Ghostbusters: Answer the Call - GBHQ's Full Review

It's finally here. After the better part of a year discussing every morsel of news in great detail, Paul Feig's rejuvenation of the Ghostbusters franchise is now in theaters around the world.

I'm no critic, I'm a lover of film. And obviously as this is a Ghostbusters fansite, posting a review would have an incredible bias against it. But if you're looking for my thoughts and in-depth analysis, stay tuned to future episodes of our podcast the Interdimensional Crossrip, where we'll be discussing at great length. But being that this is the first live-action Ghostbusters film hitting theaters since 1989, I can't help myself. After the first viewing, here are some of my thoughts.

It goes without saying that spoilers are present throughout the below. Proceed at your own risk.

OVERALL

This film is a love-letter not just to Ghostbusters and all of the characters and situations that accompany it, but also a love-letter to films from the 1980s in general. While the film didn't receive that great of critical acclaim, I felt the same way about Ghostbusters after watching Kevin Smith's Cop Out, a film that was a perfect 80s movie (the latter being a throwback to the R-rated buddy cop comedies that were made by the dozen in the mid to late 80s) made with modern technology. The same holds true to Paul Feig's Ghostbusters. It's a movie of the 80s, made with all the bells and whistles and style of 2016. It's fun. It plays absurd situations with absolute sincerity and without the snarky cynicism that seems to be the modern status quo. There's a playfulness to the film from the opening frames featuring The Office and Silicon Valley's Zach Woods all the way through the closing credits. In a world where darker and grittier is often perceived as being better, I'm glad that this film didn't follow in that current trend's footsteps.

Like many films of the 80s, it's not perfect. There are a few holes here and there, but nothing that's not easily overlooked in the moment of watching the film. After my first viewing, the third act of the film seems like it was stitched together after several omits where you do get a sense that you're glossing over something that was previously there. You know what really would have helped and have been "so totally 80s" that it would have been perfect? A montage in the middle of the film showing the four Ghostbusters honing in their skills, gaining more and more notoriety, and Rowan breaking the barrier more and more. Just a little bit of a slide from point A to point B would have gone a long way (and would have been a great throwback to the oft-used device). Substance takes a backseat to style in the closing moments of the film, which isn't necessarily a new thing to the Ghostbusters filmed franchise (or the cartoons for that matter). But the end result is so satisfying and fun to watch that you don't really mind.

Tonally, aesthetically, and vocally you can tell that the film took a great deal of care in making sure that every detail was right for the property. The casting is spot-on, the sets and costumes completely and totally on-point, from the minute the theater darkens to the minute those house lights go back up there is no doubt that this is Ghostbusters.

CHARACTERS

As many have said and as I'm sure was completely intentional, the four lead characters are most definitely not the same archetypes as Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore. Instead, characters are all their own, not fitting into the standard "brain," "mouth," "heart," "everyman" qualities.

Erin Gilbert

Interestingly enough, our main POV throughout the film seems to be through Kristen Wiig's character Erin Gilbert. She incites the adventure at the beginning of the film by receiving a tip about the haunted Aldridge Mansion. Gilbert is a scientific genius, but a little socially awkward. Her sense of dress and style at the beginning of the film is a point of contention with her overbearing senior played by the always effectively menacing Charles Dance. Gilbert's arc is fun to watch as she goes from a wound tight professor concerned about obtaining her tenure and maintaining a level of professionalism (wanting to call their new business venture the Conductors of the Metaphysical rather than something childish like Ghostbusters). Toward the end of the film, she's confident, has a new sense of style and self-confidence, and embraces being a hero.

Jillian Holtzmann

From the first leaked photography on set, the fans loved Holtzmann. And rightly so. As expected, she's the stand out character of the new film and when all is said and done, is the most unique and previously unseen. She's one part mad scientist, one part whimsical child, with reckless but astounding results. if Egon Spengler was the New Age Spock, it seems that Jillian Holtzmann is the Millennial Doc Brown. A character like this can easily be overplayed to a point where its taxing on the audience and completely unmotivated (ala Lex Luthor in the recent Batman v. Superman) but Kate McKinnon handles the role with grace and ease. She sells over-the-top lines like, "Look over there - THE EYES!" evenhandedly, even throwing in television announcer references and quotations reminiscent of Stephen Furst's character in The Dream Team, leading you to believe that everything is an elaborate alternate universe of her own. She flirts with Erin Gilbert, but then again she flirts with Matt Walsh's heavy Homeland Security character as well. She's unpredictable and incredibly memorable.

Abby Yates

Once again, Melissa McCarthy defies a stereotype and overcomes preconceived notions of the characters that she plays. People who dismissed her character in The Heat as an oafish slob that rested on the laurels of "fat jokes" were completely wrong about the hard-ass, super cop character that she actually played. But here, Yates is sharp, incredibly enthusiastic about her work, and if any of the characters could draw lines of connection to their predecessors, she does feel like the most "Ray Stantz" of the group. Her enthusiasm is infectious. Her exasperation when her soup arrives sans wontons understandable. The subtext between the rift that grew between her and Gilbert makes a lot of sense as one character continued to remain the same, while the other decided to "become an adult" and suppress her childlike wonder. If there's a new heart of the Ghostbusters, it seems to be Yates.

Patti Tolan

Leslie Jones' character takes on the role of Winston of sorts, being the every day average civilian brought into the extreme circumstances. She says things that the audience is absolutely thinking, turning a corner to see mannequins in storage and exclaiming, "Well that's a room full of nightmares." Jones' extroverted and "loud" nature seems to always take center stage in describing her character, as if people were relegating Sam Kinison to just being "that guy who's loud and screams a lot." While both of those statements may be true, it's really in Jones' comedic subtleties that she shines. Grumbles under her breath and asides provide some of the biggest laughs from Tolan.

Supporting Roles

The film is packed with drop-ins and cameos of some of comedies biggest names. True to form there are a lot of surprise cameos that I won't spoil in this review but it's really Chris Hemsworth's well-meaning but dumb as a box of rocks Kevin that takes center stage. Faced with the difficult role of making such a deplorable klutz of a human likeable, much like Rick Moranis' brilliant Louis Tully, you understand why the characters take Kevin under their wing. His lack of intelligence or competence is completely unforgivable. But his charm and his aloofness make him endearing. Andy Garcia and Cecily Strong as the government officials pull a complete 180 of William Atherton's Walter Peck, rather than playing the role of antagonists, they show that the government means well and wants to help but has their hands tied by public perception. It's an interesting spin on politics and our view upon government now versus back in the 1980s.

DESIGN AND VISUAL EFFECTS

One of the prevailing critical statements against the first handful of trailers for the new Ghostbusters was that it looked like the computer generated effects had taken over completely - but the blend between the practical and the digital is so fantastic, that much like ILM and Stan Winston's brilliant Iron Man suit effects, you have a tough time telling where the practical ends and the digital begins. Actors in harnesses wore interactive glowing lighting effects and were filmed practically, then supplemented by the digital artists in post-production to great effect. The third act is a marvel of design with so much happening in the frame but a very easy to follow focal point. Where most films that have brilliantly elaborate animated effects throw everything and the kitchen sink into a frame to a point that it's complete indecipherable chaos, Ghostbusters makes sure that you're following the plot, never losing sight of the focus in the frame.

Much of that might be attributed to the cinematography of Robert Yeoman, whom I continue to adore. Where he builds entire worlds for Wes Anderson (and yes, made me fall in love with the landscapes of California in The Wizard), Yeoman's cinematography embraces that this is a big, high-concept comedy and really plays with brilliant highlights and saturated colors. Pops of color everywhere (yellow curtains in the Higgins lab, ethereal green glows in the Mercado) go a long way, a testament to the production design of Jefferson Sage as well. The surprise appearance of a familiar firehouse in various forms shows that a meticulous recreation of the Firehouse 23 was recreated on a soundstage in Boston to great effect.

