Feb 15 2012

3 Great Things About Ghostbusters That Have Nothing to Do with Bill Murray


There’s been a lot of talk about the upcoming/rumored/probably-never-going-to-happen Ghostbusters 3. The most recent word is that Dan Aykroyd is so serious about getting the thing made, he’s willing to recast Bill Murray. Of course, that’s a terrible idea, and if Aykroyd actually said that, I doubt he was serious. Even if he was, they got Murray for the damned Ghostbusters video game, so I have trouble believing that he won’t cave and at least film a cameo if this sequel ever actually gets made.

"Just kiddin' folks! Zip ziparooooo!"

But whether it’s true or not, it’s got everybody in an uproar, with some bloggers and commenters going so far as to say that Bill Murray was the only good thing about the film. Now I love(d) Bill Murray. He is a fantastically talented dude who gave us some of the funniest performances in film history. Hasn’t done much for me lately, but whatever. He’s brilliant, and he’s definitely a huge asset to Ghostbusters. But, c’mon people, turn away from your Wes Anderson love shrine for a second. Time for a reality check. Let me remind you of 3 Great Things About Ghostbusters That Have Nothing to Do with Bill Murray:

#3. It’s Got a Damn Good Script
Yes, Bill Murray absolutely improvised extra lines during filming, and the ones that made the final cut are hysterical. But over the years, it’s become popular to believe that Murray just strolled onto the set and said whatever dialog came into his head. Heck, he probably wrote most of the other characters’ lines too, right before inventing modern comedy, then ascending to the heavens on a rocket-cloud made of laughter.

"Guys, in this scene I'm thinkin' we bust ghosts. Cuz it makes me feel good."

Actually, 90% of what you see onscreen can be found right here. That’s the shooting script, and it took several revisions by Aykroyd and Harold Ramis to turn a really basic idea into the tight, funny movie we know and love. And it’s not only funny. Ghostbusters is tense, full of action, and–at times–scary as shit. It’s just a great movie, plain and simple. Bill Murray made it measurably better, but it would have been great even without him.

#2. It’s Fun to Watch
I don’t just mean the effects are good, though they are. I mean it’s well-paced and visually interesting. Take out the funny dialog and you’d still have a decent action/adventure flick with some excellent set pieces.

Our heroes use neat weapons, trash every room they enter, get covered in slime, and drive a pimped out hearse. All while the coolest theme song in movie history plays in the background. Ghostbusters has some truly imaginative action scenes. The thing ends with a battle for all of New York City against a demon and a giant monster from hell (the latter conjured from the mind of one of our heroes) and they end up beating it at the last second with experimental science. Then one of them kisses a girl and they ride into the sunset as the entire city cheers. And those are just the parts of the movie that people DON’T EVEN TALK ABOUT because they’re too busy buying t-shirts that say “Back off man, I’m a scientist”, which, incidentally, is a line that was in the script.

#1 It’s Got a Great Cast That Isn’t Bill Murray
Again, Bill Murray is great. But so is literally everyone else in this movie and they don’t get half the credit he does. You’ve got Aykroyd rattling off paragraphs of rapid-fire psuedo-science with the enthusiasm of a five-year-old, Ramis doing some of the most underrated deadpan comedy in cinema, and of course Rick Moranis who is…just…


So, one last time: Bill Murray is great. I’m talking really really super extra great times infinity levels of greatness. But Ghostbusters is an awesome movie in its own right. He’s the icing, not the cake. Let’s all stop playing into this idea that the man is a hipster god who can do no wrong, and give some credit where credit’s due.

Aug 30 2011

This is my new favorite person on the web

Hi! I'm Christina Ricci and this picture may or may not have something to do with this post. You'll have to read it to find out, you hunk of man cheese, you!

Sorry folks, it’s not the very talented Ms. Ricci.  Nor is it that guy with the website that photoshops Ryan’s head on to Christina Ricci’s body…although I tend to find myself returning to his site on many a lonely night.

I’m actually talking about Gabriel Ruzin over at Shadowlocked who has written an excellent article comparing recent Chevy Chase comments on Vacation and Fletch reboots to Bill Murray’s assholeness.  Obviously, I couldn’t agree more.

Check it out.   


Aug 11 2010

Critical Hit! | Cartoons That Went All Live Action on Us


Just add Jason Lee and call it a day. Hollywood can’t stop turning old cartoons and comics into flesh-and-blood talkin’ pictures.

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Jul 20 2010

Bill Murrary Admits What I Already Knew: He’s an Idiot

Murray in every movie he's made in the last ten years.

I’ve been saying it for years now: Bill Murray doesn’t deserve your respect and high praise.  While other great comedians from the late ’70’s have slowly disappeared in shame over the past decade, Murray has only gained ground for doing nothing more than being a depressed jerk.  Granted, some of my favorites (ahem, Chevy Chase) made some real stinkers during their careers, but did they beat up their wife, claim scripts that they haven’t even read suck, start fights with more successful actors, or make not one, but two Garfield movies? 

Okay, Murray claims he can explain the Garfield movies.  Well, the first one at least.  You see, it turns out that he’s a complete fucking retard.  Don’t believe me?  Here he is describing his decision to do Garfield in his own words from a recent GQ interview.  I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to. 

“I looked at the script, and it said, ‘So-and-so and Joel Coen.’  And I thought…well, I love those Coens!  They’re funny!  So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that.” 

