(Ivan Reitman, 1984)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Tri-star
Video: Sony Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 46,918,485,552 bytes
Feature Size: 30,824,908,800 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.51 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 16th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1504 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1504 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DUBs: Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1511 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1511 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Portuguese 1276 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1276 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 16-bit
English, English (SDH), Arabic, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Commentary track by director Ivan Reitman, Writer Harold
Ramis, and Associate Producer Joe Medjuck
• Making of 'Ghostbusters - The Video Game (11:18 in HD!)
• Ghostbusters The Video Game - Preview (1:43 in HD!)
Description: University parapsychologists Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) lose a research grant when their experiment methodology is proven to be bogus. The team decides to go into business for themselves and open ‘Ghostbusters,’ a ghost removal service. After struggling to get on their feet, they are summoned to investigate the strange happenings in Dana Barrett’s (Weaver) Central Park West apartment. What they discover is that all Manhattan is being besieged by ghosts and other worldly demons through a portal in her building.
"Ghostbusters" is a head-on collision between two comic approaches that have rarely worked together very successfully. This time, they do. It's (1) a special-effects blockbuster, and (2) a sly dialogue movie, in which everybody talks to each other like smart graduate students who are in on the joke. In the movie's climactic scenes, an apocalyptic psychic mindquake is rocking Manhattan, and the experts talk like Bob and Ray.
This movie is an exception to the general rule that big special effects
can wreck a comedy. Special effects require painstaking detail work.
Comedy requires spontaneity and improvisation or at least that's what it
should feel like, no matter how much work has gone into it. In movies
like Steven Spielberg's 1941, the awesome scale of the special effects
dominated everything else; we couldn't laugh because we were holding our
breath. Not this time.
Previous DVDs of Ghostbusters seemed to be all over the board when it came to image quality and I suspect the production specifics from the early 80's resulted in some less-than-stellar appearance over time. Grain on this Blu-ray seems surprisingly heavy - especially in the opening 20-minutes. This lends the film a more authentic, textured, look. The film's effects couldn't compete with today's standards but suited Ghostbusters quite adequately - well, a few might look a bit cheesy today. Some scenes show some decent depth but it's not a hallmark of the transfer. Colors seem lively, but true, without unnatural brilliance applied as an after thought. Any softness is probably inherent in Ghostbusters original source and I don't see any indication that DNR or boosting was involved. This Blu-ray probably looks quite similar to the film as it appeared 25-years ago (can it be that long?) - or at least the best possible facsimile for home theatre. It exceed my expectations to some degree.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
It's a meager TrueHD 5.1 audio transfer at only 1504 kbps. But saying that when the boys are in the library basement and capture #1 appears - I almost jumped out of my skin. Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters theme sounds great throughout the film (even my 4-year old got up to dance). It's funny how small improvements can go a long way and the track is notably superior to any I've heard from SD-DVD. It's not the crispest nor has the most depth for demo' purposes but it does wonders for the film on Blu-ray. There are optional subtitle options and my Momitsu tells me this is region FREE! I should note that the menus were a bit herky-jerky on my Profile 2.0 player - but the film played just fine.
There isn't much NOT included and the package is truly stacked. Some of the better items remain from the older DVD editions - commentary, featurettes, deleted scnes, storyboards and some new stuff with a picture-in-picture 'Slimer-mode' option with interviews and trivia. There are 1080 pieces on the car and other production elements plus an advert for the Video Game. It also offers BD-LIVE with this new cinechat thingy (I wouldn't know anyone who might use) but it's nice to see that they don't simply move-over the old stuff. I can't imagine what more fans might want - there are hours of supplements to indulge in here.
June 6th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze