Review Covers Blu-Ray & DVD Versions
Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
Tea doesn’t look like herself. Ricky Gervais looks like he’s trying to evacuate his bowls, and Greg Kinnear is faded, which never happens in the movie. This cover is one of the all time bombs for me. Beside being boring, it’s not at all representative of the movie, which is always the biggest crime of a bad cover.
The menu is a still image similar to the cover with very unanimated, uninteresting navigation. They really didn’t put much cash or a decent designer into this one.
- Commentary By David Koepp & Ricky Gervais – I’m always glad to see a commentary. Gervais and Koepp are an odd pair, but it’s fun to listen to, maybe even a little bit more fun the movie on its own…dare I say?
- Making Ghost Town – How the movie got made, how it was cast, why Koepp directed it…..etc. It’s highly produced and manufactured as a promotional type piece about Ghost Town. It’s an all inclusive extra that covers the entire plot of the movie, so be sure to watch it AFTER you see the whole thing at least once:)
- Some People Can Do It – Gag reel.
- Ghostly Effects – This is an unexplained view of the layering effects used to make ghosts walk through trucks and stuff like that.
The Movie: 5/10
I”m not sure, but this might be the first time I have sat here staring at the monitor completely lost for words. I know, it’s weird. The thing is, this movie was fun, a few laughs, sweet at times, and had amazing talent floating around. Why then am I so ho-hum about it?
Let’s break it down. The story is the first thing that left a coating of boredom on my movie watching eyeballs. A man has a traumatic medical mishap and suddenly can see dead people. Well, people who have died but who are stuck as ghosts hanging around New York City. He can see them, hear them, talk to them. The problem is, he hates people. So, there we have the hook, as they say.
This dentist who hates everyone is not bothered by desperate ghosts to help them cross over some messages to their loved ones and other folks who are still alive and well. In the process he meets a deadish cheating husband who now wants to stop the wedding of his widow via the efforts of our ghost whisperer.
The widow is a beautiful Paleontologist, and that’s about it for her, the character that is. I really enjoy Tea Leoni. She brings a very grounded, funny, uncomplicated or overly theatrical presence to the movie. She might be the only one.
The story isn’t very captivating. That’s the first thing. The second thing that makes this movie unforgettable is the Hollywood vibe. I can’t explain this one. You’ll have to see it for yourself.
Those are the things that make me not a fan of the movie. Story and vibe, brilliant. The part of the movie I did love was the cast. Gervais is fine as the somewhat cold hearted dentist. He does change over pretty quickly, without much character development..but it is a comedy and he is new to the shores of American bigflickland. Not to mention he’s playing opposite Greg Kinnear who I find mostly irresistible. This time around however, he’s kind of hamming it up or something. I can’t quite put my finger on it. he’s great to watch, does his shtick well, but there’s nothing special or interesting about his character.
Tea Leoni is my favorite thing in the movie. I wanted to see her in every scene. She brings something comforting, heartfelt, interesting to the whole production. Without her, and without the other big names, I’m sure this would be just another run of the mill romantic comedy with a funny death twist.
The idea is a good one, people left behind when someone dies have some unanswered questions or unresolved issues they need help with that only the deceased can provide. There are touching nods to family disputes, a man who thinks he caused the deaths of 3 co-workers who needs to be told it wasn’t his fault, a kid who needs to find a lost stuffed animal. You see what I’m getting at, touching, sappy stuff that’s kind of overly sweet, but still nice in a day and age of big violent mega movies with dark tales of the worst of humanity. I like those too, but it’s never a bad thing to try to bring a handful of good will to the big screen.
I would finally say Ghost Town like movies are a dime a dozen (or a few hundred million bucks of pocket cash), so when they sat down to make this one I wish they had tried a little bit harder, or a lot harder to make it something more than a romcom with a ghostly hook.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Dreamworks/Paramount have done a stunning job on the Blu-Ray transfer of Ghost Town. This is a small unassuming movie that you wouldn’t expect to look as good as this. Every pore in Ricky Gervais’ face is visible. Is this a good or a bad thing though? Sometimes you can even see the eye liner the makeup artist has applied to make him look more handsome.
The video is presented using the AVC codec at around 32mbps. One thing I really like about the presentation is the aspect ratio of 1:85:1 which fills your entire wide screen display. Don’t get me wrong, I love letter boxed movies, but in the case of romantic comedies I really like the whole screen filled up. With an image as crisp as this, even on a 7 foot screen it looked terrific.
Audio on the Blu-Ray version comes in the uncompressed Dolby TrueHD format. In a dialog driven movie like Ghost Town I don’t think the uncompressed sound is needed but it’s nice that it’s included anyway. Put it this way, your surrounds and your sub woofer won’t be lighting up much during the feature.
We also took a look at the DVD version of the movie and while it doesn’t feature the uncompressed sound and HD picture for a DVD it’s in the top tier.
I’m so middle of the road on this movie it’s hard to determine what I think it’s worth. As a fluffy flick to watch some afternoon while you munch popcorn and have a few giggles, it’s worth about $5. That’s fair for a rental, online or in your local old fashioned video/DVD renting establishment. I’m being a tad bit harsh on this one, but come on, the extras are weak and the movie is so-so. The cast is great, yes yes..but that’s not enough to make it worth $20-$30 no matter how you try to convince me.
Overall Score 6/10