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Jason Reitman
Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace
Writing Credits:
Jason Reitman, Gil Kenan

When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

Box Office:
$75 million.
Opening Weekend
$44,008,406 on 4315 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Portuguese Audio Descriptive Service
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

124 min.
Price: $38.99
Release Date: 2/1/2022

• “Summoning the Spirit” Featurette
• “The Gearhead’s Guide to Ghostbusters Gadgets” Featurette
• “Spectral Effects” Featurette
• “Bringing Ecto-1 Back to Life” Featurette
• “We Got One!” Featurette
• “A Look Back” Featurette
• “A Look Ahead” Featurette
• Deleted Scene
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Ghostbusters: Afterlife [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 14, 2022)

After 1984’s Ghostbusters turned into a massive hit, a sequel became inevitable. However, it took five years for 1989’s Ghostbusters II to make it to screens, an eternity in that era.

Superficially, Ghostbusters II did well, as it made more than $200 million worldwide and turned a nice profit. However, the movie didn’t get a great reception from fans or critics, and it seemed like a disappointment after the giddy fun of the first film.

Though the franchise continued via other means over the decades – such as animated shows and videogames – the series wouldn’t make the big screen again until 2016’s reboot. This female-led version created a lot of animosity among some fans and did mediocre business, so any potential new run of movies with this cast disappeared virtually immediately.

But that didn’t kill off the property, and 2021’s Ghostbusters; Afterlife gives us another attempt to revive the franchise. Unlike the 2016 film – which existed in a world that never enjoyed the prior Ghostbusters - Afterlife acts as a continuation of the original series’ canon/continuity.

When Egon Spengler dies, he leaves his decrepit home in middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma to his estranged daughter Callie (Carrie Coon). The single mother of teen Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and adolescent Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) inherits this “estate”, and they move there when they get evicted from their apartment.

As they explore the home, science whiz Phoebe discovers an odd device that turns out to be a “ghost trap” used by Egon and his old partners, the Ghostbusters. When spooky activity starts to arise in the area, Phoebe and Trevor connect to their granddad’s past and find themselves in a battle with the undead.

Although the 2016 Ghostbusters didn’t exist in the first film’s universe, some of the original cast returned in new roles and didn’t formally reprise their parts. Among other decisions, this upset many fans.

At the risk of spoilers, Afterlife doesn’t make that choice. When we find some of the folks from the 1980s flicks, all play the characters we knew and loved back then.

I get this decision and I don’t dislike it, but the presence of the 1980s characters means Afterlife often veers heavily into the realm of “fan service”. Not that I view this as a bad thing in an absolute sense.

Like 2018’s Halloween and 2022’s Scream, Afterlife exists as a mix of sequel and reboot. Because it comes with a “new generation” of characters, it doesn’t feel like a pure sequel, but we get so many connections to the past that it also doesn’t act as the kick-off of a truly new franchise.

“Reboot sequels” walk a fine line between proper homage and slobbering fanboy love, and that become an issue with Afterlife. Actually, the movie stays on the right side of this during the first two acts, as these parts of the movie largely veer off into a new direction.

Sure, these sections set up Egon’s post-1989 life and introduce other concepts familiar to viewers of the first two movies. Still, Afterlife feels mostly like its own entity through these acts.

Once we near the climax, though, Afterlife heads into Fan Service Overdrive. In addition to the return of major 1980s actors, we find many overt allusions to those flicks.

Indeed, Afterlife suddenly goes from Its Own Story to Semi-Remake of the 1984 Flick during the third act. It’s like the filmmakers held back all their sentimental aspirations for as long as they could but then allowed these to burst forth at the end.

During this disc’s supplements, we get lots of gushing remarks about how those behind Afterlife really wanted to pay homage to the 1980s movies and essentially relive those – and that becomes a problem. Afterlife works so hard to replicate so much about the 1980s flicks that it loses its own nascent identity.

Look, I get that a movie like this must walk a thin line. Afterlife needs to throw enough bones to “old school” fans to make them happy, especially after the social media debacle of the 2016 flick.

Whether or not one thinks the 2016 movie deserved all the negativity it encountered – I definitely don’t – that release clearly left a mark on those behind Afterlife. Honestly, it seems unlikely Afterlife would even exist had the 2016 tale enjoyed a better reception, as I suspect Sony would’ve pursued sequels to it, not something more formally connected to the 1980s movies. In any case, I have to believe the attacks on the 2016 flick compelled those involved with Afterlife to make it even more “safe” and fan-friendly than otherwise would’ve been the case. For better or for worse, this exists as a love letter to the 1980s films.

I don’t want to come down too hard on Afterlife, as it provides an enjoyable experience. The actors do pretty well – especially Grace, who manages to channel her inner Egon without overdoing it.

Afterlife deviates from the 1980s movies in one notable way, as it delivers more of a horror/action tale vs. the stronger comedy bent of the older flicks. This makes perfect sense given the cast.

Face it: Coon, Grace and Wolfhard don’t exactly compete with Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis as comedy legends, and I doubt that will change over time. Paul Rudd offers the film’s primary “funny guy”, but given that most of the cast focuses on folks from dramatic flicks, it seems inevitable Afterlife will downplay laughs to some degree.

