Ghostbusters II

Peter MacNicol in Ghostbusters 2

A lot of people went to see Ghostbusters II on its opening weekend 25 years ago, enough to break a box office record (that would be surpassed a week later with the release of Batman). Of course it was hugely anticipated. Ghostbusters was already a classic after only five years, and thanks in part to a Saturday morning cartoon spin-off and toys and other merchandising, kids especially couldn’t wait to see Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston and, of course, Slimer back on the big screen. But it was a huge disappointment for most fans. The plot was too much of a repeat of the original, the cast didn’t give it their all and worst of all it wasn’t very funny, so said — and still say — its biggest critics. Well, I was only 12 at the time and sufficiently satisfied. Already obsessed then by how New York City is represented in cinema, I especially enjoyed the pink slime causing the Big Apple’s notorious reputation for being a mean-spirited metropolis. I even appreciated the corny use of the Statue of Liberty as the antithesis of that negative distinction. But it was enough to see the gang reunited with their proton packs, as well as the return of Rick Moranis, who would have stolen the whole movie if he weren’t beaten at his own game by Peter MacNicol. Some might think of Dr. Janosz Poha as the Jar Jar Binks of the Ghostbusters franchise. For me, he’s still the sequel’s greatest component.



Were you disappointed with Ghostbusters II? Then you might be interested to know that what wound up in theaters was not the original vision for the sequel. And you might also be interested in seeing that original vision finally come to light thanks to a new documentary and restoration project in the works. Both ideas are the ambitious brainchild of director Bradley Bjornstad, who has set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100k for the “twofold” effort. The doc is called Ghostbusters 2 – The Original Vision and it will tell the story of what the movie was supposed to be, before “certain things happened during the production that altered the way the film came together.” Bjornstad plans to get onscreen interviews with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and even Rick Moranis, among others. This will be combined with the still-unseen deleted footage, including scenes with Moranis’s Louis versus Slimer and a character (Louis’s cousin) played by Eugene Levy, as well as storyboards Bjornstad will draw up based on the un-filmed parts of the original script. Also in the documentary will be a look at the process of the restoration project…


Eternal-Sunshine-of-the-Spotless-Mind-eternal-sunshine-scene we love

Every movie site and its grandmother does a list of favorite romantic films or scenes on Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d do something different in anticipation of the lover’s holiday this year and highlight some great anti-Valentine’s Day scenes set on or otherwise involving the Hallmark holiday. They’re not necessarily against love and romance, but they do take shots at the enforced occasion for love and romance. Some of these scenes include death, one is about the end of the world and another features the ignorant poisoning of a beloved comic strip character. If you haven’t got a date for Thursday, don’t want a date for Thursday or have no need for a holiday that tells you to be especially romantic with your significant other on Thursday, the following six scenes and their films are for you. 



Let’s face facts – explosions are great. No one is denying that in the least, but sometimes they just get a little… mundane. Really once you’ve seen the White House explode under an alien disaster beam or get rammed by a giant tidal wave, you don’t really need to see that again. It’s been covered. So let’s take alien beams and tidal waves right off the table and start thinking about some of the more ingenious ways Hollywood has wrecked the place.


trading places 27

There are so many movies with New Year’s Eve scenes that we might be able to make a list of 2,013 of them. Especially if we separate each scene from movies completely set on the night, such as New Year’s Eve, 200 Cigarettes and the Assault on Precinct 13 remake. But we’re going to keep it simple and exclude 2000 of those to share only 13 favorite moments of movie characters ringing in the new year. None of them are from those three aforementioned films, by the way. And since we’ve obviously left a bunch of scenes out, at some point before you go out to party or get situated on your couch ready to watch the ball drop, do tell us which New Year’s Eve scenes you love. Oh, and merry new year!


9/11 on Film: World Trade Center Movie Cameos

When Zoolander came out on September 28, 2001, the production had digitally removed The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers from the New York City skyline in an effort to avoid displaying a devastating image in the middle of a comedy about the world of fashion. If they’d have left it in, it wouldn’t have been the first time the buildings had been featured on film or television. Since they didn’t, it marks the first time the buildings were ever erased. With the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 coming this Sunday, it’s impossible not to be consumed a bit by the gravity of an action that killed so many and lowered a different world view onto all of us. Landon and I talked on Reject Radio regarding the effect that the day had on movies and movie-watchers, but that mostly dealt with the last decade – the world that came after that morning. As a counterpart, here’s a simply-edited montage of the past. Dan Meth has built a view to the movies where the Twin Towers either stood proudly in the background, made prominent appearances in the front of the action, or acted as the set. It’s stirring in its matter-of-factness, and it’s more than a little moving, but it’s ultimately a celebration of a symbol that no longer (physically) exists. Check it out for yourself:

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published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.23.2015

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