Poltergeist

Not rated yet!
Director
Gil Kenan
Runtime
1 h 33 min
Release Date
20 May 2015
Genres
Horror, Thriller
Overview
Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.
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John Nolte 2
Daily Wire / Breitbart



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Poltergeist’ (2015) Review: Here’s What I Remember Before Falling Asleep.
    Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea a “Poltergeist” remake was coming. So it was just a coincidence that after a number of years, I popped the 1982 original into the DVD player. Obviously, the hope was for some real scares.  Thirty-three years may have passed, but I still remember being impossibly young, sitting in that dark theater with my friends, and having a terrifying blast as vengeful American Indian spirits terrorized the Freeling family. The original “Poltergeist” is no longer scary. Not even a little bit. What it is, though, is absolutely charming. The lack of frights did nothing to diminish the story’s entertainment value. You immediately fall in love with this family. The characters are all well-defined, including the supporting cast. And there are too many warm and funny moments between them to even begin to list. “Poltergeist” (1982) is so much more than a haunted house movie. Producer/co-writer (and rumored director, though Tobe Hooper is credited) Steven Spielberg created a lovely slice-of-life filled with painstakingly perfect physical and relationship details that capture so well family and work life in 1980s suburbia. This was one of Spielberg’s early and overlooked gifts. Go back and watch “Jaws,”
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 'Poltergeist' (2015) Review: Here's What I Remember Before Falling Asleep.
    Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea a “Poltergeist” remake was coming. So it was just a coincidence that after a number of years, I popped the 1982 original into the DVD player. Obviously, the hope was for some real scares.  Thirty-three years may have passed, but I still remember being impossibly young, sitting in that dark theater with my friends, and having a terrifying blast as vengeful American Indian spirits terrorized the Freeling family. The original “Poltergeist” is no longer scary. Not even a little bit. What it is, though, is absolutely charming. The lack of frights did nothing to diminish the story’s entertainment value. You immediately fall in love with this family. The characters are all well-defined, including the supporting cast. And there are too many warm and funny moments between them to even begin to list. “Poltergeist” (1982) is so much more than a haunted house movie. Producer/co-writer (and rumored director, though Tobe Hooper is credited) Steven Spielberg created a lovely slice-of-life filled with painstakingly perfect physical and relationship details that capture so well family and work life in 1980s suburbia. This was one of Spielberg’s early and overlooked gifts. Go back and watch “Jaws,”
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In 2
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Poltergeist
    HorrorDrama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewBuying a new house is a big decision. Prospective home owners would do well to ask some important questions before signing the contract: Are there good schools in the neighborhood? Is there a community covenant? What are the property taxes? Is there any chance that the house is built on an old cemetery full of tormented souls? The Bowens fail to ask that last question. And it comes back to haunt them. It’s not like the family was that excited about the move in the first place. Eric, the dad, had recently lost his high-salary job at John Deere, and the family is seriously downsizing as a result. Meanwhile, Amy, the mom, is taking time off from her career to write a book and be home with their three children: moody teen Kendra, perpetually fearful Griffin and constantly curious Madison. Little Maddie’s precocious personality means she’s always talking to someone: to herself, to her stuffed animals, to her imaginary friends. So when Griffin catches her talking to the closet as they look at their soon-to-be new home, he doesn’t think much of it. This time, though, Maddie’s friends aren’t imaginary. And they're not friends either. Odd things begin happening immediately after the Bowens move in … mostly to Maddie and already-always-afraid Griffin. A baseball has a rolling mind of its own. A gardening session unearths a human bone. Then there are the clowns. Griffin’s spooky attic bedroom (complete with a skylight staring at an equally spooky willow tree) has a crawlspace attached to it. A crawlspace, Griffin discovers, full of seriously creepy vintage clown dolls. “Where did all these clowns come from,” he asks his dad. “Why would somebody have a box of clowns?” “People collect weird things,” Eric answers. The weirdness amps up exponentially when Mom and Dad go out to dinner, leaving the three kids at home. By the time they return, the cemetery’s spirits have begun their assault on the family in earnest. Kendra’s been grabbed by a rotting hand reaching out of gurgling, sewage-like sludge in the garage. Griffin’s left dangling by the branches of that willow tree in a pouring thunderstorm. And Maddie? Well, she’s just … gone. Well, not entirely gone. She still talks to her family … through the TV set. Suffice it to say none of these problems are covered by the standard home warranty. And the Bowens are going to need some serious ghostbusting help if they ever hope to bring Maddie back from the dark and dreadful side.Positive ElementsGood parents don’t take kindly to vengeful spirits kidnapping their daughter. And the Bowens are good parents. After Maddie goes missing—apparently through a supernatural portal in her closet—the Bowens go looking for help. The first specter-evicting brigade consists of paranormal researcher Dr. Brooke Powell and her two young assistants, Boyd and Sophie. It takes about five minutes of film time for them to realize that, well, they’re in over their heads. So they call in the cavalry: famed ghost hunter Carrigan Burke, a crusty reality TV spirit exterminator with scars to back up his crazy stories of vanquishing preternatural predators. Together, the Bowens, Burke and the other researchers courageously confront the malevolent spirits lurking in the house. Arguably no one shows more courage than young Griffin, however, who’s desperate to redeem himself after having left Maddie alone in her room when the spirits nabbed her. Indeed, Griffin plunges into an inky, scary world full of rotting ghoulies to try to rescue his sister from their clutches. Elsewhere, Amy coaches her husband on the importance of appearing strong even if he’s not sure what the outcome will be. She tells him, “If I say, ‘It’s not going to be OK,’ you have to say, ‘Of course it is, sweetheart.’” Later, Eric follows her instructions nicely. Before it’s all said and done, Burke also makes a brave choice to confront the stubborn entities in an attempt to deal with the problem once and for all.Spiritual ContentThe convoluted spiritual reality predicated by Poltergeist goes like this: a housing development was built atop a graveyard, an event that apparently disturbed the slumber of the souls buried there. As a result, they’re in torment and angrily longing for release from what’s labeled “purgatory.” Their anger results in these rotting, zombie-like creatures infesting the Bowens' house. They haunt the willow tree above Griffin’s bedroom. They animate those creepy clowns. They cause all manner of inanimate objects to take on a life of their own. That’s all pretty obnoxious stuff. But it’s nothing compared to their real goal: finding a pure soul to, as Burke says, “lead them to the light.” They apparently need a human guide with an unsoiled spirit to help them escape