Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ghostbusters (1984)


“There's something very important I forgot to tell you.”
“What?”
 “Don't cross the streams.”

            When I read of Harold Ramis’s passing yesterday it was very sad. My cousin told me it is as if part of his childhood died. Ramis played Egon Spangler the super nerdy scientist in Ghostbusters. There was something about Spangler that always amused me. Maybe because he was nerdy and totally into what he was passionate about and that was science (I am no way into science whatsoever but I appreciate and love his passion). Ramis was a comedic genius. So many of America’s greatest classic comedies were either written or directed by him. I believe it should be mandatory for all Americans to watch Caddy Shack at least once their life. So in honor of Harold Ramis for this day’s post I have decided to watch Ghostbusters one of my all time favorite movies and the movie I know Ramis best from.
            When I think back to my childhood what sticks out in my mind are the movies I used to watch. There were some that I would watch over and over again. I used to watch the Ninja Turtles movie all the time and still know at least the first one by heart. There are several Disney movies I cherish and adore from when I little, but who does not have a Disney memory from when they were little. My fondest memory of a movie I have is watching Ghostbusters. This is so because I used to watch both movies with my older cousin all the time. Of course since he was older than me I adored him and wanted to do whatever he did and he used to watch Ghostbusters all the time. Even the cartoons we loved together (to this day I still have the firehouse and figures from the cartoon!). The Ghostbusters movies are cherished in my house. No matter how many times we have all seen them we always laugh hysterically.
            If you do not know the plot to Ghostbusters then there is something wrong with and means you have been a sheltered person all your life since you have never seen it. But for those sheltered individuals here is a summary.
            Doctors Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spangler, and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) are parapsychologists. They were working at a university until they were let go when the college dropped their funding. They decide to go into the business of catching ghosts. Their first client comes from a hotel where a green ghost is causing havoc in the dining. After this they are inundated with calls for help with the paranormal.
            One day a woman named Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) comes into their office seeking help. The day before she came home to her apartment after grocery shopping and the eggs she just bought jumped out of the carton and were frying. When she opened her refrigerator there was this nasty looking dog and she heard the name Zuul. Peter takes the case thinking he has a chance with Dana.
            Pretty soon the Ghostbusters figure out that Dana’s apartment is a paranormal portal that had been built by worshipers of the ancient god Gozer. And of course they wind up saving Dana and the entire city of New York.
            The more I watch Ghostbusters the more I love the characters. I love how Venkman is a bit of a jerk and seems to just be along for the ride. Ray is like an oblivious little kid. Spangler is nerdy as hell but totally funny with his dryness. Lewis Tully played by Rick Moranis is probably one of the best and under appreciated characters in all of movie history. I die laughing when he becomes the Key Master and he is brought to Ghostbuster headquarters. Janine, played perfectly by Annie Potts, asks Lewis if he wants coffee, Lewis looks at Spangler and Spangler says “Yes, have some” and Lewis repeats what Spangler said.
            The dialogue is genius. There are so many good lines it is hard to pick which line is my favorite. So much of the dialogue, especially Bill Murray’s, was adlibbed. This is one of my favorite lines: “We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!”
               Rewatching this I love the library scene because I am currently working in one. I will admit I am a nerd because when I first went into the New York Public Library I was hoping I would see the Gray Lady that caused the trouble there, ha ha. I cringed seeing the card catalogs fly all over the place, I would not want to be the person who has to pick them up and order them again. Thank God everything is all computerized now! 
            Ghostbusters is just a genius movie all around. This is the only movie where I become a jerk and cannot even speak to anyone who has never seen it to me it is unfathomable to believe. It seems un-American to me if you have never seen this. Ghosbusters is nerdy, hysterical, wonderful, perfect, and enduring. It is a timeless movie that has become a great staple in my life.