Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016) has been out for nearly a week, and grossed a solid $46 million on its opening weekend.

Long before the film came out, there was a lot of commentary about the reboot, and what an all female cast (besides Kevin) meant. Big fans of the original were worried that it would be a direct copy, and ruin what was created in the 80s.

But Paul Feig was careful with his decisions. And if you’ve seen the film, you know that this isn’t a copy. Its a reboot, with tasteful easter eggs, and homages to the original.

If your wondering why a 20-something is writing about Ghostbusters, when I wasn’t even born when the original released, it’s because this reboot was for me. This reboot was for my generation. Its not because the original was flawed, it’s because Paul Feig wanted to introduce the series to a new generation.

Guys have had plenty of all-male buddy films. Its time the ladies get a hand in the genre.

The whole cast is phenomenal. Each character plays such an important part in providing women young and old a role model to look up to.

Leslie Jones is amazing as Patty. She’s street-smart, and provides all the historical New York knowledge the team needs to save the city.

Kristen Wiig plays astrophysicist Erin Gilbert, who provides some of the science to the existence of ghosts.

Melissa McCarthy plays the other astrophysicist, Abby Yates. She continues the research that she and Erin started after Erin pursues other options.

Kate McKinnon plays electrical engineer, Jillian Holtzmann, who is the genius behind many of the devices used to capture and fight ghosts.

This movie isn’t about boys and love interests. Its about women starting a business, solving a mystery, and saving the city. They become fast friends and members of a team that rely on everyone’s talents.

Jones has said that she was inspired by Whoopie Goldberg to pursue acting. Now Jones gets to be the inspiration for girls to pursue acting, or science, or any career to save the day. She’s a badass in her own right and joins the nerdy misfits after her encounter with a ghost at her Daily-Planet job with the MTA.

And then there’s Jillian Holtzmann. She’s been the clear favorite for fans. Holtzmann is quirky, and so genuinely herself. McKinnon’s character is gay, smart, and felt like the heart of the team. With the representation of a badass character that doesn’t get lumped into the “Bury Your Gays” trope (and hopefully she never will).

Holtzmann is so important because an openly gay character having a badass fight scene is amazing. And because being gay wasn’t her main character trait. Her focus was being the electrical engineer behind all of the weapons. She was nerdy, and passionate about her creations.

Patty and Holtzmann’s friendship throughout the film was one of my favorite parts. Two people of a minority that support and save each other. They provide audiences a foil. And they are able to be the representation that audiences sorely need and have wanted in films.

Ghostbusters (2016) is a refreshing and important summer film that is well worth watching to support the amazing cast. Also, the soundtrack is great.

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They Don’t See the Barn

In my video production class, we watch a variety of films to study the art of film-making.

I’ve enjoyed them all well enough. Some have incredible sound-editing, or giving a story meaning where there doesn’t seem to be one.

This past weekend we had to watch a documentary called Samsara.

Unlike most documentaries, Samsara does not have a voice over. It is entirely visual.

The sound-editing is amazing. Between the score and the sound from the clips, its all seamlessly edited that the transitions are flawless.

If you Google the definition of Samsara its a noun from Hindu and Buddhist origins. Its all about the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.

Some of the most famous stock photo locations are shown throughout the film. Along with what those stock photos and post cards don’t show you: poverty and daily life in those places.

As I watched I was struck with a reminder of a scene from Don Delilo’s White Noise that I’m reading for my Lit Theory class. Its one of the most iconic scenes from the book in which the character Murray is studying people looking at “The Most Photographed Barn in America.” As Murray is studying the people looking at the barn, and the atmosphere of the little lookout he remarks, “We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura.”

And Samsara made me think about things that are turned into a commodities. Exotic places to experience are being captured with selfie sticks. Concerts are being watched through Snapchat.

We’re maintaining some grand illusion that’s been sold to us through postcards, stock photos, and Instagram. These images have been manufactured for us to consume like George Foreman grill’s and iPads.

Do we ever get to truly experience something first hand?