TMS Roundtable: Ghostbusters.

7:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Wolter

Despite what Chaim says, bustin' makes ME feel good.Or, THIS Is What We Do When We’re Not Writing Blog Posts

I'm actually so furious with the last couple of weeks of Cubdom that I can't think straight about the Cubs. When I learned that AAron Miles' OPS+ is like 20, I had to lay down for a minute. When I learned that even Neifi Perez in 2006 had an OPS+ of 53 I almost punched a hole in the Space-Time continuum to kill Jim Hendry before he was born.

So, I'm having trouble writing about baseball.

Instead, I thought I’d give another, much more lucid account of what goes on when TMS bartenders hang out in the break room (Per TMS Head Bartender Chip Wesley: “Well it's not Cubs-related so I don't see why it wouldn't be suitable for TMS”)

You may or may not know this, but the TMS staff is in constant communication via the miracle of email. That’s how we decide whether or not to endorse players like Randy Wells, or excoriate players like Miles. What follows is a transcript of that conversation, cleaned up ever so slightly (I apologize for the length, but you can always skip the boring comments, just like I do in a real email thread).

To set the scene: a couple of weeks ago, Chaim Witz came out with a shocking statement…

Chaim Witz:
I'll probably catch hell for this, but after watching it last night for the first time in years....while it was by no means terrible, and would certainly qualify as 'mildly amusing', I gotta say:

Overrated: Ghostbusters

Wolter:
Chaim, you couldn't be more wrong on the wrongingest day of your life with an electrified wronging machine.

Lingering Bursitis:
"Pompous PR flack slanders Ghostbusters unprompted; loses cushy job and all credibility regarding movies"

Arcturus:
Chaim: Gotta disagree with you on that one, although to be fair, Wolter and I probably got to experience the movie at a much younger age. Ghostbusters is one of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater.

Chaim Witz:
Defend it for me then. Sure, it's a nice piece of nostalgia, but unlike a movie like Back to the Future, it doesn't hold up to me. The plot is threadbare, even for what it is, it's only intermittently funny (courtesy mostly of Bill Murray) and the special effects are atrocious unless you view them in an 'awww, isn't that cute' way.

*****

Have you guys seen it recently though? Just because it was good when you were a kid doesn't mean it's still good today. There are a lot of 80's movies that are that way.

The only time I LOL'ed was the 'dickless' joke.

*****

Note, I didn't say it was "bad", just overrated. No way is that one of the best movies of the 80's. Dan Akroyd? Just not funny, sorry. Neither is Harold Ramis. If not for Murray (and sadly, Rick Moranis), that movie would be as forgettable as most of my posts.

Brant Brown:
"PR lackey shocked by firing; maintains that 'I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell' is better than 'Ghostbusters'"

The Hundley:
Chaim is guilty of "Pulling a [INSIDE JOKE WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR A LIBEL CHARGE EXCISED]" here. I disregard it all.

Brant Brown:
I have a strong feeling that I would agree with Chaim on Ghostbusters, so I intend to keep it locked away in my memories. I do always remember thinking that the marshmallow man was out of place, even when I was young.

Wolter:
I watch Ghostbusters on a surprisingly regular basis, Chaim. I love it oh-so-very-much.

Arcturus:
I've seen it many times, Chaim, most recently about a month ago, and I still enjoy it immensely. I'm not going to say it's the greatest movie of all time, but I think it’s held up pretty well, special effects aside. Those were good for their time and are now outdated, although I find they have a kind of charm.

I think many of us have gotten spoiled by CGI, but GB has action sequences I can follow without giving myself a headache. I watched the first Transformers movie and everything moves so fucking fast I have problems telling who's fighting who and who's doing what. In GB, when they're shooting the streams at the ghosts, I can actually tell what the hell is going on. I kinda like that.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I love the movie. Bill Murray is the best part of it, but the way the rest of the cast interacts is pretty solid.

Wolter:
I love Aykroyd's pseudoscience. Also, the Moranis Lewis Tuttle party sequence was largely ad-libbed, which is massively impressive.

Arcturus:
Ernie Hudson has probably the most under-appreciated role in that movie. I fucking love Winston.

Wolter:
I think Ghostbusters is probably the movie (outside of maybe the original Star Wars trilogy) that I have quoted the most in my life. It's my Casablanca.

*****

Or, I should say "my Caddyshack?"

Former Bartender Jordi Scrubbings:
I'll admit Ghostbusters is a different movie from a kid to an adult, especially after you experience college. As a kid you are amazed at the idea of catching ghosts and the photon pack, etc. As an adult you get more into the relationships - the Ghostbusters with the college (awkward and forced at best), Peter with Dana (completely unprofessional), and the Ghostbusters with the city. Keep in mind, too, that it followed Caddyshack and was a reunion of some of Second City's greatest alumni. Why it is based in NY and not Chicago is beyond me - maybe as a response to Blues Brothers?

