Link to my article “Welcome to Douchebag Cafe” on PointsInCase.com.
Link to my article “Welcome to Douchebag Cafe” on PointsInCase.com.
Blair Witch Casts a Spell of Dazzling Originality
Reviewed by Joshua Champlain for HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Joshua Champlain has recently awakened from a 27-year coma. Please keep this in mind when reading the following review.)
It’s easy for film critics to be cynical. So many movies completely lack originality and artistic integrity. So many movies are nothing more than the generic repackaging of well-worn filmic tropes, clichéd storylines, and established pop-culture brands. So many movies are clearly molded by the greedy hooves of capitalist swine in search of a quick buck without having to innovate or bear the burden of any creative risk. So many movies rely solely on storytelling gimmicks and archetypal characters to shamelessly pander to a well-established target demographic in order to put butts in seats on opening weekend. So many movies are so insultingly predictable, so reliant upon this paint-by-numbers philosophy of filmmaking that you just can’t blame critics for the unmistakable air of frustration so prevalent in their reviews.
Which is why I’m so pleased to report that I’ve just seen Blair Witch, a film so startling in its originality that I’m shocked it was allowed to be produced at all, let alone publicly exhibited.
First and foremost, Blair Witch is a horror movie—but not just any horror movie. It will likely be remembered as the single greatest achievement in the hallowed history of horror. The basic story involves a collection of millennials coming face-to-face with unspeakable terrors in the deep, dark woods. And why exactly are these youngsters trudging through the woods? Because the main character, James Donahue, decides it’s time to search for the sister he lost in these very woods 22 years ago, when she led her own expedition of intrepid youngsters on a search for the mysterious Blair Witch, a terrifying apparition with a reputation for disappearing local townsfolk, even children. That alone permits this film to stake its claim as one of the most innovative horror stories of all time. I mean, come on … Good-looking young people killed off in a forest—genius! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Vertigo Entertainment and Lionsgate for having the balls to tell such an imaginative story. But that’s just the beginning. Check this out: The story is conveyed through a narrative device in which the characters record their own experiences. That footage is then assembled by someone else and presented to the movie-going public as a kind pseudo-documentary. What! Who could have ever imagined such an ingenious method of presenting a story? Only superhuman mega-geniuses, that’s who.
I don’t want to give away any of the surprises (and, trust me, there are just so, so many really startling revelations in this movie), so I won’t say any more about the story or how it is told. However, I would like to say that I am just so proud of you, Hollywood, for respecting ticket-buying audiences (who often have to shell out as much as $20 or more per ticket) for not simply regurgitating the stinking pile of inept, infantile, brain cell-destroying eye cancer you normally fart onto movie screens each weekend. Not this time. No, this time you delivered Blair Witch, rather than insult film fans with yet another half-cocked prequel, sequel, or reboot featuring a gaggle of cardboard characters heedlessly meandering through a mind-numbing cinematic wasteland of cheap set-ups, clunky expositional dialogue, and poorly executed jump scares. So, again, thank you. You had the courage to respect both your craft and the fans by releasing … Blair Witch.
So … I humbly doff my cap to you, mainstream Hollywood. Your integrity and inventiveness know no bounds.
I give Blair Witch a 10 out of 10, and I wait with bated breath to see what glorious creations Hollywood has in store for the future. May God bless this movie and all who see it.
(Blair Witch is rated R for adult language, violence, nudity, and for being such a pioneering, groundbreaking work of art that younger, less-experienced viewers’ minds would implode should their eyes gaze upon its brilliance.)
The Twilight Saga: The Most Baffling Film Experience of My Life
Reviewed by Anton Snoot for HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Anton Snoot is currently enduring an aggressive course of antipsychotic medications which often leads to a state of utter confusion. Please keep this in mind when reading the following review, which is for entertainment purposes only.)
First of all, I realize that this review is incredibly late. Thanks to an unfortunate break with reality that led to a prolonged stay in a certain kind of healthcare facility, I have only just recently been made aware of the pop-culture phenomena known as The Twilight Saga. Now that I have witnessed this so-called “saga,” I have to admit that I find myself at a complete loss, as the seven films that comprise the universe of Twilight make absolutely no sense at all. Even the way the films are marketed is scattershot and confusing. But I’ll get to that later.
