The true test of a film is time. If a film can hold up through the passing of years, then as more years pass the more great the film becomes. Ghostbusters has stood the test of time. Producing a sequel and a cartoon series.
Ghostbusters is about three offbeat scientists, Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), who have just lost their university grant and are out on the street. What do they do now? They pursue an idea that they can catch ghosts and retain them.
The movie follows the three and also Sigourney Weaver’s character, Dana Barrett. Woven in the movie are three plots. The main plot of the film is the Ghostbusters trying to figure out why there are so many ghosts lately in New York. The two subplots are the love story between Venkman and Barrett. And the evil EPA man (William Antherton) trying to shutdown the Ghostbusters.
The real joy of The Ghostbusters is the comic interaction between the three (and later four) Ghostbusters. The well-written script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis gives each character a distinct, sharp, and intelligent personality. The other joy of the film is the incredible special effect by Richard Edlund. Even now, over a decade since its release, the special effects are impressive.
All actors give great performances. Bill Murray as Dr. Venkman is probably my most favorite of the four Ghostbusters. Like always, Murray is off the deep end in his performance, sometimes his performance seems almost adlibbed. Dan Aykroyd gets one of his best and most memorable roles as Dr. Stanz. His character is giddy and naive, which makes him very likeable. Harold Ramis gives a performance that turns Dr. Spangler into the unlike looking nerd. Ernie Hudson is not given enough time on screen, and I think his character could have gotten more, his character brought the layman into the Ghostbusters group. Sigourney Weaver does well in her role, but it is her neighbor Louis Tully, played by Rick Moranis who does better. His nerd accounting character is wonderfully funny and provides for a lot of laughs.
If you haven’t seen The Ghostbusters, I highly recommend this film. Even if you’ve seen it awhile ago, see it again. Director Ivan Reitman and cinematographer László Kovács uses the width of the movie screen to its fullest, often framing a shot from end to end. Watching The Ghostbusters in Pan and Scan format takes away from the film. Definitely catch The Ghostbusters in widescreen format, or you’ll be missing out on a lot. (Criterion offers The Ghostbusters in widescreen format on laserdisc). This is a don’t miss film.