Island Packet — It’s not often that I find myself demanding things from Harold Ramis, but I have an ultimatum for the former Ghostbuster: STOP IT, STOP IT RIGHT NOW, OR I WILL COVER THIS ADORABLE KITTEN WITH WALL PRIMER (you’ll have to trust that I have a kitten here).
Rumors surfaced again this week of a potential third “Ghostbusters” sequel, fueled by an e-mail attributed to Ramis that appeared on the few portions of the Internet not currently whimpering about the media being mean to Sarah Palin. “Columbia is developing a script for ‘GB3,’ Ramis writes, “The concept is that the old Ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity. Not much else to say at this point. Everyone is confident a decent script can be written and I guess we’ll take it from there.”
The “Ghostbusters” revival has been rumored for almost 20 years now. Every few months someone talks to Dan Aykroyd about it, which is not terribly difficult to do, and it generally comes down to having to convince Bill Murray, who must field cash-in reunion calls more often than Paul Simon.
And as someone who enjoyed the first films very much — even the second one, mostly because of “Vy am I dripping vit goo?” — let me take this opportunity to say for the LOVE OF RICK MORANIS KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE FRANCHISE REBOOTS ALREADY.
I’m filing this under what I’m calling the Phantom Menace Doctrine, which argues an inverse proportion between the amount of time elapsed between installments of a previously enjoyable movie series, and a quantifiable number about how much that movie will be unbearably god-awful (the scale goes from 0 to Hold Me, Hold Me Like You Did By The Lake On Naboo).
“Menace” came out more than 20 years after the original “Star Wars,” meaning that nearly two decades elapsed before George Lucas and his devoted junta of slavish shut-ins decided audiences were finally ready, if not pleading, for a sci-fi thriller about trade franchises, a ham-fisted talking Rasta frog who jokes about flatulent space horses and Annie Skywalker, the universe’s pluckiest second-grade slave and cinematic proof that saying “Yippee!” a lot will make Natalie Portman totally want you, even if she’s 23.
Likewise, when “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” came out, I and all of the movie geeks in the newsroom resolved to watch it nervously through our fingers, like I used to watch horror movies and whenever Sloth showed up on “The Goonies.”
Not that two decades must elapse, mind you. I caught the “X-Files” sequel in July — judging by the film’s box-office take, I was one of about a dozen people to do that — and found myself astonished at how noggin-scratchingly awful it all was (but don’t take my word for it: just 27 percent of the Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes — meaning the ones that aren’t blog people writing for questionable entities such as The Illinois Times, the Spectrum of St. George, Utah and something called “Mansized” — found it worthwhile).
Now, it’s true that the original “Ghostbusters” actors have gotten together to record voice work for a new video game, which for what I’m sure will be absurdly pretty graphics will not hold Candle One to the one on the Commodore 64, in which you boringly piddled the EctoMobile around the streets of New York for like 20 minutes at a time doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, which still made it the Coolest Thing You Could Do On A Commodore 64. So that’s fine. Let’s stick with video games, and maybe try not ruining two decades’ worth of positive memories about something, just this once.