Monday, February 7, 2011

716. Ghost Busters (1984)

Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Main Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver


I figured since I'm just getting my feet re-wet in the '1001' project, we'd start out light and take care of some of the less serious movies in the book. Today, I stuck with the Bill Murray theme of yesterday and tackled "Ghost Busters" (the book has it separated as two separate words, not sure if that's how it actually is, but we'll go with it).

Well it's the 1980's and it's Bill Murray, so you know right away you're going to be in for some laughs. Bill Murray is Dr. Peter Venkman and along with fellow scientists, Dr. Ray Stantz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis), is kicked off the campus of the university that houses their science labs. Venkman sees it as an opportunity to open up a new business, where he and his fellow com padres will track and capture ghosts, spooks and spectres. His aspirations are confirmed when he and the boys are called into the local NYC library on a call that the librarian has seen a spectre. They open up a business and call themselves GhostBusters, convincing Ray to take out a third mortgage on his house, they rent a dilapidated old building, resembling that of an abandoned fire station. Business is slow at first, which gives their newly hired secretary the opportunity to do her nails as she waits for the ringing of the telephone. Their first customer is Dana Barrett (Weaver), who seeks the help of the GhostBusters after seeing creatures inside her refrigerator and hearing them utter the name "Zool". Venkman checks out the problem, but also checks out Dana and our romance of the film is off and running. The business eventually picks up and the boys gain national recognition as they trap and secure ghosts. The conflict presents itself when an EPA agent sticks his nose into the GhostBusters business and threatens to have them shut down.


Up until the "Stay Puf't Marshmallow Man" arrived on the scene, I was able to make some definitive comparisons between this movie and "Shaun of the Dead". Allow me to explain. In "Shaun of the Dead" the main characters are presented with a crisis, a crisis that consists of their city being ravaged by zombies. The zombies are never portrayed as comedic, but rather, always portrayed as a real threat. It is only the non-zombie, main characters who provide the comedy in "Shaun of the Dead". The same (or almost the same) formula was used in "GhostBusters". The main characters (the GhostBusters) are the ones providing us with the comedy (mainly Bill Murray, who totally makes this film for me and without him, this would have been a nightmare to sit through) and the ghosts, spooks or whatever you want to call them are always perceived as a REAL threat. Things even begin to get real serious, when during a scene where Ray and Winston (Hudson) are riding in a car, Winston starts thumping the bible and talking about the end of the world, judgment day and people rising from their graves. Of course, my theory is shattered when Mr. Stay Puf't arrives on the scene, turning the "threat" into a huge piece of tasty comedy, but I think I definitely had something there for at least a minute.

Does this movie belong in the "1001" book? Probably not. Not that it's a bad movie, because it's definitely not and it's actually a lot of fun. It's just that there are other movies that the spot could've been given to in the book and while we're on the subject of Bill Murray, one of those movies that could've taken the spot of "GhostBusters" was "Lost in Translation", which criminally is not in the book. Anyway, let's not harp about other movies, let's deal with the one at hand. The movie is funny and 99.9% of the comedy is from Bill Murray. Like I said above, if it weren't for him, in my opinion, this movie would've been a disaster to sit through, as he totally made the film for me. The entire film is all in good fun and if you go into expecting to have fun, then you probably will. Don't take it serious and I'm sure it'll all work out in the end.

RATING: 6.5/10 Nothing stellar, nothing horrid...A definite must see for Bill Murray fans.


February 7, 2011 2:45pm

1 comment:

  1. As you say, not bad.. just not my thing, (being over 10 years old). There are much, much worse child friendly films out there.. and if this film gets any 10 year olds to (Later) watch an adult Bill Murray film, well thats great.


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