A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 33 – Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters – April 2, 2010

Being a librarian, I both love and hate the beginning of this movie. On one hand, yay libraries! On the other, boo stereotypes! That being said, it is a great intro. Thank goodness physical card catalogs are a thing of the past. The idea of having to reorganize all the cards that come spitting out of the cabinet makes me feel a headache coming on. And the books! Symmetrical book stacking! I wish with all my heart that people where I work would stack books that neatly.

Now, I was too young to see this in the theater, but it wouldn’t have mattered. I didn’t go to many movies as a kid. But I’ll go into that tomorrow, because I did see Ghostbusters II in the theater. Anyhow, I did see this when I was a kid and only in my adulthood do I realize just how much went whooooooooosh, right over my head. Even so, I’ve loved it for years. Much like Buckaroo Banzai, it’s eminently quotable. Perhaps not to quite the same extent, but really, there are tons of lines that have entered my reference vocabulary (not to mention stuff like “Don’t cross the streams” which has entered common parlance as a euphemism for a Very Bad Idea, often involving mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed). I won’t make a list for this one, but there’s probably a quotable line or two in every scene in the movie.

As I watch this, I find I don’t have much to say beyond how much fun it is to watch the movie and laugh. Which is the point. It’s not meant to spark intellectual debate. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. And it is. Even the montage is great! I mean, I could interrogate it from a feminist perspective (oh, OH I really could), or criticize the fact that the loathsome petty villain of the movie is an EPA representative, because you know how horrible people who are concerned about the environment are (for the EPA guy I generally just try to see him as a bureaucrat and hum the Bureaucrat song from Futurama in my head) But I don’t really want to ruin it for myself by taking an otherwise good silly movie with a great script and getting all serious. I can think of at least one other movie in our collection that I know I’ll be ripping apart, so I’ll save my ire for later.

For now, I’ll just have a good time watching this movie in wide screen, so I can see all the details (like the Staypuft marshmallows on Dana’s counter at the beginning) that got cut in the pan and scan. And for that matter, it’s awesome seeing this movie on DVD with all the scenes and dialogue intact. The version I had for years was videotaped off television and the swears were dubbed over and some scenes were missing and that’s what made it okay for me to watch at my young and impressionable age. Haha.


April 2, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment


April 2, 2010


For the first time since we’ve started our daily movie project Amanda and I are watching the movie separately.  So we chose a movie we’ve both watched and enjoyed umpteen bajillion times: Ghostbusters.

As with Buckaroo Banzai this is one of our most often quoted movies.  Things like “Listen!  Do you smell something?” and “You’re right.  No human being would stack books this way.” are just part of our lexicon.  In particular, however, the line “This magnificent feast here represents the LAST of the petty cash” is something that has morphed into “this represents the LAST of the petty breakfast cereal” or whatever we’re about to run out of.  We quote it at least once a week… probably more often.

I was twelve years old when I went to see this movie in the theater.  I remember spending the night afterwards at my friend Eric’s house dreaming that I was a ghostbuster being trained in the use of a proton pack.  What’s interesting to me is that in all the intervening years my love for this movie hasn’t lessened at all.  The only thing that has really aged about the movie at all is its music, and who doesn’t love the synthesised pop music of the eighties?  Other than that the entire movie is timeless.  It could be set in today’s New York just as well as that of 1984.

There’s not much more to say about Ghostbusters, really.  It feels like a movie made specifically for my teenaged self, and I feel like I’m twelve again every time I see it.  I don’t feel like I need to give a plot summary or anything like that, because I’m sure everybody has seen this movie already.  If not… why on earth not?  Don’t read a review of it – just go watch it!

The DVD of this movie was one of great early DVD releases.  It came out in 1997 or 1998 and it is PACKED with great extras.  In particular I love the commentary track that has shadows of the commentators MST3K style in front of the movie.  (A trick also used briefly in the UHF commentary track as I mentioned in my review for that movie.)  Some nice tidbits in the commentary about filming in New York and such.  Harold Ramis says the key to comedy is strange entrances (from under tables and such) and big funny hair.  A lot of nice making of features as well, especially considering that this DVD was produced more than a decade after the movie was made.  Somebody had a lot of foresight hanging on to all that documentary footage.

So.  Ghostbusters.  Go watch it again right now.

April 2, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , | 2 Comments