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Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters UK Import Blu-ray Review - Featuring Denise Crosby and Daryl Hannah Audition Tapes!

 By Paul Rudoff on Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:31 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Home Video
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Over a decade in the making, the fan-produced documentary Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters was finally released last year. While not available to own in the United States, there is a Region-Free Blu-ray released by Screenbound in the United Kingdom. Read on to find out more about it...

Before I get into this, I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the Spook Central VIPs for providing the funds that allowed me to buy this item and review it for all of you. This item was NOT provided by the manufacturer.

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Directed and produced by brother and sister team Anthony and Claire Bueno, Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters charts the making of the original 1984 Ghostbusters. Interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and many other cast and crew members reveal a journey of ingenuity and innovation, along with a wealth of surprising anecdotes. Forty-six insightful, entertaining, and heartfelt cast and crew interviews accompany never-before-seen archive material. This documentary demonstrates how the filmmakers collectively defied time constraints and all manner of technical challenges to make the movie that changed the film industry forever.

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The documentary opens up with some vintage British news footage glowing about the opening of the film in the Summer of 1984, while various talking heads (including Proton Charging's Chris Stewart - the only fan to appear) discuss how successful the film was. It should be noted that all of the footage here, including the new interviews, is shown in small 4:3 neon-lined windows (reminiscent of the ones the cameos appeared inside in the Ray Parker Jr. music video) with faux VHS static added to it. (Don't worry, once we get past this introduction, all of the new footage is shown in 16:9 fullscreen without the added static.) After this introduction, the documentary backtracks to the genesis of Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd talking about his great-grandfather, and then proceeds to go through the film's pre-production.

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After the history lesson, the documentary begins proper with the Columbia Pictures logo. It is at this point where it starts to seem a bit disjointed. It was when I got about halfway through it that I realized that starting with the Columbia Lady (Hi, Harold!) at the 20-minute mark, the documentary is giving bits of information and interviews about scenes/events in the movie, pretty much, IN the order those scenes/events took place in the final cut of the film. In other words, Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is the video equivalent of the Making Ghostbusters book, but without the adjoining screenplay/movie. This would be more readily apparent if the documentary were played as a picture-in-picture track with the movie like the 2009 Blu-ray's "Slimer Mode".

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New uncensored (expect a few F-Bombs) interviews were conducted over the past 12 years with the following individuals (listed in credits order), some of whom are no longer with us: Alice Drummond, Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd, David Margulies, Eldo Ray Estes, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Jennifer Runyon, John Rothman, Michael Ensign, Sigourney Weaver, Steven Tash, Timothy Carhart, William Atherton, Bill Neil, Billy Bryan, Colin J. Campbell, Diana Allen Williams (credited as Diana Hamann in the end credits), Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck, John Bruno, Mark Bryan Wilson, Mark Siegel, Mark Stetson, Michael C. Gross, Neil Krepela, Randall William Cook, Richard Beggs, Richard Edlund, Terry Windell, Robert M. Stevens, Peter Giuliano, Sam Longoria, Sheldon Kahn, Steve Johnson, Stuart Ziff, Terri Hardin Jackson, Thaine Morris, Tony Cecere, Virgil Mirano, Brian O'Neal, Peter Bernstein, Ray Parker Jr., Chris Stewart, and Allen Coulter (who isn't listed in the end credits, but is credited when he appears in the documentary).

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The documentary is filled with various still images and production materials. In an effort to make the stills seem more "lively", motion effects were added to most of them. That makes it really annoying for me, an archivist of rare Ghostbusters materials, to grab an "original" copy of the still materials from the documentary. There are also new animations here and there to illustrate various things that are being said, such as the character of Ramsey (incorrectly listed as "Ramis" in the end credits) from an early script remarking, "I can't believe I work for a company called 'Ghostbusters'". The line is given life by none other than Ernie Hudson!

