April 13, 2010

Ghostbusters Review

No this isn't a review for the videogame or anything, it's my thoughts on the original Ghostbusters film, one of my all time favorites.

Inarguably one of the very finest comedies of the 1980s, by far the best film of 1984, Ivan Reitman's GHOSTBUSTERS is a mega-classic of the most beloved variety.

Overpraise? I don't think so.

The perfect marriage of big-budget sci-fi spectacle and character-based comedy schtick, GHOSTBUSTERS has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Here was a movie that combined the best sort of SNL-style comedic hijinks, only it was mixed together with a horror-com/sci-fi mentality that works just as well today as it ever did.

This film holds a special place in my heart. In the winter of '85, I would have my best friend come over to my place every weekend, we'd play around with our toys, play games, and we'd play a VHS recorded from television version of Ghostbusters, complete with commercials and bad quality, and we'd watch it 4 times per weekend, every weekend, all winter long while playing around indoors with our G.I.Joes and Transformers (and Ghostbusters figures). So when I had the chance (6 years ago) to see a one-night-showing of Ghostbusters at the local theater, I jumped at the chance, and was amazed at myself and how I still remembered 80% of all the movie's dialogue.

Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis play a trio of New York City parapsychologists who set up their own "ghost-busting" shop--not unlike exterminators--in a downtown building, complete with a bored secretary (Annie Potts). For a fee, the trio will rid homes or places of business of supernatural residents. They are hired by Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), a symphony cellist who lives in a spectacular apartment above Central Park where strange things have been happening. After capturing a large, gooey, green ghost and experiencing several other weird occurrences, the busters determine that the apartment building was built by a Sumerian devil cult and that the site is actually the doorway to the spirit world.

Originally planned as an Aykroyd-John Belushi vehicle, the picture was rewritten after Belushi's untimely death, giving Murray's character the emphasis--and it is Murray's movie all the way. With his deadpan delivery and snide quips, Murray more than holds his own amid the myriad state-of-the-art special effects. Chock full of endlessly quotable dialogue, I could ramble on for days about the cinematic sweetness that is (the first) GHOSTBUSTERS, but let's face it; You've all seen it. Just about all of you love it. If you haven't seen it, see it now! I promise, you will be sincerely entertained.

Here's a simple little New York City Ghostbusters Tour (25 years later) from RedLetterMedia:

Also, make sure to check out The Real Ghostbusters animated series. Very well written and an all-star cast of voice actors with Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche, Arsenio Hall, and Lorenzo Music as the principle characters. In my opinion the first two seasons had the best animation and stories, but there's very few bad shows out of the entire 147 episode run.

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