Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!

Ghostbusters (1984)

With a lot of the recent filmaday entries for older movies I'm going by memory (in some cases like Princess Bride i frequently rewatch) but I managed to catch a one day screening of Ghostbusters at the cinema. Had I not, this review would be full of praise, it's a very funny movie, smart, silly, a proto-typical Bill Murray performance, a remembrance of how bits of it scared the hell out of me as a kid. That's still the case. It's a great film.
However, watching it on the big screen, with full attention, certainly presented some problems I never really considered it having in my hazy recollections (last watched about 12 years ago or so).
Nobody in Ghostbusters has an arc. There are no character revelations. Nobody really learns anything beyond "Ghosts are real" (five minutes in). Murray's Venkman comes closest perhaps, he sets a goal of getting with Weaver and achieves it but doesn't particularly do any work to get there. Stuff just kinda happens. And then it stops. All the stuff in between is fun, great quotable gags, cool effects but no one gets a pay off. Ernie Hudson's only point in the film is to show the 'Busters are busy, literally has no other plot mechanic or character beat (there's a vague bit about him being religious and he does get one of the best lines though).
Somehow none of that matters, it's a sloppy mess structurally but zippy and entertaining. That's enough.

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