2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2003
I have no idea why they think that 1989's "Ghostbusters II" failed to live up to the first one. The first one from 1984 was excellent in it's own way but parts of it showed signs of being dated. From my perspective though, the second Ghostbusters movie takes what was great about the first one and built upon the greatness of that one and took on a far less comedic tone in favor of a much darker and more dramatic twist to the story line. To me, this was a wise movie in my part as it showed the growth of the movie series and showcased the producers taking new risks with new creativity.
It all begins years after the spectacular events that brought the first Ghostbusters movie to an epic yet humorous ending. The Ghostbusters team have gone bankrupt due to numerous lawsuits brought against them by bureaucrats after the property damage done during the Marshmallow Man incident years back (According to the movie timeline) and have gone their own separate ways. However, New York City is now in a state of danger when a mysterious painting of a 16th century Carpathian who lived during the 14th Century named Vigo begins resides at the Art Museum. Vigo, residing in the painting, causes weird things to happen. Also a massive river of ectoplasm (Red Slimy substance coursing through the city's sewer system) materializes from the negative emotions/bad vibes in the cities' citizens and feeds evil and hate into its citizens it comes into contact with. During an incident that occurs with a sample of the red slime, they discover that the ectoplasm if allowed too much negative emotions will explode with a cataclysmic amount of explosive force and wipe civilization off the face of the earth. Now the Ghostbusters have to team up again and lift the spirits of the New York population to fight the rising evil of Vigo's spirit and prevent disaster. However, the Ghostbusters team is viewed as psychologically disturbed by authorities and is in danger of being imprisoned at mental institutions. Not even Dana Barrett is out of the woods either. Worse yet, Vigo in his spirit form, is after Dana Barrett's infant son Oscar so he can transfer his spirit and life force into the body of Oscar so he can live again. With all of these massive obstacles, it's a dark yet fun adventure for the Ghostbusters team as they duke it out to save the future of NYC and possibly the world from total annihilation.
Bill Murray steals the spotlight as the loveable yet eccentric Peter Venkman whose highly humorous personality has nonetheless been in conflict with the various spirits and ghosts that have haunted the city and his life following the events of the first movie years before then. Rick Moranis' character Lewis Talbot is just funny, seeing him going from just a mere babysitter and job assistant to actually becoming an actual Ghostbuster towards the ending. Sigourney Weaver brings on an excellent and more dramatic role playing Dana Barrett. The rest bring on solid roles as well. The movie also is benefited from an excellent script and great and original plot. The special effects and the ghosts and such in the first movie while have scared the daylights me back when I was just a toddler when it was relatively new, look quite dated today but on here, they are a lot more improved and still are pretty scary, in an entertaining way. I gotta admit, I still love watching the ectoplasm and what it does. The seemingly opposite tone of the second Ghostbuster movie perfectly compliments the previous one so well. This movie in a way sends out a great message too of how the negativity of society has gotten out of hand recently (both around GB 2's release and today) and what the fallout could turn out to be. It's something to really think about.
I still to this day am baffled at the significantly lower amount of box office revenue that this movie generated when released back in 1989. While it may have in part due to the surprisingly darker tones that might have driven away those who were looking for more humorous story, it still is unbelievable that they considered this movie to be a 'flop'. This is far from a flop, in any stretch of the imagination. It mustered up 100 Million at the box office, far from a flop even though it wasn't as financially successful as the first one. Perhaps I might be sounding a bit over reactive due to the fact that I've been a fan of this incredible movie since I was around 7 years old when this came out but I think that the so called 'failure' of this film is one of the greatest injustices in the history of movies. It's a pity that they decided to not continue after this one. Then again, it's probably a good idea that they didn't, not because they would wreck the franchise with a third sequel that would've been weaker than the previous two but that at least they ended the movie series on a high note. "Ghostbusters II" in many ways avoids the so-called sequel slump that ruins many movies over time. It was a wise move to give the short-lived franchise a much more dramatic undertone and giving the "Ghostbusters" movie a new and original twist in storyline. It's a sign that they were branching out into new territory and it's a pity that the audience seemingly was not embracing this new change in tone. In fact, by simply making this one almost like a rehash of the first one would've turned out disastrous. Instead, "Ghostbusters II" Turned out to be a masterpiece and one of the greatest movie sequels of all time and I highly recommend that you buy this DVD today! Buy both of them. They are both worth owning!
