Discuss Ghostbusters: Afterlife, released on November 19, 2021 and directed by Jason Reitman.
#4965471
timeware wrote: January 16th, 2022, 10:42 am

They don't give the exact numbers for marketing expenses however I would like to think that filming a popular General audience approved movie on a low budget, will convince Sony to give Jason a bit of a larger budget for the follow up. If done right, and he learns from not just our fair critique's, and fair critique's from critic's without agendas the next project is going to be a real treat.
If there is a followup, given the hype the movie had the numbers so far are not amazing, even factoring in covid you still had movies pulling in half a billion on a budget 1\5 of that. The numbers so far are saying 194.1 million for current total. I'd say streaming, bluray etc should add a decent chunk to that. Wether or not it's enough for a sequel to be given the nod is another thing,
#4965475
deadderek wrote: January 16th, 2022, 2:40 pm
timeware wrote: January 16th, 2022, 10:42 am "Estimated." coming in 27, 28 million behind ATC is not too shabby for what's been going on. They made back Afterlife's budget and ATC's filming budget back for the large part.
As good as Afterlife is, it's frustrating to think about how much better it could have done if both Covid/ATC hadn't happened.
Without ATC we wouldn't have gotten Afterlife. It was unfortanate with ATC that politics played a role in it's launch but that's all i'll get into on that. If not for Covid the numbers would have been better without a doubt. If Hollywood want's to take a note on how not to reboot something don't copy G4 tech tv's reboot. Yikes. Kind of wish I hadn't said I missed their reviews not so long ago. Be careful what you wish for. Lol.
deadderek liked this
#4965478
I liked ATC but again it was poorly managed. I think the hype that surrounded ATC created the demand for a proper sequel and Sony wasn't going to make money on a direct ATC sequel. Maybe one day ATC will be revisited but I don't think it's anytime soon.
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#4965481
gerard55 wrote: January 16th, 2022, 10:13 amImage

Got to love hollywood "accounting", it supposodly needs over 3x the budget to break even... :roll: Even factoring in marketing how does 75 million jump to 275 million to recoup the investment?
Wikipedia's citation for the break-even number of $275 million is from a website named The Daily Campus. Has anyone ever heard of it or can back up that number with another source?
#4965497
Without ATC there would be no Afterlife. (Unless we buy being told it was pitched around the same time...personally I don't.)
Without Batman & Robin there would be no Batman Begins.

Sometimes a series needs a course correction, and it's usually for the better.

Speaking of...I REALLY hope Afterlife is similar to Batman Begins in that it sets things up and goes REALLY BIG for the next one.
zeta otaku liked this
#4965499
mrmichaelt wrote: January 16th, 2022, 8:22 pm
gerard55 wrote: January 16th, 2022, 10:13 amImage

Got to love hollywood "accounting", it supposodly needs over 3x the budget to break even... :roll: Even factoring in marketing how does 75 million jump to 275 million to recoup the investment?
Wikipedia's citation for the break-even number of $275 million is from a website named The Daily Campus. Has anyone ever heard of it or can back up that number with another source?
I’ve never heard of it but my estimate was 260-300 for break even. Makes sense. They spent at least around 50-75 million on marketing. Theatres take their share & you get those numbers.

So that’s two GB movies in a row that have lost substantial amounts of money @ the box office.

Yes there was COVID but the numbers are still the numbers. You see what Spider-Man is doing, Venom, James Bond. I don’t see why Ghostbusters couldn’t have done James Bond domestic numbers. Perhaps if they added that 3 to the title(lol. That’s just for Tyler).

Makes you wonder how Sony really feels. I think the critical drubbing the film took surprised them given the early embargo date for reviews & the early screenings. Studios do that when they think they’ve got a critical hit so those rottentomatoes scores get peoples attention. Look at the new Scream movie for comparison. Scream 4 did not do well critically. Didn’t open very well either. This new one did well critically and has buzz about it and it scores a really good opening weekend during a time when theatres in Canada are largely shut down and people are being warned to stay away from theatres due to Omicron.

The international numbers are a problem. But that’s what happens when you don’t have giant CGI action sequences in your movie now.

Perhaps the future of Ghostbusters is streaming and not theatrical. A damn shame that would be.
Sav C liked this
#4965505
Marketing was challanging with covid and with the constant date changes to begin with. While it's annoying I can't blame Hostess for dropping afterlife, however there should have been more of a push to keep the cereal stocked instead of an ask the manager campaign. The marshmallows were fun, but a rarity to find. A steady stream of products would have been more ideal.

