There is no question that short of cultural phenomenon like Star Wars, Ghostbusters has an amazing amount of home video releases. Actually, I can’t think of anything other than Star Wars that has seen so many offerings as Ghostbusters. Starting with the half-dozen VHS releases and going from there, you’re looking at a lot of home video editions of the smash hit of 1984. And that’s before you add in the sequel! So, it’s not hard to understand if a person didn’t want to get yet another one. But with today’s release of the Ghostbusters 1&2 Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Blu-ray, here are a few reasons you might want to consider it.
1) For starters, the price for the two disc, two-movie Digibook is basically the price of a single new release Blu-ray. Add in a short, but loving booklet, giving a small overview on the production of both films, and this set is en par with the 2005 Double-Feature gift set. In fact…
2) It has more extras. While the Ghostbusters disc contains a certain amount of materials fans have seen before, it has a new discussion between director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd, as well as the never before released Ray Parker Jr. music video for the Ghostbusters theme song. The Ghostbusters 2 disc takes things even further, with more chat between Reitman and Aykroyd, the never before released video for Bobby Brown’s On Our Own music video (tho the Run DMC theme would have been nice, Bobby Brown’s song was THE Ghostbusters track of 1989), and deleted scenes. Ghostbusters 2 deleted scenes are akin to unicorns, if you’re wondering what the big whoop is. Furthermore, there has been no Ghostbusters 2 blu-ray release to date. Sony almost released one for the 25th Anniversary, but that was quietly retracted, and fans have had to wait five years. FIVE YEARS!
3) Sony has released a $5 off coupon for select real world retailers, for those of you who don’t want to shop online. http://woobox.com/38yk77
4) This is the best looking home video release of either film to date and likely will be the best for a few years yet, at least until 4K becomes common place. What is 4K? OK, let’s back up a bit.
Last year Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a second Ghostbusters Blu-ray, mastered and released in 4K. If you’re familiar with 780p, 1080p, well, 4k is the next step up in resolution. Kinda like 2160p, double 1080p, lots of color stuff too technical to get into here. But only if you have the equipment. Most of us don’t, but it was a smart investment for Sony, as some markets around the world were starting to offer broadcast and streaming content in 4K. Not only that, the creation of a new master from the original film print was an opportunity to offer viewers a better color and contract balance. Previous DVD editions were all over the place, with quick and dirty contract bumps, muddy colors, all sorts of things that weren’t as nice as watching a 35mm print in the theater. At the same time, Sony apparently made themselves a GB2 4k master as well, and this is what you can buy today. While it is true that this isn’t a true 4K release, it stands apart from even the first Ghostbusters Blu-ray edition. And a good Blu-ray player and HD TV will give you an excellent viewing experience.
If you’re curious about the various editions, check out these comparison screengrabs at Spook Central.
5) You can get a Slimer statue in the limited edition gift set edition. If you want one. He’s not cheap though.
All things considered, this isn’t exactly a cynical return to the well for Sony, with a lot of solid work done to make this an edition worth owning, so for serious fans, it’s a good investment. Heck, it’s a relatively inexpensive investment. And for more casual movie lovers, if you haven’t bought Ghostbusters on home video before, or in a while, this is the place to start, Slimer statue or no.
Ghostbusters 1&2 Digibook Edition
Ghostbusters 1&2 Limited Edition Gift Set
(you can buy either movie separately, but with each movie being only $3 less than the two-movie digibook on Amazon… why would you?)
Bonus Tip: The keen 30th Anniversary stick on the plastic wrap can be easily peeled off and applied to the newly bare digibook. Or your phone. Or your binder. The point is, don’t throw that out, that’s a keeper.