on June 17, 2004
One of the main problems with GHOSTBUSTERS II is that it came out five years too late and that everything from the first film was invalid. In the first film the Ghostbusters literally save New York City and were heroes. In the sequel, we find out that that they are prohibited from "ghostbusting" and owe the city a hefty bill for the destruction incurred at "spook central" (Dana Barrett's /Sigourney Weaver apartment building near Central Park from the first movie). In the sequel, they have to literally start from scratch to re-establish themselves along with a new Ghostbusters logo. The rest of the plot is interestingly inventive but not as thrilling or memorable as from the original Ghostbusters (who can forget Gozer, Zhule, the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man). The heroes have to stop an evil spirit from the 16th Century, Vigo the Carpathian (currently inhabiting a painting of his own image being restored at a museum by Dana Barrett). He wants to come back to life by taking over Dana Barrett's baby boy, Oscar while "enlisting" the aid of Dana's boss,Janosz (an annoying Peter MacNicol with a european accent). At the same time his evil presence is oozing pink ectoplasmic slime (the first movie had green slime) being fed by all the negative vibes in New York City. Also,as in the first movie, the antagonizer against the Ghostbusters business was a man from the EPA (which was hilariously original and inventive), in this film it's the the mayor's campaign manager (Kurt Fuller). GHOSTBUSTERS II's production values and special effects are excellent along with the chemistry and comraderie among the cast and characters. However, it feels like it could have been a preliminary draft of ideas for it's characters instead of a sequel (i.e. The Statue of Liberty compared to the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man). The filmmakers should have taken out the "trying to re-establish themselves" plot from the script, and concentrate on a more inventive and earth-shattering storyline which is the point of any sequel. The hype on the first GHOSTBUSTERS poster states "Coming This Summer To Save The World" and the film lived up to that hype. GHOSTBUSTERS II did not have that kind of atmosphere. Lastly, as stated earlier, the film came out five years too late. To show what five year can do, in the first film, there was a catchy pop tune by Ray Parker, Jr. In this film, it is replaced by an unmemorable rap song...rap had become contemporary by the time the film was released.
on November 11, 2003
Ghostbusters 2 is not the best of sequels. Sure the money was there, but it didn't seem all that funny. Sometimes this movie down right took on a dark tone. The Painting was truely a scary ghost, and in some ways may have been one of the biggest problems with this movie. As for the actor's, it seemed like the jokes just didn't work. Probably if your looking for a true movie comedy, go with the first Ghostbusters. This movie wasn't very funny, and was semi-scary drama. Let me now review this dvd in detail: Movie charctors: I could see that Bill didn't really have a feel for this movie. Most actor's in this movie do decently, but not as well as the first movie. The support cast also wasn't very good this time round. One of the biggest problems with the movie charctors was the lack of humor. . . . . .80% Movie Plot: The plot basicly was put around the Slime and the painting. Basicly The slime now has feelings and is effected by how people in New York feel, and theres a ton of it in the sewers. The Painting is a self-portrait of a known Murder that died in a very bad way. Anyways The painting's ghost needs a host to walking again in human form. And of coarse Dana and Peter's baby he wants. Go figure. You think this ghost would have known better. lol anyway. . . .85% Movie effects: The effects where very interesting. The Art department sure gave the movie some very interesting ghosts. However Some things didn't quite work. The Statue of Liberty was way off the size of the real one. One more thing about the movie was how it seemed like from one screen to the next, the suits changed from Brown to Purple so quickly. . . . .90%Dvd features: This Movie didn't really get any at all.. . . . .50%If you like this movie I suggest: Ghostbusters, Candyshack, Evolution, SNL in the 70's - early 80's.
on March 15, 2003
Ghostbusters was such a uniquely entertaining and hilarious film that nearly any sequel would be doomed to fall short of the lofty expectations ladled upon it. Unfortunately, Ghostbusters 2 does indeed fall short, and far more so than one would have expected from such a great comedic team.
First, the story: a few years after the Ghostbusters saved New York from the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the guys are banned from practicing ghostbusting--yet soon their talents will be required again as a new painting at the museum where Dana Barret (Sigorney Weaver) works is posessed by the Dracula-like spirit of its likeness, Vigo.
My first problem has to do with the implausibility of these events. Why would the Ghostbusters, after obviously having saved the city, be banned from ghostbusting? And why does Dana have a kid--not Peter's? I let that pass, though.
From there, it seems the painting has a rather unnatural attraction to Dana's young baby, though whom it believes it can be reborn. Peter MacNichol as the geeky museum curator does deliver a hilarious performance as he falls under both Dana's and the painting's spell.
The Ghostbusters return to duty when they find a strange psychoactive slime flowing through tunnels beneath the city, a slime that causes negative emotions on contact--but which reacts positively to "Your Love Lifts Me Higher," animating a toaster to dance (and eventually the Statue of Liberty).
Needless to say, the Ghostbusters save the day. Yet he film lacks many of the elements that made the original so unique. The dialog and situations, though funny, aren't so dead-pan and lack the timing that created the chemistry of the first film. Nor does the villian seem quite so menacing as a giant marshmallow man.
