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What's that you say? Ghostbusters, one of the most financially
successful and over-hyped comedies of the eighties, underrated? Yes.
Precicely because it was so over-hyped and made so much money, there
has been a stigma attached to this film identifying it as a childish FX
piece, when it is nothing of the sort. Most of the lines people
remember("He slimed me," "OK. So? She's a dog," "When someone asks you
if you're a god, you say YES!") are not its funniest or wittiest lines,
which often are missed on first or even second viewing. I laugh every
time I observe a gag or a quip that I somehow missed the other 20 times
I viewed a scene; "Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill
a hole through your head, remember that?" "That would have worked if
you hadn't stopped me", or, to the driver of a van from a loony bin,
"Dropping off or picking up?" Brilliant.
Not only is Ghostbusters funny, it manages to include some truly scary scenes. And not just lose-your-popcorn moments like the fridge from Hell, but also scenes of quiet, thoughtful chill, like Egon's retelling of how the possessed apartment building came into being, or Winston recalling the Book of Revelation. Which other film has managed to combine the Marx Brothers with HP Lovecraft?
The special effects hold up well, besides some obvious studio sets and models, but what really creates this film's world is the stunning cinematography. Manhattan, perhaps the pinnacle of Gothic architectural evolution, is brilliantly utilised here to create a sense of menacing grandeur. After watching "Ghostbusters" I couldn't imagine the realm of the Old Gods opening into our world from anywhere else. The soundtrack is great, not the overrated theme (Which was in fact lifted from Huey Lewis' "I Need a New Drug"), but the wonderfully blusey "Cleaning Up the Town," the creepy proto-techno chiller "Magic" and also the wonderful score by the late and much lamented Elmer Bernstein.
I have special affection for this film. When I was a youngster, growing up
between the ages of four and ten, this was my favorite film. I loved the
whole Ghostbusters thing. I loved the sequel, the cartoon series, I had to
have the toys and merchandise every Christmas, you name it. Strangely, as
have gotten older, I find myself appreciating the film more and more. When
was a child I loved it for the special effects, the gadgets and the
ghostbusting especially. Nowadays I love it for the same reasons, but now
that I'm older I find myself appreciating the dialog which is some of the
funniest committed to a film, the oddball humor, like Venkman's line about
dogs and cats living together and the in jokes, like Slimer being the
of John Belushi and Venkman rubbing his hand at glee at the thought of the
money to be made from the merchandising of the ghostbusters brand. Not
that, but some 80's hairstyles aside, the film as aged remarkably well. My
cousin who is five years old has developed a love for the whole
thing, showing that this is truly worthy of being branded one of the most
successful films ever made.
Unlike many of today's blockbusters which are humorless and pompous thinking that they are serious films and forgetting about any sense of fun along with the complicated visual effects, Ghostbusters is funny and a fun paranormal movie. The set pieces are superb as we see the Ghostbusters going up against Slimer, Gozer and, undeniably the classic movie moment of the 80's, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. For a film made in 1984 the climax is very well done and looks exceedingly realistic, without any hint of clues as to the fact that it is a special effect. This is what going to the cinema should be all about. Fun with a capital F. All the actors get into it with great comedic aplomb. Bill Murray, one of the finest comedy actors to grace the screen, is superb as Peter Venkmen who gets the best lines in the film as well as the funniest moments. Just check out the "there is no Dana, only Zool" moment. Murray's priceless reaction to Dana Barrett's possession is one of the most side splitting moments I have ever seen. In fact, the casting is pretty much spot on. As well as Murray, we have co writers Dan Akyroyd and Harold Ramis sharing the spotlight as the fellow Ghostbusters, Sigourney Weaver making a wonderful damsel in distress, Rick Moranis is almost scene stealing as her nerd of a neighbor who becomes possessed himself, while Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts both put in wonderfully sardonic supporting roles who get their chances to shine.
Add to this one of the best theme tunes and a truly apocalyptic finale, it is no surprising that this was the biggest film of 1984. A summer blockbuster with humor, trills, spills and some of the best special effects money could buy at the time, this is truly a genuine classic and is one of the best Hollywood blockbusters ever made.
Bill Murray is one of the best wise guys in the business. I was amazed to
find out on the GHOSTBUSTERS 15th Anniversary DVD that Murray had little to
do with the dialogue his classicly blase, fiercely cynical 'Dr. Venkman'
cuts loose throughout this good comedy. Credit Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
with "getting into Bill's mind" as Ramis puts it and presenting Murray with
a gag-a-second character. Murray also lends his own comic genius through
his delivery and facial gestures (especially with his classic cross-eyed,
curled-lip look). Together with a fun premise and above average special
effects, GHOSTBUSTERS will never be a relic of the 80's and should always be
a refreshingly humorous spook show.
