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Ghostbusters Blu-Ray Review Notes

 By Paul Rudoff on Mar. 11, 2010 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Cast & Crew, Home Video
I finally had a chance to spend some time with the Ghostbusters Blu-Ray that was released last year. If you have not yet picked it up, you should. In lieu of writing a full-on review of the Ghostbusters Blu-Ray, here are a few notes that I made.

• There are too few chapters in the movie. There's only 16 compared to the DVD's 28. Slimer Mode, on the other hand, has too many chapters: 71 of them.

• In regards to all of the grain, it doesn't look too bad on my 22" 1080p HDTV, but it'll probably look much worse on a bigger TV. Still, it doesn't look good. Surely a better print of the movie exists. If the print for the 1999 DVD were this grainy, we would have definitely seen it, even in the standard definition of the DVD images. So why didn't Sony use that print - unless they lost it!

• The GBVG Making Of featurette would have been a great unlockable video on the PC/PS3/X360 copies of the game. It would have been nice for the PC version to have a real unlockable.

• I could have done without all of the "this is archival footage from an old DVD release" that precedes just about all of the old DVD bonus features that's included. Sony didn't put up any such notices on the archival DVD bonus features on their Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse Blu-Ray releases (those are the only other Sony Blu-Rays that I have) - and those bonus features look more standard-definition than what's on the Ghostbusters disc.

• If I had to recommend this disc for one reason, and one reason only, it would be Slimer Mode. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by all of the people they got to sit down for interviews. I wish they would have included some of the full-length interviews as full-screen bonus features.

I also took the time to add a lot of stuff from the Blu-Ray to Spook Central. For starters, I completely updated the GB1 Blu-Ray page. A gallery of scaled-down menu shots are on that page (link in the Multimedia section), and there are four new subpages on which lots of multimedia has been added: Slimer Mode, Ecto-1 featurette, Ecto-1 Restoration Gallery, and Making of Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

Since I don't care for the quality and look for the film print used on the Blu-Ray, I didn't bother recapturing all of the screen captures on the Ghostbusters Multimedia page. However, I did recapture all six magazine covers directly from the Blu-Ray in order to take advantage of the higher resolution picture. You can actually, barely, read the text on the USA Today and New York Post covers. And who knew there was a slight blue drop shadow behind the yellow text at the bottom of the photo on the Time cover. We also now know for a fact that the movie takes place in October 1984. Thanks to an error in the now semi-readable text on the USA Today cover, we can tell that Mike McWillie put the covers together on or around March 6, 1984. The USA Today cover, dated Oct. 8, 1984 lists an obituary for Thin Man actor William Powell, who actually died on March 5, 1984. Mike probably used the actual March 6th USA Today cover as the basis for his mock-up.

All of you deleted scene and Ecto-1 lovers will want to take note of a few new stills that were added to the Fort Detmerring exterior page showing the Ecto-1 pulling up to the fort, which were taken from the Ecto-1 featurette and Slimer Mode. This essentially gives us the car's entire procession from the fort entrance to the guys getting out.

And finally, since I know that someone, somewhere will undoubtedly ask me at sometime how I did the captures from the Blu-Ray, I have put up a very extensive page detailing how I do still and video captures from VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray. I also compiled some lists detailing where the content on the various digital releases of the various Ghostbusters productions can be found.


Comment from: Paul Martin [Visitor]

I completely disagree with the statements about the picture quality of the Blu-ray. I have every single release of the film on DVD and the Blu-ray. I also have a 40″ 1080p HDTV from Samsung and a Panasonic Blu-ray Player, as well as a 52″ 1080p HDTV from Samsung with another Panasonic Blu-ray player. On both, the Blu-ray looks far better than any of the previous DVD releases. Personally, I wonder what type of panel your HDTV has that is displaying it so horribly. Both of mine have Samsung panels, while Samsung, and other companies, will also use panels created by other companies. The calibration of your TV will also make a big difference as well as the quality of the Blu-ray player’s output.

Mar. 12, 2010 @ 11:44
Comment from: Raffon [Visitor]

A couple of things:

The grain:
Grain issues are harder to get around with the higher the resolution. Most of the grain get lost when you shrink your Master image (most likely scanned at 2K) to PAL/NTSC. The high res of Bluray keep all that info. Grain management is harder to master. As an example look at the huge grain issues the first 007: Casino Royale had despite been a very recent movie.
On older movies it’s even harder because you have to add the quality of the old film to the equation. That being said, I believe that they could have filtered the image more to remove a lot of it. You could also use your video card drivers built-in noise removal option to help out.
Despite that I still prefer the Hi def image to the DVD, details are much higher. I wish they would have kept the color grade of the original DVD, though the Bluray is improved over the awful 2005 release. (no more green streams on Slimer!)

Slimer Mode:
That’s the big twinky of the BluRay, however I find that despite a couple of new tidbits, it’s mostly the same stuff as the commentary and featurettes of 1999 retold in a nicer way.

Of course that’s my two cents

Mar. 13, 2010 @ 10:10
Comment from: [Member]

I’m basing my opinion of the picture quality difference between the Blu-Ray and the 1999 DVD on what I’ve witnessed by comparing the actual digital frames on each disc, not what is outputted to my television. It’s what’s shown on my Home Video Image Comparison page.

Taking a look at the #2 image “Shocking The Nerd", even scaled down to DVD resolution, you can see a lot of grain in the dark areas of the Blu-Ray picture that aren’t present in the other two images. So if the print used for the 1999 DVD were as grainy, I think that it would have still been noticeable in the downscaled DVD picture. That’s the point I was trying to make.

Still, the grain present on the Blu-Ray takes a back seat to the colors just being too bright and whites being overblown. You can also see this on my comparison page. Like Raffon, I also wish that they would have kept the color grade of the 1999 DVD. That’s why I prefer the overall look of the 1999 DVD, but appreciate the high-resolution picture of the Blu-Ray.

Either way you look at it, I think we’re all in agreement that the 2005 DVD (the green slime cover) should be avoided at all costs :-)

Mar. 13, 2010 @ 16:54
Comment from: [Member]

To show you that I wasn’t lying when I said that the “limited time offers” PC Richards and 6th Ave. were advertising weren’t so limited, here’s the week-long sale 6th Ave. is having this week, as advertised in yesterday’s (3/14) circular:

So much for it being a “Saturday [3/13] Only” sale, huh?

Mar. 15, 2010 @ 18:17

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