BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #88: Ghostbusters, by Sarah Brinks
I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – the Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.
If there was any question that Ghostbusters is a beloved film, one needs look no further than the fan backlash to the 2016 remake, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Ghostbusters is a great comedy. The film holds up after over 20 years, but there are some very ‘80’s choices that do age it, especially some of the music and costume choices. The special effects are not great but they add to the film’s charm rather than take away from it.
The Ghostbusters themselves make the film so entertaining. Bill Murray leads the cast as the impetuous Dr. Venkman. His energy elevates any scene he is in and is a nice foil to the more scientifically driven Dr. Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Spengler (the late, great Harold Ramis). Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddmore adds a nice “every-man” element to the group. The cast is rounded out by stellar performances by Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver.
I also really appreciate that Aykroyd and Ramis’ script is so tightly structured but joke dense. There is practically no wasted time in this film. Each scene progresses the story forward and montages or news footage help fill in the gaps while giving context. We move from the team seeing its first ghost, to getting kicked out their school/lab, to them setting up their own business catching ghosts in about 15 minutes of screen time. But in those fifteen minutes we learn about all three doctors’ beliefs and motivations, a little about their back stories, and their plans for the future. I think this type of solid storytelling is a big part of why Ghostbusters is still so loved, why it holds up so well, and why it belongs on the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list.
I’ve decided to rate each film using an arbitrary scale based on the board game Battleship (lowest: Destroyer, Submarine, Cruiser, Battleship, highest: Carrier)
Ghostbusters ranking: Carrier