08
Dec
16

#36. The Tragedy of MacBeth (1971)

the-tragedy-of-macbeth-movie-poster

Starring Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw, and Terence Bayler.

Directed by Roman Polanski

The Short, Short Version:

Finch is MacBeth, the Scottish Thane of Glam who happens upon three witches who tell him that he’ll be the new Thane of Cawdor as well as the King of Scotland. Next thing he knows he IS the Thane of Cawdor as well but once King Duncan’s son Malcolm is crowned Prince MacBeth is less about redemption and more about retribution as he kills Duncan and becomes King. Following the Despot’s Guide to Complete Rule he sets to murder anyone else who may be able to claim the throne from him. One last trip to the witches gives him the prophecy, “… till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane,” which boggles and infuriates him but faster than you can say, “Ides of March,” MacBeth is overturned and beheaded.

Why This Made the 40:

In what also feels a lifetime ago it was a pick by my high school senior English teacher, Mr. Gleaves. Usually Shakespeare’s stuff feels stilted (c’mon… how many times do you use “thane,” or “thee,” or thou sayest?” without some sense of mockery?) but watching it on a 13” TV suspended from the ceiling I was transfixed. This was what Shakespeare was at its core – dark, bloody, gritty, dirty, and violent. I would later happen upon the reason for that – Polanski directed the movie following the murder of his wife, model Sharon Tate. For those of you who don’t know Polanski was in a relationship with Tate who, on a certain fateful night, became a victim of slaying by the followers of Charles Manson. Manson sent his followers to a house that was initially owned by a certain record producer who Manson wanted dead but was since sold to another person. Manson’s followers didn’t know the difference and murdered everyone there. Polanski, grief-stricken, decided to plunge himself back into his work. Playboy owner and founder Hugh Hefner, feeling sorry for the death of Tate, assisted in bankrolling/producing the movie. Polanski’s hurt, anger, pain, and rage are reflected in the film and, knowing that, gives a context to the violence on screen. I recommend this film not as a celebration of a tragedy but as a darkly personal catharsis wrapped in a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s not the grass on the ground but the dirt and worms underneath. Forget any of the Hammer film sets or anything Kenneth Branagh put out – this is the must watch.

08
Dec
16

#37. Rio Bravo (1959)

riobravoposter

Starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Ward Bond, and Angie Dickinson

Directed by Howard Hawks

The Short, Short Version:

John Wayne is John T. Chance, sheriff of an old West town who, with the help of his deputy and drunken friend “Dude” (Dean Martin) locks in jail local bad guy Pat Wheeler (Bond). Unfortunately Wheeler is part of the Burdette gang which all but runs the town. While they plot Pat’s escape it’s up to Chance and the Dude along with an older, crippled deputy named Stumpy (Walter Brennan) and a young gunslinger named Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson) to “hold the fort” at the jail until Federal Marshals can arrive.

Why This Made the 40:

In what feels like an eon ago I had a film class called Film as Literary Art which was taught by a British guy named Tony Hawk. I can still remember how distinct his voice was. That aside, our syllabus covered the films of Howard Hawks and this made the class (as well as Wayne’s, “Hitari!”). While I only became a moderate fan of Hawks’ work I did come away with movies I greatly appreciated such as “Rio Bravo.”

I think one of the reasons I like, “Rio Bravo,” so much is that I’m a sucker for tales of redemption. I was talking with a friend of mine recently whom I let borrow films and I didn’t realize that was an underlying theme – redemption. The characters have to all redeem themselves in some way – Dude goes from being an alcoholic to sober to clean himself out and up. Colorado Ryan and Stumpy want to prove their worth. John Chance gets another chance at love. Redemption.

Also, Hawks treated “Rio Bravo” not as a Western movie but a hybrid between the morally-conscious prior films such as “High Noon,” and TV Westerns such as “Maverick,” “Lawman,” etc. It’s entertainment with action, adventure, romance, suspense, and comedy – one of those rare blended-films of the genre which makes this movie actually fun to watch. It’s a half-popcorn, half-morality tale cinematic adventure.

And it’s got Dino (Martin). What’s not great about this movie?

06
Dec
16

#38. Carlito’s Way

carlitos-way

Starring Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, and John Leguizamo.

Directed by Brian De Palma

Short, Short Version:

It’s notably the Eighties and former “J.P. Morgan of the smack business” gangster Carlito Brigante (Pacino) has his 30-year sentence overturned via his lawyer Kleinfeld (Penn) proving that the police conducted illegal investigations on him. “Free at last!” Brigante espouses his renewed faith in the world and swears he’ll never go back to what he did before. Problem is that the rest of his social circle doesn’t feel that’s the right move to make. The story of one man’s quest for redemption comes to the conclusion that sometimes you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out.

