Ghost (1990) - Special Collector's Edition

Genre(s): Drama / Fantasy
Paramount || PG13 - 126 minutes - $14.98 || March 13, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-03-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jerry Zucker
Writer(s): Bruce Joel Rubin (written by)
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn


Theatrical Release Date: July 13, 1990


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Writer Commentary
  • Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic
  • Inside the Paranormal
  • Alchemy of a Love Scene
  • Cinema's Great Romances
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

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Plot: Sam Wheat is murdered but instead of going to heaven, he remains trapped in between the two worlds. After finding out his murder was a set-up, he finds a way to warn his true love, Molly, through a spiritual medium, and con artist. But will he save her in time before the real villain gets away with his murder?

I will admit up front, I got a little misty-eyed while watching Ghost and if you don’t feel anything, then my friend, you are a heartless bastard. Even after 16 years since its release, Ghost remains a great romantic-tragedy. The film went on to be nominated for 5 Academy Awards and won 2 for Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and though some movie lovers scoff at its award recognition, especially screenplay, I know and understand why this film is so loved. Why I really liked it is because when a movie manages to invoke a flurry of emotions that rarely come out from a movie.

I was surprised to find, like many, that Jerry Zucker of Airplane and Naked Gun fame, helmed this romance-drama and although it wasn’t anything special stylistically (major props, though, should go to ILM for some good special effects), he does get the message from Bruce Joel Rubin’s screenplay very well. The material could have easily been campy or laughable but instead seeing the two characters onscreen (be it alive or dead), you feel their love.

If there were one weakness, it would be Patrick Swayze. He gives a fine performance and all, but it tended to be one note going from sadness to happiness to bewilderment. His range doesn’t stretch far enough, but that said, the onscreen relationship between he and Demi Moore sizzles from the infamous pottery love scene to the ending. There have been better pairings on film before, but these two made Ghost what it is today, there’s no other reason.

Indeed Ghost is a tearjerker and intentionally tugs at the heart strings, yet the two leads makes everything work on another level that it didn’t feel forced.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Paramount’s second release on DVD is good, but I don’t think it’s worth an upgrade if you already own it.

Feature Commentary - This holdover from the initial release finds director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin chatting it up about all the nuances making Ghost from their first meeting and shooting various scenes. The track is good, though for a new release, I wish Paramount had seized Patrick Swayze to come in and record a new track.

Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic (12:45) - This featurette has new interviews with Zucker, Rubin, Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg; meanwhile Demi Moore’s comments were taken from a 1990 interview, I think on the set of Nothing But Trouble. Each comment on the different aspects on the impact of the film over the years to specific scenes.

Inside the Paranormal (8:17) - Various mediums/psychics, including James Van Praagh (seen multiple times on the “Montel Williams Show”), discussing their views on the movie and how it handles the subject of ghosts and the afterlife. They also talk about their experiences and try to describe how they see spirits.

Alchemy of a Love Scene (6:00) - Gives a closer glimpse at the scene Ghost is most well known for and features comments from Swayze and the rest of the bunch as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a touching moment between Swayze and Moore off camera.

Cinema’s Great Romances (19:17) - Features more than a dozen clips from the 100 Movies... 100 Passions, all are, of course, Paramount releases. Sprinkled in are more clips of people talking about why these movies are romantic. Movies included are: Roman Holiday, Love Story, Grease, An Officer and a Gentleman, Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Ghost.

Rounding things out is a theatrical trailer and a photo gallery.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

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Since the back cover never mentions Remastered audio or video, I assume this is the same transfer. As it stands, the anamorphic widescreen transfer is suitable and free of any distracting dirt or scratches.

The disc offers your standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix but with such a memorable song and a moving score, a DTS track would’ve been nice. The dialogue seemed to stick in the center speaker while songs like “Unchained Melody” made more use of my system.



.::OVERALL::.

Ghost may not be a classic in the sense of many other romance flicks but it still has a place in cinema history as having a memorable scene. If this had been made today and someone known only for directing comedy had helmed this, it would’ve been written off as a stinker before it opened (and to that effect, I think it would’ve failed at the box office). This movie holds a special place in many people’s hearts and if going by decade, Ghost is certainly one of the best of the 90s.