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Movie Debate #42: Ghostbusters (1984)


Reed Rothchild
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  1. 1. Rating explanations down below

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite movies of all time. Top 10.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking movie. Everyone should watch it.
    • 8/10 - Great movie. Maybe one of the best released that year.
    • 7/10 - Very good movie, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy the occasional watch, or tune in if you happen to catch it on cable.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to watch.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
      0
    • 2/10 - Not your cup of tea at all. Some people might like this, but you are not one of them.
      0
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Citizen Kane of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your retinas than watch this.
      0
    • You haven't seen the movie, but you're interested in watching it.
      0
    • No interest in watching it.
      0


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I love Ghostbusters, and it's funny seeing how much more revered it seems to be nowadays when people are looking back on it.

What's always just been a good comedy has proven to stand the test of time, be infinitely quotable, and in general just crazy well made. It's one of those surprisingly rare movies that has shown that it might have had just a bit more of genius in it than you might have given it credit for originally. Or at least, that's my impression? I think the above description works incredibly well on a movie like Back to the Future, and the first Die Hard movie. But in rewatching Ghostbusters I gotta admit it didn't quite resonate with me as well as I'd hoped.
Maybe I've just seen it too many times already, for the ingenious parts to really stand out, and they have been reduced to mere tropes? Or maybe the genuinely bad and unfunny parts stood out more, and contaminated the movie. I feel kinda bad for only giving it a 7/10, because it really is a great movie. There's just a lot of other really good stuff out there, too.

Another "controversial" take that's been surfacing recently is that Ghostbusters 2 wasn't as bad as people tend to think. I'm gonna go a step further though, and say I actually prefer the second movie to the first. Ghostbusters 2 is a really good movie, and if you doubt me, go rewatch it. It has all the best qualities of the first movie, but is generally tighter all around, despite having a lot more going on.

Edited by Sumez
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It's a 9. One of my all time favorites. Great cast. Iconic. Very quotable. Lots of memorable scenes.

It's also strangely libertarian with a line about the private sector expecting results and the main bad guy being a dude from the EPA. Mind you I'm NOT a libertarian.

 

Edited by mbd39
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This has always been a fave for me since the opening scene with the library card catalog being trashed fulfilled a fantasy of mine.  I worked in libraries when those were an essential part of a library operation.  Until you have to file those g.d. cards (of which there are many for every book - subject cards (usually several  for every book), author cards and title cards (not to mention shelf list cards). The only more boring/frustrating library task was reading the shelf list cards against the physical books on the shelf. 

The rest of the movie was great too - but that opening scene had me hooked from the get go.  

 

Edited by Tabonga
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One interesting aspect of this movie (which I am likely the only person here to have experienced/remember) was that the release of it was preceded by several weeks with an advertising campaign in which small posters of the logo were plastered everywhere with no indication that it was for an upcoming movie. Built up a lot of interest - there was much speculation that it was for a movie but that was basically a rumor that only proved to be true shortly before the movie was actually released. 

Edited by Tabonga
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Coin toss between a 9 and a 10.

It wasn't until a couple years ago that I finally watched it on DVD, rather than having seen the TV edit for so many years growing up.  Primary change is the line about the ectoplasm in the library:

TV Edit: so somebody blows their *nose* and you want to keep it?

Original: so somebody blows their *load*

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I love the movie, but the amount of smoking in it is a bit of a turnoff for me today if I'm being honest.  Especially for watching a PG movie with my kids.  They are pretty much chain smoking through the entire movie to the point that it is distracting.  Definitely a different era. 

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Just now, B.A. said:

I love the movie, but the amount of smoking in it is a bit of a turnoff for me today if I'm being honest.  Especially for watching a PG movie with my kids.  They are pretty much chain smoking through the entire movie to the point that it is distracting.  Definitely a different era. 

Yeah, that's true.  It really is a different time where the smoking stands out more, even, that stuff like the phones and computers.