The movie does provide a number of laughs, but there's a reason you see it far more often on cable than the original: the licensors know very well which one is the superior and thus charge more for the rights. The film is in and of itself decent as the product of the Murray-Akryod-Ramis team--it just couldn't live up to the original.
on May 25, 2002
So, after risking their lives by crossing the streams and barely averting NYC from a disaster of biblical proportions, the guys in grey are sued out of business and shunted off into their own stupid little jobs. Even Dana Barett, the love interest from the first movie, has a baby, but w/o Venkman, who now runs a shoddy psychic talk show.
But when the guys are called into court over charges of Ray's causing a power outage, two dead killers return from the grave to menace the judge and jury. Reluctantly, the recalcitrant judge rescinds the previous sentence and the guys are back, blasting away and having a whole new car.
Unfortunately, while it has a strong start and good performances, the plot holds up like a wet paper bag. Never boring, but a bit of an anticlimax, especially with the end villain. Zhuul and Vinz Clortho are far superior to Vigo's half-possessing of Ray and a museum clerk, and the end battle doesn't make much use of his supposedly wizard-like abilities.
Final Analysis: While have a good start and entertaining performances, Ghostbusters II, unlike its predecessor, is a film that doesn't really pull you in (if you'll pardon the pun).
on February 28, 2002
Anyone else notice how so many reviews for Ghostbusters II open with quotes from the movie (or in this case, the closing credits song)? I guess it's because Ghostbusters II, though not as good as the first film, is still very kinetic, fun, and quotable.
It's taken me awhile, but I've finally been able to pinpoint why Ghostbusters II isn't as good as the original. As a kid, I used to love Ghostbusters II. For a seven year-old, Vigo was the creepiest thing in the world, and I was watching the movie on a 13-inch TV screen to boot! Gozer from the original film might have been a bigger threat, but she wasn't nearly as scary as Vigo. Maybe that's why when I picked up the remastered edition I felt slightly let down that the actual movie wasn't as good as I remembered it. Vigo is still creepy, but once he steps out of the painting, he's just an old man in a costume. Even worse, in a rather anti-climatic ending, Vigo is easily beaten. So Ghostbusters II is diminished in that it fails to live up to the high nostalogic expectations I had of it.
But that's not the only thing though, Ghostbusters II feels...watered down compared to the original. Yes, the plot was exactly the same, but that wasn't really the problem for me. Maybe it's because the original movie spawned a huge cartoon series, and Columbia felt that it had to cater to the kiddies, and a lot of the adult-oriented jokes were removed (also, Jenine's hair is now red, as it was in the series). The problem may lie with Dan Aykroyd. He was the heart of the original movie, and the way he played Ray with a snappy, serious attitude made for some of the most memorable moments. Here, after Venkman grabs Ray's ears and forces him to reveal their new client, Aykroyd loses his spark. He gets possessed by Vigo, he's the one who has to venture down to get the slime, he's the one who has to give the speech about goodwill towards the end. It's a weaker, kiddier Ray, like in the cartoon, and here it weakens the film.
However, I still enjoyed Ghostbusters II a great deal. The special effects are amazing, considering that they were made in 1989 before CGI. The ghosts look convincing, and the Statue of Liberty scene, though obviously bluescreened, is excellently composited. There are a lot of funny gags, including scenes from the montage, the river of slime, the abandoned underground railroad, and the courtroom battle. Plus, it's just great fun to see the entire team reunited, they really play off each other very well. It's hard these days to find so many comedians together in one film. The DVD itself is a very nice edition. It's not a special edition, but for its relatively low price it's a definite purchase. The picture and sound quality are great. For a scene that you can use to demo your sound system, check out the courtoom scene. The rear speakers pick up the drafts and echos of the room, and the ghosts pan from speaker to speaker as the guys blast 'em. Also of note is that the film comes in three different audio languages and a bunch of subtitles, particularly in Asian languages. I'm Asian, so it's nice to see Mandarin subtitles, even though I can't read it that well. How does this apply to you? It might not, but if nothing else, I at least give Columbia points for the variety of languages one can enjoy the film in.
Fans of Ghostbusters should grab this one, but make sure you have the orignal first!
on February 16, 2002
The sequal finds the Ghostbusters in new job's, after saving New York City from the big and bad they had to go into hawk and pay for all the damages. So now they are left as a laughing stalk of the city. That is till a new big and bad is back. This time it's red slime with mood swings, and a cute little baby named Oscar. The big bad in the painting is an evil Lord so to speak of way back when. He takes control of a man who works in an art atmosphere, and he tries to take the baby Oscar from the mom of Sigourney Weaver who returns as Dana Barrett. As the case unfolds the Ghostbusters get back to busting ghosts :) And Dana rekindles the romance between her and Dr. Peter Venkman played again by Bill Murray. The whole movie was a bit more corney and a less spooky then the first but nevertheless funny and adventurous. The old movie theme is back, but with a less hype this time around. The ending was sweet and fun. It was really nice to see the original cast including the favorite Slimer make a comeback. That shows what fun they all had together making this movie :).
