Ghostbusters and Gremlins at the Dryden

Ali, Christina, and I headed to Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave. to see the double-feature. Well, Christina and I committed to the long-haul while Ali only wanted to see Ghostbusters.  The first feature, as such, was just as good as I remember from the last time I saw it as well as times past.  The movie tends to hold together as a comedy and as a thriller … for instance, the apperarance of the final enemy was as disturbing and humorous as it was when I saw it in 1984.  Of course, the film is also pretty seriously flawed with continuity and special-effects problems (not so much the datedness of optical effects, but more the problem of concrete bouncing gently off wooden police barriers).

Ali smartly left because Gremlins was awful.  "Awful" like "one of the worst movies I've ever seen".  I remember seeing bits and pieces of the film in the past, and I apparently always turned away from it as it got boring.  I never did see it when I was young, and, admittedly, I probably would have been extremely entertained as a teenager.  But as an adult, it's just excruciating.  Christina noted that it was like an episode of Amazing Stories — something that could have been a clever tale at 20 minutes.  Unfortunately, the film was padded an additional 86 minutes (of which, the only redeeming moment was Phoebe Cates hilariously deadpan delivery explaining why her character hates Christmas).  The lesson is to have extremely low expectations if you're going to make an attempt — or better yet, if you liked it as a kid, don't even bother revisiting it.

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