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Later, at the 1:32:38 mark, Harold Ramis' anecdote about shutting down New York City streets to film the apartment exterior is animated like the old NES game. I love the little touches like this, which appeal to the hardcore fans and help to distinguish this documentary from the others.

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I was really shocked to see vintage footage and materials that I have never seen before! There have been several documentaries about the original Ghostbusters movie - like Behind Closed Doors and The Movies That Made Us - and I usually get a "been there, done that" feeling from most of them. Not so with this one. For starters, at the 35-minute mark, we are treated to clips from the Dana Barrett audition tapes of Denise Crosby and Daryl Hannah. Who knew that either of these two actresses auditioned for the role?!? The even bigger question: Why the hell hasn't Sony ever released these audition tapes on Blu-ray?!? I would love to see these COMPLETE audition tapes, including Sigourney's infamous audition where she got on Ivan's table and behaved like a dog, added to the next disc release in 2024 for the film's 40th anniversary. (Sigourney said in the documentary that Ivan said that he'd never show the tape to anyone, but I'm sure that they'd both find the tape to be quite hilarious now.)

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Denise Crosby's & Daryl Hannah's Dana Audition Tape Clips

This is far from the only notable bit of information for diehard Ghostheads to learn. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a Call Sheet dated October 24, 1983 (at the 1:00:00 mark) which tells us that William Kennedy (now known as Jihmi Kennedy) was the Policeman who ticketed Ecto-1 in the deleted scene, and that there was an unscripted scene of "Spengler eating chocolate" while standing on the street. I would love to see that latter footage. We all need to finally see Egon munching away on that Crunch bar that Peter gave him. Our lives will not be complete without it :-)

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We all remember that Chevy Chase visited the temple set because a black and white photo of him and Bill on set was published in the Making Ghostbusters book. Did you know that Robin Williams was there that day, too. At the 1:18:20 mark, we see a photo of Robin Williams and Chevy Chase on the temple set with Bill Murray.

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The documentary ends with Ivan and the main cast members giving the "Are you troubled..." spiel, with Peter's line ("Have you or any of your family ever seen a spook, specter or ghost?") notably absent. I assume the Buenos really hoped to interview Bill Murray, and left the line "open" for him. Since they didn't get him, the line goes unsaid. (As to be expected, the other notable absentee is Rick Moranis.) I dare you not to get goosebumps watching this scene.

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Outtakes and behind-the-scenes photos are featured alongside the end credits. Said credits include "The Final Revision Credits for Entertainment Effects Group & Boss Film". These are the credits that should have appeared at the end of the original film, giving proper credit to all of the effects crew - though all of the stuntpeople still remain uncredited. It would be nice if Sony revised the end credits of the actual film to give credit to all effects and stunt people whose names were, for whatever reason, left on the cutting room floor. Until such a thing is done, the film's end credits will remain incomplete.

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My name, Paul Rudoff, appears two times in the end credits, even though I did not have anything to do with the documentary. I was told by producer/editor Derek Osborn that they used (at 26:53) the continuity script from my personal collection, so that explains the credits.

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The end credits also feature Sigourney Weaver's "Slime Poem" set to music (sample here), although it is sung by a man (Paul Gannon) and not a woman. This is one of the score contributions by Jamie Evelyne Thompson ("J-Mi") and Dave Phaneuf ("Midi-D"), which are available on the official soundtrack album CD. You hear their music throughout the documentary, which mostly consists of knock-off Ghostbusters 1 & 2 and The Real Ghostbusters score pieces. That's not me being mean. Even Jamie and Dave would admit that they were doing the Jimmy Hart Versions of the work of Elmer Bernstein, Randy Edelman, and Levy & Saban in order to avoid paying the exorbitant music rights fees for the real things. Speaking of music, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that some notable Ghostbusters crew members were involved. Jim Latham, the composer of the Extreme Ghostbusters music, was the recordist. Legendary voice artist Jim Cummings, who performed the Extreme Ghostbusters theme song, provides vocals here. Finally, Billy Bryan, the guy inside the Stay Puft costume, plays saxophone.