Why this made the 40:

Aside from being in my favorites category the film is literally in my Top Ten Favorite Films of All Time. Sure, Pacino may be a stretch for being Cuban however the film is done so well you forget about that idea. Brigante enters as a flawd character trying to do the straight and narrow – invest on a friend’s car sales business in the Florida Keys. As he tries redeeming himself to society and keeping out of jail he finds himself dragged back into the thick of it: his best friend/lawyer Kleinfeld (who has now turned into a gangster himself) not only enlists him to help dispose of some guys yet also offers him to the D.A. on trumped-up drug charges. His second-in-command at the club he winds up owning sells him out to another up-and-coming gangster, Benny Blanco (Leguizamo). The girlfriend he broke up with 6 years ago is dancing at a high-end strip club (surprise!) and they get back together. For everything he’s trying to do right by not doing anything at all everything goes wrong. Call it fatalism.

I’ve enjoyed De Palma’s work: “Carrie,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Blow Out,” “Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Femme Fatale,” etc. While being more of a “modern Hitchcock,” De Palma crafts interesting moments of drama and action while sneaking in the style (except for “Dressed to Kill,” which is pretty much a Hitchcock film in its own right). In the case of “Carlito’s Way,” as Penn’s Kleinfeld becomes more and more coke-addled/insane, the camera takes on more and more “Dutch angles.” De Palma also goes the extra mile and does 360-degree movement around the characters while doing Dutch angles (I don’t know of any other instance of this) thus heightening paranoia. Also of note: the scene where Kleinman is going to Riker’s Island Barge and the camera pulls back as he’s walking alone is a very Hitchcockian shot.

From it’s one-liners (“Favor’s gonna kill you faster than a bullet,” “You think you’re big time? You’re gonna fuckin’ die, big time!”) to the shots to the script (David Koepp) to its actors, “Carlito’s Way” is a helluva movie all-around and not just my favorite De Palma but one of my faves overall.

04
Dec
16

#39 Cleopatra

#39. Cleopatra (1934)

cleopatra-1934-poster-2

Starring Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, and Ian Keith.

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

The Short, Short Version:

This historical romance has Queen Cleopatra (Colbert) kidnapped and left in the middle of the desert along with her assistant. While Caesar (William) sits plots out his capture of Egypt Cleopatra manages to outwit her captor and cozy up to Caesar. This relationship proves fatal as 1) Caesar is already married to Culpernia and 2) No one in Rome likes Cleopatra. Failing to heed the Ides of March Caesar is assassinated and Cleopatra takes the only vehicle she has back to Egypt. Marc Antony (Wilcoxon), pissed off at Cleopatra as well, takes his legions into Egypt dead set on killing Cleopatra. Cleopatra placates to Antony and he, in turn, falls in love with her. Octavius (Keith) uses this relationship to turn Rome against Antony.

Why This Made the 40:

The second of the categories this came from the “Haven’t Watched” one. Believe it or not I have a few movies I found interesting by the packaging or historical context and as such, collected them; this was one.

This movie is about as compact as a black and white epic can get. 100 minutes may sound short however DeMille wastes no time in movie. Each scene “ramps up” to the next scene and gets bigger and better as it goes along. Claudia Colbert seethes sex and allure as Cleopatra and she knows how to play her cards and really, this movie is a showcase for her. William and Wilcoxon do fine jobs with their characters as much as they were written but again, this movie wasn’t about Caesar or Marc Antony so much as Cleopatra. As a female protagonist movie it navigates the sensibilities of the time fairly well.

Secondly, it’s a DeMille movie. From 1914 to 1956 he directed 80 films, most notably, “The Ten Commandments.” His sense for epic grandeur is in no short supply here – from the rooms of Egypt to Cleopatra’s trireme it’s about space and glory and opulence. The musical number on Cleopatra’s ship is the greatest example of it with the camera slowly pulling-back to show Marc Antony at the head of the ship as if on a stage while on the floor below are dancers and hoops on fire and even further back synchronous rowing and at the back one guy pounding on a giant drum. All in one shot. THAT is directing.

Like “Key Largo,” the coup-de-grace scene is expertly edited; tight and never short of action. Once Egypt and Antony take on Rome there’s a sequence that shows triremes ramming into each other, soldiers falling into the water (complete with underwater shots), Roman legions versus Egyptian legions, sword-fighting – everything one could ask for in a spectacular fight scene. You can also notice small bits of actors in front of a backlit projected image but those are interspersed with the other action shots so as not to interfere with the “suspension of disbelief,” which in my opinion was an incredibly smart move.

