HMWYBS 701: Ghostbusters


Can’t help but feel Paul Feig and Co. missed a good opportunity here re: the release date. And yes I know that’s from the sequel.

Hello to anyone who’s reading this! When The Film Experience, a site which I’ve followed for 7 years now and has played a part in my burgeoning cinephilia so large that I don’t want to understate it, announced that this upcoming season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot was the final one, I knew that I had to participate. And with Ghostbusters as the premiere? Well…

That was definitely the sign I needed to definitely, 100% take part, for this is one of the few movies on DVD that all six members of my immediate family liked, and thus one that I’ve seen several times over the years. Like a lot of movies from my childhood that do hold up, you can pretty much use Ghostbusters as a graph of my taste. Young me loved the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man the most because it was stupid fun, teen me liked Bill Murray because it was witty fun, and now I like Sigourney Weaver because I have a huge, Linda Blair shaped weak spot for possessions.

Thus, I can just use Nathaniel’s advertisement for one of my runner up choices:
But I actually hadn’t seen the movie in a very long time and was always more focused on the script than the visuals so when I watched I tried to keep an eye out for unexpected surprises rather than just skipping to Sigourney vamping it up. I must express disappointment in that regard. It’s still a fun film and I really love certain sets (Dana’s apartment is perfectly lived-in, Janine’s front desk just looks so appropriately secreterial), but I think I like my visuals to be the kind that really smash me over the head with how they’re used. But I also never really got the feeling the movie was going for anything too clever visually once we got that shot of a gargoyle’s mouth from Dana’s building. That’s fine-some movies just care more about the screenplay, and even with this movie having a very weird sense of momentum, it still carries it off.

Anyway, before we get to my pick, I will indulge in a sentimental runner up:
Because the first time I watched this with my youngest sister (who was definitely in the single digits), I chose to use this exact moment to grab her and impersonate Pazuzu. I think she’s still mad at me over it, but it was worth it. (Also, I can’t get a handle on that chicken thing. Whatever it is, I want one.)

My Best Shot of the movie takes place during a good old fashioned 80s Improvement Montage, complete with a song that is either brilliantly awful or secretly genius:ghostbusters-bedBest Shot

Let’s just ignore what’s going on in the left side of the frame, although I’m digging the way our eyes naturally go to the Ghostbusters without it being too forced because of the positioning of the paparazzi and the red flares on the jacket. It’s all about that copy of The Atlantic. Firstly, those caricatures! So wonderfully unflattering, to the point where I can’t really tell which one is Murray and which one is Dan Aykroyd. But more interesting to me is that headline. In this day and age of #OscarsSoWhite, it feels oddly prescient that an 80s comedy that was largely improvised was able to make a subtle joke about the intricacies of social movements. Ghosts: the real last major civil rights battle!

Far more interesting to me is the idea of the ghosts actually deserving civil rights in this movie’s universe even if the movie quite literally demonizes them. Sure, they cause havoc and they’re old enough to know better, but I’d say firing them full of protons and trapping them in a tiny little box isn’t too far off from the treatment of actual criminals?

Perhaps I should watch this movie again and see if there’s a criminal allegory deep down in it. For some reason I doubt it. (I say that with love.) Here’s to hoping the reboot isn’t a Force Awakens situation of shameless rehashing, though, because we already have Ghostbusters II.

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