Movie Review – Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Karan Soni, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and more.

Directed by: Paul Feig Written by: Katie Dippold and Paul Feig Based on the film written by: Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis Cinematography by: Robert D. Yeoman Music by: Theodore Shapiro

Premise: Erin Gilbert is on the cusp of gaining tenure at her university when the past comes back to haunt her. An old colleague has republished the paranormal book the two of them wrote together. A book that might cost her everything, as it isn’t seen as being real science. Trying to get Abby to take the book off the market, Erin ends up going with her to a historic house in New York. And comes face to face with the supernatural. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: One of the things that made the original 1984 Ghostbusters film fun were all the quirky and memorable characters. The new film has a basket full. Kriten Wiig did well as the socially awkward and insecure Dr. Erin Gilbert. Melissa McCarthy was fun as the gutsy Abby Yates. While hard to out do Egon, Kate McKinnon did things her own way as the unique, happy-go-lucky Jillian Holtzman. Chris Hemsworth had way too much fun as Kevin, the brainless, and I mean brainless, receptionist. lol. Bill Murray as the debunker Martin Heiss was a brilliant choice for a multitude of reasons.  And a lot of the original cast is back for some awesome cameos too!

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: If you get a chance to see the film in IMAX 3D, I would definitely recommend it. The special effects are well worth the higher price. The first and second ghosts were super detailed and the 3D made their lack of a corporeal body that much cooler to look at.

Lots of great gadgets and fun looking machinery. Rowan’s machines had a strong steampunk feel to them. Our favorite proton streams are back and used in all sorts of new ways.

There’s lots of slime and even Slimer! He has a grittier, more substantial look, and he still knows how to party. The balloon ghosts were creepy. And Rowan’s mirrors were fab!

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: The original Ghostbusters film is one of my husband’s all time favorite movies. He’s been frothing to go see it. And was quite happy with the results.

A lot of the main players in the original cast do cameos in the film! Awesome! And what’s really neat about the cameos is how they have more substance to them than you normally get from such things. A tons of in-jokes in those little snippets as well. Sadly, Harold Ramis passed a couple of years ago, so he did not get to appear. Though a bust of him shows up in one of the scenes. It was a nice touch.

Like in the original, the story begins with a paranormal incident. The build up to it was great. Not only is the tour guide full of bizarre commentary, but he’s also a charlatan of sorts, until… (That whole beginning sequence was great!)

From the moment the film starts there are ‘winks’ and ‘nudges’ heralding back to the original film. They were made up of all kinds of bits – visual, vocal, and musical. If you loved the first film, you’ll love this one just for all the awesome homage!

Though the story parallels the original in certain aspects. (It even pokes fun at it.) It’s also a whole new tale on its own. A lot of themes get thrown in to go along with the humor and nostalgia – friendship, family, as well as daring to believe in yourself and others.

Stay all the way through the credits! Not only were they a blast, but several more bits are throw in. The last, if you’ve seen the original, was priceless! Speaks of possible things to come. 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of great gags. Felt sorry for the people dealing with the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ pose. lol. Bodies get thrown around, and there’s even some hand-to-hand.

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: The original Ghostbusters was filmed for the most part in New York. This time around, they recreate several places in NY City, but most locations are actually in nearby Massachusetts. Even so, we got some lovely scene sweeps and neat shots.

6) Music – Totally Thumbs Up: They sneak in the original theme here and there. The first time gives a great jolt of nostalgia when they bring it in right after the starting sequence. The snippet of new songs and background music all worked quite well.

Conclusion: Despite all the negativity before the film’s release, hubby and I loved the heck out of it. A ton of homage bits and all the awesome cameos added a lot to the film’s overall fun. Sit through all the credits! They’re a ton of fun and have more added bits. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Great visuals and all that homage! Woot!) (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

 

Movie Review – Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Milla Jovovich, Billy Zane, Cyrus Arnold, Justin Bieber, Sting, Kiefer Sutherland, and many more.