their suffering. Someone “without judgment or cynicism,” Burke says. Someone like … Maddie. Maddie communicates with the spirits before they take her. Then, in a conversation with her mom, she says of them, “They’re lost.” After Maddie’s abducted, we see her in the spirits’ dark, foreboding world. It conforms to the same rooms and hallways of the house, but at every turn there are ghoulish arms, legs and faces—partially decomposed—reaching and clawing and grabbing at anyone unlucky enough to end up in this realm (which eventually includes Maddie, Griffin and Burke). They make lots of nasty gnawing and scratching noises, too. Brooke explains that there are overlapping layers of physical and spiritual reality, describing the place where the entities live as an “astral plane” and a “spiritual place.” Twice, Burke confronts the spiritual beings (who, collectively, become the film’s titular poltergeist). The first time he’s trying to rescue Maddie, and he tells them, “This child has done you no harm.” The second time he commands and promises, “Release your hold on this family and you yourself will be released.” It is, for all intents and purposes, an exorcism-like confrontation—except that it’s completely devoid of any Christian understanding of God, Jesus, crosses or the devil.Sexual ContentAs the Bowens get ready for bed, we see Amy in panties and a tank top. She and her husband kiss, clutch and are about to have sex when they get interrupted.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentAs you've already figured out, poor Griffin gets assaulted by all those creepy clowns and by the willow outside his window. Maddie is grabbed and dragged through the air and along a wall by her abductors. Kendra is likewise gripped by a goopy arm reaching out of the muck in the family’s garage. People get roughly yanked at through walls and dragged along the ground. One guy almost gets a drill bit run through his head. A van flips over, and a house quite literally is leveled by a supernatural explosion. Playing a video game, Griffin fights zombies in a cemetery. Jump scenes abound from start to finish.Crude or Profane LanguageFive s-words. One use of “effin.'” God’s name is misused about 10 times, once with “d--n.” Jesus’ name is abused a couple of times. We hear “h---” and “dumba--” three or four times each, “p---” and “b--ch” once each.Drug and Alcohol ContentAdults drink wine at a meal. Eric pours mugs of hard liquor for himself and his wife in their bedroom. Later, he drinks straight from the bottle—but ends up dumping it down the sink after he has a horrific hallucination.Other Negative ElementsThat hallucination features, among other things, worms crawling from his mouth and eyes. Kendra becomes increasingly angry with her parents, acting out in rebellious ways. When they tell her she has to get a job if she wants a cellphone, she responds to her mom, “I’ll get a job when you get a job.”ConclusionThe first (and most obvious) thing to do when evaluating Poltergeist is to compare it to its predecessor. Co-written by Steven Spielberg, the original debuted in 1982 and is widely considered one of the scariest movies to come out of a decade chock-full of scary movies. But as is so often the case, this spook-filled retread fails to provoke the same sense of lurking, gestating dread that its ancestor did. Oh, there are plenty of jump scenes, to be sure. And the specter of a little girl getting dragged off to a decomposing underworld remains utterly unnerving and disturbing. That should prompt us to go a bit deeper than just making a superficial aesthetic comparison, sifting and sorting this story’s spiritual worldview as well. It’s an odd one, that's for sure, capped by angry spirits of the dead lurking in a gloomy parallel world where they require someone—a pure child—from the realm of the living to lead them to the light and somehow emancipate them. The whole idea of needing to be freed by the light has vaguely Christian undertones to it. Yet God is utterly absent here, save for misuses of His name. In fact, there’s no obvious, overarching spiritual belief system present at all. The only thing we really know for sure is that these demented specters need to be released from their “purgatory” (a word the movie uses). It's a fate that’s randomly befallen them because … well, why exactly? Oh yeah, a few houses were built on top of a few graves. It all starts to feel rather arbitrary and a bit silly. Why, after all, should these super-powerful spiritual beings be compelled to obey Burke when he commands them to leave? It’s a de facto exorcism, but without any spiritual authority to back it up. And yet they respond. Is he just that good of an orator? Do they like the cut of his coat? Can they not refuse the pleading look in his eyes? Of course there's absolutely nothing silly about the way a movie like this hints at important spiritual truths … then distorts them, twisting faith and truth into a tangle that's serves only to rehash a hollow, spooky "thrill."Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff 3
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Real Reason Fans Aren't Looking Forward To 'Ghostbusters 3'
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In 2011, it was widely reported that Bill Murray had placed one of many potential scripts for “Ghostbusters 3” into a shredder, gathered the pieces into a box, and mailed it to Dan Aykroyd. In any other situation, the tale would be too fantastical to believe. Murray’s reluctance—perhaps a word too gentle to adequately convey his actual feelings—to see the franchise resurrected made the report more believable. Be it legend or urban legend, one thing was always perfectly clear: Murray wanted nothing to do with another Ghostbusters film, and everyone knew it. The world waited with bated breath, just in case, but most respected this stance. The original “Ghostbusters” was a perfect storm of a movie. The script was penned largely by Aykroyd, who had a passion for the paranormal that came from years of watching his family participate in séances and documenting their experiences. As written, the film was too expensive to make, and Harold Ramis was brought in to assist with the rewrite. The casting itself was the result of preferred actors leaving, declining, or even tragically passing away. The script was a mere suggestion, laying out events more than lines. Despite the hiccups in its creation, “Ghostbusters” released on June 8, 1984, and it was a monumental success. “Ghostbusters 2” released five years later, and while it is not as revered as the original, it has a loyal and even growing fan base. What made “Ghostbusters” so genre-defining and singular is the seamless, organic combination of an over-the-top subject matter with charmingly sarcastic banter that worked with the sort of left-brain right-brain synergy that cannot be replicated by merely retracing steps. The “meh” success of the sequel halted Murray on returning to the franchise. The team delivered a good sequel to a great movie, but the risk for failure was too great to try again. A third installment could destroy the franchise, and no one wanted that. After years of development hell, the trilogy was completed—in the form of a video game for the third entry, but complete nonetheless. Most fans felt satisfied, ready to lay the series to rest once and for all. But others weren’t quite so ready to do the same. A Sequel Is Revived, to Popular Complaint On October 8, 2014, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig announced on Twitter that he was making a new Ghostbusters alongside writer Katie Dippold, and that it would star “hilarious women.” The official trailer has more than 700,000 dislikes on YouTube, making it the most disliked movie trailer of all time. “That’s who I’m gonna call,” Feig wrote, later naming Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon as the film’s stars. Further, this was no