We know we’re a few days late, but happy belated Halloween! To celebrate, we took a look at the classic Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver. It is rated PG for language, some frightening scenes and some sexual references.
Three misfit parapsychologists, Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stanz (Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Ramis), after losing their jobs from Columbia University, decide to establish a ghost-exterminating service known as ‘Ghostbusters’. Struggling with customers, the team is finally hired by the Sedgewick Hotel, and successfully capturing a poltergeist known as Slimer. Their business takes off after this, and they continue to take down ghosts of all different… varieties, building up their reputation in the process, even hiring a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).
However, after this success, they face their biggest challenge yet in Zuul, a demonic spirit residing in the Dana Barrett’s (Weaver) apartment. Ghostbusters hilariously tells the story of the gang as they face ghosts, the EPA, and eventually, their biggest (and probably funniest) ghost ever.
Kick-ass trailer with a kick-ass theme song
8.5 out of 10
Before watching this movie, I never understood how Ghostbusters was such a beloved film. All I knew about it was its extremely 80’s theme song and how much Woody Harrelson’s character in Zombieland loved Bill Murray in it. When I sat down, little did I know, but I was in for a very enlightening session.
I don’t know why this movie is as good as it is; it’s pretty corny, to be honest. The jokes are not exactly knock your socks off funny, they’re just goofy. The whole film is just goofy. And despite this silliness, the dialogue is still extremely slick and smartly-written. The comedy is intelligent, instead of the relative dirtiness comedy today tends to have. None of it is forced, and it’s all very genuine, very conversational… as far as a movie of this nature can get at least. The leading trio of Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and especially Bill Murray, is so funny and connected, and are perfect in each of their respective roles. The vast contrast between the three characters is what provides the movie with the comedy and silliness it has, and each of their contributions are not gone unnoticed.
Stick with me for a second, but the special effects are truly great. Remember this is the 80’s, so special effects are not exactly Hollywood’s mojo. This isn’t quite Gravity or Life of Pi, but hey, no one is expecting it to be. They are relatively well done, in a way that they’re so corny that they’re funny. The green monster in the hotel is so freaking stupid that it’s just funny, and I truly believe Reitman intended this to happen. Don’t even get me started on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man… That has become one of my favorite moments in film history. It’s just so freaking stupid that it’s funny! That’s where this movie gets you. It’s written so intelligently, yet is so ridiculously comic with it’s exaggerated graphics and funny acting that it truly is extremely entertaining. And it’s not even one of those things that is so good it’s bad… It’s just something you love, even if you don’t understand how.
This movie is extremely memorable, which is why it’s adored as much as it is today. From Slimer, the green poltergeist from the hotel, to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, this movie has a handful of moments and characters that you never forget. That’s the issue I always seem to have with a movie. I can love it as soon as I come out of a theater, I can never remember it past that. A movie from which I can remember a specific scene, or a character, or even a quote is a movie I truly love. Ghostbusters will be one of these films… large in thanks to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man.
If I had any criticism for this film, it would be the addition of Winston Zeddemore. When I mean addition, I mean the actual way it was done. I thought Ernie Hudson did a fine job, it was just that it came out of nowhere. Literally, we weren’t expecting anything and bam, Hudson comes walking through the door asking about the job. That whole situation didn’t develop enough, and by the end he was praised as one of our main heroes, when really, we hadn’t gotten time to know and love him. It could work, it just needs more work (perhaps Ghostbusters III…?)
Overall, I loved this movie. It was so funny, so whacky, and so smart (yet stupid at the same time). If you haven’t watched it, you’re missing out.
9 out of 10
I think there’s something important about Ghostbusters that people often forget. I hate to be so superficial but Ghostbusters was one of the first comedy movies to utilize special effects to its advantage. Before it came out, special effects in a comedy were kind of a gimmick. It wasn’t really a big deal, but it still drew plenty of people in. Ghostbusters actually NEEDED the effects and they still really hold up. The “Stay Puft” ghost looks more realistic than half of what we see in multi-million budgeted movies today.
That being said, the reason it all works so well is the cast. Hudson, Murray, Akroyd, and Ramis all work off each other perfectly. For example, when the others are panicking about the Marshmallow Man and Murray’s character says (In his usual deadpan manner) “There’s something you don’t see every day.” I always laugh, even when I know its coming. The thing is, its not the funniest piece of dialogue but the actor interpreted in a way that made it hilarious. It really goes to show how a couple of good deliveries and choices can take a comedy far.
Now I’d like to focus on one character for the fun of it just because it really perplexes me. Out of all the ghosts that have appeared in this movie, Slimer became the most popular in his day. He was pasted on to every Ghostbusters project and was chosen to be the mascot for the drink based on this movie (It’s called Ecto-Cooler and its really gross sounding). Why Slimer? What did Slimer do?
Slimer rocked one or two scenes and that’s all it took. Stay with me here, I’m not trailing off into a Slimer tribute. He represents what has made this movie so popular besides the above reasons. He is individual and he is memorable like all of the other ghosts in this movie. All it took was a few memorable monsters to keep this movie possible and I think we have all seen one outside this movie.
So, if there’s anything I can take away from this movie, it’s that a movie does not really have to be complex or bloated to make it. Yes, the effects were great but they only used them when they needed to. For the rest, they stuck to puppets and costume and that’s fine. It’s okay because the single-scene characters are so well-written that we are going to remember them anyway. I watched some clips from this movie to review before writing this and, after each one, I was incredibly satisfied. There are so many gems and snarky lines that its fresh every time. We get to know how the characters (And ghosts) work in a way that makes them so likeable that they’ll always stick in my head (Especially this time of year).
And, if you’re curious what I think of the sequel…..I have not seen it yet. I have never really checked it out but I certainly intend to at some point. Last year, there were rumors that they were creating a third and I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to it. It’d certainly be awkward in terms of timing the franchise out but I think that they could recreate at least some of that fresh humor from the original. I’ll certainly go, but only if Slimer’s involved.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%