MUSIC

Blending of genres often proves a difficult challenge for composers, note how Elmer Bernstein handled the first film versus how Randy Edelman handled the 1989 film. Bouncy and light is tough to blend seamlessly with the creepy and macabre. Luckily Theodore Shaprio's score is absolutely brilliant, kicking things off with a throwback "scary music" homage to Elmer Bernstein that also sounds so in tone with the Ghostbusters universe that fans have both compared it to the animated The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, showing just how on-point it is. Choral elements and chanting really accentuate some of the darker operatic moments of the film, while a Theramin and even rattling chains are used to be unsettling spooky effects. A stand-out among the score is the use of Ray Parker Jr.'s hook on the Ghostbusters theme song as a slowly building hero theme that debuts the moment the team sees their first ghost and turns into a full-on robust theme in the third act at the height of one of the most heroic moments.

Interestingly, given the heavy-hitters on the pop soundtrack - all of the needle-drop in the film for the most part is used as source music, with only the Fall Out Boy collaboration and Ray Parker Jr.'s original theme song being presented front and center. If you're waiting for a "Saving the Day" moment where the pop album takes over to the visuals, it won't be happening as the film rests on Shaprio's amazing score. Curiously, the stand-out song in the film, No Small Children's rocking version of the theme is absent from the US release on iTunes and on CD releases of the soundtrack. Hopefully it will be available as a single soon.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If I were to run into Paul Feig, Katie Dippold, Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd or heck, any of the cast and crew that worked their tails off on this film and on top of having the challenge of completing a very difficult and elaborate film had to deal with the scrutiny, almost pressure-cooker-like atmosphere that quickly surrounded it - I'd have to give each and every one of them a giant hug and thank them from the bottom of my heart. This film could have easily been a soulless, heartless, cynical shell with intellectual property stamped on top of it, but it isn't. It's obvious that everyone involved was well-versed in the source material, understands what made it work so well, and embraces each and every aspect. For the reasons that I don't think I enjoyed certain other big IP films because they exhibited a fundamental lack of understanding of the world, the constraints and perimeters of the storytelling, and the characters and voices that must inhabit the property - Ghostbusters excels. The heart and the soul that made the first two films fun, make you smile, make you laugh, and just all-around get you excited about a fantastical world that's just out of reach are all present here.

It's a shame that it's taken so long for this film to happen, because it's a love-letter to the hard work of those that came before, I know there are several people that are no longer with us that would have loved to have seen it. And I know that after all of the struggle, after all of the red tape, after the huge mountain it took to climb to get a property like Ghostbusters back on the silver screen, they'd share the same sentiment that I do right now...

The future is bright for the Ghostbusters franchise. And this movie is to thank.

Ghosts from Our Past: A Literary Review

Since the 90s, I'd heard murmurings of a fabled book called "Ghosts From Our Past" by two aspiring parapsychologists. I'd checked libraries, local used bookstores, even private collectors, but the book was harder to find than parking in Los Angeles. I had thought the book might have been scarce due to a limited print run, or because the book was so well-regarded that all copies were snatched up as quickly as they could be printed. But, as it seems, it was because the book itself had been buried by the publisher like Atari's E.T. cartridge. Luckily, given the recent events that have taken place in New York City, and the newfound notoriety of the book's authors, Erin Gilbert and Abby L. Yates, the book has been newly revised and with the help of editor Andrew Shaffer, is once again in circulation and readily available.

Given that this book had been my Rosebud, my whale, imagine my bewilderment when a copy of it arrived for review from its publisher. With great delight, I tore into the tome and poured over every page. And boy, was it worth the decades long wait... Even if the hired help spilled some sort of disgusting green glop all over my copy and inserted a letter printed in Comic Sans to apologize for the destruction.

Though many of the book's original text has now found itself slightly dated of the time period in which it was written, with references to The X-Files, and Shawshank Redemption abound revealing just when the book was initially penned, the first-hand accounts as well as the research that has gone into the book is extremely valuable. The ramblings of the books authors have been well-contained and reorganized and rearranged by Shaffer to read more fluidly and comprehensively. The book acts as one part diary of the two authors and their experiences with the paranormal and another part as a field manual and guide for hunters of paranormal entities such as myself. With quick reference material, forms and paperwork for documentation (including all-important liability waivers), and first-hand guidance from the authors, the book is a must-have in the rucksack for any field agent.

Detailed and well-researched explanations of complex theories including the ectomaterialistic nature of ghosts, something that I've oft wondered about myself are presented in the book along side anthropological studies and first-hand accounts of paranormal experiences. Why do ghosts cross the threshold, yet still find themselves clothed? That's explored in the book. What protective barriers exist to keep spirits from crossing over into the physical world? That's explored complete with an easy-to-understand metaphor. Need to study the Yates-Gilbert Equation in greater detail? (Most of it) is presented here as well!

For those who have had encounters with bumps in the night, for those who are interested in exploring the study and location of paranormal and unexplained phenomenon, or for those that are perplexed with events that recently unfolded and have introduced us all to the concept of "Ghostbusters" - I highly recommend this book in its newly revised form.

And I anxiously await subsequent follow-ups, including Kevin Knows Kevin. I hope they are in greater supply and I need not wait another 30 years to read them.

Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively is on shelves June 28th wherever fine books are sold, a special thank you to those at Ghostbusters, Inc. for providing a review copy.

Ghostbusters: Ecto Force Coming 2018

And so the post-Ghostbusters (2016) slate begins - Sony Pictures Animation announced a brand-new animated series coming in two year's time, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force.

According to the press release, the series will will further expand the Ghostbusters cinematic universe and focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters in the year 2050 who capture ghosts around the world with help from local teams—and some very cool gear! The younger-skewing Sony Pictures Animation project is being creatively spearheaded by Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps. Ghostbusters: Ecto Force is eyeing an early 2018 debut.

No word on additional creative team (art director, writers, etc.) but we'll keep you posted as we hear more. Very exciting seeing the possibility of what everything will bring, especially with a premise that is set in the canon universe but more than 30 years in the future. Shade of Dan Aykroyd's original drafts coming to life?

Get Ready for GHOSTBUSTERS DAY on June 8th!

This is it, this is definitely it!

In celebration of the anniversary of the original Ghostbusters' release in 1984 as well as to help promote the upcoming film in July, there's a huge day planned around this coming June 8th and it's going to be a doozy.

In addition to the live Fathom Events screenings where you can see the original film back up on the big screen and get a special sneak peek of the new film, the original cast of Ghostbusters: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts will join the new cast Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig on the Jimmy Kimmell Live show together for the first time.

Here's the full press release from the good folks at Sony with all of the day's events mapped out, it's going to be a good one!

