home | archives | about us | feedback

Daily Relay

Tracking trends and development in digital culture

special section:
Mindjack Film
Fresh thinking on current and classic cinema

Mindjack T-Shirts
Only $15US
shipping included


Mindjack Release
Sign up to receive details of new issues


Ghostbusters 1&2
Directed by Ivan Reitman

reviewed by Donald Melanson

September 07, 2005 | 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 just laziness.

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.

Donald 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.

Advertise in Mindjack
Email for Information

advertise here
email for info


home | about us | feedback