Hey everyone, it’s another round of Thing You Know! Here’s your Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire review.

Growing up GenX was both a blessing and curse as an avid movie lover. A blessing because I got to grow up in probably the most extensive creative output ever put out by Hollywood. A curse because at that young age, I assumed it was normal. It is not. Every damn year put out at least three classic cultural touchstones. Now we’d be lucky to get two a decade.

Seriously, think of all the IP’s that came out during what I call the Spielberg era of movies 1975-1993. I’m not even going to try to list them all, we know them and rewatch them endlessly. Which is why Hollywood is stuck in an 80s morass of used up IP’s. I’m to the point that even if they aren’t actively pissing me off, I still can’t really enjoy them anymore as they are just cynical cashgrabs.

Even the crap we watched in the 80s at least had a certain sincerity around their failure. Take Superman III, a terribly incompetent misfire that still managed to at capture a good performance from Christopher Reeve and at least understand the property it was continuing. I’d rather re-watch it than these new Ghostbusters movies, let alone the originals.

I’d be happy to get something of that sincerity these days. I can say that Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is definitely a much higher quality sequel than the Richard Pryor paycheck but I still enjoyed it less because I know this is just “thing I know.” And I honestly can’t take it anymore. I cannot stand to see another thing from my childhood strip-mined.

The family that busts together has therapy together.

And really, this movie doesn’t deserve the absolute blasting I’m giving it, it’s just another in a long line of “enough already.” To be honest, it’s a perfectly serviceable episode of The Real Ghostbusters. Bringing in a new younger cast and having a more family dynamic rather than the slobs vs snobs aesthetic is probably a way to go. And I do believe that Jason Reitman is trying to do right by this franchise. It’s just too little too late.

Is it better than Afterlife? I’d say so. Afterlife is so plodding until it loses its mind at the end and goes full nostalgia porn. This is better paced, works better in New York, and the story unfolds in a reasonably satisfying way. Whether or not that’s your cup of tea or you want it to be more irreverent is purely a matter of taste. I do sympathize with how difficult it is to go back to the well. Don’t change anything and you got Ghostbusters II. Change too much and everyone complains it doesn’t feel like Ghostbusters.

The biggest problem with Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is there are too many characters. It should’ve just focused on the Spengler family adjusting to life as Ghostbusters. But we have to have Ray Stanz. We have to have Winston and his Ghostbusting laboratory with new scientists. We have to have Jeanne Melnitz because thing you know. We have to have a guy who is the key to everything. We have to have Podcast and Finn Wolfhard’s love interest. We have to have Patton Oswalt do exposition Stanz could’ve just done because… reasons. Oh and side plot with Slimer.

It’s too overstuffed with characters so the main characters don’t get enough time to play out. But it doesn’t collapse under its own weight thankfully. It’s fine. Adequate. Nothing to write home about. Certainly not a cultural touchstone like its predecessor.

That’s what’s got me about all this. Hollywood isn’t going to try new things anymore.  They have all their money tied up in these old decrepit properties. They couldn’t wait to try something new and weird back in those days. But no chances are taken anymore and they keep trying to squeeze blood from dusty turnips.

Speaking of dusty, the older these actors get, the more I just cringe, a word I think is overused to death but really fits. If you were wincing at Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Diarrhea of Destiny, you’ll be positively mortified at watching the withered actors from the original trying to pretend they are fighting ghosts. Seriously guys, enough.

It also isn’t funny. There was one moment when Bill Murray arrived to help out and he finds an old bottle of whiskey he presumably stashed there in the past. Other than that, none of the jokes really landed, though they weren’t groan inducing at least.

Overall what do I score this? I can’t find anything absurdly wrong with it, other than the fact it exists but that’s true for all these properties these days. It didn’t have any real woke nonsense. I’ve heard the stuff about the lesbian ghost romance. Either it was so subtle I just didn’t see it or it only exists in manufactured press releases for maximum attention. Gee, they wouldn’t be that desperate to generate buzz, would they? /sarc

Overall I’d say it’s perfectly fine and forgettable. Nothing that actively angered me, nothing that made me happy. It was there. But that’s not good either, it should make some sort of impression. So…

Screw it. If they can’t be bothered to do anything than retreads, I can’t be bothered to give a score. You guys decide.

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