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Prime-Time Flicks

February 16, 1992|KEVIN THOMAS

Fans of the original 1984 "Ghostbusters" were able to breathe a little easier when the spiffy sequel Ghostbusters II (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) came out in the summer of 1989. The filmmakers lost none of their edge and were able to bring back all the first film's stars: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

Weekend at Bernie's (KTTV Monday at 8 p.m.) is a one-joke 1989 comedy, involving a wandering corpse at a house party in the Hamptons, that is as fragile as a soap bubble, but because it never self-destructs, unleashes all the more laughter. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman star.

James Brooks' Academy Award-laden 1983 Terms of Endearment (KCOP Monday at 8 p.m.), one of the key American films of the 1980s, brought one of its Oscars to Shirley MacLaine as a brittle middle-aged woman coming to grips with her spirited daughter (Debra Winger) and an unexpected romance with her next-door neighbor, a womanizing ex-astronaut (Jack Nicholson, who also won an Oscar).

Anyone who has tried to fix up any kind of residence will respond with the laughter of recognition that The Money Pit (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.) elicits, yet this overly exaggerated 1986 comedy isn't as funny or inspired as it should be. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, however, are delightful.

The 1986 Avenging Force (KCOP Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a crackling low-budget thriller about a radical-right secret society of wealthy industrialists who hunt down their victims for sport in the Louisiana bayous, shows off director Sam Firstenberg's savvy action style, which combines a keen sense of pacing with some brawny punch.

With the 1988 Rambo III (ABC Wednesday at 9 p.m.) Sylvester Stallone made what may be a $60-million monument to himself, an awe-struck memorial to his musculature, a would-be pop Iliad loony with self-love, a carnival of carnage that reduces history, politics and warfare to foils for the greater glory of Sly. This third exploit of one-man attack squad John Rambo, spreading his worldwide vendetta to Afghanistan, may never be surpassed for sheer, unabashed, wildly expensive self-regard.

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