Ghostbusters (1984) We’re Ready To Believe You

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All is quiet in New York City, or is it? An elderly librarian (Alice Drummond) is about to be scared witless by an even more elderly apparition, a ghost. Not knowing what to do the library calls the university for some help. This is how the movie starts and it keeps you totally engaged in the film till the very end. You have the straight man Egon Spengler, the clueless spook chaser and fantasizer Raymond Stantz and the womanizer and sleaze Peter Venkman.

After the library calls the university the three scientists Egon, Ray and Peter (Bill Murray) go to check it out. Peter could care less as he want to get back to palying with his grad student in a very personal way. Ray and Egon (Harold Ramis) are like kids in a candy shop at the possibilities that this is a real ghost. So in they go to find out what really happened. Peter who doesn’t really believe in anything starts trying to debunk the librarians story. After questioning her they go into the stacks in the basement to see what happened. Down there they find books stacked into pillars, slime and ectoplasmic goo all over the card draws (yes they used a card catalog back then and not a computer). It is what they find after that where they really get interested in what is happening. Right in front of them is a full floating apparition that is reading a book. Not knowing what to do they try and sneak up on it and it turns all ape banshee on them and scares them right out of the building.

When they get back to the school they find that they have been kicked out and all their grants revoked. They now have no job, no money and no idea what to do. Ray (Dan Aykroyd) did say that with the readings that they took they should be able to actually catch and store a ghost indefinitely. This gives Peter and idea and he convinces Ray to mortgage his house and the three of them start up a business tracking down and catching ghosts. He figures if there is one then there must be other and if they offer their services they are sure to get plenty of business. That is how they start the Ghostbusters, Inc. and start airing adds on the local stations to get business.

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) is a cello player in the New York Symphony and lives in the penthouse floor of a very old skyscraper in the city. Her neighbor is Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) who is always locking himself out of his apartment and constantly trying to hook up with Dana. Right after returning from the store and avoiding Tully again she sees the ad for the Ghostbusters and starts putting away her groceries. When she has her back turned all the eggs start exploding and cooking themselves and then she hears growling coming from her fridge. When she opens it she sees a temple in the clouds and hears the name Zuul (Ivan Reitman). She screams and runs out of the apartment in a panic and to the Ghostbusters renovated firehouse.

The rest of the movie centers around Peter trying to get into Dana’s pants and never being able to because of all the ghosts that they keep having to chase. They keep getting so many calls that they actually have to get more help. That is when Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) joins the team as well as their secretary Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts). She is about the only thing that keeps the “boys” in line and able to keep going. That is till some prick of a suit, Walter Peck (William Atherton), from the EPA decides to rain on their parade. He forces the city to shut down the containment field that Ray and Egon have made and it releases all of the ghosts and Slimer at once. Believing it is the fault of the Ghostbusters he has them arrested and it takes the mayor’s intervention to get them out. Peter and his charisma convinces the mayor (David Margulies) that he will be the savior of millions of registered voters if he lets the Ghostbusters do their job.

This is a fun family for the entire family. The only hard parts in the film are some of the performances of Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman. Sometimes the scenes seem so forced and uncomfortable that you actually feel embarrassed watching them. Fortunately it is just a very few scenes where it is that way, the rest of the film is a real joy to watch. While this is a comedy it really does have some very scary parts in it but it is not bloody or gory. Because of that it is a film that the entire family can watch and enjoy.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★☆☆ 

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