by Stephen Milek
Westerns are one of the oldest movie genres. The Great Train Robbery of 1903 pretty much set the template for all the Westerns that followed. While the massive popularity Westerns had in their heyday have fallen there is a mini resurgence in the genre. And Hell or High Water is the latest to try to modernize it. What is fascinating about the movie is they took everything you expect in classic westerns and set it in modern times. It has Cowboys and Indians, bank robbers, poker, shoot outs, and an old no nonsense sheriff. It's all set in a Texas dealing with the current financial crisis.
By Christopher K House
Not many film reboots have caused the internet to seethe with anger than the Ghostbusters reboot. The 1984 Ivan Reitman/Harold Ramis comedy quickly became an iconic film and a beloved classic today. With a lackluster sequel released a few years later, the franchise went silent. Rumors about a Ghostbusters 3 popped up every so often but, no one really took them seriously. When Sony announced there would be a reboot with a new cast, fans lost their minds. When the studio announced Paul Feig was directing with an all female cast, the internet exploded in a misogynistic explosion of hatred. The film's trailer quickly set a record as the most disliked video on YouTube, the stars were attacked on social media, the film was certain to be doomed before it even released. Then, the film opened...
And, it was pretty darn good.
Paul Feig and company were able to craft a film that was able to pay homage to the original while maintaining it's own identity. The film opens in an old, spooky mansion during a tour conducted by Zach Woods (The Office, The Heat) a shady tour guide who learns that the mansion he pretends to be haunted might actually really be haunted. This opening scene, while no where near as iconic as the library scene in the original set the mood and it felt right.
Enter Erin (Kristen Wiig) a college professor hoping to get tenure only to have her paranormal past resurface. Abby (Melissa McCarthy) has been selling a book the two wrote about the paranormal that Erin would like to forget. When Erin confronts Abby to ask to remove the book from the internet, the wheels start spinning. Along with Holzmann, the friends confront a ghostly spirit. With a renewed faith in the supernatural, Erin decides to return to paranormal research.
Unbeknownst to the trio, Rowan (Neil Casey) has a plan to bring the ghost dimension to our world. The bad guy and the meat of the story in this reboot is different from the original. The issue is, it's not that great or original. At best, it's meh. What makes the film work is the performances. This is especially true of their dim witted secretary, Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) and the fourth member of the group, Patty (Leslie Jones). Hemsworth really shows his comedic chops as Kevin, a performance that will be remembered.
There are some scenes that are removed from the original and some characters have nods too like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man and of course, Slimer is in there too. The cameos by the original cast were very well done and, respectful to the original film. The one missing member is Rick Moranis who declined to participate.
The special effects have been a source of discussion as well and, while they are overly CGI they aren't horrible. Of course this won't replace the original film and, it's not meant to. You can still pop in your Ghostbusters Beta tape if you want to relive 1984. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy this hilarious comedy with a new take. Put away your preconceived notions and you may find yourself enjoying a film you made your mind up against months before release.
A film fan from an early age, Chris is a true cinephile. Starting with his first big screen experience, Star Wars to the current indie films, it's obvious he is obsessed with film. Chris has been writing about film and television since the early days of the internet. Chris is also a member of OFTA, the Online Film and Television Critic's Association.
A lover of all movies. Steve will watch anything from classic silent films to modern horror films. Obsessed with the Oscars and Film festivals. Steve prides himself on watching every movie on the AFI 100 Greatest Movies and every Oscar winner.