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Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a runtime of 2:08:03. The film includes English LPCM Stereo 2.0 48k and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. There are no subtitles. The disc is REGION-FREE, even though it says "Region B" on the back of the case. It played perfectly fine in my Region A-locked PlayStation 3, and was tested on all three region settings in my modded Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player.

(Claire & Anthony Bueno from the Filmmaker Intro)
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Here's a list of all of the bonus features that can be found on the Blu-ray disc.
  • Filmmaker Intro (7:22) - Claire and Anthony Bueno explain what the different bonus features on the disc are. It's a little long and rambling, but they seem to be having fun.
  • Deleted Scenes (21:36) - Bits of interviews that were exorcised from the movie. There are a lot of "Temporary Graphic" placeholders, which gets annoying to see after a while.
  • Additional Tales (11:08) - Somewhat unedited interview clips, but not the complete unedited interview footage.
  • John Decuir Extended (2:27) - A deleted scene in which effects crew members reflect on their time working with production designer John DeCuir. This should have been included as part of the "Deleted Scenes" collection.
  • Fan Art (2:11) - A short, but pointless, collection of 18 pieces of "fan art" created for a competition the filmmakers had in the past. Almost all of this "artwork" is unrelated to the documentary (adding the documentary's logo to something doesn't make it "related"), and a good deal of it is actually people's childhood photos. "Artwork" was provided by Aaron Holmgren, Anthony Lavagna, Christopher Riley, Derek Osborn, Edward P Arsewipe, Greg Pugh, Jeff Zurawski, Kevin Hall, Michael Maxwell, Rebecca Coughlan, Richard Crypt, Rob Britton, Sam Meredith, Scott Saslow, Sean Pultz, Troy Oliver Foot, Zander Sumner, and Nick Richmond (competition winner). The only benefit to this video is the chance to hear the "Slime Poem" song again.
  • European Premiere Interviews (11:08) - Claire and Anthony Bueno are interviewed on the red carpet at the European premiere of the film.
  • Trailer (1:36)
The Blu-ray comes in a thick blue plastic case, which is thicker than the cases that are usually used in the United States. For reference, it's the thickness of a Criterion release, or a PlayStation 3 game. These thick cases are normal for foreign releases. The front cover features a collage of behind-the-scenes photos, while the back cover has a few more and all of the technical details. The artwork has been given a distressed look.

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The inside of the case features a collage of storyboards. In order to better see the storyboard images inside, I put my copy inside a clear case. There are no inserts or liner booklets

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The disc features a storyboard of Egon in the ballroom, which is also seen among the storyboards inside.

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The Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters U.K.-Import Blu-ray can be purchased from Marketplace sellers on U.S. Amazon, and directly from Amazon on U.K. Amazon. As of this writing, the movie is not currently available on home video in the U.S., though the edited Theatrical Cut (1 hour 41 minutes, which is 28 minutes shorter than the Blu-ray) can be streamed on Crackle since June 18, 2020. The Bueno's second documentary, Too Hot To Handle: Remembering Ghostbusters II, is currently in post-production. It took 12 years for Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters to be released. I hope it doesn't take that long for the sequel.

[UPDATE - 12/31/2021]
Screen Media Films has released the film in the U.S. on Blu-ray and DVD. The back cover of the U.S. Blu-ray doesn't mention any special features, and I have been told by people who bought it that it doesn't, so I can't recommend it. Especially when you consider that the U.K. Blu-ray is region-free, has a lot of special features, and is currently cheaper on Amazon.

1 comment

Comment from: Rob Britton [Visitor]

I thought the Fan Art thing was quite sweet, as the competition was initially to make a postcard that would come with the Blu-Ray, but when the logistics of that fell through it went on as an extra. Of course, I’m biased having done one of them, but I still appreciated it as a nice gesture!

Feb. 22, 2021 @ 04:58

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