I mean it's simple to do a soda can display to make it look like the no ghost logo and have a big coming soon banner over it. Pepsi or Coke could have helped advertise with Ghost in A Can again. Between the last two movies marketing hasn't been where iv'e wanted to see it.

Ecto Cooler should have been a focus outside and inside the movie. That was the one easter egg I wanted. Phoebe looking for something in the fridge and we see a wrapped package of Ecto-Cooler with the no ghost logo on it. Blatant advertising yes, but a missed opportunity.

We should have seen christmas advertising with stockings, wrapping paper, and cards. The holidays were lackluster when it came to advertising for Afterlife. Bags of halloween candy with the no ghost logo and coming soon should have been considered at least. Yeah, Targets displays were cool but they were taken down very quickly.
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#4965506
On a fun note, the Marshmallows are still being stocked by me. Fully.
#4965526
timeware wrote: January 17th, 2022, 11:45 am Marketing was challanging with covid and with the constant date changes to begin with. While it's annoying I can't blame Hostess for dropping afterlife, however there should have been more of a push to keep the cereal stocked instead of an ask the manager campaign. The marshmallows were fun, but a rarity to find. A steady stream of products would have been more ideal.

I mean it's simple to do a soda can display to make it look like the no ghost logo and have a big coming soon banner over it. Pepsi or Coke could have helped advertise with Ghost in A Can again. Between the last two movies marketing hasn't been where iv'e wanted to see it.

Ecto Cooler should have been a focus outside and inside the movie. That was the one easter egg I wanted. Phoebe looking for something in the fridge and we see a wrapped package of Ecto-Cooler with the no ghost logo on it. Blatant advertising yes, but a missed opportunity.

We should have seen christmas advertising with stockings, wrapping paper, and cards. The holidays were lackluster when it came to advertising for Afterlife. Bags of halloween candy with the no ghost logo and coming soon should have been considered at least. Yeah, Targets displays were cool but they were taken down very quickly.
Let alone the utter failures on merch being readily available.
I think if Afterlife would have launched pre-Halloween we would have seen higher box office as well.
The Juggernaut that is Spiderman cut its poorly timed theatrical run off at the knees on it's release though.
A LOT of theaters cancelled showings of Afterlife to make room for more showings of Spiderman.
timeware liked this
#4965529
I doubt Sony would've signed up Jason & Gil for a production gig if Afterlife had failed to satisfy expectations.

However, I do think the film suffers from a strict budget compared to ATC, if we assume a lot of the Making Of content and vfx (eg. montage ghosts, more mini pufts) were cut due to budget. That alone doesn't necessarily explain some of the omissions in terms of plot structure, setups etc. but one would assume there was a more ambitious version of this movie at some point.

I don't know where they go from here - it's possible they were expecting Afterlife to break out and make Venom money, given the confidence they had, and instead they've had a lukewarm reception.

I could see us getting a continuation of Afterlife on a similar budget... perhaps they'd split the cast and stretch to New York City for a movie, but also a cheaper series set in Summerville with the remaining cast.

Then maybe some sort of animated movie or follow-up series showing the adventures of the original 4 either pre-GB1 or post-GB2 because I hate that idea - so it's what they'll do. :boogieman:
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#4965539
gerard55 wrote: January 16th, 2022, 10:13 amImage

Got to love hollywood "accounting", it supposodly needs over 3x the budget to break even... :roll: Even factoring in marketing how does 75 million jump to 275 million to recoup the investment?
This is not where Hollywood accounting comes in. 3x the budget is the rule, because Hollywood standard practice is to spend the entire budget again on marketing. Then you factor in theater cut, prints, and back-end deals for talent. That said, 3x is supposed to be a "safely in the black" rule-of-thumb estimate, as that the back-end deals will be a mystery.

In the case of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as with the 2016 film, merch pads the numbers. It's also still yet to open in Japan (2/5). I expect it passes $200m WW and with merch gets over the 3x benchmark, then home video is gravy.
#4965551
Guys, if delving into the earnings of GB:ATC taught me one thing, it's that deciding when a movie turns a profit is a bigger enigma than the inside of a black hole.

Movies like Men in Black managed to lose money on paper, if only to not pay a percentage of profit to other people.

All I know is that I don't think we have to worry. For a 75M movie, it did fine. We will see more. Hollywood accounting finds a way.

