I Feel Like A Teenager Again

July 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Okay, that’s a lie; teenagers can stay awake past 11:00 and generally don’t have joints that hurt, so I in no way physically feel like a teen.

But.

Two things happened today that made me briefly feel like a teenager again. And I’ll take it, because I honestly cannot remember the last time that happened.

Thing One: Ghostbusters

Tracy and I went to see the new Ghostbusters today. You know, the one with all the women that has been ruining fragile male childhoods around the world? Yeah, that one.

As soon as I got home, I posted this on Facebook:

We just had our childhoods ruined — NOT! The new Ghostbusters is amazing!

I was very skeptical going in, because I loved the first movie so much. To the point that I had every line memorized at one point. Tom Wagner can attest; for a long time, it was our regular Friday night viewing. It’s why our nickname for each other is Ray, actually.

But the new “reboot” isn’t just a tired retread with ladies instead of men; it’s a whole new thing. And it’s really good. Tracy said it felt like an alternate universe rather than a reboot. I agree.

So if you’ve been hesitant to see it, don’t hesitate any longer. It’s so much fun!

To unpack that a bit, for those who aren’t familiar with my history: Tom Wagner and I have been friends since high school, and we’re both old enough to have witnessed the birth of the Internet and, later, the World Wide Web. (No, they’re not the same thing.)

Not only that, but we were around to see both the birth and death of the VCR. My family didn’t have the money for such luxuries, but Tom’s owned a Betamax, and one of the movies they had was the original Ghostbusters. And yes, we really did watch it enough to have every. Single. Line memorized.

I still quote that movie at least once a week, it seems. (Want to feel old? Say “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass” to a group of Millennials. If they’re like my friends (yes, I have Millennial friends; try not to faint), they’ll stare at you blankly and one of them will ask, “What is that, like, Bro Caesar?”)

So when the reboot was announced, my first reaction was dismay. I didn’t want a reboot. I wanted a sequel. I wanted Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman to hand the reins of the business to a new gang of ‘busters.

I didn’t give a crap that they were all ladies; I just wanted a proper sequel.

Wah wah, boo hoo.

Once the trailers started hitting the web, my heart sank a little more. It just didn’t look all that good. I decided I’d see it…eventually…probably on Netflix.

Two things changed my mind. The first was that so many friends whose opinions I trust on movies said they loved it. Loved it.

And the second was that a racist gamergate dickbro decided to whip up a torrent of hate aimed at Leslie Jones, one of the stars of the reboot. That link is a mild recap of what happened, but I had the nauseating displeasure to watch that vile shit as it happened. And it was pretty damned vile.

So because a leaking burlap sack of diseased testicles tried to beat down a woman just for appearing in a reboot of a movie so old they probably weren’t even sperm when it came out, I decided to see said movie in the theater. Do the opposite of what to those impotent knuckledraggers ultimately want, which is to drive people away from Ghostbusters.

Nevertheless, I went in nervous. I’ve been burned by reboots before; most notably, the horrible JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Don’t even get me started on that travesty. Ugh.

Hearing the original Ghostbusters theme in the opening of the movie was the first I-feel-like-a-teen-again moment. And then we were off and running, and I got lost in the fun of the thing and had an absolute blast.

Afterward, Tracy said she tried to match up the original characters to see who the female equivalent was, but quickly realized that they weren’t female versions of Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston. They were new, unique characters, in a fresh story, with just enough callbacks to the original to enhance the fun but not dilute it.

I hope there’s a sequel, and I hope it’s a lot better than the original Ghostbusters 2. Either way, this time I’ll see it opening weekend. And we’ll own the new Ghostbusters on Blu-Ray when it comes out. It needs and deserves a place in our permanent collection, right next to the original.

So, nutshell: Don’t fear the reboot; it is a hell of a movie, and well worth seeing on the big screen.

Thing 2: Star Trek: Discovery

The second thing that made me feel like a youth again was opening up Warren Ellis’s “Orbital Operations” newsletter and finding a link to the brand new teaser for Star Trek Discovery.

Star Trek was an even bigger influence on me than Ghostbusters. I grew up watching endless reruns of the original series, and beamed up to nerd heaven when Star Trek: The Next Generation began airing. I even convinced my mom to make me a Next Gen uniform, which I still have but will never fit into again.

I’m cautiously excited about the new series. For one thing, it’s being run by Bryan Fuller, who makes amazing TV; Pushing Daisies deserved a much longer life than it got, and his aborted reboot of The Munsters looked fantastic. For another thing, Fuller has said the new show will take place in the Prime Timeline, and not the Abramsverse.

Even though Fuller is the showrunner, however, Alex “I wrote the crappy Abramsverse films” Kurtzman is an executive producer for Star Trek: Discovery. (Which I just realized will be abbreviated ST:D, making the haters’ jobs even easier.)

So those things give me pause. But then I watched the new teaser, and I felt that old teen excitement again. Check it out here.

Warren Ellis says the design of the ship comes from an old Ralph McQuarrie design that was considered but ultimately not used for the original series. But when I look at it, and listen to the clanging undertones of the music, the first thing I thought of was that it looks like a mix of Federation and Klingon technology. It has the saucer of a Federation ship, but all the angles in the body of a Klingon warbird.

Whatever is going on there, I’m in. I can’t wait to get ST:D in January 2017. (See? The jokes are just too easy.)

Until then, go see Ghostbusters. It’s ghastly fun!

 

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