Ghostbusters appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Given the nature of the source, this became a terrific presentation.
Sharpness satisfied. A few wide shots seemed a smidgen soft, but those were a minor distraction, as the majority of the movie exhibited good to great delineation.
No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and edge haloes remained absent. I noticed no print flaws, and the image showed consistent grain, so I suspected no digital noise reduction.
Colors were fine. The film didn’t boast a broad palette, as it preferred a tone that emphasized an “industrial gray” feel. Some brighter hues popped up on occasion, though, and the colors remained appropriate. The 4K UHD’s HDR capabilities brought a little more oomph to the tones as well.
Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows showed nice delineation. This became a satisfying rendition of the movie.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Ghostbusters worked well. Ghostbusters didn’t use a tremendously broad soundfield, but it opened things up more than usual for a flick of its era.
Music showed nice stereo dimensionality, while effects spread smoothly across the front. As one might expect, the various ghost-related scenes offered the best opportunities for movement and activity, so the soundtrack provided the most action in its second half.
The surrounds added good life during those spook segments. They kicked in good reinforcement of the spirits and Ghostbuster attacks, so they became reasonably active partners in the action.
Audio quality held up well over the last 35 years. Only a smidgen of edginess ever interfered with the lines, as they usually seemed clear and concise.
Music showed good range and vivacity, and effects appeared well-rendered. The various elements showed nice definition and offered a good punch in the louder moments.
Distortion wasn’t a problem, as only a little crackling ever crept through into the mix. This was a well above average track for a mid-80s flick.
How did this 2019 4K UHD compare to the 2016 release of Ghostbusters? Both offered identical picture and audio, as the 2019 just cloned the 2016.
Only one extra appears on the 4K UHD. We begin with the same audio commentary found on the DVD and prior Blu-rays.
It includes a running, screen-specific chat with director Ivan Reitman, co-writer/actor Harold Ramis and associate producer Joe Medjuck. They discuss the project’s origins and the development of the script, improvisation and characters, casting, visual effects, sets and locations, and general anecdotes.
At its best, this track offers a nice take on the film, and I certainly can’t fault the scope of the material. However, too much of the time, we simply hear quotes of movie lines, praise for the flick, and laughing at the gags. Occasional dead air also mars the proceedings. There’s definitely enough good information on display to make this a useful commentary, but the flaws mean that it doesn’t ever become a great one.
The remaining extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, and this becomes where the 2019 4K package separates itself from the 2016. We find a mix of old and new materials here.
In the “new” category, we get a fan commentary with Troy Benjamin and Chris Stewart (Interdimensional Crossrip podcast), Ashley Victoria Robinson (Geek History Lesson podcast) and Sean Bishop (Ghostbusters prop replica expert), moderated by Ghost Corps’ Eric Reich. All five sit together for a discussion of movie facts/trivia as well as their thoughts about the film and franchise.
Expect much more of the latter than the former. During much of the track, we just hear the participants laugh, quote the movie and tell us how much they love the various scenes.
We learn a few fun tidbits along the way, but these come far too infrequently to make the commentary enjoyable. I expect some praise/fluff during a discussion like this, but the signal to noise ratio is too weak for me to recommend it, as we just get too little substance across its 105 minutes.
An interactive Slimer Mode gives us information throughout the movie. It uses pop-up windows to provide some text facts as well as interviews with various folks involved in the production.
We find notes from Reitman, Ramis, Medjuck, writer/actor Dan Aykroyd, film historian Paul M. Sammon, animation supervisor/creature design consultant Terry Windell, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund, visual effects art director John Bruno, associate producer Michael C. Gross, creature design consultant Bernie Wrightson, and actors Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, and William Atherton.
The comments cover the original story treatment and its evolution into the final script, cast, characters and performances, the production timeline and related pressures, creatures and effects, science and influences, sets and locations, the Ecto-1 and other props, the theme song and score, and a few other production topics.
We get a pretty good array of information from the “Slimer Mode”. The text boxes are the most inconsistent side of things. Many of these – especially the ones about characters – just repeat information we get during the film itself. They do occasionally offer some fun “facts” about various locations, though.
As for the interviews, they tend to be useful. They pop up less frequently than I’d like, especially during the film’s second half, but they come around often enough to avoid frustrations. “Slimer Mode” isn’t the best of the interactive Blu-ray pieces I’ve seen, but it’s engaging enough.
Previously found on the original 1999 DVD – and nowhere since then – Tricks and Trivia delivers a subtitle track written by Cinefex founder Don Shay. The notes cover many aspects of the script and characters, with an emphasis on the development of both and changes that occurred along the way. We also get many comments about locations, sets, and visual effects.
When I originally watched this track back in 1999, I thought it was a waste of time. I was wrong.
As I viewed it again, I realized how much great information popped up during this piece. We get a lot of notes that don’t appear elsewhere, and the details about the various changes are terrific. Definitely give this text commentary a look.
Though the prior Blu-ray included copious additional materials, they don’t show up here. However, that doesn’t turn into tragedy because this version of Ghostbusters comes with a bonus Blu-ray.
I’ll address the contents of that disc in a separate review. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention that the version of Ghostbusters on Blu-ray separates many of its prior features onto a different disc.
After more than 35 years, Ghostbusters remains a comedy classic. I’ve seen this movie at least 30 times over that span. And you know what? It still makes me laugh. The 4K UHD offers very good picture and sound with a strong roster of extras.
As alluded, this 2019 4K UHD of Ghostbusters comes as part of a five-disc package. It included 4K UHD versions of both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Blu-ray editions of both movies, and a fifth disc with bonus materials. The 4K UHD platters duplicate the 2016 releases but the movie Blu-rays and the bonus disc are exclusive to this set.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of GHOSTBUSTERS