By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
There’s no denying the fact that the character of Egon Spengler can not be replaced. If Harold Ramis did not pass away two years ago, perhaps the story Dan Aykroyd wanted as the next film might have gone forward. Instead, because time was running out in getting a product out, one of the four remaining co-owners grew impatient and decided on what to produce whether creator Aykroyd, director Ivan Reitman and comedian Bill Murray liked it or not. I felt their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! was more of a company ploy to put to rest fan’s fears on whether or not the original party are 100% on board with the reboot.
Murray said he felt like a stepfather to the whole thing. As a stakeholder, shouldn’t he be more like a grandfather instead? The slight distancing to his product has to be noted. The quote used most often in other reports is him admitting, “This is a tough movie to pull off because it’s a big concept. There’s a lot on the plate – there’s a lot of expectation.”
Whether the comedy in this movie succeeds or not, my eyes are in the paranormal nerd speak. Is Feig going to bring new love to a serious hobby I adore or will I hang my head in shame? Spengler is still my hero because he gave the film a layer of straightforwardness I treasured!
Abbey Yates (Melissa McCarthy) published a book on the subject of the paranormal with Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), and part of the story involves the latter getting laughed out if academia when this publication resurfaces. Nothing has been revealed about Yate’s career since the item hit the shelves. Did she become an amateur ghost hunter in the meantime or did she turn talk show host? Until this movie is released, plenty of questions are going to be asked.
In the meantime, I offer what I’d want to see as a Ghostbusters film. As much as I like to see the original gang back, the movie could not have been done when Ramis passed. Sure, digital effects have advanced well enough to imagine him as a ghost (instead of Venkman in one revealed script treatment) but unless there is a talent extraordinaire to recreate his voice, that would be tough. However, Eugene Levy has the looks and is at the right age to be Spengler’s long lost brother. His talent as a comedian is just as wonderful, and I really enjoyed his work in both Cheaper by the Dozen films as the passive antagonist. I can imagine a tale where the gang’s reputation has gone global. Thanks to a news report, Levy’s character decides to break out of his prison from Tibet and find his way home. This country is as remote you can get and it has a rich background in spiritualism to play with.
But he will have demons chasing after him. While audiences are in on his sordid past, the Ghostbusters team do not. As Levy has the same knack for understanding the paranormal as his brother, his is deeper and more mystical. The team has to decide whether to accept him or not, and the drama is on if he will get fully accepted. At the same time, a younger generation is being trained. They suspect him more than and how this movie ends can be with a big baddie who finally arrives on Amelia Earhart’s aeroplane.
I do not mind any idea in a proper film which sees the passing of the torch to a new generation or seeing the group creating a new division. The boys are not getting any younger and they can not keep on doing the same job forever. The backlash for Feig’s vision is about whether or not he can recreate comedy gold the original movie had an over abundance of. Each decade will have their respective talents who are rising stars aspiring for the same shot in movies. Some may not reach the same height Aykroyd, Ramis, Hudson and Murray worked hard to attain. The boys gave Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig of this reboot their seal of approval but is that enough for the fans tuning in to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live? I was interested to see what would be offered from the film that isn’t from the trailer. Sadly the broadcast was thin, the teaser offered only introduced the new Ecto-1. The original gang was featured in the last half of the show and the new team took up about 10 minutes.
The taping had Ray Parker Jr. performing the Ghostbusters song and a bit of it was featured as intermission but TV viewers did not see the entire interview.
I had to rewatch this broadcast because I was puzzled by a few online posts made afterwards. This episode repeats tonight (locally) and I’m going to PVR it to see if a different edit is offered. In one clip (seen below) the new team chatted with Kimmel first and the boys crashed their party. In what I saw from the West Coast show was the original team talking about their movie and the ladies coming out to meet them. I’m aware this show is taped and I suspect it was done all in one day because Annie Potts, Dan Ackroyd and Kate McKinnon wore the same outfit. There were wardrobe changes with the others and just how the varying recordings interplayed suggest the content is meant to be distributed to other media platforms. The show I saw had Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig come out to meet their heroes instead of the other way around. Either Zuul is messing with our brains or there were two versions of the generations meeting floating about!