GHOSTBUSTERS DAY: JUNE 8, 2016
In celebration of GHOSTBUSTERS:
The Original Cast Reunites and Joins the New Cast on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” as
Moviegoers Celebrate the Franchise with Screenings of the Original Film, a Sneak Peek at the New Film, Fun Events, a Contest, and More
Elle King’s “Good Girls” Available at Digital Music Providers Today
CULVER CITY, Calif., June 3, 2016 – In anticipation of the release of Ghostbusters, which brings the legendary franchise back to theaters with a new team fighting the paranormal on July 15, Sony Pictures and moviegoers across the country will celebrate the classic franchise with Ghostbusters Day on Wednesday, June 8 – the anniversary of the release date of the original 1984 film.
On Ghostbusters Day, the cast of the original classic Ghostbusters – including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts – will reunite and join the new Ghostbusters – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones – as they honor the franchise that evening with an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs weeknights at 11:35pm Eastern and Pacific / 10:35pm Central on ABC.
Fans will also be able to join in the celebration by seeing a sneak peek of the new film as part of the Fathom Events presentation of the original classic in more than 800 cinemas nationwide on June 8, with encore showings on Sunday, June 12.  In addition, in Brooklyn, BBQ Films will present the world’s only official immersive screening of the classic Ghostbusters – a transportive experience built around the classic movie called GHOSTBUSTERS HQ. 
Participating theaters will also join in the fun with sweepstakes. Cinemark is giving fans the chance to score one of ten signed posters for the new film through a social media giveaway and as a collectible reward in their all-new app-based loyalty program, Cinemark Connections.  And when Regal Cinemas Crown Club Members buy a ticket to the classic movie, they will be entered for the chance to win a flyaway to the premiere of the new Ghostbusters film in Los Angeles, plus a $2500 gift card for travel and accommodations.
Guests of BBQ Films to GHOSTBUSTERS HQ in Brooklyn on the 8th will not only get a 360-degree interactive experience, but also an exclusive first chance to play the new Ghostbusters console game and the mobile game, Ghostbusters: Slime City, both from Activision. Fans will have the chance to record their unique spectral encounters using special GIPHY Cam filters, and enjoy Hi-C Ecto Cooler beverages at the bar. New shows have been added, including a family show. More information is available at www.bbqfilms.com
Fans will be able to check out the Ghostbusters’ ride, the Ecto-1, with national and local appearances.
The studio will also launch the Ghostbusters Twitter Mission Sweepstakes on Ghostbusters Day.  The sweepstakes will award cool prizes, like custom Ghostbusters uniforms, every week leading up to the release of the film to users who retweet contest messages.  Twitter users can join in the fun by following @Ghostbusters. 
Fans can also follow the movie at @Ghostbusters on their favorite social networks, as the day will be documented via Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat Live Stories, and other social coverage.
In addition, moviegoers can now hear Elle King’s “Good Girls,” from the film’s original soundtrack, which is available now at all digital providers. “Good Girls” was written by Elle King and Dave Bassett and produced by Bassett. The soundtrack will be available on July 15th.
Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they’re here to save the world! The film is produced by Ivan Reitman and Amy Pascal, and written by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” an Ivan Reitman film, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.

 

 

 

Ghostbusters (2016) Soundtrack Release Date and Details

Knew that info had to be coming sooner than later and sure enough, today the announcement was made that the new Ghostbusters film will follow in the steps of the original two films with a killer soundtrack album featuring some pretty big names in a wide variety of styles.

From the RCA Records press release:

The soundtrack will feature new music, including Elle King’s “Good Girls,” which will be available at all digital providers tomorrow.  “Good Girls” was written by Elle King and Dave Bassett and produced by Bassett.
Other artists to be featured on the soundtrack include G-Eazy ft. Jeremih, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pentatonix, WALK THE MOON, Fall Out Boy ft. Missy Elliott, Wolf Alice and more.  A full track listing will be announced soon.

Elle King's single will be available through digital outlets tomorrow, so get those iTunes and Amazon accounts ready. Pre-orders will also be up tomorrow as well.

In related news, Theodore Shapiro's score album (being released separately) is up for pre-order on Amazon and got some Empire Magazine inspired cover art today as well.

If Amazon is to be believed, the score album will be hitting stores a full week earlier than the pop/soundtrack album on July 8th.

Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II 4K UHD Review

Boy, this is strange. After years in the industry of creating special features for DVD and Blu-rays, I've never really done a review for one. But now that I'm no longer working in that field, and given that the folks in Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's publicity department were kind enough to send me review copies, here goes... my very first disc review of the Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II Ultra-HD 4K Blu-ray releases.

VIDEO QUALITY

Being only the second UHD disc that I've been able to take a look at (the other being the recent Deadpool release), it's tough to have a comparison for these older films in a 4K presentation. But as a fan of Ghostbusters, I loved every frame of what has been done here. In terms of the first film, the picture quality is very comparable to the "Mastered in 4K" release - I'd have to put freeze-frames side by side to get a good idea just where the differences occur in the jump in resolution. But this master is leaps and bounds better than the original pre-remastering Ghostbusters Blu-ray release... which was better than the previous DVD release, which had improved on the original DVD release. That's the good news, with ever release the picture quality continues to shine incrementally. Colors are deep and rich. Sharpness is good without any lines buzzing. I wish I had the ability to take screencaptures from the UHD discs because the picture presentation is absolutely astounding. Grain has been left in place to continue to give the feature presentation a filmic quality (and to mimic what audiences would have seen in theaters with a print projection) but the sharpness and the detail is wonderful. Sure, compared to the Deadpool UHD, there's a noticeable jump in the detail and fidelity of the image between the two, but make no mistake, this is the best that either film has looked in years let alone on a home video release. But chances are, if you purchased either the "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray a year or two ago or that two-pack Digibook set and you're happy with the picture quality, you might not notice that large of a jump between the two releases.

AUDIO QUALITY

This is where the new release for both films really shines. My Dolby Atmos enabled system loved the brand-new mixes done for both of these films, even if they are a little scaled back when compared to the Deadpool UHD or the most recent Gravity Atmos release. Needless to say, the new mix is a massive upgrade from the stereo mix days, the surrounds get a pretty good workout with a lot of flybys and sound effects enveloping you on both films. It's still not as bombastic of a mix as a modern-era Atmos mix might provide, but for a film that's over 30 years old in the case of the original, it's still pretty darn impressive.

SPECIAL FEATURES

First off... hey! They listened and swapped Slimers so that the correct version of each is on their respective covers (initial versions of the box art solicited had Ghostbusters II Slimer on the original film's cover and vice-versa). It looks like they also nudged the (odd-choice) Fort Detmerring photo on the original films' cover so that the logo isn't chopping off poor Ernie Hudson's head. That said, man those covers are still ugly.

But why judge a book by its cover? Let's dive into what's contained inside...

The UHD discs lack any special features with the exception of an audio commentary, most likely to assure that the highest bit-rate is dedicated to the picture and audio presentation on these discs. But the standard 1080p Blu-ray discs include the same special features that were included on the Digibook two-pack set released in 2014. But hey, this is my first venture into a Blu-ray review, let's leave no stone left unturned and dive into what's here (and what's not). 

Included on the Blu-ray are:

"Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective" - called a "roundtable" discussion (though not at a table and is more of a Geoff Boucher moderated Q&A)

"Time is But a Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond" - the second part of the Geoff Boucher "roundtable" that gives a little bit of a discussion on the production and response of the second film and talks about prospects for a third film at a time when Paul Feig's current July release was unannounced.

Deleted Scenes - 10 scenes from the original film (with several missing that were on the Criterion disc and for some reason still have never made it onto a SPHE release) and 7 very welcome deleted scenes from the second film are presented here... although there are several scenes from the second movie that aren't represented here for one reason or another including a cameo from Eugene Levy we've seen in production photography but never on celluloid. Deleted scenes, especially with actors cut from the film in entirety are always a tricky thing, but those are the types of things that fans would love to see. Maybe some day. Again, good fodder for another box set down the line.

Alternate TV Takes - These are a lot of fun, especially for those of us that grew up without a proper VHS release of the film and instead watched the ABC Sunday Night at the Movies recording we had over and over. A fun inclusion.

Audio Commentary by Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and Joe Medjuk (on the first film). This is the same commentary from the 90s, it's fun and light-hearted but a little dated at this point. Dan Aykroyd had said he recorded new commentaries for both films at the time of the original Blu-ray release, neither of which strangely seem to have seen the light of day. Maybe an upcoming box set with the 2016 film?

Slimer Mode - the "BonusView" track over the film is fun, although a bit repetitive of materials elsewhere.

"Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car" - great 15 minute featurette from when the car was restored for the 25th anniversary. Sadly since that time, the Ecto-1A from the second film has been rotting and still sits in shambles.

Featurettes: Original 1984 featurette (cut from the EPK material, which is fantastic), cast and crew featurette, SFX Team featurette - these are all great though aren't given much time to breathe. There's also a multi-angle feature that is replicated from the original DVD release (and the Criterion Laserdisc before it) where you can see VFX/SFX shots before and after with the touch of a button.

Music Videos: Both the Ray Parker Jr. music video and the Bobby Brown "On Our Own" music video are represented on both discs. Glad to have them. Though there's several other music videos that could and should be included on a future release. The Bus Boys' "Cleanin' Up the Town", Mick Smiley's "Magic", Run DMC's "Ghostbusters" remix.