Wait wait wait.  You mean to tell me that Bill Murray, being the stunning hipster god that he his, thought that a script for a movie based off of a daily newspaper comic strip starring a fat, lasagna-loving orange cat was written by the Coen brothers?!  Those of us who can read English know that Garfield was written by Joel Cohen, of Cheaper by the Dozen fame.  But wait!  It gets better!   

See, you would think that Murray, once again being the beyond intelligent voice of hipster comedy that he is, would notice that it wasn’t a Coen brothers film once he started recording the dialogue.  Well, you would think wrong.  In fact, it wasn’t until Murray was watching the film that he noticed something was not quite right.  Here’s Murray with more: 

“So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, ‘Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?’  And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.” 

Seriously, folks.  I kid you not.  Meanwhile, all of this Bill Murray being a complete and utter moron stuff is great, but how does it even begin to explain why he did Garfield 2: A Tail of Two Kitties?  Did he make the same mistake twice?  I’m willing to believe that Bill lied to GQ in this interview just to clear his name, but if that’s true, we can’t ignore the fact that the man still made two Garfield movies…and Larger Than Life.  I don’t see him explaining that one with some nonsensical story about how he thought it was written by Frank Capra. 

Listen, I’ve loved some of Murray’s work just as much as most of you, but let’s not ignore the fact that he’s made just as much crap (if not more) as other comedians of his era.  Sure, you can spend your time calling Chevy and other great comic actors of that time pretentious assholes, but don’t forget the reality here: Bill Murray is an asshole too.  

Or maybe you just started ignoring that at some point. 

via GQ

Jul 1 2010

Judd Apatow to Ruin Pee-wee

He's like the high version of Peter Jackson

I’m under the impression that Judd Apatow is running some sort of Hollywood comedy mafia.  To get any script that is funny made in Hollywood it has to first go through Judd’s office, at which point he adds Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, some random blond, makes everybody get high in at least two scenes, then slaps on an Executive Producer credit for himself.  Seriously, kids.  Apatow accounts for almost half of the comedies that make it to theaters these days.

Which means that it was only a matter of time before he ruined something dear to me.  Sure, we already know that he’s handling Ghostbusters 3: Starring Bill Murray, but why the flippin’ fuck is he now taking Pee-wee from me too?

Yes, according to Pee-wee’s Twitter account and E! online, Judd is going to produce the new Pee-wee film.  Granted, I’m going to see the movie.  Heck, I may even see it two or three times.  But that’s not the point.  The point is Apatow needs to back off ’80’s franchises that were fine to begin with.

I would say more, but I’m afraid Apatow’s comedy mafia might threaten to make Funny People 2: Starring Bill Murray as Seth Rogan.

(Thanks to CE! reader Olivia for the tip)

Dec 11 2009

Ghostbusters 3 Officially Sucks


While doing press rounds for Avatar it appears that Sigourney Weaver accidentally spilled the beans about a major plot point in the upcoming Ghostbusters 3.  I give you her exact quote:

“I might be in it; I see nothing wrong with being in it, although I don’t think I will have a big part. I think Bill Murray has a little more to do with it – he’s a ghost.”

Wow…really, Ghostbusters 3?  Are you aware that you haven’t even gone into production yet and you’ve succeeded at raping the characters that I loved all through my childhood?  I blame Judd Apatow.

Read the rest of what she said (Including the future of baby Oscar!) here.

Aug 9 2009

Critical End! (The Podcast) #20: It’s actually 23 flavors


It’s our 20th episode and we mostly talk about soda. REVIEWED: Year One. PLUS: Our early years as IMDb contributors revealed.

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Mar 30 2009

“Ghostbusters 3” Really Trying to Suck

Between films, Ramis loves to dress up as "that dude from Cast Away"

Between films Ramis loves to dress up as "that dude from Cast Away"

The ink hasn’t even dried on the first draft of Ghostbusters 3 yet and it’s already sucking.  Granted, it’s hard to judge a movie that at this point isn’t even fully on paper, but from what HAS been confirmed, this is most likely going to suck.  I can think of three reasons right now:

1. According to an interview that Harold Ramis gave MTV, “there will be young ghostbusters.” I hate the whole sequel where the awesome people from the first films now play old fat people who sit in a room and give advice until the third act when they finally put the uniform back on thing.  I mean, why even bother?  In my own happy little world (Loganland, if you will) the original Ghostbusters are ageless and Bill Murray never became a hipster icon (more on that in a sec).

2. Judd Apatow is producing.  I think this one explains itself.  I’m kind of surprised that he isn’t producing Crank 2 as well.  I’m sure he’s working on it.

3. You knew it was coming…ahem…a few words on Bill Murray:  I’m not quite sure when (I’m thinking after he didn’t get an Oscar nom for Rushmore), but at some point Hollywood and the movie going public finally begin to realize that Bill Murray is, quite frankly, a complete asshole.  On top of that, his entire “I only do films where I get to look at the camera and be depressed” schtick got old about fourteen films ago.  The only people I know who still like the man all wear skinny jeans and love to use the word “indie” to describe every DVD and CD in their collection.  Oddly enough, these same people have never seen or heard of Caddyshack.

My favorite scene in "Broken Flowers"

My favorite scene in "Broken Flowers"

Even Ramis himself is getting in on some of the Murray bashing.  In the same MTV interview, Ramis joked that “Bill Murray is just waiting for the truckload of money to arrive to get him out of his office.”  He went on to say that while he has talked exclusively to Aykroyd about the film, he has yet to speak to Murray.  He must be too busy working on Wes Anderson’s newest film Depressed Brothers With Daddy Issues.

What was I talking about again?  Oh yeah, Ghostbusters 3.  I can’t wait.