Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ecto Cooler & Ghostbusters 2016 REVIEW

Ecto Cooler - Shop Rite ($1.99)
I finally saw the new Ghostbusters! I know, I know, I'm so far behind that all the controversy is over and no one cares, but as a Ghostbusters fan I really wanted to form an opinion for myself. I grabbed a few juiceboxes of Ecto Cooler, and my sister, and headed to the theater for an early morning showing. (I'm frugal a cheapskate and I like to wait for $6.00 showings.)  
First, I'll write up the Ecto Cooler review, then I'll share my thoughts on the movie. (Also, check out this slime background! It's awesome and I'm pretty proud of myself.)
The colors, the Hi-C logo, fruit illustrations...it's like I stepped into a time warp and walked right back into my childhood. Due to the massive amounts of nostalgia and warm fuzzies this packaging gives me, it's hard to really critique it, but I will say... WHERE'S FREAKING SLIMER?!? 
How could you re-release this stuff without him? It seems like they added some oozing slime accents to hide the fact that he's missing, but other than Slimer's absence, these are practically perfect. I'm guessing there might've been a legal issue involving the copyrights of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon or something that prevented a re-print, but even without Slimer, this package is a sight for sore eyes. I just..I love looking at it. It makes me irrationally happy. Unlike some of my foodie colleagues, I rarely hang on to my packages, but I'm making an exception for these babies. 
It looks like the Ecto-Cooler I remember, sans-Slimer, but does it taste the same? 
To be honest, it's been so many years...I can't say I 100% remember how it used to taste. I recall it being sweet and citrus-y, like the syrupy juice found in sliced up Mandarin orange fruit cups, but with a ghostly slime-green color. I remember loving it as a kid, but will I still love it as an adult? 
I unwrapped my straw and stabbed it into my juice box, which is something I didn't think I'd be doing as I neared the end of my 20's, but I still watch cartoons, so it's cool.
My first revelation, juice boxes are so dang small! This is like, 3-4 sips max! Upon my first sip, it tastes a lot sweeter than I remember it being, and less zesty or citrus-y. It's a mild, citrus-flavored sugar water. Like Tang, but good. Like mandarin orange fruit cups but with a hint of tangy tangerine. Sweet, but good! 
I wanted to see if the liquid inside is the same bright green color I remembered so after a few mis-fires trying to squeeze the juice into a glass, I grabbed some scissors and hacked it open for easier pouring. 
Look at this slime-colored sweetness! I recall it being a less vibrant ghoulish shade of green as a kid. This is like, highlighter-green! It's insane, and I love it. It's even brighter against a white background! 
Ecto-Cooler is sweet, mildly citrus-y, and if you grew up drinking this, or seeing it on the shelves, it's well worth the $1.99. I don't know if the flavoring is enough to make a new generation fall in love with this product, so all of us 80's-90's kids better stock up before it returns to the grocery grave. 
I used to write movie reviews back in the days of LiveJournal. It's fun to jump back into it for a moment. 
Get your Twinkies ready, because I got way more into it than I thought I would.
We've all seen the countless articles about the negative feedback this film has received. Part of it was nonsensical rage targeted at the gender swapped cast, but many fans, myself included, were upset that this was a reboot/revival being made over 20 years after the second film wrapped up!   
Unless you're talking about Star Wars and Spiderman, reboots/revivals are always a bad idea. (Emo-Spidey and Jar-Jar Binx? After that you can only go up.) Especially after 20+ years! The original cast are a lot older now, Rick Moranis has pretty much retired from acting, Harold Ramis has passed, and with all our advancements in technology...the cinema is a very different place than it was in the mid 1980's. We look back at the original film and it's a perfect time capsule of 80's practical effects, puppetry, and limited digital graphics. How can we capture the same feeling with a film set in modern times with modern technology? I was aboard the reboot-hate train, until I watched the new 21 Jump Street. 
I watched it on a whim, I think it was on HBO or something late one night, and don't get me wrong, it's no masterpiece, but it gave me hope. They took a plot that was similar to the original, and made it super tongue-in-cheek for fans. It worked! (Well worked well enough to reboot the franchise and make a sequel anyway.) If the new Ghostbusters was anything like that, a cheesy love letter to the fans (at least the ones who can take a joke), I was all for it. 
I got 10:20AM tickets long after the hype had died down (because I'm cheap frugal and anti-social), grabbed my sister, filled my purse with boxes of Ecto-Cooler, and went to the theater to see the movie everyone was whining about. 
I loved it. It's a fluffy popcorn flick that has tons of Easter eggs for the fans of the franchise, cameos from the original crew, tongue in cheek comments on how serious cinema has become, and no romantic sub-plot. It was a lot of fun! 

The new movie starts out with a pack of underdogs trying to validate their beliefs and save the city, similar to the original, although at this point we're all in on the joke so the actors play things a lot more hammy. Sprinkled throughout the film are cameos from the original film crew which warmed my heart (even though Murray seemed like he didn't want to be there), but my hands-down favorite segment is when Kevin attempts to sell them on his logos for the new business. If you didn't know, I am a graphic designer by day (food blogger by night), so I freaking loved this part. Unless you work in the graphic and print industry, you have no idea how accurate that nonsense is. (You should see some of the stuff I have to print and how many people try to steal images off google or use shitty clip art. CLIP ART? In 2016? I just...I can't. I honestly die a little inside each time.) So yes, I really enjoyed this movie for what it was, but it's not without its flaws. 
Without spoiling anything plot-wise for those of you yet to see it, there is a part of the film where, for some reason, they mix 2-D style animation with all the 3-D effects and live action. Why did they go for this bizarre Roger Rabbit-like moment? Sure, it only lasts for a minute, but it was so awkward and out of place it made it hard for me to get back into the film, which really sucks because it's right before the biggest battle.
Shortly after that bizarre moment, the new Ghostbusters fight their equivalent to the original's marshmallow man and the way they go about it is... completely ham-fisted and unnecessary. For a film that was already snarky and low-brow, this was just too much. Thankfully, after that lackluster battle, the film gets things back on track with the bond of friendship and afterglow of saving the town being the main focus, similar to the original. 
The film ends on a high note, with very entertaining end credits with another nod to fans of the original film helping me forget about the lack luster segments towards the end. I look at this as a really long SNL skit giving the fans what they want, another look at the original crew together in one movie on the big screen. I took it for what it was and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn't say it's on-par with the 1984 original, but I'd say it's toe-to-toe with the sequel. (Which was pretty poorly received, but is now a fun cult classic. "Soon, the city will be mine and Vigo's... mainly Vigo's.")
In conclusion: Is it up there with Citizen Kane and all those other pretentious artsy films of merit? NO, but neither is the original. Are people forgetting that Dan Aykroyd got an implied blowjob from a ghost in the original film? I mean, come on! The 1984 version was fun, snarky, and over the top. They fought a giant marshmallow man for Zuul's sake! This new film is flawed, but I still loved it and I will buy it on Blu-Ray DVD to add to my Ghostbusters collection. 
Most negative thing I have to say about the whole reboot is that Fall Out Boy's new song SUCKS, but for the most part the movie resamples the original theme song, so it's barely even in the movie.

1 comment:

  1. I think that Tang drink mix needs to make an comeback along with Dunkeroos because that has been the most requested comeback item.