Blu-ray Review: Ghost Town

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Ghost Town
Paramount Home Entertainment (Dreamworks)
Blu-ray Disc Review By Jerry Rutledge

Ghost Town is a surprising, small romantic comedy with witty dialogue and great character acting.  A buy in my book.

Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) plays a dentist who does not like people.  He would rather stuff his patients’ mouths with cotton than listen to them.  When the office has a party to celebrate the birth of a fellow dentist’s son, he slinks out the back to avoid any human contact, and instead plans a routine medical procedure.  Far from routine, Betram dies for seven minutes on the operating table, but is revived and wakes up with the ability to see the ghosts of the recently departed, all of whom have unresolved issues they desperately want him to fix.

In particular, he meets the persistent ghost of Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), a slick, tuxedo wearing husband, whose fatal flaw was his unfaithfulness to his charming wife Gwen (Téa Leoni).  Frank believes he will be able to move on to the afterlife if Bertram can prevent Gwen from marrying the too perfect (although humorless and self-aggrandizing) human rights attorney Richard (Billy Campbell).  He schemes for Betram to interfere.  The unlikely Betram falls for Gwen and begins to compete for her affections, awkwardly at first and then with true empathy as he begins to realize his own shortcomings and attempts to deal with them with a likable sense of humor.  Gwen must ultimately decide whether she can let go of the memory of Frank, whether she will marry Richard or whether she will take a chance with Betram.

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The movie was shot on location around Central Park in New York City during late Summer, Fall and Winter and looks good on Blu-ray Disc.™

Extras include an in-picture commentary by the director and co-writer David Koepp and Ricky Ger vais (Gervais is a comedian so the commentary is funny and Koepp is a well known in Hollywood and offers some pointers for aspiring directors); a shorter, snappy mini-documentary on the making of Ghost Town; outtakes and flubs with some gags improvised by Gervais) and a clip showing how the special effects were composited.

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