Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are given one billion dollars to make a movie by the Schlaaang Corporation. Instead, the pair spend nearly all of the money and use what little they have remaining to make a three minute movie, which turns out to be a disappointment.
Like Bill Murray's other top comedies, the slightly more subversive Caddyshack and Stripes, Ghostbusters passes the most important test of cinematic greatness -- no matter how many times you've seen it, you may end up watching it again when it comes around on TV. Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis are postgraduates in "parapsychology" who pretend to investigate paranormal phenomena (the movie begins with Murray trying to pick up a coed by convincing her she's psychic) until they're kicked off campus. So they start a business and become celebrities when they start capturing real ghosts. This cheesy premise is handled so smoothly that there is never a confusing moment, something screenwriter Ramis would achieve again with Groundhog Day, an equally odd concept which also worked. Unlike Groundhog, Ghostbusters is strictly for laughs -- which doesn't mean that it's dumb.
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Trashy and foul-mouthed (and playing with her boobs throughout the film), I wracked my brain to figure out where I'd seen her before. Turns out Baron was Mitch Taylor's mother in the cult classic Real Genius. Here she's reunited with Dr. Hathaway himself, William Atherton.
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Unfortunately, star Bruce Willis, director John McTiernan and company couldn't duplicate the heart-pulling thrill of the first one with two increasingly mediocre sequels. Die Hard 2 and Die Hard: With a Vengeance suffered because of stuffing thrills and spills in every crevice, to the point where I expected the Road Runner to make a cameo. Everyone involved seemed to forget that simplicity made the original so riveting. There's one flawed New York City detective trapped in a skyscraper with only his wits and some firearms to stop a band of talented international terrorists.
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What a pity that Die Hard 2: Die Harder (based on the novel 58 Minutes) falls into the trap of being just another Die Hard in Washington's Dulles Airport. I mean, it's kinda funny that John McClane (Bruce Willis, having a good ol' time) acknowledges his pathetic luck. Not this shit again! He's waiting for his wife's plane to land when terrorists seize control of the airport, crashing a plane just to prove that they'll stop at nothing. Yes, they will stop at nothing! Insert an evil laugh here, and throw in a moustache twirl, why dontcha?
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In the '80s, however, there are no shortage of movies that are just plain fun. From the Ghostbusters films to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, to the off-kilter dark comedy/horror April Fools Day, the 80s had no shortage of movies that made you laugh. It was the only time that comedies had scripts instead of actors that make up their own scripts, and, as a consequence, the movies of the '80s were actually funny.
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Based on a true story, the film follows the efforts of two married convicts, Lou Jean and Clovis Michael Poplin (Goldie Hawn and William Atherton), to retrieve their son from the foster parents who took custody when the Poplins went into the clink. Having already served her time, Lou Jean springs her husband from jail and, a few tragic misjudgments later, soon she's on the run with him and a kidnapped patrolman, Slide (Michael Sacks).
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