Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Fantasy / Romance
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 100 minutes - $35.99 || September 22, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-22


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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

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Mark Waters
Writer(s): Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (written by)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Robert Forester, Anne Archer, Emma Stone, Michael Douglas


Theatrical Release Date: May 1, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Additional Scenes
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Mark Watersí (Mean Girls) latest movie Ė a bastardization of Charles Dickensí ďChristmas CarolĒ classic Ė stars Matthew ďCan I Please Go Shirtless?Ē McConaughey as Connor Mead, a highly sought after photographer and all around douchebag who sleeps with hot women but never, ever, will date them... all because he was too much of a puss to not ask his childhood sweetheart, Jenny (Jennifer Garner), for a dance at his middle school formal.

The premise is that on the weekend of his little bro, Paulís (Breckin Meyer), wedding to bridezilla (Lacey Chabert), Connor cannot help but let his views of marriage from possibly wrecking their plans. The wedding and party is taking place at Connorís late Uncleís estate, and while there, good old Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas), Connorís mentor in the ways of being an ass to women.

** Warning: Sarcastic Spoiling of the Entire Film **

Well, Wayne has not liked the way Connorís life has gone and so on this weekend, he will be visited by three ghosts who will show him girlfriendís past, present and future in the hopes that Connor will see the error of his ways, help save Paulís wedding by making an inane speech after punching out the brideís father, and getting his childhood sweetheart back into his life who just so happened to have been watching the speech in the car that was about to drive away but luckily Connor takes Uncle Wayneís car out of the garage (smashing through the door rather than opening it), and getting in the middle of the road just in time. *Phew*.

** End Sarcastic Spoiling of the Entire Film **

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past isnít a bad movie, in fact itís worse than just a bad film... itís boring. This is a plot that one would expect to find on Lifetime or Hallmark but somehow, someway it got a big production with a couple of stars (Michael Douglas, what the hell are you doing???) and thus a moderately marketed, widely distributed film that for some odd reason opened in the summer rather than, oh, I donít know, Christmas time.

The film still managed to take in $97m worldwide but there really isnít anything special out it. You get absolutely nothing new out of Matthew McConaughey that you havenít already seen in his other rom-com stinkers like Foolís Gold and Failure to Launch and Jennifer Garner, who I absolutely love, doesnít really get to do all that much, heck it doesnít even seem like she had that much screen time; I found her far more appealing in the drab Catch and Release.

On the plus side, the lovely and underrated Lacey Chabert is delightful Ė not the character, I just like seeing her in something finally Ė and the rest of the film is filled with some lovely ladies (see: Amanda Walsh, Camille Guaty and Christina Milian) to admire while the story began to stall out.

Again, itís not that Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is an awful movie, more it is a waste of time, even by romantic comedy standards. I expect clichťs in the genre, hell Iíd be perplexed if it didnít have that character-saving speech near the end, but thereís little else here to really admire or enjoy. I like McConaughey, I think given the right script he can do quite well, but when the script fails (by the way, it was written by the same guys who wrote 2009ís surprise hit, The Hangover), McConaughey also falls, fast and hard.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

As with Observe and Report, Warner has given this release all the features, leaving the DVD featureless. So all of these are considered ** Blu-ray Exclusives **, but trust me those in DVD land, youíre not missing much...

First up are a few, standard, featurettes (descriptions from menu):

Recreating the Past, Imagining the Future (8:39; HD) Ė Take a look at the past, present and future eras in the film to see how the memorable dialogue (yeah, OK), styles and trends all came together to deliver the story.

Itís All About Connor (4:05; HD) Ė Actresses Jennifer Garner, Lacey Chabert and Anne Archer reveal the differences between the real guy, Matthew McConaughey, and this cynical, commitment-phobic character, Connor Mead. These are just standard interview footage of the actors (including Michael Douglas, Emma Stone and Breckin Meyer) talking about McConaughey.

The Legends, The Lessons and The Ladies (8:00; HD) Ė Matthew McConaughey and Michael Douglas take a fun and lighthearted look at what it takes to play the character of a legendary ladiesí man and the many lessons learned. Again, this isnít some sit down conversation between McConaughey and Douglas and instead just interview footage (that also includes members of the cast and crew).

And last are four basic Additional Scenes (9:32), including an alternate opening, a BD-Live portal and a digital copy (compatible with iTunes and WMV).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is presented with its original 2.40 aspect ratio and outside of the acceptable level of film grain/noise, itís not a bad looking transfer, but man oh man, it is pretty dark. Even though tonally this isnít a dark movie per se (even the Ghosts of Girlfriends Future part was tame), the movie is fairly dark between the sets and the use of night scenes. In any case, the picture is sharp and detailed and I noticed no imperfections. But donít go in expecting some amazing or vibrant video here. As if youíd want to use this title to show off your system anyway...

The standard Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is nothing spectacular, just adequate. The movie is dialogue heavy with a mixture of 80s plus some contemporary music along with a forgettable score. The rear speakers donít get a whole lot of work and the bass is fairly quiet, but overall it is a well dispersed soundtrack.



.::OVERALL::.

Although the concept certainly was interesting, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past never lives up to it. The film is at times mildly entertaining for the female cast, but everything else is just forgettable. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner share very little chemistry together and the story and filmmaking was just boring and unfunny.