doctor Strange Is Crucial To The MCU

It’s been a long time away!  I’ve hopefully straightened out all the hullabaloo revolving around my domain, and things should be back to normal.

Most recently I haven been thinking about how it is that Marvel’s Doctor Strange is perhaps one of their most important releases, and crucial to the future of the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I explore the two most pertinent reasons why in the video below:

And here’s a radio play, Chandu the Magician, the character that directly inspired the creation of the good Doctor.

And if I weren’t giving enough, here’s the Dr. Strange telefilm, starring Peter Hooten and executive produced by Phillip DeGuerre.  And sure, it’s a product of its time, but it’s pretty nifty in its own way.

Love Disney, But Iger Seems A Bit Douchy

Screenshot 2016-06-15 16.25.12I am a huge fan of Disney, not because of their characters–which for the most part I find cloying and treacly–than the business acumen of Bob Iger, who had the sense to see the value in LucasFilm, Marvel Studios, and Pixar, all of which he purchased; each of which are virtually licenses to purchase money.

Captain America: Civil War is still in the Top 10–that’s called ‘legs,’ baby–despite being released May 6–has earned  earned almost $1.5 billion at the box office, while Zootopia–via Disney Animation–has earned just over a billion.

And you have Finding Dory coming up next from Pixar, and estimates have it opening somewhere in the ballpark of $125 million.

That’s a lot of money.

That being said, what most people think of when they consider ‘Walt Disney’ is probably the theme parks, which is why I found his response to Bernie Sanders, who drew attention to the pay earned by people that work there.

In response Iger asked how many jobs has Sanders created, which is interesting, though sort of silly because that’s not quite how Government works.

Though more importantly, he didn’t respond to Sanders’ point because Sanders was talking about how much people earned who work at Disney’s theme parks, while Iger responded by attacking him for being a Democratic Socialist, on top of asking how many jobs he had created.

As I said, that’s not what Sanders asked.  He was referring to how much people earned at Disney theme parks, NOT to how many people they’re employing because Walmart employs a lot of people too, though the last I heard many of them rely on government programs to make the difference from week to week to pay the bills–because their take-home pay is relatively little–though how much they earn is just as important–if not more so–than how many people they employ.

Disney is making money hand over fist, and it’s about time that they send some love–by which I mean money; love is awesome, but it doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re sleeping with your landlord.  And your cable and telephone provider (though they’re probably the same)–their workers way because THOSE WORKERS ARE DISNEY, and should be treated as such.

X-Men Apocalypse Wobbles To The Finish

I’ve said for a long time now that Fox doesn’t know how to manage the Marvel Studios properties–currently the X-Men and the Fantastic Four–that they currently control.

So what do they do? They go and prove me right.  X-Men: Apocalypse, after a Memorial Day premiere of $79.8 million–enough to beat the competition handily–fell a dizzying 66 percent the following week.

And I don’t think anything to do with ‘superhero fatigue,’ a myth, like the Yeti or its domestic cousin, the Sasquatch.

Though what I think it does show is that moviegoers are wising up, and after an initial surge of viewers (composed mainly of fans of the characters) they’re staying away.

Which is why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened so strongly. This interest, as I said, driven by the fan community (though it didn’t hurt that the movie was released all over the world at the same time, which mitigated the extremely negative word of mouth that would have otherwise done it significantly more damage) is enough to open a movie big, but in the long run, not enough to maintain it.

This process of front-loading–and typically high initial profits–makes studios way more optimistic about a movie’s performance than perhaps they should be.

But it’s whether or not a movie has legs is what matters most, especially in these days of $250 million+ budgets.

And Batman v Superman had relatively weak legs.

And apparently those of X-Men: Apocalypse aren’t much better.

 

3 Reasons Why Batman v Superman Underperforming Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

No one likes it when movies they support don’t do well at the box office.

Though few fans are as passionate–or as vocal–as those of Marvel Studios and DC Films.

All you have to do is to read the forums for sites that focus on superhero content–like Comicbookmovie.com and Superherohype.com, to name two–to realize that enthusiasms run deep whenever these studios and the characters they control are concerned.

For instance, even fans of Batman will acknowledge that Joel Schumacher’s interpretation wa akin to cinematic arsenic as far that the franchise and the character were concerned.

That being said, if that weren’t the case, would Christopher Nolan ever have  been given the chance to reinvigorate the franchise?

Probably not.

I mention it because it’s another good reason why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice underperforming isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s fairly obvious that Zach Snyder–either through lack of knowledge or by design–doesn’t know how to interpret either Batman or Superman, so a creative refreshening is necessary.

“Warner Bros has already begun playing musical chairs with their executives,” though the question is is it enough.

Only time will tell because–if the Titanic has taught us anything–it’s that sometimes the danger is a lot greater than we assumed at first glance.