Midnight Movies: Ghostbusters II

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I was excited about this rewatching this Midnight Movie because I love pretty much everything about the Ghostbusters. Before I go any farther into this post though, I have a confession to make, one that could possibly get me shunned by the internet forever… I think Ghostbusters II is more fun than the original. Not funnier, but more fun. It’s bigger, the special effects are better, and there are way more ghosts. I realistically know that the first Ghostbusters is a better movie, but I just cant help myself. When I see the Statue of Liberty walking through the streets of New York to the tune of “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson, I get goosebumps.

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This movie came out on video at the perfect time for me. I was nine and I already crazy about the Ghostbusters thanks mostly to the Saturday morning cartoon. I had a bunch of the toys and I’ve still got my Ghostbusters II Flip ‘n’ Fun Jokes, Riddles, and Coloring Book. (Sample joke: “What do ghosts chew?” “Booble gum.”) I drank Ecto Coolers and wanted to be Egon Spengler (and I still kind of do). So obviously my opinion of the movie is more than a little colored by my nostalgia, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great movie on it’s own merits. 

Apparently, a lot of people think this is just a mediocre rehash of the first movie (6.4 rating on IMDb?!?) but Ghostbusters II is one of my favorite movies. Jump down to the Highlights section to see how many awesome moments are in this movie. I watched this one with my kids (along with the first one) and we all loved it. 

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One sentence plot summary:

After losing everything following the events of the first film, our heroes must once again rise up to save the city from supernatural evil, this time in the form of a river of slime fueled by negative energy and Vigo the Carpathian, an ancient 16th Century medieval tyrant and sorcerer,  and they do this by hosing down the inside of the Statue of Liberty with positively charged slime and having her walk through the streets to the tune of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher.”

It is worth watching?

Yes! If you’re one of the people who has never given this sequel a chance, ignore the haters and watch this.  Some people just don’t like awesome things.

Highlights:

  • Janosz , everything thing that little weirdo does is gold

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  • The Pepto-Bismol colored river of slime
  • The whole courtroom scene and the Scolari brothers

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  • Toasters and slime love Jackie Wilson
  • Attack of the baby-eating bathtub
  • Winston vs. the ghost train
  • Three slime-covered men in their long johns invading a fancy restaurant
  • That Bobby Brown song
  • The Titanic’s arrival in the harbor

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  • Slimer’s cameo as the bus driver
  • The Statue of Liberty walking through the streets of New York (sure it’s not to scale but it’s awesome)

Favorite lines:

  • “Everything you are doing is bad. I want you to know this.”
  • “Do…” “Re…” “Egon!”
  • “Two in the box! Ready to go! We be fast! And they be slow!”

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  • “Suck in the guts, guys, we’re the Ghostbusters.”
  • “Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.”
  • “Why am I drippings with goo?”

Coming next:

Taking a break from comedy, it’s time to experience the awesomeness that is Predator.

Yes, that's a full Ghostbusters uniform.

Yes, that’s me in a full Ghostbusters uniform.

Midnight Movies: Stripes

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One of the tried and true comedy movie formulas of the 70s and 80s was to put a funny cast of goofballs and screw ups in a serious or snobby institution and let them tear everything apart. Movies like Animal House, Caddyshack, Police Academy, and Stripes all used this anti-establishment snobs vs. slobs plot and even though it’s been a million times, I usually like it. I like seeing serious things brought down by a little bit of anarchy.

I think I might have seen Stripes at some point on Comedy Central, but I really didn’t remember anything about it. I must not have been paying much attention, because this is a really funny movie with a great cast. This movie is built around great lines and a big chunk of it was improvised by the actors. And this movie had some great comedians including Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold, Joe Flaherty, and Dave Thomas. If you don’t know who some of those guys are, check out old episodes of SCTV and SNL.

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This was one of Harold Ramis’ first big onscreen roles and I think he does a great job. Of course Bill Murray gets the best lines because he’s Bill Murray.

One sentence plot summary:

In just a few hours a down-on-his-luck taxi driver loses his job, his apartment, his car, and his girlfriend so he and his friend decide to join the army and hijinks ensue.

It is worth watching?

Absolutely. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis were some of the best comedians of the 70s and 80s both on screen and on script and they’re both at the top of their game here.

