Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good

Like everyone else born in the 80s, I grew up with the Ghostbusters. Egon was my favorite. I looked up to him, but I never really felt like I could be him.

This was a thing that would happen throughout my life.

Sure, there were some cool female characters, but too often they were the only female character in a cast of men and, therefore, burdened with the task of being a paragon of all womankind. That makes it pretty hard to show a complex character. They're all strong and competent and, in their own rights, awesome. But there are very few acceptable templates for female characters.

So, Ghostbusters. I wish I'd had a movie like this when I was a kid. These women are bad ass. They talk about science and ghosts. They make weapons and crazy steampunk devices. They fight. And they do it without wearing skin tight outfits and ankle-breaking stilettos. They're dressed and treated more like Neo than Trinity.
They make gross jokes and don't cry about boys. Patty is an unapologetic history nerd. She's friendly and straightforward. Holtzmann is creepy and unabashedly excited about technology and dead things. She's a confident flirt. Erin is awkward and even though they tease her in the beginning, they all learn to accept her quirks. And Abby is driven and no one ever calls her bossy or bitchy.

There's no creepy camera, panning up from the feet to show off their assets and curves. They are allowed to dress like actual people, in ways that compliment their characters.

I nearly cried at multiple points in this movie. I didn't even realize how much I needed something like this to exist. These women made me realize how narrowly I write female characters. How weirdly fucked I am in what I think it is to be a woman. I am so angry that I've gone this long without having characters like this.

So, if you're still with me, I really liked this movie. I think, even if the characters didn't mean so much to me, I'd still really like this movie. I thought it was honestly funny. I saw it in regular 2D and immediately regretted it because the effects were so cool. So I had to go see it again in 3D and I do not regret that decision.

Yes, it had issues. I wish they had committed, at least once, to playing the theme in full instead of giving us about seven hundred fifty different versions of the opening. 
This might have been a good time for it. Yes, I realize there was an instrumental version. We all know that's not the real thing.
I thought they'd do something cooler with all of the new weapons after Possessed!Abby went after the normal gear with Holtzmann's pipe. I wish some of the storyline had been a bit more fleshed out. The pacing was a little uneven.

But even though I've always loved Ghostbusters, I've never felt so much like I wanted to be a part of the fandom until now. I want t-shirts. I want the toys. I want to share this movie with my daughters so they can have these characters sooner than I did. 

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