blu-ray

Cataloging the Ghostbusters: Answer the Call Bonus Features (Ongoing)

Today marks the digital release of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call and the great news is that it's absolutely packed with bonus features (there's almost 35 minutes of "Jokes A Plenty" alternate improv lines on their own). As discussed on the Interdimensional Crossrip podcast, you can almost view the entirety of the four-hour assembly cut between the Extended Version of the film, the deleted scenes, and over an hour of deleted and alternate scenes available via streaming.

There are already quite a few exclusives that are known out there, and there has been a lot of grouping/generalizing in terms of what bonus materials are included in the release - so in an effort to help clarify, I'll do my best to catalog the extras and what platforms they're available on. This article will be updated periodically as information is received/confirmed as to which is on which release, so keep checking back for updates.

KEY: (BD) - Blu-ray Multidisc Package, (IT) - iTunes Digital Release, (VU) - Vudu Digital Release, (AZ) - Amazon Digital Release, (MS) - Microsoft Digital Release, (PS) - Playstation Store Digital Release, (GP) - Google Play Digital Release), (FS) - FIOS Digital Release, (XF) - Xfinity Digital Release, (BB) - Best Buy CinemaNow/UltraViolet Digital Release, (SPS) - Sony Pictures Store/UltraViolet Digital Release, (TG) - Target Exclusive Disc Pack-In

Full Feature Films

Extended Cut of Film (TRT 02:13:42) - (BD, IT, VU)

Theatrical Cut of Film (TRT 01:56:28) - (BD, IT, VU)

Deleted and Alternate Scenes

Past Lives (TRT 00:02:05) - (BD, IT, VU)

The Big Test (TRT 00:00:45) - (BD, IT, VU)

The Breakup (TRT 00:06:28) - (BD, IT, VU)

Where Are You? (TRT 00:00:27) - (BD, IT, VU)

Erin Walks to Class (TRT 00:00:51) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Phil & Phyllis (TRT 00:04:33) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Duke (TRT 00:02:30) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Erin Gets Fired (TRT 00:03:36) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Dean (TRT 00:02:04) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Tired Shanks (TRT 00:00:55) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

No Graffitti[SIC] (TRT 00:03:10) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Bennie & Erin (TRT 00:01:11) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Longest Job Interview Ever (TRT 00:14:20) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Tamar (TRT 00:00:53) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Secret Handshake (TRT 00:02:58) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Patty's Car (TRT 00:01:49) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Mrs. Potter (TRT 00:03:09) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Backstories (TRT 00:04:38) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Protect the Barrier (TRT 00:03:08) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Beasts of Mayhem (TRT 00:00:44) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Singer Gets High (TRT 00:02:56) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Casper (TRT 00:01:51) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The Mayor's Office (TRT 00:08:07) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Car Trouble (TRT 00:02:21) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

A Sale on Bonsai (TRT 00:01:28) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Soups & Salad (TRT 00:04:01) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Evacuate the City (TRT 00:02:23) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Visine (TRT 00:01:16) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Bring It In (TRT 00:01:24) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

So Glad You Came Back (TRT 00:04:33) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Where's The Walkie? (TRT 00:01:56) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Uncle Bill (TRT 00:01:40) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Rebecca Gorin (TRT 00:01:58) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

The New Book (TRT 00:01:19) - (IT, VU - Streaming Only)

Behind the Scenes

Meet the Team (Featurette) (TRT 00:08:03) - (BD, IT, VU)

The Ghosts of Ghostbusters (Featurette) (TRT 00:13:56) - (BD, IT, VU)

Visual Effects: 30 Years Later (Featurette) (TRT 00:15:16) - (BD, IT, VU)

Slime Time (Featurette) (TRT 00:05:15) - (BD, IT, VU)

Chris Hemsworth is Kevin (Featurette) (TRT 00:07:42) - (BD, IT, VU)

Recreating the World of Ghostbusters (Featurette) (TRT Unknown) - (TG - Target Exclusive Bonus Disc)

Stunt Busters! (Featurette) (TRT 00:13:04) - (IT - iTunes Exclusive)

Stunt Coordinator Walter Garcia's Original Stunt-Viz for the Times Square Battle (Featurette) (TRT 00:03:38) - (IT - iTunes Exclusive)

The Full Version of the Times Square Fight with No Visual Effects (Featurette) (TRT 00:05:41) - (IT - iTunes Exclusive)

The Ecto-1 Vignette (Featurette) (TRT 00:01:56) - (VU - Vudu Exclusive - Previously Released as Marketing)

Gag Reel Round 1 (TRT 00:07:34) - (BD, IT, VU)

Gag Reel Round 2 (TRT 00:07:59) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "Free For All" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:11:48) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "Holtzmann Gone Wild" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:09:33) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "The Patty Show" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:05:36) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "Kevin Unleashed" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:04:19) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "The Bird" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:02:25) - (BD, IT, VU)

Jokes A Plenty - "The Dean Goes Down" (Alternate Takes/Lines) (TRT 00:00:50) - (BD, IT, VU)

Miscellaneous Bonus Features

Rowan's Manifesto (Direct to Camera Video Manifesto - Viral Video?) (TRT 00:00:47) - (IT, VU)

Elle King "Good Girls" Music Video (TRT 00:03:09) - (IT - iTunes Exclusive)

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.

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