For starters, the films lurch back and forth between completely different casts and filmmakers, while simultaneously mining utterly disparate narrative terrain. For example, the first film in the series is an anthology comprised of four science fiction tales that feature everything from Vic Morrow being hunted by Nazis after time traveling to Scatman Crothers as the world’s all-time greatest ambassador of Kick the Can to John Lithgow being tormented by a wing gremlin on a commercial flight. Okay, fine. This first installment is a pretty decent entertainment, but it makes no sense as the introductory film in this series, being that it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the next five films, which form a bizarre collection of abstinence propaganda pictures that prominently feature the throbbing loins of teen vampires and werewolves who share a seemingly life-threatening affliction for shirt-wearing and subtlety.
That’s right, the next five Twilight films are nothing but eye candy for teen girls. So much about these films baffles me that I’m not sure I can even honestly review them. For example, right smack in the middle of one of these films there is a scene in which a family of vampires heads to a park on a rainy day to play baseball. Seriously. Baseball. And then we, the audience, just have to sit there like idiots, watching vampires play baseball for what feels like an eternity. But here’s the kicker, the remainder of these vampire films is so awful that by the time you’ve finished watching them, you look back at the baseball sequence with great fondness.
And then there’s the seventh and final film in the saga. This one’s a real headscratcher. For some reason, the creative geniuses behind this mess decided to move away from that whole vampire thing and close the saga with a detective thriller starring Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, and Gene Hackman. Newman stars as a now-elderly version of Edward the vampire, but the film never explains why Edward has suddenly aged, nor does it explain why he has become a private detective and relocated to Los Angeles. Stranger still, Susan Sarandon plays an older version of Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan character, and Gene Hackman plays the older version of Taylor Lautner’s Jacob; however, for reasons unknown (and probably unknowable) all of these characters now exist under different names. Edward is now Harry, Bella is now Catherine, and Jacob is now Jack. I guess maybe they were forced to change their names to protect their true identities as vampires and werewolves, but even if that’s the case, the film never mentions it; in fact, this final installment of The Twilight Saga never mentions vampires, werewolves, or anything that could possibly be interpreted as connective tissue between these films.
So, what the hell, man? Why are these films so popular? Taken as a whole, The Twilight Saga simply makes no sense—none! Taken individually, these movies suck vampire ass. So what’s the deal? And why were these films marketed in such a strange manner? Why were the middle five films marketed so much differently than the first and seventh films? And why was seventh and final film (the one starring Paul Newman) released in 1998, a full 14 years before the sixth film (the final vampire film) in 2012? What sense does that make? None, if you ask me.
In conclusion, The Twilight Saga may be popular, but its narrative logic (or complete lack thereof) is baffling, its core concept is muddled, and its execution makes me want to crap. So if you haven’t seen The Twilight Saga yet, don’t. It will scar you forever. It will also fill your trousers with an unstoppable torrent of sudsy excrement. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I give The Twilight Saga a 9.3 out of 10, because that vampire-baseball sequence is so mind-numbingly stupid I kind of respect it.
Don’t Breathe; Moreover, Don’t Buy a Ticket to This Dreck
Reviewed by Doris Goldfarb for HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Doris Goldfarb is an octogenarian who rarely sees modern films. Keep this mind when reading the following review.)
Don’t even get me started! Oy gevalt, what a terrible movie Don’t Breathe is. I mean, my God, with the violence and the potty mouth … What the hell happened to movies anyway? This one is even worse than that disaster with the foul-mouthed cartoon hot dog. Ah, the whole thing’s a shanda, I tell ya’. If my Irving—God rest his soul—had seen this movie, he would’ve plotzed, hand to God. Now, I may just be a yenta who loves to kvetch, but I’m sorry, this movie caused me great tsoriss, and I want restitution. Thank God I didn’t have to pay for my ticket. But thirteen dollars for popcorn and a Coke! Thirteen dollars it cost, hand to God. For a nosh? Are you kidding? What am I, made of gelt? Ah, the whole system’s fercockt.
