|courtesy of mrogen|
Over the weekend, I accidentally came across the 1981 comedy "Stripes" with two-thirds of who would become The Ghostbusters, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. It was fun to see again, and I started thinking that perhaps that movie, more than "Ghostbusters", was the SCTV-Saturday Night Live collaboration that everyone had been hoping for.
But it got me thinking about "Ghostbusters", and about any future franchise films. I remember catching the original 1984 film at a theatre some months after its premiere (when a first-run movie could last for nearly a year). The theatre was almost empty so that may have been a contributing factor, but I just thought that it wasn't quite as funny as had been advertised. Sure, there were some fine deadpan lines by Murray ("This man has no dick."), but basically I found it more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny. And the effects were great...for that time. Furthermore, that song by Ray Parker Jr. was the 10th man of the baseball team, and the soundtrack really fit the movie. On the Wikipedia account of the movie, it was noted that 20% of the take was due to "Who ya gonna call?" I guess for me what kinda had me increasing my appreciation for "Ghostbusters"over the decades was that it did have a heart. All of the characters were likeable and believable....despite their choice of career.
"Ghostbusters 2" didn't work out as well for me. And in fact, I think it pretty much did in the franchise. Basically, the script threw just about everyone in the cast back to their loser beginnings so that they had to claw their way back up....repetition may be fine for Japanese movie franchises, but not for Hollywood. And the scoring suddenly decided to go all faux-John Williams which did not fit something that was not all that epic.
Several months ago, it had been announced that "Ghostbusters 3" was a go for liftoff, but now it seems to be in cinematic purgatory. And that's with Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis back at it. Doesn't bode well. I came across from one fellow on the Net who exhorted the powers-that-be to stop the insanity and pull the plug on any third movie since the first two were good. Sorry to say to the guy, but I think "Ghostbusters 2" kibboshed the franchise without having to worry about the quality of any 2nd sequel.
For me, I would like to see "Ghostbusters 3". But re-booted. And as much as that word gets people's eyes rolling nowadays, I think any hope for another re-appearance of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Geddemore really depends on it. Murray has pretty much yawned the franchise off as a teenage dalliance, while frankly Ramis and Aykroyd are starting to look more like the guys their characters are trying to bust. Get a new crew and update it. Noone's ever gonna be able to imitate Bill Murray but why not get a cast of characters with their own funny take on ghostbusting? For some reason, Chris Rock, Will Farrell and even Masi Oka come to mind. A clean cast slate for a still-fun idea.