Did I enjoy it? Yeah. Equal mix history, romance, and action movie on an epic scale in 100 minutes is a feat for its time and altogether a decent movie. Sure, there are a few hokey instances such as Caesar playing with a device that’s supposed to thrust spears into the enemy (made from a cash register) and a giant door with a metal locking mechanism, but really these are just “of the time” issues; they happen every generation. Give it a spin if you get a chance.

03
Dec
16

#40 Key Largo

#40: Key Largo

keylargo

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore, and Claire Trevor

Directed by John Huston

The Short, Short Version:

Bogey plays Major Frank McCloud, a soldier-turned-drifter whose conscience leads him to the Keys, specifically Key Largo to the Hotel Largo which is ran by the father (Barrymore) and wife (Bacall) of fallen comrade George Temple. Upon entering the Hotel Largo he’s eyed by several of the guests there whose reasons for staying are above suspicion until he, the owner and daughter-in-law, and a cop are all held hostage by Al Capone-inspired gangster Johnny Rocco (Robinson). Rocco, surrounded by his gang and former singer/moll Gaye Dawn (Trevor), has other plans: getting the dough for his counterfeit money and heading back to Cuba where he was deported to. Add to the mix an impending hurricane, a sheriff, and Seminole brothers on the run, and you have a taught, tense thriller.

Why this made the 40:

The Forty for 40 list has four categories. This came from the Top Ten Influential Directors category for being directed by John Huston. Huston is the noted director of such classics as “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The African Queen,” and “The Man Who Would Be King,” among others. While “Key Largo,” is also a Bogey movie, it has a sensibility that “Maltese Falcon,” does not that makes for it to be an underrated film. What makes this film, more than the others, are the characters. From the thug “Angel” to the moll to the coward soldier McCloud having to confront his internal demons and summoning everything he can to take on underworld emperor Rocco, “Key Largo,” rides the line between noir crime drama and thriller. The interactions between Bogey and Robinson alone are worth watching – Bogart’s downtrodden “wiseguy” versus Robinson’s “larger than life” Napoleonic- Al Capone really makes the film.

Other important notes: the music. It was used for effect as much as the silence and the sound effects. Moments of empathy/sympathy would be underscored by a small musical piece. Silence swelled the dry awkwardness of the divergent characters all being in one room. The sound effects of the hurricane hitting the hotel amplified Rocco’s paranoia and lack of total control.

And, the photography. Based on a play (loosely, I’ve read) the film only alternates in what room(s) the characters gather in. Almost all interactions happen when most of the characters are all assembled in one place and as such they all have to be/seem/feel separate from one-another. The lighting does well-enough to give that three-dimensional feel when you see the various angles shot within the room they’re in. Every now-and-then you can also get that noir feel by the shadows from staircases, faces half-hidden in the shadows, etc. Working within noir sensibilities there are the mirror shots whereby a character is looking at the mirror and we see not only them but everyone behind them; a kind-of action/reaction tit for tat. Innovative stuff. I also recommend the final scene between Bogart and Robinson; it’s one of the best shot.

Aside from these things I think that I really enjoy “Key Largo” because it feels like the movie you watch to enjoy as opposed to the one you watch just to have seen it. Sure, I enjoyed the other Huston movies and in some ways they are superior. Maybe it’s like the band Steely Dan – yeah, they made good music and people like them but not everyone lists them as their “go to” band. While it’s not the “go to” for Bogart, Robinson, or Huston it does deserve mention and appreciation.

Here’s the trailer:

And also this little ditty from the Eighties…

16
Nov
16

Forty for 40 / Film List

Here I sit in a coffeeshop a month and some change from the point of no return – turning 40. With that in mind I’m doing Forty for 40 – 40 movies over 40 days leading up to my birthday. I’ve spent the past week culling through my collection of nearly 1000 movies on DVD and Blu-Ray to figure out which ones I would watch. Some have cinematic meaning. Some have personal meaning. Some were based on my favorite by that director. Some I haven’t even completely watched or seen yet. Any way the plan is to watch the movie and provide a little bit of review, trivia, and why I picked the film. You’ll have to check out the page to find out which one(s) I chose. While I’m not going to disclose the list, here are the movies I had to choose from. Enjoy.