Directed by: Ben Stiller Written by: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, and John Hamburg Based on Characters Created by: Drake Sather and Ben Stiller Cinematography by: Daniel Mindel Music by: Theodore Shapiro

Premise: After the death of his wife and loss of custody of his son, Derek Zoolander hid himself away from modeling and life. He’s brought back into the modeling scene after Billy Zane delivers an invitation from the current fashion diva, Alexanya Atoz, to come to Rome. Dealing with his own issues of a scarred face and the possibility of his being a father, Hansel receives the same invitation. Yet all is not as it would appear, as a rash of deaths in the music industry and cryptic photos by the murdered victims lead interpol fashion police officer Valentina straight into Zoolander’s path. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: I’ve yet to see the original Zoolander (my bad), but it was obvious from the start that everyone, from the main leads to the zillion cameos, that everyone had a ball being a part of this film. And while I heard there was some unhappiness from fans with regards to Benedict Cumberbatch playing All, I am not sure why they were displeased. He was fabulous in the role! And looked to have enjoyed every moment of it. He was perfect for the character. And his sweeping in to whip two Mork from Ork clones with vengeful fashion wrath was hilarious! (Wished they’d let him do more! :P)

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: They did some very 80’s and also some cool futuristic looking effects in the film. Interpol was super high tech – loved the screens. There was also a lovely chase scene with some Matrix like hijinxs to grab our attention from the very beginning that were nicely done.

The jail for the criminally fashion insane was a giant thimble and needle – genius! And the prison cell holding Mugato was outstanding.  Several of the locations got spruced up with special effects magic so you got a combination James Bond and 80’s MTV video effects here and there. 🙂

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: I’d heard of Zoolander and learned about the Blue Steel look when all the celebs were doing it. But I’d not gotten around to seeing the first film. That being said, anyone who hasn’t seen it doesn’t need to worry about not knowing what’s going on as they do a nice quick recap and even fill in the intervening years to throw wrenches for the upcoming plot.

Zoolander and Hansel go on a true trip of discovery – one to help them find out who they are and also what others mean to them. Rolled up in this are the themes of family, connecting, and acceptance. And of course ‘looking cool’ and what that really means.

No real surprises on the plot, but with the lack of mental capacity from the heroes, they couldn’t make it too hard on them. lol. My two favorite spots were the beginning James Bond like sequence and the scenes with All. And Keifer Sutherland is pregnant?

There are all sorts of in-jokes thrown all over the place as well. Trying to catch them is rather fun. 🙂 Oh, and the whole serving tea with the feet scene? Awesome! 😛

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Some physical and some CGI stunts. This is a comedy so some bits go beyond human boundaries, but that’s part of the fun. (Who knew Will Ferrell was so flexible?) And one of the longest car rolls EVER!

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: From the desert outside Malibu to the Northern reaches of New Jersey, they really picked some great locations for the film. All the spots in Rome were fantastic. And the views!

Heck, even the weird locations like the dolled up medicine factory/toxic waste dump/fashion party were nicely done. Lovely cinematography.

6) Costuming/Makeup – Total Thumbs Up: Loved loved loved the Dr. Strange look they gave Zoolander when we find him in his hermitage in the cold north! Hansel’s quarter mask was also adorable. Make note of his scar after the first look and see what/who it reminds you of. 🙂

And the amazing (and horrifying) things they did to Kristen Wiig! OMG! Creepiest looking character ever! lol. I swear there were several characters from some old movies squished together to make her up. (Dug back up?) 😛

And since the film is about models, there are costume changes for just about every scene! Having to come up with all these clothes must have driven the wardrobe people crazy. Using tattoos as part of Hansel’s costumes was a great move.

7) Music – Total Thumbs Up: I have to say half of my enjoyment of the film was from the great background score by Theodore Shapiro. A very spy/thriller type sound with lovely changes for different areas that set the perfect mood from the start. 🙂

Conclusion: Can’t say if it is better or not than the original Zoolander, but Zoolander 2 was fun. Everyone looked to be having a ball. So if you’re looking for something silly, light, and very well done with cool locations, look no further. Zoolander 2 will take you there. 🙂

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Better for Matinee)