So, anyway, Don’t Breathe tells the story of a troubled shiksa named Rocky (what a pretty name for a girl, am I right?) whose parents neglect her and her baby sister. So now Rocky wants to run away with her sister, but she needs money. By the way, what is it with these young girls today? Rocky dresses like a real nafka, always with the shirts that expose her pupik and the tight pants that highlight the roundness of her tuches. And don’t even get me started on the tattoos. Hand to God, these girls today look like walking comic strips. These little pishers should show off their healthy skin while they have it, not hide it beneath a layer of vulgar graffiti hastily carved into their hides by a bunch of derelicts with electric needles. But I digress.
In order to get the money she needs to run away, Rocky commiserates with her boyfriend, a real shmegegge named—get this—Money. Anyway, Money’s brilliant idea is to break into the house of a blind man who, rumor has it, has a safe just waiting to be burgled. So, with the help of Money’s friend Alex (a total schlemiel, hand to God), Rocky and Money set out to steal their fortune. One problem: the broken-down blind man they’re supposed to steal from is no shmendrick. He may be old and blind, but he’s tough as balls and steady as a moyl at the moment of truth. Soon these ungrateful little bastards are running for their pathetic little lives from this blind gonif with a pair of balls like a Holstein bull and the shvantz of a Triple Crown winner. Sure he may be a violent psychopath, but he doesn’t take crap from teens and he doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and that’s a nice way to live. Good for him.
So, anyway, there’s really no reason for anyone to sit through this whole megillah. It’s really nothing but potty-mouthed kids and violence, and I can see plenty of that any day of the week on the D train, and for free. Bottom line, Don’t Breathe stinks like my friend Gerda’s water closet after a brisket-and-beets lunch from Katz Deli—you know, the one on 53rd across from that place that makes all the pies. Anyway, my point is, don’t bother wasting your time and your money on Don’t Breathe. Just thinking about this movie makes me grepse.
I give Don’t Breathe zero stars, and may it bring shame to those who aided in its creation.
(Don’t Breathe is rated R for just horrible language and some of the most ridiculous violence I’ve seen. Is this really the kind of thing people find entertaining? If so, it’s time for me shuffle off this mortal coil and be with my Irving, hand to God.)
Link to my article: “Fear Not, Gun Lovers!” on NationalLampoon.com.
Suicide Squad: What it Lacks in Romance, it Also Lacks in Every Other Way
Reviewed by Steve Huntersmith for DecimalPointless and HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Steve Huntersmith is a love-stricken newlywed. Please keep this in mind while reading the following review.)
Suicide Squad, the latest big-budget comic book explode-a-thon to land in thousands of megaplexes, is a truly difficult film to review. As a newlywed, I have to admit that I hate this film, mostly because it forced me to spend two precious hours away from my sweet widdle schmoopie-woopie. Two full hours (almost three, if you include traffic, which I do) away from my hot stack of loveberry pancakes is just more than I—a mere mortal—can handle right now. I know, I know … the honeymoon is officially over, and I really need to concentrate on getting back to work, but it’s just so darned hard to say goodbye to that tall, sexy glass of yum-yum juice to which I am so fortunate to be married. Her lips taste like a hot fudge sundae, and her hair smells like some of those really crumbly cookies you shake on top of your hot fudge sundae. Strangely, her shoulders don’t remind me of hot fudge sundaes at all, which is kinda weird, considering their close proximity to her hair. But her armpits … you guessed it—hot fudge sundaes!
Quick story: As I was leaving our house (“our house”—isn’t that awesome!) to attend the critics’ screening of Suicide Squad, my new wife (again, awesome!) stopped me at the front door and said, “Do you really have to go to work? Can’t we just climb back into bed and snuggle?” So I said, “Aw, does my teeny-weeny snuggle monkey miss her hubby-wubby already?” And she said, “I just don’t know what I’ll do without my hunka-hunka fur-covered tickle-wickle bear for two whole hours, almost three if you include traffic.” Then she made one of those pouty faces that makes my stomach flutter. I knew I’d better leave quickly or I’d never leave again. Since I pride myself on my professionalism, I blew one last kiss to my vanilla pudding-smeared cuddle duckling and headed off to the movies.
