Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Movie Review: Ghostbusters (1984)

Before I was born, Ghostbusters became the great franchise that is now being rebooted over thirty years later. I saw this film multiple times in my childhood and recently caught it again at a special event showing at my local theater. The original film has a great mixture of comedy and goofy spooks to make it the classic that is still enjoyable to watch today.

After a brief ghost sighting, the film introduces Bill Murray's cocky and flirtatious Dr. Peter Venkman. Running wild in the psychology department, Venkman doesn't take his job serious but his fellow professors Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Together they investigate the paranormal sightings only to find themselves cast out of their college and in need of starting their own private business.

The Ghostbusters take off once they put down the grotesque green Slimer that is the inspiration for the green juice ecto cooler that we had at the theater. Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) asks for help from the Ghostbusters as something strange happens in her apartment. One of the most hilarious roles is Dana's neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). The awkward accountant tries to woo his neighbor with very funny consequences like continuously locking himself out of his apartment. Venkman also becomes infatuated with Dana but doesn't pick up on the strange happening in the building. 

Meanwhile, the business picks up and they hire Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) as the fourth member of their ghost hunting team. With added attention, the team faces investigation by EPA agent Walter Peck (William Atherton) who sneers at the protagonists' work and shuts down their highly sensitive storage facility. He's a great villain and obnoxious enough to help audience root even more for their strappy Ghostbusters.

Being from the 1980s, the style of dress of the characters is amusing to see these days. The special effects are also impressive at moments and at other times pretty ridiculous. It will be nice to see a reboot of the effects in the upcoming film. The movie doesn't go for straight-up humor but plenty of the one-liners, mostly from Bill Murray, are still funny. The Stay-Puft Marshmellow man at the end was a great climax and everything wraps up without too much drama. I'm excited and looking forward to the newest version.

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