Blu-ray review: Ghostbusters

Blockbuster comedies don’t come much funnier than Ghostbusters. This is a movie that hit cinemagoers like a bolt out of the blue.

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Blockbuster comedies don’t come much funnier than Ghostbusters. This is a movie that hit cinemagoers like a bolt out of the blue. Zapping out a barrage of special effects and quotable one-liners to boot, Bill Murray and co practically ran away with Eighties cinema on its release. It had the ability to scare and at the same time excite, but all the while managed to maintain a sense of fun; it was an insane mix – sci-fi meets Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. And, even after 20 years, it still manages to send you into fits of laughter. With classic status having already been certified on Ivan Reitman’s picture, this BD sees the film receiving another reappraisal via a home-entertainment release. Sony was confident it was onto a winner, so much so that at last year’s Comic-Con consumers were invited to ‘Get Slimed In HD.’ However, following this announcement some tentative decisions saw this BD shelved alongside its tie-in videogame. But now the wait is over, but was it all worth it? Visually, this Blu-ray outing is a disappointment. This, like the Godfather trilogy and other classics that didn’t quite make the cut, fails to live up to the hype. The MPEG-4 simply wobbles on too many occasions. Be it skin tones or movement in the forefront of a shot, this transfer just can’t seem to hake off the grain. What surprises us the most about this Blu-ray’s visuals, though, is just how great the special effects look. It’s easy to presume that this, being a baby of the Eighties, would look slightly dated in high definition – but this is not the case. The Slimer chase through the Sedgewick Hotel brings out some new ghoulish details in the iconic ghost, while the fight against the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man offers a grand end to a frustratingly inconsistent transfer. A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is effective enough to whisk you back into a time when Ghostbusters mania reigned supreme. With plenty of action taking place on screen, all events are captured well in an apparently new audio treatment. Sony knows it has one of its most treasured babies ready to deploy on Blu-ray, but for the most part has failed to deliver. Dedication is shown in a host of new – ignore the shameless game featurettes – format-exclusive extras, but for a film regarded as a favourite to many, you would expect something a little more spook-tacular than this.

Feature: 51 Extras: large_3 Picture: large_3 Audio: large_3

Price: £19.99
Classification: PG
Discs: 1
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver
Released: Out Now