Now, about this Suicide Squad movie … I’m not sure I’d let my children see a movie like this. And, yes, we are planning on having children. My beautiful honey-dripping goddess of a wife thinks we should have two kids, preferably one of each. Isn’t that adorable? As for me, I think I’d like to have five or six little walking embodiments of our love. Of course, I haven’t mentioned that to my mouth-watering slice of love soufflé just yet, but I’m sure she’ll be cool. Speaking of cool, Margot Robbie’s in this movie, and she’s pretty cool. She’s covered in way too many tattoos, otherwise she’d be really sexy—not as sexy as my petite little ice cream cone with love sprinkles, but still pretty hot. In the film, she plays Harley Quinn, a supervillain whose boyfriend is a total psychopath called, of course, The Joker. Their relationship is soooooo messed up. It’s like, take a chill pill and learn to respect each other already. These two could learn soooooo much from my marriage. My creamy butter-pants and I really know how to share our feelings. And sometimes, when it’s late and we can’t sleep because we’re so deeply in love, we profess our love to each other through the magic of song. Which reminds me, the music in this movie, composed by Steven Price, was really beautiful. It reminded me of how beautiful my perfect, perfect angel looked on our wedding day. That’s the power of cinema for ya’.
Oh yeah, Will Smith and Jared Leto and a bunch of other yahoos fight and use superpowers and stuff. One of them is some kind of witch or something … if that helps.
So, I guess the movie wasn’t terrible. I mean, it wasn’t as good as a night at home with my tasty little peanut butter cup with whipped cream and a cherry on top, but no movie could ever be that good.
I give Suicide Squad 1.5 chocolate hearts, a butterfly kissy, and a big warm hug out of … I don’t know … 4.
(Suicide Squad is rated PG-13 for adult language, violence, and for sentencing me to two horrific hours of terrible loneliness away from my little cuddle-bug, three if you include traffic.)
Jason Bourne is a real kick … in the Balls
Reviewed by Sonny Thompson for DecimalPointless and HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Sonny Thompson is recently divorced and openly bitter about the failure of his marriage. Keep this in mind when reading the following review, which is for entertainment purposes only.)
In the latest Jason Bourne movie, which is appropriately titled Jason Bourne for those moviegoers too stupid to remember an actual title, the titular protagonist is back and more dangerous than ever. Bourne has finally put that whole amnesia thing in his rearview mirror, and now he makes his living as an underground fighter. This storyline is clearly a metaphor for the horrors of marriage. Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne represents the married man: an emotionally exhausted, spiritually castrated individual, so lost and confused that he literally loses his identity, thanks to the soulless vampire who latched onto his neck and sucked the remaining life from him the moment he said, “I do.” As a result, Bourne (or the married man, if you will) must begin a desperate, at times violent, search for his lost manhood, a search that will cost him his sanity and inevitably lead him into one perilous situation after another.
For the record, Damon is awesome in this role. There are times when his distant, stony gaze says it all, no words necessary. For example, during an extended car chase sequence, there is a moment when Damon glares into his rearview mirror, and in that moment we, the audience, can tell that he’s thinking about that time when he forgot to do the dishes after working a double shift and his wife totally went nuts on him for absolutely no good reason. And it’s like, what the hell, man! How many times can I say I’m sorry? They’re just dishes. Chill! I mean, it’s not like Bourne forgot to feed the children or pay the mortgage or something. I mean, God forbid the dishes sit in the sink for a few measly extra hours. I’m sorry, but Bourne has a lot on his mind, too. I mean, it’s not like people are trying to kill you, Linda. Ever think of that? Of course not. Because Linda only thinks about Linda. And, let’s face it, it’s not like your job is more important than Bourne’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with risk management, but you’re not exactly curing a disease or walking on Mars, so maybe you should get over yourself and try to consider what life is like for Jason Bourne.