Although random, what I am trying to say is that I still like Ghostbusters. It’s just for different reasons.

The Hundley:
Yeah, after I got to college I said, "That's it; I'm done trying to catch ghosts".

Wolter:
The Hundley just made me laugh out loud. Hard. A coworker just peeked in.

One thing I never noticed as a kid that I do as an adult: everyone smokes like a fucking chimney in that movie.

*****

The reason it's probably not a huge ode to Chicago is that Aykroyd (the main force behind its original creation) was from the Toronto Second City, where Ramis had also done a lot of work. The Firehouse base is based on the Toronto Second City's location, and that scene was very much homage to the early days there.

White Chili:
I still can't wrap my head around Belushi playing the part of Peter.

Wolter:
What about John Candy in the Moranis role? If it weren't for Splash conflicting, it would have happened.

Chaim, you have inadvertently strengthened my resolve to watch Ghostbusters again, post-haste.

Hey, Arcturus. Here's some Ernie Hudson love: a remixed trailer with him as the star of a much darker supernatural thriller:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olfn5LvcnnY&feature=player_embedded

Jordi Scrubbings:
Interesting for gb1, but I could not see Annie Potts being turned on by a geeky John Candy in gb2. No way.

Actually Candy and Sigourney Weaver is kinda unbelievable as well.

Arcturus:
Murray was perfect for Venkman. I have a hard time seeing Belushi in the part. He's sleazy enough, sure, but Murray makes the part. Dana says he's like a game show host. Murray really makes that aspect of the character shine through.

Loved the Ernie Hudson vid, Wolter. He's one of the best parts of that movie for me, despite the fact that he really has very little to do.

Ghostbusters II is utterly horrible, though. I did just recently watch that on TV the other day and it's godawful.

Wolter:
Ghostbusters II is terrible.

[We talk about other Bill Murray vehicles for a while. But SOMEONE can't let this go.]

Chaim Witz:
Back to Ghostbusters for a sec: Ernie Hudson is under -appreciated? That's because he doesn't come until halfway through the movie, has nothing to do and has maybe 10 lines the whole movie. They might has well have just called him, 'black guy that smokes'.

Wolter, you're right about the smoking. Just chain smoking throughout.

Wolter:
No small roles, Chaim.

Chaim Witz:
Another thing you don't notice as a kid is how basically everything is superficial and they don't even make an attempt to explain anything, save for a few lines of mumbo jumbo spouted off by Aykroyd.

Not that I wanted the movie bogged down with a lot of unnecessary exposition that sucks the fun out of it, but you do notice how they go from Point A to B to C rather quickly, while skipping over how they got to each point.

Trivial qualms I suppose. It was still fun, just not nearly as good as I had hoped it to be.

Wolter:
Man, if they actually tried to explain the Ghost Science, I suspect I would love that movie significantly less.

White Chili:
It's easier to explain using Twinkie logic.

Arcturus:
There is a ton of smoking in the movie.

And who needs scientific explanations for all the crazy shit they do? I don't want it to be like Star Trek, where you've got every nerd under the sun debating on whether or not warp drive is possible.

Egon says, "Hey, there's a good chance we could capture and hold a ghost indefinitely." They have a big red box they put the ghosts in, which works until the EPA shuts off the power. That works pretty good for me because it's basically a comedy and it doesn't really matter how any of it works.

And the Twinkie explanation is fucking brilliant.

Chaim Witz:
Ok, scientific explanations wasn't what I meant. I guess I'm just a sucker for a "plot". We'll just have to agree to disagree. There are a lot of movies I like that I can't really explain why as well.

White Chili:
You're claiming that Ghostbusters suffers because it's not realistic? Really?

Next you're going to say that Chain Reaction was bad.

Arcturus:
It's all right, Chaim. My wife isn't real big on Ghostbusters either. It's one of those movies that I can't seem to help watching if it happens to be on TV. She'll roll her eyes in disgust and just shake her head. I get that a lot.

Chaim Witz:
That's ok. The Burbs is one of my Top 5 movies ever, and I can in no way defend it or even explain why I like it so much. I just do, dammit.

[With that, the talk gradually subsides to other, even less interesting topics, interspersed with randomly inserted barbs about Ghostbusters from Chaim…who is still horribly, horribly wrong.]

Imagine if we harnessed all that time wasting ability for good, instead of evil.

P.S. - Only 30 pages further into Mason & Dixon. Damn you Pynchon.

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