12 Angry Men (1957)
The 13th Warrior (1999)
16 Blocks (2006)
2 Days in the Valley (1996)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
21 Grams (2003)
28 Days Later… (2002)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
3:10 to Yuma (1957)
300 (2006)
The 39 Steps (1935)
50/50 (2011)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
9 (2009)
Adaptation. (2002)
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew (1983)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
The African Queen (1951)
Airplane! (1980)
Akira (1988)
Alien (1979)
Alien 2: Aliens (1986)
Alien 3 (1992)
Alien 4: Alien Resurrection (1997)
All the President’s Men (1976)
Almost Famous (2000)
Altered States (1980)
Amelie <Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain> (2001)
The American (2010)
American Beauty (1999)
American Gangster (2007)
American History X (1998)
American Hustle (2013)
American Psycho (2000)
American Sniper (2014)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Anchorman: Wake-Up Ron Burgundy (2004)
Angel Heart (1987)
Annabelle (2014)
Antz (1998)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Apt Pupil (1998)
Argo (2012)
Arlington Road (1999)
The Arrival (1996)
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
The Artist (2011)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
The Atomic Cafe (1982)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
Attack the Block (2011)
Austin Powers 1: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Austin Powers 3: Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Avatar (2009)
The Avengers (2012)
The Aviator (2004)
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future 2 (1989)
Back to the Future 3 (1990)
Bad Lieutenant (1992)
Bananas (1971)
The Bank Job (2008)
Barb Wire (1996)
Barbarella (1968)
Basic Instinct (1992)
Batman (1989)
Batman 1: Batman Begins (2005)
Batman 2: The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman 3: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Batman: The Movie (1966)
*batteries not included (1987)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Battle Royale <Batoru rowaiaru> (2000)
Bedazzled (2000)
Beetle Juice (1988)
Before Midnight (2013)
Before Sunrise (1995)
Before Sunset (2004)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Below Zero (2011)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Beowulf (2007)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
The Big Chill (1983)
The Big Hit (1998)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Big Red One (1980)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
The Birds (1963)
Birthday Girl (2001)
Black Dynamite (2009)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
The Black Hole (1979)
Black Snake Moan (2006)
Blade (1998)
Blade Runner (1982)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blood Diamond (2006)
Blood Simple (1984)
Blow (2001)
Blow Out (1981)
Blue Valentine (2010)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Boat <Das Boot> (1981)
Body Heat (1981)
The Bone Collector (1999)
Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The Boondock Saints (1999)
Born Yesterday (1950)
Bound (1996)
Bourne 1: The Bourne Identity (2002)
Bourne 2: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Bourne 3: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Bowfinger (1999)
Braindead (1992)
Brave (2012)
Braveheart (1995)
Brazil (1985)
Breakdown (1997)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Broken Embraces <Los abrazos rotos> (2009)
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
The Brothers McMullen (1995)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Bugsy (1991)
Bull Durham (1988)
Bullitt (1968)
Burn After Reading (2008)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Cabin Boy (1994)
Caddyshack (1980)
Cape Fear (1991)
Cape Fear (1962)
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Captain America 1: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America 3: Civil War (2016)
Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974)
Carlito’s Way (1993)
Carrie (1976)
Casablanca (1942)
Casino (1995)
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale (1967)
Cedar Rapids (2011)
The Center of the World (2001)
The Change-Up (2011)
Changeling (2008)
Changing Lanes (2002)
Chappie (2015)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Child’s Play (1988)
Children of Men (2006)
Chinatown (1974)
Chloé (2009)
Christine (1983)
The Chronicles of Narnia 1: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia 2: Prince Caspian (2008)
The Chronicles of Narnia 3: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Citizen Kane (1941)
City of God <Cidade de Deus> (2002)
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Cleopatra (1963)
Cleopatra (1934)
Clerks (1994)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Closer (2004)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Collatéral (2004)
The Color Purple (1985)
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
The Conjuring (2013)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Constantine (2005)
The Conversation (1974)
The Convincer (2011)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Countess Dracula (1971)
CQ (2001)
Crash (2004)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Creepshow (1982)
Crimson Peak (2015)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Critters (1986)
The Crow (1994)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Cyrus (2010)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dark City (1998)
Darkman (1990)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
The Day of the Jackal (1973)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Dead Girl (2006)
Dead Man (1995)
Deadpool (2016)
Death Proof (2007)
Deep Impact (1998)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Deliverance (1972)
The Departed (2006)
Derailed (2005)
The Descendants (2011)
Despicable Me (2010)
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Diabolique <Les diaboliques> (1955)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
The Dictator (2012)
Die Another Day (2002)
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Dirty Work (1998)
District 9 (2009)
Django Unchained (2012)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dogma (1999)
Don Jon (2013)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Donnie Darko (2001)
The Doors (1991)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Down Periscope (1996)
Dr. No (1962)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Dracula (1992)
Dracula (1931)
