Classic Intel: Ghostbusters - Blu-ray Review

'allow me to pitch you one of the best high-concept pitches of all time; 'Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd chase ghosts''

When I first went about purchasing a Blu-ray player, I reported back that I wasn't too impressed. Yes the image was sharper and the sound was better but this didn't seem like the revolution I'd been promised. Sure everything was better but it didn't seem like it was the best. The jury was out, the mid-term report: fair to good. How apt then that it's not taken a whizz-bang special effects piece to convince me of this new-fangled innovation's quality and its place in our lives. Rather it's taken a film now in its twenty-sixth year and featuring one of the worst CGI animals ever created. Ladies and gentlemen I give you; Ghostbusters.

If you're not familiar with Ghostbusters by now then allow me to pitch you one of the best high-concept pitches of all time; 'Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd chase ghosts'. Ah, never have seven words meant so much to so many in the history of etc etc. Of course, as with all high-concept films, Ghostbusters does warrant further explanation for the uninitiated. Having lost their jobs at Columbia University, Drs Venkman (Murrary), Stantz (Akroyd) and Spengler (Harold Ramis) decide to go private, moving their paranormal research theories out of academia and into business as The Ghostbusters; here to clear your house or museum or library of any spooks that might be present. Soon they meet Dana (Sigourney Weaver) a woman with a rather large ghost problem that just might signal the end of the world.

A childhood favourite, the prospect of picking up Ghostbusters on Blu-ray for just £10 was too good to miss, it was quite literally one of those moments when I rushed home in order to stick it in the drive at the earliest possible opportunity. The results of Ghostbusters' transfer to Blu-ray? Astonishing. You can still tell this is the 80's (the hair, the clothes, the uniforms,) but no longer does Ghostbusters look like a film filmed with 80's technology. The picture is sharp and clear, the dialogue no longer muffled in places, the dodgy effects displayed proudly for all to see. If there is a convincing argument for Blu-ray then this is it; you get to watch classics in the quality they were intended to be in.

The film itself holds up very well. Murray is of course the star attraction here and his one-liner spouting, off-the-wall, Venkman steals every scene whether it be attempting to communicate with 'the other side' in the library or wooing Dana at the fountain. His physical and perfectly timed comedy hasn't lost any of its appeal and he's well aided by Akroyd's reluctant but enthusiastic Ray and Ramis' erstwhile Egon. The opening hour of the film, where The Ghostbusters establish themselves in the old firehouse and spooks such as Slimer and The Librarian show up, is pure and un-adulterated entertainment which doesn't let up for a second and flies by in a flash.

Over time though, the main plot surrounding the gates of hell and the end of the world, has not worn so well. The final twenty minutes is filled with some particularly dodgy special effects and all four Ghosbusters (Ernie Hudson as Winston is added to the group later on) rolling around on a not particularly authentic set, covered in much too much dry ice. There's still hilarious moments (the creating of the marshmallow man) but it feels like director Ivan Reitman just tried to push the film a little further than it was willing to go. Ghostbusters is one of my all time favourite 'sentimental' films but even I can admit that whilst it's never less than enjoyable, it's not quite perfect.

If you've seen Ghostbusters and you're a fan then you owe it to yourself to see it like this. I feel like a walking advert for Blu-ray players but even if you own the Ghosbusters DVD set, this is a worthy purchase. If you haven't seen Ghosbusters then I'm not sure what you've been doing for the past twenty-six years but there's never been a better time to relax, sit on your sofa and start humming that tune to yourself for the very first time.

Look further...

'everything that follows is a grandiose spectacle of comedy and special effects, enhanced by an outstanding cast that makes the film feel as fresh and original as it did when it originally premiered' - Hi-Def Digest (M. Enois Duarte), 4.5/5

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