Ghostbusters UMD movie Review

As if a weak DVD double-dip wasn't enough, American classic Ghostbusters is now on UMD. The film will always be the same regardless of the format, a laugh out loud comedy (one of Ivan Reitman's best certainly) that has stood against time. Besides a few special effect shots, it remains as close to flawless as possible. (**** out of *****)

The UMD comes with a transfer that looks outdated. Colors are muted and washed out, a drop from the superb quality of the restored DVD. Black levels stay in more of a gray scale, giving the film a murky tone. Compression is widely evident as a result. The trade-off is that ghosting (no pun intended) is rare, and when it is present, it's barely noticeable.

The biggest complaint is the aspect ratio, which has been trimmed from the film's original 2.40:1 to fit the 1.78:1 PSP screen. It's a tease as the opening company logos and final credits are featured properly. The panning of the frame is far too obvious and forced when it happens. (**)

Dialogue is clean, and there's even a faux-surround effect in a few sequences with decent headphones (listen as Louis is chased by the terror dog). Bass is a little on the high side at times, overwhelming and drowning out other sounds. It's easier to pick out subtle audio with headphones than it is on a consumer level audio system, so you'll likely here something new here. (***)

The only extra is a trailer for the Adam Sandler light comedy Big Daddy. There is no chapter selection available, so you'll need to skip through using the triggers to find a scene. The menu looks great on the PSP screen (with a moving/warping Ghostbusters logo), but it's a huge step down the energetic ones used on the DVD. (No stars)

The disc retails cheaply enough ($15), it just offers nothing over the DVD. It's a sad that with a widescreen included on the console, movie studios decide to crop films. There's nothing here for fans of the film, and they'll be better off grabbing the Gift Set DVD, that even with its problems, offer two films and extras for less (about $13).

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