Dracula 2000 (2000)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Dragnet (1987)
Dressed to Kill (1980)
Drive (2011)
Duel (1971)
Dune (1984)
Duplicity (2009)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
East of Eden (1955)
Eastern Promises (2007)
Easy A (2010)
Easy Rider (1969)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
Elevator to the Gallows <Ascenseur pour l’échafaud> (1958)
Elizabethtown (2005)
Elysium (2013)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Enemy of the State (1998)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Entrapment (1999)
Escape from New York (1981)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Europa Report (2013)
Event Horizon (1997)
Everything Must Go (2010)
The Evil Dead (1981)
The Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
The Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness (1992)
Ex Machina (2015)
The Exorcist (1973)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)
Falling Down (1993)
The Fantastic Planet <La planète sauvage> (1973)
Fargo (1996)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
A Few Good Men (1992)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Fight Club (1999)
Final Destination (2000)
Finding Nemo (2003)
First Snow (2006)
The Fisher King (1991)
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
Flash Gordon (1980)
The Fly (1986)
The Fog (1980)
Following (1998)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Forrest Gump (1994)
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Frailty (2001)
Frankenstein (1931)
Freejack (1992)
The French Connection (1971)
French Connection 2 (1975)
Frequency (2000)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Frost/Nixon (2008)
The Fugitive (1993)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The Full Monty (1997)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
The Game (1997)
Gandhi (1982)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Garden State (2004)
Gattaca (1997)
The Gauntlet (1977)
Get Carter (1971)
Get Shorty (1995)
Get the Gringo (2012)
The Getaway (1972)
Gettysburg (1993)
The Ghost Writer (2010)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
The Girl Next Door (2007)
The Girl Next Door (2004)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Gladiator (2000)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Glory (1989)
Go (1999)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather Part 2 (1974)
The Godfather Part 3 (1990)
Godzilla (2014)
Godzilla (1998)
Godzilla <Gojira> (1954)
GoldenEye (1995)
Goldfinger (1964)
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Gone Girl (2014)
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Gone in Sixty Seconds 2: The Junkman (1982)
A Good Life <La Dolce Vita> (1960)
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Goodfellas (1990)
Gosford Park (2001)
The Graduate (1967)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Grand Prix (1966)
Gravity (2013)
The Great Escape (1963)
The Green Mile (1999)
Green Zone (2010)
Gremlins (1984)
The Grey (2011)
The Grifters (1990)
Grindhouse (2007)
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Halloween (1978)
Hamburger Hill (1987)
Hang ‘Em High (1968)
The Hangover (2009)
Hard Candy (2005)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Harry Brown (2009)
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Heat (1995)
Heavy Metal (1981)
Hell’s Angels (1930)
Hellboy (2004)
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)
Hero <Ying xiong> (2002)
High Anxiety (1977)
High Fidelity (2000)
High Noon (1952)
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Highlander (1986)
His Girl Friday (1940)
History of the World: Part 1 (1981)
A History of Violence (2005)
The Hobbit (1977)
The Hobbit 1: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Horns (2013)
The Horseman (2008)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Hot Shots! (1991)
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
How the West Was Won (1962)
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire (2013)
The Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
The Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The Hunter (1980)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
The Hustler (1961)
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
I, Robot (2004)
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
Identity (2003)
Identity Thief (2013)
The Ides of March (2011)
In Cold Blood (1967)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Inception (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Independence Day (1996)
Indiana Jones 1: the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones 2: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Indiana Jones 3: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones 4: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inherent Vice (2014)
Inside Man (2006)
Insomnia (2002)
Insomnia (1997)
Instinct (1999)
The Interpreter (2005)
Interstellar (2014)
Into the Wild (2007)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The Invisible Man (1933)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
Island of Lost Souls (1932)
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
It Follows (2014)
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
The Italian Job (2003)
J.F.K. (1991)
The Jackal (1997)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Jade (1995)
Jaws (1975)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Journey to the Center of Time (1967)
Juno (2007)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park 4: Jurassic World (2015)
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Key Largo (1948)
Kick-Ass (2010)
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
The Killers (1964)
The Killers (1946)
The Killing (1956)
King Kong (2005)
King Kong (1933)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Kingpin (1996)
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Knowing (2009)
Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982)
Kung Fu (2004)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Labyrinth (1986)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Lake Placid (1999)
Lantana (2001)
The Last Action Hero (1993)
The Last Boy Scout (1991)
The Last Castle (2001)
The Last House on the Left (1972)
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Last Man Standing (1996)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Lawless (2012)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Laws of Attraction (2004)
A League of Their Own (1992)
Leatherheads (2008)
