Directed By: Paul Feig

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Chris Hemsworth

There's been one tragedy after another as of late.  It seems that there is a terrorist attack, a mass shooting, or police killings on an all too frequent basis these days.  Orlando.  Istanbul.  Nice.  Baton Rouge.  Dallas.  The Twin Cities.  The list sadly goes on and on and on.  All our prayers at STMR are certainly with those dealing with these tragedies across the globe.  That being said, I've just got one question for all of you reading this review.  Who you gonna call?  Yes, that's right.  The reboot of the beloved Ghostbusters franchise spells a dose of supernatural comedy we all could certainly use these days.  I know there have been plenty of doubts about the film, but I'm here to assure you that it is the blockbuster we've needed for quite some time now.

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is an assistant professor at Columbia University in their physics department.  She's currently seeking tenure under the guidance of her department chair Harold Filmore (Charles Dance).  Erin is quite surprised when she is visited by Ed Mulgrave (Ed Begley, Jr.) of the Aldridge Mansion, who wants her help with dealing with what he believes to be a haunted house.  Mulgrave comes to her because he's read a copy of Ghosts From Our Past, a book that Erin claims to have never published on ghosts.  It seems that her childhood friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), who co-wrote the book, published it on her own without letting Erin know.  Erin recognizes that any information on her supernatural past could very much jeopardize her academic future at Columbia. She decides to pay a visit to her old friend who now works at the Higgins Institute of Science.

Abby has now partnered with fellow scientist Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to explore the unexplained and the paranormal.  They're out to prove that ghost exists, and revenues from the book she wrote with Erin so many years ago are helping to fund some of the furnishings in her lab.  When Erin confronts her old friend, Abby's price for taking down the book is Erin introducing Jillian and herself to Mulgrave at the Aldridge Mansion.  Little does either of them know that all their theories about ghosts are about to come to fruition in a spooky way.  Meanwhile, MTA station manager Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) gets some exposure to the paranormal when a creepy man named Rowan North (Neil Casey) suspiciously sneaks into the subway tunnels and unleashes a ghost.

I ain't afraid of no ghost.  I never thought I'd be able to write that sentence in a current review.  After all, the iconic 1984 sensation Ghostbusters is a tough act to follow, even some 32 years later.  Despite the overabundance of sexist haters and franchise purists, this reboot succeeds on three fronts — charting a new course with lovable characters, honoring the legacy of the pop culture phenomenon that Ghostbusters was, and serving up endless comedic fun for old and new fans alike.  Reuniting Bridesmaids stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig with director Paul Feig and adding the hilarious duo of Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon deliver a host of colorful characters.  Bringing back the original cast in cameos ratchets up the nostalgia.  Enabling everyone to let loose and have fun translates to delightful entertainment.  All in all, Ghostbusters is the first worthwhile summer blockbuster in quite a few weeks in what has turned out to be a rather drab summer box office season.

Paul Feig's decision to cast an all-female lineup of Ghostbusters was no mistake, and it pays big dividends.  Bringing together some of the best comediennes today — including two with whom he has worked previously — his stellar cast delivers the goods in this gooey, sugary dose of pop culture.  For her part as Erin Gilbert, Kristen Wiig deftly oscillates between giving us the straight woman of the group and a sporadically zany physicist.  In one moment, she could be delivering dry humor.  In another, she could be breaking out some hilarious moves on the dance floor.  For her part as Abby Yates, Melissa McCarthy continues her hot streak in collaborations with Feig.  Able to deliver her typical brand of blunt yet sometimes heartfelt comedy, she's at the top of her game leading the group.

Alongside Wiig and McCarthy, we have Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.  I honestly can't decide who my favorite is.  For her portrayal of Jillian Holtzmann, McKinnon is one quirky delight.  Dancing the movie away, endangering and empowering everyone with her crazy gadgets, and serving up plenty of silliness all along the way, she steals one scene after another throughout Ghostbusters.  She's an SNL vet with a certain degree of fame already, but this could be her breakthrough performance on the big screen.  I hope to see her at the box office for years to come.  For her part as Patty Tolan, Leslie Jones keeps it 100.  Using fear to elevate her comedic brand and talking nonstop smack to ghosts along the way, Jones delivers some of the most gut-wrenching humor of this two-hour supernatural comedy.

Feig really is able to create a pop culture delight by bringing together a film with so many cameos.  You've got the not-so-secret bit roles of the stars of the original Ghostbusters (minus the late Harold Ramis). You've got a host of other celebrities who want to make it clear they know what to do when there's something strange in their neighborhood.  Altogether, these collective cameos help to elevate this new installment 

If it's not clear already, I love the new Ghostbusters.  It serves as an unofficial Bridesmaids reunion with a sprinkling of Veep and SNL vets.  It pays homage to a phenomenal predecessor that is emblematic of an era long gone on the big screen.  It marks the birth of a new franchise that has plenty of room for expansion.  This reboot gets a strong 0.03% rating.  Ignore the haters, and check this movie out.  Have some wine coolers with this one.