Friday, April 29, 2011

Why a Third Ghostbusters Film Wouldn't Be a Ghostbusters Film

I’m going to talk about Ghostbusters 3.
I grew up on Ghostbusters 1 and 2, and love is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about those films.  Even now, after the Internet has informed me that the sequel isn’t very good, I still feel nothing but adoration for both of these films.  If you asked me to show you nostalgia, I’d hand you a copy of Ghostbusters.
So when I started hearing whispers of a possible third film in the franchise, I began bubbling with excitement.  I could experience what audiences did in 1984.  I could go to the theaters and see what the Ghostbusters had been up to in their 20 year absence, and experience a brand new story with them.  It would be like visiting old friends.
Only, it wouldn’t.  I’ve been thinking about it recently, and I’ve come to realize something surprising.  I don’t want a third film.  At all.  Even if it were good, even if it were acceptable, it wouldn’t be a Ghostbusters film.
When I watched Indiana Jones 4, I, along with the rest of the world, was heartbroken.  A trilogy we had grown to love had been brought into the modern world, rehashed, spit shined, and crammed through the hard drive of a computer, and came out soulless.  I hated the abundance of CGI, the horrible plot, and the ridiculously cheesy dialogue.  At the time, I didn’t think that Indy’s age was a problem.  I thought that with a better movie, I wouldn’t have noticed the fact that Harrison Ford was now 60.  But now, if you watch all four films in a row, the age difference between 3 and 4 is too jarring to ignore.  It’s depressing.  Indy isn’t supposed to get old.  He’s immortal.  He’s supposed to be fast and too clever for age to catch him.  But here is Harrison Ford, grunting and wheezing his way through another “adventure”.  The true Indy wasn’t even in the fourth film.  And how can you have an Indiana Jones movie without the real Indiana Jones?
The same tragedy is about to happen to Ghostbusters.  I don’t care if the story is hilarious and the dialogue is completely in sync with the original films.  Bill Murray and the rest of the cast are now retirement aged, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that.  Inevitably, a third film would only depress me.  It would only be a grim reminder that no matter what anyone does, you’re going to get old and die.  That’s not exactly what I want the subtext of a comedy film to be.
The second biggest problem I have besides the age issue, is that of special effects.  It is completely in the Ghostbusters world to have cheesy special effects.  In their world, the ghosts are all stop-motion, or men in masks, or models.  They don’t look realistic, and they’re not supposed to.  That being said, can you imagine a potentially huge blockbuster nowadays being given the go-ahead by the studio to film using completely old school effects?  Of course not.  They’d insist on shining everything up.  CGI ghosts, CGI proton beams, CGI fucking Slimer.  There goes the series that everyone loved.
Currently, the belief is that Bill Murray’s refusal is the only thing stopping the third Ghostbusters film from starting production.  I have never loved Bill Murray more than I did when I heard that.  I don’t know his reasons, but I can pray that  some of them coincide with the issues I’ve mentioned here.  Bill Murray is an intelligent guy.  He doesn’t need to go desecrating a near perfect comedy franchise just because some over eager fans think they want it.

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