Okay, sure, it was a mistake for Bourne to say that the brown dress wasn’t very flattering to your figure. Bourne acknowledges that. But I’m sure he was just trying to respect your intellect by sharing an honest opinion with you, Linda. Maybe Bourne had just never seen anybody wear a brown dress to a cocktail party before. Oh, and by the way, it is an absolute crime that Jason Bourne has to live in an unfurnished studio apartment on the fifth floor of a six-floor walk-up, while you get to keep living in a four-bedroom house that Bourne continues to pay for. Your parents have money, Linda! Don’t deny it. Admit it, you’re only making Jason Bourne live like an animal because you’re a spiteful she-creature who finds nourishment in the suffering of others. Here’s an idea: go to the park and throw rocks at the ducks if you need to be cruel to innocent living things, and leave Bourne with the last dangling shreds of his dignity. Or go hide among the haystacks in an abandoned barn with the other shrews. But please, please, for the love of all things holy, remove your fangs from Jason Bourne’s swollen, puckered neck and let him get on with the rest of his life.
Oh, and Alicia Vikander is pretty good.
I give Jason Bourne 3 viperous divorce lawyers out of 10 and exactly half of everything I own.
(Jason Bourne is rated PG-13 for adult language, violence, stubbornness, refusal to have a civil conversation, the employment of jerk-face lawyers, the inability to take the dog for regular walks, and a total lack of sexual content for more than a year.)
Lights Out: A Scary Movie for People Who Suck
Reviewed by Shirley Franks for DecimalPointless and HumbleHeckler.com
(Editor’s note: Film critic Shirley Franks is an insanely busy soccer mom who hasn’t had a vacation in more than three years.)
Lights Out is a sometimes-clever, often-spooky horror film that absolutely drips with atmosphere. It’s the kind of shriek-fest that I would’ve loved 15 years ago, back in those halcyon days before I met my ass-bag husband and started pumping out ungrateful children by the bucket load. However, now that life has crapped on my dreams, blackened my heart, and shriveled my once-beautiful body, I find this movie endlessly annoying and relentlessly un-scary.
The story of Lights Out concerns a mysterious ghost-lady with Medusa hair and terrible posture who appears in the dark and disappears in the light. Oooh, I’m sooooooo scared! Shadowy ghost bitches aren’t scary … Five kids and 1 bathroom—now that’s scary. The appearance of varicose veins at 35—now that’s scary. Working 40 hours a week reviewing idiotic movies aimed at mouth-breathing teenagers, only to come home to a filthy house where I’m greeted by a sea of dirt-smudged faces screaming, “What’s for dinner?”—now that’s scary.
Teresa Palmer stars as the film’s sweet little cutie, who always looks daisy-fresh and is decades from worrying about stretch marks and episiotomies. So, basically … UP YOURS, TERESA! Enjoy that tight body and that silky-smooth skin while you can, sweetheart, because one day—maybe even soon—you’re gonna wake up in a bed filled with potato chip crumbs, next to a snoring, wheezing, ass clown that tricked you into getting married and then effectively stole every ounce of your youth, beauty, and zest for life, leaving you a soulless husk with prematurely gray hair and the disposition of a demon in church.
About 25 minutes into this obnoxious teen spookshow, I realized that I was still wearing my slippers and a pair of sweatpants dotted with scores of oozy, drippy stains whose origins are as mysterious and frightening as the identity of Jack the Ripper. Not to mention the fact that my ass-bag husband (in fact, let’s just refer to him as Ass Bag from here on out) forgot to fill the station wagon with gas, so I basically coasted to my critics’ screening of this film on fumes. Thanks, Ass Bag. Love Ya’. Oh, and I haven’t slept more than two hours straight in about six months. And I’m supposed to find this movie scary? Really? Give me a freakin’ break, Hollywood!
The only truly positive thing I can say about Lights Out is that I fell asleep for about a third of the film and woke up feeling more refreshed than I’ve felt in weeks. Not refreshed enough to recommend this garbage movie, mind you, but refreshed nonetheless. So, in conclusion, if you’re under 40, single, and childless, I’m just certain you’ll love Lights Out. Why the hell wouldn’t you? Life is a parade for you people. Every movie is a celebration. Every breath is a joy. You people make me sick. So, go ahead, see Lights Out and have a ball—and then choke on it.
I give Lights Out one stink-filled diaper out of four and every ounce of bile my liver can produce.
(Lights Out is rated PG-13 for “adult” language and “adult” situations … As if these people have any idea what it means to be an adult. It also contains prancing nubile bodies, the overt flaunting of youth, and the potential to induce rage in anyone with a pulse and half a brain.)
