It’s hard to review really great movies, especially super amazing classics that are A+++ and can do not wrong. I want to do justice to them in the reviewing, and that’s a lot of pressure. Anyway, Ghostbusters is one of those films that in spite of how silly the premise is — or that it came out in the tacky, halcyon days of 1984 — works like “gangbusters” (terrible pun, sorry).
Note: all Classic Movie Reviews probably contain spoilers. We assume the statute of movie limitations has passed. 😉
Back off man, I’m a movie reviewer
Most people know every line in Ghostbusters, because it’s that clever and funny. Yet there’s new things to discover even after all this time and countless viewings. Can you believe this is the first time I noticed the Keymaster imitating Eagon before Dickless shuts down the containment system? I bet you haven’t either. It’s hysterical, and probably wasn’t scripted. Only since this is a Peetime and I was watching it closely did I even look at poor possessed Louis Tully. It’s hard to command attention when Bill Murray is talking smack front and center. Not even if you collect spores, molds, and fungus.
As far as I’ve heard, most of the best stuff in Ghostbusters was improvised. With a top notch, mostly Saturday Night Live alum cast, this is to be expected.
They had the tools. They had the talent!
I also heard Eddie Murphy was supposed to be Winston Zeddemore. I’m super relieved he passed on it. Ernie Hudson is the perfect straight guy, and has some of the best lines in the entire flick. Think about this: Murphy would have changed the entire tone of the Ghostbusters, tipping it too far into absurdity. Hudson’s Zeddemore provides the needed — and slightly exasperated — Everyman grounding.
Here’s a fun activity: put in a beloved film or TV episode, and don’t watch the people speaking lines. Don’t look at the star. Watch the background reactions from the rest of the ensemble. I’ve been doing this lately during a current rewatch of Star Trek: The Next Generation and have a whole new appreciation for Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes is underrated, but, hey, he’d been up against Patrick Stewart). This is great to do with anything you’ve seen so many times that you normally relegate said entertainment to a ‘background film’.
(A background film is filler. You put it on in the background when cleaning the house or cooking, or doing anything that doesn’t require your 100% attention.)
Ghostbusters is that rare comedy that works perfectly on several genre levels and holds up as the decades slip by…
Watching Ghostbusters again last night, I barely noticed anything too dated from the 80s: some hairstyles, the big landline phones. It doesn’t matter. This paranormal comedy is well written, well acted, well directed, and even throws interesting world building into the supernatural stew. Every line is somehow still quotable and useful in daily life. If we started putting our favorite GB quotes in the comment section, it would quickly become our longest thread. (Hey, let’s do it.)
The score is instantly recognizable and easy on the ears. The practical effects work just fine, and the old special effects aren’t distracting. In fact they look better than the updated effects from the sequel. Which, oh no…here we go…
Don’t cross the streams!
We don’t need to discuss the wretched sequel, which goes to prove how hard it is to recapture lightning in the same old ghost trap. And then, there’s the girls’ version, which is merely an homage and not really a story on its own.
Whenever CoVid lets us have new movies again, we’ll see if the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife is worth the wait. I can’t discuss the two Ghostbuster animated shows from the 90s, since I never watched either. If you have, tell me about them in the comments below. I hear they’re decent.
If you get the chance to catch Ghostbusters on the big screen at a drive-in theater during lockdown, I bet it’ll seem like the wildest parking lot party this side of the ethereal plane.
Movie Grade: A+
We now have Peetimes up for Ghostbusters on the RunPee app. Just do a search for the movie title on the top right menu in the app. Do you agree with the Peetimes we chose?
The first 2 Peetimes are very good, if you can make a ‘pee’emptive strike.
There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Ghostbusters. (What we mean by Anything Extra)
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)