Discuss all things Ghostbusters here, unless they would be better suited in one of the few forums below.
#4900974
JurorNo.2 wrote:
RichardLess wrote:
Right and, again, I get that this is *your* opinion. We've covered this ground before.
The storytelling rules it doesn't follow is A: there is no theme and B: No character arc for main characters. Otherwise what rules are you talking about? It's told in 3 acts, good guys win, Guy gets the girl. We have the audience surrogate in Winston, the montage showing progress, the government villian. Those are standard movie storytelling tropes. The unusual part is that they do it without a theme or character arc for the main characters.
The theme is the underdogs triumphing over the establishment. Also an immature guy taking responsibility. The difference is, unlike a lot of movies, Ghostbusters doesn't hit you over the head with these themes with a lot of pathos or contrived mid movie conflicts.
Yeah that isn't the theme. The establishment literally asks them "what do you need from me?" Walter Peck is one dude with an axe to grind. And an immature guy taking responsibility is not what happens to Venkman (maybe you are mixing up Stripes with Ghostbusters). Can you point to me where Venkman takes responsibility for something?
#4900975
Marcus B wrote:
JurorNo.2 wrote: The theme is the underdogs triumphing over the establishment. Also an immature guy taking responsibility. The difference is, unlike a lot of movies, Ghostbusters doesn't hit you over the head with these themes with a lot of pathos or contrived mid movie conflicts.
I don't think they really triumph over the establishment. Walter Peck maybe, but he's a small obstacle really.

The Mayor calls them in for a meeting and ultimately sides with them.. but he requested their release from jail in the first place so they could be there. If the meeting were more mundane.. let's say it was about exterminators for a city building and what company to go with or whether it was needed at all.. did that company triumph over the establishment? I don't think so.

Venkman doesn't seem to change throughout the film.

I know this probably doesn't count, but GB2 kind of proves they didn't triumph over the establishment and that Venkman never changed.
Crap I should've read this post first before posting.

Anyways, yeah. What he said.
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By Marcus B
#4901020
timeware wrote:Venkman's character may not change in GB2. He does however, change Oscars diaper if that count's at all.
We also know that part of a slinky, once coiled, is now straight. Best story arc in the whole franchise.
Last edited by Marcus B on November 16th, 2017, 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Alphagaia
#4901021
TBH, GB2 has real arcs and themes, with the peace/2 sign on their car, the moodslime, people being nice and Venkman trying to turn a new leaf.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901148
Marcus B wrote:
I don't think they really triumph over the establishment. Walter Peck maybe, but he's a small obstacle really.
They triumph over the establishment of science that mocked them and called them fakes, both Columbia and the EPA which Peck represents.
The Mayor calls them in for a meeting and ultimately sides with them
It doesn't just happen though, they have to convince him.
but he requested their release from jail in the first place so they could be there.
Well he wanted to talk to them. He was also leaning towards siding with Peck at the start of the meeting.
I know this probably doesn't count, but GB2 kind of proves they didn't triumph over the establishment and that Venkman never changed.
It shows that life is complicated. In life, you don't just win and then never have to fight for yourself again. In life you constantly have to justify yourself to others, that doesn't stop. The establishment and Venkman are works in progress. That's far more meaningful than the typical happy ending of a movie that's about "something." ;)
RichardLess wrote:
Alphagaia wrote:TBH, GB2 has real arcs and themes, with the peace/2 sign on their car, the moodslime, people being nice and Venkman trying to turn a new leaf.
GB2 is has a theme and an arc. Totally.
GB2 is more conventional storytelling, hence the themes are more recognizable.
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By RichardLess
#4901157
JurorNo.2 wrote:
Marcus B wrote:
I don't think they really triumph over the establishment. Walter Peck maybe, but he's a small obstacle really.
They triumph over the establishment of science that mocked them and called them fakes, both Columbia and the EPA which Peck represents.
The Mayor calls them in for a meeting and ultimately sides with them
It doesn't just happen though, they have to convince him.
but he requested their release from jail in the first place so they could be there.
Well he wanted to talk to them. He was also leaning towards siding with Peck at the start of the meeting.
I know this probably doesn't count, but GB2 kind of proves they didn't triumph over the establishment and that Venkman never changed.
It shows that life is complicated. In life, you don't just win and then never have to fight for yourself again. In life you constantly have to justify yourself to others, that doesn't stop. The establishment and Venkman are works in progress. That's far more meaningful than the typical happy ending of a movie that's about "something." ;)
RichardLess wrote:
GB2 is has a theme and an arc. Totally.
GB2 is more conventional storytelling, hence the themes are more recognizable.
GB2 is almost a carbon copy of the first films storytelling techniques. More conventional? How? Because it has a...theme? Lol
Anywho, It seems like you are confusing plot with theme. For example: People start a business in this film, but business and economics are not the theme. Triumphing over the establishment is not the theme, why? Because the 3rd act does not depend on it. Gozer does not represent the establishment(perhaps in the original script there was that idea when Gozer walks out in a business suit..but not in the film we see now. Ands it'd still be a stretch to consider that the theme methinks). Perhaps if the mayor sequence taken place at the END of the movie, you might, possibly, maybe, have the tiniest of a fraction of a theme. But it's still grasping at straws in my opinion. A theme needs to recur for it be considered a theme. Triumphing over the establishment doesn't really happen, except with Peck. And as we learn in the sequel, it's hardly a triumph at all is it? They get kicked out of the school, but there is no triumph over that institution. We don't see those characters again.

You want a movie about triumphing over the establishment as the theme? Check out "All the Presidents Men" or "Insider" or "Captain America Winter Solider" or "Erin Brokevich" or "Star Wars". "Ghostbusters" does not fit in with those movies in anyway.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901164
Before we begin, I just want you to know, I'm having a wonderful time. ;)
RichardLess wrote:
GB2 is almost a carbon copy of the first films storytelling techniques.
Nah, GB2 hits you over the head more with the themes of positivity and Venkman taking responsibility. That doesn't mean it's bad, I love the movie. It just is a lot less subtle. Here's another example. In the first movie, Ray is the one who chooses the destructer. While it's not out right said, we can gather that it's because he's the most open and suggestible of the four. They kinda do the same thing in GB2 except it's just literally mind control. Similar idea, less subtle (again, doesn't mean I don't like GB2).
Anywho, It seems like you are confusing plot with theme. For example: People start a business in this film, but business and economics are not the theme.
The plot is a tool to tell a theme. And I'd say economics is certainly one of the themes, as it was in many 80s films.
Triumphing over the establishment is not the theme, why? Because the 3rd act does not depend on it.
Well that's what I mean when I say GB doesn't go for contrived mid movie conflicts. A theme doesn't have to be something you can point to and say "It happened on page 169, therefore that's the theme." A theme is something more all encompassing.
Gozer does not represent the establishment
No but Gozer isn't really the arch villain of the movie either. Yes, she's the big boss at the end but the one with all the drama and chemistry with our heroes is Peck.
A theme needs to recur for it be considered a theme.
Well a lot of people here have pointed out that it does.
Triumphing over the establishment doesn't really happen, except with Peck.
So I'm not right, except when I am. :D
And as we learn in the sequel, it's hardly a triumph at all is it?
Already addressed both these points in other posts.
Ghostbusters" does not fit in with those movies in anyway.
I'm not sure why you're THAT adamant about it. Harold Ramis is a co-writer of the movie and his shtick was underdogs mocking and triumphing over the establishment. It's not a stretch that this script would have those earmarks as well. And he didn't follow story conventions either. Most screenwriters would have had the Deltas redeeming themselves somehow by the end. But that decidedly is not the case in the actual film, lol. And Dan Aykroyd, as a believer in ghosts and UFOs, etc., would be very familiar with the skepticism of establishment science.
Last edited by JurorNo.2 on November 21st, 2017, 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#4901165
JurorNo.2 wrote:Before we begin, I just want you to know, I'm having a wonderful time with this debate. ;)
RichardLess wrote:
GB2 is almost a carbon copy of the first films storytelling techniques.
Nah, GB2 hits you over the head more with the themes of positivity and Venkman taking responsibility. That doesn't mean it's bad, I love the movie. It just is a lot less subtle.
Anywho, It seems like you are confusing plot with theme. For example: People start a business in this film, but business and economics are not the theme.
The plot is a tool to tell a theme. And I'd say economics is certainly one of the themes, as it was in many 80s films.
Triumphing over the establishment is not the theme, why? Because the 3rd act does not depend on it.
Well that's what I mean when I say the movie doesn't go for contrived mid movie conflicts. Anyway, a theme isn't something you can point to and say "It happened on page 169, therefore that's the theme." A theme is something more all encompassing.
Gozer does not represent the establishment
No but Gozer isn't really the arch villain of the movie either. Yes, she's the big boss at the end but the one with all the drama and chemistry with our heroes is Peck.
Perhaps if the mayor sequence taken place at the END of the movie
It is very much towards the end of the movie, let's not nitpick.
A theme needs to recur for it be considered a theme.
Well a lot of people here have pointed out that it does.
Triumphing over the establishment doesn't really happen, except with Peck.
So I'm not right, except when I am. :D
And as we learn in the sequel, it's hardly a triumph at all is it?
Already addressed both these points.
Ghostbusters" does not fit in with those movies in anyway.
I'm just not sure why you're THAT adamant about it. Harold Ramis is a co-writer of the movie and his shtick was underdogs mocking and triumphing over the establishment.
I don't know, I feel like we are just going in circles. And in most movies? You can't break the mold on what a definition of a word means. You just can't do that. Theme means something that recurs. That's it.
And you can say you've addressed points all day long, that doesn't mean they aren't valid.