Star Trek Beyond Comparison
Reviewed by Miles O’Bannon for DecimalPointless and HumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Miles O’Bannon is an extremely gullible man, prone to lapses in critical thinking. Since he has a history of believing nearly everything he is told, we urge readers to remember that his reviews are for entertainment purposes only.)
First things first, as much as I enjoy the new Star Trek film—and I really do love it—I have to admit that it isn’t worth the $500 ticket price. As a professional film critic, my tickets are usually free of charge. So imagine my surprise when a theater employee demanded that I not only pay the new ticket price of $500, but I also had to use a credit card, and I had to disclose my PIN number “for security purposes.” Whatever that means. And since when do theater employees wear leather jackets and have forehead tattoos of pentacles? And, as if that weren’t enough, an usher (this one wore a red bandana and had a series of teardrop tattoos on his face) informed me of a newly instituted $100 seat tax. After paying this second unexpected (and exorbitant) fee, I immediately called my boss to make sure I would be reimbursed for these costs, since they are clearly work expenses. She told me that she was too busy washing her hair to talk about it at the time, but we’d work it out as soon as she returned from her trip to Transylvania. Anyway, my point is this: Movie studios and theater owners better figure out a way to put a lid on these rising prices, and soon, or they will face hordes of angry moviegoers and thousands of empty theaters.
Okay, on with the review of Star Trek Beyond, which is, of course, the third film in the newly rebooted Star Trek franchise. It is also the best of the three films. Let’s start with the marvelous cast. Chris Pine (who I’m told is a distant relative of Count Dracula) returns as James Kirk. He is joined by all of the regulars we have grown to know and love in these roles. Zachary Quinto (a collector of rare bayonets and an activist for octopus rights) returns as the cold-but-lovable Spock. Part-time fish monger and amateur calculator historian Karl Urban reprises his role as Dr. McCoy. Zoe Saldana, whose hair is rumored to be made of licorice, is once again Lieutenant Uhura. Simon Pegg also returns (after emerging triumphantly from a nine-month battle with the bubonic plague that ultimately cost him his left nostril) as Montgomery Scott. And, rounding out the cast, night-terror sufferer and inventor of Doan’s Back Pills John Cho as Sulu, and his muse, the late Anton Yelchin as Checkov.
This time out, the Enterprise is mercilessly attacked by an unknown foe and forced to ditch their beloved ship in a foreign, unforgiving landscape. Will they be rescued? Hell, will they even survive? I won’t ruin the surprises or any of the fun, but, rest-assured, there is plenty of fun to be had with Star Trek Beyond. The film’s action sequences and special effects work are absolutely breathtaking. I was flabbergasted to learn that the whole film only cost $2,000 to make. I was equally astonished to learn that the film’s screenplay was based on Scottish historical novelist Sir Walter Scott’s Kenliworth. Seriously, I had no idea. But I guess uncovering juicy bits of trivia about a film like this is all part of the fun. And, speaking of fun, according to my friend Jeff, there are numerous Easter eggs and special moments of homage geared toward hardcore Trek fans. I didn’t really notice anything special at my screening, but I can’t argue with Jeff. He has a Ph.D. in Star Trek from Hogwarts, so I’ll just trust the expert.
Ultimately, if you’re a Trek fan and you can afford the ridiculous ticket prices and all of the new theater fees and taxes, Star Trek Beyond is likely to be a worthy entertainment enterprise. It may also be worth the extra 20 bucks to try the new auto-detailing service now being offered at many movie theaters. Apparently, all you have to do is give your car keys and $20 to the theater’s head of valet services, and the valets will wash and detail your car for you as you relax and watch the movie. The only problem is that it takes forever to get your car back. In fact, I’m posting this review from my smart phone in the parking lot of the theater as I wait for my fresh, clean new car to be returned to me. I hope this doesn’t take too long. I need to buy a lottery ticket on the way to my appointment with my tarot card reader. Oh, well … At least I have the memories of Star Trek Beyond to keep me company as I wait.
I give Star Trek Beyond a 10 out of a possible 10.
