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Who You Gonna Call?

The original Ghostbusters came out in 1984 and starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as the titular group. An iconic piece of pop culture, I watched it as a teenager as part of my 80s films phase. It was enjoyable, but I’ve not rewatched it since.

I’ve seen the new Ghostbusters film twice now. If the cinemas near me were still showing it at convenient times, I’d go see it again. Suffice to say, I really really enjoyed it. Starring Kristen Wigg, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the paranormal fighting bunch, it’s enjoyable and funny.

However, the film was receiving backlash before it was even released. Mostly because of the all female cast, partially because it was remake. Some people think it should be a continuation of the Ghostbusters series, rather than a reboot, which I think is a fair criticism. I’m quite happy with it being a reboot, but I didn’t love the original series, so that’s why I think that. As for all the retaliation, because they cast women in the lead roles … It’s time, okay? It’s 2016, women can be the lead in films other than rom coms.

Because I’ve seen it twice, I’ve been asked my opinion on the film a few times, so below find my frequently asked questions. Hope it helps if you’ve not seen it yet.

  1. Is it an enjoyable film?

Yes. Yes, it’s a highly enjoyable film. Laughs and scares and highly likable characters. Even the creator of the original Ghostbusters loved it. It’s everything a summer film should be. I would so suggest you go and see it.

Dan Aykroyd thumbs up

Dan Aykroyd’s facebook page giving Ghosbuster (2016) the thumbs up.

  1. Is it a good film?

Tricky question. It’s a silly film, like the original Ghostbusters, and for me the answer to this questions would be ‘well, it’s not going to win an Oscar’. But the original Ghostbusters was nominated for 2 Oscars. So who knows?

The CGI is fantastic, the acting is so good, and the plot makes sense. No glaring holes that I can think so.

  1. Is it like the original?

Much like every other reboot or series continuation, Ghostbusters has its fair share of shout outs and homage paying moments. But unlike Jurassic World, they’re not jarring, and the plot is different enough to the original to feel like you could have just watched the original.

  1. Isn’t Hollywood doing too many remakes?

Quite possibly. For me, it’s weird because I haven’t seen a lot of the originals (Jurassic Park, Star Wars…), so to me they’re entirely new films. But maybe Hollywood’s out of ideas. Who knows?

  1. Was it weird that all the main characters were female?

It was weird. But it shouldn’t be weird that there’s a film with 4 female leads, who are not sexualised, are never the butt of sexist or size-ist jokes, who so totally kick ass.

Women in films are never portrayed like this. Usually there’s only one woman who has to represent all of womankind, who looks a certain way to fit certain beauty standards, who either is the damsel in distress, or ends up fighting the only other woman in the film, who is never the main bad guy.

Watching Ghostbusters, particularly the climatic fight scene, made my heart swell three sizes. Because for what feels like the first time ever, I got to see women fight like men get to. That is to say, go all out fighting for their lives, not in spandex, not in sexy positions, but with badass music and proton guns galore.

 

I can’t quite explain how much this film means to me. And I know that its had such an emotional response for me, because of the portrayal of women in it. Which is great, and a good reason to go see the film anyway. However, that aside, you should go see it because it’s fun and silly and so enjoyable.

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Big Hero Six: Robots, Representation and Red Plate Armour.

On 4th January, me and Dad went to one of the advance screenings of Big Hero Six, because we are the coolest of cool kids. And I’m only blogging about it now because essays, guys. Essays are part of my life again and everything is terrible. Who said university was fun?

So yes, Big Hero Six. It’s a Disney animated film based on a superhero team from Marvel and premiered on 23rd October 2014. I’ve been excited for it since I saw the teaser trailer (it’s the video below this paragraph). Robots? Armour? Comedy? Sounds like a film I’d adore. So imagine my disappointment when I found out that Big Hero Six wasn’t going to be released in the UK until 30th January 2015. That was going to be ages! So I amused myself by showing anyone who’d stand still long enough the teaser trailer and then the theatrical trailer and then the second theatrical trailer. However, 4th January there were advance screenings, so guess who got to see it then? Me. Though you know that because I started this blog with it.

Teaser trailer for your enjoyment

Warning: potential spoilers from here on out. I will do my best to keep them to a minimum.

In San Fransokyo we lay our scene, where the hills are steep and the cherry blossoms bloom. But there is something rotten in the state of hybrid city, namely bot fighting. Like cockfighting in the UK it is illegal to bet on these fights, but enter Hiro Hamada, our intrepid hero, who with wide eyes and childish looking robot takes on someone four times his size and at least twice his age.

Robots soon become the main focus, as after Tadashi Hamada, Hiro’s lovely older brother, rescues him from a botfight gone wrong, takes Hiro to Tadashi’s university, to try and persuade him to put his mind to better things, rather than bot fighting. After an introduction to the lab that’s enough to get anyone interested in science, Tadashi freveals what he’s been working on. Baymax – a personal healthcare assistant who activates at the word ow, eager to fix whatever is wrong.

Hiro becomes enamoured with his brother’s ‘nerd lab’ (Hiro’s words, not mine) and, despite being 13, is desperate to be accepted to the university. It turns out all he need do is impress Professor Callaghan (a robotics expert) at a showcase coming up soon. So Hiro gets inventing and comes up with a mindblowing idea, and, spoilers, gets a coveted invitation to enrol at the university.

Meet the crew

Disaster strikes and the hall in which the showcase took place catches fire, and Hiro’s work is lost. Or so he thinks until, thanks to Baymax not understanding sarcasm, he discovers that a masked man is controlling his idea.

Shenanigans ensue and with help from his friends and Baymax, Hiro attempts to save the day. And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you. You’ll have to go and see it if you want to know how it ends. Or google it.

I really enjoyed it. Baymax is a fantastic character, and I want one. All the characters seem well thought out and rounded, which is always good. It is a kids film – don’t go expecting gritty realism, but do expect an excellent message. I must say, there’s one bit that’ll tear your heart out, but hey. It’s not a Disney film if you don’t want to cry at least once.

I want to very quickly talk about representation and then we can go about our lives. In thought the representation in this film was fairly good. Of the five main characters, there was only one who is definitively white, which was refreshing. And the bad guys were white! And American! Can I get a hallelujah? Aside from racial diversity, there were girls doing science. Sounds dumb, but when there’s a dearth of women entering STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses and careers, getting representation on screen is really positive. And there’s two! Two girls in a gang, rather than just one solitary female figure (looking at you Avengers) – Gogo and Honey Lemon. What’s even more amazing is that Honey Lemon’s what you’d call a girly girl. She loves colour and she wears skirts, and guess what? She’s great at what she does aka chemistry and no-one bashes her for being feminine in a male dominated arena. What’s cool as well is that Gogo’s less girly, more into speed than painting tungsten carbide pink. And yet her and Honey Lemon get on! Two women who are fairly different getting on! Both of them doing science! Can I get another hallelujah?

I really enjoyed Big Hero Six and it was great to see a film with so many women in it, particularly with women in STEM roles. Like the first scientist to go through a portal? A woman. And there were people of colour. It wasn’t like watching white paint dry.  So yes, good film. It comes out in the UK on the 30th January. If you like robots, kids films and casts that make at least steps towards good representation, this is a film for you.

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The Day of the Doctor

Warning: Here be spoilers. If you have not yet watched the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who and wish to go in knowing nothing, do not read this post. I won’t have you blaming me for wrecking it for you.

I am a massive geek. This is not news. So when I found out that the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who was being shown in Erfurt, I went and got a ticket. I was super excited. I love Doctor Who, I really do. When I checked my ticket yesterday though, it turned out I’d accidentally bought a ticket for the 10.45 showing, which would mean a five hour wait in Erfurt railway station, waiting for the first train to Ilmenau in the morning.  I’m not going to lie to you, I was fairly prepared to do that. But first I went to the cinema to see if they had any tickets left for the half eight showing. They had five.

With a spring in my step because I could see Doctor Who and get home before 7am, I then headed to the fish and chip place, because if I was going to have an evening of Englishness, by George, I was going to do it properly. This also meant forgetting how to speak German and having the cashier resort to talking to me in English – something which hasn’t happened in a really long time. Ah well. Blame it on Doctor Who.

When I went back to the cinema, I was super excited to see people dressed up. I could have gone all Amy Pond because I am now ginger and do own a miniskirt and (many pairs of) boots. But it was cold. So instead I wore all the layers and my Tardis T-shirt. I ended up asking a woman in a TARDIS dress which screen it was in, in very bad German. Five minutes later, she walked past with her boyfriend telling him, in English, all about the German girl who complimented her dress. I was that German girl. I managed to talk in German to one of the few other native English speakers there. Well done me…

The atmosphere in the cinema was incredible. Everyone was so excited, and when the adverts went on for ages, you could feel everyone getting more and more anxious for the start of the episode. Of course, because we were in a cinema, we got two (yes, two) pre episode shorts. One with Commander Strax explaining movie etiquette to us and the punishment for breaches thereof. (Pain. Lots of pain.)And one with the 11th Doctor telling us to activate our 3D spectacles and how to tell if the person next to you is a Zygon. Then we had the 10th Doctor telling us to watch out for the 11th Doctor’s chin in 3D. And then it started.

Yes, there were cheers/screams/squeals when David Tennant first appeared. Yes, references to Old Who got cheers. Yes, meta references were greatly appreciated. There were, of course, a few jokes where I was the only one laughing because it passed the Germans by. Like the throwaway line about Derren Brown, and the one about Dick Van Dyke. And I may have laughed at “we have peace in our time” and then realised I probably wasn’t in the best country to be laughing at that. And there was applause at the end, and a girl behind me said that she was dead and it was the BBC’s fault. Which seemed about right. (For all you tumblrites, ‘feels feels feels’ is the same auf Deutsch.)

My only gripe about it was the lack of Christopher Eccleston. But let’s face it, that was always going to be my problem, because he is my Doctor. I love Matt Smith, and David Tennant’s okay, but for me the ninth Doctor will always be THE Doctor. But there was so much good about the episode. From Bad Wolf’s costume (I love love loved it) to the Tom Baker cameo, it was fabulous. I loved it a lot and I want to rewatch it stat. Shame I have terrible internet here. Guess I’ll have to wait till Christmas.

Coming out of the cinema I phoned home, because I needed to spaz out about the episode with someone or someones, and those people ended up being Beth’s voicemail, Lucy (who didn’t know who I was – very disappointed) and my Dad. I sat in the railway station for a good twenty minutes deconstructing the episode with Dad. When I got off the phone the people next to me were geeking out about it in German, so I may have asked their opinions. They looked hella shocked that I could speak German, but hey. I got to talk to some people out here about it.

And then on my train home, I bumped into Julio and Javier from the BC Café, which was an excellent end to a fantastic evening. If you watched Doctor Who, I hope you had as good an evening as me. And if you didn’t watch Doctor Who, that you are re-evaluating your life choices.