Peter MacNicol

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.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; I am not Banksy. But like that ninja/superhero street artist, I appear from nowhere and deface your perfectly good internet walls with my tasteless taste in movies. I will eviscerate history’s most problem-laden cinematic missteps before circumventing any notions of a favorable reputation by singing the film’s dubious praises. To drive the proverbial nail into the coffin, and into your aorta, I will then pair the movie with an appropriate junk food selection to ruin your swimsuit season. South by Southwest is a film festival that carries with it a debauchery only outdone by the Mos Eisley-level of scum and villainy that is Fantastic Fest. With the daunting schedule of pounding beers, drinking lager in line for various films, and taking a break from running from venue to venue with an ice cold brew, it can be really hard to grant the same level of attention and diligence to one’s weekly features that one normally does. But luckily for me, the Ain’t It Cool News secret screening during SxSW provided the perfect fodder for this week’s column. This week’s snack: Dragonslayer.

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