sequel, although most fans would likely be curious to see how the universe in which ghosts are real and sounds in the night aren’t quite nothing would evolve over the years. That is not what Feig is doing. This is a reboot, a complete reimagining of the story, wherein the events of prior Ghostbusters stories never occurred. It is an audacious move to boldly insert your name onto a beloved franchise in such a way, and many would argue Feig lacks the right to do so. The response was vociferous and passionate. The official trailer has more than 700,000 dislikes on YouTube, making it the most disliked movie trailer of all time. Most publications have credited “misogynists” and “men’s rights activists” with the unpopularity of the trailer, arguing that men don’t want to share the geek space with women. Feig appears to fault “geek culture” as a whole. “Geek culture is home to some of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met in my life,” Feig told the New York Daily News in a recent interview. “Especially after being attacked by them for months because of this ‘Ghostbusters’ project.” A feeling cannot be replicated without replicating that which brought on the feeling in the first place. The reaction to the “Ghostbusters” reboot is the unsurprising, and dare I say long overdue, response from a generation of fans that have repeatedly watched their most iconic childhood memories cut up and sold for parts. Directors, producers, and writers are more focused on the shiny new reboot or sequel, dishing out forced fan-service callbacks with the belief that success is intrinsically tied to more of the same, that a feeling cannot be replicated without replicating that which brought on the feeling in the first place. From the trailer, the reboot appears to be a passable if tedious project, hitting familiar beats without the organic spontaneity and uniqueness that catapulted the original title to its pedestal in the first place. The original two films are notoriously filled with ad libs, from “This man has no dick” from Murray to Ramis quipping “That would have worked if you hadn’t stopped me” in reference to attempting to drill a hole in his own head. Part of the magic of the first two films was how natural the banter felt—because it was, in fact, natural. Studios Are Just Playing You For Chumps As films are becoming increasingly more expensive, and consequently increasingly riskier, to make, studios have taken to exploiting established brands as a sort of advertising gimmick in order to minimize that risk and maximize exposure. “Jumanji,” “Interview With a Vampire,” and “The Exorcist” are only a few of the films that have controversial remakes on the horizon, with “Point Break” and “Poltergeist” not yet far enough in the past for most of us to have fully recovered. The rejection of remakes is neither new nor unprecedented, and is far from exclusive to Ghostbusters. On the other side of the entertainment spectrum, annual video game releases like “Call of Duty” and “Assassin’s Creed” have repeatedly drawn the ire of even fans of the franchises. In just five days, the trailer for recently announced “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” received more than 600,000 dislikes on YouTube. In seven days, the “Ghostbusters 3” trailer reached more than 1 million dislikes. Alternately, Ubisoft shocked fans by announcing there would be no major “Assassin’s Creed” title in 2016—an announcement fans and critics alike enthusiastically applauded. The rejection of remakes is neither new nor unprecedented, and is far from exclusive to Ghostbusters, or even films, thus leaving the accusations of “sexism” ringing particularly hollow. If your only fresh take on a classic is “doing what the original cast did, but with vaginas this time,” then perhaps it’s simple to blame negativity on “sexism.” It’s also lazy and insincere. Lazy, because there is no acceptance of the fact that they’re not doing what the original cast did. No one can. “Ghostbusters,” and to a lesser degree “Ghostbusters 2,” was a film that defined a generation, and fans believe it deserves better. That’s an argument worth listening to. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Pop Culture Keeps Resurrecting This Deathly Gregorian Chant
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    November, as nature declines to the starkness and death of winter, is traditionally commemorated as the month of the “poor souls” by the Catholic Church. For 29 days, the church prays with special emphasis for the departed who have not yet attained the bliss of Heaven. On November 2, the Feast of All Souls, a priest would traditionally say, and the faithful all attend, three Masses, hearing the Latin “Dies Irae” sequence (a special, poetic form of prayer) each time. Dies irae, dies illa / solvet sæclum in favilla: “Day of wrath, dreadful day / where heaven and earth in ashes lay…” But use of the sequence was not limited to that day, much less that month. Rather, it could be heard year-round in every funeral Mass. Out of this Gregorian chant born in the 1200s grew a musical death stamp, employed across the gamut of musical forms from powerful symphonies to video game soundtracks. Thomas of Celano, who is popularly credited as the source of the text, could little have expected his composition would be better recognized in the twenty-first century from its appearances in “Halo” and “Sweeny Todd,” or even a shoe advertisement, than the place it resided for most of a millennium: the Roman Catholic funeral Mass. A Frenchman named Hector Berlioz with an addiction for the overly dramatic is largely responsible for the former; a church afraid of inspiring fear is sadly responsible for the latter. (Of the many changes coming out of the Second Vatican Council, the “Dies Irae” sequence was removed from the funeral Mass because it had too “terrifying” of a message.) In a world where classical music laments its own demise, it is almost ironic that the theme whose life it guaranteed is now the musical spelling for imminent destruction and death. A Gentle Tune of Doom All things considered, it is not shocking a tune so old remains so popular. With Hollywood spewing endless CGI-drenched end-of-the-world scenarios that movie-goers eagerly lap up, the drama of the “Dies Irae’s” opening text is not all that scary or foreign. A day of wrath, with the world disintegrating into ash? Scenes from more than a dozen action movies describe that scenario. Someone about to decide the fate of the entire world? Pick a supervillain (or hero). The sequence was intended to remind the listener of epic endings, final judgment, and possible damnation, to encourage living a good life and avoiding sin, a task it filled ably for centuries. But now, it paints a picture only as real and as inevitable as the latest Avengers megabattle. Sung in the traditional Gregorian chant, especially in the context of a funeral Mass celebrated in its centuries-old Latin form, the aural effect is far different than what the opening notes assume. The tune falls and rises in calm waves. The thunder of the opening words, never echoed in the melody, subsides into a sorrowful but hopeful plea for mercy, closing with a prayer for eternal rest. The tenor of the entire Mass is one of sorrow, yes, but a sorrow tempered by hope and peace. How, then, did the “Dies Irae” become the doom tune of the TV world? As new choral and symphonic settings of the Requiem Mass became popular, the text of the sequence inevitably called for dramatic settings. Mozart’s opening for his “Dies Irae,” inscribed on the score gracing his monument in Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof, on through the trombone’s plaint in the stanza Tuba mirum and the powerful Rex tremendae, remain awe-inspiring to this day. Verdi’s “Requiem” took the “Dies Irae” in a frenetic, thunderous direction. Others, such as Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé, refrained