(Star Trek Beyond is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence, profanity, and, I’m told, the potential to spread mad cow disease through tainted 3-D glasses, so beware.)
Rest peacefully, Anton.
Ghostbusters Blows Open the Doors of Perception and Makes Reality Its Bitch
Reviewed by Thomas Gage for DecimalPointless.
(Editor’s note: We now know for certain that film critic Thomas Gage was dosed with multiple tabs of a low-grade but highly hallucinogenic form of LSD prior to viewing this film.)
Okay, so … Ghostbusters … the movie with all the phantasms and the proton packs that sound like human souls patched into an electrical outlet, and that one bad guy that I just absolutely hate, man. You know the one. Anyway, this movie is awesome, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the coyote who sat right next to me. He’ll shoot ya’ straight, man, cuz he doesn’t know how to lie—like, he doesn’t believe in lying. So, in a way, he IS truth. But it isn’t just the movie that rocks, it’s the whole movie-going experience. For me, this crazy ride called Ghostbusters began with a large Coke that tasted funny and ended when I woke up in a wheelbarrow just outside my office, like, ten minutes ago.
Let’s get down to the review. As we all know, Ghostbusters is a reboot of the 1984 classic. This time around, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig star as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, while Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones totally embody Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. And, for the record, everyone is great, even Chris Hemsworth as … I don’t know … let’s say Sigourney Weaver. The story really kicks in when Wiig and McCarthy, who co-wrote a book about ghosts years before, decide to team up for some reason. I don’t really know why. To be honest, it was about this time in the movie when I found myself having a hard time concentrating. For starters, I could hear my hair growing, which was really distracting. Also, the coyote next to me was smoking clove cigarettes and incessantly quoting (loudly) from the poem “The River of Bees” by W. S. Merwin. “Men think they are better than grass,” my ass!
Anyway, just when everything was starting to return to normal, the screen began to melt into a soupy, goopy mess, which somehow defied the laws of gravity and dripped straight up, where it collected in a shimmering pool on the theater ceiling. Luckily, an attentive—and winged—employee fluttered up to the ceiling, soaked up the liquid-y screen with a sponge, and then gently reapplied it to its rightful place at the front of the house. It was at that point that I realized the employee was actually a manticore, and I was proud of the theater for instituting hiring practices that don’t preclude mythological Persian creatures from employment. Of course, if that particular manticore happened to also be transgender, he or she would not be allowed to use the public bathrooms in the theater. Come on, America! It’s time to wake up and treat manticores with the respect they deserve.
Okay, so … back to the movie. I have to admit that I had serious doubts concerning a Ghostbusters reboot. After all, the original film remains a cherished childhood memory. However, this new version of the film gave me the duel powers of invisibility and squirrel hypnotism. Let’s see Ivan Reitman compete with that! Of course, this new Ghostbusters isn’t perfect. Director Paul Feig relies a little too much on improvisation, and his decision to adorn every character with a set of strangely asymmetrical Manitoban elk antlers remains a mystery. And why was Verne Troyer hired as the director of photography? Does he have any experience with cinematography at all?
All in all, Ghostbusters is an enjoyable movie experience, particularly if you don’t constantly feel like you have to shave your tongue, as did I. In the spirit of total honesty, I will admit that I didn’t like having my life threatened by a bag of popcorn, nor did I find it amusing when I realized that my theater seat followed me home. And, yeah, sure, maybe it was terrifying to believe that the theater was a giant mouth and that I was being slowly ingested, but that’s the kind of thing every film critic must learn to endure if he or she plans to maintain an acceptable measure of professionalism. (Speaking of professionalism, I’m starting to believe that I may have been dosed by rival film critics Alfonso Duralde and Christy Lemire. I don’t mean to cast aspersions, but I saw them hovering near my Coke and giggling when I briefly stepped away to get a few napkins at the snack bar. Real professional, you guys!) Now, if you all will excuse me, I need to find a cold compress and a dark room without gremlins … for obvious reasons.
I give Ghostbusters 3.5 buckets of slime out of 4.
(Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 for horrific nightmare imagery, hallucinatory visions of a self-created hell, the dawning realization that humanity is, by its very nature, doomed, and adult language.)