Also, you can't say something that takes place twenty minutes-half an hour before the actual end of movie is a nitpick. Either it takes place at the end, or it doesn't. The climax is the climax. This is where the crux of theme is nailed home. And you can say "well that just proves how different ghostbusters is at breaking the mold" until the cows come home because it just isn't true. Besides the no arc and theme thing, which you are arguing against I might add, Ghostbusters is a standard 3 act film. There is nothing, zero, zip new or mold breaking done in its narrative structure EXCEPT for what you are arguing against(which is kind of ironic since you keep saying how different it is)

Edit: it seems you've since edited your post since I first read it and removed the part about the no recurring theme is breaking the mold, and changed it to what it is now. Just want to make that clear incase anyone is confused.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901166
RichardLess wrote:

I don't know, I feel like we are just going in circles. And in most movies? You can't break the mold on what a definition of a word means. You just can't do that. Theme means something that recurs. That's it.
And you can say you've addressed points all day long, that doesn't mean they aren't valid.

Also, you can't say something that takes place twenty minutes-half an hour before the actual end of movie is a nitpick. Either it takes place at the end, or it doesn't. The climax is the climax. This is where the crux of theme is nailed home. And you can say "well that just proves how different ghostbusters is at breaking the mold" until the cows come home because it just isn't true. Besides the no arc and theme thing, which you are arguing against I might add, Ghostbusters is a standard 3 act film. There is nothing, zero, zip new or mold breaking done in its narrative structure EXCEPT for what you are arguing against(which is kind of ironic since you keep saying how different it is)
Look, it's obvious you know the rules of story telling very well. I'm just saying there are occasions where screenwriters and directors have successfully broken those rules. Look at Animal House. Most screenwriters would have had the Deltas redeeming themselves somehow by the end, but obviously that doesn't happen. The movie mocks anyone for expecting it! The Blues Brothers have their big character arc at the very start of the movie. Everything after that is what would conventionally be called "falling action." The rules say that shouldn't work and yet it does.

And again, I'm just not sure why you're so adamant that there's "nothing zero zip." I mean, are you defending the movie? Are you criticizing? I can't even tell.
Edit: it seems you've since edited your post since I first read it and removed the part about the no recurring theme is breaking the mold, and changed it to what it is now. Just want to make that clear incase anyone is confused.
Yeah sorry, I just thought it would be cleaner to point out that themes are all encompassing.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901169
Marcus B wrote:Personally, I'm just in awe that it works so well while doing everything "wrong".
I think we agree, even if we're coming at it from different directions. ;) You're saying there's no themes, I'm saying they're just told differently.
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#4901170
JurorNo.2 wrote:
RichardLess wrote:

I don't know, I feel like we are just going in circles. And in most movies? You can't break the mold on what a definition of a word means. You just can't do that. Theme means something that recurs. That's it.
And you can say you've addressed points all day long, that doesn't mean they aren't valid.

