Top Five Things I’d Like to See in A Ghostbusters Sequel

There seems to be a whole lot of doubt swirling around a possible sequel to Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters. Sony came out of the gate proclaiming its green light but when the feature didn’t set the box office absolutely ablaze, detractors flocked to the numbers as validation for their months’ long rally against the very notion of the reboot, sight-unseen. Sony is still keeping mum on their plans, although they maintain the brand is strong with cross-platform opportunities. I’m not here to argue numbers, especially in a summer where other properties have had the privilege of quietly underperforming on a near-weekly basis from Independence Day: Resurgence to Star Trek Beyond.

All I’m saying is I have a feeling that once the paranormal dust settles and we head towards its home video release and secondary markets, the word will get out that Feig’s Ghostbusters is actually a damn good time. We’ll see this word spread by the enthusiastic little girls–oblivious to the internet furor– who saw new kinds of heroes in the unconventional quartet and take to ghostbusting on the playground. We’ll see it in the array of cosplayers inspired by the new looks of the franchise (McKinnon alone has a week’s worth of iconic outfits!) And we’ll see it when a sequel debuts to larger numbers than its predecessor because those girls will come back. And they’ll bring their friends.

Our own Mike Smith gave the film 4 stars, but my take on it briefly: The new characters, lead by Kate McKinnon’s standout weirdo Holtzmann, Leslie Jones’s NYC-history-savvy Patty and Chris Hemsworth’s much lauded comedic turn as dim receptionist Kevin, were a joy insofar as they weren’t even trying to step into the shoes of their forebears but bringing their own. Or in Kristin Wiig’s case, a pair of quirky turquoise wellies. Additionally the effects were cool, evoking the glowing spookiness of Disney’s Haunted Mansion rides–which is to say, just the right level for a Ghostbusters installment. And of course, seeing four women take up arms against a ghost army with brand new kick ass weaponry that Bill Murray and co’s point and shoot models could only dream of, was something I haven’t seen before and I need to again.

It’s with this blind hope in mind that I’m going to forge ahead with the following top five wishes for their sequel. Because I live in a world where there’s six Police Academies, four Sharknadoes and my Ecto-Cooler juice box is half full.

(Minor spoilers ahead)

1 – An equally stacked cast
The four female leads were front and center of the marketing, rightfully so, but Feig’s supporting cast was nothing to sneeze at either and one of its best surprises. “Silicon Valley” star Zach Woods’s haunted tour guide started it all off on the right foot, quickly joined by the likes of Ed Begley Jr, Cecily Strong, Andy Garcia and Michael K Williams. Heck even the taxi driver from Deadpool (Karan Soni) got big laughs. Whoever cast this thing, stick around.

2 – Some better usage of NYC
The Ghostbusters are based in New York and their strong ties are upheld at their firehouse headquarters, Hook & Ladder 8, which displays the team’s logo on the sidewalk. However for budgetary reasons, the movie was mainly filmed in Boston. Nothing wrong with saving some money, but screening the movie in Manhattan, the fake 6-line subway station raised some eyebrows. And the greatest offense? The ladies dining on Papa John’s pizza. I can suspend my disbelief to hellmouths in the middle of Times Square, but native New Yorkers opting for Papa John’s is a bridge too far. Get those product placement dollars elsewhere. And rope in some more actual locations, if only so this obsessive fan can visit them.

3 – A more sinister villain
I really did enjoy Neil Casey in his minimal screen time as Rowan from a comedic stand point. Still, he wasn’t as menacing as the original’s demonic invasion of Dana’s (Sigourney Weaver) fridge or even the first specter featured here, Gertrude Aldridge (Bess Rous, below). Later when Rowan’s spirit wound up in a couple of our heroes’ bodies and finally a CGI giant, he became still less memorable. More to the point, the Ghostbusters franchise as a whole is now 100% saturated with finales featuring behemoth figures tromping through skyscrapers. Let’s be done with that. The most effective supernatural stuff whether it was the aforementioned Aldridge Mansion, green ghouls lurking behind glass waiting to be released onto our plane, or just a regular mannequin temporarily brought to life, were smaller in scale and creepier for it. A more intimate antagonist would be novel to the team and hey, bonus, also could cut down that budget again. Are you listening, Sony?