The thing about the DVD is that with the classic keepsake one it had a 3D menu, behind the scenes, commentary, and many more exciting goodies. If they come out later with a special DVD of Ghostbusters II as they did the first one I would buy it. So in general if that's what your looking for like the first one then just wait I'm sure it'll come out because this DVD just had the basic stuff, widescreen (No choice in Widescreen or full screen), just a simple cast list and a few other things. Not as fun as the original but if your using it to add to your movie collection then go ahead and buy it or just wait and see if they come out with one like they did with the first DVD set of the original Ghostbusters :)
But I would give the movie a B and the DVD C.
on February 15, 2002
A great follower of the original movie. It was almost guranteed a sucess because the original cast remained...and that meant more humour and more savin the day in style.
An evil painting of a carpathian sits in the Art Museum, while down below in the deepest tunnels evil slime runs through the heart of New York and radiates evil on the city. The Ghostbusters are once again fighting against the evil spirits that haunt the city.
We have a killer cast again including:
Bill Murray as the great Peter Venkman - who can't help but make humor out of situations, though he remains the most confrontational when it comes to battling ghosts.
Harold Ramis as the ever so intellegent Egon - his smooth, in the know character creates constant humour throughout, while his intellegence makes him the Brains of Ghostbusters.
Dan Aykroyd as the Ray. He is often either challenged by spooks or brings across child like characteristics (remember how he reacted when they first looked at the ghostbusters headquarters).
I could go on but I think you get the drift.
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 is pure genius - from the script to the the casting. We have a great cast of comedic actors - Murray, Ramis and Aykroyd and the script written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd contains the right level of humour and scares.
Ghostbusters 1/2 will remain 2 of my favourite movies forever.
on February 14, 2002
Let me start off by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the original "Ghostbusters". The original movie was funny, smart, and an all around good movie.
The sequel on the other hand, is a merely a good movie. If the first movie never existed, then I would probably like this movie more. As it stands, this movie lacks the sense of wonder the first film had, and also is missing a lot of the heart.
While watching this, you could tell that Dan Aykroyd had a lot more input in this movie than he did in the first one. There aren't as many jokes, and the overall tone of the movie is very dark. Granted, the courtroom scene is very funny, but the rest is severly lacking in comedy.
On a positive note, the FX are amazing, and look much better than the first movies FX. The performances by the actors and actresses are for the most part pretty good.
The sound FX are about the same as the first movie, which is a good thing. The music on the other hand, in a word, stinks. I loved the first movie's sound track, and this one seems to stray very far from it. The movie is filled with "pop" tracks that are very annoying, and simply don't fit the movie.
I'm assuming that most of you already know what the plot is, but if you don't than read one of the other fifty reviews. My major beef with the plot is that it is too similar to the first's. In both movies, an evil being comes through means of Dana Barret, and only the Ghostbusters can stop it. The thing that bothers me the most about this movie is the fact that not a single person remembers what the boys in gray did in the first movie. Nobody believes in ghosts, yet five years ago, a 100ft marshmellow man storming through manhatten. Whatever.
Overall, this movie is a good movie on it's own, but pales in comparison to the original.
on February 11, 2002
When I first saw this film back in the summer of 1989, I remember being somewhat disappointed. I enjoyed the film, but I wasn't as excited with it as I was with the first. I didn't think very much of the film from then on. But now, after catching this film recently for the first time in years and years, I enjoyed it a lot more and thought it was a better movie than I had originally thought. Not great, but not bad. The film picks up 5 years after the original, and we find that our beloved heroes haven't had the best of luck since their big victory a few years prior. But when Dana Barrett(Sigourney Weaver)has a ghostly accident involving her little baby, the guys are brought in on the subject and the Ghostbusters are back in action. It appears that a evil spirit in a painting wants Sigourney's baby in order to reborn again. Nothing really new there. There's also a river of slime flowing through the city that feeds off of the "bad vibes" of the people in New York City. Okay. The effects are pretty solid, but might not seem quite so to people who have been fed such incredible effects in movies in the last few years. Our actors are all back and are all as entertaining, charming, and funny as they were in the classic original. But, I don't know, there's just something that isn't right. I can't quite put my finger on it. The original film was a special, monumental film. I guess anything that follows up will always seem weak to comparison. At least Rick Moranis returns for some comedic relief. Ghostbusters 2 isn't as memorable or special as the first, but it's very entertaining and is better than most sequels. Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis are so fun, one's wish to see them together again.