October 26, 2013

Ghostbusters II

Ivan Reitman, 1989


The population of ghosts seem to be increasing in the Big Apple, which puts the Ghostbusters back in business. They realize that the bad vibes of the city are actually causing a pink slime to materialize below the city that in turn is energizing the reanimation of an ancient genocidal ruler from his painting in the Manhattan Museum of Art.

The sequel to the 80's cult classic holds up. It could easily make a list of "Most consistent sequels ever", because it really feels like an accurate continuation of the first film. "Movies that if they are on television, you can't turn the channel and must sit down and watch". The screenplay is superb, the script is impeccable, and the acting is great because you are really seeing Dan Akroyd, Harold Remis, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver at the peak of their careers. Also at his peak is Rick Moranis, who has been noticeably absent from cinema since his self-imposed retirement in 1997 after becoming a single dad when his wife died of cancer. It's a masterful blend of the supernatural and comedy genres. Michael Chapman is really great behind the camera in this film as well, such as the Statue of Liberty scene. The film also gives you another serving of an 80's soundtrack that if you don't like, you are empty inside. How dare anyone criticize the effects. The proton-packs are on equally par with light-sabers, no argument. That would be one of the disappointing elements of a future remake of this franchise, which you know will come twenty years from now. They will have some cutting-edge visuals that will take away all of the grit and everything that made these films so good. The younger generation will then criticize the Ghostbusters purists as being old-timers. Ugh. Both films are an ode to the older New York City. Pre-9/11 (as you are reminded seeing the sky-scape shots of the Twin Towers), Pre-Giuliani, Post-Taxi Driver, Pre-Disneyfication of Times Square, Mid Central Park Ghost jogger. The city where the film's fictional Mayor reminds the boys that "Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right". This is an American Classic. One of those films you can't wait to force your kids to watch when they get older, and they damn well better appreciate it for what it is.

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