If you’re a Ghostbusters superfan – and, for heaven’s sake, who isn’t? – then this amiably celebratory documentary about the original film is going to be pretty watchable, although it could have been cut down to 20 minutes as a featurette to go on the DVD/Blu-ray edition.
There’s decent stuff here. The film enjoyably geeks out on the technical challenges involved in creating the ghosts, and there are nice interviews with director Ivan Reitman, veteran comedy producer Joe Medjuck and stars Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis (recorded before his death in 2014), Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson. Unfortunately, no Bill Murray though. And another thing we don’t get is Ray Parker Jr’s legendary theme tune, presumably for copyright reasons.
This has an interesting, detailed, technical story to tell about a film that was green-lit at Columbia in 1983 on the basis of Aykroyd’s original script and was in cinemas just one year later, having done some extraordinarily innovative effects and model work in a great surge of creativity (although I’ve always felt that the “slimer” surely owes something to Terry Gilliam). The location work in New York, enabled via arrangement with Mayor Ed Koch, was truly spectacular, and the colossal sets being built were no less humungous.
Another person who is mentioned here, but not interviewed, is that once super-powerful agent-slash-producer and all-round éminence grise Michael Ovitz who was involved with Ghostbusters: a figure once as big and important as they come in Hollywood, but now almost forgotten. He’s someone who himself might make an excellent documentary subject.
• Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is released in the UK on 7 January.
Source: The Guardian