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Ghostbusters Home Video Comments

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jul. 15, 2009 at 2:25 AM , Categories: Spook Central, Home Video
I just made a HUGE multimedia update to the site. I have added every single still image/frame from the Ghostbusters Criterion Collection laserdisc and the Ghostbusters 1999 DVD. You can view them on the site (though a fast connection may be required since I have several hundred thumbnails on some pages), or download the original 720x480 images in a zip file.

What prompted me to put up all of the still frames from the Criterion laserdisc and both 1999 DVDs, and make the original 720x480 images available in zip files, is that the new Ghostbusters Blu-Ray doesn't include any of the still image galleries from the 1999 DVD. I can understand why they couldn't or wouldn't use them "as is". Those galleries are the only blemish on the 1999 DVD, and it's primarily because the images are displayed within a very large frame instead of being shown full screen, and the drawings are even shown at an angle instead of being flat-on with the screen; though I also take off major points for the images not being shown in any sort of context (the laserdisc gave LOTS more insight into just what you're looking at). Plus all but one of the drawings listed as "Early NYC Concepts" are actually from The Real Ghostbusters, not the movie. The Blu-Ray would have given Sony the chance to correct these problems. They could have gone back to the original photographic sources, rescanned them in at higher resolutions, and shown everything full screen and flat-on, taking full advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio and higher resolution that Blu-Ray provides. Instead, they just dropped them altogether. Very sad. Two steps forward, ten steps back, Sony. If you have the 1999 DVD (the one with the guys on the cover), I highly suggest that you keep it - whether you decide to buy the Blu-Ray or not.

In the process of doing all of the still images, I decided that it was a great opportunity to find out if something that I had heard about was true. When the 2005 DVD first came out, I had heard that there were new still images on it. So in addition to capturing every still on the 1999 DVD, I did them all on the 2005 DVD as well - then compared them to each other. There were indeed some new still images on the 2005 DVD: three new Terror Dog photos. There was also one less logo drawing. Gain three, lose one. But what I never heard anyone talk about four years ago, and maybe no one ever knew because they never compared the two sets of DVD images to each other, is that a Photoshop "oil painting" filter was applied to the images on the 2005 DVD, thus making them look horrible and ruining all of the details in them. You can see this for yourself on the new Ghostbusters 2005 DVD Still Image Comparison page. I'd love to know why Sony would do such a stupid and unnecessary thing like that.

I can now say, without a doubt in my mind, that the Ghostbusters DVD released by Sony in 2005 for Region 1 is the worst piece of shit I have ever seen put onto the DVD medium by a major studio! They remove perfectly good bonus features present in the previous DVD release from 1999; they screw up the menu design just so they can have widescreen menus (though all still images are left in 4:3 ratio); they alter the colors and brightness in the movie; and they apply a Photoshop "oil painting" filter over the still image galleries thus ruining them. Avoid the 2005 DVD like the plague. Get the 1999 DVD (alt link) and the Blu-Ray, which eliminates half of the bonus content from the 1999 DVD but has some new extras plus the higher quality copy of the movie (hopefully not using the 2005 transfer). I have officially removed the Ghostbusters 2005 DVD from my store page because I will not support substandard products.
3 comments »

3 comments

Comment from: what0080 [Visitor]
I have the GB Blu-Ray, and from what I can tell, the 1999 DVD footage was used as an image source for the higher res Blu-Ray images...as Slimer has no green blob lighting from the 2005 DVD scene of his Sedgwick capture.
Jun. 26, 2009 @ 21:18
RE: The still image galleries... it's a long and regretful story as to why some features (especially still galleries) are on original SD releases but never make it over to Blu-ray. Not speaking specifically to GB since I don't know the story behind why some features were excluded but I'm working on another BD project right now where absolutely nothing was archived after the initial SD release and it's been a beast trying to recreate, still for still, a gallery of thousands of images for the Blu-ray. Luckily we have the time and the budget to allow for such an undertaking (and are cleaning up and including the higher resolution stills) however in some cases, none of those luxuries exist.

It's a goofy technical explanation that I'll spare you of but you essentially can't take exactly what was on an SD release in terms of still galleries and just put it on a Blu-ray as is. Not just because BD menus and still galleries are programmed and different formats but because the original material would only fill about 25% of your TV screen.

Anyway... I'm ranting. Hopefully the sales on the initial release will be through the roof and Sony will be motivated to get cracking on a super awesome special makes the Blade Runner collection look tiny collector's set.

And if they do... they know who to call... ahem... anyway, back to work.
Aug. 28, 2009 @ 02:26
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Troy

I appreciate the in-depth comment. I know that they simply couldn't transfer them "as is" from the DVD to the Blu-Ray. That's a given. I alluded to that in my post when I said that "the Blu-Ray would have given Sony the chance to [...] have gone back to the original photographic sources, rescanned them in at higher resolutions, and shown everything full screen and flat-on, taking full advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio and higher resolution that Blu-Ray provides.

Obviously that takes time and money, like you said.

Sony has the money, and with it being a "special 25th anniversary release", there should have been a decent budget to do the disc as something special and fitting with the event.

They certainly had the time as they did the transfer a year or two ago, and pushed the release back from October 2008 to June 2009.

Looking over all of the pictures they added to Ghostbusters.com, I'm quite confident that they have all of the original photographic sources, and know where most (if not all) of them are.

So I still think Sony dropped the ball big time, but you do make a compelling argument.

One other thing I'm curious about: all of the SD video from the DVD was transferred over to the Blu-Ray. As I don't have the Blu-Ray, I've have not seen how the original SD material is presented, but I have to believe that it's shown to the full height of the wide screen (not counting the 4:3 letterboxed material which would now be windowboxed, I guess). So if they could do it with 4:3 SD video, why couldn't they do it with the 4:3 SD stills? (Not that I think they should have done that - rescanning from the original sources is better - I'm just curious.)
Aug. 30, 2009 @ 00:28

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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

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