Especially because merch exists.
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#4965567
Yeah, I'm not worried about how well people think the movie didn't or did do. The seeds are planted.

Afterlife very much felt like hitting the reset button on the franchise--we'll get more content that runs in the same continuum as the characters we know and love without all of the concerns of getting the aging actors to return). The studio has a young, vibrant, relatable, and crazy talented cast, so they can make content for a while.

Ghostbusters represents an alternative to superhero films, which might be wearing out their welcome now that Endgame has come and gone. Besides, it's way easier to relate to heroes that are very human but build what they need instead of being granted godlike abilities from [insert incredible event here]. That's probably why characters like Iron Man and Batman are some of the most popular superheroes. Those heroes seem like something one can hope to be, whereas being an orphan from Krypton is less than likely. Ghostbusters provides an alternative to the superhero paradigm with a far more relatable premise, and with a familiarity that new Marvel entries lack.

As a proof of concept, Afterlife has demonstrated what can be done with down to earth characters and restrained use of CGI to tell a story (complain all you want about the final battle, but at least one could tell what the hell was going on). Did it make the numbers everyone here wanted to see in theater? Probably not. But [gestures to delays, reschedules release dates, and the ongoing pandemic that we thought would be over by now and]. This film had substantial headwinds to fight against, but fight it did. More and more people will watch Afterlife now that it's available on digital. It might be a slow burn, but it will set up a desire to see more Ghostbusters.

Anecdotally speaking, I've seen more of my friends on social media talk about the film now that they can watch it in their homes than when the film was released to theaters (which indicates to me that part of Spider-man's success might have been a general longing/calculated risk to return to a theater for *a* film, and a film around the holidays). And two of those friends completely absent of my prompting or participation have said they thought Afterlife was stronger than Spidey (which I'm not even sure I agree with).

The spade work is done. Time to grow the franchise. Believe.
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#4965569
On other forums I’m seeing a clear split between fans which I don’t quite understand. I wonder what people here think.

I’m seeing a group of people saying they thought Afterlife would have been better without the 3 original Ghostbusters, and a group of people saying they cried with joy when the OGB’s arrived (even though their introduction was quite hasty).

I don’t understand this split. I am of the group that fought hard to control emotions when the OGB’s showed up. I’ve literally waited 38 years to see a Ghostbusters sequel I’ve loved. That is a long wait no matter how you spin it. It is half a human lifetime.

Egon showing up at the end and helping Phoebe was very emotional for almost all viewers, as it was for me. But the moment the OGB’s showed up was even more so for me. Especially when Venkman starts ripping into Gozer with his serious/sarcastic/funny/devious/strategic humor.

I’m trying to understand why people who are GB84 fans would want to see a movie without Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore. I just can’t comprehend it.
#4965570
I already explained my motivation indepth a few pages ago, but in short:

For me it's not that I don't want to see a movie without the OGB, I just wish they had a better build up instead of just showing up at exactly the right moment. The movie had a few to much convenient story points that lessened the finale for me, as it lost it tension because of it.
#4965574
One time wrote: January 18th, 2022, 9:10 am On other forums I’m seeing a clear split between fans which I don’t quite understand. I wonder what people here think.

I’m seeing a group of people saying they thought Afterlife would have been better without the 3 original Ghostbusters, and a group of people saying they cried with joy when the OGB’s arrived (even though their introduction was quite hasty).

I don’t understand this split. I am of the group that fought hard to control emotions when the OGB’s showed up. I’ve literally waited 38 years to see a Ghostbusters sequel I’ve loved. That is a long wait no matter how you spin it. It is half a human lifetime.

Egon showing up at the end and helping Phoebe was very emotional for almost all viewers, as it was for me. But the moment the OGB’s showed up was even more so for me. Especially when Venkman starts ripping into Gozer with his serious/sarcastic/funny/devious/strategic humor.

I’m trying to understand why people who are GB84 fans would want to see a movie without Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore. I just can’t comprehend it.
Here’s the thing. For me? I 100% wanted the OGB’s in the movie. Like you I waited decades to see these character again. But I’m not so clouded by bias that I can’t see that from a storytelling perspective the OGB’s got in the movies way. Either have them be full supporting members of the cast, or don’t. Enough with this glorified cameo bullshit.

