Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II – Steelbook Edition

Ghostbusters directed by Ivan Reitman:

There are many things that people remember from this classic 80s comedy. The tag line (‘Who you gonna call’), the cheesy song by Ray Parker Jr. (‘Ghostbuster’), and the evil villain (The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man) will never be forgotten. We all thought it was a great movie and it has stood the test of time. Watching it today it is not as good as we once thought it to be. But, hey, what from the 80s has stood the test of time? The 80s definitely was a kitschy kind of time that was self-contained and much of what was produced then should have been put away in a time capsule that would only be opened in 100 years and then maybe it would work as well again.

On the positive side, talent is definitely what this film had in aces. From director Ivan Reitman (Kindergarten Cop, Meatballs), to screenwriters Dan Aykroyd (Dragnet, Spies Like Us) and Harold Ramis (Analyze That, Groundhog Day), to actors Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis. The film did great at the box office, so much so that there was a sequel and I’ve heard that another one is in the works. What it does do effectively is poke fun at the horror or ghost genre of films. The film is cheesy but it means to be. Looking at the special effects today they are kind of a joke (interestingly the special effects were nominated for an Oscar), but in a weird way it sorta adds to the tongue-in-cheek about films about the paranormal that the film was doing. Also it was the perfect vehicle for Bill Murray’s crazy brand of comedic acting. He is allowed in this film to do what he does best – be inappropriate, ridiculous, do his famous stares, and use his long perfected dry sense of humour. The dialogue is well written and allows all cast members their chance to shine.

Three parapsychologists, Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray – Caddyshack, Stripes), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd – Driving Miss Daisy, Pearl Harbor) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis – As Good As It Gets, Baby Boom), who have jobs at New York’s Columbia University studying the paranormal or occult, get fired from their jobs and have to figure out a way to earn a living. This proves quite difficult for three men who earn their living studying a science that is not exactly taken seriously. I mean, who actually believes in spirits and ghosts, anyways? They decide to become Ghostbusters (people who rid places of unwanted ghosts) and set up shop in an abandoned fire station. They hire Janine (Annie Potts – from television’s Designing Women) to be their secretary. Things go rather slowly and they are almost out of money when Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver – Alien, Working Girl) hires them because something strange is going on in her kitchen. Not really believing her, but attracted to her, Raymond takes on the job. In the meantime, hundreds of ghosts are scaring the people of New York and Ghostbusters has more business than it can handle. They hire Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson – Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous, The Crow) on to help them with their increased load. The doctors soon figure out that the increased paranormal activity is due to the fact that Dana’s refrigerator is the gateway to Hell and the baddies are planning to come through. With all eyes in New York on them, the Ghostbusters have to figure out a way to stop the ultimate evil from coming through to Earth.

Ghostbusters II directed by Ivan Reithman:

As is typically the case, after the first film was such a smash success the powers that be wanted to cash in by making a sequel to Ghostbusters. Good news was that they took their time. There was five years between the original and the sequel. Director Ivan Reithman was back as was all of the primary cast and much of the secondary one. It seemed like everything was in place for another success. And yet, though it did well at the box office, critics were not as positive the second time around.

Five years later and the Ghostbusters squad is still attempting to reap the benefits of saving New York City. Though much of the team is off doing their own things like research or hosting a television show or “performing” at birthday parties. Truth be told, the Ghostbusters are verging on bankruptcy.

Things are kicked back into high gear when a new bunch of ectoplasm is discovered. Dana (Sigourney Weaver) has ghosts and this time they are after her baby. Spectral activity is happening again. It is time for the Ghostbusters to once again come to the rescue.

Ghostbusters II does not try anything new. It just continues along the same path forged by the first. Not much imagination involved here. What does save it from total flatness is the cast. They have great chemistry and comedic timing. Any of number II’s success is based on that.

Special Features:

  • Fan Commentary featuring Troy Benjamin and Chris Stewart (Interdimensional Crossrip podcast), Ashley Victoria Robinson (Geek History Lesson podcast) and Sean Bishop (Ghostbusters prop replica expert), moderated by Ghost Corps’ Eric Reich
    • 6 Rare & Newly Unearthed Deleted Scenes, including the long-requested Fort Detmerring scenes!
    • Also includes Raw Takes for the Central Park Bums sequence
  • 1984 ShoWest Exhibitor Reel, featuring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd pitching an early reel of footage to theatrical exhibitors!
  • Full Ghostbusters TV Commercial from the film
  • Ghostbusters TV Commercial Outtakes
  • “A Moment With the Stars” – Original EPK Featurette
  • Original Domestic Teaser Trailer
  • Original Stereo Audio for the Feature (Blu-ray only)

GHOSTBUSTERS II

  • Commentary featuring Director Ivan Reitman, Star/Co-Writer Dan Aykroyd and Executive Producer Joe Medjuck
  • “The Oprah Winfrey Show: Cast of Ghostbusters II” – June 1989
  • Full Ghostbusters II Theatrical EPK
  • Rare Unfinished Teaser Trailer – featuring the full commercial from the film!
  • Original Stereo Audio for the Feature (Blu-ray only)
  • Commentary featuring Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and Joe Medjuck
    -Slimer Mode Picture-in-Picture Track
    -“Tricks and Trivia” Text Commentary
    -10 Deleted Scenes
    -Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective
    -1984 Featurette
    -SFX Featurette
    -Cast and Crew Featurette
    -Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
    -Multi-Angle Explorations
    -Storyboard Comparison
    -Alternate TV Version Takes
    -“Ghostbusters” Music Video by Ray Parker, Jr.
    -Photo Galleries
    -Trailers
    -International Teaser Trailer
    -Domestic Theatrical Trailer
    -30th Anniversary Theatrical Trailer
    -GHOSTBUSTERS II7 Deleted Scenes
    -Time Is But A Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond
    -“On Our Own” Music Video by Bobby Brown
    -Photo Galleries
    -Trailers
    -Domestic Teaser Trailer
    -Domestic Theatrical Trailer
    -International Theatrical Trailer

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