It was inevitable that when the first trailer for Paul Feig’s remake of Ghostbusters dropped it would be one of the most heavily scrutinized things in popular culture. In an age where every piece of IP imaginable is fair game for some sort of modern revival, each new green light brings with it a legion of fans wondering whether they’ll be getting a Fantastic Four or a Force Awakens. But while Ghostbusters has gotten it’s share of hate, it also has more than its share of defenders — likely owing to the ugly vein of sexism that’s informed some of the nastier reactions.
Now, YouTube animator Darren Wallace has offered a look at the opinion of somebody who had yet to weigh in: The original Ghostbusters’ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
While the joke feels fairly obvious in premise (staged “in-character” reaction videos being almost as ubiquitous on YouTube as the real thing) it’s Wallace’s execution (he describes himself as a professional VFX artist “with too much time on his hands”) that makes the difference here — with subtle details like Stay Puft retaining the limited range of facial-expression he had in the original film and the glow from the computer-monitor reflected in his plastic eyes. True to the “react” sub-genre being parodied, a mini-window of the actual trailer runs in the bottom right corner, keeping viewers clued-in as to what Stay Puft’s expressions are being generated by.
Interestingly, the character’s performance attempts to imagine what Stay Puft would actually think about the film, as opposed to a straightforward send-up of the existing (largely negative) online reactions: While at first he’s clearly happy to see and hear the notes that open the trailer and even appears upbeat and intrigued to see the cast of popular comedians re-creating the famous library ghost intro (and to see Kristen Wiig get “slimed”), his mood drops sharply when the gag is followed by Wiig slipping into the monotone “Michael Cera-ism” that characterizes so much of modern comedy.
Stay Puft’s mood improves somewhat as the trailer proceeds through the character introductions, but once the trailer plunges into a succession of slapstick gags and action shots he clearly checks out, with the Exorcist send-up finale driving him to… well, watch the video. Notably, he appears particularly puzzled by the film’s conception of Leslie Jones’ character, which would place him in fairly broad company: Even many of those sympathetic to the remake’s goals have noted she seems to have been given a tired stereotype to play rather than a full-fledged character. And while its not clear how Stay Puft feels on the matter he does flash a quizzical look when she makes a point to differentiate her skill set from the others’ “science stuff.”
Whether Ghostbusters fans, casual audiences, or cheerful manifestations of the apocalypse will feel the same way about the finished film remains to be seen, since it doesn’t hit until later this summer. There will, presumably, be more trailers between then and now — possibly ones that will be more to Stay Puft’s liking.
Ghostbusters will open nationwide on July 15, 2016.
Source: Darren Wallace
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