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Ghostbusters and I Both Turn 30

My best friend gave me a Ghostbusters LEGO set for my birthday, right before we went to see the 30th anniversary re-release together. The theater wasn't crowded - we were two of perhaps fifteen altogether. But the small audience meant that everyone who was there were big fans, and that's really the best way to see movies. Also, I always forget how adorable younger Dan Aykroyd is until the next time I see Ghostbusters.


The big screen format really makes a difference, and I'd say that most of the film's visual effects hold up really well, especially the part where Mr. Peck orders the utilities worker to shut down the power to the ghost containment system. I know we all make fun of J.J. Abrams for lens flare, but the ghostly orbs exiting the roof of the Ghostbusters building and swirling through the New York skyline had really subtle flares that enhanced the realism instead of shoving it into the viewers' faces.

I was thinking a lot about the recent passing of Harold Ramis during the whole film, especially the delightfully awkward scenes between Egon and Janine. I had actually never noticed before in my (many, many, many) viewings of Ghostbusters that Egon is the one feeding the numbers to Venkman when he's listing the charges to the hotel manager. It was so subtle that I'd never seen it, and it was like seeing the film for the first time all over again.


The best moment, though, was when Gozer was ordering the Ghostbusters to Choose the Form of the Destructor. Venkman was protesting that nobody had chosen anything, and he confirmed with Egon and and Zeddemore. Then they all turned, and one of the kids a few rows ahead of us said out loud, "Raaaayyy" in an admonishing tone. It's nice to see little nerdlings grow into fandom.


Sigourney Weaver is always a treat to watch, and for some reason Rick Moranis' funniness is proportional to the size of the screen you're watching. Bigger screen = even funnier. And this was really the movie that made me a fan of Bill Murray. Back in the old days when one's Friday nights usually involved a trip to the video rental store, I would always head straight to the comedy section to see if there were any of his movies that I hadn't already seen.

If you've got the time, the money and the inclination, check to see what your local showtimes are, even if you've seen Ghostbusters on the big screen before.

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