4 – A few more original cast cameos for the completists
Rick Moranis, please. Okay, I know this is pie in the sky stuff, especially seeing as he officially turned down a cameo in this first one (wishing them well in a 2015 Hollywood Reporter interview), but juice box half full right? I have a hope that Mr. Moranis checks Feig’s work out and supports the new team in the way that his fellow cast mates did this time around.(I may or may not have yelped when Annie Potts arrived.) Plus I’m a kid of the late 80s…I just super want to see him back in front of a camera and I feel like this is the best shot we’ve got. Failing that, Peter MacNichol would not be unwelcome. If I have a soft spot for Ghostbusters 2, it’s because of him.

5 – Let Kevin join the team!
Chris Hemsworth’s dumb puppy dog of a receptionist was so adorably eager to be a Ghostbuster that in a latter portion of the film, he’d made his own jumpsuit and outfitted a motorcycle with duct taped laser canons. Unfortunately apocalypses being the inconvenience that they are, he didn’t get to realize this dream. Seeing as Hemsworth’s scenes were serious highlights, I’d be happy to see what he would do when faced with the supernatural. It’s probably a safety hazard to the general public, so Holtzmann could start him off with a pimped out laser pointer and train him up from there. At the very least, I hear he’s good with a hammer.

Seriously how can you say no to that face?

I implore you Sony, Paul Feig, Katie Dippold, cast and all the ghostly powers that be to let this team take up proton packs again in the future!

Ghostbusters is still in theaters and is expected to arrive on Blu-ray/DVD in October, hopefully in time for Halloween.

Film Review: “Ghostbusters”

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones
Directed by: Paul Feig
Rated: PG-13
Running time: 1 hour 56 mins
Columbia

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Film Review by: Mike Smith

OK, let me make this quick announcement. For those of you that went out of your way to note online that a female-led “Ghostbusters” would cause, in the words of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman, “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria,” you can come back in off the ledge. The new installment is pretty damn funny and stands as tall as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

After leading his final group through a tour of a historic mansion, a tour guide finds himself lured into the basement of the dwelling and under attack from forces unknown. The building’s curator knows he needs help but who’s he gonna call?

One part funny, one part scary and completely enjoyable, this reboot of the popular 1984 film rests squarely on the shoulders of its cast. McCarthy and Wiig have made me laugh for years and I’m happy to say they do the same here. I don’t watch a lot of television so I wasn’t familiar with the other (2) “busters”, McKinnon and Jones. Both do fine work here, with McKinnon’s Jillian the standout. She’s a combination of the original film’s Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler. The film follows the original’s plot, as ghosts begin to appear seemingly out of nowhere in New York City. Not looking for bad publicity, the mayor (Andy Garcia) does his best to keep the lid on the situation. He also opens himself up for a great “Jaws” reference, which in itself gives this review an extra half-star.

Visually the film is heads above the original. I saw the 1984 film on the big screen a few years ago and I couldn’t help but notice how bad the special effects were. Here they are spectacularly presented and downright scary. But not everything is gloom and doom. You’ll be happy to learn that many of the original film’s cast show up in cameos here, which brought applause from the audience I was a part of, especially a sly nod to the late Harold Ramis. His son, Daniel, has a small part in the film, which is dedicated to his memory.

MediaMikes 2016 Summer Movie Preview

Written by Mike Smith

As Memorial Day approaches you can count on two things: a lot of furniture stores will have sales and the multiplexes will be full. It seems like every year “summer” comes early. The first volleys have already been fired, with “Captain America: Civil War” jumping out of the gate and earning an amazing $355 million world wide in its first two weeks. Heck, even a movie based on a PHONE APP has made over $40 million in it’s first week. What’s next? Pull up your popcorn and big box of DOTS and let’s find out. As always, opening dates are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Some synopsis information courtesy of our good friends at the Internet Movie Data Base. If you want a more in-depth look at this summer’s offerings, give a listen to our special edition of the “Behind the Mikes” Podcast here. If you notice a set of initials after a title, that tells you that the film in question is highly anticipated by one of our critics (MG – Mike Gencarelli, LL – Loey Lockerby, MS: Mike Smith, JW – Jeremy Werner)

MAY 27

“Alice Through the Looking Glass”

Starring: Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Directed by: James Bobin.
-The continuing story of Lewis Carroll’s young heroine. Director Bobin has an extensive background with Ali G and the Muppets.

“X-Men: Apocalypse”

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by: Bryan Singer
-The original big, bad Mutant (Oscar Isaac) visits 1983 to settle some scores.

JUNE 3

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” JW

Starring: Andy Samberg, Imogen Poots and Bill Hader. Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.
-The Lonely Island guys, who have given “Saturday Night Live” some of it’s best shorts in the last few years, tell the story of a former boy band member trying to remain relevant.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett. Directed by: Dave Green
-The Turtles are back and this time they’re bringing Casey Jones with them.

