Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Let us take a trip back to the mid 1980's. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had just re-cast American cinema into a big-budget-popcorn-munching mentality. It was really a short step from Jaws to Starwars and Indiana Jones, all three adventure stories taking place in the realms traditional pulp heroes: Battling nature on the high seas, princess rescuing space-cowboys, and battling baddies in jungle caves and ancient temples.
Ghostbusters came at the special effects blockbuster using a completely new angle: a prankster-styled comedy tested out in Animal House, sculpted in Stripes and somehow perfected as a New Yorker 'scientist vs ghost' story played for broad laughs. Many of those who doom the simplicity of '80s summer blockbuster mentality and pine for the gritty, cruel and nihilistic films of the 1970s (Scorcese, Coppola, Friedkin) fail to grasp the sugary taste of the peculiar cocktail of SCTV and SNL alumni doing science-fiction-comedy. Ostensibly an ensemble film featuring a slew of sketch-comedy talent (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis) and featuring the odd-ball choice of Alien action-queen Sigourney Weaver, but Ghostbusters is pretty much the Bill Murray show.
Featured is the classic Murray character: a cynical, slacker with an endless supply of dead-pan wise-cracks who manages to show some leadership quality when push comes to shove while still retaining his detached irony. Ghostbusters is the perfect vehicle for Murray because he's never taking anything very seriously and always winking at the audience as if to say...It's ok, this isn't The Godfather or 2001, relax, enjoy the pyrotechnics, I won't tell if you don't.
Is there a meaning here? Is there anything to talk about after the movie is over? Nope. But nearly every gag and joke works (and they fly at you pretty fast) and the characters are realized quite well insofar as the movies internal logic goes. And damn it, it has a 100 foot tall marshmallow man. I for one am not willing to throw Ghostbusters on the blockbuster scrap-heap.

Has my apologist wankering thrown you off wanting to revisit this sci-fi comedy classic? Didn't think so...Come by at 8:15pm for drinks and a 8:30pm showtime.

To put it far better than I can, and into a GenX cultural perspective, follow the link and read this humourous piece by Mary Ann Johanson.


Anonymous Dave said...

Perfect choice of picture for this movie! I am looking forward to it.

9:05 a.m.  
Blogger grace said...

awwww... i wanna go!

11:56 a.m.  

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