(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)
The Movie: "Ghostbusters"
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max
The Pitch: Friends, we've hit that part of the year when the December festivities are over, guilt commercials for taxes and the gym have begun, and it's still too cold to do anything much outside other than shovel snow. We've got weeks until the next holiday, and everything seems pretty grey and bleak. When you're feeling miserable and down in the dumps, who ya gonna call? "Ghostbusters!"
The film, one of my all-time favorite comedies, came up over the holiday. I learned that a lot of people who were born after the Ivan Reitman film came out in 1984 have seen clips and heard of it — they may have even seen "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" — but they've never watched the entire original. Heck, some of the people I spoke to even quoted it without knowing what they were quoting! I am aghast and appalled, and it's time to remedy this.
If you haven't watched, "Ghostbusters" is the story of three Columbia University parapsychology professors, Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), who are fired from their jobs. After running into a ghost in the New York City Public Library, they start up a ghost-hunting and trapping business and hire Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and receptionist Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts).
Why It's Essential Viewing
Supernatural activity is ramping up as they get their first call from cellist Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), who sees a demon dog in her fridge, spouting the name "Zuul." Demon fridge dogs are never a good portent (plus, they step in the butter), and the Ghostbusters have to take down a god and a demi-god who possess Dana and her weird neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). These guys battle the forces of evil with nothing but some proton packs and quippy lines.
I won't try to convince you that the special effects are sound. Even as a tiny person in 1984, I could see how crappy they were, but it doesn't matter. The demon dogs look like early claymation, and the lines from the proton packs could be done better with an iPhone these days, but none of that changes how absolutely hysterical this film is. Peter is a jerk and a bit of a creeper, but you put him up against Sigourney Weaver, and it has the right effect. No one is trying to make him look like he's not a creeper, and let's just say the sequel reminds us that he's not exactly relationship material.
There Is No Dana … Only Zuul
The thing is, the rest of them are eminently loveable. Watch Ray for a few minutes and tell me you don't want to wrap him in a warm blankie and give him a cookie. Try to resist the charms of the nerdiest scientist in history, Egon Spengler, and prepare to fail. Winston brings just the right amount of witty sarcasm to the party. Rick Moranis is just … perfection as the goofiest neighbor in history. The combo of Louis as the Keymaster and Dana as the Gatekeeper trying to get together is the weirdest/best pairing in comedy.
I know that's a lot of superlatives, but I mean every one of them. This is one of those classics that make your ears perk up as soon as you hear the spooky opening sounds. Even the Ray Parker Jr. song (that spawned a copyright infringement lawsuit, which is another post entirely) has never stopped being fun to listen to.
It's just silly, goofy fun, and it's going to cheer you up immediately. Look, they made a sentient ghost that looks like a pile of snot seem cute, and really, isn't that just the best indication of how good this movie is?
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The post The Daily Stream: Go Ahead and Cross the Streams with a Ghostbusters Rewatch appeared first on /Film.