Trailers - yes. That same weird trailer is on the original film that was on the original Blu-ray release. Must have been a legal issue or something but it's... weird. Maybe they wanted to take advantage of the HD picture by overcutting footage from the film into the trailer with the audio bed, maybe there was a legal reason, but it's strange to hear cut lines of dialogue under the wrong shots (Venkman's cut line about being the "Chairman of the Largest Paranormal Removal Company" under the shot of the original Ghostbusters banner being hung outside the firehouse being the most egregious. Why not include the ORIGINAL original trailer? It's such a strange choice. I can understand not including the trailer on the Criterion disc that includes the unused Ghostbusters theme because of music legality issues, but this one is a head-scratcher to me still.

NOT included on the Blu-ray are: several of the deleted scenes seen on previous releases including the Criterion laserdisc release. There's a whole lot of key behind the scenes elements that have never been explored on a home video release (which hopefully the upcoming "Cleanin' Up the Town" documentary will take care of) but for reference, I did a full breakdown of what would be the ideal set of special features in an old Private Sector column that you can see here courtesy of Proton Charging.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Do you have a 4K TV and the latest Dolby Atmos home theater setup and are you a die-hard Ghostbusters fan? Then this release is for you. But if you purchased the lovely Digibook set no more than a year ago, and you don't have the latest tech setup then there's really no need for you to purchase this set. Much like the "Superbit" releases of old in the DVD days, this is really for the video and audio aficionados, and even then because it's an older movie many people won't be using it as reference for their home theater demos most likely. If you've already got the excellent Digibook Blu-ray set, you might want to hold out to see if another box set of the films is released down the line with more special features. That definitive "Alien Anthology" archival version of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II in box set is still elusive. Maybe some day, it'll come to pass.

Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer 6 and International Trailer 2 Arrive

Early this morning, Sony Pictures debuted what's being referred to as "Trailer 6" (what was trailer 5? I'm unsure and still trying to work that out). But it's a solid trailer that really gets back to what this film should be, it's not a big summer action movie, it's a comedy that crosses genres and that exactly what you get from this trailer. Great to hear Ray Parker Jr.'s theme intertwined with the remix that's been featured throughout the rest of the marketing campaign, some definite highlight moments in here as well.

Full thoughts coming on a Cyclotron and several Crossrip episodes to be sure, but check out the new trailer now!

As of now, it's only available through the official Ghostbusters Twitter and Facebook, but we'll embed HD links as soon as we have 'em!

Update: still not able to embed the official videos here. But thanks to KinoCheck here are the domestic "Trailer 6" and the new second international trailer released on the Friday following:

Original Ghostbusters Films Coming to UHD! But What Does That Mean?

UPDATE (6:04pm): A couple corrections inset c/o Tyler Foster of DVDTalk

Hey, did you hear?

Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II are coming to the new UHD Blu-ray format on June 7th!

And immediately, I know the overwhelming majority of people who heard this news are saying, "Wait, what does that mean exactly?" That press release sure says a lot of fancy things, but I'm not entirely sure how this is different from the version that I just bought of the movie that was "Mastered in 4K?"

So I'll do my best to attempt to explain:

UHD? Wha? How is that different from regular Blu-ray?

If you have an Ultra-HD/4K television set as well as one of the new UHD Blu-ray players, this release is for you. If you have an "older" television set... a 1080p or 2K resolution set and/or your primary Blu-ray player wasn't purchased in the last year, or is an Xbox One or Playstation 4, then this release is NOT for you. Think of it this way, UHD is another run from the studios at trying to entice people back into the physical media format much like 3D was. If you didn't have a 3D compatible TV and Blu-ray player, you weren't able to play back those discs. This is the same issue, if you don't have UHD compatible devices, you won't be able to play these discs back. You'll need a UHD specific player to playback, and it needs to detect a 4K TV on the other end of that HDMI cable. Otherwise, no bueno. Here's a good resource as to what 4K is compared to "old school" high definition c/o Trusted Reviews.


TL;DR...

Take a look at your Blu-ray player. Does it have this logo on it? Yes? Do you have a 4K TV? Then you're good. Do you not know what either of those mean? You're probably not ready for these quite yet. It's okay, a lot of folks aren't quite ready for this yet either.


But wait, I quite literally just bought a Blu-ray last year that said it was "Mastered in 4K" - why would I need this on top of having to buy a new TV and Blu-ray player?

That's a great question. Essentially what it boils down to is that disc you bought last year, the one with the blue cover to the left, was "Mastered in 4K and Optimized for 4K Sets" but was still only 1080p presented on a lower capacity Blu-ray. Meaning you aren't getting the same dynamic range and resolution that you would be getting on the new UHD. Here's where it gets really confusing for the casual consumer. The release from last year was created from 4K source elements that created the most recent Blu-ray release from a previously existing scan of the negative. Think of it this way, when Ghostbusters first came out on Blu-ray, they created a high-resolution source of the movie, then compressed it down for the Blu-ray format. Then they double-dipped and released this "Optimized" version with a new color pass and range that was specific to 4K TVs, but still only displaying a 1920x1080 resolution. If you remember, this particular disc didn't include any special features, so that they didn't have to compress the movie itself as much and a higher bit rate was allowed for playback through your regular Blu-ray player.


Troy, you're confusing me more - seriously - how is this different?

Simply, the UHD 4K release announced today takes the same scan done for the "Mastered for 4K" release and presents it at its full potential. Thanks to Tyler Foster at DVDTalk, the 35mm scans already occurred as far back as 2013 (per this Hollywood Reporter article), so the press release is a little misleading. Per their press release: "As two of the first Sony 4K Ultra HD disc releases, both films were fully restored from the 35mm original camera negatives, thereby utilizing in 4K the full resolution, detail and color depth inherent in the film. 4K Ultra HD is the perfect way to finally experience these comprehensive restorations at full 4K resolution in the home – it features four times the resolution of high definition, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays. Additionally, both films have been remixed specifically for the home theater environment with Dolby Atmos® audio, delivering captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead."


TL;DR...

It's a full resolution 4K picture and new mix of the movie so it'll look and sound different than the one you have now.


Why would they have done this?

This is just me speculating so take this with a grain of salt but I'm guessing that, in addition to wanting you to buy one last disc format before we go completely "tapeless" this is also an effort to restore the movie so that Sony has masters that can be screened in theaters using the latest digital projection and Dolby Atmos sound. Think of all the midnight screenings and Halloween screenings where you've seen a really lousy film print that's scratched and dirty and all-around ugly looking. My guess is that this is an attempt to preserve the film in its best possible format knowing that the evergreen property is about to receive a resurgence with the new 2016 film.


Say, how can I learn more?

Here's the full press release, enjoy!

CULVER CITY, Calif. (April, 4 2016) -- Fans will now be able to experience particle beams and ectoplasm like never before when Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II debut June 7 on next generation 4K Ultra HD disc with High Dynamic Range (HDR) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE). Perfect for Father’s Day gifting, each 4K Ultra HD release will also include the recent anniversary Blu-rays, bursting with all the bonus materials, including previously released legacy content, commentary and the interactive Slimer Mode.
As two of the first Sony 4K Ultra HD disc releases, both films were fully restored from the 35mm original camera negatives, thereby utilizing in 4K the full resolution, detail and color depth inherent in the film. 4K Ultra HD is the perfect way to finally experience these comprehensive restorations at full 4K resolution in the home – it features four times the resolution of high definition, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays. Additionally, both films have been remixed specifically for the home theater environment with Dolby Atmos® audio, delivering captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

These new 4K Ultra HD releases precede the July 15 U.S. premiere of Sony Pictures’ highly anticipated new motion picture, Ghostbusters, from director Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.
Also, as part of the excitement surrounding the arrival of the new film, SPHE will release over 50 episodes of the iconic 1980s animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, on DVD July 7 and on Digital, from Ivan Reitman, DiC and Sony Pictures Television.
Both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II are directed and produced by Ivan Reitman (Meatballs, Stripes), and written by Dan Aykroyd (My Girl) and Harold Ramis (Knocked Up). Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers), and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) star, along with Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) and Rick Moranis (Honey I Shrunk the Kids). Ernie Hudson (TV’s “Oz”) and Annie Potts (TV’s “Designing Women”) also star. Ghostbusters is ranked No. 28 on the AFI’s List of America’s Funniest Movies.
SYNOPSES:

Ghostbusters: University parapsychologists Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) lose a research grant when their experiment methodology is proven to be bogus. The team decides to go into business for themselves and open ‘Ghostbusters,’ a ghost removal service. After struggling to get on their feet, they are summoned to investigate the strange happenings in Dana Barrett’s (Weaver) Central Park West apartment. What they discover is that all Manhattan is being besieged by ghosts and other-worldly demons through a portal in her building.
 
