SPECIAL FEATURES B
DVD GEEK FACTOR 8
(OUT OF 10)
There's a lot of talk about a possible Ghostbusters 3, 20 years after the first sequel and a quarter-century after the first one. I'm a huge fan of this film, and although I hated the sequel, it would be cool to see Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson strapping on the proton packs again.
The transfer to Blu-Ray for the original is just OK. The picture is a bit grainy, something that happens with high-definition transfers of movies that were a little dark or gray to begin with. One of the things I always liked about the film was the usage of grays and darker tones to contrast with the special effects. It made stuff like the green "Slimer" ghost really stand out.
The film is still funny, and the effects have also stood the test of time. It also represented Rick Moranis, now retired from acting, at his best. The moment when he gets locked out of his own party is a howler. If they make another sequel, I'm hoping they can get him out of mothballs. Murray and Aykroyd have rarely been funnier than they were here.
Also out in stores is a new Ghostbusters video game for Xbox 360. Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis contributed vocals to the game, and reportedly had a ball doing it. It's because of the game that Murray, previously adverse to further Ghostbusters adventures, has been a little more open-minded about a new film.
SPECIAL FEATURES: You can watch the film in "Slimer Mode," with picture-in-picture interviews that pop up during the course of the film. You also get a fun feature about the resurrection and refurbishing of Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters car. On top of these features, commentaries and featurettes from past DVD releases are included.
Thrilla in Manila
SPECIAL FEATURES C+
DVD GEEK FACTOR 5
(OUT OF 10)
This tries to do for the Thrilla in Manila what When We Were Kings did for the Rumble in the Jungle. While it falls significantly short of the high mark Kings achieved, Thrilla is an interesting film that sheds some new light on the rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
The duo battled three times in the ring, and all of the results were controversial. Ali scored two victories, but some could argue that he won all three, while others could argue that he didn't win any of them.
I was young when these bouts originally aired, but I remember watching the fights on television with my dad. I also remember him being angry at Ali for treating Frazier horribly in the buildup to the fight, although I did not comprehend any of it at the time. Looking back, with the help of this film, I can see that Ali's theatrics went a bit too far when it came to his rivalry with Frazier.
The two started off as friends but grew to hate each other. Frazier actually participated in this documentary, sitting down for an interview in his home above a gym in Philadelphia. It's clear that the wounds Ali opened in the '70s by calling Frazier an ugly gorilla have yet to heal.
The doc spends time on all of the bouts, and includes the infamous talk-show brawl, during which the two wound up wrestling on the floor. Director John Dower doesn't do all that much special with his approach to the story, but it's an interesting tale all the same.
SPECIAL FEATURES: About 25 minutes of extra interview footage is included. It's pointed out during one of the cut interview scenes that Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) got a bronze statue in Philadelphia, yet Frazier (a Philadelphia resident) never did.
Fatal Attraction (Blu-Ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES B-
DVD GEEK FACTOR 6
(OUT OF 10)
This one has lost a little of its sting in the 22 years since its release, but there's no denying the psycho power of Glenn Close, who plays one of cinema's all-time-great stalkers. Michael Douglas did a good job looking freaked out as the guy who screwed himself when he screwed his mistress. Boiling bunny rabbits, wrist-slashing and crazy Medusa hairdos abound. The big question still remains: Why would somebody married to Anne Archer screw around? That's just crazy stuff.
Close was a little too good at playing a sicko in this movie. It's hard to see her as anything other than crazy Alex. This role will follow her for her entire career.
SPECIAL FEATURES: This film contains one of the all-time-great alternate endings, with Douglas being arrested for the Close character's murder. It was significantly different, and featured a sick, gory scene of Close cutting her own neck. They opted for the shock ending instead. You also get a director's commentary and some featurettes, including a making-of documentary during which producers admit that 20 directors passed on the project before Adrian Lyne accepted the gig.