JUNE 10

“The Conjuring 2”

Starring: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Directed by: James Wan
-The further adventures of Lorraine and Ed Warren, who seem to have nothing better to do then find places and things that scare us!

“Now You See Me 2”

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. Directed by: Jon M. Chu
-The Four Horsemen are back, as is apparently everyone from the first movie. And Dave Franco. You’ve been warned.

JUNE 17

“Central Intellegence”

Starring: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber.
-After he reunites with an old pal through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.

“Finding Dory” MG

Starring the voices of: Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks. Directed by: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane
-Everyone’s favorite blue tang is lost and her ocean friends set out to find her.

“Swiss Army Man” JW

Starring: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
-A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

JUNE 24

“Free State of Jones”

Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell. Directed by: Gary Ross
-As the Civil War rages, a poor farmer from Mississippi leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” LL

Starring: Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Directed by: Taika Waititi
-A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

“Independence Day: Resurgence”

Starring: Bill Pullman and Liam Hemsworth. Directed by: Roland Emmerich
-They’re back. Well, not Will Smith or Randy Quaid, but Judd Hirsch is still around.

“The Shallows” MG

Starring: Blake Lively and Brett Cullen. Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
-A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. I love “Jaws” as much as the next guy…ok, maybe more…so I’m hoping this doesn’t stink.

JULY 1

“The Purge: Election Year” JW

Starring: Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell. Directed by: James DeMonaco
-After two successful movies, it only makes sense that they would complete the trilogy, promising more bloodshed. This time around you get to see if a U.S. Senator can survive the deadly night.

“The BFG” MS

Starring: Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
-Meet Sophie and her friend, a Big Friendly Giant who is an outcast because he won’t eat children!

JULY 8

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Starring: Adam Devine and Zac Efron. Directed by: Jake Szymanski
-Two brothers need dates for their sister’s wedding and end up running an on-line ad.


“The Secret Life of Pets”
LL, MS

Starring the voices of: Jenny Slate and Lake Bell. Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.
-Ever wonder what Baxter and Charlie are up to when you go off to work. Wonder no more!

JULY 15

“Ghostbusters” MG

Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. Directed by: Paul Feig
-This time it’s up to the ladies to tell us that they ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

JULY 22

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” LL

Starring: Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. Directed by: Mandie Fletcher.

Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.

“Star Trek Beyond” MS

Starring: Chris Pine and Zachary Qunito. Directed by: Justin Lin

J.J. Abrams has moved on and turned the reins over to multiple “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin. I’m intrigued that Simon Pegg helped write this film.

JULY 29

“Bad Moms”

Starring: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. Directed by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
-When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

“Jason Bourne”

Starring: Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander. Directed by: Paul Greengrass
-The Jeremy Renner experiment a failure, Damon returns as Jason Bourne, a man who now remembers who he is trying to discover his past.

AUGUST 5

“Suicide Squad” MG JW

Starring: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Directed by: David Ayer.
-A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. As much praise as Heath Ledger got for his stamp on the Joker, word is that Leto takes it a notch higher.

AUGUST 12

“Pete’s Dragon”

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford. Directed by: David Lowery.
-A retelling of the classic 70’s Disney musical. And no, Redford is NOT the Dragon!

“Sausage Party” MS

Starring the voices of: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
-An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. Coming from Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, I’m expecting one long 90 minute dick joke!

AUGUST 19

“Ben Hur”

Starring: Jack Huston and Haluk Bilginer. Directed by: Timur Bekmanbetov
-A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him. I’m not big on remakes, but the Chariot Race looks amazing.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” MG

Starring the voices of: Rooney Mara and Charlize Theron. Directed by: Travis Knight
-Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta.

“War Dogs” LL

Starring: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Directed by: Todd Phillips
-The true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. This is the third time that Jonah Hill has played a real person on film, earning Oscar nominations the two previous times. I’m just saying.

AUGUST 26

“Blood Father”

Starring: Mel Gibson and Erin Moriarty. Directed by: Jean-Francois Richet
-An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

“Hands of Stone”

Starring: Edgar Ramirez and Robert DeNiro. Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz
-The legendary Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other’s lives.

