As much as I would like to make this nothing but a review of Ghostbuster 2 and be like "haha made you look" I am actually going to cover a topic which is exemplified by the most recent Ghostbusters movie release in 2016.
Remember when I mentioned that large cinematic productions in the USA were going to start becoming very different because of international influences? Of course you don't you were 15 back then and now you're in college and you are spending most of your time trying to shut down the campus cafeteria because "taco Tuesday" is cultural appropriation. No not all of you but there is totally at least one person out there doing that who is also reading this. But some furry weirdo who I've totally never met in real life over at Geek Nights which is totally not something I've ever heard of has sent some peopl here who got all butt-hurt because I wrote something about Wizard World and SJW bullshit and apparently SJW now means something that applies to way more people than it should, and I get called me an Alt-Right GamerGate MRA or something (I actually had to look up what Alt-right was ...being a volunteer for the Green Party I was kind of surprised at that label, and I have steadfastly refused to learn anything about Gamer Gate at all... seriously I still have no idea what it is other than something to do with video games and Gawker/Kotaku and since I can't play games because of extremely poor eyesight, I still don't feel like learning anything about it. Seriously for a while I thought was a literal gate of some kind). Either way, whatever I did was apparently way worse than planting land mines outside a school in the in civil war combat zones of The Democratic Republic of the Congo right fucking now... go ahead google it, there's some terrible stuff happening there. I know you wouldn't know how to find that country on a map let alone name the capital of it (so I'll give you a hint, it's Kinshasa). I think all it takes is a few minutes to read other posts here to realize that I am so leftist that I am almost, but not quite, a walking Che Guevara t-shirt. Yay, it's the second paragraph and we're already way off topic.
But back then, what I did say, was that in order movies to access the Chinese market, which is something that studios are now starting to depend on rather than considering it just gravy, films have to comply with the Chinese censorship laws which are pretty much just arbitrary and antithetical to American values in terms of having a government body determine what is and is not allowable. Seriously just go read the thing. American creative works have thrived because of the protections afforded by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and organizations like the ACLU and the CBLDF. There is no other country in the world that allows creative freedom on the level that the USA does (seriously, even when we sold DVDs in Canada and Australia at Crash Media, we need approval from their Federal and Provincial governments regarding content). China is pretty high up on the list of heavy-handed shit when it comes to censorship in media, and the hoops that major companies jump through not only effect what the final film is on a fundamental level, but do not serve as a guarantee that the film itself will still be approved for China. So after following all the "rules" that the government of The PRC has, there is still a chance that the film will still be declared inadmissible.
I actually haven't seen the movie. I actually haven't seen a movie in a theater for about 4 years now and I don't plan on doing it any time soon, since paying $20 to sit in an uncomfortable chair while trying to watch a movie over idiots on their phones and other people's farts isn't my idea of a good time. However, I have come across a number of reviews and the negative aspects mentioned seem to have a significantly common small number of themes. So here are some of the main points that are brought up in recent reviews, and why they may have a bit more to do with China than you might realize:
The Visual Effects Sucked:If you look into the history, you'll find that this Ghostbusters movie was submitted more than once to the Chinese government for approval. They didn't submit the same version twice, they made some changes. The reason the ghosts looked like crap, were cartoon-like, or didn't stay true to the original movies, is because they were all re-done after the first time China rejected the thing on the "realistic supernatural" grounds. It changes didn't take, and it was still rejected. It's probably not because they didn't toonify the ghosts enough, but because one of them had an Uncle Sam USA Stars and Stripes outfit on. Seriously, if you think your stupid company you work for is in the dark ages regarding what kind of imagery is appropriate, imagine what kind of bubble the Party of the PRC lives in.
