Directed by Ivan Reitman
by Donald Melanson
| Listen! Do you smell something?
Ghostbusters is probably the most popular movie to emerge
out of the Saturday Night Live/SCTV/National
Lampoon nexus of the 1970s and early 80s a scene that
also gave us films like Animal House, The Blues Brothers
and Stripes. It also must be of the top movies that people
watch over and over again I think I've seen it at least
a dozen times.
It's easy to see why people revisit it so often. The film is
relentlessly enjoyable and a few clunky special effects
aside is as fresh today as when it was released way back
in the summer of 1984. Bill Murray in particular cemented his
film career with this movie, making the most successful transition
from Saturday Night Live of any actor.
The sequel is another matter. While it has its moments, the movie
on the whole sinks to new levels of hokiness or maybe it's
Sony Pictures new double feature gift set is a nice release with
a few unfortunate omissions that may make you want to hang on
to your original DVD as well. On the upside, both films look and
sound great, and the set can be had for less than $15US, making
it one of the best bargains of the year.
Not surprisingly, most of the extras are for the first film,
the most notable being a very entertaining commentary track with
director Ivan Reitman, writer/co-star Harold Ramis, and producer
Joe Medjuk. Also included are a number of deleted scenes and various
features on the making of the film. The only extras on the Ghostbusters
2 disc are two episodes from the animated Ghostbusters
series. A 26-page "scrapbook" is quite literally crammed inside
the set as well, making it a bit difficult to get the DVDs out.
For some reason, however, Sony Pictures has omitted a few of
the special features from the original Ghostbusters DVD,
including the nifty Mystery Science Theatre 3000-style
alternate video commentary, the production notes subtitles, and
the original trailers. The outer packaging also incorrectly states
that the aspect ratio for Ghostbusters is 1.33:1, but don't
worry, both films are in fact presented in their original 2.40:1
format and are enhanced for widescreen TVs.
Melanson is the editor-in-chief of Mindjack and a freelance
writer for hire.
In addition to Mindjack, his work has appeared in The
Globe & Mail, Engadget,
and MovieMaker Magazine.