Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie of the Week – Ghostbusters

This week’s movie is Ghostbusters (1984).

The adventure comedy is about three scientists who decide to open up a ghost-catching business in New York, the first of its kind – little do they know, business is booming because it is the end of the world. In its original conception, the film was much different – taking place in the future with time travel, and it was written as a vehicle for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi (but Belushi died). The script by Aykroyd and co-star Harold Ramis was reworked with director Ivan Reitman and star Bill Murray coming on board – Reitman coming off the comedy hits Meatballs and Stripes, both with Murray starring. Murray agreed to take the role if Columbia also made his passion project The Razor’s Edge (a film that I think is very underrated). Another change from the original plan was that John Candy was to feature in the supporting role that went to Rick Moranis (who is great in it) but could not due to scheduling conflicts. The rest of the cast is great with Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Ernie Hudson. The film has an excellent crew with composer Elmer Bernstein (whose score is one of my favorites, if not my favorite), cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs and production designer John DeCuir. What I love about the film is how good a film it really is, and how well it has stood the test of time. Many of the films of my childhood (this chief among them) are not nearly as good now as they were then. But, this is not the case for Ghostbusters. The jokes are still very funny (Bill Murray’s dry zaniness is timeless). The story is tight. The aesthetics, directing and performances are all wonderful. Plus, the film champions New York City and is clearly a NYC film (despite all the interiors being shot in a studio in LA). This is one of those films that everyone should see – cinematic entertainment at its best. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Streaming, and to Rent

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