1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

HTF UMD REVIEW: Ghostbusters

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by David Galindo, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    [c]Ghostbusters (UMD)
    Region 1 • PG • Dolby Digital • Available Now

    [​IMG][/c]

    The movie’s awesome, but the UMD fails to do it justice. Phooey.

    Thoughts on the Movie

    I remember, back in the day (Saturday morning to be exact) when I would wake up at 8:30 AM sharp and bring the green plastic tub with me to the living room. Not the clear or gray tub, but the green tub… which contained four Ghostbuster action figures, a container of ectoplasm (damn stuff got everywhere), the Ghostbuster’s HQ playset, the transparent Slimer, the Ghostbuster car and the Ghosbusters 2 NES game, all to prepare myself for the Ghostbuster animated show. Man, those were the good days.

    But for the life of me, I just can’t remember watching the original Ghostbusters movie, and only vaguely recall the sequel. Perhaps I wasn’t destined to be the GB fan for life. But that NES game was awesome, THAT I remember.

    So, watching this movie on UMD was a somewhat fresh experience, and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the beginning when they were trying to catch their first ghost, and the whole hotel segment with Slimer. Towards the end the movie got much bigger in scope, and I didn’t enjoy it as much, but it’s still a great movie. There are some classic Bill Murray situations, and Rick Moranis doesn’t get enough credit for all his work. I can’t say whether or not the sequel was better, since I can’t remember enough of it to weigh both, but I did enjoy this movie quite a bit. Sony also released a Ghostbusters Special Edition DVD boxset on the same day with both movies included, but this UMD only has the original, and there’s no clear date for the sequel on UMD. I think a 2-pack UMD edition would have been great, but the day when we’ll get two UMDs in one pack is a very long ways off, unfortunately.


    Video Quality

    The original film was in a 2.40 ratio, the widest of common widescreen ratios. Sony has cropped it to be 1.78, and the results are pretty bad since we lose quite a bit of picture on the left and right sides of the frame. For instance, there’s a montage when the Ghostbusters are getting famous, and we see newspapers flash on the screen. The newspapers are on the farthest left and right, and they’re cut in half because of the cropping, so you can’t even read some of them. But one of the worst crops is when the film focused on a weird bench on top of a building for five seconds… and I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, I popped in the new DVD, and the two people standing on top of either side of the building have been totally cropped out from the UMD. Heck, there was one part when the Ghostbusters run to fight, and they stop suddenly- turns out the guy who stopped them is cropped from the UMD, so the scene plays strangely. Keep in mind that these observations aren’t from some crazy fan of the film- I haven’t seen it until now, and these were obvious problems anyone could notice.

    The video itself looks a bit worn, due to the age of the film. The colors look pretty good, but the black levels are a bit off. Had the film been in its original aspect ratio, I have no doubt it would have been quite beautiful, but man did they botch this film.

    2.5/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Audio Quality

    I realize this is an old film (not THAT old really) but the audio is still a bit lacking in volume. I had to turn it up all the way to get the sound I wanted. There isn’t much fake surround work or any kind of loud panning effects, but overall it’s decent. There was one really cool sounding moment (PSP 2.0 users: jump to 31:15 in the timeline) when they charge up their guns… at first I thought my ear was messed up or something, but it’s a really strange effect that you just have to hear to understand. Too bad the rest of the film doesn’t deliver that kind of sound.

    3/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Extras

    Here is the process Sony does to make UMD menus:

    (1) Take Generic Sony Menu #1 (the one used in Black Hawk Down, Not Another Teen Movie, etc.)
    (2) Change the font and the background.
    (3) That’s it. That’s the only difference between the last couple of Sony UMD releases. Huh.

    Perhaps the reason Sony spends maybe, at the most, fifteen minutes making separate UMD menus is because they’re the only studio releasing at least two new movies a week. That probably doesn’t give them a whole lot of time to make great menus, but I know it can be done… look at Starship Troopers, released by Sony. Hell, Hollow Man had a better menu and presentation than these last couple of movies I’ve seen from Sony.

    They spent zero time on the presentation, with no chapter menus or extras or ANYTHING (except a Big Daddy trailer, yay?) so they get… let’s see… a zero.

    0/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Overall…

    I have come to expect no extras from Sony on UMD movies. That I can live with. The crap menus and bad cropping, however, are unforgivable. The price ($12-17) is good enough to still warrant a purchase if you really love the idea of Ghostbusters on the go (and bumps the score half a point), but I really hope one day Sony can get back on track and make those UMDs shine. That day is looking less and less hopeful with each bland release though. Phooey.

    2/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Paul McElligott
    Cropping GB to 1.78?! [​IMG]

    That's almost a crime. Heck, it is a crime! [​IMG]
     
  3. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, you should have seen the stuff left out. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page