Here’s another spin on what could’ve been done. Have Ray take Mr Grooberson’s role as the teacher. Ray is in town to find out what happened to Egon and investigate the goings on. He also takes a job at the local summer school. Imagine the problems that solves. Have Trevor and Lucky be the Zuul & Gatekeeper instead. Or still have Grooberson but he’s another teacher at the school and he’s acting as Ray’s assistant. Again, now we are talking. It’s annoying to me how easy it is to have the OGB’s fit in this movie. I know I can’t write a better movie than Ghostbusters. I know I can’t write a better movie than GB2(I can Monday morning quarter back it and strengthen the climax but that was a “we ran out of time to improve the movie” thing). With this latest movie, I know full well I can write a better movie. That depresses me a bit.

I get that many of you want to see the franchise go beyond the OGB’s. But like seeing an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford or, ya know, Indiana Jones, I’m just not interested. Ghostbusters is those characters to me. If you can work it like Extreme Ghostbusters? Ok. Maybe. But I think the moment this franchise leaves the 84 stuff behind, and it will(it already tried), that’ll be it for me unless the new movie manages to do the impossible.

Also consider this. If you had told Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray & Ivan Reitman in 1984 that they would one day make a sequel to Ghostbusters & fans would be crying, but not from laughter, I think they’d be insulted by the notion.

I loved Bill Murray’s response promoting this movie where he had heard people were crying at the end. Ghostbusters is a comedy. They went a little sentimental in GB2 but to have the movie end like “This is an important drama” icck. I kept expecting one of the GB’s to say “ditto” to Egon(little “Ghost” reference).

I hated, hated, hated GB16. But like…at least it *tried* being a comedy?

Some people here have suggested that this movie is a comedy and it has the same type of comedy from the original films. And yes, there is SOME comedy in the movie. Most movies have some sort of comedy in them. GBA has about the same sort of comedy level as a Marvel movie. Maybe a bit less. Iron Man 1 is funnier than GBA. Huh. That just made me think. Jon Favreau. I’ve never thought of him as someone who could do Ghostbusters. But…I think he could.

Is there a single laugh out loud moment in this movie? I can’t think of one. There are things where I said to myself “oh that’s humorous” but I don’t laugh out loud.
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#4965588
One time wrote: I’m seeing a group of people saying they thought Afterlife would have been better without the 3 original Ghostbusters, and a group of people saying they cried with joy when the OGB’s arrived (even though their introduction was quite hasty).

I don’t understand this split. I am of the group that fought hard to control emotions when the OGB’s showed up. I’ve literally waited 38 years to see a Ghostbusters sequel I’ve loved. That is a long wait no matter how you spin it. It is half a human lifetime.

Egon showing up at the end and helping Phoebe was very emotional for almost all viewers, as it was for me. But the moment the OGB’s showed up was even more so for me. Especially when Venkman starts ripping into Gozer with his serious/sarcastic/funny/devious/strategic humor.

I’m trying to understand why people who are GB84 fans would want to see a movie without Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore. I just can’t comprehend it.
As a Ghostbusters fan I know very specifically what I want out of a Ghostbusters movie. When I watch Ghostbusters I & II I am not doing so to recognise references to another movie . Ghostbusters INVENTED the iconography of my youth. What I want is a continuation in that vein, not a facsimile of it.

The original guys are all old now. It wouldn't make too much sense they'd still be suiting up and busting ghosts. You basically cannot have the GB84 team because that is physically impossible in 2022. If the franchise is to have a future it needs to replace them with a younger team to get closer to where we left the franchise in '89 and continue from there. That's the sweet spot and Afterlife almost delivers us there.

The Muncher sequence was something new, yet harked back to the old RGB imagery and featured a new Slimer-esque ghost... it was quintessential Ghostbusters and one of the highlight of Afterlife.

But I cannot ignore the undercooked elements of the movie. The OGB's needed to be in it more to setup the ending.... they acted as though they were saying things for fans of the first movie, rather than involved in any real peril. It leaned too heavily into fan service for me. I also think the CGI Harold looked incredible... but we maybe saw too much of him. Callie's character was one-note. On first viewing, it missed the mark, and that's a shame because it did actually get so much right, and the concept was great, the characters were pretty good. It just needed another few drafts, maybe a comedic voice in there. I think this was a big step up for both Jason and Gil to write and direct a film of this type and the results were largely successful, but it is clear to me there was a much better movie that couldn't quite be realised. I was hoping to see some of the cut scenes and dialogue.

I guess I could flip the question on you, and ask why a fan of GB84 would wait 30+ years to have the 3 guys cameo for a couple of minutes in a movie and do a riff on the Gozer scene from GB84?

I hope Jason and Gil stay on to steer the franchise but they on-board new talent . And let me emphasize I absolutely love Jason's solo work with Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult, Tully etc. He is a great film maker, this one just missed for me.

Edit: On subsequent viewings I have grown to appreciate GB Afterlife a lot more. The Reitman's did good.
Last edited by Chicken, He Clucked on February 13th, 2022, 2:22 am, edited 7 times in total.
#4965590
One time wrote: January 18th, 2022, 9:10 am On other forums I’m seeing a clear split between fans which I don’t quite understand. I wonder what people here think.

I’m seeing a group of people saying they thought Afterlife would have been better without the 3 original Ghostbusters, and a group of people saying they cried with joy when the OGB’s arrived (even though their introduction was quite hasty).

I don’t understand this split. I am of the group that fought hard to control emotions when the OGB’s showed up. I’ve literally waited 38 years to see a Ghostbusters sequel I’ve loved. That is a long wait no matter how you spin it. It is half a human lifetime.

Egon showing up at the end and helping Phoebe was very emotional for almost all viewers, as it was for me. But the moment the OGB’s showed up was even more so for me. Especially when Venkman starts ripping into Gozer with his serious/sarcastic/funny/devious/strategic humor.

I’m trying to understand why people who are GB84 fans would want to see a movie without Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore. I just can’t comprehend it.

Actually the split is very interesting. I have enjoyed hearing all sides and I can understand where some of the criticisms are coming from. It’s kind of like some referring to Afterlife as NOT a comedy. Much like ATC comedy is subjective. Given the focus of the story was going to be about the loss of one of the main characters from the original films, there was always going to be a somber undertone. True Ghostbusters at it’s core is a comedy about schlubby scientists starting there own business, but I think that the franchise has become way more than JUST a comedy as time has gone on. Future films could put even bigger emphasis on comedy going forward now that the story of what has become of a character that we sadly won’t be able to see anymore has been told.

Afterlife played out pretty much the way I had hoped since teaser 1. Afterlife didn’t disappoint. It was a hard story to tackle and I am so glad that Jason Reitman put a perfect close to this chapter. :):):)
#4965620
Thanks for the replies. I understand better now. I agree that the movie could have been better. Especially the suggestion that Ray would have been a better teacher than Grooberson. That would have been much more cohesive. There are many ways the movie could have been improved, and the (very) long wait some fans like me have had for this movie may have influenced our forgiving of its flaws.

In all, the main fix would have been showing more of the OGBs rather than the dialogue Ray gives over the phone. Their lives, etc.

The second would have been Ray not saying Egon Spengler can burn in hell. That for me was very out of character, out of all the optimists in the world, Ray was known as the ultimate optimist.

It really felt like Jason was simply doing a Luke Skywalker; tossing the lightsaber over his shoulder moment, just to shock an audience. No further creative value than to shock. It felt very out of place, like what they did to Skywalker.

But try as I might I can’t agree on the comedy criticisms. I found this movie just as funny as GB1. Much more subtle humor. Like the deleted scene in GB1 where Venkman screams to Ray and Egon: “I INTRODUCED you two, if it wasn’t for me you two would have never MET”. And then casually greets the cleaner John. Same scene in Afterlife where Grooberson says “most kids here aren’t very smart” and then greets the student who is walking by.

I found the humor much more subtle and funny than queef jokes or mean spirited gender jokes in GB:ATC.

Like Phoebe’s joke about: “what do you call a dead polar bear? Anything you want, it can’t hear you now”. Is funny to me because apart from the face value of the joke there is the underlying layer of “you could have called it what you want all along, it doesn’t speak a human language”. And underneath that there is the “well is it really dead though? What about its ghost?”.

Or the flirty ad libbing of Grooberson and Callie at the farm, those were way funnier than anything in ATC.

Although comedy is very subjective. For me the funniest scene (by far) in all of GB1 is a scene people hardly mention: the mayors office when the Archbishop walks in. How the mayor kisses him on the hand with a deep, deep reverence and then slaps his face saying “how are ya Mike”. In the background you can see Murray fighting very hard not to break.

