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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Ghostbusters -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 27, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The HD video master of Ivan Reitman's 1984 Ghostbusters had the input of cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, and as such must be considered incontestable as far as a Blu-ray is concerned.

    Those who saw the film theatrically 25 years ago, may or may not recall that the look varied from sequence to sequence. While some interiors seemed to have a pushed, grainy look, fully exposed exteriors appeared to have far less apparent grain. Some of the film is sharp, some parts lesser so.

    Created from an archival 35mm interpositive, what has been delivered via Blu-ray is Ghostbusters as it originally looked, and I couldn't be happier.

    I'm certain that there will be some who will find the grain too course, to evident, too brown, too angular, not pretty enough, or in one of my favorite phrases, simply about one would expect from an old (read: antique) film from a bygone era.

    Love it or hate, this is Ghostbusters as created and released in 1984. Still a fun film and perennial home video favorite, it holds up well after a quarter century. It's appearance on Blu-ray also makes it one of those legacy titles that has made its way through every home video format, inclusive of CED, arriving after the end of production of CED hardware.

    Those who remember the film from its theatrical release will be thrilled with the new Blu-ray. Those who have only seen it on inferior home video formats will find themselves in for a treat. And those few who are new to Ghostbusters are in for a fun ride into the ancient past of filmmaking, when special effects were special effects without the aid of computers. And it all works beautifully.

    A terrific Blu-ray release that holds true to the Sony / Columbia ethic of making their films on Blu-ray continue to look like film.

    Like Dr. Strangelove, Ghostbusters is encoded for all three regions.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don't know what to say about your review really. Your first sentence has me worried as it reads as a sort of preemptive strike on what you seem to feel will be a controversial release. I certainly trust your opinion, but I hope Laszlo Kovacs input wasn't given on the last DVD release because it looked terrible.
     
  3. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

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    I will check this release out. I've never seen the movie!

    A terrific Blu-ray release that holds true to the Sony / Columbia ethic of making their films on Blu-ray continue to look like film.

    Please pass these words off to Paramount.
     
  4. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoy the heavier grain of some Blu-ray titles, because it adds character if that makes any sense. Maybe it doesn't, I don't know.
    I just know I like when it's there.
     
  5. ChadMcCallum

    ChadMcCallum Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for this Mr. Harris. Earlier threads indicated that we may be in for some disappointment with this title and I'm ecstatic that's not the case. This is one of my blu-ray holy grails and I'm glad Sony has given the movie the treatment it deserves.
     
  6. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Given the extensive optical work involved in Ghostbusters, I would have expected some softness and grain in any event. What I am curious about is the visual effects work that was supposedly completed for the first DVD release: if this looks as it did in 1984, does that mean those visuals were left untouched? For clarification, I'm referring to the Stay-Puft marshmallow man sequence
    *Spoiler tags added for Ghostbusters "virgins."
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    Terrible in what way?
     
  8. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Well-Known Member

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    I suppose he's talking about this: (not my cap)
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what I'm talking about (i.e. blown-out contrast, etc.)

    I couldn't for the life of me find the thread here that discussed the differences between the two DVD releases in detail though. [​IMG]
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    Is that the 1999 release vs. the 2005? As I sit here today, I can't even remember the discussion (not saying it didn't happen; I just can't remember it). I also don't think I ever saw the later version. My DVD is the earlier release.

    EDIT: I think I found the discussion you're looking for. It's at the end of a multi-page thread:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...-merged-9.html
     
  11. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    That's the one. Thanks! I bow before your superior search skills. [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott D S

    Scott D S Well-Known Member

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    The gentleman who runs Spook Central finally posted a comparison between the 1999 and 2005 transfers. A couple of the caps aren't bad but the rest aren't great. Just mouse over the year captions.

    Spook Central: The Ghostbusters Companion - "Ghostbusters" Home Video Image Comparison

    Spook Central: The Ghostbusters Companion - "Ghostbusters II" Home Video Image Comparison

    Mr. Harris and Co., thoughts?

    P.S. I went to New York last weekend and I got a photo of myself in front of the actual GB firehouse at 14 N. Moore St.!

    Just click the Facebook icon under my avatar and you'll see the photo, even if you're not a Facebook member.
     
  13. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Well-Known Member

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    This should look and sound great. Not a title to show off the home theater, but it wasn't made for that purpose.
    My only small gripe is the cover. I do wish they would have used the logo on a simple black background, instead of the blue slime artwork they have now.
     
  14. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Well-Known Member

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    I love me some Ghostbusters! Curses for posting this three weeks early!!!

    If the trailer for the Bluray is accurate then we need not worry about color and contrast issues.
     
  15. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Well-Known Member

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    Count me as another who didn't like the look of the 2005 version. The boost to contrast and colour was distracting yet I didn't mind it too much, but what did get me was how incredibly grainy it was. The original release was extremely soft, and to go from one extreme to the other messed with my head.

    I can only hope that the Blu encode gives a bit of HD finesse to the grain that looked so overpowering on the SD release. Your comments are somewhat reassuring RAH.
     
  16. ChadMcCallum

    ChadMcCallum Well-Known Member

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    They probably went with the blue background to help distinguish it from the video game released the same day that does use the logo over a simple black background. I don't find it too bad and I prefer the blue slime to the green the previous dvd had.
     
  17. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Well-Known Member

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    Then they should change the cover of the video game [​IMG] .
    But you're right, it doesn't look that bad. At least we got the original logo, didn't we? And I'm glad the film was handled with care.
     
  18. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Well-Known Member

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    They should have kept the green slime (for Slimer) and should use pink for the sequel. Of course if they did that they might look too festive when put together on a shelf. Come to think of it my signature is too festive-looking.
     
  19. Scott D S

    Scott D S Well-Known Member

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  20. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    Hoo hah! The original film was good and grainy back in '84 in the theaters (yep--Grandpa remembers, as if it were yesterday...). My concern with film "grain" is that sometimes on BluRay, it just looks like digital noise. Must not be too fun, or too easy to actually preserve that grain without it looking like little gnats crawling over the actors...
     

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