Ghostbusters II: Supernatural superstars Peter Venkman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) spring back into action when the infant son of Dana Barrett (Weaver) becomes the target of a powerful demonic force. Reunited with their industrious secretary Janine (Potts) and the nerdy, near-sighted Louis (Moranis), the ‘heroes of the hereafter’ must put a stop to an enormous underground river ready to rot the roots of the entire Big Apple.
 
GHOSTBUSTERS & GHOSTBUSTERS II 4K Ultra HD Releases Include:
• Feature films in 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR)
• Dolby Atmos soundtracks (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible)*
• Includes high-def Blu-rays featuring the films and special features
 
*To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
GHOSTBUSTERS Blu-ray Special Features:
• Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 1)
• Poster Art Gallery – Gallery of 1988 artwork
• Ghostbusters Music Video – Ray Parker, Jr.
• Slimer Mode – Picture in Picture and Trivia Track
• Commentary with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis & Joe Medjuck
• 10 Deleted Scenes
• 1984 Featurette
• Cast and Crew Featurette
• SFX Team Featurette
• Multi-Angles
• Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
• Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery Storyboard Comparisons
 
GHOSTBUSTERS II Blu-ray Special Features:
• Time Is But A Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond - Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd (Part 2)
• Deleted Scenes
• “On Our Own” Music Video – Bobby Brown
• Theatrical Trailers

Dubai Reveals Details for Ghostbusters: Battle for New York

The mystery has been unveiled today as the Dubai Motiongate theme park has announced details for all 27 of the attractions that will open when the park opens in October of this year.

Of interest to us, of course, is the all-new Ghostbusters: Battle for New York which the company has described as a dark ride with an interactive shooter component in which visitors will compete against one another to hit targets throughout the ride.

The Hook and Ladder No. 8 inspired facade has been visible during construction, as has the large dark ride building behind it giving us a sense that this will be a ride of a large scale. Something akin to the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters for those familiar of the Disneyland attraction.

The ride will be a part of the Sony Pictures “zone” within the park - there are also plans for a live entertainment attraction featuring the Ghostbusters which the press release describes as a “singing and dancing boy band” - one would imagine it will be a similar show to those experienced at Universal Studios Florida when Ghostbusters was a featured licensed property there.

The full official press release from Motiongate follows:

PRESS RELEASE
Lights, Camera…and Action!  motiongate™ Dubai’s 27 star rides and attractions step into the spotlight, joined by cast of live entertainment
Fly, spin, twirl and glide through 13 of Hollywood’s most beloved live action and animated films in this movie-inspired theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai, UAE – 22 March 2016:  Imagine riding a dragon and soaring high above, or embarking on a river expedition through a mythical land. How would you feel blasting up a 58m tower to escape from a horde of zombies, or if you found yourself aboard a hovercraft playing the hero?
At motiongate™ Dubai - part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts destination -you choose your role. With a starting line-up of 27 action-packed rides and attractions inspired by some of Hollywood’s most cherished movies from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios – including The Smurfs and Lionsgate, guests can take the lead in their own cinematic adventure. Plus, with a handful of live entertainment experiences such as an encounter with a big green ogre, a ghost-busting singing boy band, a vampire heroine, a kung fu fighting panda or a colony of little blue friends, guests will be entertained at every turn with a stellar supporting cast.
“We are taking guests beyond the screen, into a world of cinematic adventure at motiongate™ Dubai. With an action-packed line-up of Hollywood-inspired rides and attractions from fast-paced roller coasters, multi-sensory theatre shows to imaginative play areas, plus a full line-up of live entertainment shows, there is something for everyone,” said Guido Zucchi, General Manager of motiongate™ Dubai.
Those looking for some extreme action will find it here. Adrenaline seekers of all ages can get their fix on five exhilarating roller coasters scripted around some major film favourites. The Sony Pictures Studios Zone will feature The Green Hornet: High Speed Chase, a high action roller coaster, which follows the masked crusader and his sidekick Kato on a white knuckle pursuit through dizzying drops and sharp turns. Fans of The Hunger Games can hop onto the speedy Capitol Bullet Train, an adrenaline pumping roller coaster, which launches guests through 360 degrees of thrill inside the Lionsgate Zone. Two roller coasters can be found inside the DreamWorks Zone: Madagascar Mad Pursuit, the fastest roller coaster in the park, which will take guests on a mad chase through the circus alongside the Zoosters; and Dragon Gliders, a one-of-a-kind suspended roller coaster inviting guests to soar high above the land of Berk, inspired by How To Train Your Dragon. Lastly, a special adventure awaits aboard Smurfs Village Express where families can glide through the enchanting mushroom-capped town of the beloved Smurfs. 
That’s not all. Brave enough to face zombies, monsters and ghosts? Go ‘supernatural’ blasting off with Zombieland, Underworld’s 4D theatre or hop aboard a zany dark ride with Hotel Transylvania or the Ghostbusters. Fancy getting splashed around? Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will send guests sailing on a white water rapids voyage. 

There’s plenty of action for family and little ones too, with exploratory and adventure play areas inspired by these animated hits: The Smurfs, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Prefer shows and live theatre?  Train under the masters at the Kung Fu Panda Academy, interact with Brainy Smurf on-stage or grab a front row seat to the ultimate hip hop dance competition with Step Up Dubai, All In! 
“Movies are a favourite leisure pursuit in this region, and motiongate™ Dubai is combining the best of Hollywood cinema, theme parks and live entertainment to create an amazing experience for our guests throughout their journey at Dubai Parks and Resorts. With so much on offer in our destination, we are confident Dubai Parks and Resorts will be creating unforgettable memories for everyone,” said Stanford Pinto, Chief Parks Operating Officer, Dubai Parks and Resorts.
motiongate™ Dubai is spread across five zones: Sony Pictures Studios, DreamWorks, Smurfs Village, Lionsgate and Studio Central, the park’s entry boulevard.
Scheduled to open in October this year, motiongate™ Dubai is part of Dubai Parks and Resorts which will also feature the region’s first LEGOLAND® Park and a LEGOLAND® Water Park. Committed to bringing together the best of the East and West, Dubai Parks and Resorts will also feature Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, the first ever theme park based on the sights and sounds of Bollywood. The entire destination will be connected by Riverland™ Dubai – a retail, dining and entertainment walkway and guests can stay at the Lapita™ Hotel, Autograph Collection, a Polynesian-themed resort catering to families.

Sony and Ghost Corps Open the Gates to a Lucky Few

The big story today is, quite obviously, the first Ghostbusters trailer in nearly thirty years. Once again the familiar tones of Ray Parker Jr.'s iconic theme, the familiar sights, the jump scares, and the laughs are on the big screen and it's a glorious thing.

What might be buried under the lead today is the tremendous branch that Sony and the newly-formed Ivan Reitman production company Ghost Corps extended to a select few fans, and the great lengths they went to make a memorable day for them. It's unfortunate that not everyone was able to attend, but when I refer to a select few there was still quite a gathering of fans from all around the country that were given a rare pass inside the gates of the Sony Pictures Studios, allowed to view the trailer with select members of the press in advance, and get to meet and thank some of their heroes - who were just as thankful and gracious in return.

