Ghostbusters is a fantastic sci-fi/supernatural comedy which has stood the test of time quite well and is just as entertaining when I first saw it back in the 1980s. As far as this “Mastered in 4K” re-release, I will say the video is most certainly a big improvement over the original Blu-ray release.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Comedy, Supernatural
Sony | PG – 105 min. – $19.99 | May 14, 2013
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Writer(s): Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis (written by)
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts
Theatrical Release Date: June 8, 1984
Features: UltraViolet Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch
Disc Size: 32.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 4.5/5
Note: This portion was copied from my original Blu-ray review.
Plot: When kooky, spooky college profs Peter Venkman (BILL MURRAY), Ray Stantz (DAN AYKROYD) and Egon Spengler (HAROLD RAMIS) lose their university jobs, they decide to go freelance, de-haunting houses in a new ghost removal service. As soon as they open their doors, their first order of business becomes saving beautiful cellist Dana Barrett (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) and nerdy Louis Tully (RICK MORANIS), who’ve inadvertently opened the gates of hell… right in their own apartment building!
If you look through the course of cinematic history, there are only a few movies that not only hold up but also transcend generations of movie-goers. Ghostbusters is such a film and one that I’ve seen more times than I can count throughout the years and it still is as funny and action-packed as the last time. It is the perfect storm of movies: a great ensemble with each cast member providing something different to the table; a dynamic story with thrills around every corner; a tight screenplay with comedy that never falters; and the special effects even for 1984 is still quite impressive during a time when visual effects companies get closer to using CGI humans (see: Terminator: Salvation).
It would be tough to pinpoint the film’s success. One could argue that without Bill Murray’s sarcastic and witty humor, the film would not be the same. True. How about Dan Aykroyd’s geeky enthusiasm that bounces off of Murray’s persona? Or what about Harold Ramis’ scientific wit and dry humor? This isn’t to forget the sweetness that is Sigourney Weaver who, at the time, reached stardom with Alien (1979). Even Rick Moranis as the annoying neighbor was a great addition. Fact is, without the sum of these parts, Ghostbusters would not be the same. No Bill Murray would be the equivalent of no Marlon Brando in The Godfather or no Robert De Niro in Raging Bull.
Only a handful of movies can be said to have the ingredients to produce a classic and Ghostbusters is right up there with the bunch. No, technically speaking it’s not better than The Godfather and the like, but it deserves to be in the mix. This is not just a movie that holds up for nostalgia’s sake and instead it stands on its own as a damn good movie and even with its lesser sequel, it’s a franchise that people of all ages still have interest in (thus why a Ghostbusters III feature will come, and with most of the original cast).
If you for some reason have yet to see Ghostbusters, do so immediately! If you haven’t seen it in years, get the disc and watch it tonight. After 25 years, this film still holds up more so than the majority of movies today and its one even kids can enjoy without realizing it’s merely another ‘old’ movie. It’s a fun movie that will be around for another 25 years and beyond, and deservedly so.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
The only “feature” is a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Sony releases Ghostbusters with this “Mastered in 4K” series on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-def transfer. Unlike the first go-around on Blu-ray which receives a subpar transfer some believe culled from the 2005 DVD edition, this one seems more natural and not as overblown in places where you can see elements more clearly by comparison. The skin tones still don’t look exactly right but the amount of grain is more evenly distributed and gives off something more natural and film like.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The disc receives the same Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which initially I found a tad weak but re-evaluating, isn’t too bad but not overly impressive either. The dialogue levels do sound nice and clear while the action sequences do come across at times as a tad flat but still fulfilling. Where the track disappoints is with the music and score, both of which sound alright but hardly vibrant.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Ghostbusters is a fantastic sci-fi/supernatural comedy which has stood the test of time quite well and is just as entertaining when I first saw it back in the 1980s. As far as this “Mastered in 4K” re-release, I will say the video is most certainly a big improvement over the original Blu-ray release. However, the audio is the same and none of the features were ported over so you’ll have to decide if the improved picture is worth the $15 price tag.