Ralph Potts reviews this reimaging of the 1984 classic comedy that stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon who comprise the Ghostbusting team that prepare for an epic battle in Manhattan, as mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90
Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 116/134 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, Michael Kenneth Williams, Charles Dance, Matt Walsh
Directed by: Paul Feig
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Written by: Paul Feig & Katie Dippold
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 11, 2016
"Who You Gonna Call?"
My Take:

The franchise makes its long-awaited return with Director Paul Feig’s unique and hilarious take on the classic supernatural comedy, led by the freshest minds in comedy today, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth. Together they team up to save Manhattan from a sudden invasion of spirits, spooks and slime that engulfs the city.

As a fan of the original and classic Ghostbusters I was interested in seeing what this reimaged take had to offer. I didn’t bother checking it out in the theater but heard mixed reviews from those that had. I liked the idea of making the primary roles female, and thought that the actresses selected were a good fit. I went into viewing with low expectations and primarily found myself enjoying it. It doesn’t have the entertaining narrative, witty edge, marvelous chemistry, and timeless appeal of the original but I had fun with its nostalgic references, interspersed cameos, and surface level gags/humor/banter. I thought that Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth did well and appeared to be having fun, which became contagious.

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call doesn’t resonate as well as the film it’s based on, but there is no question that those involved in its making had their hearts in the right place. I appreciated that and found it to be an easy film to watch and ultimately get a kick out of.

This Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the Ultra HD, 3D, and 2D Blu-ray versions of the film. This review will cover only the Ultra HD version. The 3D/2D version will be covered in a separate review.

*It should be noted that the Ultra HD version of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call contains the extended version only.*

Parental Guide:

The film contains supernatural action and some crude humor.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE= 92-100/EXCELLENT= 83-91/GOOD= 74-82/AVERAGE= 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE= under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


UHD Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



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Dolby Atmos Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



  • Level of immersion:
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Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of high dynamic range as it stands currently, doesn't appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, Ultra HD’s high dynamic range/wide color gamut, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn't going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn't be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won't look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn't a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!


Ghostbusters: Answer the Call comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (derived from a 2.8 K source) was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

This is a colorful film and this Ultra HD highlights that element. With a noticeable uptick in detail and a boost to the film’s already oversaturated palate the image has ample pop that gives it a slight visual edge when compared to the 1080p version. Whites appear gradational and punchy and blacks are uncompromised and delineated. HDR is readily on display, especially during the sequences involving the proton lasers with their multi-colored blasts and arcing white light. The finale in Times Square is a virtual light show and is the presentation’s highlight, as the nighttime setting made for a perfect backdrop. Resolution is excellent as the image is quite sharp, although the gap between it and the 1080p version isn't as wide as I'd hoped. Part of the problem is probably attributable to the extensive use of CGI which softens many of the backgrounds. Of course the higher resolution makes the seams in live action set against the CGI easier to see.

The difference between viewing Ghostbusters: Answer the Call in high definition and Ultra HD isn't night and day but the Ultra HD rendering has the edge and looks solid overall.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of sounds placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. Over the course of the film there are various sequences (such as the one near the end of chapter 11 where the foursome is testing out new ghostbusting gear) where environmental sounds, music cues and discrete objects are mixed to differing locations in the sound field, adding a head turning element to the viewing experience.

The large set piece in Times Square during the finale, is lots of fun as flying debris, atmospherics, and near field objects rotate, and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. I enjoyed this immersive sound mix and think that it complimented the source material.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call Ultra HD Blu-ray (Extended Cut)
    Disc 2: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 3D Blu-ray (Theatrical Cut)
    Disc 3: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call Blu-ray (Theatrical and Extended Cuts)
  • (HD) Two Gag Reels (Totaling 15 minutes)
  • (HD) 4 Deleted Scenes
  • (HD) 11 Alternate/Extended Scenes
  • (HD) 6 Jokes-A-Plenty Alternate Takes
  • (HD) 5 Featurettes (Totaling 43 minutes):
    1. Chris Hemsworth is “Kevin”
    2. The Ghosts of Ghostbusters
    3. Meet the Team
    4. Visual Effects: 30 Years Later
    5. Slime Time
  • Two Filmmaker Audio Commentary Tracks
  • (HD) Gallery
  • Digital HD Copy
Final Thoughts:

Based on Ivan Reitman’s classic 1984 hit Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call doesn’t resonate as well as the original, but there is a bit of nostalgic fun to be had. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD/3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits that have a bit to offer from each format. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is worth checking out but I would recommend a rental prior to purchase.
 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package