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Archives for: March 2006

The Real Ghostbusters DVD Review/Notes

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Mar. 10, 2006 at 10:52 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
I just received the three Real Ghostbusters DVDs in the mail today that I ordered last week. If you don't already have them, and you can't find them in your local stores, pick them up right now from Amazon.com: Creatures of the Night, Spooky Spirits and Slimefighters.

I took a quick look at them, as I do with all of my DVDs when I get them. I like to ensure that they play well and have no immediately noticeable defects. Plus I wanted to check out a few things in particular with these DVDs. I haven't had a chance to watch them completely, but I saw enough to make some notes.

Before I begin with my notes, let me make one thing perfectly clear: These DVDs are budget releases designed for the kiddie market. Hence the $9.95 SLP, the "Quick Start" feature (see the "Quick Start - Starts Automatically!" sticker on the outside wrapping), the plain menus, and the lack of bonus materials. If you can keep this in mind, then you won't be entirely disappointed.

I was hoping that they would have used multiple audio to provide both versions of "Bird Of Kildarby" (Home Video and TV), "Slimer, Come Home" (original and redubbed voice casts), and "Mr. Sandman, Dream Me A Dream" (original and redubbed voice casts). Since they are budget kiddie releases, this is obviously not the case. The DVDs each contain just one stereo English audio track. There aren't even alternate languages (for those folks who don't understand English). I know that alternate language tracks exist, but obviously Sony did not want to make the extra effort to use them.

So, in terms of the episodes that have alternate versions, this is what is on the DVDs:

• "Slimer, Come Home"
Original voice cast, with Lorenzo Music as Peter and Laura Summer as Janine.
• "Mr. Sandman, Dream Me A Dream"
Original voice cast, with Lorenzo Music as Peter and Laura Summer as Janine.
• "Bird of Kildarby"
TV Version with background music instead of Tahiti song at end of car chase scene.

Since Dave Coulier would have only been in the redubbed versions of those first two episodes, this means that he does not appear in any of the episodes on the discs. The press release is misleading, if not outright lying.

However, it's not all bad. At least the episodes are not edited. I compared the original 1980s VHS releases with the same eps on the DVDs and the runtimes were the same. Here are the DVD runtimes.

Creatures of the Night (Vol. 1)
Night Game (21:54)
Bird of Kildarby (21:56)
Lost and Foundry (21:56)
Killerwatt (23:44)

Spooky Spirits (Vol. 2)
Ghostbuster of the Year (21:55)
Revenge of Murray and the Mantis (21:54)
Drool, the Dog Faced Goblin (21:56)
Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream (23:44)

Slimefighters (Vol. 3)
Adventures in Slime and Space (21:53)
They Call Me Mister Slimer (21:54)
Victor the Happy Ghost (21:56)
Slimer, Come Home (23:41)

It took these DVDs for me to realize that the syndicated episodes run two minutes shorter than the network episodes. The fourth episode on each DVD is a network episode, while the other three are syndicated episodes.

Each episode is complete with it's own beginning title sequence and end credits, which is a lot more than can be said for a lot of TV on DVD releases these days (the SpongeBob SquarePants & Tales From The Crypt season sets, for example). I did notice that the first part of the horn riff on the episode title of "Slimer Come Home" is missing. More of an error, than anything intentional, I think.

Plus, Sony did put in a little effort by adding chapters in each episode, and in sensible places too. They are at: the very start of the episode (naturally), the episode title, the middle commercial break spot, the end credits. Considering they didn't have chapters in the two RGB eps on the re-released GB2 DVD (box set and presumably individually too), I applaud Sony on the improvement.

There is one minor alteration to the episodes, but I knew that they were going to do this (as they did it in the eps on the GB2 DVD). At the very end of each episode (after the original DIC logo) they replaced the old "Columbia Pictures Television - A Unit Of The Coca-Cola Company" logo with the more-recent "Columbia - Columbia Pictures Television - A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company" logo. I can certainly understand why they did it (as they are no longer owned by Coca-Cola), but they could have used a similar logo without the Coca-Cola text. Surely they have old non-Coke logos from circa 1986 in their vaults. At the very least they should have kept the old logo audio and just replaced the still image. It's rather jarring the way the end credit song just cuts off when the new logo starts. Interestingly enough, on the old 1980s VHS tapes, the tape with Murray/Drool/GB Of The Year has no CPT logo at the end of each ep (each ends after the DIC logo).

Previews/trailers are shown on boot-up of each DVD, but they can be skipped by pressing the Menu button on your remote. Most, if not all, studios do this on their DVDs. Disney is a prime example. So this is nothing to bitch about, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway because I'd hardly call it "Quick Start" if kids have to sit through 5 minutes of trailers and FBI warning screens before the episodes actually start.

The quality of the episodes looks good, though I didn't do any side-by-side, screen capture, or recording comparisons of the video or audio. However, I did notice that the "Bird of Kildarby" picture quality looks darker than the original.

There were two things that I thought were errors, but I checked them with my tapes, and they are found in them as well.

(1) When "They Call Me Mister Slimer" comes back from the second commercial break spot (at 10:38, start of chapter 3), the first part of Winston's line appears to be cut out, leaving: "...like it. Slimer's been gone too long." It would appear that "I don't" was cut out. However, I checked my only other copy of this episode (what I taped from the Fox Family Channel), and it was exactly like that too. So perhaps this is an episode goof, or perhaps his line started on the No Ghost logo commercial bumper (remember those?) and no one at Columbia thought to fix it so it can still be heard when the bumper is cut out. If anyone has an original syndicated taping of this episode, complete with bumper, I'd like to know what your copy has.

(2) Near the start of "Slimer Come Home," while the guys are in the car, Egon's lines (at 1:32) sound slowed-down. I checked my slightly sped-up Fox Family Channel copy, and the redubbed version from ABC (since Egon's lines weren't redubbed it's a good source), and it appears that the original is this way too. Either Maurice LaMarche was having an "off day" when he recorded the lines or someone messed it up in post production, but it appears that's normal audio for this episode. It just took the DVD for me to notice it.

I think that about covers it. If there's anything I forgot, post a comment or drop me a line using the e-mail link at the bottom of every page of my site.

Also, while I was gathering multimedia from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) Publicity website, I noticed something strange. The logo used in the title on the case front is deformed. The eyes, the nose, the hands... it's a mess. The real thing is on the right for comparison.

Image

At first I thought it was the same deformed logo used in the Manhattan Madness bootleg DVD. No, that one's still worse than this. I can't imagine that Sony would mess up like this when I'm sure that the logo art is in their vaults. Really sad.
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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