starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
written by Kate Dippold & Paul Feig
directed by Paul Feig
by Walter Chaw Sort of the George Cukor to Melissa McCarthy's Katharine Hepburn, director Paul Feig has shown over multiple collaborations that he knows how to make a Melissa McCarthy vehicle pretty well, perhaps explaining why none of the other funny people in his Ghostbusters reboot are funny in the slightest. "Melissa McCarthy vehicle" is a low bar besides, if a reasonably lucrative one--a low bar matched by the low bar of Ivan Reitman's terrible but revered original film. Reitman's Ghost Busters ('84 spelling, to be anal and to differentiate the two titles) shares a cultural space with other terrible movies like The Goonies and Purple Rain and pretty much everything starring Bill Murray before Quick Change. It's an aggressive movie, painfully unfunny, and for a few months when I was 11, it was the best thing I'd ever seen. 11-year-olds are very smart at being 11 and very stupid in almost every other respect. I didn't know a ghost was giving Dan Aykroyd a blowjob until years later, after I'd had one. Oh yeah, I said, that ghost gave Dan Aykroyd a blowjob. Was it to save herself from getting "busted"? That's a pretty sexually violent pill in the middle of all that arrogant improvisation. Think of it as a slave narrative where a slave woman gives a slave master a blowjob in the middle of a montage. Right, I get it, it's a comedy, lighten up; but Mel Brooks it ain't. What I wouldn't have given for a scene in the new film where one of the women receives cunnilingus from a member of the tormented undead. That would've been pointed, taboo, and smart. Looking at it again years later, the best part of Ghost Busters is Rick Moranis, because Rick Moranis is the best part of every movie he's in. He always plays a real character. He's never too good for the material.