Enter to Win an Official “Ghostbusters” T-Shirt [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with TVStoreOnline.com to giveaway one of these great official “Ghostbusters” T-shirts to our readers. If you want to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Ghostbuster. This giveaway will remain open until November 7th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Impersonate Hollywood’s most famous parapsychologist with this officially licensed “Ghostbusters” Peter Venkman t-shirt! The 100% cotton tee replicates the Ghostbusters uniform worn by Bill Murray’s character in the classic ’80s comedy. It’s perfect for Halloween or midnight screenings. The green print glows in the dark!

If you’ve had a dose of a freaky ghost, baby, better call Ghostbusters! This officially licensed t-shirt features a faded print of the classic Ghostbusters logo. The soft black tee has been distressed for vintage appeal. Ectoplasm washes right out with a little detergent.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Celebrates “Ghostbusters” Milestone Anniversary with Theatrical Re-release and All-New Special Edition Blu-ray Anniversary Editions

Theatrical Re-release Hits Theaters August 29; Blu-ray Anniversary Editions of “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II” Available September 16

CULVER CITY, Calif. (June 5, 2014) – Sony Pictures Entertainment will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its blockbuster franchiseGhostbusters with a series of special events and home entertainment releases.  As a highlight of the celebration, the original 1984 film has been restored and remastered in 4K and will be returning to the big screen, in over 700 locations in the United States and Canada, for a limited engagement starting August 29 (Labor Day weekend).

Commenting on the announcement, Rory Bruer, president, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures, said, “Ghostbusters is still one of our studio’s most beloved franchises – I was lucky enough to work on the release of the film on its first run, so it’s a real thrill for me to see that it’s still connecting with audiences everywhere.  On the big screen or in home entertainment, this is a great movie to experience again and again.”

Following the theatrical release of the film, on September 16, fans will be able to own the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray and the Ghostbusters II 25th Anniversary Edition, as that film makes its Blu-ray debut.  The Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases of the films will also be available in a two-disc anniversary edition Blu-ray™ Digibook including both films, as well as a Limited Edition gift set that includes an exclusive collectible Slimer figurine and the two-disc Digibook.  This special gift set will only be available for a very limited time, with the collectible Slimer figurine being a true must-have for fans. Both films have been fully restored and remastered in 4K and will be presented in high definition on Blu-ray from those 4K sources.

Both the Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II Blu-rays come loaded with exclusive bonus materials, including revealing conversations with director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd, as well as never-before-seen deleted scenes from Ghostbusters II and more. The Ghostbustersanniversary edition features the original music video of the Oscar® nominated song “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr., while Ghostbusters IIincludes the original music video for “On Our Own” by Bobby Brown. In addition, Ghostbusters will contain all previously released legacy content, commentary and an interactive Slimer Mode, offering fans a picture-in-picture graphical viewing experience.

“To celebrate this milestone anniversary, we wanted to create something new and collectible for fans.  These new Ghostbusters Blu-rays will feature the highest quality presentation along with new content that reflects the rich history of this iconic franchise,” said Lexine Wong, Senior Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Today also marks the premiere of the new website, GHOSTBUSTERS.COM, where fans can access new franchise offerings, including collectible merchandise, music, and more.  Fans can register for updates, unique video content, as well as Ghostbusters news.

There will also be a slew of new merchandise from Sony Pictures Consumer Products to be released. Collaborations include Lego, Mattel, Funko, Mad Engine and other select items to help celebrate the occasion. In addition, SPCP partnered with Gallery 1988 to create a once-in a lifetime experience, displaying original paintings, limited edition prints, and sculptures inspired by the film.

Finally, Legacy Recordings / Sony Music Entertainment, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Ghostbusters soundtrack with multiple collectible vinyl LP releases this year.

Fans can follow the action on social media with the hashtag #GB30 or visiting the following sites:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Ghostbusters

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Ghostbusters30

Instagramhttp://instagram.com/ghostbustersofficial

Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/ghostbusters30/

 

Directed and produced by Ivan Reitman (Meatballs, Stripes), with the screenplay written by Dan Aykroyd (My Girl) and Harold Ramis (Knocked Up)GHOSTBUSTERS is listed as No. 28 on the AFI’s List of America’s Funniest Movies. Bill Murray (Stripes), Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers), and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) star, along with Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day), and Rick Moranis (Honey I Shrunk the Kids). Ernie Hudson (TV’s “Oz”) and Annie Potts (TV’s “Designing Women”) also star in the films.

 

SYNOPSIS:

GHOSTBUSTERS: University parapsychologists Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) lose a research grant when their experiment methodology is proven to be bogus. The team decides to go into business for themselves and open ‘Ghostbusters,’ a ghost removal service. After struggling to get on their feet, they are summoned to investigate the strange happenings in Dana Barrett’s (Weaver) Central Park West apartment. What they discover is that all Manhattan is being besieged by ghosts and other worldly demons through a portal in her building.

 

GHOSTBUSTERS II: Supernatural superstars Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) spring back into action when the infant son of Dana Barrett (Weaver) becomes the target of a powerful demonic force. Reunited with their industrious secretary Janine (Potts) and the nerdy, near-sighted Louis (Moranis), the ‘heroes of the hereafter’ must put a stop to an enormous underground river ready to rot the roots of the entire Big Apple.

 

GHOSTBUSTERS™ Blu-ray Special Features:

  • NEW! Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective – Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 1)
  • NEW! Poster Art Gallery – Gallery 1988 artwork
  • NEW! “Ghostbusters” Music Video – Ray Parker, Jr.
  •  Legacy Content:
  •     Slimer Mode – Picture in Picture and Trivia Track
  •     Commentary w/ Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis & Joe Medjuck
  •     10 Deleted Scenes
  •     1984 Featurette
  •    Cast and Crew Featurette
  •     SFX Team Featurette
  •     Multi-Angles
  •     Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
  •     Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery Storyboard Comparisons

GHOSTBUSTERS™ II Blu-ray Special Features:

  • NEW! Time Is But A Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond – Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 2)
  • NEW! Deleted Scenes
  • NEW! “On Our Own” Music Video – Bobby Brown

 

GHOSTBUSTERS™ has a run time of approximately 105 minutes and is rated PG

GHOSTBUSTERS™ II has a run time of approximately 108 minutes and is rated PG.

 

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

Retro Film Review “Ghostbusters”

Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins
Columbia

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

DEAR READERS: No need to panic. You did not wake up in 1984. There are no less than three major releases opening this week but the powers that be at the studios did not think them worthy of being screened early. However, as the good people at AMC Theatres have decided to screen “Ghostbusters” every Thursday evening in the month of October, I thought it would be fun to review it as if I had never seen it before. Enjoy!

Bill Murray wanted to be serious.

Coming off such hit comedies as “Caddyshack,” “Stripes” and “Tootsie,” Murray, like many funny people, hoped to challenge himself creatively. He convinced Columbia to put up $13 million for him to star in a remake of the film “The Razor’s Edge,” with Murray himself starring in the role played by Tyrone Power. Unwilling to finance the film at first, Columbia then became aware of a screenplay that Dan Aykroyd had written for he and his pal John Belushi to star in entitled “Ghost Smashers.” In short, Murray replaced Belushi, Columbia ponied up the thirteen mill and a comedy classic was born.

New York City. When we first meet Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray) he is giving an ESP test to two volunteer students, to no avail. He is interrupted by his two colleagues, Ray Stantz (Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Ramis) who inform him of a possible ghost sighting at the local library. Once there the trio meet up with the ghostly image of a long dead librarian. This contact encourages them to start their own business, which will allow the public with spirit problems to call for help. They call themselves Ghostbusters.

Co-written by Aykroyd and Ramis, “Ghostbusters” is a fun romp with a couple of comedy’s greatest stars at the top of their game. Murray brings his familiar dead pan expression to the forefront here, milking it for all it’s worth. He has some of the better lines and his timing is impeccable. Same with Aykroyd and Ramis. This is Ramis’ second feature film (following “Stripes”) but he more than holds his own alongside his co-stars. Supporting players Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts also do well, with the normally straight laced Weaver taking a turn as a seductive she-demon.

If there is anything poorly done in the film it is the special effects. (NOTE: Even by 1984 standards, the effects were pretty crappy. Surprisingly, “Ghostbusters” was nominated for the Special Visual Effects Oscar, along with “2010” and the film that would win the award, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”) Most of the stop motion is quite jumpy while the nuclear “blasts” from the Ghostbusters’ weapons is not rendered cleanly. I will say that the spiritually conjured up Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is pretty impressive. (NOTE: like a lot of movies filmed in New York City prior to September 11, 2001, there are many shots of the World Trade Center, which gave me, and the audience, pause when they first appear on screen.)

History will show that “Ghostbusters” went on to become, until “Home Alone,” the highest grossing comedy of all time, earning $13 million in its opening weekend, which I’m sure Columbia put towards the box office bomb that was “The Razor’s Edge.” Murray continued to get serious and in 2003 he earned a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his work in “Lost in Translation.”

Read about “Ghostbusters III” in our exclusive interview with Ernie Hudson here.