7/23/12

Ghostbusters 1 Review (No Spoilers!)

By: 14th Lord



Having already reviewed the Ghostbusters 2, I thought it right that after rewatching the original movie, to pay my respects and give it the review it deserves itself. While there are talks about releasing a third Ghostbusters movie, as of yet, Bill Murray has yet to read the script, leaving the production at a stand still for years to come, lest they were to decide to leave him out, but if they did go that route, just beginning to recapture what gave the first two its appeal has become ever so more difficult.

Ghostbusters 3 has been in the work for years in actuality, back in the original 1990's shortly after the release of Ghostbusters 2, a script for a third movie was written, featuring a cast of new, younger ghostbusters, a hellish version of manhattan, and a technobabble galore. While there was interest, it was a minor one, and the project was put on hold indefinitely, that is, until 2009 when Ghostbusters The Video Game was released.



Ghostbusters The Video Game is truest to the ghostbusters franchise of all spinoff material released, whcih includes many other video game and animated adaptations. Returning, the original ghostbusters voiced the characters in the game as mentor figures to the player as they explore the ghostbusters universe, seeing many familiar sights from the original two movies, continuing where the first movies story left off in particular. With that note, lets quit the story of the franchise, and get to the movie itself.

The movie begins with a dark, eerie tone, with a splendid song piece in the background setting up the atmosphere. A lone librarian makes her way to through the stats when things begin to go amiss, until alas she screams in horror, facing the source of the disturbance. Queue the ghostbusters theme song, one of the most iconic and recognized songs in movie history, even by those who never seen the movies. The startling change in beat from a dark creepy backdrop to a cheery vocal piece I believe sets a strong foundation of what to expect in the movie. While the movie maintains a dark and serious story line, its taken in stride by the diverse cast that makes up the original ghostbusters. Each character has their own unique personalities that adds to the teams dynamic.

Peter Venkman is the everyman of the movie, or perhaps, what every man aspires to be like. He's an ambitious man that takes everything half seriously, intelligent even if not well read, and lets not forget the aspect of him we love the most, he's witty, sarcastic, crude, and a bit of a jerk with a heart of gold. Peter is the unforgettable ghostbuster played by the great Bill Murray, one of the few actors who've not just achieved enough notice that I remember his name, but outright enjoy and respect as a actor. Anything featuring Bill Murray, I am willing to watch, even if it's something I wouldn't have otherwise.

The other two ghostbusters are Ray and Egon, intellectual scientist types who constantly spout technobabble upon each other in terms far beyond a common persons understanding, leaving it to Peter to translate for them, or at times to get them to "dumb it down" for the other characters, and audience's sake. While you might think two intellectual scientist types might lose their identity to one and another due to their similarities, this couldn't be further than the truth, as each have very strong personalities, unique to themselves. Egon, tall and with glasses, is your typical scientist to the extreme. He completely lacks social norms and understanding, completely lost in his field and work, not realizing that his 'normal' couldn't be further from the normal of a common person, to humorous extents. Ray on the other hand tends to be a more middle grounded character, easily excited and quirky, he is the midway point between Peter and Egon's opposites.

Alas that brings us to the supporting characters. Dana is the love interest of Peter Venkman, and the primary client of the ghostbusters. Winston, recruited near the end of the movie, becomes the fourth ghostbuster, who actually appears in almost none of the original movies posters and production photos. Winstons character is a bit peculiar, not in his quirky nature or anything that makes him stand out, but the lack of, is what sets him apart as a character. While Peter is the quirky everyman, Winston is the everyman who's just there for a pay check. He has nothing invested into the team, and acts as the sane man surrounded by insanity, without the sarcastic nature that ends up getting Peter in trouble ever so often.



Ghostbusters has earned its place as a must see classic, not just the first movie, but its sequel Ghostbusters 2 which while it didn't technically continue the story arc, it posed as a natural progression from where Ghostbusters 1 had left our cast off with. It proved both a great movie, and a worthy sequel.

Characters: 10/10
As I've said before, it's proof of creating a good realistic character when a movie can show you who a character is by their actions, rather than through telling you the characters history and backstory through the dreaded exposition. Often do I see movies that tries desperately to convince you a character is likeable by having every character love them and talk about how great they are, but so rarely do they actually achieve the effect through having them do things that would cause the audience to form such a opinion on their own.

Plot: 8/10
The movie does a good job at luring the viewer in through the dark, the abnormal, and the creepy, despite keeping a lighthearted tone all throughout. The movie tells you enough that  everything makes sense in universe, and you're seldom left wondering why characters reacted a certain way, or why something happened the way it did. The weakest point I believe would be the introduction of Winston, which felt blatantly rushed. Winston comes in for a interview, says he'll believe whatever they want, instantly hired, and next we see him cruising the streets as a seasoned ghostbuster. 

Fun Factor: 7/10
Despite having a great cast, good directing and a good plot, this movie isn't as "fun" as the second movie. The humor is far less, and there's few to any scenes that strikes out as fun besides the ghostbusters first job, where they destroy a very expensive hotel dining room, despite claims of being discrete.

Directing & Casting: 10/10
Great cast, great angles, good cuts for the vast majority of the film. Overall I thought the movie was pretty successful in showing what it wanted to, what it needed to, and keeping the overall momentum of the movie at a steady pace.

Overall: 9/10
The movie I found to be very successful, and despite it being tongue and cheek, it does a great job at taking itself serious, and having the viewer take it serious as well. Everything in the movie just seems so natural, and the effects employed, especially for the time, was stellar. I would recommend this to anyone who'd enjoy weird and light hearted movies. This is the movie that has sprouted a phenomenal fan following, still strong despite it being about 20 years since the last movies release.

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