I know I'm a little late to the party on this, but Tim and I just recently saw the most recent Ghost Busters film - Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Yeah, I know, we are about a year behind everyone else. Nothing new there. The point is, we finally saw it. And we loved it.
Like most people, I fell in love with the first movie way back in 1984. Unusual for '80s movies, it appealed to all age groups without boring, insulting or confusing anyone. The magic combination of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd was perfection. Annie Potts, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver were the exquisite finishing touches. And lest you think that I was the only fan, I will let you know that it was the second highest grossing film that year. And the highest grossing comedy ever (at the time).
There was of course brilliant casting with great chemistry, but it was one of those times when all of the planets in the universe aligned perfectly so that a great concept came together will equally great acting, writing, directing, etc. etc. etc. All of the necessary elements that make a monster sized hit film were in place. The success of it echoed for years. It was the comedy film that other films were measured against.
And then, in 1989, up popped Ghostbusters II. Couldn't wait to go see that. This was back when we went to the movies now and again. It was certainly not as expensive as it is now. We even got treats at the concession stand! Wow! While we were excited to see it, I, for one, had a tiny bit of trepidation. The first film was so dang good, there was no way it could be topped. At best, perhaps it might be Almost as good as the first. I really did not want to be disappointed. When the second one isn't as good, it kind of taints the first y'know?
Ghostbusters II was good. In fact, it was really good. Not as impactful as the first of course, but it was still very enjoyable. I read somewhere that it was the 8th highest grossing film that year. So it was in the top ten. Nothing to sneeze at. And we thought that was it. That was the finale of the Ghostbusters story. All good things must come to an end.
Except in Hollywood where they keep re-making films. In 2016 somebody thought it was a good idea to re-do the Ghostbusters story only with a cast of all women. It did not go well. In fact it was a box office bomb. Tim and I tried to watch it as a TV movie. Really tried. Really Really Tried. I think we changed the channel about 15 minutes in. Just couldn't do it. It was, in a word, terrible. And if you loved it, I am sorry, but we just didn't.
I was surprised when I heard about Ghostbusters: Afterlife. How dare they? How could they even hope to make a successful Ghostbusters movie with Harold Ramis?? It was inconceivable to me. It came into the theaters and then left without me being even curious enough to read the reviews. So I was surprised the other night, when we turned on the television and there it was on the listings. Tim suggested that we give it a try. I mean after all, we tried that awful 3rd one and lived to tell the tale so why not? If we hate it we can, once again, change the channel. Lord knows there are other channels.
I was dubious to say the least.
And as it turned out, I loved it. It was, essentially, a love letter to Harold Ramis. And I cannot begin to tell you how much that meant. They brought in so many things from the original films, things both big and small and everyone of them was impactful. Not the least of which being the remainder of the Ghostbusting troupe. And of course, Harold. That was magical.
I suppose the fact the Egon Spengler was my favourite character in the original was part of the reason I held back from seeing this most recent incarnation. If the character that Harold Ramis created couldn't be in the film, then why bother? Sometimes I have a bad attitude :) And sometimes it stands in my way. Especially in this case.
It was awesome. I loved it. And I will happily watch it many more times. Apparently I am a Ghostbusters Fan for life.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.