Legend (1985)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
The Lego Movie (2014)
Léon: The Professional <Léon> (1994)
Let Me In (2010)
Licence to Kill (1989)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
Life of Brian (1979)
The Life of David Gale (2003)
Limitless (2011)
Lincoln (2012)
Little Caesar (1931)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Nicky (2000)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Live and Let Die (1973)
The Lives of Others <Das Leben der Anderen> (2006)
The Living Daylights (1987)
Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Logan’s Run (1976)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Looper (2012)
The Lord of the Rings 1: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings 3: The Return of the King (2003)
Lord of War (2005)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Love and Other Drugs (2010)
Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Lust, Caution <Se, jie> (2007)
M (1931)
MacGruber (2010)
Machete (2010)
Machete Kills (2013)
The Machinist <El maquinista> (2004)
Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Mad Max 4: Fury Road (2015)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Major Dundee (1965)
Maleficent (2014)
Mallrats (1995)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1931)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Man on Fire (2004)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
The Man with No Name 1: A Fistful of Dollars <Per un pugno di dollari> (1964)
The Man with No Name 2: For a Few Dollars More <Per qualche dollaro in più> (1965)
The Man with No Name 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly <Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo> (1966)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Manhunter (1986)
Marathon Man (1976)
El mariachi (1992)
El Mariachi 2: Desperado (1995)
El Mariachi 3: Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Married Life (2007)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
The Martian (2015)
The Mask (1994)
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Master of the Flying Guillotine <Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi> (1976)
The Matador (2005)
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix 2: Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix 3: Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Me, Myself and Irene (2000)
Mean Streets (1973)
Memento (2000)
Men in Black (1997)
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
Metropolis (1927)
Michael Clayton (2007)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Millennium 1: the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo <Män som hatar kvinnor> (2009)
Millennium 2: the Girl Who Played with Fire <Flickan som lekte med elden> (2009)
Millennium 3: the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest <Luftslottet som sprängdes> (2009)
Miller’s Crossing (1990)
Minority Report (2002)
Misery (1990)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
The Mist (2007)
The Monster Squad (1987)
Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Moon (2009)
Moonraker (1979)
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
Mr. Brooks (2007)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mud (2012)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy (1932)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The Muppets (2011)
Muppets from Space (1999)
Must Love Dogs (2005)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Mystery Men (1999)
The Naked City (1948)
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Naqoyqatsi: Life as War (2002)
Narc (2002)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Never Let Me Go (2010)
Never So Few (1959)
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
Night and the City (1950)
The Night Comes Too Soon (1948)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Night Watch <Nochnoy dozor> (2004)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Nikita (1990)
Nine (2009)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Nomads (1986)
North by Northwest (1959)
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror <Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens> (1922)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Octopussy (1983)
Odd Man Out (1947)
Office Space (1999)
The Omen (1976)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Once (2006)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Once Upon a Time in the West <C’era una volta il West> (1968)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Open Your Eyes <Abre los ojos> (1997)
The Osterman Weekend (1983)
The Other Guys (2010)
The Others (2001)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Panic Room (2002)
Papillon (1973)
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Parker (2013)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Patton (1970)
Paul (2011)
Payback (1999)
Paycheck (2003)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Permanent Midnight (1998)
Pet Sematary (1989)
The Petrified Forest (1936)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)
Pirates of the Caribbean 1: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Planet Terror (2007)
Platoon (1986)
Playing God (1997)
Poison Ivy (1992)
Poltergeist (1982)
Poor White Trash (2000)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Powwaqatsi: Life in Transformation <Powaqqatsi> (1988)
Predestination (2014)
The Presidio (1988)
The Prestige (2006)
Priceless <Hors de prix> (2006)
Primal Fear (1996)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Prometheus (2012)
The Proposition (2005)
Psycho (1960)
Public Enemies (2009)
The Public Enemy (1931)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The Punisher (1989)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Pushing Tin (1999)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Raging Bull (1980)
Rain Man (1988)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Ran (1985)
Rango (2011)
Re-Animator (1985)
Rear Window (1954)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
RED (2010)
RED 2 (2013)
Reign of Fire (2002)
Reindeer Games (2000)
The Replacement Killers (1998)
Repulsion (1965)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Retroactive (1997)
The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976)
Rififi <Du rififi chez les hommes> (1955)
The Right Stuff (1983)
The Ring (2002)
Rio Bravo (1959)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Risky Business (1983)
The Road (2009)
Road to Perdition (2002)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
