Sunday, July 17, 2016

Misogynists on movies, or: Who ya gonna call?

Copyrights Columbia Pictures &
Sony Pictures 2016
My daughter Kitty and I saw the new "Ghostbusters" movie yesterday. It's an entertaining flick, embodying the premise, as well as the spirit (sorry), of the original films. The members of the team -- Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones -- are just as funny, and snarkier, as Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson were. Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two movies, is a producer this time around; Ackroyd is executive producer. And each of the surviving members of the original cast (except for Rick Moranis, who has retired from acting) show up in cameos. Even Ramis makes an appearance of a sort, even though he died in 2014. (No, he doesn't show up as a ghost.)

In short, the reboot's DNA is superb. And the film is getting decent, if not spectacular, reviews. Too bad so many of the fans of the original movies have decided not to see it.

Why? The official take, espoused by Reitman and others involved in the film, is that these fans are disappointed there was a reboot at all. The original 1984 film is regarded as a comedy classic; the second movie also did well; and some fans say that after Ramis died and Murray refused to make a third movie, the franchise should have died.

But then there were the trolls. A whole lot of men were upset that the producers had the temerity to cast women in the major roles. Some of them took a stand months ago, saying they would never see this new movie. And a whole bunch of them -- more than 600-thousand -- mobilized in April to make the film's first trailer the most-disliked ever on YouTube.

The scriptwriters, to their credit, took the complaints in stride, and even worked in a couple of digs at the misogynistic mouth-breathers.
It starts after scientists Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), and Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) post a video online of their first encounter with a ghost, a class-4 apparition. “We have over a hundred comments already and they’re not all crazies,” Yates says. “Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts,” Gilbert reads aloud. 
It's a funny line. But still...seriously? In this day and age, we can't let women wield proton packs?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given what has happened in other parts of the sci-fi fandom: witness Gamergate, as well as the Sad Puppies takeover of the Hugo Awards. There are clearly speculative fiction fans who like things the way they have been for decades, thank you very much, and who have zero interest in letting "political correctness" creep into their entertainment.

Whatever. While they wallow in their bitterness, the rest of us will enjoy the new "Ghostbusters" (including Chris Hemsworth as the dumb-blond receptionist -- ooh baby!).

These moments of anti-misogynistic blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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