The morning on Wednesday was chaotic, a very complicated press and marketing day with a lot of moving parts that, make no mistake, usually does not accompany a trailer launch but rather the proper premiere of the film. But the chaos was good natured, more of a buzz of excitement rather than an uncomfortable clutter. As fans arrived, some having driven through the night and the wee hours of the morning to make a 9am arrival time, they walked onto the studio lot and immediately caught a glimpse not just of the original 1959 Caddy Ectomobile, but its new "modern" counterpart waiting in the courtyard during their walk. It wasn't uncommon during that walk to hear gasps, backpacks and purses drop to the floor, and Ghostheads in full regalia go running toward the cars and immediately start posing for photo opportunities.

Sony laid out a spread of props, coffee and pastries for the fans and the press as they waited - many fans who have have discussed so many topics at so much length over the internet for years but were only meeting in person for the very first time. I have to admit, in the years that I've spent covering Ghostbusters and trying to be an industrious member of the community, I've been somewhat of a hermit in social gatherings and meeting people "IRL" as the kids say. Do they still say that? Whatever, it's irrelevant, Sony's Cary Grant theater quickly became overrun by flight suits, proton packs, and a whole lot of smiles.

Everyone was led into the theater and seated - fans were placed in the front rows, proton packs were catered to with care, and Ivan Reitman was up first to greet everyone and introduce Paul Feig. After quick introductions everyone was treated to the trailer...

I was so thankful that when fans chanted "one more time" because I was so overwhelmed with the first viewing of the trailer - after all this time, after all this waiting, it was too much of a blur to completely comprehend. A surreal experience where, by the time you realize you're watching a new Ghostbusters trailer, you're looking at the end sell cards at its tail. On the second viewing, I was able to have more of a genuine reaction (something that happened as well in watching The Force Awakens over the holidays, you're able to absorb more on the second viewing after so much anticipation).

Following the trailer viewing, a Q&A discussion with Ivan Reitman, Paul Feig and writer Katie Dippold commenced. It was a lively conversation, with so many great details that were revealed about the production process and the things that we've yet to still see. That entire discussion will be heard as a bonus episode of the Interdimensional Crossrip tomorrow.

The theatrical presentation came to a close and everyone flooded into the walkways of the lot outside, and back to the comfort of Ghost Corps' front yard which houses both Ectomobiles. Group photos were taken, autographs were signed, interviews for EPK, the Ghostheads documentary, and several other outlets were completed. And then Reitman took a position at the top of the stairs to the Grant Building and held court, presenting the franchises with certificates of their registration with Ghost Corps, shaking their hands, and posing for photos. After all of the certificates were handed out, more photos were taken and the crowd started to disperse. Paul Feig shook so many hands, graciously thanked everyone, and signed as many autographs as he could before his representatives shooed him away. During the Q&A, he made a point to talk about seeing the original Ghostbusters film for the first time and how much it impacted him. His love for the film, especially for all of the technology, is abundantly clear in the trailer and how he speaks of the film to come, and certainly was evident in the energy and enthusiasm he had for all of the fans on site.

That event in and of itself would have been extremely generous of all involved, but that's not where the day ended. Fans were then invited into a dining area near the theater for a catered lunch that featured themed foods and of course, gourmet Twinkies for dessert. As fans sat at giant roundtables and discussed everything that had just occurred (some lively discussions, some more tempered as exhaustion began to set in for some of those who had been up through the night), the room buzzed again as Ivan Reitman stepped in and went from table to table to have quick quality chats with each. As he sipped his coffee and the fans ate, they talked about the new film, the future of the franchise, and even shared laughs over how his other films like Meatballs were responsible for so many childhoods.

As shuttles and cars began to leave and the crowd thinned, the smiles were still present. It truly was a wonderful day in which the warmth, the love, and the respect between everyone involved was incredibly evident and it once again was clear that the fans are coming first. With so many dedicated fans, so many franchises, and so many active members of the community, not everyone could be included - but the gesture on the part of the studio and the production company was enormous and most likely only the first indication of many more things to come, in which I'm sure a greater number will be able to feel the love.

Ghostbusters (2016) Official Trailer Release

Scientists armed with nuclear accelerators, jump scares, a ridiculous amount of technology, and the Power of Patty Compelling You! It's all here in the first official trailer for the new Ghostbusters film. Stop reading this now and watch this puppy over and over with the sound cranked and get ready for an Interdimensional Crossrip roundtable in the Cyclotron in a bit with an awesome panel of guests to discuss!

A February 14th to Remember

In what will probably be the first of many eventful days to come surrounding the release of Ghostbusters (2016), Sunday February 14th proved to be quite eventful for Ghostbusters fans. Far from the end of the world that Elaine once predicted on World of the Psychic, February 14th was instead filled with the promise of future releases down the line that are tantalizing and intriguing.

Trailer and Poster Release

In the early morning hours Sunday, immediately following the west coast airing of Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters (2016) Director Paul Feig updated his Twitter profile photo with "The End is Nigh." The switching of Feig's Twitter avatar photo has become something fairly common as it has revealed first-looks at LEGO tie-ins and props the fan community has anxiously been awaiting to see for the first time. 

Embedded in light font at the bottom of profile photo was a bit.ly shortened link (with a numerical value that's a cheeky reference to the 09:17 running time in Ghostbusters II when Elaine makes her admission of alien encounter resulting in a date for the end of the world). Typing in that link sent fans to YouTube where they were met with a Trailer Announcement that, not only gives us our first look at footage from the actual forthcoming film, but announces that a full trailer will be released on 3/3/16.

Shortly after the video made rounds around social networks and movie blogs, a new one-sheet poster was revealed. The poster is similar in style and tone to the original Ghostbusters teaser poster from 1984 that proclaimed they were "Coming to Save the World." The new one-sheet also features the same redesigned No-Ghost logo that was unveiled at the tail end of the Trailer Announcement, which presumably will continue to act as the main logo for the film's marketing from this point forward.

Toy Fair 

It comes as no surprise that the marketing blitz starting a few months out from the film's release also happens to coincide with the Toy Industry Association's annual International Toy Fair held in New York City this weekend. Mattel, Funko, Cryptozoic, Diamond Select, NECA, and several others have unveiled their merchandise planned for the next year including action figures, housewares, and a whole lot more. The products range from those specifically tied to the Ghostbusters (2016) release to those still modeled after the "Classic" Ghostbusters. Details in the products also give hints of what is to come in the upcoming film, including what is believed to be the reveal of the new main villain, so beware spoilers in the below gallery are abound. (All photos courtesy of ToyArk).

Licensing-a-Palooza 2016

It all started out innocently enough, a quick Tweet from a fan to Paul Feig (in good fun riding on the "Where's Rey?" trend) in which it was asked if all four of the new 'busters would receive the action figure treatment and his response was a first glimpse of the new Mattel action figures. That enough got the buzz machine going all throughout the internet but shortly on that image's heels was a licensing event held in London by Rocket Licensing in which new props and gadgets were displayed, footage was shown, and potential developers were enticed with the possibilities of things to come this July that they might be able to hitch their wagons onto. While many of the new props haven't been clearly defined (pistol guns? is that our first look at the trap?) it certainly can get discussion going. 

Below is a gallery of images (courtesy of Rocket Licensing, Mattel, and Paul Feig's Twitter account) from this week's event. Any thoughts what we might be looking at in all of these? 

Ghostbusters (2016) Character Posters Revealed

Hot on the heels of releasing a teaser image directly to the fans through Proton Charging, Sony tasked Time, People, InStyle, and Entertainment Weekly with posting four new individual character one-sheets today for July's Ghostbusters (2016) that are absolutely impressive to say the least. These outstanding images highlight each of the four new 'busters, and get us a nice close-up look at some of the gear for the first time as well (including what we here at the HQ assume is the new PKE Meter in the one-sheet for Leslie Jones/"Patty").

