The one thing about Ghostbusters I never really understood was adding Winston to the team. He kind of sticks out. Here you have three scientists walking around with proton accelerators and then… Winston. And we never see him go through any extensive training on how to operate the equipment. It can’t be as simple as throwing on the pack and going to work, can it? Don’t you think you’d have to be eased into it? Vote for Theater Hopper at Top Web Comics to see what I mean…
I know I say this a lot, but I had a really hard time coming up with an idea for today’s comic. Lately, the ideas just aren’t there. It’s like scooping a frozen block of ice cream out of the back of my mind.
Thank goodness for Twitter. I can go online any time of the day or night and say “I have no idea what tomorrow’s comic is going to be about” and I’ll receive at least a half-dozen replies with suggestions.
That’s not to say I’m stealing ideas from readers. But they do provide valuable inspiration. I wouldn’t have come up with today’s comic if someone hadn’t reminded me that Ghostbusters came out on Blu ray yesterday. I had completely forgotten about it. Bill Murray’s acne scars, however? That’s vintage me.
Speaking of scary, let me tell you about my first encounter with Ghostbusters. I think I may have told this story before. So if you’ve heard it, bear with me.
The year was 1984 and I was 7 years-old. As a present for doing something good (I can’t remember what), my parents were going to surprise me with a special gift.
In my mind were visions of Go-Bots – or, dare I? – Transformers. Imagine my shock when my parents rolled up on a movie theater and said “Surprise! We’re going to see Ghostbusters!”
I’m 7 years-old. I haven’t seen any commercials for this movie. I barely know what movies are (we never really went to movies as a family). All I see on the marquee is “GHOST” and I freak out, convinced that the movie is terrifying and that my parents are playing a cruel, sadistic joke. I am crying in the back seat and BEGGING my parents not to take me to this movie.
Instead we ended up going to an educational toy store next to the theater and they bought me some Mad Libs. I remember clearly the disappointment on their faces. They tried to do something nice for me, something they thought I would love, and I turned it into an ugly mess.
It becomes ironic, then, that as an adult, Ghostbusters is probably one of my all-time favorite movies.
I don’t remember when I came around to appreciating Ghostbusters for what it is or when exactly I shed my irrational fear of the film. Probably after the Saturday morning cartoon version of it came out. But these days I watch it probably 5 times a year, easily. It’s infinitely quotable, fascinating conceptually and entertaining from start to finish. I can’t stress enough how much I love this movie.
That said… I’m kind of on the fence about buying the movie on Blu ray.
I have a funny relationship with Blu ray. Snobbish, in fact. I love my Blu ray player, but I resent having to buy old movies in the format – especially for $25 – $30 a pop. As such, I’ve developed all these rules about which Blu rays I pick up and which one’s I won’t.
If I already own the movie on DVD, chances are slim that I’ll buy it unless it’s something recent like Wall-E or Iron Man. I tend to snub older films because I actually think some of them look WORSE in the format.
If you don’t believe me, watch The French Connection on Blu ray sometime. They applied this kind of high-res grain to the film to make it look 1970’s gritty, but it comes off as manufactured and soulless. This coupled with the fact that if the movie wasn’t captured at least partially digitally, I’m convinced a Blu ray transfer won’t look good.
In other words, watching a film like Ghostbusters in the format for visual “Ooh’s!” and “Ahh’s!” is kind of like squeezing blood from a stone. There’s only so much a digital transfer is going to give you.
One might argue that, similar to how audiophiles listen to records on vinyl and not CD, there are certain advantages to watching older movies in an older format.
VHS and DVD do a better job of hiding some of the effects work in older films. The roto-scoping, the green screen… Blu ray drags everything out into the light. Sometimes you see more than you should.
This, perhaps, only makes sense to me. But it’s how I feel.
I know most of you guys are probably more excited about the Ghostbusters video game that also game out this week, but what’s your opinion of picking up the original film on Blu ray… or your opinion of Blu ray in general? Do you have any rules you follow? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
I’m continuing to fight the good fight in terms of the malware errors the site was generating. I pulled a second line of (presumably malicious) code from the site yesterday and wanted to collect another round of feedback from you guys to make sure the site is clean.
Last time I checked, Google Chrome was the only holdout still returning errors. I’m thinking we might have done the job for good this time. Again, please let me know what browser you’re running and if you’re getting any errors.
Second bit of feedback I need is in regard to WordPress itself. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the code I removed yesterday, but it now appears I can’t add tags to my blog posts. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this or know where I should start looking so I can fix it?
Your help is appreciated.