How is it possible that it has been 35 years since Ghostbusters. It doesn't seem possible, but yet here we are. Exactly 35 years ago this week, the iconic film hit theaters and quickly took the world by storm.
The Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis vehicle dominated a strong summer that included other blockbuster hits such as Gremlins (opened on the same day), The Karate Kid and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom en route to $229 million at the box office. That might sound like a lot in Marvel dollars, but it was good enough to finish in second place for the entire year, a measly five million dollars behind 1984 box office champ Beverly Hills Cop.
Yes, Ghostbusters was a cultural phenomenon and its impact continues to be felt to this day. Heck, I went to Target today at lunch and there in the parking lot was a PT Cruiser that someone had turned into a respectable version of the Ecto-1. As far as the film itself, it and its sequel Ghostbusters 2 have been released a plethora of times on every imaginable format.
Back in 2016, the two Ghostbusters films were among the first films to be given the 4K UHD treatment partially to take advantage of the new all-female Ghostbusters reboot, but mostly to recognize that these two iconic films should always be available on the best possible home entertainment format. Now, three years later, Sony is back with a two-film steelbook 4K UHD release to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the original film's theatrical release. In fact, the boys even put together a little commercial for the occasion.
As the above video demonstrates, the very idea of Ghostbusters permeates every fabric of our society. It truly is a cultural touchstone and even a small snippet of the catchy theme song is usually enough to elicit a powerful emotional reaction in most people. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!
It's not only a cultural phenomenon, but it's a generational one where parents are passing down their love of the Ghostbusters to their children. I recently experienced this myself as my young son stumbled upon the screening of the original 4K UHD discs a few years ago. From then on, he was hooked and he devoured everything related to Ghostbusters. Yes, he is even a fan of Ghostbusters 2 which I suppose proves the point that it's not simply a bad movie, but just one targeted at a much younger audience.
He's not one to sit through bonus features normally. I mean he is five after all, but he patiently watched everything available for these films. He was truly excited when we watched this new version to see all of the new features, even if he had no clue who Oprah is.
So, what sort of new features are there? Well, they also created a video for that too.
As Bill Murray so accurately predicted so many moons ago, my son indeed got a newfound respect for me when I brought the 35th Anniversary Steelbook 4K UHD of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 home. There is a slew of new features and never-before-seen footage that truly makes this the definitive edition of the films. In fact, I would argue that it is worth the upgrade even if you bought the original 4K UHD versions back in 2016. The good news is that the 4Ks most likely held on to much of their original value, so after you sell the original versions, it will soften the blow for the new purchase.
Of course, the 4K UHD discs on this set are exactly the same as the ones that were previously released, so if you're a diehard quality of film fanatic, then there isn't much new here. However, if you have to own everything released with these films that the new content on the Blu-rays and the new fifth disc will be quite enticing.
For those of you that missed my original reviews of the Ghostbusters 4K UHD releases, rest assured that the transfers are noticeably different, even from the remastered version from a few years ago. Both the video and audio tracks are noticeably more impressive than previous versions. You will not find these movies in better shape, and yet, they maintained just the right amount of film grain in the transfer to capture the true age of the film. It truly does look beautiful, slime and all.
The 35th Anniversary Steelbook 4K UHD of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 is currently available at a pretty good price under $40, so what are you waiting for? The Ghostbusters are waiting for your call.