Friday, August 30, 2013

Revisiting the Classics -- Ghostbusters

Today we have the 1984 Ivan Reitman classic, Ghostbusters.

The story takes place in New York City. College professors Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Ray Stantz (Dan Akroyd) suddenly find themselves out of a job due to their dubious research into ghosts. Venkman convinces Spengler and the gullible Stantz they should open up a ghost-busting business. They buy an old fire station and fill it with equipment such as the nuclear-powered Proton Packs. After successfully catching their first ghost--the green glutton Slimer--they quickly achieve rock star status. When the jobs start rolling in, they decide to hire a fourth ghostbuster, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).

One day they get a visit from cellist Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who has discovered an ominous portal to another world inside her refrigerator. Venkman is immediately smitten with her (he really only started Ghostbusters to get rich and pick up chicks) and goes with her to check out her apartment. He finds nothing and soon leaves--after he asks her on a date. Meanwhile, EPA official Walter Peck (Die Hard's William Atherton) comes to the station and forcibly shuts down their containment unit, releasing all the ghosts they had caught.

If that weren't bad enough, Dana gets possessed by the demonic Zuul the Gatekeeper, and her nerdy Jewish stereotype neighbor Louis (Rick Moranis) gets possessed by the Keymaster. When the two get together, they open up a rift which allows the Sumerian demigod Gozer to enter our world. Can the Ghostbusters send Gozer packing and save New York?

I absolutely loved this movie as a kid when it first came out. It was wildly different from anything I had ever seen, and it had an offbeat sense of humor. Plus, the Proton Packs were so damn cool. I watched the movies and the cartoons; I had the toys; I even drew primitive fan art at daycare. I also couldn't get enough of Ray Parker, Jr.'s theme song; I listened to it constantly.

I recently got the movie on Blu-ray, and I gotta say, it holds up very well to today's standards. It looks and sounds better than ever in high-def. While watching it, I felt as if I had been transported back to my childhood. It was a lot of fun rooting for those zany heroes once again.

If you've never seen it, you've done yourself a great disservice. Go out and watch it!

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