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He Said, She Said Review Site

Ghostbusters

What She said:

She

Ghostbusters, the classic Ivan Reitman comedy, takes me way, way back.  In fact, I was just a baby when this film was released.  So, obviously, many years passed before I actually watched the film for the first time.  I remember seeing it as a kid, but I couldn’t tell you if it was still the 80s or if we were into the 90s before I first encountered this movie.  But as a kid, I definitely latched on to the concept.

The film tells the story of a hodge-podge of parapsychologists who start a ghost extermination business in New York City.  It stars Bill Murray as disgraced and jerk professor, Dr. Peter Venkman, Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler, and Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz.  Also joining the Ghostbusters is everyday-man Winston Zeddemore, played by Ernie Hudson.  Sigourney Weaver plays Venkman’s love interest, Dana Barrett, and Rick Moranis is that annoying, eccentric guy down the hall, Louis Tully. 

Ghostbusters

It seems the Ghostbusters have come together at just the right time, as New York is in the middle of a ghostly invasion.  The group has no trouble finding work, yet they face tough opposition from the EPA regarding their disposal of the spirits.  And it turns out it’s no coincidence that ghost invasions are picking up.  Something big is underway, and the Ghostbusters, Dana, and Louis find themselves in the middle of it.  Basically, this Sumerian God, Gozer the Gozerian is trying to take over New York, and Dana and Louis become possessed as Zuul (“the Gatekeeper”) and Vinz Clortho (“the Keymaster”), helping Gozer to return to Earth.  The Ghostbusters must act fast to try to save the city form being overrun by these evil spirits, but, fortunately, they’re the best crew for the job.

Sometimes it takes me many, many paragraphs to describe a plot.  That’s not necessary for Ghostbusters because, although the movie managed to be interesting for 107 minutes, there really isn’t that much to it.  But I wouldn’t say that it suffers from a weakness in story at all.  It works, and it works well.  The movie is fresh and funny.  There’s plenty of action and ghost goo and splatter to keep you entertained.  Plus, the characters are all very interesting.  Each member of the Ghostbusters has their own quirks, and each is very different, and so we have this fun dynamic between them all that spans the length of the movie. 

Ghostbusters is light and easy to digest from a movie-watcher standpoint.  There’s not too much you need to try to figure out, and you don’t have to invest yourself too deeply into the plot.  The jokes are witty and fun.  There may be some that you’ll miss the first time you watch this film, particularly those delivered by Murray, as he’s often mumbling funny comments in the background, but when you pick up on them they’ll make you chuckle. 

Ghostbusters

I love our cast in this film.  Everyone puts in a solid performance, and it’s nice to see Murray in effect before he became all strange and Wes Anderson on us.  As I understand it, he was always a difficult person, but at least he’s funny and not just mopey in this film.  I also found Ramis particularly funny.  He’s sort of the brains of the group, and yet he also becomes overwhelmed by what they’re getting themselves into. 

It’s nice that they were able to get the cast back together for a second Ghostbusters flick, and I know that there are many who continue to hold out hope for a third.  With Ramis now passed, that’s seeming less and less likely, and now I’m hearing talk of a reboot of the franchise starring women.  I’ll lodge my opinion and say that at this point I think we should let sleeping dogs lie.  Just recognize the films for what they were, and leave them alone. 

Simple, fun, and funny, Ghostbusters is one of those classics that I’m happy to watch during the Halloween season.

Thumbs up. 

 

Ghostbusters

 

What He said:

He

I remember the last time I watched this movie it was during Hurricane Sandy. I remember this because, while we got lots of wind and rain where I live, we were fortunate enough to still have power. We were stuck in the house, which is fine with me, and this came on Encore. It just started too. I was psyched, because I stumbled upon it and hadn’t seen it in a while. This is exciting to a guy like me. You’re just sitting around, looking for something to do, and fate is kind enough to drop something like this in your lap. I cracked open a bottle of wine and laughed my ass off all by myself.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is about a group of parapsychologists who – after being dismissed at their positions and a local university – find success catching ghosts when there is a recent surge of supernatural activity in New York. The group consists of 4 members. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) is their unofficial leader. Peter screams used car salesman. He’s sleazy, lazy, and a master of the art of bullshit. He’s also hilarious. I’m surprised he even has a college degree. How he got it is a mystery, because I honestly can’t see the guy doing the work it takes to get through college. Ray Stantz (Dan Akroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are a lot more genuine. If Venkman is the personality of the group, they are the heart and soul. They’re really into this whole ghostbusting stuff. They are real research buffs and tech geeks.  Late addition to the group is Winston Zeddemore; the group’s average Joe. Winston (Ernie Hudson) kind of represents the audience. He is a blue collar guy who is totally new to this supernatural stuff. He was just looking for a paycheck actually and the Ghostbusters happened to be hiring.  

One of their clients is a woman named Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). Dana’s apartment appears to be haunted, so she hires the guys to investigate. She doesn’t seem like the type who would believe in any of this, but seeing is believing, and she just can’t ignore what’s going on in her apartment. Of course, Peter thinks she’s a babe, so naturally he volunteers to personally take her case. He’s more interested in checking her out than her apartment.

He isn’t the only one interested in Dana, as her neighbor Lous (Rick Moranis) seems to have the hots for her too. He’s always pestering her and inviting her over to his place. This is a great performance that only gets funnier once Louis is possessed by an ancient spirit.

Another great character is Walter Peck. Peck is the definition of a pain in the ass. He (William Atherton) is an investigator for the EPA who thinks the Ghostbusters are in violation of some environmental laws. He also believes they are a bunch of frauds and he’s determined to shut them down. Between this and the first two Die Hard movies, William Atherton was one of the all-time great movie jerks of my childhood. There is just something about this guy that screams “Why yes, I am a prick.”

Ghostbusters

So anyway, there’s been a lot of supernatural activity in the city of New York lately. Something big is on the horizon. The emergence of so many ghosts is an indication that a really big mean one is about to rear its ugly head. This creature is an ancient Sumerian god named Gozer. Gozer is the “god of destruction” and it’s never a good thing when somebody with that title shows up.

I recently watched this while on vacation. We had a busy day of hiking and wanted to relax in our room that evening. We like to try and watch more Halloween-themed stuff this time of year. Having recently watched Poltergeist, we decided to lighten things up, but still go with that theme.  This is an excellent comedy – I can’t stress enough how funny this is – with an awesome mythology. I love a comedy that actually has a story and the Ghostbusters goes to great lengths to craft an interesting universe. It’s a really well-written movie in several different ways.

Growing up I loved  this movie for so many different reasons. The merchandise was some of the coolest I had ever seen, but the best part was you didn't even have to buy it. The stuff in this movie gave you so many ideas that you could just let your creativity run wild. I still remember making my own proton packs and the ghost traps out of backpacks, shoeboxes, string, with some other stuff thrown in. That was a hell of a lot of fun. I remember acting out scenes from this movie, or creating my own adventures, for hours.

Ghostbusters

But if you watch it as an adult, you discover a whole new lawyer of fun. Take the scene in the mayor’s office. The first time I saw this as an adult, I lost it when Murray delivered this line. It’s just one of many funny moments in that scene alone. How about the scene where Murray’s character is testing the two students for psychic abilities? Hilarious! It’s vintage Peter Venkman. Or what about Ray inadvertently chooses the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as the instrument of death and destruction as delivered by Gozer? I love their reactions, particularly Ray’s as he realizes what he’s done. And who doesn’t love Egon’s techno-speak? If you pay attention to what comes out of his mouth, it’s really funny. It’s easy to focus on Murray cause he’s so good, but there’s so many good performances in this movie.

Rating: Thumbs way up.

This movie review was completed sometime in October of 2009. It was updated on November 11, 2012. It was revised once again, for your reading pleasure, on October 23, 2014.

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