You think: typical politician, their pretense formalities and etiquette are the opposite of what they really are. A joke that’s slap stick funny but that also invites you to think about it. Afterlife was much more like that than ATC’s fart and queef jokes or flying middle fingers.
#4965626
RichardLess wrote: January 18th, 2022, 10:18 am I get that many of you want to see the franchise go beyond the OGB’s. But like seeing an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford or, ya know, Indiana Jones, I’m just not interested. Ghostbusters is those characters to me. If you can work it like Extreme Ghostbusters? Ok. Maybe. But I think the moment this franchise leaves the 84 stuff behind, and it will(it already tried), that’ll be it for me unless the new movie manages to do the impossible.
You're hoping for something you're never going to get and, personally, I think you're holding it unfairly against GB:A. You were never going to get a movie that was chock full of the original crew once we got past... probably the early 2000s? The original is a revered classic and I fully understand why but you are absolutely kidding yourself if you think they'd ever be able to re-capture that magnificent lightening in a bottle moment ever again, especially nearly 40 years later now. The same exact group of core minds tried only five years after that original and couldn't come close!

GB:A is an amazingly heartfelt, passionate project that tells a new story set in a world that's already been developed. It doesn't have to be a comedy and quite frankly I'm glad it doesn't strive to be a laugh-a-minute riot. It has its funnier lines and most of the cast bring tremendous comedic timing and chops to the film. This film is about a young person finding themselves, discovering their legacy and forging their own future. It wasn't about making sure we got scenes with Ray tinkering with the proton packs while Winston smokes a cigarette and they talk about a new Bible verse or Peter getting whisked away from his teaching job in a scene that has virtually no plot ties. They're complimentary pieces of the plot who get their set up with the jail call scene and then get paid off with doing their part of helping to save the day at the end of the film. I grew up adoring these characters and wanting to be them so seeing them return in full protonic power gave me goosebumps and I think their parts were absolutely nailed but they are totally just the cherry on top of this film's sundae.

If anything Afterlife leaned too much into the 84 stuff. Enough time has passed that I don't fully hate the re-inclusion of Gozer or the repeating of the Keymaster/Gatekeeper set up but it would shine so much brighter if it was just wholly more original while still tipping its hat to the originals in more subtle ways. I think of the excitement and originality on full display during the Muncher chase and how I believe that's one of the greatest moments in this franchise's entire history and I want an entire movie brimming with that originality!

I feel like I'm rambling but I feel like I need to defend this film somewhat. I have the logo tattooed on my shoulder, I've waited just as long as anyone has to see a continuation of this world that I love so much on a deeply moralistic and philosophical level and once I got it I absolutely loved it. It's not perfect and I wouldn't claim it is but I seriously get bummed out when I come on here hoping to share in that joy but read negative reviews about how this film suffers because we didn't cram the OGs in to a story they really don't have that much stake in. The story would work just as well with the Spengler family saving the day by themselves but I'm stoked we got to see Ray, Peter and Winston help save the day one final time.

That's not to say everyone has to love the film, far from it. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, obviously. Just doing my best to grapple with my own emotions and those of some of the posters here. At the end of the day I'm not going to be losing anything when I love Afterlife.
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#4965660
Cory Levy wrote: January 18th, 2022, 8:22 pm
RichardLess wrote: January 18th, 2022, 10:18 am I get that many of you want to see the franchise go beyond the OGB’s. But like seeing an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford or, ya know, Indiana Jones, I’m just not interested. Ghostbusters is those characters to me. If you can work it like Extreme Ghostbusters? Ok. Maybe. But I think the moment this franchise leaves the 84 stuff behind, and it will(it already tried), that’ll be it for me unless the new movie manages to do the impossible.
You're hoping for something you're never going to get and, personally, I think you're holding it unfairly against GB:A. You were never going to get a movie that was chock full of the original crew once we got past... probably the early 2000s? The original is a revered classic and I fully understand why but you are absolutely kidding yourself if you think they'd ever be able to re-capture that magnificent lightening in a bottle moment ever again, especially nearly 40 years later now. The same exact group of core minds tried only five years after that original and couldn't come close!

GB:A is an amazingly heartfelt, passionate project that tells a new story set in a world that's already been developed. It doesn't have to be a comedy and quite frankly I'm glad it doesn't strive to be a laugh-a-minute riot. It has its funnier lines and most of the cast bring tremendous comedic timing and chops to the film. This film is about a young person finding themselves, discovering their legacy and forging their own future. It wasn't about making sure we got scenes with Ray tinkering with the proton packs while Winston smokes a cigarette and they talk about a new Bible verse or Peter getting whisked away from his teaching job in a scene that has virtually no plot ties. They're complimentary pieces of the plot who get their set up with the jail call scene and then get paid off with doing their part of helping to save the day at the end of the film. I grew up adoring these characters and wanting to be them so seeing them return in full protonic power gave me goosebumps and I think their parts were absolutely nailed but they are totally just the cherry on top of this film's sundae.