If Afterlife remained on this path and didn’t go Fan Service Crazy in its third act, I would probably view it in a more positive light. However, I just feel like that final part of the movie goes too far down the sentimental route, and it almost invalidates the prior 80 minutes or so because it leans so heavily toward nostalgia.

Afterlife remains an entertaining movie, albeit one I admit I liked more the first time than the second. The warm glow of the 1980s reunion carried me more during that initial viewing.

On subsequent inspection, the fan service of Afterlife tends to rub me more the wrong way. I still think the good outweighs the bad here, but I hope that the next Ghostbusters project works harder to exist on its own and not as so much of a nostalgic nod toward the original.

Footnote: extra footage shows up both during and at the conclusion of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus C

Ghostbusters: Afterlife appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I thought the transfer replicated the source well.

Sharpness worked fine for the most part. A few oddly soft shots materialized, but the majority of the film appeared accurate and well-defined.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also caused no concerns.

Afterlife went with a mix of amber, yellow and teal. That was fine for the movie’s visual design, so I found the hues to seem appropriate.

Blacks were dense and deep, and shadows fared well. Low-light shots delivered appropriate delineation and clarity. All in all, this became a satisfying presentation.

Even better, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Afterlife. A solid soundfield, it boasted the ambition to reach “A”-level.

Not surprisingly, the mix came to life best during the many action sequences. Ghosts, vehicles, explosions and the like zipped around us and made sure that we felt as though we were part of the events.

Even during more passive sequences, the film offered a good soundscape. Music showed nice stereo presence, while environmental elements popped up in logical, natural locations. This was an active and involving soundfield.

From start to finish, the flick boasted excellent audio quality. Speech was crisp and concise, with good intelligibility and no edginess.

Music sounded bright and dynamic, and effects were very strong. They demonstrated fine clarity and accuracy, and the mix also featured positive bass response. This was a consistently engaging track.

The disc includes a bunch of featurettes, and Summoning the Spirit lasts 19 minutes, 50 seconds. It brings comments writer/director Jason Reitman, producer Ivan Reitman, writer Gil Kenan, director of photography Eric Steelberg, 1st AD Jason Blumenfeld,, production designer Francois Audouy, costume designer Danny Glicker, and actors Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver.

“Spirit” examines the film’s roots, development and goals, various effects, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and costumes. “Spirit” mixes happy talk with useful data to become a good but fluffy reel.

The Gearhead’s Guide to Ghostbusters Gadgets runs six minutes, 12 seconds and provides notes from Jason Reitman, Blumenfeld, Coon, Ivan Reitman, Grace, Rudd, Audouy, Kim, special effects supervisor Elia Popov, and propmaker Ben Eadie.

As implied by the title, we find notes about various mechanical devices here. This offers a decent take on how the crew updated the old movies’ gizmos. Like “Spirit”, it varies between insights and praise.

With Spectral Effects, we locate a six-minute, 29-second reel that features Jason Reitman, Coon, Grace, Wolfhard, Ivan Reitman, visual effects supervisors Sheena Duggal and Alessandro Ongaro and on-set dresser Alex Smith.

In this reel, we cover creature design and various effects. Expect another blend of puffiness and facts.

Bringing Ecto-1 Back to Life goes for four minutes, 49 seconds and presents info from Jason Reitman, Wolfhard, Audouy, Popov, Grace, Kim, Ghostlight president Cyril O’Neil and special projects manager Josh Erb.

Unsurprisingly, this show examines the franchise’s iconic car and its use in this film. We get a decent view of the subject matter.

Next comes We Got One, a seven-minute, 49-second reel offers a summary of the movie’s many Easter eggs. Some will seem obvious to fans, but others prove obscure, so this turns into a fun reel.

A Look Back lasts 10 minutes, 37 seconds and involves Potts, Weaver, Ivan Reitman, and actors Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

This offers a nostalgic view of the 1980s movies. Nothing substantial emerges, but it’s nice to see the old gang together again.

Finally, A Look Ahead fills three minutes, 44 seconds with Hudson,. Ivan Reitman, Murray, Aykroyd and Jason Reitman. They talk about how awesome it is to be back in a new Ghostbusters movie. It’s still cool to see these four veterans together, but this piece exists as little more than torch-passing praise.

Called “Is It Ever Too Late?”, one Deleted Scene runs one minute, 24 seconds. It shows more of Callie as she and Janine explore Egon’s house. Nothing substantial emerges, but since it gives Potts more time on screen, it’s enjoyable.

The disc opens with ads for Spider-Man: No Way Home, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, A Journal For Jordan, Morbius, Uncharted and Alex Rider. No trailer for Afterlife appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Afterlife. It includes the “Summoning” featurette and previews but lacks the other Blu-ray extras.

A mix of reboot and sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife offers reasonable charms. However, the movie tries too hard to pay homage to he original films and does not form its own identity as well as it should. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a mediocre set of supplements. Parts of Afterlife work but the movie feels less satisfying than I’d like.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main