At one point or another youï¿½ve either seen Ghost, or have seen some of its memorable scenes parodied. Paramount is now releasing a new special collectorï¿½s edition of the 1990 Academy Award winning picture. Since then, star Patrick Swayze hasnï¿½t really been up to much besides a Ja Rule video and a small role in Donnie Darko. Whether Demi Moore has seen success since this film is debatable, but for a while there in 1990 these two were the talk of the town. At the time I was too young to have any interest in the film, so prior to this review all I knew were the memorable clips Iï¿½d seen. I looked forward to finally viewing the entire film.
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) are just your average happy couple living out their lives in New York City. Sam appears to have a problem expressing his feelings for Molly, only saying ï¿½dittoï¿½ when she tells him ï¿½I love you.ï¿½ Apart from this obvious minor hindrance on the relationship, the two seem genuinely happy. That is until one night while walking back from the theatre the couple is mugged, Sam puts up a fight and is shot and killed. His soul doesnï¿½t realize this and chases down the thief. When he returns to the scene, he realizes what has transpired but he doesnï¿½t accept it and refuses to be taken by the light, leaving him on earth as a ghost. Sam follows the thief home and eventually finds out that none other than Samï¿½s best friend and co-worker Carl Bruner in fact planned his murder. Frustrated and feeling helpless, Sam enlists the help of the fraudulent medium Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), who appears to be the only one who can hear him. Through her, Sam contacts Molly and tries to remedy the situation, but things get out of control and quick.
Ultimately, Ghost is a pretty decent movie, and better than I anticipated. It mixes elements of comedy, drama and fantasy and does so rather well. My only complaint is that at times the film is slow. Aside from this, Ghost is a pretty well-rounded movie and was worth finally watching. Really what did it for me was Patrick Swayze; I donï¿½t know where this movie would be without his charisma and memorable mullet.
Ghost is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and is fitted with a great video transfer. I must say for a film that is 17 years old, I was very pleased about how well it looked on this DVD. The filmï¿½s colors held up really well, not looking washed out but rather vibrant, something usually not seen in films this old. Flesh tones also maintained a realistic look, never looking too dull or enhanced, which is always nice to see. In the end we are left with an impressive looking transfer, one that fans will surely approve of.
Paramount has included 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks with Ghost. As expected, the film is heavy on the front channels. Thankfully, everything coming from these channels sounds great. The dialogue and music tracks both sound clear, free of any balancing issues. There are a few scenes scattered throughout the movie that will use your rear channels, and these also sound great. Apart from a few gunshots there isnï¿½t anything here to brag about, but everything in the film sounds great and thatï¿½s what counts.
Ghost offers up a decent amount of special features, most of which are worth checking out.
- Audio Commentary ï¿½ commentary with Director Jerry Zucker and Writer Bruce Joel Rubin.
- Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic ï¿½ a 12-minute feature on the creation of the hit movie, including somewhat recent interviews with the cast and crew. A very informative feature thatï¿½s worth watching.
- Inside the Paranormal ï¿½ several interviews with psychics, who discuss how accurate the movie Ghost is. If you believe in these people then you may find some interest in this feature.
- Alchemy of a Love Scene ï¿½ an interview with cast and crew discussing the creation of one of the most memorable love scenes in film history.
- Cinemaï¿½s Great Romances ï¿½ a look at AFIï¿½s choices for the 100 most passionate romances seen on film.
- Photo Gallery ï¿½ a typical collection of photos of the cast, crew and the filmï¿½s production.
- Theatrical Trailer ï¿½ the usual fare.
Ghost was better than I thought it would be. Although itï¿½s not a great film that Iï¿½m going to re-watch time and time again, it was most definitely worth checking out, and a worthwhile purchase. The newly released DVD boasts a handful of nice features, improved audio and video quality, and a flashy new slipcase, making it a good buy for fans of the movie.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic
- Inside the Paranormal
- Alchemy of a Love Scene
- Cinemaï¿½s Great Romances
- Photo Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer