The Internet has been a much more insufferable place to be since the new Ghostbusters trailer was released to the public. When I watched it on that first day, I thought it wasn't bad and was still looking forward to seeing it when it came out.
Within minutes, the Internet informed me I was wrong. Dead wrong. In fact, not only was I wrong, but I now needed some form of intense psychotherapy because clearly I was the one who had lost my mind in thinking the trailer wasn't bad.
The resulting chaos of whining, complaining, arguing and shaming that has happened since that trailer was released has been nothing short of a disaster of biblical proportion. What do I mean by biblical? I mean Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!
Enough? Get the point?
This shouldn't be a surprise though, because we as a people have been grossly overreacting to reboots and remakes of movies for a long time now. It's pretty much standard operating procedure for a lot of us, and while it's annoying as hell, it's not going away anytime soon for sure.
Seven years ago I reached a breaking point with my thoughts on reboots and remakes of older movies in Hollywood. At the time, my favorite franchise in the history of the world, Star Trek, was being rebooted by J.J. Abrams with a completely recast original series crew. It was crazy. To think that for the first time ever, someone not named William Shatner was going to play James T. Kirk in a feature film, and someone not named Leonard Nimoy was going to play Mr. Spock, the best first officer in the history of fictional first officers.
I was one of the few Trekkies (Oh yes, I said Trekkies) that was all in favor of the reboot. In fact, when it came out in theaters I saw it four times in one weekend. The first was an advance showing Thursday night IMAX, then the next day Friday again in IMAX with friends that couldn't make it on Thursday night, then on Saturday with friends who saw it the previous Thursday and wanted to see it again, and finally on that Sunday, Mother's Day, when I took my mom to see it with my sisters.
It was without question one of the best reboot movies I had ever seen and remains that to this day. The thing of it is, I had no idea the firestorm that was about to begin from the moment that movie was released. The Internet, at least half of it, lost its mind. Shocker.
You had Trekkies (I said it again!) completely up in arms about everything with the movie from how the bridge looked, to the size of the Enterprise being too large, to the inaccuracy of the costumes, to the fact that the movie even existed in the first place. Meanwhile, I was looking at from a different angle: I now had friends and family that I couldn't pay to watch a single second of any of the TV shows excited to see the movies, excited to see Star Trek. It showed at the box office when the movie was #1 for three weeks in a row and the last two movies have grossed more at the box office each than any other Star Trek movie before them.
At that point, it became clear to me what was happening here and now I'm passing on what I have learned from my experience.
We need to clear up this crap about reboots and remakes. Right now.
See, every year when new movies are announced in production and a bunch of them turn out to be reboots and remakes of older movies, somebody always says "Hollywood has run out of ideas."
That's a lie. A really big and bad lie.
Here's the truth: Hollywood and movie-making is a business, and like any business there are investors who are looking to make money with the money they already have. To do that, they are only willing to invest in things that have a reasonable rate of return, properties that they know will succeed, especially properties that have succeeded before in some form.
So when Paramount decided to adapt Transformers for the big screen, a big reason for it was because of how successful the Hasbro toys and the cartoons had been before. The same goes for GI: Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, superhero movies and RoboCop just to name a few.
Ghostbusters and Star Trek are no different. At all. You're talking about two of the most iconic franchises in history that span a combined 82 years of existence, billions in revenue from box office sales, licensing and merchandising and have stood the test of time. If those aren't a safe bet for a Hollywood then nothing is. If that was millions of dollars of your own money on the line for you, wouldn't you take the safe bet? Or would you be comfortable losing your own money on something untested that people don't care to watch?
Ok, let's say you don't care about that. The studios and executives are all rich anyway and you're not and the ticket prices are astronomical these days, so why should it matter what their investment is? You just don't want to see your favorite franchise changed in any way, shape or fashion. There's one more important thing to consider, though:
These reboots and remakes are NOT being made for YOU.
Ghostbusters came out when I was a year old, I first saw the whole movie when I was about nine or ten years old and I watched the cartoon all the time. I know the franchise pretty well from where it started because I'm actually a year older than it. This means that a reboot movie that comes out now, in my early 30's, is not meant for me. Not one bit. I am not the target audience of the new Ghostbusters movie and if you are close to my age or older, neither are you. I don't even see how you could think that it was.
Looking at the trailers, the humor is today's style of humor, the cast is all from the last five years of Saturday Night Live and directed by the guy that did Bridesmaids, a relatively recent comedic smash, and the setting is 2016, not 1984 or 1989 or anytime in the past. So just like the original movie was aimed a kid that was in their teens in 1984, this new one is aimed at kids who are in their teens right now in 2016. They don't need to market this movie for any of us that grew up with the old ones because the thought is, rightfully so, that we have the originals to enjoy and fall back on at any time. If you think that's a shortsighted business practice, go take a look at the money that the Transformers franchise has racked up in the last nine years. Those movies, just like Ghostbusters and also Star Trek now, are aimed at a much younger audience exclusively, and like it or not, they're going to the theater to see it. It's making them BILLIONS at the box office.
So with all of that in mind, the following sentence needs to stop being said by idiots:
"They're ruining/raping my childhood!"
Aside from the fact that a statement like that is disgustingly disrespectful to the serious nature of rape, it's also completely false. Last I knew, none of the cast and crew of Ghostbusters had neuralizers from Men In Black or memory wiping helmets from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and had the ability to actually erase our childhood memories of our favorite franchises. Whether the new Ghostbusters movie comes out or not, it won't affect the existence of the original movies and cartoon and it damn sure won't affect your memories of how you felt when you first watched them, so you really need to stop saying that since it's a complete lie. The same goes for any other reboot or remake or adaptation that comes along, and you can be sure there will be a lot of them, all designed for a new and younger audience to enjoy a version of what you already know is awesome.
At the very least, if you don't like the reboot or remake, just say that and then go back to enjoying the old stuff. Again, it's not going anywhere and constant whining about the new stuff is just getting old as hell. Of course, it is the Internet, so the whining will never ever stop. Ever.