Also, you can't say something that takes place twenty minutes-half an hour before the actual end of movie is a nitpick. Either it takes place at the end, or it doesn't. The climax is the climax. This is where the crux of theme is nailed home. And you can say "well that just proves how different ghostbusters is at breaking the mold" until the cows come home because it just isn't true. Besides the no arc and theme thing, which you are arguing against I might add, Ghostbusters is a standard 3 act film. There is nothing, zero, zip new or mold breaking done in its narrative structure EXCEPT for what you are arguing against(which is kind of ironic since you keep saying how different it is)
Look, it's obvious you know the rules of story telling very well. I'm just saying there are occasions where screenwriters and directors have successfully broken those rules. Look at Animal House. Most screenwriters would have had the Deltas redeeming themselves somehow by the end, but obviously that doesn't happen. The movie mocks anyone for expecting it! The Blues Brothers have their big character arc at the very start of the movie. Everything after that is what would conventionally be called "falling action." The rules say that shouldn't work and yet it does.

And again, I'm just not sure why you're so adamant that there's "nothing zero zip." I mean, are you defending the movie? Are you criticizing? I can't even tell.
Edit: it seems you've since edited your post since I first read it and removed the part about the no recurring theme is breaking the mold, and changed it to what it is now. Just want to make that clear incase anyone is confused.
Yeah sorry, I just thought it would be cleaner to point out that themes are all encompassing.
Ghostbusters is my favourite movie of all time. Of all time. Now, that being said, it's not exactly Pulp Fiction. What I mean by that is it is a very conventionally told movie(as well it should be. It's told exactly the right way for the kind of film it is). I'm not criticizing it, I'm just defending it against what I feel it isn't. Does it break rules? Hell yes. It breaks MAJOR rules. The rules we are debating against in this very thread. Beyond that? It's just the great movie it is.

As far as Animal House is concerned, Delta House is the hero of the film. You think they need to be redeemed? That would make the film completely uncool. Any writer that would redeem them would be a fool.

