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The Real Ghostbusters Volumes 6 to 10 Sony 2016 DVD Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jan. 30, 2017 at 11:50 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video

Last year, Sony released 10 volumes of The Real Ghostbusters on DVD, which were completely different from The Real Ghostbusters: Complete Collection 25-disc DVD box set TimeLife released back in 2008. I already reviewed Sony's Volumes 1 through 5, and today I will review Volumes 6 through 10. Before I begin, it is important to note that, unlike the first five volumes, these volumes are currently NOT available in a box set. You can ONLY buy them individually, though I will be reviewing them as a whole.

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Ghostbusters 2016 Official Images & Video

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jan. 28, 2017 at 5:51 PM , Categories: 2016 Parody Remake

First and foremost, I would like to explain about the lack of new content. You may have noticed that there hasn't been many new blog posts here on Spook Central or on The Corner Penthouse. It's not for lack of having new stuff to post, that I assure you. I actually have several reviews planned for both sites: Real Ghostbusters Volumes 6-10 DVDs and Lego Dimensions Ghostbusters 2016 Story Pack for Spook Central; other Lego Dimensions stuff and Return of the Living Dead 3 & CHUD 2 Blu-rays for The Corner Penthouse; plus a few other things. I was hoping to post all of this stuff over the past few months, but things have been a nightmare in my real-life, and it recently got far worse. I want to have it all posted throughout February, but it would be foolish of me to commit to any specific dates at this time. I also have to do a computer upgrade, and Raffaele and I want to upgrade the blog and video software used on Spook Central. That will not just require time to do, but also time and effort to deal with any problems that result from these upgrades/changes. Now with that bit of business out of the way...

Last year, Sony released an official parody remake of Ghostbusters that was, confusingly, titled Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters 2016: Answer The Call - The Official Ghostbusters Parody would be a more appropriate name, if Sony wants to keep tacking on subtitles to make the name stupider and stupider. Some people love the movie, a lot of people hate it, and some people dislike but tolerate it (like me). Right now, the people in the first camp will be pissed at me for calling it a parody, but that's what it is. One thing that lampoons another thing is called a parody. It's like how Jim Abrahams and David & Jerry Zucker made an official parody remake of the film Zero Hour!, which they titled Airplane!. Not that Paul Feig's work can even hold a candle to that of Abrahams and the Zuckers, but in terms of being a parody and a remake, they're comparable.

I was granted access to Sony's EPK.tv press site so that I could download and share all of the assets with my readers. I have already done that at the Ghostbusters Wiki, where I am also an admin, and now it's time that I share them here on Spook Central, as well. All of the high-resolution images have already been uploaded and preserved at the Wiki, where you can find them on the Advertising and Promotional Events pages.

As for the videos, I have reluctantly uploaded them to my ScrewYouTube account so that they can also be added to the Wiki. I tend to avoid using ScrewYouTube because of all of the BS video takedowns. They closed my old account 10 years ago due to three bogus copyright claims by parties who claimed they owned videos that they didn't (unless I missed the memo where Viacom bought Ghostbusters from Sony). As of right now, one video below has an appeal pending on it because ScrewYouTube automatically flagged and blocked it worldwide due to copyrights. The first appeal was apparently denied (I was never notified) by "Sony Pictures Movies & Shows", even though as a member of the press with an official account on Sony's EPK.tv press site, Sony gave me permission to download the video expressly for the purpose of redistributing it elsewhere for my readers to view. Currently, the "viewing restrictions associated with the appealed claim(s) are suspended until your appeal is resolved. The copyright owner can respond to your appeal (they have until Feb. 20, 2017) by either releasing their claim, or filing a copyright takedown notification to remove your video. If they decide to remove your video, you'll receive a copyright strike."

I will not embed all of the videos because that will, likely, crash your browser. I know that it will crash mine. So, I'm just going to put up a nice, organized, list of links and call it a day. Videos were uploaded as Sony provided them, so audio volumes were not corrected.

As a reminder, the theatrical cut of the film will premiere TONIGHT at 9:00 pm on the Starz cable channel here in the U.S.

Chris Hemsworth
Ivan Reitman
Kate McKinnon
Kristen Wiig
Leslie Jones
Melissa McCarthy

Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones
Melissa McCarthy
Paul Feig

TRAILER FAN EVENT (March 2, 2016)
Sizzle Reel

Melissa McCarthy
Paul Feig
Rishi Nath

Press Conference Soundbyte #1
Press Conference Soundbyte #2
Clip #1 On First Collaboration
Clip #2 On Collaborative Shorthand
Clip #3 On Pride And Excitement For Project
Clip #4 On Leslie Jones And Kate Mckinnon
Clip #5 On Chris Hemsworth
Clip #6 On Cameos And Easter Eggs
Clip #7 On Big Action And Scope
Clip #8 On Appreciation For Original

Sizzle Reel
Clip #00 Info Slate
Clip #01 Main Cast
Clip #02 Cecily Strong
Clip #03 Andy Garcia
Clip #04 Dan Aykroyd
Clip #05 Annie Potts
Clip #06 Ernie Hudson
Clip #07 Zach Woods
Clip #08 Ivan Reitman
Clip #09 Kevin Smith
Clip #10 Ray Parker Jr
Clip #11 Ray Parker Jr and Ernie Hudson
Clip #12 Pete Wentz and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy
Clip #13 B-Roll

And that's all I have to say about that.

A Not-So-Rosie Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

One of the perks of being rich and famous is that you get to torture the public with vanity projects showing off your (lack of) talent, simply because you have the funds and means to do such stupid things. It's even worse when you con the public into paying for you to "play" with your friends. Such was the case with Rosie O'Donnell. After years of doing stand-up and crappy movies (Exit to Eden, Car 54 Where Are You?, Another Stakeout) and failed sitcoms (I'll always remember the long-forgotten 1992 FOX series "Stand by Your Man" - Melissa Gilbert and Sam McMurray deserved better), someone, somewhere, thought to give Rosie a daytime talk show in 1996. For what ever reason, it became REALLY popular - and it generated Rosie merchandise. I remember there being not one, but TWO, dolls crafted in her image: a cartoonish talking plushie (with a freakin' HUGE forehead!), and a more realistic legitimate "Friend of Barbie" doll. If Rosie could get two dolls, why the heck has there never been a Rita Rudner doll?!?


Anyway, Rosie got rich and popular, so she decided that she wanted to put out a Christmas album, teaming her up with some of the famous (and more talented) people she idolized; like Celine Dion and Cher. A Rosie Christmas was released to a brainwashed public in 1999, at the height of her popularity. To be fair, she did give the proceeds to charity (as far as I know), but that doesn't mean that the album should exist in the first place. Rosie was very popular with children, and some of the songs on the album were performed with then-popular cartoon characters. It's two of these tracks that are the subject of this post.

The sixth track is Elmo from Sesame Street (voiced by Kevin Clash) and Rosie performing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" A minute into the song she fumbles the line "your turn" and they left it in! When Rosie is the best singer in a duet, you know you have a problem. Kevin Clash is so much better as Spinter in the 1990s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, and as Baby Sincliair in Dinosaurs, but Elmo's the only role that's payed his bills. Good for him, but bad for the sanity of children everywhere.

The eleventh track is Angelica Pickles from Rugrats (voiced by Cheryl Chase) and Rosie performing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Who thought it was a good idea to back the vocals with big band Dixieland jazz music? This song, which is supposed to be sung from a little kid's perspective (which Angelica is), would have worked SO much better with the original's music track - and with just Angelica singing. Why is it that the Rugrats can't get a decent instrumental backing for their songs?

In spite of being some of the worst music you'll ever hear, and being a total vanity project, A Rosie Christmas must have sold well, because a year later there was a follow-up: Another Rosie Christmas. Well, either it sold well, or Rosie was just so rich and vain that she said, "Screw them, I'm doing a second one just because I can." I don't know, and I don't care.

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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Spinning That Latin Dreidel

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

Jewish people have very few festive Hanukkah songs. There's Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song"...and that's about it. Erran Baron Cohen, brother of Sacha Baron Cohen and composer of the original music for "Borat" and "Da Ali G Show", tried to change that back in 2008 with his album, Songs In The Key Of Hanukkah. As promotion for the album, the first single, "Dreidel", was released online for free. You've probably heard the original version of this traditional song. You know, "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay..." Yeah, that one. Well, if you ever wanted to know what that song would sound like if it were performed by a latin marching band, now you'll get to find out. There's also a music video for the song.

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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Paul's Ghostbusters II Alternate Scenes Theory

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 2
(storyboard formerly in the collection of producer Michael C. Gross, auctioned off in 2007)

Anybody who knows anything about the making of Ghostbusters II knows that the film went through many changes over the course of its production, and that didn't end when it was shown in the theater. Fans who saw the movie when it was screened theatrically in June 1989 remember seeing scenes that were omitted from the later VHS and laserdisc releases (and all subsequent home video releases). I remember seeing Slimer fly out from the Statue of Liberty at the end of the film (as depicted in the storyboard above), whereas Chris from Proton Charging remembers seeing the scene where Louis's cousin Sherman (played by Eugene Levy) helped get the Ghostbusters out of the Parkview psychiatric hospital.