If anything Afterlife leaned too much into the 84 stuff. Enough time has passed that I don't fully hate the re-inclusion of Gozer or the repeating of the Keymaster/Gatekeeper set up but it would shine so much brighter if it was just wholly more original while still tipping its hat to the originals in more subtle ways. I think of the excitement and originality on full display during the Muncher chase and how I believe that's one of the greatest moments in this franchise's entire history and I want an entire movie brimming with that originality!

I feel like I'm rambling but I feel like I need to defend this film somewhat. I have the logo tattooed on my shoulder, I've waited just as long as anyone has to see a continuation of this world that I love so much on a deeply moralistic and philosophical level and once I got it I absolutely loved it. It's not perfect and I wouldn't claim it is but I seriously get bummed out when I come on here hoping to share in that joy but read negative reviews about how this film suffers because we didn't cram the OGs in to a story they really don't have that much stake in. The story would work just as well with the Spengler family saving the day by themselves but I'm stoked we got to see Ray, Peter and Winston help save the day one final time.

That's not to say everyone has to love the film, far from it. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, obviously. Just doing my best to grapple with my own emotions and those of some of the posters here. At the end of the day I'm not going to be losing anything when I love Afterlife.
I’m not holding anything against GBA other than it’s own story problems. The OGB’s are shoehorned into this movie. Having them show up the way they do kinda messes with the films MOJO. Did I love seeing them again? Of course. So you have two options. Either give them meaningful supporting roles, which I think would IMPROVE this film immensely, or don’t have them at all(which is a bad idea).

Yes this film is about the Spengler family. And it would’ve been very interesting if it had commented on the Spengler family he left behind and the one we know more about(the Ghostbusters). I don’t think we need another half hour of OGB scenes. But we need to see Ray going to Peter and Winston. We need to see them suiting up and making that choice. Showing up the way they do? It’s bad. It’s poor storytelling. The filmmakers were thinking the audience would be so preoccupied with “oh my god it’s the OGB’s! Awesome” that they wouldn’t think “uh wait a minute. Didn’t Ray say Egon took all the equipment?”. I can write 3 or 4 versions of that scene where the OGB’s show up and it’s a major improvement over what we got. I shouldn’t be able to say that with any sense of confidence what so ever.

“Egon Spengler can rot in hell” is not Ray Stanz. The film fundamentally gets the character relationship of Egon and Ray wrong. Ray didn’t believe Egon? What? Come on. Ray would be there chasing after Egon in a heartbeat. Which is why I think having Ray in the Grooberson role could fix ALOT of issues I have with the movie.

Here’s the thing. I really like the new characters. I enjoy the film. The problems with the film are all in it’s need to be slavishly devoted to the 1984 film. Having Gozer come back is a mistake, having the OGB’s in the film as it exists now is a mistake. The mini pufts are adorable and I like them but I also know they make no sense as presented in the film. And the fix would be been so effing easy that it hurts to think about. Egon kept some of the Marshmellow goo/Ecto plasm. When Gozer comes back? They reform into mini pufts. Boom. Problem solved. Instead they have them as a cheap call back when we know the only reason why…ugh. Never mind. I’m tired of talking about the same points over and over.

I have a major problem with how this movie is being framed by Jason Reitman. Saying things like “it’s the greatest Easter egg hunt ever made”. No. Just..no. Screw the Easter eggs. Focus on the script. Or the “The first movie ends in an explosion, this one ends in a hug” made me throw up in my mouth. It’s so saccharine, so…not Ghostbusters.

As for you saying the film doesn’t have to be a comedy, well, I disagree. Ghostbusters is a comedic franchise. Yes it has sci fi and gadgets but…it’s a comedy. Not making Ghostbusters a comedy is, again, so not Ghostbusters. And yes I get not everyone here sees this franchise as a comedy. They are in it for the packs, tools, mythology and Ghostbusting. I get it. That’s cool. But thats not the intent of the film.

