‘Ghostbusters’ a funny romp

The Weather Channel is a predicting a big heat wave coming that will have temperatures today at 104 degrees and the next solid week even hotter. If you are looking for someplace cool to wait it out, the Madera Cinema has some great movies showing.

The latest new comedy, “Ghostbusters,” is one of the summer films that should be on everyone’s must-see list.

I have a special connection to this movie.

More than 30 years ago the company that managed my husband’s retirement account invested the money in a tax shelter called Delphi. Delphi Productions along with Black Rhino were the producers of the original “Ghostbuster” movies. This meant we owned a little tiny corner of this film.

According to Wikipedia the original movie cost $30 million to make and earned a whopping $295.2 million at the box office. Five years later the sequel, “Ghostbusters 2,” with the original cast, cost $36 million to make and earned $215.4 million. The movies were followed by two animated series and a ton of toys.

The fan magazines have called the latest version “Ghostbusters relaunched with an all-female cast.” The new film is playing locally at both the walk-in and the drive-in.

A movie has to really catch my attention before I see it in the theater. My punch line is when I watch a movie, I like to sit in my underwear and smoke cigarettes, and Bobby Gran hates it when I do that at his place.

The last new film I saw was “Ouija,” and it debuted two years ago.

I had very low expectations when I saw “Ghostbusters.” The original was so wildly successful, and history has made me believe that remakes are typically disappointing.

This movie, however, is very entertaining. The primary cast, comprised of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, have all proven their ability to be funny on television. Wiig, McKinnon and Jones all have long careers as featured actors on Saturday Night Live. McCarthy’s recently canceled series, Mike and Mollie, earned her a Primetime Emmy award.

The talent to make this a great movie is obviously present and the performances these women deliver make it a hilarious paranormal romp.

The gadgets they use to fight evil spirits haunting New York City are clever.

The phantoms, staged with special effects and computer-generated imagery, make great sight gags and physical comedy for the actors.

When you go see this movie keep a look out for the cameo appearances of nearly all the original cast including a heart-felt homage to the late Harold Ramis.

I can’t help but admire the marketing of this franchise. The original movies seem to be playing non-stop on several cable channels.

Take a trip to the toy store, and you will find movie characters in the form of dolls and plush animals, games and DVDs for both the old and new films. And “Ghostbuster” toys are showing up in most retail stores.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered at the grocery store a rack of plush Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer dolls, featured characters from the movie. Each toy came with a DVD of one of the original films attached. The toys were priced at just under $20 each. I had high hopes they wouldn’t be good sellers and I could buy them on the marked-down shelf in the future. A week later I visited the store I found the display of what began as about 20 of each doll sold down to only three of one doll and two of the other.

I had to buy them or they would have been gone. I also got a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man keyring that plays the movie theme song when squeezed.

The Kentucky-based Papa John pizza chain has a product tie-in with “Ghostbusters,” and crafted an elaborate television ad campaign with the company founder John Schnatter covered in slime and the floating green Slimer character gobbling pizza.

Keep cool and hydrated the next week and have a good weekend.