Murray rules the screen, mauling his geeky para-psychologist partners and hitting on a young blonde while conducting shock therapy experiments on her. Aykroyd uses his standard machine gun delivery of obscure (or should I say made up) facts and anecdotes and Ramis is just enough for the ultra-dork 'Egon'. The funniest element in GHOSTBUSTERS happens to be Rick Moranis in a splendid role as a small-time accountant who has parties for clients only and becomes mixed up in some extremely supernatural events. Along with Sigourney Weaver, Moranis has the most difficult physical tasks to topple.
This was a picture I loved when I was a kid. I must have went some 12 to 15 years before I saw it again and I was alarmingly impressed. It has endured. The special effects are not only good, but they are comedic and add even more laughs throughout the 'Busters turbulent jobs. The DVD version has tons of goodies included and is an essential addition to any Saturday Night Live fan's movie library. SNL is the very essence and reason for GHOSTBUSTERS, where Murray and Aykroyd starred. Director Ivan Reitman created his meal ticket here and can pretty much do any comedy he wants now.
It is a shame John Belushi was not around to play one of the 'Busters, for he was originally cast. The movie is already well-paced and engaging so just imagine how frenzied the pace would have been with Belushi. Regardless, GHOSTBUSTERS is one for the kids, teens, and adults alike. It has spanned these phases for me and still works wonderfully.
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!
I have a small posse of favorite comedians. Somewhere towards the top of
that list, along with Steve Martin, is Bill Murray. He's been around
the early 80s, getting his start on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" after
Chase left for his own career in Hollywood. Murray worked live for a few
years before -- like those prior to him him -- gradually making his way
the film world.
I like all of the comedians in "Ghostbusters," come to think of it. Dan Aykroyd is another great subtle comedian, with a great knack for writing as well as acting. It was Aykroyd, after all, who is primarily responsible for "The Blues Brothers." And Harold Ramis, who later became a director, with an impressive resume of such films as "Vacation," "Groundhog Day," and "Analyze This."
Then there's also Rick Moranis, a meek nerd character who is very underrated and very funny, a sort of Woody Allen Lite. He was Dark Helmet in "Spaceballs," Barney Coopersmith in "My Blue Heaven," and that wacky inventor in "Honey I Shrunk the Kids."
Yes, one could say that "Ghostbusters" is built on a firm base, scripted by Aykroyd, Ramis and Moranis (who is uncredited) and directed by Ivan Reitman ("Kindergarten Cop"). It's a clever little story with a simple premise and lots of laughs -- a band of failing friends unite to make a hoax ghost-busting company, but soon real ghosts do show up and they're in over their heads.
It starts in New York City. Peter Venkman (Murray), Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Ramis) are three Columbia University scientists laid off after their grant expires with no results from the trio in return. Down to nothing, they cook up the brilliant (or crazy) idea to create a "ghost-busting" company.
But they immediately realize that it won't be as easy as it seems to get a little extra cash, because Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) comes to the men looking for help. Her apartment is infested with strange happenings, and her next-door neighbor, Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), is having problems of his own.
They pretend to solve the situation and the men suddenly become a citywide phenomenon, attracting media attention and constant customers at their front door. They become so popular, in fact, that they are joined by Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson), another down-on-his-luck city guy looking for a good-paying job.
However, Walter Peck, EPA (William Atherton) doesn't believe that the Ghostbusters are really ridding any ghosts at all, so he has them thrown in jail. But an ethreal baddie named Gozer (Slavitza Jovan) soon appears in Dana's apartment complex, and weird happenings occur, forcing Peck to free the Ghostbusters once and for all so that they can bust the ghost and send it back to where it came from.
Sounds corny, huh? It's meant to be. Everything about this movie is campy and goofy, and that is exactly what Ramis, Aykroyd and Moranis wanted when they collaborated. And it is very funny.
I don't know, there's something in me that loves "Saturday Night Live" humor. Sure, the show has its dry spots, but I love it. Many people I know don't find it all that funny, and not as consistent as something such as "The Simpsons," but I love to watch it, I love the humor, and I love the actors.
Part of that love, I suppose, is what makes me enjoy "Ghostbusters" (1984) so much. However, believe it or not, "Ghostbusters" is not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as you might expect. It is very funny, but it isn't always a howler. It's more of an intelligent comedy, which is odd, since it is made by a band of guys from "Saturday Night Live" and such backgrounds.
Murray steals every scene he is in. This, along with `Groundhog Day,' is the perfect vehicle for his comedic talents, ranging from the constant wise cracks to the constant dry ironic humor that I love so much. They key to his humor is not that he comes up with it, but the way he does it. Any comedian can use the blank glares, but the way he expressionlessly glares at fellow actors is a joke in itself. When Stanz admits that his one fear has always been the Stay Puff'd man, check out Murray's face. This is classic stuff.
As much a scene-stealer as Murray may be, he is nearly upstaged by Aykroyd and Ramis, who both provide a sort of counter-balance of lunatics and reason to Murray's flippant characteristics. The scene that everyone remembers it the finale involving the giant marshmallow Stay Puff'd Man, and whenever I think of Aykroyd's performance in this film, I think of that scene.
"Ghostbusters" is a very famous comedy, and for good reason. It's light, good-hearted, funny, and actually pretty intelligent, built upon a firm cast and script, which -- considering the majority of the actors' and writers' backgrounds of "Saturday Night Live" -- is almost as surprising as the film itself.
- John Ulmer
Very rarely can you pull off a successful blend of two separate movie genres,but the makers of Ghostbusters were overwhelmingly so.On the one hand,you have the comedic charm of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd,and on the other,a genuine ghostly spookiness that makes you want to hide under a blanket.I recently bought a copy and watched it for the first time in several years,and it's still just as fresh as it was in it's initial release in 1984.It has a great supporting cast for Murray and Aykroyd,including the always great Sigourney Weaver,Rick Moranis,Ernie Hudson,and Harold Ramis,who is just as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it.Watch it with your family,but keep an eye on younger children,as the spookiness may be more than they can handle. Great stuff.
Ghostbusters was an incredibly huge smash hit on its original release back
in `84 and its not hard to see why - its a funny , exciting and
imaginative thrill ride. There is a lot to like about ghostbusters ,
bill Murrays constant and always funny wise cracks, the films constant
shift from a light hearted comedy to intense ghost busting thriller and
course , the technically flawless attack of the marsh mallow man that is
probably one of my favorite parts of this film.
In this day and age of computer generated fx wizardry the completely analogue special effects still look great ( especially the stay puft marsh mallow man , its rampage through the city looks incredibly real ! ) and the film it self is still better and more imaginative than a lot of event movies you will find in a cinema near you today .
And to top it all off Ghostbusters is one of the few films out there that actually had worthy TV spin off that was the "real Ghostbusters", a cartoon that i loved as a kid.
Ghostbusters is a film that truly deserves its iconic status.
The screen dwellers mark (out of 5 ) : * * * *
There is no set definition of the word "classic" but I'm sure this film
qualifies as such or will in the near future, since it was so unique
and popular....and remains so today, over 20 years old later. It's just
one of those films that you remember seeing when it came out at the
theaters. I doubt if anyone has forgotten the catchy theme song,
Despite numerous viewings, I still find this very funny as I suspect many people do, because it entertains so well. I know the story is ludicrous and I don't believe for one second in ghosts so I ignore the "theology" and just laugh at Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson.
Murray, as he tends to do, grabs the spotlight more than the rest and delivers more laughs than any of the cast but my favorite was Moranis as the nerdy "Louis Tully." I wish his role had been bigger. All the guys, however, plus Sigourney Weaver, the love interest of the always-horny Murray, are fun. I even liked the sequel because most of this cast was included.
For it's time, Ghostbusters would have to be a classic. Visiting such
as the supernatural, is sure not meant to be funny, but this film does
stretch that rule a little. Thankfully it does, as it allows those among
(like me), who do not believe in ghost and goblins, to sit back, relax and
enjoy the funny antics of these ghost-busting heroes. Although it might be
little dated in the new millennium, 'Ghostbusters' is still one of the
'great comedies of the 1980's' in my view.
When the University downsizes the parapsychology department, Doctors Venkman, Stantz and Spengler make the leap from scientists to Ghostbusters, investigators and exterminators of paranormal pests! When the bewitching Dana Barrett discovers her refrigerator has become a portal into the spiritual dimension, our heroes come face to face with an ancient evil force with plans to raise hell in Manhattan.
When reviewing a movie, I try to be as fair as I can be. However I feel that by only viewing a movie once, we can not comprehend or appreciate the work that has gone into it, as a lot of work goes into bringing a movie to 'life'. For me that is no more apparent than with this classic hit. The time spent doing the script, special effects, production designs all have their merit and make this movie great. It is not just actors doing their job, as that is only one small part of the movie.
Most of 'Ghostbusters' success must be given to director Ivan Reitman. He did a fabulous job directing the Ghostbusters. I am certain that he left no stone unturned when it came to getting this film right and I am so glad he did. What also made this film more unique was that two of its stars wrote one very very good script. I am of course talking about Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis. Their originality and comedy on paper, made watching this film a real joy. It is not often that stars write good scripts, but this time these guys got it right.
The cast that this film has was amazing to say the least. The four Ghostbuster characters were all different, which made them great to watch. I love the way that director Reitman summed up the Ghostbusters. He said of the three main guys that, Bill Murray was the 'mouth' or the smart ass of the film, while Dana Barrett says of Dr Venkman, ' you're more like a game-show host' and I have to agree with that, Dan Akroyd was the 'hands', meaning the person who was very hands-on when came to the ghostbusting, and finally Harold Ramis was the 'Brains' or the smartest one of Ghostbusters. Add in the cheery Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore, making them the perfect team.
However, the Ghostbusters are a little different when it comes to doing their job. They have funny facilities, which only they could invent, a car that is as wild and conspicuous as its owners are, while the tools that they use to trap there supernatural phenomenon are weird and crazy. I love the traps, 'nuclear accelerators' and other bits and pieces they simply refer to as 'toys', when they are anything but that.
Then take into consideration the other great roles in this film, as without them this film would not be as good. Sigourney Weaver was very 'spiritual' when came to being the normally delightful Dana Barrett. I really enjoyed the onscreen chemistry between her and Bill Murray. Rick Moranis played the moronic '' as only he can. I always think of him as the man from 'Little shop of horrors', but there is no doubting his acting talents. Add in the very 'unusual' and eccentric Receptionist Janine, who was amusingly portrayed by Annie Potts. I love it when she screams 'we got one'. Yet I still say my favourite character in the Ghostbusters, over the silly Venkman (who is second), is the funny ghost Slimer. While Murray is as insane as the ghosts were in this movie, Slimer steals the show in my view. He is wild, 'slimes' people and makes the Ghostbusters all the funnier. Whoever invented Slimer is a genius!
There are some very funny scenes and lines in this movie. I love how we are introduced to the first ghost in the movie, who is part of the library in New York, then the mayhem and chaos we see slimmer cause in the Hotel is classic cinematography. The Venkman line at the end of the scene is priceless as he says 'we came, we saw, we kicked its ass!' Throw in scenes with the monsters that run around New York terrorising people, the unlocking of ghosts by the Environmental Protection jerk and the Marshmallow Man are all hilarious parts to a movie that is full on from start to the finish.
I wish I had been old enough to see the opening of 'Ghostbusters' in the cinema, as I am sure it would have had a huge cinema release. When I remember the Ghostbusters two things come to mind. One is the hypnotic tune 'Ghostbusters' written and performed by Ray Parker Jnr., and two is that my mother and one of her friends said that they banned their children from viewing such rot. I certainly missed out on seeing many great facets of what the Ghostbusters spawned, such as two ingenious cartoons. I sort of understand what they were on about, but I would have preferred being allowed to watch it and then just forget about it. This film has a lot to like about, it is funny, crazy and a little bit different. If you are yet to see what the great fuss is about the 'Ghostbusters', then please do yourself a favour and pick up a copy today. Yes, they are ready to believe you!
CMRS gives 'Ghostbusters': 5 (Brilliant Film)
Some movies come with a surrounding story that makes it a richer
This one's enriching story is that it is largely accidental. They had a different movie in mind, then changed it in a rush, making changes and inventing every day while shooting. Usually this results in an incoherent mess, but in this case it became ever so MORE coherent.
The reason is that all the principles are strongest at improvisational comedy. And they had worked together intensively and knew how to make each other look good. Its a funny thing about acting, especially comedic acting in the long form : you almost never can actually make yourself a success. You have to trust your partners to make you a success.
I always enjoy this movie. Like "Holy Grail" its charm is in referencing a mature world of slightly twisted forces, keeping some constant. Its a familiar place, naturally found. Its that natural access that makes it so endearing. Nothing is forced; no one is trying very hard. They go there easily and we do as well.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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