Comedians Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis have fun in this 1984 film as "Ghostbusters." They are booted out of Columbia University where they've had their own parapsychology research office. Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman is some sort of bogus parapsychologist. He plays at tests to study telepathy and similar mental games. But, he's mostly interested in female students. Aykroyd's Dr. Raymond Stantz and Ramis's Dr. Egon Spengler, on the other hand, are into the paranormal. That's the realm of the unknown outside of science. But unlike the psych field, things here can be seen in real life. Venkman is mostly clueless to their work, but he goes along with it. So, they go into the business of catching ghosts. The team invents a trap to contain or imprison ghosts they catch. They have proton weapons that sort of lasso ghosts electrically or by their zapping energy. Venkman is more interested in pursuing Sigourney Weaver's Dana Barrett. who becomes a client.
For comedies such as this, one doesn't have to question the fact that there wasn't such a business before because there was no apparent problem. While the para designation says it's outside of science, Stantz and Spengler have made it a science of studying the para field. All of this contributes to the comedy. The humor isn't in clever, witty dialog, but in rapid-fire nonsensical stuff about the paranormal. And, in some satire and the antics of the Ghostbuster squad as it tangles with ghosts. A fourth ghost fighter joins them. Erne Hudson plays Winston Zeddmore. The various ghosts are mostly funny caricatures. The best comedy is provided in the spoofing jabs of the mayor of New York City, city government, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. William Atherton plays Walter Peck, an EPA honcho who shuts down the Ghostbuster's power supply that keeps its huge collection of jailed ghosts confined. Pandemonium results, and the guys become the heroes of the city for shutting down organized spookery. This is an enjoyable fantasy and sci-fi comedy. It was deserving of the two Oscar nominations it received - for best visual effects and best original song. Toward the end, the ghost fighters encounter their biggest challenge. This is approaching the demonic, and the scenes could be scary for young viewers.
For this film everything simply worked, it is one of those "lightning in the bottle" incidents! The main cast is great and very likeable, their interactions and comedic timing is impeccable, they work off each other in a sublime way! The side characters are similarly memorable and help to shape this incredible film. It's comedy meets fantasy/horror setting is one of, if not the best of it's kind! The effects are great and hold up, mainly cause they are practical effects combined with early CGI, creating many memorable monsters and scenes. Add the legendary theme song and the ingenious idea of having Ghostbusters in the first place - guys who are kinda like firemen, but bust ghosts, using cool gadgets and what you get is a timeless classic!
Oh, childhood, seeing Ghostbusters for the first time, it tickled my imagination. Seeing it again in my thirties I must say the experience was a bit different. Of course the obvious great acting performances were more apparent this time around. Bill Murray is a lot more of a "dog" than I remember, being weighed perfectly by the co-actors who all have their own personalities which help to advance the story.The plot... its quite simple really. Quickly moving to the core, Ghost Busting, moving ahead fast enough to keep the audience engaged while ticking all the usual boxes of love interest, comedy and villains. The chemistry between the lead actors feels natural and having Sigourney Weaver gives the possession part of the movie more weight. What I really took away from the movie was what I miss in most movies these days. Great characters, good balance of action and dialogue as well as genuine fun on the actors part . This is a fun movie which gave me a few chuckles and felt like it was really invested in, both in terms of budget (the special effects are a bit dated) and the apparent enjoyment of the actors.Honorable mention. Bill Murray gives his hallmark performance and in my opinion is the pivot of the movie without being overbearing. Sigourney Weaver is strong also.The music is 80's flashback which highlighted the the happy-go-lucky feeling of the movie. What I will say is the the music was implying a sense of mystery or even horror at a few places which to me didn't work at all. There is very little suspense in the movie and even when the score tries to work up a mood of mystery it kind of fell flat for me. Its a comedy with a supernatural context and that's it. Granted, it does it damn well.
The Movie Diorama
It's one of those international hits that's turned into a pop cultural phenomenon. There surely isn't a single soul who hasn't heard of Ghostbusters. Most people who know me will automatically think "why did you buy this?" as they know I'm not the biggest fan. However, loving the all-female reboot I just had to own the original and give it another shot. New York City is slowly experiencing more sightings of paranormal entities and ghostly spectres, so who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! (Sorry, couldn't resist). It's a story that's really built on the memorable witty characters. The Ghostbusting team divulge in sarcastic banter that provides some much needed humour which is sustained throughout the runtime. Whilst I didn't particularly laugh at any point, it's difficult not to smile with what's presented on screen. Lead Ghostbuster Bill Murray gives a consistently charismatic performance that brings the team alive. Harold Ramis and Dan Ackroyd also give fun performances. Sigourney Weaver was unusual casting, prefer her being a badass. Rick Moranis...I just can't. I've never really warmed to him in anything. It's an imaginative premise with plenty of creativity embedded in the futuristic technology. The ghosts themselves were well designed, Slimer and the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man have proven to be unforgettable and are constantly referenced still today. The main antagonist being an ancient Babylonian deity was unfortunately not really fully explored. The primary focus was the Ghostbusters themselves to which the film succeeds. Most of the practical effects have held up well, the visual effects not so much. Particularly the animation for the "Keymaster" and "Gatekeeper" when moving in beast form. I like Ghostbusters, how could I not...I just don't rate it all that much. It's just good old fashioned 80's popcorn fun that everyone can enjoy. Oh, and you shall be singing that darn theme tune hours later...