What Did You Watch This Weekend?

By  · Published on August 12th, 2013

An open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers.

The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling.

It’s been a while since I’ve been slimed, so another viewing of Ghostbusters (probably my 15th?) was in order. The thing is, I don’t own it on DVD or Blu-ray, so we rented the original combo pack at the library, and the vintage menu screen was the biggest surprise. A thing of amazing beauty with its MS Paint lightning bolts and weirdly-rendered Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man roaming the cityscape before jerking to a stop, disappearing, and then reappearing behind a building as the plagiarized theme song started over. Remember when companies assumed we’d make our selection within 10 seconds?

As for the movie itself, there’s little to say about this classic that hasn’t been echoed a hundred times, but revisiting it served as a reminder of just how perfectly constructed it is. Small things like having Dana see the Ghostbusters commercial before meeting Zuul in her refrigerator, or using Venkman’s lascivious bullshit experiment to introduce both him and Ray (as con artist and true believer) help to bring connective tissue that rounds out characters without having to spend a lot of time with them. It’s the height of show-don’t-tell ‐ especially when they had the comedy chops to get away with covering up a little sloppiness.

It’s also a little bizarre to imagine that a group of comedians got the full studio treatment 30 years ago for an original story about paranormal investigators. It’s too bad we never got to see them go on their adventures through hell, but it’s hard to imagine at all an original script (and one that far out) would earn the equivalent budget of $70M today. [Amazon Pay Streaming]

Obviously it was a slow movie weekend for me, legitimized by high quality instead of quantity.

What did you watch?

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.