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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)
How dare you accuse us of self-indulgence? You think we would take advantage of the enforced cinema closures and implore you to watch some of our favourite comedies of all time at home? You really believe we want to write four separate love letters to movies that have been around for over 30 years? Well, we're shocked. Positively shocked. This is solid consumer advice, so eyes down please and enough of your lip!
How can we pitch 1984's Ghostbusters to a 2020 audience who may not have caught it before society evolved for the better? Straight off the bat, some parts are problematic. The four (really three) protagonists are all male, occasionally less socially enlightened despite being scientists and, in Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) case, use their position of power to pursue relationships. In fairness, these are quite standard tropes in '80s films. What Ghostbusters does deliver, however, are some genuine laughs peppered with smart dialogue, a well-rounded story and special effects, which still resonate today. A 'going into business' story, the movie's over-arching conceit is they are simply working class exterminators plying their trade in what was then a dirty New York City. The fact they are university graduates and the 'cockroaches' are from a different dimension only heightens the stakes. Killer performances from Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and the quartet of heroes (Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson) cement this as one of the most fun films ever made.
Rotten Tomatoes gives it 97%
TRIVIA: Ghostbusters was the highest grossing comedy of all time until Home Alone (1990)
"Surely you can't be serious?" "I am serious and don't call me, Shirley." If ever a more iconic deadpan joke has been uttered on the big screen, we're yet to see it. We had to put this 1980 classic in here for the sheer volume of gags and their consistent hit rate. It is like (and takes inspiration from) an extended sitcom episode. Barely 10 seconds pass before another hilarious incident occurs. The situation is simple: a passenger plane is left without anyone at the helm and the inflatable autopilot can't handle the rest of the journey. Troubled former army flier Ted Striker (Robert Hayes), sat in economy regaling exasperated neighbours with his tales of woe, is approached to make the emergency landing: "sir, there's been a little problem in the cockpit." "The cockpit! What is it?" "It's a little room in the front of the plane where the pilots sit, but that's not important right now." Rotten Tomatoes gives it 97%
THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)
Imagine a world where The Office (both major versions), Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Borat and a host of other mockumentaries didn't exist. You've just imagined a universe where the mother of them all, This Is Spinal Tap, was never made. This 1984 mock rock documentary showed the planet how to successfully parody the genre and gave all future creators the vital component for a fruitful outing: self-important, oblivious characters. 'British' heavy metal band Spinal Tap are touring America and filmmaker Marty DiBergi wishes to chronicle their exploits. From the buffoonery of having to dance around a miniature Stonehenge stage prop as a result of a metric/ imperial measurement mix-up to Nigel Tufnel's (Christopher Guest) infamous "these go to 11" nonsensical monologue, This Is Spinal Tap is crammed with iconic moments. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 95%
What can we say about this Tom Hanks behemoth, that you don't already know? Even if you haven't seen Big, you could still probably rattle off the plot: a 13-year-old boy is tired of being small, uses a creepy fairground amusement machine to wish to be 'big', wakes up a full grown adult, almost instantly becomes a well-paid New York toy executive with a high-powered girlfriend in her thirties, wishes to be young again. The completely timeless tale writes itself. We only mock the ones we love, so as you can see we adore Big. Watch it. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 97%
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