Highlights:

  • Da doo ron ron
  • Bill Murray’s inspirational speech to the troops
  • Graduation drill
  • The big reveal of the super secret EM-50 urban assault

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Favorite lines:

  • “And then depression set in.”
  • “No, we’re not homosexual, but we are willing to learn.”
  • “What happens if I refuse to get on the bus?”
    “You look like a sensitive intelligent guy. Don’t make me shoot you.”
  • “I don’t know what kind of soldier I’m gonna make, but I want you guys to know that if we ever get into really heavy combat… I’ll be right behind you guys. Every step of the way.”
  • “There is one thing that we all have in common. We were all stupid enough to enlist in the army.”
  • “Where is your drill sergeant, men?”
    “Blown up, sir!”

Coming next:

Continuing with the Harold Ramis love, next up is Ghostbusters II.

Quickie Update and Midnight Movies Format Change

Okay, so I’m less than 24 hours into my Midnight Movies project and I’m already working on revamping parts of it.

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First, I’m reformatting  the posts about the movies. After writing up my post about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, I decided that these need to be less about summarizing the plot and reviewing the movie and more about my own thoughts, feelings, and impressions. This will give me a little more room to have fun with the writing and hopefully make it more interesting for you to read. Also, they’re going to be shorter. When I came up with my original plan I forgot that I own a business that I have to run and that I have enough kids to start a preschool so my time is limited. 

Secondly, because of all this there’s not going to be a post about Stripes tomorrow. I’m still going to do it, but the posts about Stripes and Ghostbusters II will both be out on Tuesday. That will give me a little extra time to get the format figured out. I hope you’ll stick with me as I work through all this. I’m looking forward to spending more time back in the 80s with you soon!

Back to the 80s with Midnight Movies

After a break that has lasted more than three years, I have returned to my blog. Three years without a single post. I’m a really good blogger. 

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I’m back on this blog because I’m working on an idea here. I’m going to start a project to help me meet a few of my goals. Here are some things I’d like to start doing more often:

  1. Sleeping an amount that leaves me feeling like a functional human being when I wake up.
  2. Watching more movies instead of getting lost in the Internet for multiple hours every evening.
  3. Writing (and actually having something to write about.)

I think I’ve found a way to do  all these things at once. I’m going to watch a bunch of movies from the 80’s and blog about them. You were expecting something profound? Anyway, every night in March after my wife and kids are snoozing peacefully in their beds, I’m going to fire up a movie that was released sometime during my formative years and then I’ll try to work up some kind blog about it the next day. Pretty simple. Here are the requirements for the movies I’ll be watching this month:

  1. It was released sometime between Jan 1, 1980 and Dec 31, 1989.

That’s all. Other than that, anything goes and I’d love to hear your suggestions for some movies in the comments below. I’ve got weird taste in movies so I’m down for whatever you can throw at me. Why limit myself to the 80s?  There were a lot of great movies released in this decade that I love and I’ve missed a bunch of others that I should have seen by now. Plus, nostalgia! Also, 80s hair.

If I feel ambitious at some point, I might try to theme each day of the week somehow (Comedy Mondays, Slasher Tuesdays, etc.) but for now I’m keeping it open. I’m calling this little experiment Midnight Movies, because I’m pretty sure midnight will happen sometime in the middle of most of these. I’ll be using that title in every one of these posts, so if you have a better name for this, let me know.

To keep me on track I’ll post my weekly schedule in advance. If you want to watch along with me, that would be great!

Disclaimer: I live in a house full of little kids a.k.a. “germ magnets,” so if I have to miss a night because I’m sitting up with one of the little ones or just too exhausted for a movie, I’ll just push everything off for a day and pick it the next night. I’m only human.

Here’s Week One, starting tonight on Saturday March 1:

  • Saturday – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
  • Sunday – Stripes (1981)
  • Monday – Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • Tuesday – Predator (1987)
  • Wednesday – Night of the Comet (1984)
  • Thursday – Dragnet (1987)
  • Friday – April Fools Day (1986)

That should get me off to a pretty good start. What do you think about my list? What should I watch next week? Is Midnight Movies a stupid name for this? Let me know your thoughts!

Here’s one of the most 80s things ever to get you in the right frame of mind: