I'd like to thank Karli for an excellent guest posting on the new Ghostbusters, and, based on her input, I wanted to enlarge on my position regarding the remake.
For me, movie remakes are a little bit like cover versions of songs. If you're not going to make it your own, if you're not going to bring something new to the table, why bother? *
For whatever reason, genre films seem to be targeted for remakes and reboots more than the mainstream: Robocop, Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man, Total Recall, The Time Machine, Batman, Superman, and so on, with the Ghostbusters remake as the latest entry on the list. Some of them refresh and revive the base concept, some don't - how does Ghostbusters score?
I agree with Karli that Ghostbusters was fun, and that the main cast has fabulous chemistry. Kate McKinnon is obviously the next Jim Carrey - let's hope that Hollywood has the good sense to find her a script, hand her the ball, and just let her run with it.
It's also a funny movie, and the selection of cameos from the 1984 cast were a nice nod to the first version.** I completely agree with Karli that Chris Hemsworth's Kevin failed to impress - a little more depth there would have helped to broaden the film.
All that being said, it's not a very different movie than the original version. Do I think that it was worth remaking this movie just to replace the originals with female leads? I would say no - in my mind, that doesn't matter. A movie should be judged on its own merits, regardless of whether the cast is male or female.
However, I think I'm wrong.
Ghostbusters is a noteworthy cultural phenomenon in that there's such a sharp division between the film as such and its position as a feminist milestone. As Karli points out in her posting, it's important that women be shown taking the lead, both as actors and characters - and THAT'S why we needed to see "bitches busting ghosts".
* The Alien Ant Farm version of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal is a prime example of this.
** But where was Rick Moranis? I know he retired from acting in order to raise his children, but surely he could have gotten a babysitter and done a quick hit-and-run appearance at the studio.