Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by Steve Bennett on July 20, 2016 @ 11:20 am CT
I’ve must confess I was kind of hoping after Ghostbusters was in theaters we could all move onto The Next Worst Thing Ever, but clearly I underestimated the level of outrage the movie generated, The New York Times has called it “the most argued-about movie of the year” so I was prepared for some very negative reviews, and there were more than a few. But I found myself completely unprepared for the barrage of unhinged diatribes accusing the movie of being (among other things) racist, man-bashing, socially engineered feminist propaganda.
Which kind of makes me wonder which movie they saw. Because I entered the theater with no expectations other than the vague hope that I might actually see a good movie, which first and foremost is what this Ghostbusters was: a good movie. Smart, funny, well made and even a bit frightening in places. And while it admittedly featured four women engaging in the male-dominated field of ghost breaking, I could find no sign of any kind of a feminist “agenda.” Let alone any attempt to subvert the patriarchal paradigm.
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Leslie Jones all make fine Ghostbusters, but just like apparently everyone else in North America I believe the movie’s breakout star is Kate McKinnon. Her Dr. Jillian Holtzmann is, as director Paul Feig calls her, a “glorious weirdo” who steals every scene she’s in. With Holtzmann Halloween costumes available in both child and adult sizes, I’ve got the feeling she’s likely to be one of the top pop culture characters seen Trick-or-Treating this October.
But given the amount of promotion given this Ghostbusters, I do have to wonder why there isn’t a comic book adaptation of the movie out in time for its release. Hopefully, IDW will be announcing at this week’s Comic-Con that they’re prepping a regular Ghostbusters series featuring the characters from the movie. Or at least explain why they aren't.
There are supposedly 60 (!) new comics coming from Marvel this Fall, and as I pore over the titles one by one I really didn’t find a lot that got up my interest, let alone anything that looks like a breakout hit. Other than the previous announced Invincible Iron Man (Under New Management) that is. Group books are almost at least steady sellers, and I’ll admit Mark Waid on a Teen Champions title sounds intriguing. And I’m almost always up for another run of Great Lake Avengers.
Pokemon Go’ Blows Up at Launch”). For instance, after years of selling Pokemon cards to the middle school crowd, it took me a while to understand that most Pokemon Go players are in their 20’s. As an official old, I know I’m supposed to automatically recoil in horror from the unfamiliar and shame the participants in this new thing. But it’s actually find the whole thing kind of nice, especially considering what else is going on in the world right now. If nothing else, you’ve got to appreciate that someone has figured out a means of getting people to willingly get some exercise. Now, if they could only come up with a junior version of the game that would make little kids actually want to go outside and play, well, surely there’d be a Nobel Prize in it for somebody*.
I know this sounds like a slap at “kids today” as well as an open invitation to curmudgeonly compare and contrast their childhood to how things were when like I was a kid. But truthfully, I wasn’t all that crazy about the outdoors even back then but in those pre-electronic device days, it was all we had. If we want kids to play outside we’ve got to give them a really good reason to do it; and chasing down imaginary creatures sounds like a pretty good one to me.
* I’m something of a science buff and in the last couple of weeks I’ve read where researchers have created micro-particles that can oxygenate your body so you don’t have to breathe, and biohybrid undersea search robots that are powered by the muscles of a sea slug. So, instead of shaming Americans for being a bunch of fat bastards why don’t some of these researchers use some of this cutting edge technology to finally figure out a way to make kale taste like chocolate-bacon?
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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