I have had a great time in the last month watching two of the best films of 1980s, first Raiders of the Lost Arc and then Ghostbusters. Both have been shown in local cinemas, on the big screen, in glorious technicolour. I hadn’t seen either of those movies in at least 10 years, and I had forgotten what outright fun both movies were. Harrison Ford is in his prime, harking back to the days of the 1930s serials, swashbuckling his way with a quip and a whip through an action adventure romp from Tibet to Cairo, is the perfect action hero. It has the right combination of sidekicks, baddies, and a spunky love interest. A plot that is easy to follow, with enough time spent crafting iconic scenes such as the opening sequence, the map room, and the chase sequence through the streets of Cairo, not to mention the opening of the arc itself – a great step forward in special effects. It was also the beginning of a franchise that has lasted 30 years and includes three more movies, a prequel television series, books, comics, video games and a theme park attraction.
Ghostbusters also has some great special effects for its time. The film is headed up by the laconic charms of Bill Murray, with a cast that seems to be having loads of fun, not caring how bizarre the story got, whether it was being slimed or possessed by a demonic dog-like gatekeeper. The characters lit up for a smoke at the drop of a hat. I just kept thinking about how everything must have stunk of stale smoke. The cars, the hotel rooms, their flats – everything. Like Raiders of the Lost Arc before it, Ghostbusters was such a huge hit, it spawned a sequel, licensed action figures, novelizations, comic books, video games, television cartoon series, and yes, another a theme park attraction.
It was fantastic to see it on the big screen, in a cinema with a crowd of enthusiasts. Both films are the last made for the whole family in mind. Both adults and children can enjoy these movies, without being shoehorned into a segmented, tightly packaged, age specific films of today. What is ironic though is that the monumental success of both these movies started the changes in Hollywood that has led to juggernaut of merchandising and the diminishing returns of sequels we have today. The original stories are flogged to death, eking out whatever money they can 30 years on. The filming of Ghostbusters 3 has being delayed until 2014 and gossip about possibility of Indiana Jones 5 seems to be reported on every few months, it seems like the old work horses are not dead yet. Instead of waiting for the carbon copies, go back to the originals, and try to see them on the big screen. You will have a fun night out.