The Jokes Fell Flat:Of course they did. The humor this movie needed is high-context, but that almost never translates well. You ever notice how just about every big Hollywood production seems like it was written by someone who is deliberately making it easy to translate into languages other than English? So in stead of "Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!" we get ecto-puking slapstick, a Linda Blair impression, and a nut-shot. It was likely being written by someone who was deliberately making it easy to translate into languages other than English. The important language in that mix is Chinese. It is, I'm not making this up. This is the reason that things like nuance, colloquialisms, and high-context humor are avoided. They are very difficult to translate because you can't just literally replace the words, but you have to find a cultural equivalent strong enough to convey the implication or idea. The PRC and the USA don't share much modern cultural equivalence. Therefore, the simpler the joke, the easier it will translate. This is why the nut-shot on the marshmallow man isn't sexist. It's a nut-shot, which have been funny since Ancient Egypt and remain funny to this day.
Misogyny:ZOMG TRIGGRZ!!!!! What do you think is more misogynist, the American movie-going public, or the Communist Party of China? C'mon you know it's the second one. Sexism in China is much more entrenched in both everyday life, and the highest levels of government than it is in the USA. Go ahead, argue against me, cite a bunch of sources, or better yet, film something there that proves me wrong. Christopher Hitchens once (actually a few times) articulated the fact I wish to cite better than I ever could, and to paraphrase, he said, that for a country to truly be free and successful, there needs to be an absolute equality between men and women at every level. I know many women from the PRC, and none of them think they are being treated equally, though in public they would never admit such a thing. Why? Because they are absolutely terrified of going to jail... seriously! The PRC banned the movie because of a number of things, but you can be sure that the empowerment of women was one of those reasons.
Fuck Japan:If the movie was made by Warner Brothers or Paramount, then it might have made it through after kowtowing enough (FYI the word kowtow is one of the few English words of Chinese origin). But the studio behind this one was SONY. It's Japanese. You know who really don't like the Japanese? Yeah... the Communist Party of China. Make no mistake, they are totally still in charge over there and what they say goes. You know what they all agree on? It is called "Fuck Japan" all the time. So if they can dodge a direct accusation of unfair trade but still screw over a Japanese company, yeah, they'll probably do it. So it is reasonable to assume that no matter how many times SONY re-submitted the movie, it was still gonna get rejected.
Notice I'm not mentioning the cast:I haven't seen the movie so I don't really know if they were good, they phoned it in, or if their talents were wasted on dumb gimmick type stuff.
This is good for women in media:There are people out there who are busy yelling MISOGYNY at literally anyone who thought that this movie might actually suck. They assert that any sort of criticism of this film just has to be from misogyny and can't be from anything else and you'll never change their mind. Those people exist. This tactic has been also been done by various Dwarkin supporters regarding literally anything that had a human male involved (what? you thought screaming "sexism" loud and often enough to shut everything down was new? That's been happening since the 70's...
But the thing is, the people doing that didn't realize that a huge percent of the American movie-going public are ....wait for it... women oh who would have thought! And surprise surprise, some women actually like pop culture and know what they're talking about when it comes to a shit movie. These XX chromosome-having people, were able to give their fair and honest opinions of this turd of a movie, free from the reflexive attacks which relied solely on calling the critic misogynist no matter what. Seriously, you could write about the craft services going over-budget on an accounting forum and someone will call it sexist (I don't know who, but someone will). Since you can't do that to someone who is the owner of their very own vagina, these knee-jerkers had nothing, and so reviews like these are the best and most honest ways to find out information about this movie and decide for yourself if you feel like paying money to go see it. They're by women you might never have heard of otherwise.
These channels exist, and these people exist. Now you know. There are people just now discovering these channels because they want an unbiased review of Ghostbusters 2016. They are hosted by women and written by women, and they are getting more views than average because the rage machine can't stop them from saying what they think. They are rising to the forefront and getting a huge amount of attention, because they are unassailable in this case. They are being seen by thousands of people because they are the only source of unbiased commentary about a movie that everyone know sucks, but which everyone is afraid to say so.
Criticize Ghostbusters 2016 in public and you are going to be the target of a serious political movement. Which country are we in again?
Well the rule is give the "People" what they want.
That's show business. There's no business like it, no business I know.
Now if you'll excuse me I am gonna take that $20 I saved from not going to the movies and go buy a bottle of Tequila and watch Netflix.