The Screening Room
ghost town
I wasn't expecting much out of "Ghost Town" and came out of it enjoying it.

"Ghost Town" is now available on DVD.

This is one of those movies that is far from perfect, yet it does get you in the end. It's not original, for many films have used the ghost left-on-earth premise to bring closure to his or her own life. The movie isn't overly funny, but it's sincere in what the characters bring to the table. None of the cast members is considered a blockbuster star, but they're effective in making the movie believable.

Ricky Gervais plays an unlikable dentist who detests people. He's rude to them and they seem to annoy him. His only sense of peace and quiet is by cleaning their teeth. During a routine exam on him, he dies momentarily and awakens to see dead people. One of them is the recently deceased Frank (Greg Kinnear). Gervais finds himself becoming a bit more human by falling for Tea Leoni, the on-screen widow of Kinnear's character.

The movie borrows plot points from other movies like "Ghost," and "Always." The entire film has a lightweight charm that reminds viewers of classic 1940s romantic films. Once you get past the first half hour, the movie begins to grow on you like those classics of lore. You might not remember "Ghost Town" after watching it, but it's not a movie that you leave disappointed in. I was surprised, despite the obvious plot, that I was moved toward the end.

Gervais is not your typical Brad Pitt leading man by any means. He's average and somewhat unusual looking for a leading man. He does pull off being a jerk very well. But he does end up winning you over by his quirky charms.

The movie was apparently made on a small budget by major studio standards. The production stays only in a few New York City locations that we've seen a million times on film. It's nicely shot, but it's not overwhelmingly rich in appearence. The visual effects are surprisingly dull by using simple old fashioned ghost tricks. I suppose I've gotten so used to almost any studio film to have some spectacular effect, that the effects in "Ghost Town" look cheap in comparison.

Visual effects aside, the film is about romance, odd people behavior and relationships. It's a nice enough film for a rainy day if you don't go into expecting miracles to happen.            
Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photos: DreamWorks. All rights reserved.
DVD Quick Glimpse



Once you get past the first half hour, the movie grows on you

Director: David Koepp  

Cast: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni  

Commentary, Making of, and more


Picture: Good
Sound: Good

The visual effects of ghosts are as simple as they get

Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

December 27, 2008
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