FAN SERVICE, NOT FRACKING – GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE REVIEW *WITH SPOILERS* (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-FOUR)

Of course I’ve always loved Ghostbusters. I’m sure most of my generation holds a special place in their heart for the iconic franchise but having a child who has become equally (no that’s a lie, MORE) obsessed has been another experience altogether.

Seeing his eyes light up at his favourite scenes, playing pretend with his older brothers and bursting into random recitals of some of the most unforgettable lines of any movie franchise makes my heart burst.

It was then I knew that the revival was going to be something special. I now had a reason to will it into being spectacular. I desperately needed it not to be a letdown.

When a single mother and her two children move to a new town, they soon discover they have a connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

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From start to finish the film tugged at our heart strings with the small flutter of childhood memories. Ever so subtle but perfectly executed.

Casting wise they got it spot on. Mckenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler was a triumph. Definitely her grandfathers, granddaughter but indisputably a fantastic character in her own right. The heart of the film and a link between old and new.

I wasn’t so invested in Phoebe’s mother Callie Spengler (the wonderful Callie Coon) however, that almost felt intentional. It wasn’t really her story and in a way it made the climax all the more satisfying. Finn Wolfhard’s awkward teenage Trevor Spengler was a nice offset to his younger sister. Entertaining in himself whilst allowing her to shine.

The return of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson was expected of course but no less welcome. Their characters filled the screen with another level of nostalgia (and I won’t lie, brought me to tears on more than one occasion).

The pièce de résistance however lay with the incredible amount of work it must have taken to feature the late Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler. Presented to us in such a tasteful way that it was hard not to break down in uncontrollable sobs.

The film was written and directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman (who also happens to not only be the producer but also director and producer of the original two movies). In case you didn’t already know, Jason had a small part within a child’s birthday party in Ghostbusters II which is pretty damn cool. I love a full circle moment!

All in all I don’t think it could have panned out any better. Whilst I appreciate it did ride the coattails of its predecessors ever so slightly I also feel it deserves its place with the franchise on its own merit (and going by those mid and post credit scenes I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the gang).

Just so you don’t think I’ve forgotten. Paul Rudd is so wicked. Funny, charismatic and bold. Basically just another day at the office for Mr. Rudd.

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME – A LOVE LETTER TO THE CHARACTER OF PETER PARKER (NO SPOILERS) (BLOGMAS – DAY SEVENTEEN)

The character of Peter Parker has been approached in a variety of ways over the last 20 years and none of them have been wrong per say (because let’s face it, we all have our favourite Peter) but boy, have they been missing something.

I feel like in Tom Holland’s Peter we have achieved something magnificent. Character driven stories intertwined with action, fantasy and fast paced high stakes sequences.

It feels authentically Peter Parker. His super powers come second in this coming of age story which is ultimately just about a kid from Queens. Intelligent, brave and oh so awkward. Navigating his way through life, same as the rest of us.

It’s hard to go into the kind of detail I really want without spoiling anything so I think I’ll revisit this post at a later date.

No Way Home is beautifully shot and strikes the perfect balance of heart stopping and heart warming. A true celebration of the trilogy, Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Just absolutely stunning, I genuinely wouldn’t change a thing.

The superhero genre is so deeply ingrained in our popular culture, igniting dreams through the generations and truly cementing their place in cinematic history.

I just wanted to finish off by taking a moment to shout out my local cinema, Vue – Westwood Cross.

The staff are always extremely helpful and friendly but with such a huge occasion and what must have been an incredibly busy and tiring day the atmosphere was electric! The prep for No Way Home must have been rigorous but each and every staff member I encountered really put the effort in to be pleasant and hospitable. Honestly, it was just the perfect way to experience a once in a lifetime moment.