This past week I had the chance to check out Ghostbusters in the theater thanks to the 30th Anniversary re-release. As a big fan of Ghostbusters, I was super excited for the chance to see it again in a theater, but I’m proud to report that it was a better experience than I had anticipated for a couple of reasons.
I hadn’t really thought about the fact that the times I have viewed Ghostbusters since I was 5 that my perceptions of it were distorted by distractions. Think about it. If you’ve seen a movie a few times and you’re watching it at home, especially in our mobile device age, your movie watching experience is marked by distractions. Going to the bathroom, checking your texts, all of it contributes to a less than ideal movie watching experience. However, being able to completely focus on it allowed me to fully experience Ghostbusters for the first time since I was a wee lad.
Of course seeing it on a much larger screen than at home was a treat too.
The only negative thing I can say about the 30th Anniversary showing of Ghostbusters was the lack of people. I expected a decent turnout of local fans, but there were only about 20 people in the theater. On a Friday night that’s not very good. I wonder if this is due to a lack of marketing. Either that or the Milwaukee geeks are lame.
Regardless, Ghostbusters is a nearly flawless film. The balance between action/comedy/suspense/and horror elements is nearly perfect and the film never drags, even at its slow times there’s plenty of jokes to keep a viewer engaged. For all the great performance from the stars down to the supporting cast, I don’t think that Elmer Bernstein gets enough credit for helping set the mood for key scenes. The popular music in the film eclipsed the score in the pop cultural landscape and it’s a shame, because it’s a truly excellent score.
The only flaws from a modern perspective are a few dated references. I also noted some issues with a couple of composite shots, most notably when a gargoyle is over looking the street and part of it is semi transparent. I never noticed that on TV, VHS, or DVD. And to bring up the soundtrack to the film, another thing that really dates it are some of the songs, but I guess that is inevitable when including popular music.
These are only the most minor of gripes I can come up with when it comes to the original Ghostbusters. And yes, I realize these opinions are colored by years of love and nostalgia, but the theater experience helped me to see Ghostbusters in a bit of new light. I’ve fallen in love all over again.