http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/thumbs/0/08/1581_front.jpg/1000x500px-LL-1581_front.jpg">[/url] For those of us that were growing up as teens and twenty-somethings during the 80's, that period brings back distinct memories of Flashdance, Top Gun, Star Trek, Police Squad, John Hughes movies, and perhaps the most memorable film of them all, Joe Dante's GREMLINS. I was working as a General Cinema manager back in 1984 when the film came to my theater. I can clearly remember the sensation of GREMLINS and how it sold out shows consistently for the first few weekends. What was not too surprising was how many people came back for a second viewing. GREMLINS had everything you could want in a Summer Blockbuster --- menacing creatures, horror, comedy, great special effects and Phoebe Cates! All brought to you through the imaginative minds of Steven Speilberg and Joe Dante. To discover this film was actually being released to Blu-ray came very unexpectedly. Originally announced solely for overseas release, mention of a mysterious TARGET ad began to circulate across the Internet over the past week advertising exclusive availability. Most of us thought it to be a misprint. However, sure enough, this morning TARGET was offering an EXCLUSIVE offering of GREMLINS on BD. I took the opportunity to view certain segments of the Blu-ray in hopes of offering you an opinion of how I thought the transfer looked and sounded. I have seen this film dozens of times and knew exactly which scenes would be the best to test drive. On a whole, GREMLINS looks very good on Blu-ray and quite representative of how I remember it looking back in 1984. It appears no major remastering was done here. There's nothing eye-popping about this transfer. It still looks like something released from that period without any kind of degradation. For instance, the opening scene where Randall Peltzer is walking through Chinatown in hopes of finding his son a birthday gift, is filled with muddy red colors. It's originally the way I remember that scene looking. However, as we cut to the opening title sequence we move from from the darkness of a city street to the startling daylight shot of a Ricky Rialto Billboard, you begin to get an idea of just how much sharper this film looks in high definition. The print has its share of debris scattered throughout and film grain is ever evident (as it should be) as some of the darker indoor scenes take on a slightly muddy feel. However, as I noted above, this is exactly what I remember the transfer to be and I don't expect there to be any complaints from home viewers except that this BD is probably not a major improvement over the original DVD. What is most notable about this transfer is the crisp audio that does justice to Jerry Goldsmith's score with distinct separation across the front speakers. This has always been one of my favorite soundtracks and it's so good to hear it as clearly vibrant as it did on my vinyl recording. Just as notable here is the use of surrounds. Inside the china shop you can hear the jingling of wind chimes coming from different directions as the film's point of perspective changes. Switch over to Scene 12 to find yourself immediately immersed into the sounds of gremlins scattering across the rear and front speakers while a nervous Mother climbs the stairs with a knife ready to attack whatever she finds. Extras on this disc include 2 commentaries, a making of featurette, photo/storyboard gallery (with a few cute pictures of Phoebe Cates), deleted scenes that I imagine are the same ported over from the DVD release, two versions of the film's theatrical trailer along with one for GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH. I thought I might share with all of you two photos I took while on the Warner lot earlier this year that will immediately take you back to the opening scene of Gremlins. This is the very street used for ChinaTown. I imagine that it was covered with a tarp to simulate nighttime and that neon signs and decorations were added for ambience. However, these are the store fronts that Randall Peltzer walks by in the first few moments of the film. This is the curio shop where Randall Peltzer finds that special Christmas gift for his son. Notice the entrance to the stairs that lead down to the shop.