Friday, June 19

Some quick thoughts on Ghostbusters on Blu-ray

Why can't they make movies like this anymore?

I should just end it there. This is the comedy classic that typifies the seemingly lost assumption of the audience not being lackey vagabonds that need (or desire) to be spoon-fed or talked down to. There aren't long diatribes about how Stay Puft is New York's favorite marshmallow, Egon's theories behind the equipment, or the transformation of battleship ambulance into ECTO-1. You just know if this never existed and were made today the runtime would push three hours from an inches thick slather of gross over-explaination and bomb at the BO. Of course, the lack of techie details let The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series go apeshit with wild fill-in.

This economy of "intelligent design" also translates through a dream cast that doesn't quite look so on paper. We know almost instantaneously Murray is part scientist/mostly mac, Aykroyd is the passionate dork, Ramis is the stuffy yet lovable geek, and Hudson is the everyman (the voice of the audience) who tempers the three giant personalities. Weaver is gorgeous, Moranis is intentionally annoying, Potts is a Knickerbocker through-and-through, and Atherton is dickless. Yes, this man has no dick.

As if you didn't know all this already. I was going to peruse the "Hated It" comments on the IMDB for the hell of it, but let's not and just say fuck those people. Ghostbusters is a massive achievement in the form of an unexpected bond between child-like spooky wonder and no bullshit laughs. How can you not love a PG-rated film where nearly everyone smokes...repeatedly. Hell, the last shot of Dr. Stantz is he lightin' up another cig. Well, Egon doesn't, but he probably assessed the risks using the scientific method and reached the conclusion after arduous research the action wouldn't be proactive towards the longevity of his being. Much better to stick with collecting spores, molds, and fungus whilst pondering Tobin's Spirit Guide.

The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC-encoded Blu-ray transfer is the subject of a mild controversy in A/V groups. Like the the 2005 DVD re-release, the image has been brightened, loosing the warm reddish look of the original 1999 DVD. "Purists" have bitched, but The Digital Bits has confirmed the BD image had been D.P.-approved shortly before this death. Otherwise, the transfer is a stunner for a 1984 release. Extremely grainy, which it should be, though the grain is "tight" and if erased we'd merely have DVD resolution again. It's a substantial jump being the best the film has ever looked on home video in every way. The lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 isn't nearly the same leap, but Bernstein's score is crystal clear.

The picture-in-picture "Slimer Mode" is awesome with a plethora of new interviews and behind the scenes footage in real time as the film plays. My only complaint about the supplemental material is the lack of the film's trailer and the fact the original ECTO-1 looked days away from the junk yard compactor (seriously?!?) before being beautifully restored as seen in the "Resurrecting a Classic Car" featurette.


Nick Sayers said...
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Nick Sayers said...

Your damn right, why can't they make movies like that anymore. I havent been blessed with a bluray viewing yet but prolly gonna buy it after ur review. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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