Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a satisfying third film (can even call this a trilogy) and while the fan service was just a tad much, I still enjoyed the film and there was enough there where it stands on its own.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy
Sony Pictures| PG13 – 124 min. – $30.99 | February 1, 2022
Date Published: 02/17/2022 | Author: The Movieman
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3½/5
Note: This review does contain some plot spoilers.
Plot Synopsis: When a single mother (CARRIE COON) and her two children (MCKENNA GRACE, FINN WOLFHARD) move to a new town, they soon discover they have a connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather (HAROLD RAMIS) left behind.
Review: My fandom for Ghostbusters dates back to the mid/late 1980s, although it probably began with The Real Ghostbusters animated rather than the films, in fact it’s likely I watched Ghostbusters II before the 1984 original. So with that said, I love the first two movies, warts and all with regards to the sequel, best for the cast chemistry rather than the story. Then the series went dormant with only a video game serving as a third movie (and the original cast lending their voices) and… 2016 with the ill-conceived but not entirely terrible all-female reboot, a comedy first, supernatural second film that failed in both regards, despite having some talent in front and behind the camera.
So the studio decided to take another bite at the apple and giving fans what they craved, a direct sequel to the original two films bringing in Ivan Reitman’s son, Jason, an accomplished filmmaker in his own right, to direct with Ivan (RIP) serving as a producer. Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I stayed away from most publicity outside of the initial trailer, just knowing the family of Egon Spangler would play the primary role. This is very much a film filled a ton of fan service with lines and imagery from the 1984 original littered throughout. That said, there is heart at the core, something that was missing from the 2016 version.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife brings back Harold Raimis’s Egon back to life in the opening (shrouded in shadows) and his presence is there throughout culminating with a CGI ghost figure for the finale, which could’ve gone so wrong, but instead was powerful and emotional, done with the utmost respect (and done with the permission of the Ramis family).
One of my pet peeves in movies is with child or young actors as either they’re obnoxiously precocious or just plainly bad actors. Here we have two that buck those with Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things (to note, only seen the first season of that show) and McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Beginning, Annabelle Comes Home), who really shined bright being her own character while still having those classic Egon traits. Also included are Carrie Coon as their snarky but loving mother and the always adorable Paul Rudd who is unsurprisingly great in every scene.
The film does feature some wonderful cameos including the OG Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, along with Annie Potts Sigourney Weaver (mid-credit scene), J.K. Simmons playing Ivo Shander, an uncredited role for actress/filmmaker Olivia Wilde as Gozer and Josh Gad is credited as the voice of spectral, Muncher.
As a whole, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a good addition to the franchise and a step in the right direction. It definitely spoke to me as a kid from the 80s and got goose bumps when the Ecto-1 siren finally was heard and the scene with Harold Ramis (in CGI/screen capture form) was well done.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3½/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Summoning the Spirit: Making Ghostbusters: Afterlife (19:50) is a behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews from the cast and crew as they discuss coming up with the story, set designs, the casting and the characters.
The Gearhead’s Guide to Ghostbusters Gadgets (6:12) shows off the old and new devices/tech.
Spectral Effects: The Ghosts of Afterlife (6:29) looks at the design and visual effects of the featured ghosts including the tiny Stay Puft Marshmallow Men, Muncher and yes, ghost Harold Ramis (the physical stand-in was Bob Gunton).
Bringing Ecto-1 Back to Life (4:49) is on the development of the classic Ghostbusters car that any kid had a model of growing up in the 80s.
We Got One!: Easter Eggs Revealed (7:49) breaks down the Easter Eggs featured in the film including lines, props, cameos, etc.
Ghostbusters: A Look Back (10:37) contains interviews with the original cast (Aykroyd, Murray, Hudson and Ivan Reitman together, plus Weaver and Potts separately).
A Look Ahead (3:44) — Short extended interview section with Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and the sadly deceased Ivan Reitman.
Deleted Scene (1:24) — ‘Is it Ever Too Late?’ is a scene between Carrie Coons and Annie Potts. Really not necessary so probably right to remove.
VIDEO – 4½/5
|Sony releases Ghostbusters: Afterlife onto Blu-ray where it’s presented in the original theatrical 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and has been given a good looking 1080p high-definition transfer. Detail on this looked decent, especially close-ups while I’d say some of the CGI parts looked dodgy, Muncher especially. However, on the whole it’s a high-quality looking picture which is the floor for any new, mid/big sized budgeted Hollywood production.|
AUDIO – 4¾/5
|The movie comes with a strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (yet the 4K has a Dolby Atmos track) which outputs clear dialogue levels from the center channel and there is nice depth for the more action-centric scenes, especially during the finale where every channel comes to life. The rear channels were mostly reserved for ambient noises and the score by Rob Simonsen.|
OVERALL – 3¾/5
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a satisfying third film (can even call this a trilogy) and while the fan service was just a tad much, I still enjoyed the film and there was enough there where it stands on its own and features a fun new cast alongside cameos from the old guard. I think this one has enough replay value to make it worthy of a purchase.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.