The Sherman Tully scene is an example of a scene that doesn't work in tandem with another scene that was filmed later. In this case, the scene in the City Hall boardroom where the Mayor fired Hardemeyer and orders the Ghostbusters released from Parkview. The latter replaces the former, and they wouldn't work together in the same cut. The same is true for the Cheech Marin "Titanic" scene, which replaces Venkman delivering that same line to the fire captain outside the museum. All of the interaction with Hardemeyer and the Mayor outside the museum is also replaced by the boardroom scene.

Sony included a semi-common photo from the Sherman Tully scene in their August 2009 update of Ghostbusters.com, which was covered by a post on Proton Charging. In the now-deleted comments from that post, Chris (aka Castewar) commented on that:
# castewar - Posted August 27, 2009 at 12:12 PM
Levy played Louis' cousin that got the GBs out of the psych hospital, but it was cut from video release. I saw GB2 on opening day in Calgary, and the print I watched had that short scene in it, and then it never appeared again. It's driven me nuts for years - my own private Star Wars Holiday Special.
This prompted me to write my own theory on why there's a difference between the "Theatrical Cut" of Ghostbusters II as we remember, and the "Home Video Cut":
When I saw GB2 in the theater I know that I saw Slimer flying out from the statue towards the screen at the end. Of course, that's missing from all home video releases, too.

It makes me wonder why Columbia and/or Ivan would modify the film so greatly for home video and never show the theatrical cut ever again.

I wonder if the Sherman Tully scene was present in the U.S. theatrical prints. If you saw it up there, I'd bet it was shown down here as well. The Sherman scene couldn't exist in tandem with the City Hall boardroom scene, as there would be no need for Sherman to help get the guys out of the psych ward if the mayor already ordered them free ("...and somebody get me the Ghostbusters!"). I just found out from looking at these really expensive original call sheets - that the Prop Store is selling - that the mayor's office scene and the Cheech Marin dock scene were both filmed on the same day: "Thursday 27 April 1989". I don't know if it's normal for a movie to still be in principal photography less than two months before the release date - especially for an effects driven film. But what's interesting is that BOTH of these scenes were scripted to replace other scenes that don't appear on home video: the Sherman scene, the guys outside the museum discussing the Titanic with the fire chief and the Kumbaya singing, and the guys talking to Hardemeyer and the mayor outside the museum. This leads me to think that sometime in early 1989 Ivan decided to cut all of those scenes out, but for most of them it was too late. So he left in what was needed for the story, so the film could make the release date, and filmed the alternate scenes in April, with the idea that he'll fix up the movie as he sees fit for home video.

In other words, all home video releases contain the Director's Cut, instead of the Theatrical Cut. That's my theory.

As for Levy being in the Sherman scene, during one of the Selected Soundbytes interview clips on the Ghostbusters II Electronic Press Kit, Rick Moranis said, "We have Eugene here today, who's Canadian." There some very brief behind the scenes (B-Roll) footage from that scene on the EPK - some stills and video from it are on the GB2 Deleted Scenes: Sherman page on Spook Central.
(Ghostbusters II Call Sheet - April 27, 1989 - sold by PropStore.com in 2009)

Recently, CBR posted an article about Ghostbusters II's ending, and whether Slimer did or didn't fly out from the Statue of Liberty. Honestly, I think the CBR article is full of inconclusive conjecture that does not prove their belief that it's "false". As someone who saw Ghostbusters II in the theater back in 1989, distinctly remembers Slimer flying out from Miss Liberty at the end, and who has been researching and documenting Ghostbusters for 20 YEARS (yes, Spook Central is the longest-running Ghostbusters website), I would not take a claim from a projectionist who got a 33mm print of the film FROM SONY IN 2010 as proof that this is false.

Who's to say that the print he got from Sony was not stricken from the "new final cut" that was used for home video and all subsequent showings after the 1989 theatrical showing? If Sony does not want the original theatrical version from ever being shown again, they're going to make sure that all copies of it - be it VHS, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, 35mm print, digital, etc. - are not going to contain *that* version...EVER!

The only way to prove this one true or false is to find a bootleg Ghostbusters II theatercam VHS from 1989 - my holy grail item!

I believe that the original theatrical cut has never appeared since June 1989 for legal reasons. If my theory holds true, and the home video cut is Ivan's final "final cut", Columbia Pictures may be legally obliged to only distribute that cut for the rest of time. I don't know what Ivan's contract with the studio entails, but I know that he and the main three actors had a lot of power given to them in their contracts, so my idea isn't far-fetched.

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

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