from including the “Dies Irae” in their “Requiems,” keeping the religious purpose of the text superior to the drama it could invite. But these settings all remained within the context of a Mass, and while they employed the text, they did not utilize the melody we still know. From Tragic Hope to Deathly Despair Berlioz is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the change. His “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” from the “Symphonie Fantastique” (1830) tore the “Dies Irae” from the funeral Mass, interspersing and finally combining it with the dance theme of the witches’ diabolical funerary orgy. Numerous composers soon followed his lead, and the “Dies Irae” became a freestanding symbol of death and despair. It also inspired creativity. It features in Franz Lizst’s “Totentanz” (“Dance of the Dead”) (1849) and “Mephisto Waltz” (1859-62), both of which formed the base of the score for Ben Stevenson’s popular ballet “Dracula.” It lilts through Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre” (1874), where skeletons rise from their graves on Halloween and dance while Death plays the fiddle. Sergei Rachmaninoff seemingly loved the tune, and was not content to use it merely where a composition’s title spoke of funerary topics. Not only does it feature in his symphonic poem “Isle of the Dead” (1908), it also appears in his wildly popular “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” (1934), as well as in each of his three symphonies (1895, 1906-07, 1935-36), his choral symphony “The Bells” (1913) (using the poem of the same name by Edgar Alan Poe), and his “Symphonic Dances” (1940). A somewhat lighter-hearted treatment can be found in Michael Daugherty’s “Dead Elvis” (1993). Other examples abound. ‘Dies Irae’ Enters Film The “Dies Irae’s” first famous film credit came in “Citizen Kane” (1941), via direct quotes at critical moments and heavily influencing the primary theme. (Bernard Herrmann, the composer, was purportedly much inspired by Rachmaninoff’s “Isle of the Dead” in creating the movie’s score.) Oft-noted cameos are present in cult classics such as “The Exorcist” (1973) and “Poltergeist” (1982). It introduces Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” (1980), immediately setting the tenor of the film. Neil Lerner, in his book “Music in the Horror Film: Listening to Fear,” dubbed this use of the theme “one of the most blatant imaginable instances of music’s power to act as independent generic signature.” (When Kubrick was looking for a theme to signify death while the film was in pre-production, composer Wendy Carlos suggested the “Dies Irae”; the director was so enthralled that he reportedly listened to it over a hundred times and insisted on its use.) Film composers employ the theme both as a subtle hint and a dramatic foretelling, sometimes unconnected to any religious undertone, and at others expressly because of it. In Alfred Hitchcock’s “I Confess” (1953), the theme follows the murderer from crime scene to confessional, signifying both the death of the human victim and the death of the killer’s soul. In a twist, instead of indicating what is to come, the “Dies Irae” acts as a sort of commentary on what has happened. Often echoing this narrative usage, vampires in film have an affinity for the tune, inspired by their status as living dead as well as their darkly ritualistic propensities. The “Dies Irae” surfaces in “The Return of Dracula” (1958), Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula” (1992), where it accompanies the count as he thwarts Lucy’s Christian baptism with one of blood, and even in episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003). Losing the Meaning of Death While many of the movies and TV shows in which it appears trend to the darkly dramatic and horror genres—making the tune an October fixture despite its November ties—it is also used in action or other, friendlier films such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). Unlike in “The Shining,” it is not always woven into one of the major themes of the work and frequently is too briefly noted to serve as commentary: the most common current use may be a single four-note (less often, eight-note) statement-of-impending-death in episodes of crime series like “Law and Order” or “Bones.” Once the ‘Dies Irae’ was removed from everyday life, it was demoted from a shared language to a semi-exclusive dialect. Up through the 1960s, composers employed the tune in film scores because many, if not most, viewers recognized the various secular and religious layers of meaning through at least vague familiarity with the Requiem Mass. Decades after the sequence was relegated to the annals of history, the theme’s significance lives on, nurtured by composers steeped in the classical canon, eager to mix the old with the new, the familiar with the foreign. But once the “Dies Irae” was removed from everyday life, it was demoted from a shared language to a semi-exclusive dialect, and modern listeners now hear it as a familiar unknown—understanding the general indication of doom yet senseless to its nuances. Its thematic use having grown out of the classical canon, one might suppose that the “Dies Irae” only resurfaces in movies scored by modern classical giants like John Williams. The celebrated composer has indeed pressed it to service on multiple occasions, including “obsessive, Herrmannesque repetitions” of the theme warning of the climax at Devil’s Tower in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). Philip Hayward has described this score as “masterfully manipulat[ing] the audience” through its use of musical codes: the “Dies Irae” coupled with the jarring tritone interval, long considered a symbol of the devil. Eternally Reviving the Dead Yet the modern composer/director duo who have a Rachmaninoff-like obsession with it are a far cry from even Berlioz: longtime rocker Danny Elfman and Tim Burton. The “Dies Irae” traipses, crawls, crashes, and splatters through their films, from “Edward Scissorhands” (1990) to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) and “The Corpse Bride” (2005), along with the Burton-directed but Stephen Sondheim-scored “Sweeny Todd” (2007). (Given Burton’s directorial affinities, even if one watched these films sans score the trend is not necessarily surprising.) Our culture may be afraid of dying, but it is also fascinated by death. The theme, divorced from its original context, has been separated from the realm of its classical proponents. Of further irony, this leitmotif has gained in popularity as society has ramped up its efforts to postpone death as long as possible. In a culture that celebrates youth (“60 is the new 30”), is afraid of dying, refuses to accept death’s inevitability, and prefers to keep any thought of it at a distance, how is it that a funereal theme will not die? Perhaps it is not so strange. Our culture may be afraid of dying, but it is also fascinated by death: sanitized, and safely enclosed by a TV screen. Movies and TV shows are thus the lifeblood of the “Dies Irae” phenomenon. Perhaps also, as Peter Larsen and John Irons claim in their book, “Film Music,” the irony persists because using the “Dies Irae” leitmotif as a “warning… of death and calamity” is “a kind of coded comment that can only be ‘read’ by the initiated.” The death-fearing public doesn’t even know it is responsible for keeping death’s theme alive. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • ‘The Thing’ Didn’t Take Off In 1982, But 35 Years Later It’s Seeing A Revival
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In 2017, movie theaters have screened special 35mm showings, a publisher has released a coffee table art book, and the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray released last fall is still a bestseller.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Dangerfield 1
ChrisDangerfield.com



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

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  • 1980s Horror Movie Memories
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)

Jay Dyer 3
Esoteric Hollywood



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial...
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    By: Jay Working my way through the Spielberg canon, I couldn’t pass up an esoteric analysis of E.T.  While I think Close Encounters is loaded with esoteric and conspiratorial clues and...

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Interstellar (2014) – The...
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    By: Jay Dyer Spoilers ahead. Interstellar is a grandiose film about a great number of serious philosophical and scientific concepts. It’s also about a host other things, such as love, life,...

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Goonies IS About the Illuminati...
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    By: Jay Dyer Or, Gang of Teens Team up with Tard to Tackle Illuminati  Goonies is not politically correct.  Could you imagine a movie nowadays with a total retard pretending...

    ...
    (Review Source)

Counter Currents Staff 1
Counter Currents Publishing



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  • There Will Be Blood (2007) & The Departed (2006)
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]2,198 words

    There Will Be Blood

    I’m not an eager consumer of pop culture—rock music, television, video games, sports. My disinterest is natural, not something I work at. Pop culture just doesn’t “speak” to me. 

    I’ve probably seen more movies than anything else, because I became an old-movie buff when I was quite young. But, as movies have devolved, my interest in them has declined in sync.

    Large-scale, computer-generated (CG) special effects such as explosions, crashes, etc., are uninteresting in themselves.

    Martial arts films, except for those by Chinese actor-director-stunt man Jackie Chan, also don’t interest me, particularly those in which gravity-defying actors float or freeze-frame in mid-air. Even white actors like Chuck Norris or Jean-Claude Van Damme could not stimulate my interest in that genre.

    Van Damme, by the way, recently made an atypical film that some critics deem above-average called JCVD (2008-Belgian-Luxembourgian-French).

    Of course, the biggest problem with recent movies is their values, their permeation by heavy-handed, hostile racist/feminist/ideological propaganda. If you have a sense of morality or awareness, most contemporary Hollywood fare is simply unwatchable.

    I rely upon reviewers such as Edmund Connelly [2] for information about these movies [3] so that I even know what Hollywood is doing; I don’t watch them myself. Another critic who was very good at conveying information about workaday mass media manipulation was Victor Wolzek in VNN’s early days.

    Without exception, I completely ignore portrayals of Numinous Negroes [4], Jews-as-noble-suffering-Divine beings, Evil or Stupid White Men, and feminist films and TV shows. If they happen to turn up, they immediately go off.

    So I never see Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman. And movies like Roman Polanski’s The Pianist (2002) never cross my radar screen.

    You can see how much is instantly removed from consideration—the vast majority of what is done in the media realm.

    Of course, these negative features leech over into ordinary entertainment. I recently watched Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig, the first Bond movie I’ve seen since Roger Moore played the part, and it exhibited almost all of the negative qualities you’d expect in a contemporary film.

    Apart from feminism and interracialism, the series is too loud, too fast, and too implausible. Bond is even more the superhero caricature today than he was in the past. And, of course, there is talk of a black James Bond [5].

    Consequently, the movies I typically view are “whiter” than average (of course, nothing truly white can come out of Hollywood) because otherwise I turn them off—not out of principle, but out of complete and utter alienation. I’m just not interested.

    As this process has evolved, I find myself less and less tolerant of Hollywood fare, less charitable, less willing (or able) to suspend disbelief or remain interested in or engaged with the story.

    I now divide movies into “watchable” and “unwatchable” categories. Most Hollywood output, obviously, is unwatchable.

    And “watchable” only means that I don’t shut something off—not that it’s particularly good.

    There Will Be Blood is an example of an unwatchable (bad) movie and The Departed an example of a watchable, but not-very-good movie.

    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    This belongs to the unwatchable category, with the likes of Chinese director John Woo’s Hard-Boiled (1992-Hong Kong) (and, I assume, his other works), Croupier (1999-British-German), Holes (2003), and Elf (2003).

    Greek American director John Cassavetes used to make unwatchable films, like The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976).

    Years ago if I paid for a movie I’d sit through it no matter what. So you know the only two movies I walked out on were unwatchable: director Blake Edwards’ 10 (1979) starring Bo Derek, and a terrible black and white Cuban propaganda film about the historical oppression of sugar cane workers. Communist movies can be mind-numbingly awful.

    There Will Be Blood, the story of an early California oil entrepreneur played (as white) by Jewish actor Daniel Day-Lewis, was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who enjoys a reputation as a serious director.

    For a long time I had Anderson confused with a porn actor/director named Paul Thomas, probably because Anderson wrote and directed Boogie Nights (1997), a movie about the porn industry.

    Paul Thomas had acted “legitimately” in Hair on Broadway and starred (under his real name, Philip Toubus) as Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) before helping himself to an endless supply of shiksas in the San Fernando Valley. (Is there anything whites won’t worshipfully offer in loving tribute to the Jew? Of course not.)

    I thought “Paul Thomas” might have been Paul Thomas Anderson’s porn pseudonym, and that he’d moved into mainstream directing.

    But it turns out that porn actor Paul Thomas is a Jew from a wealthy Chicago family; the Sara Lee food company is named after his aunt, Sara Lee Lubin.

    Paul Thomas Anderson, by contrast, is (apparently) white, from a show business family. His “partner” is Saturday Night Live‘s half-Jew/half-Negro actress-comedienne Maya Rudolph; they have three hybrid white-Jewish-Negro children together. You can bet that many, perhaps all, of them will be able to pass as white in the future.

    I’d read that There Will Be Blood was exceptionally good. The only previous Anderson film I’d seen, Hard Eight (1997), his first, was watchable, but that’s all.

    There isn’t much to say about There Will Be Blood except that it was absurdly over-hyped, overrated, too long, and  . . . unwatchable.

    It lost in most Academy Award categories to the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men [6] (2007), which, though also not-good (it falls apart in the second half and the great promise inherent in fictional characters played by Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, and Josh Brolin is completely squandered), was at least highly watchable and, before you suspended your disbelief, almost unbearably tense.

    There Will Be Blood is profoundly anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, and anti-white. Day-Lewis’s oilman is utterly without redeeming value, a self-centered, evil man.

    Neither Anderson nor any other filmmaker would ever make a movie depicting Jews or non-whites the way whites and Christians are shown here, despite having an abundance of untapped, real-life material to work with. Figuratively speaking, their throats would be cut if they did. But they aren’t even interested.Hollywood is stuffed with racists, frauds, and moral hypocrites like Anderson.

    Reportedly Anderson was influenced by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) when writing his script. If so, he flubbed badly. Treasure is a legitimate classic.

    The dialogue in most movies is passable at best. It really doesn’t matter because artificiality is the norm, one is accustomed to it, and it’s probably unavoidable.

    Anderson’s screenplay attains the norm in that regard, though the preacher’s lines are noticeably unnatural and below par.

    Dialogue in films jumps out at you only if it’s really, really bad or, more rarely, has a disconcertingly authentic ring.

    Woody Allen accomplishes the latter in portions of some of his films, such as the show biz diner discussions in Broadway Danny Rose (1984), or the Allen-Keaton scene with a neighbor couple in an apartment house in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993).

    Another example of uncannily realistic movie dialogue is the job interview scene in director Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) between Overlook Hotel manager Barry Nelson and writer-job applicant Jack Nicholson.

    The Departed (2006)

    This Martin Scorsese yarn about Irish crime bosses and cops in Boston is an example of a watchable though not-great film. It’s entertaining enough that you don’t turn it off, but not so good you’d rate it above average.

    Yes, I know it won Best Picture and several other Academy Awards. And I know that 10 and Elf made lots of money. So what?

    Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011) belongs to this category as well, with its intrusive racial element (the girlfriend, not the Jews—though Ron Perlman is shockingly ugly) and superhero implausibility. Also, “cool” and laconic are pushed far too far. But Drive nevertheless remains watchable.

    Scorsese has made unwatchable movies such as The King of Comedy (1983) and (I suspect) Taxi Driver (1976).

    Indeed, of the limited number of Scorsese films I’ve seen, the only one that was exceptionally good was GoodFellas (1990).

    Really good films are rare. Off the top of my head I can think of Hoosiers (1986), Home Alone (1990), Get Shorty (1995), The Bourne Identity (2002) and Road to Perdition (2002) as examples. There are many others, of course.

    Oddly, I did not see Hoosiers or Home Alone until years and years after they were made. I harbored an irrational resentment against them because they were so popular and I was convinced I wouldn’t like them!

    Apart from their lack of overly-intrusive racial, feminist, or other propaganda, these films succeed by somehow overcoming the viewer’s reluctance to suspend disbelief.

    It is not always clear why or how they accomplish this. Obviously, individuals have different thresholds of acceptance in this regard. It is also true that the mere fact that something is professionally presented in films to some extent causes us to uncritically “believe” whatever we are seeing.

    Home Alone is a good example of a movie that overcame an extremely difficult plot dilemma at the outset.

    Namely, how does one persuade an audience to unconsciously accept that loving parents—and especially such a loving mother—would ever leave a young child home alone while they flew all the way to Paris in the first place?

    The series of plausible devices director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes invented to accomplish this were ingenious: a big family (many kids), middle-class-chaotic in a way everyone’s familiar with (a type depicted also in Spielberg’s Poltergeist), banishing Macaulay Culkin to the bed in the attic for “being such a jerk,” a Christmastime ice storm that downs electrical and phone lines overnight causing everyone to sleep in late and have to rush to the airport in the morning, the talkative neighbor kid who accidentally gets counted in Culkin’s place, the parents flying first class while sticking the kids in coach (out of immediate sight), and so forth.

    Despite its watchability (entertaining enough not to turn off or walk out on), The Departed does not sustain the requisite suspension of disbelief to be really top-notch.

    Part of The Departed‘s problem is that, despite being scripted by an Irish American and ostensibly being about Irish organized crime, the story is actually derived from a Chinese film, Infernal Affairs (2002-Hong Kong), and its prequel and sequel.

    Scorsese also repeats some Shakespearean errors [7], notably the ridiculous piling on of multiple murders of major characters at the end. (Screenwriter William Monahan studied Elizabethan and Jacobean drama in college; perhaps that’s the problem.)

    Nor does Jack Nicholson make a convincing Irishman. His real-life ethnicity is thoroughly mixed-up-American (even he doesn’t know what it is), and it shows, ethnically.

    Naming his “Irish” mob boss Frank Costello (akin to the Latin names given to Scandinavian characters in Hamlet) just compounds the error, particularly given the fact that the story features a rival Italian mob.

    The police department psychiatrist and dual love interest of Matt Damon (the bad cop) and Leonardo DiCaprio (the good cop) played by Ukrainian American actress Vera Farmiga also is not convincing, either as a character or in her casual violation of numerous professional ethics rules.

    Another big problem faced by all contemporary suspense movies and novels is the convincing portrayal of organized opposition to the System.

    You can’t ignore surveillance in such tales, because everybody knows it’s ubiquitous, from surveillance cameras everywhere to the constant tracking of cell phones.

    More sophisticated surveillance, which is equally pervasive, is so secretive, unrestrained by law, technologically advanced, thorough, and invisible—its ever-evolving techniques known and understood by virtually no one outside the secret police—that any organized group the state genuinely wants to take down or prevent from coalescing in the first place is hard to convincingly depict.

    True, privileged groups such as Jews (e.g., Israeli operatives, Jewish terrorists, mercenaries, assassins, bombers, organized criminals, etc.) do exist and operate completely outside of formal System rules, but they are off-limits to mainstream authors and filmmakers.

    So it is extremely difficult to integrate into a contemporary story anything approximating or mimicking real-life surveillance and double-dealing.

    It would be easier to set suspense fiction in the past, since society was less Orwellian then, and what was Orwellian can be learned more or less accurately through research. The Coen brothers, for example, plausibly avoid most pitfalls such as this by situating many of their crime stories sometime in the past, even the comparatively recent past.

    These are some of the reasons why The Departed is ultimately unsatisfying. I never quite bought into it in terms of the suspension of disbelief. But it is still an entertaining, watchable movie.

    This failure is somewhat puzzling.

    For example, The Bourne Identity—a very good movie—has basically the same flaws, plus an unconvincing comic book superhero to boot. (Bourne is essentially an indestructible android.) And yet, the movie works. I’m not sure why.

    A final amusing twist to The Departed is in the closing credits, where the producers thank various government agencies in Massachusetts, Boston, etc., for their help in making the film. One can hardly imagine worse PR for government than The Departed, yet there it is, subsidizing Hollywood’s giving it the middle finger before the entire world.

    I sympathize with the portrayal of police corruption. Cops are not good guys.

    But, even so, you can only shake your head.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)

National Review Staff 1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Eighties: A Sequel
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    To judge by recent pop culture, we miss the decade.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Soiled Sinema 6
Soiled Reviews



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  • The Orphanage
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    There is nothing more terrifying than a child. The evidence lies in every single classic horror film such as The Shining, IT, Poltergeist , ...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Children
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I encountered a sturdy revelation in the final moments of The Children . Contrary to what Jervaise Brooke Hamster declares insistently, th...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Haunting in Connecticut
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Boo! It’s a ghost! Or even worse!!! MANY GHOSTS (AND THEY HAVE NO EYELIDS!!!!). Ghosts are a fun thing to be fascinated and afraid of as a ...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Insidious
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Abnormalities surround us. It seems to be life's way to stumble us upon "glitches". Couldn't this same concept apply directly to dreamscape...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Ostia (1970)
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Throughout film history, there has been a number of films that people have wondered and speculated who was the real ‘auteur’ behind t...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Lifeforce
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Until rather recently and in part due to its questionable reputation, I had never seen Tobe Hooper’s science fiction horror epic ...
    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff 2
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Doctor Zhivago: The Finest Film Of The 1960s?
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll My money would be on Lean's 1962 epic, Lawrence of Arabia, or Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (with his own Dr. Strangelove a close runner-up). But Kyle Smith makes a pretty strong case for Dr. Zhivago (coming out on Blu-Ray high-definition DVD next-week) being "the finest film of the 1960s and one of the greatest films ever made:"If you've never seen this film, or never seen it on the big screen, don't miss this rare opportunity. I call "Doctor Zhivago" the finest film of the 1960s and one of the greatest films ever made, fully the equal of (and in many ways more serious than and hence superior to, the romanticized and oblivious-to-implications 'Gone with the Wind.') I first saw it, as I suppose many of my generation did, on ABC's Sunday Night Movies in the 1970s, and even as an adolescent I was taken with both the splendor of its heartbreak and the shivery effectiveness of the funeral scene at the start of the picture (it also had a profound effect on Steven Spielberg, who in "Poltergeist" offers an homage to the scene, in which Yuri wordlessly contemplates the death of his mother while a tree's naked branches claw mercilessly at the window). In later years I came to realize the immense value of the film's devastating portrayal of the Russian Revolution, an event of world-reorganizing calamity which has still barely attracted the notice of Hollywood (although I very much enjoy the way Warren Beatty explores it in his homage to both "Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia," "Reds"). Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) is essentially apolitical but he is also an idealist and when he returns home from the war to Moscow to discover that the People have taken over his home and moved 15 families into it, he pauses to process this infomation and then says "It's much better this way. More just." When his slightly more cynical uncle (Ralph Richardson) laughs at this, Yuri insists, "but it is more just!"There is a great deal of awakening in store for our hero as the Bolsheviks chase him first onto a train out of Moscow (cue one of the great rail sequences in cinema history -- how to forget the sight when the packed-together refugees open the door of their cattle car and are confronted with a sheet of solid ice? Or the stench you can practically taste when the passengers shovel out the door the hay that is soaked in their own waste?)The obvious symbolism of the train sequence in the middle of Dr. Zhivago echoes another totalitarian regime that made extensive use of their own railroad system to carry out its most sinister acts. And perhaps for that reason -- the exceedingly rare Hollywood film (produced by MGM after all, despite Lean's British imprimatur) to not just portray the Soviet Union in a bad light, but to tacitly equate it with Nazi Germany (how dare he!) -- did American film critics savage Dr. Z. This of course was in sharp contradistinction to the praise they justifiably heaped upon Lawrence. After one more film (Ryan's Daughter), Lean chose to sit out the entire 1970s on the sidelines in semi-retirement, and more's the pity. Zhivago isn't a perfect movie, but like Lawrence and Bridge on the River Kwai before it, it's one of only a handful of thinking man's epics, the likes of which a Hollywood lobotomized by political correctness seemingly cannot produce these days. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2010/4/30/doctor-zhivago-the-finest-film-of-the-1960s/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Scariest Movie Ghosts?
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '2AM: The Smiling Man - short film', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Enough politics for a while, let's talk movies. And let's talk ghost stories specifically, one of my favorite kinds of movies. I've noticed the scare genre is not doing as well at the box office this year as it did last. Last year, there were a couple of monster hits, so to speak, like The Conjuring and Mama — though 2012's Sinister was the last one that really grabbed me. This year...  Oculus...  The Quiet Ones...  Haven't seen them so I'm not commenting, but they're not doing great business.However... to celebrate their release, Movie.com put out a list by Jacob S. Hall of the "Ten Scariest Ghost Movies." The list leaves out my favorite, The Innocents, and misses The Ring, Paranormal Activity and Lake Mungo, all wonderful. But there are some definite good ones there: The Haunting, The Changeling, Poltergeist, The Devil's Backbone  — can't argue with any of those. The Orphanage lost me on plot, but it had some fantastic scenes: that hide-and-seek game was spectacular. The Pulse and The Eye were good; The Innkeepers, I thought started too slow and then relied too much on boo-scares.But the two that really need to be discussed are The Shining and The Others. Both of these are routinely listed as classics of the genre and both of them are beautifully made movies. But both of them have one big ghost story problem: they are not scary. I'm sorry. They're just not. If you remember The Shining being scary, watch it again. I saw it last Christmas. It's basically a three hour long Jack Nicholson sizzle reel. I mean, how good is that guy at looking nuts and angry? But frightening, no. And The Others? Again, brilliantly filmed and acted, but I don't think there's really one good scare in it. And I don't mean scenes that make you jump, I mean ideas that really send a chill up your spine.The highest test of a ghost story, in the end, is not its depth and drama, and not its jolts and shocks. It has got to scare you, really scare you — scare you so that, even when it's over, maybe especially when it's over, it makes you shudder just to think about it.A case in point: check out the above short film by the talented newcomer Michael Evans, 2AM: The Smiling Man, based on the story by blue_tidal. Brr. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/5/2/scariest-movie-ghosts/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Vox Day 1
Castalia House



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  • Gamma reviews
    (”Poltergeist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    This is not a Gamma review:
    Gamma Reviews: Advanced Review Copies

    Advanced Review Copies, or ARCs, are the books that the publishers print out early with ordering information including print run size & co-op information instead of a back cover blurb. These are given out to bookstore buyers, professional reviewers, (and, in the case of Baen, lucky people at the Baen Roadshow.)
    Now THIS is a Gamma review:
    What I thought of the new Ghostbusters: I liked it, and would happily rewatch it. It’s definitely the second-best Ghostbusters movie, and much closer to the original in terms of enjoyment than the willfully forgotten Ghostbusters 2. There are legitimate criticisms to make of it: the plot is rote to the point of being slapdash, the action scenes are merely adequate, and Paul Feig is no Ivan Reitman, in terms of creating comedic ambiance. But the film got the two big things right: It has a crackerjack cast that’s great individually and together, and it has all the one-liners you can eat. And now that the origin story of these particular Ghostbusters is out of the way, I’m ready for the sequel.

    But what about the Ghostbusters being all women?!??!?? Yes they were, and it was good. If you can’t enjoy Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones snarking it up while zapping ghosts with proton streams, one, the problem is you, not them, and two, no really, what the fuck is wrong with you. The actors and the characters had chemistry with one another and I would have happily watched these Ghostbusters eat lunch, just to listen to them zap on one another. And in particular I want to be McKinnon’s Holtzmann when I grow up; Holtzmann is brilliant and spectrum-y and yet pretty much social anxiety-free and I honestly can’t see any sort of super-nerd not wanting to cosplay the shit out of her forever and ever, amen.

    BUT THEY’VE RUINED MY CHILDHOOD BY BEING WOMEN, wails a certain, entitled subset of male nerd on the Internet. Well, good, you pathetic little shitballs. If your entire childhood can be irrevocably destroyed by four women with proton packs, your childhood clearly sucked and it needs to go up in hearty, crackling flames. Now you are free, boys, free! Enjoy the now. Honestly, I don’t think it’s entirely a coincidence that one of the weakest parts of this film is its villain, who (very minor spoiler) is literally a basement-dwelling man-boy just itchin’ to make the world pay for not making him its king, as he is so clearly meant to be. These feculent lads are annoying enough in the real world. It’s difficult to make them any more interesting on screen.

