I would be remissed, given that the title of my blog is based on one of my favorite throwaway lines of dialogue from one of my favorite movies of all time, if I didn’t share what I got the chance to experience last Thursday. I got to see GHOSTBUSTERS on the big screen. It was everything I hoped it would be.
Ghostbusters was one of the earliest movie memories I have a kid. I remember the very first time I saw the movie, in fact. I couldn’t have been older than 7 or 8 at the most, and I was sitting in the living room watching the movie by myself. One scene in particular hooked me, and I rushed out of the living room to the dining room where my parents were sitting and I told my dad I had just heard the funiest line, proudly repeating after Peter Venkman, “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!” My dad, I like to think holding back a startled laugh, calmly told me, “Kenny, we don’t talk like that in this house.” Regardless, I was a Ghostbusters fan for life.
Ghostbusters is probably my most favorite movie ever of all time in the history of movies. Ever. I love The Big Lebowski, The Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Se7en, Anchorman, and a few other movies, but, as with most things, you never forget your first love. It was a real treat to see it on the big screen for first time ever. It was a really different experience after seeing it so many times on a regular-sized TV. Perhaps the thing that was the most enjoyable part of the experience for me was seeing the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man on the big screen for the first time. I laughed heartily at the utter absurdity (and sheer brilliance) of seeing a giant marshmellow turn the corner and be revealed as the Big Bad that appears to destroy the city. And it took seeing the movie on the big screen to realize that.
Or maybe to remember that. Because the reaction I had reminded me of the first time I saw the movie as a kid, albeit with a bit more understanding and appreciation. As children, things seem so much bigger, basically because we’re so small and there are so many things that are bigger than us. Part of the experience of growing up is the normalization of the world around us; it’s almost like the world is shrinking a bit as we’re growing bigger. Revisit someplace from your childhood, and, invariably, it will seem like a smaller place, even though its dimensions remain the same. Our spatial relation to the places and things are what have changed. And rewatching movies you grew up with, while you enjoy them, your viewing experience changes as well. You don’t see them with the same awe and wonder and amazement you first had. Seeing Mr. Stay Puft up on the big screen made me feel like a child again, because for the first time since I was a kid, he looked larger than life. That alone was worth the price of admission.