It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Three odd-ball scientists get kicked out of their cushy positions at a university in New York City where they studied the occult. They decide to set up shop in an old firehouse and become Ghostbusters, trapping pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through the city, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters are called on to save the Big Apple. Written by
Greg Bole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The first thing that needs to be said is that Ghostbusters (1984) is possibly the funniest film ever. That's quite the bold statement to make but with good cause. This film holds up probably more than any other comedy in existence. You know how there are those movies that you see that are hysterical the first few times you see them? This one just keeps on coming. I remember when I was a kid, I wore our copy of Ghostbusters out. At the time, I thought it was a horror movie (I wasn't the brightest bulb) so I watched it constantly (Being that I am a horror buff) never realizing what it truly was. I hadn't yet caught on to a lot of the humor. About eight years later, I noticed that I hadn't seen the film for forever and a day. I popped it in and oh my God...I just about died with laughter.
This movie has something for everyone. Director Ivan Reitman said that he found a comedic formula for films...it works as follows: There's the brain, the heart, and the mouth. Ghostbusters scored with all of them. As the brain of the bunch, Egon Spengler's (Harold Ramis also co-wrote it) use of witty humor is hilarious. If you have the right mind set, almost everything Spengler says is laugh out loud funny. At the heart of the Ghostbusters is Dan Aykroyd's (Who created the idea for the film) lovable fool, Ray Stantz. Ray has a tenacity for saying simple minded things and using very little logic and yet somehow the man got a P.H.D. (Probably through studying habits, despite ignorance.) There's a line that he says involving a smell in the beginning of the movie that I am chuckling at just thinking about it. This of course leaves Bill Murray (He was nominated for a Gloden Globe) as the sarcastic Peter Venkman (The mouth of the beast.) Peter is likely the one that gets the most laughs because he, being the mouth that he is, never stops making fun of everything. It's like Rodney Dangerfield in the party scene in Caddyshack but a whole lot funnier and continues the rest of the movie. The film also produces some laughter out of the minor characters as well. The scatological humor toward the end of the film between Rick Moranis (In a role intended for John Candy) and Sigourney Weaver is quite laughter inducing. Ernie Hudson in one of his first big roles has a few good lines as the other Ghostbuster, Winston Zeddmore (The only one who's not a doctor) and William Atherton of Die Hard fame plays the ultimate annoyance as Walter Peck. Not to be forgotten in the mix is Annie Potts as Janine who has some rather memorable humorous lines, for instance the one I've written to summarize the movie. Numerous other well known faces are seen on screen too, which includes John Belushi (Or rather his continuation of the character Bluto, from Animal House) as the principal image used for the now famous 'Disgusting Blob,' Slimer. Like any good comic will tell you, good comedy is generally about setting up the other guys around you. Well, it just so happens that the characters all work well with each other to set the great comedic moments staged in this film.
Not to be forgotten however in all the funny one liners and set ups is the overall film. Ghostbusters was nominated for numerous awards including Oscars for best song (Courtesy of Ray Parker Jr.) and special effects, which are now slightly dated but possibly work even better with the wacky style being consistent with the rest of the movie. Along with Parker, there are numerous other great songs including a song by The Bus Boys that climbed charts and a rather creepy seeming song (But works well) by Mick Smiley. Another thing that should not be forgotten is the horror elements of the film. Though purposely outrageous, the effects do serve as some potential scare moments. Among the most frightening involve stop motion animated puppets called Terror Dogs. Though the scares are few, they do work fairly well (They had me convinced as a youngster) bringing enough threat to the ghosts that haunt New York City. The story itself is interesting as well, involving some intriguing mythology of Sommeria among other countries.
Where some films tend to only work a few times, Ghostbusters is consistent. Although, I've found movies such as CLUE, Dr. Strangelove or Airplane to be funnier at different times in my life, this one still makes me laugh even after seeing it hundreds of times. From the opening scares to the ending credits, it will almost surely reel you in. I've laughed harder at some moments in other films but it's rare that I find one that's funnier throughout. Even those films lose their edge after you see them a few times...this one just doesn't. If you haven't seen it, do so. You will almost certainly be glad you did. If you have seen it and didn't like it, try watching it again in a few years. It's almost sure to grow on you eventually. I dare anyone to sit through this movie and not laugh once, no matter how many times they've seen it. If you don't laugh, you're either trying really hard to hold back, have a very odd sense of humor or are dead! It's just that funny. Although I don't rate films, I would easily rate this one a five out of five, placed among the classics. Believe it or not, I think that it belongs alongside Citizen Kane and Lawrence of Arabia. It also spawned an entertaining sequel in 1989. Enjoy!
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