RoboCop (1987)
Rock Star (2001)
RocknRolla (2008)
Rocky (1976)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Roger and Me (1989)
Roger Dodger (2002)
Romper Stomper (1992)
Ronin (1998)
The Rookie (2002)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rounders (1998)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Run Lola Run <Lola rennt> (1998)
Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
Runaway Jury (2003)
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
The Saint (1997)
Satan Met a Lady (1936)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saw (2004)
Say Anything… (1989)
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Scanners (1981)
Scarface (1983)
Scarlet Street (1945)
Scary Movie (2000)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Schindler’s List (1993)
The School of Rock (2003)
Scrooged (1988)
The Searchers (1956)
Seconds (1966)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Secretary (2002)
Serendipity (2001)
A Serious Man (2009)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Serpico (1973)
Session 9 (2001)
Seven (1995)
The Seven Samurai <Shichinin no samurai> (1954)
The Seventh Seal <Det sjunde inseglet> (1957)
The Seventh Sign (1988)
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Shallow Grave (1994)
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
She’s Out of My League (2010)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
The Shining (1980)
Sicario (2015)
Sicko (2007)
Sideways (2004)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Silent Movie (1976)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Sin City (2005)
Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Skyfall (2012)
Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)
Sling Blade (1996)
Small Soldiers (1998)
Smokin’ Aces (2006)
Snatch (2000)
Sneakers (1992)
The Social Network (2010)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
Something Wild (1986)
Sorcerer (1977)
Sound City (2013)
Southland Tales (2006)
Spaceballs (1987)
Spartacus (1960)
Spectre (2015)
Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Spy Game (2001)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek 1: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek 8: First Contact (1996)
Star Trek 9: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek: Beyond (2016)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars Episode 5: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars Episode 6: Return of The Jedi (1983)
Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens (2015)
Stardust (2007)
Stargate (1994)
Stay Tuned (1992)
The Sting (1973)
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Stoker (2013)
Strange Days (1995)
The Stranger (1946)
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Straw Dogs (1971)
Stripes (1981)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Sunshine (2007)
Super 8 (2011)
Super Troopers (2001)
Superbad (2007)
Superman (1978)
Superman 2 (1980)
Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)
Superman 3 (1983)
Superman 4: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Superman Returns (2006)
Swingers (1996)
Switch (1991)
Syriana (2005)
The Tailor of Panama (2001)
Take the Money and Run (1969)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Tango and Cash (1989)
Tank (1984)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Teen Wolf (1985)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
That Thing You Do! (1996)
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
They Live (1988)
Thief (1981)
The Thing (1982)
Things to Come (1936)
The Third Man (1949)
Thirteen Days (2000)
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
¡Three Amigos! (1986)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Three Kings (1999)
Thumb Wars (1999)
Thunderball (1965)
THX 1138 (1971)
Time Bandits (1981)
Time Lapse (2014)
Titan A.E. (2000)
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
To Catch a Thief (1955)
To Die For (1995)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Tom Horn (1980)
Tommy (1975)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Top Gun (1986)
Top Secret! (1984)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Total Recall (2012)
Total Recall (1990)
Touch of Evil (1958)
The Tourist (2010)
The Town (2010)
Traffic (2000)
The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971)
Trainspotting (1996)
Trance (2013)
The Transporter (2002)
Transsiberian (2008)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Tree of Life (2011)
The Trial <Le procès> (1962)
TRON (1982)
TRON: Legacy (2010)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
True Grit (2010)
True Grit (1969)
True Romance (1993)
Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997)
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
Twister (1996)
Two Weeks Notice (2002)
UHF (1989)
Unfaithful (2002)
Unforgiven (1992)
Universal Soldier (1992)
The Untouchables (1987)
Up (2009)
Up in the Air (2009)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
V for Vendetta (2005)
V.I. Warshawski (1991)
Vacation (1983)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
The Vanishing <Spoorloos> (1988)
Vanishing Point (1971)
The Vault of Horror (1973)
Vertigo (1958)
Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)
Vidéodrome (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985)
Virtuosity (1995)
Wag the Dog (1997)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
Walk the Line (2005)
Wall-E (2008)
Wall Street (1987)
War, Inc. (2008)
WarGames (1983)
Watchmen (2009)
The Way of the Gun (2000)
Wayne’s World (1992)
We’re the Millers (2013)
Wedding Crashers (2005)
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Weird Science (1985)
Westworld (1973)
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
White Heat (1949)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Wild Things (1998)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Wolf (1994)
The Wolf Man (1941)
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music (1970)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The World’s End (2013)
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
The Wrestler (2008)
The X Files: Fight the Future (1998)
The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
X-Men 5: First Class (2011)
X-Men 6: Days of Future Past (2014)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
You’re Next (2011)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Young and Innocent (1937)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Zodiac (2007)
Zombieland (2009)

