Ghostbusters: Answer The Call 4K UltraHD

Featured In Issue 211, November 2016

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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PG-13 / Unrated
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Supernatural action and some crude humor.
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Paul Feig
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Dolby Atmos
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In Ghostbusters, four women band together to rid Manhattan of a ghost infestation. This is a re-telling rather than a pre-quel or sequel, set in modern day New York City.

Both the theatrical version (01:56:34) and the extended version (02:13:44) are available, but the 3D version is the theatrical version. Special features include filmmaker commentaries; two gag reels (HD 15:29); four deleted scenes (HD 09:22); 11 alternate/extended scenes (HD 21:14); six Jokes-A-Plenty alternate take reels (HD 34:30); five featurettes: Chris Hemsworth Is 'Kevin' (HD 07:42), The Ghosts Of Ghostbusters (HD 13:57), Meet The Team (HD 08:04), Visual Effects: 30 Years Later (HD 15:16), and Slime Time (HD 05:15); a photo gallery; and an UltraViolet digital copy. A 4K UltraHD version is also available on the disc.

This is the first Sony title with a 2K digital intermediate. Original capture was done in 2.8K Arriraw format. Compared to the original Ghostbusters, the images look fantastic. Compared to the best UHD disc images, these are average to average-plus images for movies mastered from 2K digital intermediates. Color is natural most of the time, any tweaks applied to color are subtle rather than obvious. Appearance of the images is clean and smooth, with no pixel noise or evidence of over-processing. HDR enhances images subtly most of the time, but when ghosts appear and containment beams fly, the colors and peak luminances that appear make for stunning amounts of detail in the green, smokey ghosts and in the writhing containment beams that are very bright in the center and more colorful around the perimeter. The red eyes of the electric-chair ghost looked like they were about to emit high-powered laser beams—an extreme color of red not achievable on HD/SDR video displays. The first ghost seen, a full-color floating woman in a red-and-white striped vintage dress, had remarkable levels of detail in her translucent image. Transitions from animated green ghost slime to “real” green movie slime were convincing. (Doug Blackburn)

The Dolby Atmos 7.1 soundtrack is done well, if slightly restrained. Surround is used well in scenes with ghosts. The rest of the time, surround serves to pull you into mostly real-world environments. Fidelity is good but lacks the pristine clarity of the best soundtracks. Attention to detail in the soundtrack keeps you feeling like part of the action. The exciting ghost interactions are separated by what seems like rather long segments with dialogue and no action. Listening to what’s going on in the height channels reveals the same lack of immersive ambience that plagues every immersive soundtrack heard to date. It’s frustrating to see things happening on the screen that should be in the height channels, only to have them be completely silent, or perhaps one-third of the instruments playing in the soundtrack music are heard in the height channels. It’s not that music is warranted in the height channels, it’s that the height channels should produce a more convincing immersive entertainment experience. So this Atmos soundtrack, as those thus reviewed, deserves no higher than the “3” rating for the same reasons. (Doug Blackburn)