Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past Blu-Ray Review

Get It On Blu-Ray, DVD, On Demand & Digital Download September 22nd 2009

Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
Another cover with Matthew McConaughey and our leading lady; this time Jennifer Garner.  This just looks too much like the cover of Failure to Launch, or even How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.  It is almost as if he is becoming a cliche at this point, which is sad, because I like Matthew McConaughey, and I think he can be very funny in movies, but this cover does nothing for me, and almost makes me (as a guy) want to avoid the movie altogether.  As a matter of fact, if I wasn’t a reviewer or a fan of movies, I might see this cover and think that I have already seen this exact movie, when in reality I had seen one of the other McConaughey “chick flicks” instead.  The menu is a simple shot of the two with choices laid over the screen.

Features: 3/10

  • The Legends, The Lessons & The Ladies – There is a lot of talk in this 8 minute extra about what it takes to be a real ladies man, and the focus is of course on McConaughey and Michael Douglas as they played their characters.  It was mildly funny to see these two real life Lothario’s discuss how they approached these characters.
  • It’s All About Connor – This short extra is all about McConaughey, and how great he is to work with.  Kind of a fluff piece, but apparently he is great guy, and there is also discussion about how McConaughey played Conner, the misogynistic photographer.  Not a bad 4 minute extra.
  • Recreating the Past, Imagining the Future – This is the behind the scenes classic feature, which does a decent job of showing the movie as it is being made, but overall it is shallow.  Not much real substance in this short (8 minute) extra.
  • Additional Scenes – There are about 9 minutes of deleted scenes that include an extended opening scene that delves even more into Connor’s womanizing ways.  The scenes are presented, as are all of the extras, in high definition.
  • BDLive – While the box stated that the BD-Live feature would include a piece called “A Sea of Women,” I had trouble accessing the feature.  It apparently is an extended bit on the bar scene where Connor is forced to confront the ladies of his past.
  • Digital Copy –The obligatory digital version of the movie is included here.   Again, I just wish Blu-ray discs were not so expensive, and maybe a cheaper, Blu-ray only version might be nice.

The Movie: 4/10
From the moment the movie starts we are flooded with the ever familiar Matthew McConaughey character; he is attractive and the ladies love him.  It is as if he only takes roles now that allow him to play this same stereotype over and over again, because in the end, he always ends up a changed man, who finally finds the right woman to settle down with.  It is getting old, even for these romantic comedies, and I would love to see him try something new in these movies if he is going to continue to make them.

In Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, McConaughey plays Connor Mead, a world class photographer who mainly photographs beautiful models and then sleeps with them.  He is a true ladies man, who juggles so many women that he is forced at one point in the movie to break up with 3 on a video conference call, with a fourth female partially dressed waiting for him to end the chat.

Connor heads up to his little brother’s wedding at their deceased uncle’s mansion.  The deceased uncle Wayne is played by Michael Douglas, who was, in his time, a legendary playboy, and father figure to Connor.  Upon returning to the mansion, Connor basically disrupts his brother’s rehearsal dinner by stating that he doesn’t believe in love, while downing several glasses of Scotch.  His brother Paul (Breckin Meyer) is getting married to Sandra (Lacey Chabert), and the addition of Connor causes the demise of what should be one of the happiest days of their lives.

Connor, at this point drunk, is confronted by the ghost of his uncle, who tells him that he should not waste his life by chasing one night stands.  Then Connor is told that he will be visited by 3 ghosts of past girlfriends; past , present, and future.  In the strangest hook that I have ever seen in a romantic comedy, we are presented with a twist on Dickens Christmas Carol, and it is close to cringe-worthy.

Additionally, the made of honor is non other than Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner), who we eventually find out has a long history with Connor, and is part of the reason why he is the way that he is.  The details of the transformation of Connor Mead are fleshed out as the ghosts visit him and show him the error of his ways.

Part of my issue with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is the fact that there is no real chemistry between McConaughey and Garner.  It just is not a believable romance, and when you couple that with the waffling of Connor’s character (he supposedly is overly freaked out by seeing ghosts initially, but he manages to hit on the bride’s mother) and the result is disastrous.  He seems to jump from emotion to emotion, and the overall effect is just unbelievable.

Again, I like Matthew McConaughey, and I can sit through a lot of romantic comedies, but this one was hollow, and while there were funny parts, they were just too scattered, and the continuity of the characters was just wrong.  (Another example was that Connor’s uncle tells him that being a ladies man is a mistake, but at the end of the movie Uncle Wayne is shown trying to hit on all of the female ghosts.) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was just too predictable and overblown for me to enjoy, and I personally think that the Matthew McConaughey “ladies man” character has run its course.

Audio & Video: 6/10
This is honestly not one of the best looking Blu-rays that I have seen.  The color palette seems a bit off at times, and the blacks were honestly shadowy and very inconsistent.  Many of the scenes inside the mansion just appeared dark, and I was less than impressed at the inconsistency of the video throughout the movie.  In 2.40:1, the VC-1 encode is in my opinion not very solid.

The audio was a bit better, but not spectacular.  Then again, this is not one of those types of films that would astound audio-wise anyway, but it was adequate.   The True HD 5.1 audio is front heavy due to this being a dialogue movie.

Value: 4/10
These Matthew McConaughey romantic comedies are starting to get dull.  We get that he is attractive, and the ladies man stick is getting old.  There are better, more believable movies that he has done (even in this genre) that seem more genuine, and are more funny.  His acting in this one is even a bit over the top, and therefore I just can’t see this movie having staying power.  Even my wife waffled about whether she would watch this one again, which tells me a lot about this movie.

Overall Score 4/10

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