It's funny you mention Blues Brothers. I was going to mention it when you said something about Harold Ramis being known for the under dog overcoming the establishment theme. I was going to mention, well what about Dan Aykroyd? I was trying to think of the character arc for the brothers, and once again, I'm not sure there is one. What would their arc be? Jake and Elwood are pretty much after the same thing for the entire film. They don't change. So maybe that's a Dan Aykroyd staple? Is there something obvious I'm missing? Now Blues Brothers does have a theme, which is "faith will be rewarded" or something along those lines. But a character arc? Hmmm. I don't know. I can't think of one. I guess Jake starts out not wanting to see the Penquin and needs to see the light to see the way, that could be a small arc during the first act. Hmmm.
By Marcus B
#4901171
JurorNo.2 wrote:
Marcus B wrote:Personally, I'm just in awe that it works so well while doing everything "wrong".
I think we agree, even if we're coming at it from different directions. ;) You're saying there's no themes, I'm saying they're just told differently.
I just think the movie has ideas of themes (anti-Regulation, anti-establishment) but it never really resolves them in a meaningful way, in my opinion.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901172
RichardLess wrote:
Ghostbusters is my favourite movie of all time. Of all time. Now, that being said, it's not exactly Pulp Fiction. What I mean by that is it is a very conventionally told movie(as well it should be. It's told exactly the right way for the kind of film it is). I'm not criticizing it, I'm just defending it against what I feel it isn't. Does it break rules? Hell yes. It breaks MAJOR rules. The rules we are debating against in this very thread. Beyond that? It's just the great movie it is.
Cool, that's what I figured, I just wasn't sure where we were going.
Any writer that would redeem them would be a fool.
Oh I agree. And it happens far too often in Hollywood movies, that's my point.
when you said something about Harold Ramis being known for the under dog overcoming the establishment theme. I was going to mention, well what about Dan Aykroyd?
Oh yeah, I just brought up Ramis because a lot of his movies at that time had that recurring theme. And I also added that a believer in the supernatural like Aykroyd might view establishment science as keeping the truth hidden.
I was trying to think of the character arc for the brothers, and once again, I'm not sure there is one. What would their arc be? Jake and Elwood are pretty much after the same thing for the entire film. They don't change.
They change at the start of the movie. We know Jake just got out of prison and we know they have no problem stealing. They're extremely..."fallen" individuals. The arc is when they "see the light," realizing they have the power within them to get the money honestly. That's a realization that would usually happen in the middle or even at the end of a story; like in Wizard of Oz "Oh you always had the power to get home!" But in Blues Brothers it happens at the start, that is quite atypical.
Now Blues Brothers does have a theme, which is "faith will be rewarded" or something along those lines.
I think that's exactly right. They know as an absolute fact that their mission will not fail because it's an inherently good one. That's their strength.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901173
Marcus B wrote:
JurorNo.2 wrote:
I think we agree, even if we're coming at it from different directions. ;) You're saying there's no themes, I'm saying they're just told differently.
I just think the movie has ideas of themes (anti-Regulation, anti-establishment) but it never really resolves them in a meaningful way, in my opinion.
Well this is where I think it gets interesting. I think if we were all believers in ghosts, UFOs, etc., that theme might be more apparent. But instead, people tend to defend the EPA in the movie, because we're used to seeing them as a positive force.
By Marcus B
#4901174
JurorNo.2 wrote: Well this is where I think it gets interesting. I think if we were all believers in ghosts, UFOs, etc., that theme might be more apparent. But instead, people tend to defend the EPA in the movie, because we're used to seeing them as a positive force.
I also think an anti-Regulation theme is not clear because it seems more personal between Venkman/Peck than anything else. I mean, Peck comes in and right away Venkman puts slime on his hand and suit. It's funny, but if this were real life, Venkman's a jerk.
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By JurorNo.2
#4901175
Marcus B wrote:
JurorNo.2 wrote: Well this is where I think it gets interesting. I think if we were all believers in ghosts, UFOs, etc., that theme might be more apparent. But instead, people tend to defend the EPA in the movie, because we're used to seeing them as a positive force.
I also think an anti-Regulation theme is not clear because it seems more personal between Venkman/Peck than anything else. I mean, Peck comes in and right away Venkman puts slime on his hand and suit. It's funny, but if this were real life, Venkman's a jerk.
Well this is a very old comedy device. Our comedy hero can instinctively suss out who the square is before they even speak, lol. And again, if you know ghosts exist, and the EPA says you're lying, then Peck is the jerk.
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By Alphagaia
#4901176
They are both jerks. Hilarity ensues.
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By Marcus B
#4901180
RichardLess wrote:
Any writer that would redeem them would be a fool.
JurorNo.2 wrote:Oh I agree. And it happens far too often in Hollywood movies, that's my point.
The end to Stripes always bugs me because they are treated like heroes, when they caused the whole mess in the first place. Obviously, it's just a comedy, but this ending is a bit out of nowhere. It's like if The Blues Brothers had a ticker tape parade through Chicago instead of them going to jail.
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#4901181
Marcus B wrote:
RichardLess wrote:
Any writer that would redeem them would be a fool.
JurorNo.2 wrote:Oh I agree. And it happens far too often in Hollywood movies, that's my point.
The end to Stripes always bugs me because they are treated like heroes, when they caused the whole mess in the first place. Obviously, it's just a comedy, but this ending is a bit out of nowhere. It's like if The Blues Brothers had a ticker tape parade through Chicago instead of them going to jail.
The ending of Stripes has always been infamously not well regarded. The whole tank thing seems like it comes from another movie(it's even mention in the terrific Paul Feig show "Freaks & Geeks" ). I still enjoy it and it's funny but the ending has always been an issue.

"Lighten up Francis" is a common saying between my friends when someone is getting a bit too, well, Francis. Warren Oates is great in that film. God I miss John Candy. I was just watching Planes Trains & Automobiles and wow. What a great movie. Hilarious yet sentimental, in a good way. John Hughes too. What a legend
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#4938124
Yeah, it's a fun little read. Look at all of us having a fun, civil discussion and throwing in some jokes as well.

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