21
Jul
16

Phone’s Ringin’: Ghostbusters Review

ghostbustersfem

I ain’t afraid of no Class Four apparitions…

Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Directed by Paul Feig

There are three tiers to remakes. Tier One consists of the ambivalent – remakes that someone at the studio green-lit because they were cheap to do. Very few people went to see the original movie and even fewer went to see the remake (or even KNEW it was a remake). Tier Two consists of the Endeared – those remakes that quite a few people saw Round One and who may or may not go to see the remake. Did “X” actor who starred in the original show up as the cabbie/old neighbor/guy at the bar/person espousing a quote? How much did it differ from the original? Do I like it better than the other(s)? These questions surround the production of the remake whether it’s “Gone In 60 Seconds,” “Sorcerer,” “Crimson Tide,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Total Recall,” “Judge Dredd,” etc. These are give/take movies and some prefer the remakes to the original and vice-versa. Finally, Tier Three – the Sacred. These are films which are slated for remake that the viewing public has put on a pedestal or elevated to such a height that no matter what the act of remaking the story is heresy. While I have not (presently) heard of any proposed remakes of “Green Mile” or “Shawshank Redemption” the viewing public has such a reverence for them that the jury has already decided before the trial has begun. Such is/was the case with the new “Ghostbusters” film. A collected confabulation makes us forget “Ghostbusters 2.” Or the animated series. Or Dan Akyroyd showing up in “Casper.” Or the video game. Like being delivered a gift from the top of the mountain fanboys have set the original as not the bar, but the rule with no exceptions. I am here to tell you this:

It was a fun movie. Get over it.

If you already hate the movie without seeing it there’s no way you’re going to have your opinion swayed. Here’s the rundown (*Spoilers ahead*)

Erin (Kristen Wiig) is a college professor working on achieving her tenure when the owner of a historical house (Ed Begley, Jr.) confronts her about her past. Specifically, that Erin co-wrote a book about ghosts with her then-friend/college roomie Abby (Melissa McCarthy). Peeved that Abbie broke her promise to never release the book to the public Erin pays her a visit.

We find Abby as part McCarthy schtick/part-Akyroyd and Ramis. She knows the science and believes in what she’s doing. Her cohort in crime in Jillian (McKinnon) is equal parts Akyroyd, Ramis, and Jeff Goldblum; she’s the engineering geek counterpart. Erin mentions the haunted historic house and all three are well on their way to experiencing their first ghost. After Erin’s professional reputation is destroyed via YouTube the three decide to form a ghost-searching alliance making their office in the floor above a Chinese restaurant (they couldn’t afford the firehouse). Along the way they hire on secretary/clerk Kevin (Hemsworth) and MTA worker Patty (Jones) who “knows New York.” Meanwhile, a hotel deskhop named Rowan (Neil Casey) is using Abby and Erin’s research to create a vortex of malevolent spirits to enslave the Big Apple.

Love it or hate it is the simplicity of the story. There are no real sub-stories; no love interests, no ulterior motives. What I enjoyed about the movie was that, as one reviewer put it, “it’s everything a blockbuster movie should be,” and that is completely true. Nevermind the seemingly thin plot; it’s about having fun at the movies and this movie, above others I have seen this year (with the exception of “Deadpool”) was the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a while. The scene where the “Ghostbusters” go full action-movie slaying of ghosts is well warranted and worth it. In fact, McKinnon’s comically ambiguous character (and trust me, she’s pretty damn ambiguous) nearly steals the show. Nearly. Props go to Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor, Captain Kirk’s dad, etc.) who takes the stereotypical “dumb guy” seen in every-other female led film and plays it to the hilt; his interview scene alone is one of the funniest comedic interchanges I’ve ever watched. Doing this may allow more roles to open for him pending downtime from the Marvel movies. Wiig does a good enough job, McCarthy has toned-down her McCarthyism, and Leslie Jones doesn’t do too bad.

The main issue that plagues this movie, aside from the vitriol of purist fanboys, is the stigma “Ghostbusters” has attached to it. Had this been labeled anything else it would be the go-to movie of the summer. Sure, they do a few nods to the original but treat it with respect. Other than that the movie is cut-and-dried and as lean as possible which isn’t necessarily bad. Do I feel that this movie will have cinematic gravitas; ergo, that future generations will look at this film and raise it to the same pedestal as the original? No, but the sequel never hit that level either. And what of the fact that it may lead to more female-led remakes of other properties? Well, “Dracula” eventually had a black/African-American version called “Blacula.” “Barb Wire” was basically a remake of “Casablanca.” The Wayans Brothers even did their full-length remake of a Warner Brothers cartoon. Get over it; get a life.

Lastly, I will mention the spoiler of spoilers – yes, most of the cast from the original (sans Rick Moranis) make cameos ranging from a bust in a hallway to a noted parapsychologist trying to debunk their work, a cab driver, a hotel desk clerk, a funeral home owner and a mentoring scientist. I’ll let you figure out who is who.

My grade: C+/B-. It’s fun for the whole family.