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9 hours ago, Sumez said:

 

Another "controversial" take that's been surfacing recently is that Ghostbusters 2 wasn't as bad as people tend to think. I'm gonna go a step further though, and say I actually prefer the second movie to the first. Ghostbusters 2 is a really good movie, and if you doubt me, go rewatch it. It has all the best qualities of the first movie, but is generally tighter all around, despite having a lot more going on.

I think that's mostly true, but two things are off about the second one. The climax isn't quite as epic and exciting, and now that I'm older and can pick up on body language clues better, it's pretty clear that Bill Murray does not want to be in that movie.

The dream sequence from the first one was actually part of a larger deleted scene where they explore some museum and Ray has put on a military uniform (which is why he's wearing it when the ghost seduces him.) Still a strange scene no matter what.

Edited by Tulpa
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1 hour ago, arch_8ngel said:

Coin toss between a 9 and a 10.

It wasn't until a couple years ago that I finally watched it on DVD, rather than having seen the TV edit for so many years growing up.  Primary change is the line about the ectoplasm in the library:

TV Edit: so somebody blows their *nose* and you want to keep it?

Original: so somebody blows their *load*

 

There's also the funniest line in the movie "It's true this man has no dick" that is probably missing from the TV edit.

 

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10 hours ago, Sumez said:

I love Ghostbusters, and it's funny seeing how much more revered it seems to be nowadays when people are looking back on it.

What's always just been a good comedy has proven to stand the test of time, be infinitely quotable, and in general just crazy well made. It's one of those surprisingly rare movies that has shown that it might have had just a bit more of genius in it than you might have given it credit for originally. Or at least, that's my impression? I think the above description works incredibly well on a movie like Back to the Future, and the first Die Hard movie. But in rewatching Ghostbusters I gotta admit it didn't quite resonate with me as well as I'd hoped.
Maybe I've just seen it too many times already, for the ingenious parts to really stand out, and they have been reduced to mere tropes? Or maybe the genuinely bad and unfunny parts stood out more, and contaminated the movie. I feel kinda bad for only giving it a 7/10, because it really is a great movie. There's just a lot of other really good stuff out there, too.

Another "controversial" take that's been surfacing recently is that Ghostbusters 2 wasn't as bad as people tend to think. I'm gonna go a step further though, and say I actually prefer the second movie to the first. Ghostbusters 2 is a really good movie, and if you doubt me, go rewatch it. It has all the best qualities of the first movie, but is generally tighter all around, despite having a lot more going on.

The bedroom scene is genuinely bad and unfunny?  I find Ray being so weird that he dreams of getting a BJ from a hot ghost pretty funny.

I want to state this, Ghostbusters was NOT to be made as a kids movie, it just became a movie kids could enjoy with adults.  I think afterwards they were smart enough to tow the line of what they could say that kids wouldn't understand but the parents would.  Sleeping with the ectoplasm?  I thought he meant he was putting it in a jar next to his bed, so I didn't get it.  I think thats great for a movie to have new life after you're old enough to understand the jokes.

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12 hours ago, Sumez said:

 

Another "controversial" take that's been surfacing recently is that Ghostbusters 2 wasn't as bad as people tend to think. I'm gonna go a step further though, and say I actually prefer the second movie to the first. Ghostbusters 2 is a really good movie, and if you doubt me, go rewatch it. It has all the best qualities of the first movie, but is generally tighter all around, despite having a lot more going on.

I actually had the opposite take, rewatching Ghostbusters 2.  There are a number of segments of it that feel a bit low-budget/low-effort and it is quite a bit worse than I remembered (having only seen it in theaters as a kid).

The first movie centers on a much better villain, and the "build-up" of the paranormal stuff is just better all around.

First movie is definitely not intended to be a "kid's movie"... but rewatching the 2nd one, it very clearly is dialed back to make it one.

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