Stay tuned, hopefully hi-res versions of these to follow... and perhaps still a trailer?

Fans Get an Exclusive First-Look at the New Ghostbusters

Very, very early this morning, Chris at Proton Charging posted up an exclusive photo from the new Ghostbusters (2016) provided by the good folks at Sony as a first-look to the fans from, what we can assume is a location that will be seen in the film. It's a great image with a whole lot of attitude as the four new 'busters stand in a very New York art-deco looking locale. And, aside from the single group photo of the gang in front of the Chinese Restaurant during production, is the first official look of all four of the new cast together.

Still no word on a trailer, but one can assume it's still on the way. But in the meantime, this is a great sneak peek of things to come and a great gesture from Sony Pictures to send it to the fans first before it hits the mainstream.

UPDATE: Later in the day, an alternative shot, a little wider and with the actors posed slightly differently was released. This one gives you a better sense of scope that the image from this morning (look at the detail in that set). 

R.I.P. Michael C. Gross

Producers sure take a lot of flack. It's easy to take a cynical attitude toward producers, when you go to a film that is of questionable quality and it has a good dozen people listed as "Executive Producer, Associate Producer, Producer in Charge of Production, Consulting Producer" and you wonder why nobody was able to steer the ship in the right direction. How many of them were producers in name only? How many of them contractually were given a producer credit? What exactly did they do to help the director and writer's vision come to life?

But then there are the producers who do so much that a mere "Associate Producer" credit is being modest. Producers that were so responsible for the look, the feel, and the end result of a film that their contribution(s) can be directly linked to the success of the film. A good producer is like a selfless samurai, they help the director with all their responsibilities, make sure the director has the tools that they need to succeed, and even identifies the weak spots in which the director is unable to execute things and jumps in to help.

Those are the producers like Michael C. Gross.

It became evident over the years, through countless interviews and comments that he made, that Michael C. Gross came in to help Ivan Reitman with areas where he wasn't experienced. While Reitman had a knack for directing great comedic actors, animation and design weren't exactly in his wheelhouse and he realized that. Gross helped usher along the visual effects department, while also worked with artists to hone in the now famous "No-Ghost" logo that adorned the entry to a firehall, to countless costumes both on-screen and worn by fans, to every imaginable product, to this website. While he wasn't responsible for the concept like Aykroyd, the improvisation like Murray, or grounding it to relatable real-life like Ramis, it was more than evident that the presence of Michael C. Gross was essential to the secret formula that made Ghostbusters the phenomenon that it was and still continues to be.

His work with National Lampoon is iconic. His sense of humor distinct. He loved living his life by the Southern California beach (and of course, bikini season as result). When he was diagnosed with brain cancer, his mood understandably greatly varied. When I reached out to him to see if he was interested in getting all of his thoughts onto record, he declined and told me he was "tired of hearing himself talk." In a rare audio interview for the 30th Anniversary, he told Chris Stewart that he felt like a "has been," a man who had glory days behind him, but wasn't leaving a legacy. Chris, very rightly argued the opposite. 

At age 70, he is gone far ahead of his time. A healthy Michael C. Gross would have produced incredible art, unforgettable humor, and countless surprises that we would have never expected. I for one was hoping that he would continue to defy the doctor's diagnoses and continue thriving through seeing another Ghostbusters film release and to enjoy the ride one last time.

From a fellow producer, from a fan, from someone who no doubt continues to benefit from his long stressful and sleepless nights in production and post, and from a kid who grew up coveting anything and everything in which the No-Ghost logo was adorned, thank you Michael. For being one of those unsung producers with a credit that didn't do justice to the impact that of which he was responsible.

For more on Michael, please visit the Telegraph for a recent and very comprehensive interview they conducted with him.

Getting to Know: Kate McKinnon

In the months leading up to the release of an all-new Ghostbusters film in July of 2016, GBHQ will be giving you a look into the highly talented cast and crew that are involved in the film in an effort to familiarize fans with their work and background leading up to the film's premiere.

Up first, Kate McKinnon who plays Jillian Holtzmann in the new film.

McKinnon was born the same year as the concept of Ghostbusters, 1984. She originally hails from New York, where she was trained and a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. Ghostbusters fans should take note that she's an actual graduate of Columbia University. Her knack for improvization and impersonation caught the eye of casting directors on the 2007 Big Gay Sketch Show, which debuted on Logo. While the show failed to make an impact, McKinnon's were given the chance to go public. McKinnon made the move to Los Angeles and as a featured member of the CBS Diversity Showcase, an annual performance in Los Angeles intended to showcase new and upcoming comedic talent for casting directors, directors, producers and showrunners looking for new talent to star in their fall television shows. But before she could be swept into sitcom stardom, she caught the eye of Lorne Michaels as a potential candidate for one of his Not Ready for Primetime Players on Saturday Night Live.

McKinnon joined SNL in 2012 as a featured player, then later as a member of the regular cast. Spot-on impressions of Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber led to recurring sketch characters like a poor Russian woman on Weekend Update, and the lonely and love-starved Sheila Sauvage who prowls a bar right before last call for her prey. Just recently, McKinnon took over duties of characterizing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from Amy Poehler. It should be noted that portraying a president in office or presidential candidate is often considered one of the greatest honors for an SNL cast member. Upon her casting on SNL, McKinnon often drew comparisons to cast member Kristen Wiig (who was in the process of exiting the show for a career in films at the time), and was often faced with inquiries if she would be able to fill Wiig's shoes. The two are, of course, now co-stars in the upcoming Ghostbusters film.

In addition to her work on television, McKinnon has long been a voiceover artist, having provided voices for Simpsons, Family Guy, The Venture Bros., Toy Story of Terror, Moonbeam City and Robotomy. She is also multi-talented musically and plays guitar, piano, and the cello... much like a certain New York Symphony Orchestra performer who once turned into a dog.

McKinnon's character in the new Ghostbusters film looks to showcase the best of her talents. Her character, Jillian Holtzmann has a unique look and appears to have a unique and energy infused persona: an environment in which McKinnon excels. 

The Crossrip Chats "Get Real #4" and Beyond with Dan Schoening

Another jam-packed episode of the Interdimensional Crossrip podcast hit the airwaves this morning. First up, a brief tribute to a fallen friend Ryan Kemp by Chris, then the latest news, and an interview with Ryan Doell and IDW Comics artist Dan Schoening. With the New York Comic-Con 2015 all wrapped up, we fittingly have a double-stuffed show to talk quite a bit about IDW's Ghostbusters Get Real and its conclusion.

Also this week: brand new Ghostbusters shoes, Michael C. Gross Day and appreciation, that Rick Moranis interview that everyone is talking about, a new Paul Feig interview where he discusses casting Chris Hemsworth, LEGO Dimensions, Anovos is going to be selling Ghostbusters-related props, oh and there might be a Ghostbusters animated film in the hopper?

Listen to the episode here on the HQ, subscribe through iTunes, listen on Stitcher, or use your podcasting app of choice and subscribe to our RSS feed!

That's a Wrap on Ghostbusters (2016)

As of today, the 2016 revival of Ghostbusters directed by Paul Feig is calling a principal photography wrap in Boston. A 60 to 70 day production schedule that began on June 18th has come to a close after what sounds like a hectic but entertaining shoot in Boston and New York City.

The past two weeks have seen a splinter 2nd Unit crew out in New York City shooting what appear to be driving sequences and chase sequences with follow cars (including a fantastic looking "Russian Arm" camera mounted to a Porsche as well as a three-wheel camera vehicle presumably used to slalom between cars while filming) while the main unit continued shooting at Stonehurst, a country estate in Massachusetts originally built in 1886.

