Director praises Ghostbusters' high-def materialization on Blu-ray

Ivan Reitman, who produced and directed Ghostbusters, told reporters that the presentation of the film itself was the top priority on the upcoming Blu-ray edition of the film. The Ghostbusters Blu-ray features a high-definition transfer of the film, along with bonus features that include the original DVD extras.

"For me, the most important thing was that it was the best visual and sound representation of the movie," Reitman said in a group interview Wednesday in Los Angeles. "Columbia/Sony have gone to a lot of trouble to add a lot of the sizzle that now is sort of common with both the DVD and the Blu-ray experience. I think that's all good. As someone who has lived with film all his life, I think it's wonderful, because it's just more information for fans and for people who are interested and for history that you can cram into a very simple device, frankly. The quality keeps getting better and better."

A longtime collector of laserdiscs and DVDs, Reitman has been waiting for home-viewing technology to catch up with film. "Look, the fact that the movie you made, if you love them, and I love all of them, including the failures, [now] there's a way of showing them in the best possible light," he said. "The early VHS transfers are now kind of painful to look at, were even painful then, because they were kind of soft, they were lacking in contrast. The early sound was not great. So here, now, in our own homes, everybody has a decent system and many people have great systems, even better than, frankly, a lot of theaters. You get to watch kind of a pristine version of your favorite movies at home. I think that's a great and cool thing."

With Ghostbusters in particular, Reitman felt the source materials held up in the high-definition version. "I think the movie, if I don't mind saying so myself, has always looked awesome," he said. "I think the special effects were never great, but they're almost purposely simple. It's really kind of old-school visual effects. It's pre-digital age, so there's kind of lovely simplicity to it. But from a story and character standpoint, it worked really effectively. So we appreciate it even if it's not as fancy-shmancy as some of the stuff we see today. But, you know, Laszlo Kovacs, one of the great cameramen of all times, was the [director of photography] of this movie. Elmer Bernstein, one of the greatest composers in history, did the music. So we made it very carefully. We didn't make it as a schlockola comedy. It's nice that it so far has stood the test of time."

Ghostbusters drops on Blu-ray June 16.