And you saying that we don’t need a scene where Peter is whisked away for a scene that has no plot ties. Did we watch the same movie? You realize the OGB’s are part of the plot. They show up. They do stuff. And frankly, the idea that “plot” is the only reason for a scene to exist is always something that’s driven me crazy. Plot is the superficial part of the movie. It’s ok to have scenes that don’t move the plot forward. They can reveal character, establish tone, or work on a thematic level. Having Peter whisked away from his teaching job does move the plot tho. Or it could. That’s where being an academy award nominated screenwriter couldve come into play.

There’s a million ways to tell any given story. The way they told this one? Is extremely flawed and it didn’t have to be. Ghostbusters is an irreverent comedy franchise. Making it a serious drama where the audience should be in tears at the end? I think as a tribute to Harold Ramis it’s pretty thoughtless. Ramis would’ve gone for the laugh. Everytime. Having the movie end like E.T. it doesn’t work for me. I’m glad it worked for you.
#4965668
RichardLess wrote: There’s a million ways to tell any given story. The way they told this one? Is extremely flawed and it didn’t have to be. Ghostbusters is an irreverent comedy franchise. Making it a serious drama where the audience should be in tears at the end? I think as a tribute to Harold Ramis it’s pretty thoughtless. Ramis would’ve gone for the laugh. Everytime. Having the movie end like E.T. it doesn’t work for me. I’m glad it worked for you.
Good post but I just want to add Ghostbusters can be an irreverent comedy with serious drama and a tearjerker ending. This is one of the things those big 80's blockbusters did so well - juggling sudden shifts in tone.

I don't think Afterlife does so badly at this - and I have been harsher on it than I maybe needed to be. The new Scream suffered similar problems in it's handling of the OG cast. I reaaaally want access to all the Afterlife material to cut my own version - I'm looking forward to that a ton. While we wait I'm going to trim the movie down close to 100 minutes and try to soften the sound cues and callbacks.

Side note: cannot believe they built the farmhouse yet didn't blow it up at the end Poltergeist style.
Last edited by Chicken, He Clucked on February 13th, 2022, 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
#4965727
Wow. Ray being the teacher instead of Grooberson is a great idea. It solves two major issues I had with the movie: (1) Ray saying "Egon Spengler can burn in hell" is out of character, and now he is in Summerville, helping Egon, while working as a teacher to help pay the bills/fund the investigation into the Shandor mine; (2) With Ray being in the film more, we can get more background information on how the ghostbusters went out of business and where Venkman and Zeddemore are now, without having an awkward phone call from jail. It might even solve an issue with Egon ditching his family. Instead, just say Egon had a kid in between GB1 and GB2, but the relationship with the mother didn't work out. Perhaps you make Grooberson the hardware store owner, who asks Callie out on a date. Then the two of them get possessed.

I liked Afterlife, but the more I think about it, the more it would have benefited from a few more rewrites.
Wafflerobot liked this
#4965729
One of the things I thought was: "Well, for a story about the Spengler family it tells very little about that family".

That's why I hope that they cut what they cut because they already had a rough outline of the next Ghostbusters and decided to use those bits in the next movie.

Jason said that he was preparing to take a year off to do some rewrites on the script, Sony instead greenlighted it almost immediately. Maybe that year was what the movie needed.
Sav C liked this
#4965733
RichardLess wrote: January 19th, 2022, 8:02 am “Egon Spengler can rot in hell” is not Ray Stanz. The film fundamentally gets the character relationship of Egon and Ray wrong. Ray didn’t believe Egon? What? Come on. Ray would be there chasing after Egon in a heartbeat.
For sure, Afterlife could have easily told the same basic story without turning Egon into a crazed loner and the dramatic falling out with Ray. All they needed to give us was that the GBs went out of business sometime after GB2 and drifted apart over the next 30 years (makes enough sense). Perhaps Egon eventually "retired" to Summerville with some of the equipment to research the mine for his own interest, and whether he found more than he expected or his presence inadvertently set something in motion, he had to act fast and died before he could send for help. That's all they really needed to establish, Phoebe puts the pieces together with Grooberson and Podcast and her call to Ray is what brings the GBs back. It leads to the same outcome, only without manufacturing this backstory that doesn't seem to fit Egon or Ray's characters.
For a movie that's not primarily focused on the remaining GBs, it seems to go out of its way to stir the pot with their history.

That said, I don't see how Ray in Grooberson's role solves the problem - why would Ray be casually teaching at a summer school if Egon had just recently died? Wouldn't he be sounding the alarms and calling in Winston and Peter? It would bypass the whole point of the kids putting the pieces together.
Wafflerobot liked this
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