Now begins the race to the finish process of editorial, visual effects, sound design and mixing, and scoring - perhaps with some pickup shooting and any additional visual effects shooting needed to complete certain shots. Curiously, a lead editor's name hasn't popped up on anyone's radar (at least, out in the public) - though knowing Feig's loyalty to working with his same crew seems to be holding true with Ghostbusters, my assumption is editor Brent White (Spy, The Heat, Anchorman 2, Step Brothers, 40-Year-Old Virgin, among others) has already been manning the AVID during production and working on an assembly while the crew has been filming. A film composer also hasn't officially been released to the public, but (for those of you who haven't been listening to the Interdimensional Crossrip podcast) Chris of Proton Charging has surmised that Henry Jackman (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph) might have been hired for scoring duty on the film because of an ASCAP registration in his name for Ghostbusters.

With a July 15th release date, you'd have to assume preview screenings and test screenings should be right around the corner as well to give the production time to get feedback from general audiences and make any necessary changes before the big Summer release. And of course, thanks to a Paul Feig Tweet during his IMDb Q&A session, we know that we'll be seeing a teaser trailer for the film before 2015 comes to an end (and again, for those not listening to the Interdimensional Crossrip, we would assume the trailer would be attached to either of Sony's two remaining event tentpole films Goosebumps on October 16th or Spectre on November 5th). Here's hoping that teaser is more than just a logo reveal and shows off a little bit of Robert Yeoman's cinematography and a solid joke or two.

What's in store for us here on Ghostbusters HQ in terms of Ghostbusters (2016) now that the news cycle is going to slow, at least until the marketing and media blitz to come next Summer? We're hard at work on several articles profiling the cast and crew of the new Ghostbusters film so that you can familiarize yourself with their work and background going into the film. And of course, Mondays will see the release of the Interdimensional Crossrip podcast where fun things related to the film are in the works.

Let the countdown to release day begin!

Dissecting an Encounter with the EPA

In the process of doing a little clean-up on my computer, I recently came across an analysis I had done in school for the blocking/setup of Peter Venkman's first encounter with Walter Peck in the original 1984 film. It was an exercise in dissecting a scene from a film to determine how blocking, camera setup and composition, lighting, editorial, music and directorial choices impacted the overall effectiveness of the scene.

Going back and re-reading it, I'm actually still fascinated with the findings and thought I'd share them with the masses... so here you go, here's my original essay from December of 2002 (and the scene courtesy of Ghostbusters.net for reference). 

I chose to analyze this particular scene from “Ghostbusters” because it was one of the first things that I noticed after learning about analyzing the beats of a scene in class. It was an interesting realization to me because “Ghostbusters” has been a film that I have greatly admired and respected (and viewed countless times) and had never really noticed the structure to it like this before. It also adds so much to the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist that I had not really caught onto and makes their rivalry that heats to the climax so much more memorable.

There is one beat to the scene really, however since there are two separate levels to the scene it could be said that there are two separate beats. The first beat hits the moment that Venkman tells Peck that he may not see the storage facility. It turns the tables, suddenly Peck goes from running the show to having resistance to his request. On a sub-level to the scene, the beat hits when Peter realizes that he’s being accused of fraud (not to mention there’s a hint that he knows that he’s operating without the required permits). This beat comes the moment of Peck’s monologue that accuses Venkman and the Ghostbusters of polluting with noxious gasses etc.

The scene proves to be more of a serious note in an otherwise light and goofy comedy. While “Ghostbusters” isn’t exactly a National Lampoon film, it is a very light and genre pieced blockbuster comedy. It is lit very lightly and vibrantly. The actors quip funny lines frequently. This scene fits well into the film because it highlights the smart-ass remarks of Venkman adding some comic relief to the tension.

The pacing of the scene is very casual and slow at first. The shots are a bit longer and since they are wider shots, they seem to be orienting the viewer as to their surroundings and the characters before they get into the thick of things. There are brief pauses between the characters’ lines at first. Then it begins to pick up pace as the two realize that they both have other motives behind the meeting. The actors begin to read their lines quicker after the line “Why do you want to see the storage facility?” Peck realizes that he’s getting nowhere and will continue to go nowhere and begins attacking. It is a gradual process, however.

The scene begins with a wide shot as the two characters are introduced to each other. It quickly cuts to a tilt that reveals the “slime on the suit” gag. Then cuts back to an even wider shot to not only establish Peter Venkman’s office once again (it appears earlier in the film when Peter first meets Dana Barrett) but to establish the casual, and ordinary meeting of the two characters. The first close up is the first moment that a hostile line is spoken. When Peck asks, “What exactly are you a doctor of?” in a very sarcastic and inquisitive tone is the first moment we are drawn into a close up. A close, but high angle on Venkman as he answers the question shows that Venkman didn’t expect the attack at first.  As the questioning continues, Peck walks away to turn his close-up into a medium shot (which then cuts back to a new setup medium shot of Venkman in the exact same placement as Peck). Then it’s back to a close up as Peck asks “May I see the storage facility?” Venkman says no and immediately it cuts to a 2 shot where the actors are on the same level, the same plane, worthy opponents for each other. Back to even closer shots of both filling the frame intercut with 2 shots where they appear to be right in each others’ faces (as the tensions get high toward the end of the scene). Again, on the same level on the same plane. Venkman stands to take dominance in the scene (fills the frame with a tilt up to an Extreme Close Up) which is immediately matched in an identical shot by Peck (tilt up to Extreme Close Up mirrored to Venkman) to show that indeed, these two will be butting heads on the same level again.

The main character (Venkman) achieves his goal of pushing Peck away with the activation of his defense mechanism that is established the moment that the character is introduced. He knows that he is superior to everyone else and quips wisecracks at the expense of those below him. As Peck threatens with unlicensed waste handling, Venkman’s objective quickly goes from schmoozing with the government official to threatening law suit and trying to push his adversary away.

As far as acting methods go, the actors begin casual. As it becomes apparent to their characters that there are tensions between the two of them and that they will be facing off against each other, they begin limiting the space between them. Both are unwilling to budge. While Peck (William Atherton) was quick to walk away and present the conversation with a comfortable distance, as soon as Venkman (Bill Murray) resists, they are in each other’s faces fighting for dominance in the scene. The movement of Peck as he sits down to look Venkman eye to eye pits them on the same battlefield, then at the end of the argument, Venkman stands to become dominant and Peck quickly counters getting to eye level again. Again, neither of them are willing to back down.

In addition to the actual dialogue in the scene, actions that the actors take (for example, Venkman is slouching in his chair during the beginning of the conversation fidgeting with a paperweight) show their perspectives on the conversation. In addition, costume direction plays an important role. Venkman is sloppy, worn from working hard, slime covered. Peck is dressed in a nice suit with a power tie. Their hair is also the same polar opposite. Venkman’s is unkempt while Peck’s is neatly arranged. Without the dialogue, we immediately have a sense of the roles each character takes.

As far as shot composition and cinematography go, again the entire scene is lit very evenly and very brightly. The shots are setup to associate Venkman with chaos, clutter, and disorder (the desk in front of him is messy, behind him an empty potato chip bag and more of a mess). Peck is associated with straight lines and order (he is shot with the walls and the file cabinets behind him. Both are very heavy metaphors for their personality.

There is little foley to the scene and there is no music added.

Judging from the final edit, it appears that there were 12 setups. 3 of them included a pan and a tilt, 2 of them tilted up to follow the characters, 1 moving pan became a planned 2 shot of both characters. The editing seems to be a simple back and forth from character to character. Again, it seems to speed up and move to the tighter and closer shots as the tensions between the two characters grow. As both of them become familiar with each other, the audience becomes “closer” acquainted with the two of them. The pacing also mirrors this concept. It grows faster, with the lines being read quicker and the cuts getting more frequent toward the end of the scene. It builds the tension, deepening the argument between the two characters as they get further and further into it.         

The scene seems to be from Venkman’s point of view. Obviously, since it begins casual and friendly we are led to believe that this was what Venkman was expecting from the encounter. Had the scene been from Peck’s point of view, I’m sure that it would have been less friendly and more confrontational from the start. Peck was there to stir up trouble and it took a while for Venkman to catch onto that. Then again, when the EPA comes knocking at your door, it normally just isn’t a friendly chit chat is it?