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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 52:53)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English, German, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi
  Extras
  • 10 Deleted scenes
  • 2 Theatrical trailer - for GB1 and GB2
  • Audio commentary - incorporating worlds first onscreen live commentary.
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Digitally remastered
  • Interviews - with special effects team
  • Storyboards
  • Multiple angle - compare sfx to non-sfx scenes

Ghostbusters - Collector's Edition

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Ghostbusters was an instant hit upon it's theatrical release 15 years ago, way back in 1984. The reason? A good plot, cool special effects and a swag of talented comedic actors. Looking at the disc today, the effects are dated, the plot is still better than product released today and sadly, these comedic actors aren't as prominant on the big screen of late. I find it funny that I laughed more whilst reviewing this disc than I ever did seeing this movie when it was initially released.

I'm not going to go into the plot with too much detail because this is an extras laden disc and I'm going to concentrate on the bonuses for this review. As for the plot: Four guys (Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson) get together to combat the increased reports of ghosts in New York. Failed university students come super-heroes is the basic premise. We see the gang capturing a whole swag of ghosts only to be purposely released later in the movie. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis are apartment neighbours and end up becoming Gate Keeper and the Key Master respectively who are to consumate and release Gozer. It's up to our heroes to save the day.

The region 1 dvd was the first disc to take advantage of the "live" commentary feature and now we get to experience it in region 4. This disc is a big leap forward in terms of extras/features and should become a very succesfull package. Onto the best part, the disc itself.

  Video
Contract

I watched the extras first before seeing the movie. I wanted to experience the feel of seeing the new transfer last to increase the impact and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The transfer of this movie is great. Having seen this movie many a time on vhs, in a cropped pan and scan format, it was like opening up a window to a new world.

There is alot of detail in the picture and the color saturation is very good. When we get to the special effects scenes, we get a more saturated image which looks good. I felt the black levels weren't as black as they could have been but I excused this for being a movie of this age.

One other thing you'll notice is that the clarity of dvd may actually be a detriment to the special effects as a vhs transfer would soften the image yet a dvd image will clearly show up mattes and color inconsistencies, most notably the dog chasing Rick Moranis out of his apartment.

Overall, a very good transfer for a movie of this age and the best I've ever seen it look.

  Audio
Contract

I'm a little undecided on the audio. I didn't get a chance to watch the movie at my normal listening level so I'm not really sure if the dynamic range was wide enough. I'm also not sure if this a totally new 5.1 remix.

Ok, take two. The soundtrack does sound great, no doubt about it. I just felt it need a little more directionality at times even though some scenes sounded as you would have expected. Dialogue is always clear so you won't miss any of the jokes. :)

I'll have to watch the movie again sometime and amend this review.

  Extras
Contract

Ok, this is by far the major drawcard of this dvd. It is chock full of extras and each is great in their own special way. I'll try to cover each section individually so be prepared as it may get long.

  • Animated Menus
    Now this is fancy stuff. The one thing I noticed is that the menus operated so quickly, even on my 505. They are perfectly laid out with a very themed look and feel to it all.
  • US Theatrical Trailer
    This is presented at an aspect ratio of around 1.66:1 non-enhanced in 2 channel mono. The image is pretty old looking and the sound doesn't do it justice but it's a worthy addition.
  • Scene Cemetery
    In here we have 10 deleted/extended scenes from the movie. They average around 30 seconds to a minute each and it becomes obvious that they wouldn't fit within the movie. In the honeymoon scene, the guy on screen may be the guy out of ID4 that has that annoying husky voice. In this scene, he speaks fine so I guess life hasn't been kind to him. Another scene is 2 bums played by Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. Dan's voice is very entertaining.
  • Original featurette
    This is a semi-making of featurette providing snippets of interviews with most of the cast and crew. Of particular note is that Richard Edlund was the special effects guru on the job. You'll notice alot of his work in his creature designs for the Star Wars trilogy, Poltergeist and ET. The featurette runs about 9 minutes and is full framed with varying degrees of video and audio quality.
  • Theatrical Trailer - Ghostbusters II
    A full frame 2 channel version of the trailer to the sequel. It is of noticeably better quality than the trailer mentioned above.
  • Ghostly Gallery
    This is basically a quick photo gallery tour of the respective creatures and sets. More specifically, you'll see stills for Stay Puft, Slimer, Dog, Building, Library Ghost and Levitation.
  • StoryBoards - Split Screen
    Ok, what you have here is a horizontally split screen whereby the storyboard is showcased at top of screen and finished product is at bottom. It's interesting to note how the two differ alot more than usual.
  • Storyboards - Stills
    This is just a look at some storyboards for various other scenes, your standard storyboard feature. The scenes you'll see are:
    • Librarian
    • Ghostbuster's at the library
    • Bums in the Park
    • Louis looking for the Gatekeeper
    • Molester Ghost (not in the movie)
    • Mink Coat (not in the movie)
  • Special Effects - Meet the effects team
    A 15 minute look at the special effects of the movie. We are placed in the room with the more important special effects people used for the movie and we sit and watch as they remember the fun they had making the movie, techniques used etc etc. An interesting piece.
  • Special Effects - Before and after
    This is a really cool feature, I mean really call. It incorporates the multi-angle feature and basically shows you the original non-sfx footage so when you change the angle you flip to the finished product. Press the angle button again and you go back to the non-sfx footage. A great feature that I had a lot of fun playing with. The 3 scenes you get to play with are Slimer, Gozer and Becoming the Gatekeeper.
  • Special Effects - Concept Drawings
    On screen is a drawing board with various sketches and designs for the creatures, sets and logos within the movie. The funniest part is the lame attemptes at various ghostbuster logos they came up with.
  • Audio COmmentary
    This is a first for dvd, first seen in region 1, shocasing the "live" commentary whereby our 3 participants, Ivan Reitman (Director/Producer), Harold Ramis (Actor/Write) and Joe Medjuck (Associate Producer), are actually silhouetted on the screen as if they were in the cinema and reviewing the movie with us. It's a nice touch but at times it seems they aren't doing anything. Trust me they are, it just doesn't come across that way. As for the commentary, well, these guys seemed to have a great time making the movie and they give a great insight into the subtleties of the movie that you would normally not realise. I really enjoyed this commentary. YES, they do make reference to dvd so it is a dvd specific commentary and not some laserdisc rip-off.

  Overall  
Contract

A great disc, no doubt about it. You will not be disappointed with this baby. I wasn't really a big fan of the movie, with it's cheesy Ray Parker Jr theme song but after going through this disc I enjoyed it all the more.

Fans will not be disappointed at all. DVD fans with a small liking of the movie, like me, will still enjoy the disc. I can see another Columbia hit, but they'll need to promote the dvd, this disc and it's features to be succesful.


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