Friday, July 29, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW: "Ghostbusters" Reboot Dead on Arrival

The Baffled (Baffling) Cast of "Ghostbusters" (2016)
So, I took The Favorite Son to one of my favorite summer places, the Warwick Drive-In in Warwick, New York to see "Ghostbusters" (2016). The drive-in atmosphere on a warm, New York summer night was fantastic. However, at the risk of being labeled a misogynistic, chauvinist, unevolved, knuckle-dragging ape, (it wouldn’t be the first time), this movie is an epic disappointment to anyone who appreciates the Ghostbusters franchise.

Kirsten Wiig as Erin Gilbert
I’m not sure whether it is the dearth of chemistry among the cast or the fact that Harold Ramis is no longer available to write the script, but the dynamic buddy comedy vibe featured in the original "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II" just doesn't exist. Frankly, there isn’t even the same energy in "Ghostbusters 2016," (to which I'll hereafter refer to it), as there was in "Bridesmaids," which I enjoyed and which featured some of the same actors.

Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan
The script, written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig, could hardly be less imaginative. Kristen Wiig is Erin Gilbert, a college professor whose tenure is jeopardized by the reemergence of a book about the paranormal, which she wrote with her estranged friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). Abby, a la Ray Stantz from the original, works with Jillian Holzman (Kate McKinnon) on a number nerdy, paranormal projects at a trade school community college. All three are, predictably, fired from their jobs after a YouTube video surfaces of the three investigating a paranormal phenomenon. Obviously, the respective school administrations view paranormal research as crackpot. From there, the plot vacillates from the story lines of "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II." The fourth buster, Metro Transit Authority worker, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), joins the team after she witnesses a subway ghost after a hotel janitor, Rowan North (Neil Casey), creates a ghost portal. Not unlike Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol) in "Ghostbusters II," North plots to summon all underworld demons to change the natural order on Earth, where North believes he has been poorly treated.

If the intention was to make a copy, the copy is a poor one.  If the intention was to make an homage, movie is a disappointing homage. If the intention was to create a film to entertain, it fails miserably. Wiig’s performance is wooden and lacks the ability to be the touchstone for the humorous irreverence of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman. Like a two-year old child who’d learned a new phrase from her mommy Melissa McCarthy endlessly repeats, "Power up" and “Light ‘em up.” Kate McKinnon tries way too hard to be the quirky one in the contrast to Harold Ramis’ understated obsessive compulsive Egon Spengler. Leslie Jones’s loud and proud portrayal of Patty Tolan, reportedly written for Eddie Murphy in the originals, is obnoxious.

I wish I could say that the cameo appearances by all but two (Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis) of the original cast made a cute or fun connection with the original, but those performances were flat and pointless. Dan Aykroyd is a cab driver who wouldn’t drive to Chinatown. Ernie Hudson is Patty Tolan’s uncle who owns the mortuary from which she re-purposes a hearse as New York State registration ECTO-1. Very original, huh? Sigourney Weaver makes a brief appearance as the flaky mentor of one of the Ghostbusteresses. Bill Murray portrays paranormal debunker, Martin Heiss, and turns in a mediocre performance in two scenes before he is unceremoniously killed by curiosity. As a tip of the cap to Harold Ramis, his son, Daniel, appears in a minor role as a concert goer during a ghostbusting scene. Other cameo appearances include Annie Potts, Ozzy Osborne, Al Roker, local New York newscasters Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto, and Slimer.

Sadly, however, the short of Harold Ramis returning perhaps as a ghost himself to have written a better script and perhaps to have convinced the original cast to have made the reboot, none of the cameos nor anything else could have saved "Ghostbusters 2016." I just hope we aren’t haunted by endless, senseless sequels every two or three years. I might just cough up some ectoplasm myself.

Monday, July 25, 2016

To Russia With Love: Спасибо

Спасибо, мои российские друзья, для движения в Блоге Гида Отца - одиночки в течение выходных. Было огромное увеличение взглядов страницы в течение прошлых нескольких дней. Я надеюсь, что Вы находите статьи и интересными и полезными.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Favorite Baseball Quotes: Volume I

Jim Abbott

But if a career can be measured by special moments, lessons learned, and a connection with people then I would stack mine up with anyone's. So that's why I stand here. To share. Maybe there is an obligation to share. To try and learn from the experiences life puts us through."– Jim Abbott

"They both (statistics & bikinis) show a lot, but not everything." – Toby Harrah

A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz. ~ Humphrey Bogart

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is." – Bob Feller

Humphrey Bogart

"Number one rule, attend to business" – Lefty Grove

Satchel Paige
"Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common." – Satchel Paige

"I ain't what I used to be, but who the hell is?" – Dizzy Dean

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens." – Tommy Lasorda

“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.” – Barry Switzer

"You're born with two strikes against you, so don't take a third one on your own." – Connie Mack

"People who live in the past generally are afraid to compete in the present. I've got my faults, but living in the past is not one of them. There's no future in it." – Sparky Anderson

"A great catch is like watching pretty girls walk by; the last one is always the prettiest." - Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson

If it’s a fast ball, I swing. If it’s a curve ball, I miss. – Matt Field

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

In Case of an Accident, Wear Clean Underwear

That goes for the ladies, too.
Remember when your sweet little old grandmother advised, “Wear clean underwear when you go out in case you’re in accident.” Well, it turns out that’s pretty good advice.
I’ve wondered more than once about the moment proper grooming for men became the exclusive purview of “metrosexuals.” It’s not that I have anything against the class of men to which many refer as metrosexuals, or “A straight man who embraces the homosexual lifestyle, i.e. refined tastes in clothing, excessive use of designer hygiene products, etc. Usually is on the brink of homosexuality,” as defined by Well, I’m decidedly not a metrosexual, but I still value good hygiene and I think I'm at least a little refined. One never knows when those good habits may be adventageous.

Good hygiene includes feet.
Case in point, friends had invited me and The Favorite Son to their house on the Fourth of July to hang out, swim, imbibe in adult beverages, and blow some shit up. (In case you missed the joke there, even a gentleman can say, “Shit,” in the right company.) Anyway, while I’m fairly consistent with my toilet, I did a head-to-toe, literally, once-over check. Considering we’d be swimming, I decided to clip and clean my nails. Once finished and with fireworks in tow, TFS and I were ready to go.

James Deen: Metrosexual?
After some swimming and some laughing and some eating and some drinking, the adults sat on the deck while the kids, who happened to be all boys, took turns riding a quad and lighting fireworks. As it happened, weathering had caused a deck plank and screw to bow and, while walking barefoot to the kitchen to make another batch of Margaritas, I stubbed the fuck (get it?) out of my big toe. The damned thing bled like James Deen’s co-star after a video shoot. (I watered that down a little to maintain a PG-13 rating.)

Rather than track blood into the kitchen, I waited, bleeding, on the deck while my hosts went inside for bandages. When they returned, rather than giving me the antibiotic and the bandages, my hosts insisted on patching me up. So, I stood there on one foot as my friends cleaned and fixed up my toe, I couldn’t help but remember my grandmother’s advice, which doesn’t pertain just to underwear.

And, not just because you may be in an accident. You never know you'll have fireworks.