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George At 

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Ghostbusters II

Getting ready to see the new "Ghostbusters Frozen Empire" tomorrow, I wanted to go back and revisit 1989's first sequel, GHOSTBUSTERS II.

Loaded with laughs from a great returning cast and one hilarious new addition, it's not quite the equal of the original, but still lots of fun.

It's five years after the first film and the fallout from those events has taken its toll. Ray (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) are down to doing kids birthday parties. And the kids would much rather see He-Man.

Bill Murray's Peter Venkman is hosting a psychic TV show with the same hilarious snark that he used for his Las Vegas lounge singer on SNL.

Egon (Harold Ramis) has taken the most legitimate route, now a doctor of psychic research with the craziest headware since Doc Brown.

When Dana (Sigourney Weaver) and her child become the center of new paranormal activity, our ghostbusting quartet track it down to a massive river of pink slime running underneath Manhattan, fed by the everyday negativity of New Yorkers. It's a funny angle with some scary results.

New cast member Peter MacNicol (Sophie's Choice, Dragonslayer) is off the charts hilarious as the curator of the Museum where Dana is working, restoring ancient art. His character Janosz has an outrageous accent, eccentric mannerisms and eyes for Dana. Unfortunately, Janosz has also fallen under the spell of a massive old painting depicting the evil Vigo the Carpathian, a 16th century madman all too anxious to come back into power, thanks to that evil ooze flowing right under the museum. Watching this, I kept thinking "wow that actor sounds exactly like Max Von Sydow!" Yep, he dubbed all of Vigo's lines, and he nails it!

The story gives Bill Murray limitless chances to execute his perfect and patented brand of wise-ass remarks as he romances Dana and gets pulled by his cohorts into the adventure tracking down just what's going on in the city.

Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson have their patter down to a paranormal science, playing off each other like the pros they are. Rick Moranis (Little Shop of Horrors) steals every scene he's in as Louis Tully, the boys fly by night attorney who's madly in love with Janine (Annie Potts).

Driving nearly 10x it's $25 million budget at the box office, this was a huge hit.

The special effects were state of the art CGI and still hold up pretty well! I loved the Titanic pulling up to the NYC docks with a giant hole in its side and hundreds of well dressed ghosts walking out.

The statue of liberty has never been used quite so effectively as an action hero.

Fun, loaded with laughs and playing even better for me now then it did at the time of its release, GHOSTBUSTERS II scares up a solid B.

(The kid who tells Ray at the birthday party that, " my dad says the Ghostbusters are "full of crap" is played by Jason Reitman, son of this film's director Ivan Reitman. He would go on to direct the terrific sequel "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" in 2021!

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