    But this is just the latest chapter of man-boys whining about women in science fiction culture: Oh noes! Mad Max has womens in it! Yes, and Fury Road was stunning, arguably the best film of its franchise and of 2015, and was improbably but fittingly nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Oh noes! Star Wars has womens in it! Yes, and The Force Awakens was pretty damn good, the best Star Wars film since Empire, was the highest grossing film of 2015 and of all time in the domestic box office (not accounting for inflation. Accounting for inflation, it’s #11. #1 counting inflation? That super-manly epic, Gone With the Wind).

    And now, Oh noes! Ghostbusters has womens in it! Yes, and it’s been well-reviewed and at $46 million, is the highest grossing opening for its director or any of its stars and perfectly in line with studio estimates for the weekend. Notably, all the surviving principals of the original film make cameos, suggesting they are fine with passing the torch (Harold Ramis is honored in the film too, which is a lovely touch), and Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd are producers of the film. If your childhood has been ruined, boys, then your alleged heroes happily did some of the kicking.

    I’m an 80s kid; my youth is not forever stained by a Ghostbusters remake, any more than it was stained by remakes of Robocop or Point Break or Poltergeist or Endless Love or The Karate Kid or Clash of the Titans or Footloose or Total Recall and on and on. I think most of these remakes were unnecessary, and I don’t think most of them were particularly good, or as good as their originals, and I question why film companies bother, aside from the “all the originals were made before the global movie market matured and there’s money on the table that can be exploited with these existing brands,” which is, of course, its own excuse.

    But after a certain and hopefully relatively early point in your life, you realize remakes are just a thing the film industry does — the first Frankenstein film listed on imdb was made in 1910, and the most recent, 2015, and Universal (maker of the classic 1931 version) is planning yet another reboot in 2018 or 2019 — and maybe you get over yourself and your opinion that your childhood is culturally inviolate, especially from the entities that actually, you know, own the properties you’ve invested so much of your psyche into. It’s fine to roll your eyes when someone announces yet another remake, tweet “UGH WHYYYYYY” and then go about your life. But it causes you genuine emotional upheaval, maybe a reconfigure of your life is not out of the question.

    (Not, mind you, that I think these shitboys are genuinely that invested in Ghostbusters, per se; they’re invested in manprivilege and, as noted above, would have wailed their anguished testeria onto Reddit and 4chan regardless of which cultural property had women “suddenly” show up in it. This is particularly ironic with anything regarding science fiction, which arguably got its successful start in Western culture through the graces of Mary Shelley. Women have always been in it, dudes. Deal.)

    The happy news in this case is that, whether or not this Ghostbusters reboot was necessary, it’s pretty good, and fun to watch. That’s the best argument for it. I’m looking forward to more.

    So brave. But having finished demolishing his own reputation as a movie reviewer in the interest of virtue-signaling his feminist superiority to "manboys" and "shitboys", whatever they are, McRapey also had to be the first to comment on his own post on his shrinking little blog.
    John Scalzi says:
    JULY 17, 2016 AT 12:15 PM
    To get ahead of any potential “but there are women saying their childhood was ruined too!” nonsense: Maybe there were? But if there were, and they weren’t gamergate-like sockpuppet accounts, a) I didn’t see much of them, b) they were swamped by the wailing boys, c) the advice to them is the same as to the whining dudes: Remakes happen, maybe get over it.

    To get ahead of “it’s sexist to bag on the men here,” argument, leaving the whole larger argument about power stuctures and sexism and all the stuff you recognize play into sexism when you think about sexism on a level higher than “this is a playing card I can slap down in this game called Rhetoric,” you can imagine me in that Wonka meme pose, saying “Tell me again as a man how I can’t criticize men, that’s adorable.”

    Finally, to get ahead of any “beta cuck” stupidity, I’m not the one who just spent half a year wailing about the ruin of my childhood, boys. I do find there’s an correlation between the sort of dude who questions my masculinity and the sort of dude who whines excessively about how mean the world is to him, waaaaaaaaaaaah. And this is me in the Wonka pose again.

    All of which is to say, Mallet is out for general whiny male bullshit. Behave, children.
    Spacebunny cracks me up. Her entire response: "Isn't he married? Why is he trying so hard?" Sadly, despite his brave and heroic efforts, Scalzi got it wrong in the end. You see, the official feminist line is that Grrlbusters is not only better than the original, but seeing it is important.
    The nerdy guy doesn’t get the girl. That was a standard trope in the 80s, and the Ghostbusters of 1984 was no exception. The lack of consent factor that makes all of the Zhoul-possessed Sigourney Weaver scenes difficult to watch is not an issue here, because there is no romance in the new Ghostbusters, creepily possessed or otherwise. Yes, Erin (Kristin Wiig) awkwardly hits on Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) but it’s generally met with disapproval from her fellow Ghostbusters (if not laughter) and Kevin seeming to be oblivious to it. And even better than the nerdy guy being the hero is the fact that the nerdy guy is the villain and the nerdy girls save the world. Boom.

    An appreciation for their receptionist by the Ghostbusters. I loved Janine as a kid. As a child, I thought that Janine pining quietly for Egon was romantic. Now it pisses me off. That and the fact that nobody paid any attention to her, generally speaking, because she was competent and therefore invisible. As doofy and dumb as Kevin is, and even though Erin hits on him, the team still values him and learns to work with him because they genuinely care about him. That’s not subtext. That’s actual text.

    Using the “ghost” as an allegorical commentary. One of the themes in this movie is the importance of being believed. Yes, in this movie, it’s about being believed about ghosts. Erin talks about how she saw a ghost when she was 8, every night for a year. Her parents didn’t believe her, and she went into therapy. Abby (Melissa McCarthy) was the only one who believed her, which was one of the reasons they became friends. It’s not that much of a stretch to think about all the things that women are also often not believed about, as children or as adults. And that part of the movie, thankfully, and pointedly, doesn’t devolve into comedy. It lets the moment of remembered trauma be serious.

    Real friendship between the Ghostbusters. The other moment of seriousness that is allowed to be serious is at the very end, when Jillian (Kate McKinnon) stands up to give the gals a toast. Up to this point, the majority of Kate McKinnon’s screentime has been devoted to sight gags and making straight girls question their sexuality, both of which she excels at.
    I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for that sequel, Johnny. I expect it will be out around the same time that Paramount releases the Old Man's War movie.  But at least we'll have that television show based on Redshirts to look forward to.

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Kyle Smith 1
National Review



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