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Ghostbusters

Year: 1984
Studio: Columbia
Director: Ivan Reitman
Producer: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Dan Aykroyd/Harold Ramis
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Rick Moranis, William Atherton, Reginald Veljohnson
One of the iconic movies of the 1980's that again redefined cinema and certainly changed my life forever – in fact, still (for many reasons) my favourite movie ever.

Among the best dry writing and acting talents in Hollywood come together to recast not only comedy but the supernatural (and ironically, has come to closest to depicting real ghost hunters on screen).

Three university professor friends Peter, Egon and Ray (Murray, Ramis and Aykroyd) are kicked out in the street after an academic career of goofing off. Armed with new knowledge about apparitions, they think they can set up a system to capture and hold them under paranormal lock and key.

Going into business, their success is immediate and exhausting – courtesy of the coming of an ancient spirit worshipped thousands of years before called Gozer.

And it happens to be manifesting itself in the Central Park apartment building of Dana Barrett (Weaver), Venkman's love interest and their first client.

With an oddball support cast (Annie Potts as the long-suffering Brooklyn receptionist Janine and Rick Moranis as Dana's quintessential nerd neighbour Louis), it set new benchmarks in special effects by Richard Edlund. The clay animation (of the terror dog chasing Louis across the street) looks a bit rough in today's CGI era, but the streams of spirits flying across the New York skyline after the containment cell explosion and the animatronic Zuul still work.

Laszlo Kovack's set of the apartment building roof was a triumph of production design - at the time it used the most amount of lighting on a film soundstage ever.

Peppered with sequences and characters that still resonate in popular culture (the TV commercial, Mr Stay Puft) and basically launched the mainstream careers of Hudson (The Crow, Congo), Moranis (the Honey I Shrunk the... series) and Potts (who went on to appear in Designing Women).

The only one who seems not to have run with the acclaim was director Reitman, who has since made very small splashes with professionally done but mediocre comedy fare (Six Days, Seven Nights, My Super Ex Girlfriend).

Funny, astounding to look at, with a very distinctive feel, Ghostbusters changed a lot of things about both movies and us, and rightly so.

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