Ghostbusting becomes a generational affair with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Taking over duties from his father, director Jason Reitman brings the franchise back to the original 1984 and 1989 films removing the continuity of the recent reboot. Maybe a little too nostalgic at times, nevertheless, it’s a fun and highly entertaining reintroduction to the world of ghosts and ghostbusting. Sony packs in a decent 1080p transfer but eschews the excellent Atmos track of the 4K disc for a good but nowhere near as impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. Recommended.
[Excerpt From Our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review]
"Call me a sentimentalist, but I had a blast with this movie. Two visits to the theater and now twice at home, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was just a lot of fun. There were callbacks to the original films while setting the stage for a new generation of busters to throw on the proton packs. Some of the elements may have been a bit too familiar for its own good, but all around it was a more-than-worthy outing. It feels like the movie a parent who grew up with the original movies in the 80s shows their kids to introduce them to the world of Ghostbusters. I wouldn’t call this a perfect movie, but not one worth nitpicking when so much about it works so well.
This is a film that actually connects to the franchise and passes the torch instead of trying to redo everything without the same spirit or heart - or decent script - of the original. And I say that as someone who thought Answer The Call wasn’t as terrible as folks piled on, but it still wasn’t a great movie. Afterlife pays tribute to what came before without relegating the original cast to genuinely terrible cameo appearances. And thanks to some fancy makeup, CGI, and Bob Gunton, the series fittingly says adios to one of the architects of the franchise. While nostalgic elements are a little thick in some places, they’re not the worst examples of “fan service.” We’re not diving into magic tribble blood levels of terrible in this film. Instead, we get a nice assortment of nods to the original films with a couple winks at the classic animated series for good measure."
For another take on Ghostbusters: Afterlife - read our Theatrical Review
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
If you’re not upgrading to 4K, Sony is bringing Ghostbusters: Afterlife to 1080p Blu-ray in a single disc Blu-ray + Digital set. Pressed on a region-free BD-50 disc, the disc loads to trailers for upcoming Sony releases before arriving at a static image main menu with the bonus features along the right side of the screen and a standard navigation menu along the bottom.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife creeps its way onto 1080p Blu-ray with what I’d have to say is a rather bland and flat presentation. After a couple of theatrical outings and watching through the 4K disc, this presentation just doesn’t pop. Overly bright, it doesn’t offer many dynamic shadows for some key locations - like when Phoebe is stalking around the dirt farm or for the big climactic showdown. The colors are decent with an appreciably warm yellow/brown scheme, but serious primary pop is a bit lacking. The hamburger joint’s red-colored signage and neon lights skew more orange on this disc. Black levels are okay, but again much lighter here without a lot of shadow depth. When Phoebe is in the workroom rebuilding the proton pack, it’s much brighter without the mood and atmosphere of the deep shadows seen on the 4K disc. Despite a decently healthy bitrate, the image is pretty flat looking by comparison. I also noticed some more video noise here, especially during the opening chase sequence and in the demon pit later in the film. All in all, this is okay, but if you’re equipped, the 4K disc easily outpaces this transfer with room to spare.
Now for Blu-ray. I don’t know who decided this, but 1080p fans miss out on an amazing Atmos mix and have to settle for a strong, but nowhere near as impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. I mean, what can I say? After rolling that great Atmos mix on the 4K disc, this 5.1 track is a letdown. It’s still good for what it has to bring to the table, there are plenty of highly engaging surround elements for the big key action sequences, but otherwise, it’s just not there. Subs offer a good bass response for some nice LFE, but they don’t rattle, rumble, and shake like the Atmos track. On the plus side, the dialog is clean and the surround experience it does offer is pretty good - but there is a notably much better audio track out there that folks who don’t rock and roll with 4K are going to miss out on.
No franchise stays dead for long and when ghosts are involved, it was only a matter of time before we’d get a new Ghostbusters movie. After a somewhat disappointing reboot effort, Ghostbusters: Afterlife returns to the originals in a way that pays tribute to the original films and cast but passes the torch for a new generation in the ghostbusting profession. I had a blast with this in theaters and loved checking it out again at home.
Sony brings fans a relatively decent 1080p Blu-ray experience. The transfer is pretty good with some high points, but it also lacks in other key areas. To top it off, this disc doesn’t offer the Atmos track instead giving fans what amounts to a good but not as impressive 5.1 track. So even if you haven’t upgraded your gear yet and are only thinking about it, the 4K set is the best way to futureproof your collection and have the best viewing experience at the ready. For this disc alone, it still comes Recommended, but there is a much better way to experience this film at home available.