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My love of the Ghostbusters

A welcome addition to cinemas recently has been the number of classic films that have been re-mastered and re-released on the big screen for a new generation of film fans to enjoy.

My childhood dream was to join Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as a member of the Ghostbusters.

In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to see memorable films from my childhood such as Jurassic Park and the Lion King on the big screen. Though, as much as I enjoyed these offerings, the film that I was most looking forward to seeing arrived at my local cinema this week. Specially re-released for Halloween, I am talking about Ghostbusters.

Originally released in 1984, I can honestly say that this supernatural comedy starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis was the film that most caught my imagination growing up.

This film has just about everything. It has three of the finest comedy actors of their generation at the top of their game. The chemistry between Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis is electrifying with barely a minute of their time on screen passing without a quick, witty, one liner to move the plot along.

What makes their performances all the better is the fact that while the film is crammed full of jokes, they never go too far. It would be easy for this film to descend into slapstick. The sheer idea of three men running around New York in grey suits trying to catch ghosts could very easily be confused with a Laurel and Hardy sketch. However, while the three main actors are able to play it for laughs they also sprinkle it with an underlying degree of seriousness that allows the audience to invest in the characters and the story.

This film is given further credibility by the strong cast supporting the three leading characters. Sigourney Weaver’s performance as Dana Barrett gives the movie its real moments of tension and suspense. While the inclusion of Rick Moranis as nerdy neighbour Lewis Tulley is a masterstroke giving the film a different kind of humour than the three ghostbusters offer.

As well as the quality of the performances, I remember on first viewing being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the movie. From the opening scene in the spooky library to the closing credits, the director Ivan Reitman puts everything he can onto the screen . The movie is consumed with wonderful  bright colours, the big landscape of New York and high quality special effects that stand the test of time.  

Though, it would be wrong of me to discuss Ghostbusters without mentioning its closing scenes with perhaps the greatest villain in movie history.

 No film before or since has ever used such a ridiculous concept as a marsh mallow man as the lead threat to the movie’s heroes. I can only imagine that the idea when written down in the script must have sounded absurd. Though, it is part of Ghostbusters charm that when on screen the marsh mallow man not only fits into the context of the film, but you feel as an audience member that it is a genuine threat.          

All of these elements combined created a lifelong love of the ghostbusters. Growing up my obsession did not just stop at watching the film. I was proud to have ghostbuster toys, mugs, t-shirts, lunch boxes and a full costume including proton pack, gun and the trap. While most people would grow out of a love of the ghostbusters, I have always remained faithful as I have attended many Haloween and fancy dress parties in my 20s dressed as a ghostbuster.

If the truth be told having watched the re-released version of the movie this week, my passion has not died. While I have seen the film more times than I care to remember, I still found myself jumping out of my cinema seat when the ghostbusters come face to face with their first ghost in the library and cheering with the delight when they arrive at Dana Barrett’s apartment for the film’s dramatic conclusion.

So, I would like to thank the ghostbusters for providing me with years of entertainment, which will only continue when the long awaited third film is released in 2012. One day I am convinced that I will fulfil my dream of becoming a professional ghostbuster.

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